Eudoxa - same strings as decades ago?

June 9, 2016 at 06:03 PM · I haven't used Eudoxa strings on a violin for a long time (40-50 years!)

Have they changed?

I've just put on a set (apart from Amber E) for old times sake - and they are bad on this violin! The A particularly often won't speak.

OK - I've only had them on 24 hours, but there is no sign of improvement after about 3 hours of playing. Is this normal? I know they take a long time to settle and stay in tune (which is a bind) but the lack of response?

If the A does not improve I might have to change it for a PI (Peter Infeld).

Any comments?

Replies (68)

June 9, 2016 at 06:13 PM · Perhaps you're misremembering what they were like. :-)

And most instruments aren't currently set up for gut. You might need a set-up adjustment to make them sound decent.

June 9, 2016 at 06:19 PM · I'm still using Eudoxa a lot (since I discovered them back in the 80's) and the A string has never been all that wonderful-sounding on any violin that I've used it with.

My preferred setup with them now is the stiff Eudoxa G and D, a plain gut A (I'm using Damien Dlugolecki's A, but Pirastro Chorda will work just fine), with a Goldbrokat E.

June 9, 2016 at 06:21 PM · Quite possible. If there is a change, I bet it is about the gut core.

I know that Gamut had some issues with gut supply and they switched to another source.

Another possibility is that you got a set from an old batch. These strings are not used by many and sometimes it happens that they sit for months if not years before being sold.

I have had some strange experiences when brand new Eudoxa would buzz or hiss. The same supplier, the same type of string, dead right there.

Go figure.

June 9, 2016 at 07:28 PM · It's true I can't remember what they were like, but I sort of liked them. (Eudoxa 40+ years ago)

Now I find the sound thin, the response terrible, and much harder to play without wolf notes all over the A string.

But it may be that this fiddle doesn't like them. It has always sounded best with Peter Infeld (PI) Thomastik strings, although it sort of OK with Dominants and other strings. I had Pirastro Synoxa on for a while and they weren't great but a hell of a lot better than these Eudoxa, which also sound so dull with less sound.

I don't seem to have any luck with Pirastro - I will have to go back to Thomastik PI's which were very good.

June 9, 2016 at 10:07 PM · Gut is meat (as in tripe and onions..) so I imagine it shrivels up in due course. I have 40 year-old viola & violin sets of Eudoxas and even a gut E to try one day... It sounds as if they may be past their best-before date!

June 9, 2016 at 10:17 PM · Give Lenzner Supersolo a try before you give up on guts.

They produce a very rich sound and are extremely well matched and balanced!

If you can live with raw A string....

June 10, 2016 at 05:41 AM · I find Eudoxas will take a couple of weeks to finish stretching and for that gut core to break in and become flexible.

After that I'll happily use them until the windings wear flat on the fingerboard, they become wonderfully rich and mellow. I like the wound gut A string sound, and the silver Brilliant D.

June 10, 2016 at 09:53 AM · At one time, it could almost be assumed that a better violin would be strung with Eudoxas. But playing techniques and taste in sound have changed (largely enabled by the newer synthetic strings), so people who developed their taste and technique on these newer strings will likely find Eudoxas unsatisfactory.

June 10, 2016 at 10:30 AM · Rocky, where is a good place to get Supersolo for people living in Canada?

June 10, 2016 at 12:09 PM · Kevin,

to my knowledge, you have to order them directly from manufacturer in Germany.


June 10, 2016 at 12:26 PM · Yes, times have changed and it probably serves me right for being nostal-gik.

I think string technology has probably improved, and we have also nice and rather unusual Warchal Amber E's, to mention only one of the new generation of strings.

June 12, 2016 at 06:47 PM · I've had these Eudoxa strings on now for five days and they are still losing pitch every 3 or 4 minutes. I don't think it's acceptable that strings should take this long to bed in. Apart from that, the A is so awful that I've just changed it for a Warchal Russian A which had only a few weeks previous use.

This is definitely an improvement, but the other (D and G) strings are still going out of tune after about 50 bars of music.

