I have a relatively new violin, that is currently opening up. I love both the procedure and the instrument, but I am in need of some advice.
When I first got it, it came strung with Dominants, and it was setup in a perfect way.(to be honest, it was the first time that I thought I could also keep the E)
But, I thought it could deliver more than that. So, I tried Vision Titaniums, and then I settled on Evah Pirazzi Gold (with the silver G string)
A really good string set. However, I would like to experiment a bit, to find out which set really matches this new violin.
So, any advice from someone who has changed evah pirazzi gold for something else?
Bear in mind, that I really liked the volume, the projection, the action time and the response. These are some things that I don't want to loose in my next string set.
I would be happy with some more "edge" though. I was thinking of the normal Evah's or the PI's.
P.S. I know that of course, every string behaves in a different way in each instrument, and my luthier's opinion would definately be crucial, but he is living a long way from here :) I am just looking for thoughts from people that may have been in the same situation, changing evah pirazzi gold for something equally full and projecting, but maybe more spicey?
Elise, thank you for your reply.
I may give the regular evahs a try on this new instrument.
And one last thing. Have you tried the silver g string of evah pirazzi gold? And if yes, is there still that much loss of warmth in the regular evahs, or you made the comparion above taking into consideration the golden G ?
I have used EP gold for viola only recently. Based on this limited experience, I think that it will be quite difficult to find a proper substitute. Personally, I do not like the sound they produce, but can understand why and how one can get addictive.
An affordable option could be Zyex G,D,A with GoldBrokat E. (Their original E is sweet but whistles) Medium gauge is a bit more tense than Dominant - so they may in fact be very close to EP gold in that respect. You may also get "the volume, the projection, the action time and the response." with a different sound envelope.
I've recently moved from Evah Pirazzi Gold (but with the gold G rather than the silver) to Warchal Amber as a trial. Both strings seem to suit my violin very well.
At the moment I'm intending to stay with the Warchal set. It seems well balanced, has good volume, responds quickly and consistently, and allows me to produce a wide range of satisfying tones. I'm very happy with the Amber.
The E seems to have a good meaty tone but still has some spice and can sting when needed.
I have Evah Pirazzi Gold strings on 4 violins.
The first set was bought for a rather bright violin and I included the gold G. I found it duller than I wanted and was delighted with the results when I replaced it with the silver G. For the E string I kept the PI platinum E that I've been using for the past few years - it is a miraculous string that affects the balance of all the other strings.
I then installed matching sets on the 3 other instruments. All have been brought up to better standard than ever before. These violins are quite different from each other, but all are really good with the PI-Pt E, EP Gold(A & D) and EP Gold (silver G).
Previous strings over the past few years on all 4 violins (all with the PI-Pt E) included PI, and later Vision Solo A, D, and G. As far as I'm concerned - each successive change was an improvement. One of the violins "suffered" an interlude with Pirastro Olive (wound gut) A, D, and G (all with the PI-Pt E).
I'm really sold on this combination.
Charis, I think that the regular evahs are the next in line. Personally I am a bit afraid of obligatos since this particular instrument seems to love higher tensions.
Rocky, could you describe the different sound envelope? I was thinking of zyex too but I have come across some reviews that claim that they are a bit one dimensional...that true? I had only had some previous experience with pro artes in another violin, but not with positive results...
Melvyn, your comments about the amber strings, are really interesting, I had not managed to find a comparison of amber's and evahs p golds before...
Andy, when I read your comments about your instruments reaching a higher standard, really reminds me of both what I felt when I first put these strings on and of what the very kind salesman said about other's instruments when he told me to try first the ep golds before the regulars. If it turns out that there is no better string for this instrument I will definitely try a pi E
At least it seems as a narrow list of options...
Thank you everybody for your time and info :)
yes, Zyex string could be described as "plain" or one-dimensional to some extent. On the other hand, they are powerful, durable, more transparent, simple and will not make your violin sound artificially different than it is.
Hope this all makes sense; a full disclosure - I truly believe that a genuine violin sound comes only from pure gut strings.
EP, PI are the 21st century ( "space age") strings, and so are Zyex. Once you step into that orbit.....
UPDATE: gut strings plus Eudoxa, Olive or Lenzner Supersolo
As in unwound?
No Passiones, Eudoxas, etc?
P.S.- I really like the Zyex, the G & D especially on a couple of my violins.
