Pirastro has the weakest windings?

March 28, 2016 at 05:52 PM · I have used;

Warchal, DiaDario, Corelli, Thomastic, and some no-name Chinese junk.

Never had any issues with the string windings.

But on my Pira$tro EP Golds--the winding came unravelled quite quickly from the viola D string.

I just recently tried a Eudoxa A on my viola last week, and the winding is already separating near the bridge.

Why so fragile, Pirastro?

Some of the sets of Warchal I have pretty much abused: taking them off one instrument, trying them on another, switched them back, etc, etc. NO PROBLEM.

But the high priced Pirastros seem to wilt if you look at them wrong.

Replies (21)

March 28, 2016 at 05:53 PM · Have never had an issue and I use Pirastro Golds as well as the regular Evah Pirastro.

March 28, 2016 at 07:59 PM · I find the EP Golds wear out pretty quickly on my violin, but I've never had an issue with their windings the way I've had with Dominants -- but I also tend to smash the windings flat, rather than causing them to unravel.

I will say that the Warchals I've had on my violin seem basically indestructible in normal usage.

March 28, 2016 at 08:06 PM ·

March 28, 2016 at 09:43 PM · I have this problem over and over again with my Obligato D for viola

March 28, 2016 at 09:43 PM · Maybe its a viola problem?

March 28, 2016 at 09:55 PM · I highly suspect that it depends on your skin chemistry (especially acidity), as my rather oil skin tends to mean that the windings tarnish in places. and then start to slowly unwind somewehere in 1st position. :)

This also happens near the fingerboard end of the bowed part of the string, which maybe because of excessively forceful bowing. :D

March 28, 2016 at 10:07 PM · Look at the groove... could be too sharp, or with markings from the previous string. Sometimes, different gauge / tension can leave a mark.

Always use soft pencil to leave graphite dust inside a groove before installing a new string.

I am a Pirastro user; never had any issues you are describing (Passione, Obligato, Olive & Eudoxa).

Write to them - they are well known for their excellent customer support.

Change the supplier - sometimes they do not store strings properly or have a bad batch.

March 28, 2016 at 11:06 PM ·

March 28, 2016 at 11:07 PM · As well as graphite in the nut and bridge notches, check their shapes: no sharp edges to catch on the windings, and no tighness to grip them.

Silver windings on the D have to be noticeably thinner, and thus more fragile, than aluminium ones. On my viola, the Obligato C and G last twice as long as the silver D and my favorite aluminium-wound Eudoxa-Aricore A

March 29, 2016 at 12:41 AM · Many times, winding separation at the upper nut or the bridge will have to do with differences in diameter of different strings. Play with a narrower string for a while, and the string groove will wear to fit the string.

Then install a wider string, and the groove will pinch the string.

Seraphim, if you have been using a steel A before switching to the Eudoxa, that difference in diameter is almost certainly the problem.

Also, as Rocky mentioned, ALWAYS lubricate the grooves with graphite from a pencil whenever a string is removed.

March 29, 2016 at 01:03 AM · Thanks David (and everyone).

No, I'm a follower of Adrian's synthetic A habit. I used a nice plump Warchal synthetic A previously and for quite some time prior to the Eudoxa.

I love the string, sounds great. But I'm concerned that it shall meet an early demise due to finicky windings.

March 29, 2016 at 12:04 PM · I'd like to offer my two cents here, as owner of Italy's first mail order and then internet reseller of string instrument items. This business, founded in 1988, has sold thousands upon thousands of strings over the years.

I mentioned this thread to our manager and she told me that it's been a long time since we've received any nature of complaints about Pirastro strings, and in general returns for any reason are just about equally divided between all string manufacturers with whom we do business.

March 29, 2016 at 12:06 PM · PS. This is not a solicitation for business as my company does not export these products outside of Italy. This comment is only for community interest. If anyone feels this post not to be appropriate I'll remove it :-)

March 29, 2016 at 01:21 PM · Not at all, Dmitri. The second paragraph of your preceding post contains useful information, and the first sets out your credentials in the string supplier business.

March 29, 2016 at 01:57 PM · I have always experienced faster winding separation with Pirastro relative to other brands. Synoxa was particularly bad

March 29, 2016 at 02:24 PM · If we had to abandon using a brand of strings every time an amateur violin player has two faulty strings, we'd be left stringing out violins with shoelaces!!

March 29, 2016 at 02:32 PM · While it's "true" that I've had "problems" with Pirastro windings, it just means I use their strings more often. I would not be able to scientifically prove that they go bad quickly, even in general.

Additionally, AFAIAC, it has never happened to the windings in any playing position (where I would place my LH fingers)-they usually start to degrade close to the end of the fingerboard, and never at the nut or bridge either. (That said, I do not have acidic fingers.)

The Synoxa I used last year didn't have this problem until many months of use. In fact, it only was a near immediate problem only once with an Obligato A some years ago-I notified Pirastro and they sent me a replacement quite quickly.

I figured out how to at least delay windings degradation (of any brand)-be gentle while you wipe rosin off the strings after playing. The strings will last longer that way vs forcibly "cleaning" the string with excessive friction (and as I've heard in some cases, even screechy noise.) There's no point in "prolonging" string life by removing rosin in that manner, IME and humble opinion. I've done this stressful-to the strings, that is-cleaning procedure, and the windings soon go bad.

Of course, some violinists almost "need" specialty windings because they have sweaty hands. I assume that when they use "standard" windings, they are just used to switching strings more often than what would generally be deemed normal.

Would add that I am generally even more careful with Silver wound Ds, which tend to be more delicate than usual, IME. Love them in my instrument in general, but it's a trade-off I am willing to deal with.

March 29, 2016 at 02:36 PM · All I'm saying is that, in MY experience, Pirastro strings have been the ones I've had issues with.

I may be hamfisted about string managemnent, nut and bridge groove prep, etc, etc. But, for ME it has only been the high priced Pirastro strings that have proved fragile. As Lydia mentioned above, the Warchals in particular seem bombproof.

I was wondering if this was a widespread occurrence, or if it were just me, coupled with some bad luck. Indeed, my sample size is rather small.

Dimitri's answer seems to say that it is simply my bad luck.

March 29, 2016 at 09:10 PM · I have used Obligato G and D strings for probably the last 10 years on my viola (recently switched to a Warchal Brilliant G) and have never had windings come loose. That said, I've gotten a couple of strings (one G and one D) that I didn't like - they didn't seem as smooth to the touch as I'm used to for these strings. But in that time period, I'd say that's pretty good.

March 29, 2016 at 10:28 PM · My guess is that returns only reflect strings that are immediately bad -- that go within the first week or two.

Most people here are talking about issues that they have with strings after many weeks or months, I think.

Some people change strings only when the strings become unusable, and other people change strings when the strings stop sounding their best. That leads to very different opinions about strings, too.

March 31, 2016 at 09:05 AM · Before Dominants appeared, I had to give up on Eudoxa A, or any silver-wound D, for financial reasons. The windings are so thin.

But I still buy Pirastro strings for their tone.

Edit: for a viola, Obligatos are now €180 a set, and "new" Tonicas €110!! I may yet go back to steel strings, or even shoelaces!

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