How can Pirastro justify such expensive strings being so unreliable (and having such a lousy sound and poor response?)

These are definitely the worst strings I've ever encountered.

June 12, 2016 at 07:09 PM · Have the strings changed, or is it our ears?

June 12, 2016 at 07:31 PM · I think that part of what's ongoing is what was alluded by Mr. Burgess above.

I've had a totally different experience with Pirastro Gold Labels very recently-they got stable within 3 days, and can't believe the tonal and playing quality, ESPECIALLY, since one of their marketing strategies for that line is selling it as a "budget"/"value" gut core string. I wonder if the modern Gold strings stabilize faster due to a more modern manufacture at Pirastro, but I don't have the answer.

For what it's worth, I am convinced non-Passione Pirastro strings can potentially be very stable, though they do need some time to acclimate to both room and player temperature. And of course, one is supposed to play in tune, regardless.

Getting used to synthetics do make it hard for players to try and/or use gut-IMHO, the BEST feature of synthetics is NOT a "gut like tone", but their stability. The feel and bowing required is different, and the "closest" synthetics has gotten IME is the old nylon cores (Dominants, Synoxas, et. al.) There's NOTHING wrong with synthetics (I still use them from time to time), but you are indeed compromising, for better or worse.

As a side, unrelated note, it bears mentioning that the new Pirastro website NOW offers specific tension information for all their strings, gut or otherwise, under the "options" tab. The "Medium" Gold Label A is actually a thick string, for instance, at 5.5.

(Edited to add: have not used Warchal Amber yet. What I meant above about nylon cores is that they TEND towards less tension, and you lose less of that "gut feel(ing)"-I still believe old nylon cores are no TRUE substitute to gut-core strings. Also, gut core strings themselves are pretty diverse, so a general comment like "sounds like gut" is very inexact, as we are not sure if people mean Eudoxa (3 variants!), Oliv, or something else altogether. Gut is gut, but not all gut is the same, IME.)

June 12, 2016 at 07:58 PM · @Peter: When I first tried Eudoxas, more than 10 years ago, I ran into some of the problems you described. I always found the A to be the most unstable, pitch-wise, till it really settled. Mine typically took 2 weeks +/- before they were reliable. The heat and humidity we have here are undoubtedly factors.

Pirastro recommends the stiff D-G for modern players. That’s what I used after my one unsuccessful tryout of regular D-G. With stiff, I no longer had the tone break or crush from intense bow pressure -- an annoying problem I had run into previously with regular -- and I found them more reliable, pitch-wise, than regular. FWIW, I found the wound E a bit dull; so, after one tryout, I didn’t go back to it. I now use Lenzner’s Goldbrokat medium E on all three fiddles.

June 13, 2016 at 12:28 AM · The Eudoxa wound E sounds nice, but is a "brilliance killer" in my experience. It is powerful, smooth, pleasant, and not exactly dull per se, but the "dulling" effect on the whole violin is very noticeable. Additionally, the very, very high positions also sound less clear, unlike with many of the more popular E options. That said, no doubt it works great for many violins out there.

For Mr. Wie: do your Chorda As last for a reasonable amount of time? I know wound gut As last for a long while for players without perspiration problems. (Did not mean to hijack thread, Mr. Charles.)

June 13, 2016 at 01:36 AM · Any plain gut string can last a couple months as long as you keep them dry. I'm finding Dlugolecki's varnished gut A to be a bit longer lasting than Pirastro Chorda A.

June 13, 2016 at 07:36 AM · Many thanks for the recent comments and advice.

OK, so we play in tune whatever the strings do, but it's virtually impossible to play 5th's when they go off. It so happens that I was playing something with a lot of chords all of which had the two top notes as 5th's.

What I find with the two remaining (D,G) strings is that they sound so dull and lifeless. Whatever I do, play into the string more, use less pressure and more speed, the strings just sound so dead. Maybe I got a set made on a Friday? Or maybe, although the packets look new, they are in fact very old. And then my violin probably hates them as well.

But it could also be that that we have come to expect a more up front, vibrant sound, especially with strings like PI's - so I'm having shell shock over these old technology strings.