So it turns out that maybe zyex could be a "candidate" too.
Right now, for me I know it may not be a good time for gut strings. I am really curious to try them one day, but at the moment, I need to travel a lot, meaning lots of different humidity and temperature conditions. From what I've heard and read, gut don't like these…
Seraphim: Yes, Rocky means unwound plain gut. :)
The E is especially beautiful. Check out Chaconne by Heifetz to hear it.
I like the EPG very much in my violin with the silver G, and I alternate them with this combo: warchal brilliant G, vision solo titanium D, Peter infeld A and several E options like E.Pirazzi gold, goldbrokat, jargar or thomastik n 1.
Jose, I like the visions, and most of their versions. In one of my violins, I really liked the vision Ti Orchestra, they were like a flavored dominant…but in this particular violin, they were not enough, at least not enough for what I was looking for.
Anyway, I would also like to add that today I first tried -just from curiosity- the "Evah Pirazzi Gold Rosin". I was previously using Obligato (too much build up in this string), and another soft rosin (considerably less residue, but not enough grip for the Evahs - I had to rerosin my recently rehaired bow every 2 hours or so, to achieve the same grip and sound)
BUT with the EP gold rosin, things are a bit different. I'm not the guy that is easily converted by marketing ideas etc but this rosin really suited the EP Gold. It also required much less than any other I've used, and it had a great grip. The overall tone produced seems a bit more firm and brilliant now.
I'm with Andy on this one -- EP Golds on the G, D, and A (stick with the silver G), and then a PI platinum E.
Regular Evahs and a full set of PIs are worth a shot if you have the money to spare and/or change strings often enough that a set you don't love isn't a big problem.
Lydia, I think it is really worth it, but after some (I wish it'd be one or two) string "experiments" I should have made up my mind….
After all, I can only rely on most strings for 3 to 5 weeks, then I feel that it's time for some refreshment. However the ep golds, are very close to this mark, and they sound decent.
P.S. as a kid I can recall having the same piranito's for ages. (somehow, only the A would snap regularly, and then would get replaced, the rest would stay...). Well, its payback time I guess.
I've found that PIs last a lot longer than Evahs. They do tail off in quality a little, but it is much more gradual and takes longer than for the EPs, which essentially chuck themselves off a cliff once they've hit their limit (with me and my instruments, anyway-- sometimes I have that effect on people).
...you are referring to regular Evahs, not the gold right?
Is the ep gold a string for viola as good as it is advertised?
This is really off topic, but I haven't changed a string in 5-6 years. Is this bad? I took a three year break from the violin, so technically the strings themselves have only been played on for three or so years. Nothing appears to have been worn down or anything.
Shawn, you should probably replace them. Most people would replace them ranging every 2 to 6 months or so.
Hi Hermes, give the Kaplan Amo or Vivo strings a try. They are a new style synthetic core which seem to do what the label says. I've had the Amo's on for 8 months, and they still seem great, especially the lower string, very rich and strong sounding. The Amo are to 'warmify' the sound and the Vivo set are to add 'brilliance' if that's what you need. They also offer a wound e (sold separately) which doesn't whistle and isn't too shrill. I haven't actually tried the EP golds yet, I was going to but settled on the Kaplan Amo, and I'm glad I did.
Shawn, it's amazing the difference in sound a new set of strings gives you, and you won't realise it until you change the strings as you do become used to what you have. Anyways, it's fun to test all the wonderful things out there in string land.
@Aleksei, before I first tried the evah pirazzi gold, the first favourable comments came from a viola player that had been using them at that very moment. I guess they are pretty good. What string combo did you like the most so far?
@Shawn, having left your violin without any playing for 3 years, could mean that you are in need of a trip to a luthier to check that many things are ok. Concerning your strings, at the very best, they could be deadish by now, installing new ones would definitely make things better. Three years of use (and three more of storage) is a really long time for strings. Depending on your playing some strings would seem perfect after years, but this doesn't mean they behave as they ought to (mainly sound-wise). They could also have turned more tense than they should, depending on the humidity and temperature conditions.
@Millie, thanks for your recommendation. Another friend has also suggested the Daddarios. However right now I am playing another violin which really works with the green evahs, and since the amos and vivos come in the same price here in Greece with the pirazzis, could you compare them? I would most appreciate comments about their feel under the left hand. I am asking this because my previous experience with other daddario models wasn't that great for me because I found them much more textured and tense that what I prefer....
