Evah or Obligato?

January 20, 2005 at 08:03 PM · Hi guys:

I have been using the Pirastro Olive + Goldbrokat E and would like to ask if you would suggest the Evah Pirazzi or the Obligatio as the synthetic alternative?


Replies (25)

January 20, 2005 at 08:42 PM · I think that Obligatos are closer to Olivs than Evahs are.

January 20, 2005 at 08:49 PM · The Obligato is actually quite a warm string, and it tends to be compared with the Eudoxas rather than Olives. In a Strings Magazine string test the reviewer likened them to be closer to the Eudoxas in nature.

To be honest I'm not really sure either string is going to remind you much of Olives, since Olives are...Olives.

I have recently being trying the Larsen brand of string, and thus far I can say their tone is the closest of any synthetic string I have tried to Olives. But of course that is just on my violin only.

January 20, 2005 at 08:52 PM · That's a tough one, as both are IMHO fairly similar to Olivs, and both maybe about as different. Obligato has a darker tone, and the Evahs are brighter and more brilliant, so I'd go with whichever aspect of the Oliv's sound you prefer. Some people think Obligatos sound like Eudoxas, but I can't compare as I haven't played Eudoxas yet. (Just ordered a set, actually.)

Frankly, you'd probably be happy with either string as a synthetic alternative to Olivs. They all have what seems to be me to be a similar basic personality (I love Pirastro strings). I think that Evahs strike me as being the better overall string, but that's a tough call as both are excellent. (In some ways, Olivs may have more depth of color and tone than either of the others...but there's the high cost and issues associated with gut.)

January 21, 2005 at 12:17 AM · they try to make obligato similar to a gut string...but the result is a mess in my opinion. Evah's are the best...olivs arent worth it i think - youll never REALLY get them in tune. Evah's are fantastic - email Pirastro and theyll send you a free pack to try out

January 21, 2005 at 02:24 AM · I tried emailing them and they didn't respond. Id there a particular site or email address I'm supposed to use? I've never tried Evah Pirazzi, and I'm really curious about them.

January 21, 2005 at 02:54 AM · I've used both Olivs and Obligatos on my violins. IMHO, the obligatos are good replacement to the Olivs. I've been using Obligatos on my main violin because they are more stable than the gut-core Olivs and suits me well in orchestral settings.

However, don't be fooled by myths that you can never tune gut-core strings (or Olivs). This is simply NOT true. While it is true that gut-core strings are more prone to climate/humidity changes, they do stabilize after a week or so. If you're a player who is competent in tuning your violin, this should not be a problem.

January 21, 2005 at 04:44 AM · I would definately recommend the Evah Pirazzi strings. They have a rich warm tone but with more brilliance than the Obligatos. I love the Olives as well. Right now I'm using a mix of Olive and Evah. I think they work really well together. Ofcourse If your violin produces a brighter sound anyway you may do better with Obligatos.

January 21, 2005 at 06:10 AM · Emily,

Pirastro, in my own experience, seem to take a long time to respond to emails unfortunately. In my experience it usually takes at least a week, if not two. One question of mine hasn't been answered at all.

January 22, 2005 at 07:53 AM · I have had both evah pirazzi and obligatos on my violin and my viola, and olive c and g on my viola. I would think the obligatos are more like the olives. I love the evah pirazzis and didn't care for the others, finding them lacking in brilliance. I have one really bright old fiddle on which the obligatos have come to rest. It's too bad that violin strings are so expensive that we have to be so cautious about trying strings we think we may like.

January 23, 2005 at 05:16 AM · Thanks for the responses guys. I had received a set of Evah Pirazzi from Pirastro rather quickly, and in a very professional way too! Just installed them on my violin and have to say that I will not go back to Olivs anytime soon! Evahs have a lot deeper depth, modulation abilities, exceptional stability in tone and pitch, and sounds almost as rich and brilliant as the Olivs! I do miss the tiny bit more of rich overtone Olivs have, but the Evahs have so much more to offer that all advantages just outweight the very little loss of overtone. And yes, they do sound very powerful and LOUD!

January 23, 2005 at 05:58 AM · I've tried Evah Pirazzi - thinking of trying the Eudoxa Guts A, D and G - has anyone tried the Eudoxas? What do you think?

January 24, 2005 at 02:36 AM · Tried the Eudoxa before... Hated them... Dull and unresponsive. Yuck... If I want to use gut cores again I would use the Olivs and only Olivs, but right now I am staying with the Evah Pirazzi and Goldbrokat E.

February 23, 2005 at 02:55 AM · Hi,

Adam: I have used the Eudoxa. There are very good, but you have to play them differently than synthetic cores. They have a beautiful sound and great range of dynamics, and react well to bow speed and contact point rather than pressure. Actually, they don't react to pressure and will seem unresponsive if you press. The sound is not as bright or large as synthetics but it has a range of color and beauty that cannot compare to anything. I find them actually more stable than Olives, though less powerful and brilliant. They are also half the price, and now come with a stiff D and G like the Olives, so, I think that they are a good choice. You may want to try a different E. The Eudoxa E is wound and not all that great. I think that the traditional Goldbrokat or Golden Spiral E that everyone use to use with these in the days of lore is a good choice.


February 24, 2005 at 05:56 AM · I've got a question concerning strings that stay in tune (or not). My violin seems to have a bad habit of going out of tune in the middle of a piece. I think I've pinpointed the problem: Sometimes I pull the string to the side instead of pressing straight down, and sometimes it goes out of tune when I pizz too hard. I've been thinking of trying out the Olivs. Does their instability only occur during changes in humidity, sweaty hands, or new strings? And are they less likely to go out of tune during pizzing (because they're under lower tension)?

