How Eudoxas took over my violin

July 12, 2018, 12:32 AM · For some time now I have a complete Eudoxa set in my violin, including the E. But it didn’t happen all of the sudden. From the Stiff G, this model has been crawling up my set.
May this be a review or, better, a reference for others who are thinking about trying them. This is how Eudoxas won me.
First, the background. I am a beginner and I practice around 2-3 hours every day. I am currently working in Bach’s double concerto with my teacher and I sometimes play with friends tangos and popular music.
My violin is a ’71 Fernando Solar González, a respected Spanish Luthier, sadly gone, whose craft was followed by his son and grandson. It is a good instrument. Exceptionally loud and deep in the low registers (my teacher calls it “the little Spanish Cello”) but does not choke in the higher ones. Its only problem it’s that it is incredibly sensitive with the setup.
I live in Vietnam, with tropical weather, very high humidity. That messes up with most strings and setups, but thanks to it being constant around the year, once you find the balance, you are good to go all year long.
My interest for Eudoxas came from playing and loving the Tzigane Strings. The Tzigane G&D were so beautiful that they gave me goosebumps. But I went through 3 A strings in little more than a month. For some reason they deteriorated amazingly fast and you could even see the damage without a magnifier. My theory was that the weather rusted the aluminum and out of desperation I decided to use a steel A: Warchal Avantgarde. An excellent string! It was sweet and warm, not at all what I expected from a steel A. I was so convinced that I decided to change the Tzigane E (it didn’t match anymore) with the Amber E. For some time I played that combination of Tzigane G&D and Steel (Warchal) A&E. It was a good one.
Eventually that “Russian” combination tempted me to try the classical one: Gut G&D and Steel A&E. For just a try, I chose Eudoxas and considering my lack of experience in Gut, I chose Stiff/Rigid.
At the beginning I only tried the G (15.75) and the surprise was majuscule. I was in love with the Tzigane G, but the Eudoxa was even better! Colorful, deep, responsive going up in positions. Really flawless. With that good impression, I changed the D (16.75). That convinced me less. It chocked above 3rd position and, worst of all, I could not get used to the change of bowing between the Steel A and D. It’s bad to fight the music, but I was fighting the strings and bow even before the music.
Following advice from this forum, I replaced the steel A for the Eudoxa Aricore A and the change was amazing. The 3rd position in D opened and my struggles in bowing between D&A disappeared. Eudoxa Aricore was a good string. Very, very responsive and with easy high positions but it was an odd one out. You would be coming from the color of the G&D and suddenly you got this focused tone. More tryouts with A strings from other sets and one day I put the regular Eudoxa gut (medium). I did it without any hope, as I had read bad reviews about it… But it was just what I looked for. It had amazing sonority, colorful and responsive and what surprised me most: It woke up even more the G&D. They were good, and now they were even better. As if they had been unleashed. Wow!. Now I was playing the Eudoxas G&D&A happier than in all my playing. Individually they were fantastic but on top of that they worked together perfectly.
So I started my search for the matching E. Amber, Gold Label, Goldbrokatt, Peter Infeld Pt… They were all good but I settled for Gold Label. In the end, that’s my favorite individual E.
When the time came to change the Gold Label I gave a chance to the Eudoxa wound E. It made me stop. It was not the sound I like in an E. It was almost gritty but… It sounded Eudoxa! It was really good to play with virtually no change of tone between 4th finger in A and open E. The tone might be not what I had in mind, but the balance in my violin was flawless. Another surprise was how the E string would open… In the beginning it was difficult to get volume in the high positions in E, but after a couple of weeks it kept its place with those playing around me that note. Or maybe my bowing adjusted to that string needs.
I am currently a very happy camper. Going up and down the fingerboard and between the strings with no tone break is what I love most. In the end I think my violin’s biggest asset is its balance, and my violin and Eudoxa work together very well around that quality of balance.
Drawbacks? Of course, the well known need of tuning often. In my case the changes in humidity from one room with A/C to another without or at a different humidity ups and downs the tuning about a quarter step. But I have little problem about it. I use geared pegs and gut is a lot easier to tune than synthetic which often stretchs in jumps.
Some have said that other problem is the volume and projection… I have not found that. While it’s true that you can’t get to FFF with bow weight, you learn to do it in a different way. Speed and (at least for me) it’s a lot easier to play close to the bridge. So you learn to adjust your dynamics by the bow contact point rather than the bow pressure. In the end, my Eudoxas don’t get eaten when I play with others (in my level) using Dominants or Tonicas. Actually I have to soften the volume of my G and D to not stand out when playing together.
What’s to come? Probably Olivs or Passiones, but that’s far in the future. The other great thing about these strings is that they are lasting a lot longer than the synthetics I have tried so far and I have some replacement still for the A & E which should decline faster than the rigid G&D. But as I say, my set has a lot of juice left.
Aristotle defined "Eudoxa" as the "Good opinion of the wise". I agree :-P

