Strings and Pieces

August 18, 2004 at 05:11 AM · Hi all,

I am playing now for half a year on Larsen Medium strings.

In fact no problem at all, good report, no screeching (when i'm paying

sufficient attention), I love the E (!), and lots of volume.

However in all, I find the character of sound sometimes rather metallic,

now and then even sort of "country" like, which in itself is OK of


Because of the pieces I normally play I would like to go for a more Classic (gut??) sound: any suggestion for

the direction in which I should start looking?

Kind regards, Bert

Replies (17)

August 18, 2004 at 08:16 AM · Hi,
Bert, there's several alternatives for you to explore:


I've tried - and liked - Pirastro Eudoxa and Pirastro Oliv (top of their line). Didn't stay with gut strings despite their superior tone because I play in two orchestras and we perform in churches. Synthetic strings will not go out of tune as much as gut ones through changes in humidity and temperatures.


Perlon: Thomastik Dominants - my teacher swears by them, however I switched to other strings because I missed a certain brilliance; on top of that, I prefer strings that will offer more resistance vertically.

PEEK:Since several years, I use Pirastro Evah Pirazzi on my violin (still experimenting with the E-string though) and Pirastro Obligato on my viola.

Bye, Juergen

August 18, 2004 at 05:10 PM · i would add that in terms of gut olivs are the only ones i think are worth using, and they are very expensive. for perlon, i'd recommend infelds over dominants any day.

August 19, 2004 at 04:23 AM · I have been using oliv (with a golden e string) and really like them (except they are expensive so I can't afford to change them as often as I probably should). Lately I've been wondering if I would get a larger or more soloistic sound with something different? Any thoughts, anyone?

August 19, 2004 at 04:41 AM · Pirastro Evah Pirazzi or Thomastik Vision Titanium

August 19, 2004 at 05:00 AM · I liked the Evah Pirazzi gold E, Obligato A, silver Dominant D, and steel G for a bright, complmenting set up for the more Beethoven sonata type works. If I were doing Brahms, I'd switch to a gold E obligato and I found that just switching the one string with those same three bottom would give me a fairly drastic difference in warmth.

August 20, 2004 at 04:31 AM · Thanks for the recommendations. My teacher today confirmed Evah Pirazzi. I've placed my order and will let you know how I like them.

August 20, 2004 at 04:57 PM · The Piastro Olives sound the best to me.. They are very clear and carry a beautiful projection. The only problem is they aren't very good to play on in humid conditions.... Because they are gut strings.

I think Evah strings are very nice. If you want that bright sound. If you get them, I recommend you get a separate G string - because it is a tad too bright for a low note. Maybe an Obligato G or even something of that category.

August 21, 2004 at 01:22 PM · Evah Pirazzis, are very good strings, my only problem with them is that they don't stay bright and brilliant. After 3-7 days they mellow in, and lose a lot their brilliance.

August 21, 2004 at 01:36 PM · I will always prefer Oliv strings over any other strings available, and I use it on my main violin. However, sometimes it's just not practical specially in an orchestral setting because of its susceptibility to changes in humidity etc. I've tried all sorts of synthetic strings,i.e. Evahs, obligatos, infelds.. but I kept coming back to my Olivs.

Then the new Vision Titanium strings came along. I tried them, and I like them a lot. It still takes about a week for them to really settle down and take the edge off the sound, but I think I found my substitute strings for my Olivs. I had to make a little adjustment with the E string though, because they felt a little thin on my fingers, but otherwise, they seem to work for me.

September 16, 2004 at 07:29 AM · Informations about Vision strings:

September 17, 2004 at 12:31 AM · I'm not going to disagree with anyone here about what's been said about the Olives and Pirazzis. But I think you have to keep in mind that the same strings will change drastically change with different violins, even ones of the "same quality". Keeping that in mind, I'm not really sure what you mean by "Classic" sound. But I think you'd do best looking into Eudoxas, which are in my mind a scaled down version of the Olives therefore they might be best while just trying them out, the Pirazzis and the Obligatos. And if you really want to go "Classic" you might look into plain and uncovered gut.

September 17, 2004 at 12:52 AM · The other week I got my new Evah Pirrazzi strings. I also had a sound post adjustment and new tailpiece (the old one was cracking). The resulting change in sound was quite noticeable (I had Olivs before)--the new strings have a lot of brilliance. I have the steel e and it is a little less singing than what I was used to with the gold e string, so I think I will go back to the gold when this one wears out. Either the sound post or the new g string or both have given me a whole new sound on the g string. I was struggling for the longest time and it still sounded weird; who knew I just needed a new set up.

But, I have to say, I did notice that after about a week the initial shine wore off and the sound isn't as ringing.

So, how long do people go before changing the Evah P's? They're not exactly cheap either, and my Olives did use to last (sound "new") a bit longer than this.

September 17, 2004 at 02:43 AM · Greetings,

Nick, I found the Pirazzi sound changed after a week or so. I agree wqith you the brilliance goes but I like very much the warm sound that is left as the string is presumably, playe d in. I see no reason to change them at this stage. I change the Pirrazi about once a month but I do burn through stirngs faster than a lot of people so that is prettg good. I cannot imagiine you needing to change them more often than about every tweo months. bu8t don`t be stingy with string changing. the ear may begin to accept second best on intonation . I tend not to belive claims that strings last six months.



September 17, 2004 at 02:57 AM · On the topic of strings, people were really raving about vision titanium first appeared. Tell me, those of you who have been through many brands of strings, are they really all that? Did they fall more on the brilliant end or the warm, earthy end?

September 17, 2004 at 03:08 AM · Greetings,

Emily, the Titanium are quite a bit more brilliant than the regualr. Both are fairly warm soudning. A very good string indeed. Just too thin for me so gave my fingertips injury problems.



September 17, 2004 at 11:31 PM · try real gut,labella or pirastro corda.pure gut strings do sound very good but I think are much harder to play on than our modern strings/I currently use Infeld red,they sound great on all my violins.

September 20, 2004 at 05:30 PM · Buri, thanks for the details on the EP's. Glad to have my observations confirmed. Usually I change my strings quarterly. I do still like the sound of the EPs but the e string is starting to be painful on pizz! Might switch just the e to the goldplated.

About the Evah Pirazzi g string--on my fiddle that amount of brightness is just right. The Oliv G string sounded almost like pure gut. At least on my violin. I don't think I'll turn back from the EPs.

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

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

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Shopping Guide Shopping Guide


Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian 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