Pirastro Perpetual Strings Review

October 4, 2018, 10:16 AM · Hello together, since the old thread is already archived, I start this one to help collecting information about the new Pirastro Perpetual violin strings. I made a video review of those strings in which I tested the string over 2 and a half months. I tried to give you as good as possible comparable sound samples of the new string compared to the same string played 2 1/2 months.
I think this string is an awesome all rounder for professional violinists who have some kind of a bankroll :D
But on the upside of the high price tag the string lasts very long and keeps its initial sound-characteristics very well even after a lot of playing. So the price tag is relative when you think about the longevity of the strings.
tell me your experiences with the string and maybe you also have ideas, how I can improve my review videos. Here it is:

Replies (23)

October 4, 2018, 12:46 PM · I can very much agree to this. Think it is like mid June when I put them first on, 2-3 hours per day, see no need to change them so far.

At that point, EP Gold already gave me problems in playability. Usually, I only became fully aware of the extend of this degradation when I put on a new set (before I started to compensate with rosin, thought it was due to humidity, temperature, etc.).

I am curious to see how it will be once I put a new Perpetual set on. Best case, the difference is very low.

October 4, 2018, 2:27 PM · Yow! $170 on amazon.

I may have spaced out and missed this if you included it in your video, but some feedback on clean/complex and bright/warm might help. I don’t know what your violin usually sounds like without them. And perhaps some comparisons to the sound of other strings. And now I’ll go rewatch the video to see if I just wasn’t paying attention.

October 4, 2018, 2:50 PM · I'm seeing closer to $100 at most places, David.
October 4, 2018, 3:03 PM · I have a principle about strings, that of course I doubt is the majority's view: any synthetic solution more expensive than gut strings is not worth it. This is why I do not favor Infeld Pi, and even the Passione/Passione Solo strings. Oliv are pricey, but at least they are gut strings. Do not agree with getting the violinist base to overpay for strings, as that will drive the price higher and higher every time. I would think the same even if I was well-off (I do not mind paying for gut strings.)

That said, I am glad Mr. Streuff went through the efforts of reviewing the set, as he's an honest forum member. My "rebuttal" for its longevity would be that I frankly doubt they outlast good quality gut strings anyway. But it's other people's money, and I should not mind-my qualm is that they appear to be criminally overpriced, regardless their "exuberant lustre."

There are many other Pirastro strings I would consider before these-the platinum E is good, though.

October 4, 2018, 3:53 PM · Hey Adalberto. I can agree to your thoughts, but the choice of gut vs. synthetic is not always about longevity or sound, but for tuning stability as well. With most synthetic strings tuning stability is a given. Even when the room or string temperature changes during playing or waiting for a concert.
I think the price is reasonable, considering it is a high end string (and I don't say this very often). Not everyone will need that qualities of this string and may also prefer a budget string like pirastro tonica to stay with the same brand.
For me gut strings are out of consideration due to their impracticality... sadly, because I love the sound of the good old Oliv stiffs! It is another world to be honest. Being the one with the stable A is a good thing though. Since I am playing synthetics I tune once a rehearsal or concert or maximum twice.
I do not think this string is made for the violinist base, but they try more to be a better "evah pirazzi" and a successor of the PI and other well known high end synthetic strings.

@David: This time I talked less and played more in my review. I thought it might be better. I don't restring my violin very often just to test strings so I do not do side by side comparisons. And my violin doesn't sound very well without a string on :D
No seriously, I usually played Larsen Virtuoso a long time, since I like the low tension and clarity of sound. I do talk a little bit about that comparison and to the PI in the video.
Regarding warm and bright I would say that this string is more on the bright side, but with a very good give to the bow, so that a gutsy sound is made possible. I think it is the full on compromise of very little of the bad factors and more than a little of the good factors combined with their longevity, which makes them so desirable.

October 4, 2018, 4:22 PM · Have you also tried Rondo by Pirastro? And how do these compare to EP strings that haven’t died?
October 4, 2018, 5:01 PM · The Rondo string is by Infeld and it is the next String I will put on my violin!
October 4, 2018, 5:53 PM · Just a verbal comparison. “They sound similar to xxxxxxx” or “brightness comparable to xxxxx”.
October 4, 2018, 6:35 PM · Similar in sound to a new set of PI but with more resistance to the bow and slightly less depth on G and D.
Brightness is hard to compare, many strings are bright in the beginning, this string holds some of the brightness very long, but it is a very characteristic brighness.
October 4, 2018, 9:28 PM · I'd describe the Perpetual as a very focused string. A lot of extremely good players I've run them by have really liked them. Someone who likes a "fuzzier" sound (like an Obligato) probably will not.
October 4, 2018, 11:04 PM · I also got a sample set a while back. I've been putting off trying them but maybe I should soon.
October 4, 2018, 11:06 PM · Someone who likes a "fuzzier" sound (like an Obligato) Or gut.
Edited: October 5, 2018, 4:50 AM · Some gut-core strings can be VERY focused (like Olive or Passione) if one gets the setup just right. The Pirastro Passion has an unusual construction much like the Pirastro Olive, with a fabric layer between the gut and the metal windings. I'd say the Perpetual is even more focused (probably even more than Evahs), but I haven't gone back and forth between all these strings several times on multiple instruments to try to nail down the exact differences.