Replies (26)

Edited: July 12, 2018, 2:49 AM · How did these geared pegs take over your violin?
Incidentally, I play Eudoxias, too.
July 12, 2018, 1:16 AM · Probably the weather there makes pegs too unreliable, Herman.
July 12, 2018, 2:05 AM · Thanks for the review. I am a gut strings lover myself currently playing Oliv.i have not played Eudoxa for decades, but your story makes me want to revisit them.
July 12, 2018, 6:30 AM · A good pitch for Eudoda strings Carlos and you make me consider ordering a set since I have never tried them before.
Edited: July 14, 2018, 9:38 AM · I used Eudoxas for decades. I think I was happier with them than the Olives I used subsequently. Gold Label strings did not work well on that violin. But I mostly switched to non-gut strings in the 1970s with a few temporary excursions back to my gut-core and pure-gut past. (I still have a set of new Olives riding in the string tube of one of my cases.)

I also have a Fernando Solar Gonzales (#157) that I bought in 1974. These days I am using a set of medium Evah Pirazzi Gold with a Thomastik Peter Infeld Platinum E. (This is the best string combo I have ever played and have it successfully on 4 violins of different tonal characteristics.) It also has a very deep sounding G string that can actually be too deep to balance the other strings - it is very sensitive to the soundpost placement, but when you get it in the "sweet spot" it is incredible and the whole instrument is in balance with smooth transitions across the strings.

I have only liked Larsen Tzigane strings on one violin on which it cured a problem that instrument had going up the G string. However, I got the same G-string cure on another violin by switching to the PI-Pt E string whatever other strings were on it.

July 12, 2018, 12:52 PM · "...synthetic which often stretchs in jumps." That doesn't ring true to me. More likely you were experiencing the release of static friction at the nut. Gut strings might glide more easily there, but I don't know why if they're wound. With gear pegs the answer (for me) is to always release the static friction first by tuning down a ways, probably you don't need to go as far as a quarter step, and then drawing up gradually.
July 12, 2018, 1:01 PM · I use regular Eudoxas on my violin and love the tone--the overtones are far superior than any other string I've tried, even Olivs or Passione (and I like both of these, but if I'm going to compromise off of Eudoxas Passiones are more practical from a stability and loudness perspective).

I even use the wound Eudoxa E, because on my violin the E is especially bright so the more mellow wound Eudoxa E is still loud, but tonally it fits better with the gut strings than a more conventional E string.

Because I like the Eudoxas so much I want to try the Tricolor Heifetz special this winter once humidity stabilizes here in CO.

July 12, 2018, 2:06 PM · My humble opinions (not "scientific facts" based on personal preference that actually aren't scientific or factual); feel free to disagree without argument:

Tricolore, Eudoxa, Oliv, Gold Label, Passione, Passione Solo, et.al. are not something you buy expecting to get the best tone the more money you spend. Of the more expensive brands, I prefer Oliv over Passione, as you are already paying more than $100.00, so may as well go "full splurge". Still one may subjectively prefer even the "value" Gold Label over Passione, as they lose less of that gut character than the Passione. What I mean to say is that if one is happy with Eudoxa, you don't need to necessarily "improve" by moving over to the next more expensive tier (Eudoxas are moderately priced anyway, and definitely not dirt-cheap to acquire-they are not worse just because they are slightly more affordable than other options.)