June 13, 2016 at 08:07 AM · I believe you may be used to more brilliant strings, which is fine. In that case, maybe the venerable Eudoxa won't any longer be your cup or tea (maybe it's the violin too, as you said.) And of course, nothing wrong with preferring the many good synthetic options out there.

To be fair, I never found the Eudoxa to be that dull sounding, just not too bright. I myself like the other options better because I prefer edge/brightness-which is also why I like silver wound Ds, as them being thinner, they tend to be brighter. Eudoxa, unfortunately, doesn't have a silver D option (except maybe the "brilliant" variant-I forgot.) BUT in my experience, gut tone must not necessarily be dull/dark. A rich tone is not the same as "devoid of clarity." Among the "clearer" options I've tried, Pirastro Oliv and Gold (I have the feeling the remanufactured Tricolore may be brighter/"clearer" than Eudoxa as well.)

Of course I am aware you don't want to try more strings, so I apologize in advance-plus one really has to get used to the occasional instability. Again, though, after playing them for a while, "they" remain stable for me, even if I am not doubting one bit your story. Perhaps there's enough variance within manufactured gut batches, as has been suggested above.

The Pirastro Gold has been a nice surprise for me, quite honestly. Bright, powerful, quickly stable... even though they have a reputation for instability-even more so than Eudoxa and other types, if you are to believe many people's opinions in this very forum.

Best of luck, and sorry about your Eudoxa troubles. Some years ago, I tried them and they were VERY nice sounding, though the D was a bit unstable for a while. Still, it was fine after you warmed it up quite a bit.

June 13, 2016 at 12:33 PM · Thanks Adalberto - you have summed up the problems beautifully, so thanks for the excellent advice.

June 13, 2016 at 01:31 PM · Perhaps what we perceive as 'dull' is in fact the result of low tension?

[This whole story is similar to one in tennis; they gave up on gut strings and wooden rackets.... lured by power and new possibilities. New synthetic materials have led to complete transformation of how the tennis is played. Sadly, this also led to more injuries, especially in young players. ]

Heifetz and Milstein do not sound 'dull' at all.

Progress is not always what it appears to be.

June 13, 2016 at 01:50 PM · I find Eudoxa's sound great on really old violins, 200+ years where you've given up playing the "volume game" and just want a superior tone.

June 13, 2016 at 02:05 PM · The superior tone is 99% the player. You can have volume and superior tone.

Did Heifetz and Milstein use Eudoxa? I know H used a Goldbroakat E.

I find the D and G have improved and even stay in tune a few minutes longer! And if I belt them the sound is quite powerful. Maybe the dullness will wear off. But the A was obviously a dud.

However, because of the time they take to settle (now 6 days - about 18 hours of playing) - this would put me off. I think PI's settle in a day or two at most.

June 13, 2016 at 02:49 PM · I was speaking of very old antique violins that aren't loud enough to play the "what strings will turn this into a soloist violin" game. Louder is not always better, and some people still have to play in the orchestra instead of being a lead soloist playing in a large auditorium. However if you ask most players, they assume they are going to be that lead soloist, so their violin must be the loudest!!

June 13, 2016 at 04:11 PM · Most orchestras want players that can produce a big sound whatever instrument they play on. Conductors (some) are always asking for more sound from the strings.

Zukerman plays on a Strad (1741 I think) and it is very loud - but also with a great sound. Taking part the masterclass he gave here in London were some fantastic players, who sounded equally big in sound and also equally rich, but on modern instruments.

CORRECTION: Zukerman does not play on a Strad. It's a del Jesu of about 1741. (Known as the Dushkin). Fantastic huge sound. Just like a great modern violin ... He uses a modern bow too (Guthrie). But the fiddle sound is extraordinary. Of course he's quite a good fiddler too! (wink)

June 13, 2016 at 05:53 PM · Heifetz used Tricolore (with Goldbrokat). Will likely try them at some point myself.

Milstein Eudoxa-doubtfully the Eudoxa E.