A lot will depend on the instrument too. Some instruments will work well with a particular string, while others will not.

With the Perpetual, Pirastro seems to have solved the horrible durability problems of the Evah A.

October 5, 2018, 9:29 AM · I tried Pirastro Perpetual on two instruments. Overall, I like them and consider them a good “high-end” string option, and they are very different than anything Pirastro has currently.

Some positives…

I agree that they are highly modular in dynamic, going from ppp to fff is very accessible with these strings.

Good bow response in quick passages.

I appreciate the focus brought to the perpetual set. (I detest “fuzzy” sounding strings like Obligato more than most)

They seem to last a while — I still have them on my “backup” violin after 3 months — with only a small degradation in the initial quality.

Agree with David — the A string winding issue appears to be solved with this string. I don’t see any of the separation there that I would expect on an Evah at this point.

The response and playability of the E string is sublime — it might become one of my “top 3” E strings. I tried both gauges on both instruments and preferred the thicker one. Unlike most string sets, I didn’t notice much difference in the lower 3 strings upon changing to the thicker gauge.

Other observations…

Perpetuals lack some interest and color for me at times, similar to the sound of something like Larsen Virtuoso in that regard. I find Evah Green, Evah Gold, Peter Infeld, Vision Solo, and many other high-end synthetic strings to be more interesting sounding. Perpetual seem to be less on the “replicating gut” track and more on the “push the synthetic envelope” track in tonal regards.

They pretend somehow to be low tension and they do feel soft initially and for short bursts of playing, but playing a long concert or rehearsal on them you start to feel the tension against your fingertips. I could hardly believe it, because they felt so initially soft in the left hand. For long-term left hand comfort, I’d rather play on Evah Green than these (though those are not my first preference).

Like all strings, they are a mixed bag and have +’s and -’s. It will depend on the player and instrument to a large degree.

October 5, 2018, 11:35 PM · Thx!
October 6, 2018, 12:15 AM · It’s hard to tell much from a video, and so many factors are at play, but in Simon’s video, the sound color, evenness, and apparent speed of response reminded me of Kaplan Vivo strings. Maybe some of the newer Larsen Strings too. Very focused, even, brilliant, but maybe not terribly complex or colorful.
October 7, 2018, 5:10 AM · I hope they make a viola version.
October 7, 2018, 6:33 AM · Funny thing it's that we analyze every little detail of the string. Responsiveness, tension, balance, longevity... But in the end why we like a string or why we don't like, it's not always based in objective facts. Like wine, a holiday place or our partners...
There are intangibles.
Lately I have tried a couple of strings that were perfect... And I didn't like to play them. This thread reminds me of that.
October 14, 2018, 7:49 AM · I got a discounted set of perpetual's from Pirastro,(thank you Pirastro for the kind gesture). I put them on my C.1830 Jacquot and I was impressed by the concentration and loudness of the G, also the quality of sound on all strings. The D string has a bit more tension than the regular EP which I prefer to the EP. The A gives that freshness we all seek on the opening theme of the Sibelius concerto.
I found that the G sound deteriorated in DB's after a while, bringing it more in line with the EP G, but still better. This might be due to my taking it off a couple of times and also the peg snapping on another couple of occasions. I don't really remember what I had on the Jacquot before the change to give a comparison.
Later today I'll be taking my Guarneri Vuillaume out of hibernation (last 7 months)and as it has a new set of Vivo's on it, I'll play it with them for a few weeks and then put a brand new set of Perpetuals. I'll let you know.
Edited: October 14, 2018, 1:31 PM · Has anyone tried the steel A? I was looking for a simple sound comparison, but only found descriptions of sound (which can be subjective of course).

Since the A of the Perpetual is my least favorite across the four strings, that might be a path to choose. For me, it is a bit too much of the freshness mentioned in the post above.

October 14, 2018, 11:38 AM · I have a set of EP green with the Perpetual G on one of my violins...not a bad mix, as I needed to give my low end a punch on this particular fiddle. Anyway else mixing these two sets?
October 14, 2018, 5:56 PM · Hmmmmm Michael, what style of music are you playing? I find it unusual that one wouldn't want a fresh A.

To me, warmth should be reserved for D and G, and clarity should be desirable on A + E.

October 14, 2018, 6:41 PM · Concord Music always has these on sale.

Shar and Johnson Strings routinely give out email coupons for about 20%.

Shar had a 30% 4-hour flash sale that I capitalized on. I have a couple of these Perpetual sets. I like the deeper G it gives me. I bought these when they first came out. Havn't replaced them yet, but they still sound quite nice, so I'm not tempted to change them.


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