G string suggestions?

November 22, 2018, 9:34 AM · My son currently uses an Evah Pirazzi Gold G string and is wondering if something else might work better. The one weakness of his violin is that it doesn't sound fabulous in the upper positions on the G string. Some of this is due to a wolf in the usual place (C#), but it is just generally hard to get a clear sound beyond about 4th position. It gets crunchy up there very easily. His teacher has noted the same issue, so it is not a technical issue with his playing.

Any suggestions for a string that might smooth out that area a bit better?

Replies (10)

Edited: November 22, 2018, 10:38 AM · A lower tension G may very well do the trick, but check with a luthier first. My 250-yr old main violin is prone to wolfing in the lower regions of the second octave of the G unless I use a low tension gut G, and then the wolf notes go away or are hardly noticeable. The G that I find does the job best is the light-gauge Savarez copper-wire wound G, although the Chorda silver-wound gut G isn't too bad, although not as good as the Savarez. A synthetic core G is a definite no-no if I want to avoid the wolves!

It is also useful to know that gut strings generally keep their tone a darn sight longer than the majority of their synthetic core equivalents, particularly the EPs. I must specifically exclude the gut E from the previous statement!


November 22, 2018, 11:08 AM · Has a luthier looked at his soundpost recently?

If the instrument’s setup is truly in good shape, then I agree that a lighter tension G might be the way to go.

I and a few others on here have talked about how a Dominant light gauge G can help with the issue that you mention while remaining sufficiently powerful. You might find that the blend with the Evah Golds isn’t satisfactory, though. A lighter-tension Pirastro string might blend better
- maybe a Violino or a light-tension Obligato (being phased out) or light-tension Evah (regular, not Gold - Pirastro doesn’t make a light-tension version of Evah Golds).

Edited: November 22, 2018, 3:27 PM · Probably not a problem with the string. Move the soundpost towards the bass side a little and see if that does anything.

Anyways. Gamut silver wound Gs! The low tension ones are a bit squishy, I think. I recommend the high tension Tricolore G or one of the custom equal tension G strings.

November 22, 2018, 11:59 AM · The violin maker adjusted the soundpost in August and fooled around a bit with the wolf but we decided it wasn't bad enough to put an eliminator on it. The violin is from 2017 so the maker plans on replacing the soundpost probably sometime this spring. That may help in the longterm. We will look into some of your suggestions for strings in the interim. Thanks!
November 22, 2018, 12:41 PM · The problem may be in the violin. Only good violins will sound good in upper positions, in general you will have many raped notes and wolves there (I am talking about 7th position and around it). That's why many top soloist start trying instruments in the upper position of the basses, Zukerman does that with violins and violas.
Edited: November 22, 2018, 1:04 PM · One thing you can try before anything else is to retune the G string first down a half-tone or so and see what happens to the problems far up the string - and then tune it a half-tone high. If either of these eliminates the problem then you may need to try (respectively) a lower tension or a higher tension G string. This worked well for me with a viola that had a very nasty C string (lowest pitch viola string) - especially with Evah Pirazzi Golds (actually all the Golds were kind of nasty on that viola - but are just fine on my other one).

I had a 1927 Czech hand-made violin that had this same problem up the G string. What solved this problem completely was replacing the strings that were on it when I got it (probably Dominants) with a set of Larsen Tzigane strings. My adult son now plays this violin, although I did have a chance to run scales up and down on it a month ago when he was out this way and it is very nice.

Another hand-made violin I have had a similar problem (although not as serious) and this G string problem disappeared completely when I used a Peter Infeld Platinum-plated E string. Actually I found a PI Platinum E string helped the sound of the other strings on all 4 of the violins I now have - although I am now in the process of switching over to Warchal Timbre strings (2 done, 2 to go!)

Neither of these violins had Wolf tones and both had luthier-installed and adjusted soundposts and bridges.

November 22, 2018, 9:34 PM · I think that if the violin maker is involved, he should know what to do to get the best of his instrument.

Other suggestions : In my case trying different tailpieces and tailgut gave me significant different responses in the "breath" of the violin in high positions. Worth to experiment because they were not a clear best or worse, but a different feeling while playing high in the string.

Tzigane G is great to have power high in the G, but it quacks low in the first position.
Eudoxa stiff G had all I needed and then some. Passione G was very similar and more blending with synthetics.

November 23, 2018, 2:17 PM · Oliv Rigid G is a very good string
Edited: November 23, 2018, 9:17 PM · I had the same problem and it took me almost 2 years to resolve. But it requires a lot of luthier work.
- adjustment on soundpost (new sound post was made)
- new bridge was cut (also adjusted and frequency tuned)
- tailpiece (tried 2-3 with different material, length and weight)
- tailgut adjustment (tried different material and length)
- chinrest changes (from center clamp to side mounted, and different material too)
- string combo changes

It worked out very well in the end, from a violin that had problem playing G beyond 7th, and now works well all the way to the highest registry.

I would say during the adjustment, soundpost, tailpiece, and chinrest helped the most (assuming all others are done correct by good luthier).

A lot of patiences and partnership with a good luthier is required.

November 24, 2018, 6:28 PM · Thank you all. It sounds like working with the maker is our best option. The G string is not horrible -- but I do think there is possibly room for improvement. It is a really nice violin for its price point, and its strength is how nice it sounds in the upper positions on the D and A. Just wishing we could get the same on the G.


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