Oistrakh, Eudoxa with either Prim or Spirocore steel A (I read that it was initially one, then the other-many steel A adherents still use either.)

It's worth mentioning that indeed one can have a big and projecting, so-called "soloistic" tone with gut core strings-they just happen not to be in vogue any more, though some notable violinists still use Oliv (and many of these great players are not even "old-school", whatever that may mean.)

For all the Evah Pirazzi hate, I get why it's popular with some soloists. Certainly not gut-like, but effective at what it does (and yes, one can indeed play musically on either type of string, granted that you'll lose shades of color-among some other things-with synthetics.) I am not that much on board with EP Gold, as one may as well go "full-on" power with the Regulars or choose something else if "Evah Pirazzi-ness" isn't desired. Just like the old Dominants are good, so are EPs, even though quite a world apart in terms of feel, playability, and sound.

June 14, 2016 at 07:44 AM · Pirastro Evah Pirazzi's response and qualities are very consistent from one set to the next. Thomastik Dominant is like that too. This is assuming you are getting sets that don't have defect or have not sat on a shelf for too many years.

For players who concertize a lot, something that is reliable, where you can predict how it is going to behave under all sorts of conditions, can sometimes be more important than anything else.

If you really want to be loud, the easiest solution is to get an electric violin and an amplifier. Speaking of which, I just picked up the newest Yamaha electric and their THR modeling amp, and it's really awesome how many different kinds of sounds you can produce on it. :P

June 14, 2016 at 08:42 AM · To answer the OP: I had my violin converted to baroque a couple of months ago, and I put on an old Eudoxa G string that I bought about 1990. I found it rather low tension, even compared to the plain gut D, A and E (medium from Gamut). I bought a new Eudoxa 16 gauge silver G, and it seems to be the same. It took about two weeks to settle down, and the tone improved during that time. A bit like playing on a rubber band when new!

Anyway, it doesn't seem to me that they've changed the design. After years of playing on synthetics like Dominants I wonder if people's expectations of sound and feel under the hand have changed? I find it hard to imagine a good modern violin player using these Eudoxa strings now. Lovely rich tone (darkish), but lacking in oomph. I'd be keen to try the stiff version, and am getting some other silver wound G strings for comparison.

June 15, 2016 at 03:44 PM · "I find Eudoxa's sound great on really old violins, 200+ years where you've given up playing the "volume game" and just want a superior tone. "

I'd go a step further and suggest that the better the violin (in a general sense) the more likely Eudoxas seem to work. Which is usually fine old instruments.For whatever reason, they seem to bring out the flaws in lower-level and newer instruments. The instrument should probably be really open with a great tone to start with. Synthetics to me are kind of like makeup--great for covering up flaws...

I'm not sure how one can compare old and new Eudoxas, unless you assume that neither the quality of materials, technical spec, nor production process has changed over the years. I'd assume even a minor change in metal supplier for windings could make the difference in sound, but how can we know? Remember New Coke? Maybe new Eudoxas are the New Coke of strings.

June 15, 2016 at 04:00 PM · I've definitely heard people familiar with both the old and new Eudoxa say the new ones are more likely to break for no apparent reason, and this probably has to do with the gut core not being as good or consistent, not the winding.

When I was apprenticing in the 80s we used two brands, Dominants for the cheaper violins, and Eudoxa's for the better quality, I dare say few people would go by that criteria today, tastes have changed quite a bit.

June 16, 2016 at 02:27 PM · Yes, and they've changed again, and not necessarily for the better: Eva Pirazzi on good instruments, and Dominants on the lower ones.

Some might not agree, but these days it seems like the violin string market is the definition of the "tyranny of choice." We can either keep using the same strings decade after decade, like me, or start experimenting, and thus drive ourselves insane with the vast number or choices and combinations.

Some of you math whizzes or engineers should figure out how many different string brands and gauges there are and thus the number of possible combinations and the time and cost (including therapy or meds) for trying all of them.

I'm not a math person, but don't you use a factorial?

June 16, 2016 at 04:01 PM · Perhaps a change in diet for the sheep that the strings are made of has made a difference?