@ Millie, Amo strings are fine. However nothing can beat Warchal Amber on my current violin (except of Olives of course :-)
on my old violin I tried them all, as it's a very expensive old French, well worth experimenting with. Pirazzis,PG and Vision TS. The last VTS set seemed to be the best one until I tried the Pirastro Passiones on it. These are by far the best I have ever tried.In fact they are so far above the rest, I will never experiment again. They are covered gut, but with better tuning stability once they are broken in.
On my modern Stepan Soultanian violin I use Warchals on the maker's recommendation and on my third antique Viennese violin I found that Zyex G,D,A with a goldbrokat E works the best and they are also cheap.
I would recommend however,you give the passiones a try and if you don't like them, then give the rest a try. They are as expensive as the PG but last longer. An added advantage for me is that the tension is lower than EP's.
@ kypros christodoulides right now I have tried all these that you mention, except the passiones. My main instrument really likes the medium EPs (not the gold). How hard can you press the passiones? I am asking this because with the evahs I may dig into the string when want to do so and both them and the instrument won't kick back.
I am pretty sure though, that when I decide to take my "gut" trip Passiones could be the first stop... I really enjoy baroque music and darker sounds so this seems inevitable and it's only a matter of time, and maybe acquiring a second instrument which would have the quality of the one I know have as a primary... right now I am on a tight budget to experiment that much :)
you could try the Passione or Obligato, both bit darker than the EP Gold but less tension so lot easier to play. Try the regular Evah as well if you like that kind of tension and brightness.
with the passiones you can dig in as much as your violin allows, these strings in my experience have as much digging in ability as the E.P's.
One thing I realized with the passiones,is that they are not darker sounding as you mention, but they don't have the metallic sound of other synthetics that we call brilliance. The Passiones are brilliant in a way that will be a pleasant revelation and after this experience there is no going back.
People have stopped using gut not because gut is sounding inferior to synthetics, but because it's not stable and with every change in temperature or humidity they need to be tuned again. They also take longer to stabilize when new. The sound they make though is amazing. It's not a secret that all the greats used gut strings.
In my youth I tried gut covered strings on a cheap German violin that I began lessons with and I hated them, but what did I know back then. If your violin is a quality instrument however new or old, it will love the Passiones.
@Allen thanks for the recommendation. The regular evahs did the trick in my current main violin, I think I've written it somewhere before in the conversation. The Obligatos are also great strings, one of the best overall I've ever tried (and in many instruments) if you compare their feel under the fingers and the sound and colours they give. And even when they decide to start going downhill they don't loose quality that much, in my case they only started to loose power... But in my opinion when they stretch they lack some edge or bite that I really appreciate. Anyway, I liked them so much that I tried to make them work for me by using different e strings (almost all of them except the kaplan solutions and the amber spiral-like one) different rosins, and different bows. But I didn't manage to make them edgy enough for me. However I still think that they are great. Yet if you have discovered something that "lifts them up" a bit it would be great
@kypros christodoulides Actually, I was never in doubt of their quality. I am just concerning about all this hassle that accompanies gut strings, though they could be one of the most stable options....That's why I want to keep a violin strung with synthetics.
Since you mentioned it, you could be lucky of using wound gut strings when younger....I grew up with piranitos at the best case scenario - and with many many miles on each set. Definitely more stable than wound gut...but...you know...steel....nah. Of course I didn't bother to experiment back then. They forced me to get a better & smoother bow grip though lol.
How do the Passiones hold up over time?
Go dead suddenly?
Slow, dignified fade & loss of power?
Start to get creaky/cranky?
I only have them on for a month and so far they are great.
Passiones, are ideal when one practises in long stretches of more than an hour.
After you play them in for the first 4 days, then they keep their tuning, but not right after you start playing. They will need about half an hour to stabilise.
Concerning the set of Eudoxas I tried when I was a kid, believe me I worked hard for what I have now.
For the first 9 years of my playing my parents bought me a second hand re-varnished German factory fiddle for 12 euros. Years after and out of my pocket money I bought a set of Eudoxas which in fact were more expensive than the violin bow and case combined.
When I was 19 my mother bought me a violin for 250 euros that my professor said he could not teach me with it as it was so bad, but to my ears it was way better than the first one I had..
