How Eudoxas took over my violin
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
How did these geared pegs take over your violin?
Probably the weather there makes pegs too unreliable, Herman.
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.
A good pitch for Eudoda strings Carlos and you make me consider ordering a set since I have never tried them before.
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.)
"...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.
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).
My humble opinions (not "scientific facts" based on personal preference that actually aren't scientific or factual); feel free to disagree without argument:
@ 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.
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.
I'd be interested in hearing more about alternative E pairings with Eudoxa as the lower strings.
It really depends on your violin.
Why not Kaplan spiral gold?
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.
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?
I prefer a wound E, even the Dominant one, or especially the Pirastro No.1.
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.
@ Christian Vachon - yes, they are d'Addario now. I neger 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).