"Back in the day" they were pasture raised in grassy fields, now they are raised in a barn , fed some sort of Monsanto grain product. And thus impacting the health of their intestines, and therefore sound quality?

Pure speculation....

June 16, 2016 at 07:29 PM · I don't think I'll ever have the guts to go back to using Eudoxa again ... When I played "Sheep may safely Graze" on them they kept changing key.

June 16, 2016 at 07:38 PM · "Mary HAD a little lamb...."

Until Pirastro came to town.

Next thing you know there was a Greek style barbecue, and Mary had a new set of Eudoxas!

June 16, 2016 at 08:41 PM · Was that artificial insemination?

June 16, 2016 at 09:12 PM · Peter: What?

Setaphim:Indeed, we Mediterranean sure love our sheep... And olive oil... And microtonal music... I'm done. :D

June 17, 2016 at 11:09 PM · I used Golden Spiral, and shortly before I stopped using them, the A strings were breaking with a totally unacceptable frequency. I blamed something on the instrument, but after what you have written, I'm not so sure. Maybe gut strings in general have got that much less robust?

June 18, 2016 at 01:35 AM · I recently put some Eudoxas on my 2015 build instrument, and I'm not too impressed so far. It is very well my technique, but I don't like the sound and I'm having a hard time playing the damn strings. So, I'll suffer through them and try to figure out what I'm doing wrong before I swap to the next set of strings.

June 18, 2016 at 06:16 AM · A.O.

Mary HAD a little lamb (rather than a normal kid) - so hence my question ...

June 18, 2016 at 06:41 AM · I see... Heh heh... :D

June 20, 2016 at 04:39 AM · I am not convinced currently manufactured gut strings are problematic-they are just very different than even Dominants. We have lived with synthetics for a long time, and mostly have gotten used to that standard, IMHO.

I think that exploring gut is a worthy endeavor for many players, though, as it will force them to re-think their technique, and perhaps even refine their bow arm.

Just wanted to reply again to Mr. Peter's thread in this matter, as I don't want players to be THAT wary of gut, even if it's not ideal for many players and/or violins as seen in many replies above. To think they were standard many years ago! People used to learn to play on gut strings; can you imagine that nowadays?

But again I say, to each their own, and there are many great sounding synthetics out there. What I don't like is when they are sold as "like gut without the disadvantages", because realistically, you are ALWAYS compromising when choosing one over the other-the best of both worlds is a marketing exaggeration, IMO.

June 20, 2016 at 07:18 AM · Very true.

It is also true that one has to apply a slightly different bowing technique in that the speed/weight relationship is different. The main thing for me now regarding Eudoxas (which is a minus) is the ability for new strings to hold pitch. This is getting better, but only after 12 days of use. (28+ hours of playing).

This means that if you had a concert you would need to change the strings at least two weeks beforehand, and if you had a string break a day before, you would be in deep trouble.

June 20, 2016 at 07:25 PM · I installed a Eudoxa A recently and it was very stable in two days. Enough to play an outdoor gig, and certainly on par with break-in time for Dominants. I don't see a huge disadvantage in break-in time or even sound, but the response of gut is so utterly different that most people (including me, and I grew up on it) will feel like their bow arm is no longer functioning correctly. They just feel so different, especially in the middle positions, where the gut string just doesn't have the rigidity and can easily squawk. Once upon a time I was used to them, but now I detest the response and fussiness.I also found the A negatively affected the response on the Dominant D for whatever reason.

June 20, 2016 at 08:52 PM · A while ago I tried the Eudoxa A, but after a reasonable trial reverted to the Chorda plain gut A which has IMO a more robust tone and generally plays better, as well as lasting a lot longer than its covered brother.

Btw, when I pass a field of sheep I always say "thank you" to the little creatures. Which reminds me - has anyone here tried beef gut strings, and if so, do they differ significantly in important playing respects from sheep gut?

June 20, 2016 at 09:18 PM · I understand they have a much beefier sound ... and they blend well with the horn section ... If its from a bull then it can be quite excite- a bull and very love -a bull ...