In these and other forums there's a lot of talk about many gut As being bad-some of this may be unproven hearsay, or getting used to another type of tone for their As. Pirastro has "improved" their gut As without telling us because this violinist has used both Oliv A and Gold Label A in the last 3 to 4 years+, none of which had stability problems for me-the one I have not yet tried is the regular Eudoxa A (it may also be that some batches are more stable than others, though frankly, I have no evidence for what may account to people's diverse accounts regarding pitch stability.)

I still like the "modern" EP Platinum 7.9 kp for the Eudoxa, because I find it adds brilliance to the whole instrument without being "screamy" (unless you push it there), so it's not hard to match to many As, and sounds great as an open E. It may also be the reason the Eudoxa-Aricore A is working for me as opposed to other people's experiences. It didn't sound as "dead" as I expected it to be, though of course it can't match the amazing Tricolore pure gut A. (My violin tends to have not many problems with As, fortunately enough.) I have used the Eudoxa E for shorter spurts, and I find it has a beautiful tone by itself, but it then "darkens" the whole instrument (which some may prefer, of course)-that is why I would use Goldbrokat Medium, Hill medium, or this Pirastro Platinum 7.9kp (instead of the wound E Eudoxa), as these tend to add some sparkle to the rest of the gut strings, in my subjective experience.

I do feel that the excellent Tricolore A may be "too much" for my G&D Eudoxa, but who knows, it may balance well after all with the EP Platinum E in the equation. I am currently using Eudoxa Stiff G 16, Eudoxa Stiff D 17, Medium Aricore-Eudoxa (synthetic), and EP Platinum E, "weich", 7.9 kp.

For those planning to use Tricolore pure gut strings-they are MORE STABLE than wound gut of even their own brand (though I loved those as well), so don't be too afraid of the weather-though I did use the varnished version. Had used two of them, always reliable, they don't break, and last for a long time, regardless what many of us are told continually by synthetic strings marketing departments. Powerful as well.

As a last word on an Eudoxa thread-they can be pushed beautifully to great amounts of db power with the proper bowing. I am very pleased with my "pseudo" Eudoxa setup right now.

And concerning the other uncivil thread out there, I did play in tune all evening afterwards. Who knew you could play in tune with gut strings even without being Heifetz!

July 12, 2018, 11:42 PM · @ Adalberto I am surprised you have not tried the regular Eudoxa. I think it is noticeable the way it supports and improves the G&D. But it is true that with those 3, the Platinum E (the PI, not the EP), didn't match at all.

In any case, this effect I mention was inmediate, even during the break-in period, so maybe next time to change the A, you may give it a chance and see if it works for you.

July 13, 2018, 4:24 AM · I love Eudoxa. Played on them all through high school after getting frustrated with Dominant, and keep coming back to them. I recently played Thomastik Rondo for a few months and they were fantastic, very clear sounding, powerful, and long lasting, but there's something special about that sound we get with gut that always pulls me back.

Currently playing on Eudoxa G and D, but I find it works best for me with a plain gut A which varies, Dlugolecki is my favorite but Pirastro Chorda is fine. Topping it off is a Goldbrokat steel E which I feel really goes well with the set, and it's inexpensive (~$2).

July 13, 2018, 2:30 PM · I'd be interested in hearing more about alternative E pairings with Eudoxa as the lower strings.

I thought Goldbrokat was pretty good, nice and bright and clear, but definitely less complex than the Eudoxa wound E. I also tried a medium Jargar, and it was smooth as butter like normal but didn't really fit with the other strings tonally somehow.

Edited: July 13, 2018, 2:58 PM · It really depends on your violin.

The Eudoxa wound E is awful for me. It's fuzzy-sounding, lacks resonance, and has a short lifespan. I'd use gut E's if I could get away with it, but I don't like measuring the lifespan of my strings in days or weeks even.

Optima makes several variants of the Goldbrokat E now. The original is till produced, but there are new versions with a different kind of steel, as well as brass and gold variants. The new steel version is very smooth feeling and playing. :)

July 13, 2018, 3:53 PM · Hi,

Pairings for E strings... As a general rule of thumb, the original Goldbrokat works well on Del Gésus or their models. For Strads and models, as a basic place to start, Pirastro's Gold Label has always been kind of a standard. The opposite way doesn't really work all that well for some reason.

