Evah Pirazzi Golds or Vision Titanium Solos?

April 22, 2018, 7:18 AM · I have a rather mellow violin that in some environments cannot project loudly, and it's time for me to replace my set of strings (Dominants w/ Gold Label E) but I've been debating on the 2 string sets mentioned above.

Are there qualities in either of the sets that makes them worth it over the other? Specifically, I'm looking in terms of projection and tone quality.

Replies (19)

April 22, 2018, 7:25 AM · If you prefer the sound and feel of Thomastik strings, I'd go with the Visions to start.

How a particular set of strings sounds on a particular instrument is pretty unpredictable.

April 22, 2018, 8:02 AM · Marycella:Based on my own experience, in your situation I would take "baby steps." I would first switch to Pirastro Tonica strings - but keep your Gold Label E. If the Tonicas were an improvement but I still wanted a bit more I would next take a big plunge and install a Thomastik Peter Infeld Platinum E string. If I wanted more I would come back and ask again --but I would take my violin to a top luther and ask for their advice. I suggest this because the Tonicas are cheaper than other alternatives that might not work for you.

My own preference among the Thomastik strings has been the Vision Solo (not Titanium Solo), but on my 4 violins I prefer Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold these days -- but still with the Peter Infeld Platinum E.

BUT Evah Pirazzi Gold strings totally SUCK on my viola on which I am using a Dominant weich A, Pirazzi Permanent D and G and a Pirazzi Passione weigh C.

When synthetic-core strings first became popular about 50 years ago the choice between Dominants and Tonicas (that I understand have since been "upgraded") would cover most violins. But there was a real difference and the "benchmark" Dominants did not work well on a lot of decent violins (including one of mine). Even so, I noticed that it was only about 15 years ago that my luthier (Ifshin Violins) stopped putting Dominants on ALL their violins for sale and put Tonicas on some.

April 22, 2018, 11:35 AM · As Lydia said, it is unpredictable. However if I had to choose between the two I would guess that VTS could do the trick. Also I can usually find them in a much lower price than EPG. There is a risk of them sounding a little harsh on some violins, and I expect that they could sound bigger, a little brighter, and maybe respond quicker than your previous string set. Also bear in mind that VTS is a relatively thinner string set than EPG, and I generally find them to respond better to bow speed than just pressure and force, than many other synthetics, including the EPG. Also you could keep your current E choice with VTS ADG, (I think the VTS is a little pricey, but very good in terms of playability)

However as Andrew said, you could slowly experiment and try some cheaper sets, like the Tonica. If projection is the issue you could also experiment maybe with a heavier E , particularly if you like the tone and the color of your violin with Dominant ADG.

One last think, if you really like the tone and feel with your current combo, maybe you could have some adjustments in your soundpost/bridge/tailpiece with your luthier and it could be a long term investment instead of covering the issue with more "powerful" strings.

April 22, 2018, 4:28 PM · All good advice. My own first impulse would be to try the PI Platinum E-- it very often has a good effect, and the negatives aren't likely to bother you if you have an overly mellow instrument.

Another option, which will likely be an incremental but real improvement over Dominants, is the new Rondo series. For A, D, and G, anyway. Also by Thomastik. They are available only from certain dealers, and you usually have to buy in person.

If those don't do it, another (expensive) option would be the PI strings that go with the Platinum E. You get two D string options there. I found PIs to speak beautifully and have a lovely pure sound. The downside was that they were a bit cold or one-dimensional-- bell-like in the good and bad sense, with no woodiness to the sound on my instruments. But, again, that may be a problem you're willing to live with.

April 22, 2018, 5:19 PM · I do agree with Andrew on taking baby steps, but on my personal experience although I find Tonicas waaay better than Domiants, I also find them rather 'gentle'. If you want more volume, Evahs could likely help, but they are expensive and don't last!
Vision Titanium Solos are very loud, with the potential to be harsh, and I find their sound rather 'simple', but they have lasted me a long, long, time (going on 7 months and still good!). But they are cheaper than Evahs.

...have you considered Warchal Brilliant? :)

April 22, 2018, 6:37 PM · Just seeing this now, but thank you all for the wonderful advice so far! I realized that it would actually be more useful for me to try out other sets near the price range of the Dominants rather than immediately jumping to the Titanium Solos or EP Golds (lol), since I do have no clue as to how they'll work on my instrument specifically.