June 21, 2016 at 01:26 PM · Scott's post is more or less exactly how I have found these strings, and is a very accurate summary of how they respond.

June 21, 2016 at 03:02 PM · Worth to be noted that (and I am sure most of you know this anyway-don't mean to insult your intelligence) some players use steel As just due to this, an older tradition now. Even back then, *apparently* not everybody was on board with Eudoxa As (not saying they are "bad", but an interesting historical fact.)

All gut As I have tried have been good with my violin (one always has to make bow arm adjustments, of course), but I have never tried the Eudoxa A-I wish I could be of better help. Since I don't know how Eudoxa manufacturing differs from Oliv/Gold, any comparisons I make with them are not entirely fair (I don't really believe all gut strings sound and respond the same way just because their core is gut.)

(Ironically I have read online quite often that the Oliv A is the worst in the market, but that wasn't my experience, in both stability and tonal quality-it also lasted forever: no degradation of windings, power, brilliance, etc.)

Sometimes it's just the setup and/or the violin, and again, we have come to love synthetic bow-to-string feel and the much loved tuning stability nowadays-which must not *necessarily* be a bad thing, IMHO.

June 21, 2016 at 03:26 PM · On the subject of steel A strings: The Warchal Avantgarde A is a steel A but has the same spiral design as the Amber E. It's a great string Worth trying regardless of whether you're a gut or synthetic user.

June 21, 2016 at 03:54 PM · Could I peg tune the Warchal Avantgarde A or would I need a fine tuner?


June 21, 2016 at 05:13 PM · I have put on the Warchal Russian style A (metal) with the Eudoxa D and G. It was one which only had a little use and it is SO much better than the awful Eudoxa A.

You can tune it with the pegs, which I have to do, as no tuner on A string, and its OK and doesn't often need tuning as it is very stable. The Eudoxa D and G are always going out of tune and are a ****** pain.

June 21, 2016 at 08:08 PM · Thanks Peter

June 21, 2016 at 08:49 PM · Peter: are these the regular Eudoxas, or the Eudoxa "rigid"?

It seems the "rigid" has lower tension than the regular? Perhaps that would help with response?

June 21, 2016 at 10:54 PM · I should have also stated, I never got to try the regular Eudoxa G/D, only the "stiff"/rigid version. Nor have I tried the "Brilliant" variant for that matter, but it's likely that Mr. Peters used regular Eudoxas many years ago, so it's kind of a moot point. The Rigid are more powerful and robust-the tone is darker, actually, according to Pirastro-they did sound very beautiful last time I used them.

I just checked Pirastro's new website, and rigid vs regular's tension are very similar accross the board, with the rigid being very slightly more "tense" (by .2, and only for the D-the regular have even thinner string options for both strings though, at 3.6 vs 3.8). But from what I've read, I don't think he wants to spend much more money experimenting.

I *believe* most Eudoxa users in this forum use the Rigid G/D, rather than either regular or Brilliant, though I may be wrong. Have been curious about "Brilliant" Eudoxa for some time, but since Pirastro told me once that the Gold are actually brighter and more brilliant than those, I may never get to attempt the experiment.

Some players suggest thinner gut string gauges for better tuning stability, which I believe is true in my own experience, but one should always remember the trade-offs. I like medium-low tension myself (though generally speaking, most of Pirastro's gut range "thickest" gauges are often slightly less tense than "medium" for their synthetics.) I love the response of thinner gut strings-they do speak very well.

June 22, 2016 at 02:32 AM · I think Eudoxa (and other gut core strings??) forte is smoothing out really rich or complex sounding instruments, they are not so effective with plainer sounding instruments (Obligato's can add character to a plain sounding instrument IMHO)

June 22, 2016 at 04:29 AM · I liked Eudoxas a lot on a violin I played years ago. I recently decided to try them on my current violin. They didn't sound as good as I remembered, although that could very well be the instrument. Tuning instability was a real problem, and was much worse than I remembered.

It felt like it took less effort for my left hand when using Eudoxas instead of Dominants, I guess because they are lower tension? I liked that, but it wasn't enough to outweigh the disadvantages for me.