Hill and Westminster work on some violins with gut strings, but a lot of the newer Es work better with synthetics and are designed to do so. The old Kaplan was good too, but I don't think it is made anymore.

Wound Es are really for violins with a whistling E or violins with high arching, but unless that is the case, the plain ones are a better choice in most cases.

Cheers!

July 13, 2018, 4:17 PM · Why not Kaplan spiral gold?
Edited: July 13, 2018, 4:52 PM · I am not sure if the Kaplan Golden Spiral is the same. Kaplan used to be a company (they made a great silver D). I think that this new issue is produced by another company; d'Addario I think, and they changed the formula a few years back if my memory is good.

Cheers!

July 13, 2018, 8:11 PM · I love my Chorda strings, but eventually will have to try the other gut strings mentioned here, especially, of course, Eudoxa. My Chorda strings have been playing great for months, though lately some shredding has appeared, I suspect from being around the stupid velcro strips in my case?
July 14, 2018, 4:06 AM · I prefer a wound E, even the Dominant one, or especially the Pirastro No.1.
But then I am primarily a violist..
July 14, 2018, 5:42 PM · When I changed to gut, it was eudoxa I used, but because I thought my violin had a dark tone (It had had one when Dad changed it back from my childhood viola to the violin I still play (but it had to have wood put in a few years ago and it doesn't sound as good as it did), so I changed to Golden Spiral. I stopped using them when the A string kept breaking and am currently using synthetics - however, if I do any serious solo work again, I shall consider changing to eudoxa.
Edited: July 18, 2018, 8:36 AM · @ Christian Vachon - yes, they are d'Addario now. I never had the chance to try the original product (late starter...), but I'm quite happy with the current issue. I used it in the medium version on my violin with vision titan solo (quite aggressive), EP, Obligato (good combo!) and lately Eudoxa (perfect, love it, will stop experimenting for a while).
Edited: July 18, 2018, 7:41 AM · Really nice post. I'm really curious about Eudoxa and gut strings in general. Since I tend to get frequent headaches, my teacher told me more than once that gut strings would help with them, as they sound warmer than sinthetics (and of course, metal strings, which I just can't stand). I haven't tried them yet because he said it's probably not worth using them on my cheap Yamaha v5 violin, but I will surely use them whenever I upgrade to a slightly better instrument (I'm just improving my technique for "earning" a new instrument).

I also read here in several posts that to greater addition, Eudoxas make you improve your bowing technique, so reading this discussion just made me feel like trying them immediately...

July 18, 2018, 10:25 AM · I wasn't especially impressed with the d'Addario Kaplans.I liked the Titanium vision solos better than the Kaplans.

Quite happy with the Pirastro golds on my violin now. Never tried Eudoxa. Now I'm tempted. Never had an issue with my A and E strings that pushed me to want a change, however I would like to try different things on the G and D. This might be something to look at. Seems gut has a shorter life span though.

July 18, 2018, 11:53 AM · Mr. Smith,

They last longer than double a regular EP string's life span (to be conservative-they should last for longer.) Indeed when I change my strings some months ahead I would do it to freshen up the instrument, more than needing replacements.

I have not used EP Gold yet, but I have read that they last similarly as the EP Green. In that case, Eudoxa Stiff G&D will most certainly outlast them, though the tone and playability are different, so your bow arm may need to adjust at first (this as generally Pirastro's synthetic composite requires a bit of pressure to start the tone cleanly-the Eudoxas have an easier but nice and noticeable bite-click.)

July 19, 2018, 10:35 AM · @ Adalberto Valle-Rivera

Thank you for this information.I am still a beginner. I try to take in all I can.

July 23, 2018, 8:10 AM · A while ago a male charge nurse went to Beers and asked for a set of good violin strings. "Eudoxa?". "No, I'm a nurse".
July 23, 2018, 8:10 AM · A while ago a male charge nurse went to Beers and asked for a set of good violin strings. "Eudoxa?", asked the assistant. "No, I'm a nurse".
July 23, 2018, 10:07 AM · Haha John!

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