Right now, I am unfortunately in need of picking up my instrument and be able to have it stable in maybe less than minutes and start practicing since I have to combine playing and practicing with the rest of my studies, job etc so I would like to have an extra half of an hour but it's not always possible...I am pretty sure you understand what I mean (I mention the five minutes cause the evahs need some time to warm up and give their true sound, like the instrument as well)
And also, I pretty much understand the difficulties you encountered, and I am also sure that such occasions not only force you to improve more, and that you also appreciate everything :)
My story is similar, until I reached anotera B (or grade 8 if I am not mistaken as an international corresponding class) the only thing I had was a chinese instrument of less than what today money would be 70 euros (drachmae back then) , and a handful of piranitos bought with extra money when possible, gradually replacing the strings that snapped. I was lucky enough to have a friend that was a guitar technician and when I was at high school we scraped off what was like a furniture varnish, and replaced with a lighter one, and the sound much improved, and I could play along with a piano and be heard
On university I started putting more money in the whole thing (when it was up to my earnings) which was kinda necessary to progress more than what I mentioned before and in my early twenties came my first synthetic strings experience (tonicas if I remember well) and it was like christians and I was "Why I've missed that? "
A lot of things have happened since those times, we ourselves grow up, our skills improved like our practicing, so does our sound taste , but I think that we will both remember this hard way. And for me it was always combined with joy, at it could be all than matters anyway
P.S. Do you still play these violins? I do sometimes, it's like having put your childhood in them isn't it?
in my university years I was like everyone else using dominants. Stable,reliable and cheap in those days.
My first violin I don't remember what I did to it,( probably burned it),but the second one I sold for 800 euros 15 years after I bought it.
After that I realized that I had to study violins and provenance if I was ever going to possess anything good and since then I have never been taken in by anyone regarding violins or bows. Now I'm proud to have a small collection of violins and old French bows that I love.
For me, Passiones, after they settled in, still required daily tuning at the start of each practice session (and orchestra, etc.) -- a slight adjustment, but of course with regular pegs, slight adjustments are just about as much of an annoyance as big adjustments. They were stable once tuned for a few hours, though, even the whole day, as long as there weren't major changes in temperature or humidity.
They're not significantly less stable than, say, Dominants, although they're not as stable as the Obligato/Evah Pirazzi family.
The sound went gradually, but it went relatively quickly (just a couple of weeks on the violin, and I don't play that much).
For E strings have you tried the Pirastro Oliv? (the gold plated one) On my violin it not only sounds amazingly clear and ringing, it also makes the lower 3 strings more "edgy" and powerful than other £s I have tried.
Other popular ones like Westminster and Goldbrokat are quite good as well, all depends on what you need and how they fit with your set up/violin.
you reminded me of the pirastro olive E goldstahl. I used to love it and I don't know why I stopped using it. Have you used it along with the Passiones? On my Vuillaume it sounded amazing but other people didn't like it so I decided to experiment to find something better, but nothing comes close to it. I'll start using it again with the passiones.
www.violinstringreview.com has a great review of the Amo and Vivo.
I have the Amo set, and am very pleased with it. Never tried Evahs, so can't compare.
Glad that you've managed these :)
@Allen, I was more than sure that the Olive E was the same as the Obligato E, only with dark green instead of black silking. If that's the case, the Obligato E helped, but not that much as I wanted to.
Have you noticed a significant difference between the two? The only thing I found on visiting the pirastro website is that the weich versions are listed in a different way. But I am using mediums most of the time...
@Seraphim, on the website that you mention, ob the tensions charts they seem close. You could give them a try then. Yet there is a saying, if something works, don't fix it...
@Kypros Well if the Oliv E sounded good to you then that's all it matters right? :)
it did for as long as I was using it, but seeing other professionals not using it and talking to them, I thought I should experiment with E strings. This took a lot of time and money, also I experimented with different set-ups so in the end I lost perspective and kept the best set-up at the time.
When however I tried the passiones, it was a revelation. Never had my violin sounded better and when you mentioned the goldsteel olive E, it just clicked.
The downside is that I don't know the tension of this E string and it's not disclosed by Pirastro, also it's among the most expensive E's on the market, but what the hell, you only live once.
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November 5, 2014 at 04:32 PM · The regular Evahs are I believe more powerful than the Gold - but you sacrifice longevity and a warmth, in particular at the low end.
I put the gold on mine when I bought it and no one seems to be able to suggest a better set, so they stay! And yes, I'm indulgent to my better half so he gets the gold G...