June 22, 2016 at 05:42 AM · I used the regular (medium) A,D,G Eudoxa's so no idea about the other versions.

Lyndon, I find Obligato's are no good at all on my violin, and obviously I can't stand the medium Eudoxa's on this instrument, which has a complex sound, and even with the right strings can be quite hard to play, like some del Jesu's (of which it is a copy).

June 22, 2016 at 09:54 AM · I've been thinking Lyndon, (I know we think differently) but I heard an absolutely beautiful rendition of the Meditation from Thias. No Idea who was playing as it faded out after about 30 bars - but it had the most beautiful violin sound and must have been one of the old master players. (It reminded me of Elman).

It then made me think about how modern players belt the sound a lot (not all, I hasten to add). So I think the style of playing and probably the old recordings achieved a less bright sound and maybe playing on old master instruments enhanced that aspect of the sound.

I would go on to say though that I still think that sort of quality can be achieved on some modern instruments, but it requires a different approach in playing on them. Ricci mentions on a DVD I have that you have to use a faster bow with less pressure on the E string, and you can't hold a note for so long on the E string (maybe a 40% + reduction in length of note) - which can of course be remedied by taking another bow, hopefully without any sort of accent.

Feel free to disagree - I'm all ears.

June 22, 2016 at 04:19 PM · I used Eudoxa Brilliant D for a bit, next to a Eudoxa stiff G. I wouldn't have called the sound "brilliant." I would have characterized the sound as "clear." Perhaps less "dark" than the stiff version.

June 22, 2016 at 04:49 PM · I agree with Ricci about the E (and the viola A, for that matter.) I feel the tendency towards high octane E's ( and hard steel A's on viola) comes from an unfortunate wish to bow the high strings with the same stroke as the lower strings. I like Pirastro No1 (wound)E, (and Aricore-Eudoxa A on viola.)

June 22, 2016 at 06:09 PM · I've had an Eudoxa A on my viola for the last month or two. I love it! It "sings" more than any other A I've tried, and is about as stable as most synthetics as well once th initial break-in stretch is done.

June 23, 2016 at 03:27 PM · I believe the Aluminum Ds tend to be the least stable, as far as Eudoxas are concerned. That said, as aforementioned, the problem mostly goes away once you have warmed them up to your hand, body, and room temperature.

After more than two weeks with Pirastro Gold, I am very pleasantly surprised. Stability is not synthetic-like, but I knew that. The ironic thing is that they stretched very quickly, which was more than unexpected. Great tone, brightness, volume, and superb playability (easy response, low tension, plus the usual, wonderful bow to string feel that most gut strings yield-they also resist vigorous bowing strokes).

November 2, 2016 at 04:33 PM · I thought I should update everyone on my set of Eudoxa strings, (except E) from back in June.

I continued to have tuning problems with them up until today. (I had about 6 weeks off from playing in Sept/Oct).

Having taken the dreadful A off after only a week I just had the D and G remaining. Not a great sound but I put up with them. I had a new set of PI's arrive a few days ago - but I thought I would play for a bit today and put the new strings on tomorrow.

But after a few minutes when I had put the violin down on the open case, I heard the G and D play pizzicato on their own. I investigated and found that the G had snapped! This is the first G string to BREAK in about 8-10 years! The last one was during a Brahms symphony and i was lucky to have a spare in my pocket, but sitting on the second desk of the firsts and having to spend a couple of minutes changing the string was a pain in the A.

It somehow tells me that this was a dreadful set of three strings, and you bet that I won't ever buy Pirastro again.

November 2, 2016 at 09:13 PM · I loved Olives but not the A, Eudoxa is on my 'to try' list someday. Their cost is what puts off their purchase. I have loved Warchals for a while and forty dollars a set quite reasonable and affordable versus more than double that for a set of wound guts. I have heard that gut is supposed to last much longer but I still had to change Olives every three months. Super expensive they were but also super exceptional.