Incidentally, I use Evah Pirazzi.

February 24, 2005 at 02:11 PM · Gut strings are likely to exacerbate your problem because they tend to go out of tune anyway.

February 24, 2005 at 02:23 PM · Hi,

It's funny. A student of mine came in with Evah Pirazzi last night, and I tried them again for the first time in years. And I really didn't like them. You can't do anything, and you have to press to make them sound. You can't use a fast light bow in piano because the string is too tight to track well.

I think, that the Obligato are closer in sound and feel to gut strings than the Evah. Having played on Olives, I think that the Obligato would be less of an awkward transition than the Evah's.


February 24, 2005 at 03:08 PM · That's odd. Maybe your student mistakenly bought stark instead of medium evahs? There's a dramatic difference between the two. I like the obligatos. My violin amplifies bright tones so I go with warmer strings to give my sound more body. I'm not sold on the oliv E that I'm currently using. Its tone is brilliant for sure, but I've found it lacks stability in fast string changes. (of course that could be my fingers but who knows? ;)

February 24, 2005 at 03:32 PM · Hi,

James, I don't know. I didn't check. I just played his fiddle. Tried to do something and, voilĂ ...

I like the Obligatos as well better, even if they are not as powerful or brilliant. I had problems with the gold E too. I am not partial to gold E which I find tend to squeak more, and I wasn't too fond of the Obligato gold E sound. I prefer steel E's but the Obligato steel E isn't all that great. If I try them again, I might experiment with E's.


February 24, 2005 at 04:11 PM · Brilliant! Teachers have the best way to be able to try out different strings. Tell each student to string their instrument with a different brand. Of course the tone will sound different on each fiddle but you can at least get a sense of how they compare in feel. Not a sermon, just a though.

February 24, 2005 at 09:49 PM · Can anyone compare these two great string to, say, Tonica?

Or is there another string worth mentioning?

February 25, 2005 at 01:57 AM · Interesting, I love the Evah Pirazzi, I think they sound great! I have tried the Olivs but did not like them at all!

You should also remember that some strings are great on some instruments and may be horrible on others!

When you get a violin you should try diferent brand strings to match your instrument. It can be expensive, but I've also found most string makers will send you a free set to try. Pirazzi is good, they have sent me Olivs, Evahs, gold E, Oliv E and rosins in the past so I could find the best strings for my violin. Dominant have helped also!

But..I know for a fact they prefer to send this free things to established, professional musicians.



February 25, 2005 at 02:08 AM · Hi,

Actually, the answer is no Michael. First of all, Tonica is a Perlon-core string, whereas Evah and Obligato are not. I would say that in sound, Tonica would be closer to Obligato than Evah having tried all three. I have tried a lot of stuff and I have a list of favorite combinations that I am developing. As for Olive, well it's funny. I have an A on at the moment with two lower Eudoxas after a plain gut gave out, and I really don't like the Olive A. I am beginning to think that though not as brilliant and powerful the Eudoxa is actually a better and more stable string than the Olive. On top of the instrument, I think that a string depends on your playing style, especially your approach to sound and bowing as most of them require different things.


February 25, 2005 at 07:55 AM · What's good for the goose may suck for the gander. I agree--in the end, it's all about personal preference, what sort of sound your after, and what your instrument will tolerate. Personally speaking, I go to school with a string studio full of Pirazzi lovers. I can't say I've been particularly thrilled with any instrument sporting Evah's--I too find them difficult to manage as far as basic fingering. Nor do I think the sound is worth the effort. I just changed strings to a second set of obligatos--this time i went from the oliv gold E to obligato's own gold E. String solidarity seems to hold--the obligato seems to play much better with the others. What I get from oblig's that I miss from Evah's is a full, rich, sincere tone operating quite desirably at the boldest forte and equally as well at intimate and/or colorful piannissimo's. I find the Evah's too brash on both counts--great power, but not enough sensitivity. But again, this is the opinion of the particular player and his/her instrument. For the most part, my friends who swear by the green and black sound great with them. Also consider dominants. I've decided finally that they're not my preferred brand, but they're so stylistically versatile and most instruments seem to like them.

August 20, 2007 at 02:13 AM · I am a 6-month violin student, and am desperate to try something other than the Helicore set I have been playing more or less since the start. The Helicores do not sound bad on my violin, as for one the violin I play has the quality of being darker sounding than some. So, the Helicores are alright, but they are limited in what they are capable of bringing to the music, basically as they lack great depth or character. So, I REALLY want to try something else for my next set, but am extremely confused!!! I have read and re-read page upon page of reviews, opinions, etc. as the cost of strings is such that I cannot afford to be trying this combination and that (although I know some experimentation will be neccessary). Most people tell me to just buy a set of Dominants. They are a lesser-cost alternative, but at the same time it seems such a boring decision with the possibility of gut, and with other, newer sythetics such as Evah's about. Does anyone have some advice? I'd love to try Olives (and would be willing to fork over the dough), or Eudoxas. My instrument is already a bit dark, so my thought is that Olives may respond better. As for sythetics, Evah's are the current front-runner. Help me, please! I'm about to pull my hair out here!!!

August 20, 2007 at 04:31 AM · Try Pirastro's new gut set, "Passione." They've done some funky stuff with the manufacturing process that supposedly shortens the breaking-in time and makes the string more stable in the face humidity/temperature changes. About $70/set from most online retailers, and it can't hurt to just try it once. :)

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