The Dominants' GDA strings on my instrument sound decent, but I find that they aren't particularly colorful tone-wise nor do they have much variation in dynamics when I want them to have such (although this might be due to my violin itself and not the set, not sure). I'm satisfied with the tone of the Gold Label E but I also found that its longevity is rather short.

To everyone who recommended the Pirastro Tonica set to start off with, how different is it from the Thomastik Dominants? And to ones who also suggested the PI Platinum E, what makes it different from the standard Gold Label E? I've only used the basic Dominants w/ Gold Label E set so I'm kind of under-educated in this area.

April 22, 2018, 6:51 PM · Tonicas are neutral strings that are the same quality as Dominants and are often used as an alternative (and have remained inexpensive whereas Dominant prices have gone up).

The PI platinum E is a powerful, brilliant E string. It's also enormously expensive, though. At $40 typical price, a single E string is as expensive as an entire set of strings in many brands.

Lack of dynamic variation is far more likely to be the violin rather than the set. Color is to large degree the instrument as well. What is your violin?

April 22, 2018, 6:59 PM · To me, in general, on a variety of instruments, Tonicas sound less full and more focused than Dominants, i.e. they sound (and feel - with the exception of the Dominant silver D, which is pretty thin) like thinner strings. Also a bit more “pure” and less metallic than Dominants, in general.
April 22, 2018, 7:25 PM · Lydia, my current instrument is a $500-something violin that I’ve had since I was in 6th grade (I’m in 10th grade in high school now), and I’m bound to go searching for a new one in about a year or two, the delay due to financial reasons. I figured that it would’ve been my violin that was problematic, since I assume that Dominants specifically don’t act that way on other violins. In the mean time I had planned prior to get my bridge replaced but I’m not sure if that could make a difference sound wise.

Also to everyone, between Dominants and Tonicas, does one set seem to have longer string longevity or are they similar in that aspect?

April 22, 2018, 9:01 PM · Both are reasonably durable strings. On a $500 violin, I'd go for Tonicas (they're pleasantly inexpensive) and put the money saved towards a better future instrument.
April 23, 2018, 3:14 AM · Cantiga is also an option.
April 23, 2018, 5:33 AM · That's a great suggestion. Cantigas were originally marketed as a premium string, I think, but now a set costs less than $40. I think their intended competition is EP Gold.

(They were not good on my violin, but they've been good for many other people.)

April 23, 2018, 9:03 AM · Marycella, if you intend to replace/modify your bridge by your luthier, consider doing so before a string change, it could vastly impact your sound and perhaps projection...
April 23, 2018, 11:02 AM · A new bridge coming soon could change everything. Not just in the tone color, but the quality of sound. Fix that, and you may be just fine with your current strings. Messing around with strings before that surgery is like picking your tie before you have any idea what suit you'll be wearing.

Otherwise, unless you don't think you'll ever trade in the fiddle for a better one, trying the cheaper sets of strings first makes sense.

April 23, 2018, 2:57 PM · While you're at the luthier, have them check the soundpost!
April 24, 2018, 6:50 AM · EP Golds have a rather short lifespan, while Vision Titanium Solos have one of the longest lifespan of any synthentic. If VTS work for you, they are a great value.

Vision Titanium Orchestra are probably closer to Evah Pirazzi Gold in that they are both designed to generate more warmth while also being soloistic. They are great strings.

Good luck in your string search!

May 2, 2018, 10:37 PM · yup, I'm finding my EP Gold are starting to wear down already, and I've also heard VTS have a long lifespan. I used VTS for a couple of years on a fiddle I don't have anymore, which is the longest I've ever stayed with one type of strings.

so... I'm gonna wear the EP Golds down a bit more and then go for VTS. I'll get the whole set including the E. I wasn't using the E last time. If I remember correctly, VTS might be a bit harder on the fingers than EPG?

May 3, 2018, 12:54 AM · That is one complaint I have about them, yes, they can be a bit rough on the fingers.
May 3, 2018, 12:55 PM · IME, VTS they are easier on the fingers than EP (not that the latter is a bad string.) The tension is not absurd-even though generally high-and the feel is not too tight.

The Titanium Solo E is really good, and cheaper than the $32.40 platinum E. A Medium Goldbrokat usually works just fine, but at least I had a great experience with the VTS E when I used it (priced about $20.00 or so... not the cheapest.)

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