November 2, 2016 at 11:05 PM · It is the plain gut strings that last. Wound gut strings are susceptible to the same basic problem that all wound strings have, namely that the interface(s) between the outer cover and the core tend to deteriorate long before the outer cover and core do, due to just playing the string. This is why a quite expensive covered string can start to lose its tone within a very few months, although it still looks fine to the eye and feels good under the fingers. Plain gut of course does not have the interface problem, and so you could easily get 12 months out of the A and D. The useful life of the plain gut E I'd rate at about 3 months, perhaps a bit more or less, depending on your playing - if you're a second violinist you can use higher positions on the A quite a lot of the time in preference to the E, and the tone isn't bad, so that extends the life of the E. What usually happens with the E is fraying, which eventually becomes a bit of a nuisance, even if the tone isn't all that affected. Lacquering the string is a way around this problem, but I haven't got round to it yet.

I tried Eudoxas a few years ago, and was not enamoured of the A, although the G and D were fine. I changed the A to a plain gut Pirastro Chorda, and haven't looked back since as far as A's are concerned.

November 3, 2016 at 04:37 PM · 'Fraid times seem to have changed since a colleague at the hospital went to Beare's and asked for a really high class of string.

"Eudoxa?", asked the assistant.

"No," was the reply,"I just work in the lab".

November 3, 2016 at 05:51 PM · It took me a minute to get that one. A clever pun.

November 14, 2016 at 03:53 AM · I never mean to be contentious, but I disagree that wound gut strings don't last. Certainly more than synthetics, to be sure. Wound Gs are particularly long-lasting-Ds and/or As windings will inevitably fail at some point, but IME, the sound remains more than just decent (though I change them soon thereafter).

(This is of course not to say that pure gut won't last well or better, save for perhaps the E.)

I am currently using a regular 13 1/2 Passione A with two Rigid G/D Eudoxas, 16/17. I actually wish the shop had an Eudoxa 14 A at hand, but they only had the 13 1/2, which I thought may be too light or soft. The Passione is doing exceedingly well, but I wanted to compare my experiences to those of Mr. Charles in this very thread.

I feel bad for Mr. Charles, because he had such a bad experience with the Eudoxas. I feel he just no longer likes what they offer, for better or worse. I am also surprised the G snapped, as that would indeed be a quite the rarity for such a resilient string. Maybe the string stretched too much during his break off the violin-that is, as far as my experience has been and I have read, the likely reason most gut strings eventually snap, which then makes people believe they have a "short lifespan". Still, it may have snapped just because, it's just rare. I frankly doubt these Eudoxa strings will snap on me any time soon, during performance, practice, or in the case (I have never had Oliv/Eudoxa/Gold Label snap-yes Passione, but that was my fault, for not checking on them as I should have.)

Nothing wrong with synthetics, however, as I stated above-"modern" performance aesthetics seem to have shifted taste for many players, to the point some prefer to play on less pliable synthetics (betting that scores of violinists will never use a gut string in their lifetime.)

I have read, not experienced, that Passione last fresher for less time than the other wound gut options, in which case the "interface" between windings and core alluded above makes sense. Passiones have a noticeable layer on top of the core that should be synthetic in nature, and may degrade much faster than the gut core itself. Of course, every player decides for himself/herself when the strings have "died", as that of itself is often a relative term.

It's hard to emulate the organic nature of gut cores-this is why I feel it's impossible to emulate gut at a 100%+ ratio, as many brands claim. The feel under fingers and bow pressure isn't just the same, plus most synthetic materials seem to degrade quite rapidly, unlike gut which keeps "refreshing" itself over time. When I use synthetics, I don't do so to "emulate gut" (I would buy the real thing then), but for their other good characteristics, which are always tradeoffs.

Best of luck to all of you, whatever you prefer to play.

November 14, 2016 at 08:47 PM · Snapping? Sometimes we unintentionally change to a slightly thicker string, which then sticks in the grooves at bridge or nut level. This can damage the string, and also cause excessive tension in one section of the string, way over the intended tension.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Business Directory Business Directory Guide to Online Learning Guide to Online Learning

Dominant Pro Strings

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine