Oliv A string replacement

Edited: June 17, 2019, 11:24 PM · So I’ve just strung my violin with some almost new Pirastro Oliv G and D strings I had laying around(I realized they are miles better than the synthetics I had on) but I threw out the A string that came with the set and put on a leftover Karneol A as the Oliv A got on my last nerve. Can anyone recommend a replacement A string that may blend with wound gut G and D strings and has superior response/durability? I use an Amber E string, and I know not all violins are the same; mine is a newer Chinese warm sounding one but any suggestions would help. Thanks in advance!

Replies (9)

June 17, 2019, 11:42 PM · The Warchal Avantgarde A string goes very well with the Amber E string. I use the pair with the Amber G and D. Also it was common for people to use a metal A with gut G and D and then of course the E was steel. The Avantgarde A is a steel string, but it is an amazing one. The string also uses the same helix as the amber E except it is along the entire length of the string. This makes the string sound warmer as well as giving it more elasticity while playing. So it's not your normal steel A string. I like it a lot and it goes really well with the Amber set. I can see why Warchal offeres it as the Avantgarde combo now except their combo uses the amber forte and I have the medium tension. I do plan on trying the set with the forte e though to see how it reacts with the rest of the set.
June 17, 2019, 11:43 PM · Pirastro Eudoxa A or a plain gut A by Gamut should work well with those strings.
June 18, 2019, 2:55 AM · I use Passione solo A with Oliv rigid G and silver D. I prefer the sound of the Oliv A over the Passione, but it just never becomes stable for me. I tried the plain gut Tricolore A but it was too gritty for my liking.
June 18, 2019, 1:29 PM · I second Nate's opinion. Eudoxa A will match.
June 18, 2019, 6:02 PM · Thank you guys! I'm going to get the Eudoxa A and a Metal A and switch off depending on the situation. Plain Gut A's always seem to break prematurely.
June 18, 2019, 6:50 PM · Plain gut A strings break if you don't take care of them.
You can extend the life of gut considerably by oiling it periodically and wiping it down after each practise session.
Edited: June 19, 2019, 12:33 PM · In my experience plain gut A lasts longer than wound gut As by miles. And I say this while still using a wound gut A at the moment. The aluminum windings tend to be more delicate than pure gut, and once that goes, you may as well change the string.

I do use varnished As, though-no experience with unvarnished pure gut strings (save Chorda, many decades ago.)

The Oliv A matches well the rest of the Oliv set- it may be out of tune right out of the case, but stays well in tune afterwards for me. I do take care cleaning it after playing, as the windings are delicate, as I just mentioned.

I like the Tricolore/Gamut A a great deal-the "gritty" sound is very musical, and has a very powerful/audible "frequency response".

One of these days I will try an Eudoxa A 14 gauge for a proper assessment.

I agree the sound of the Oliv A is preferable to the Passione Solo or regular. Gold Label A is also good.

Edited: June 19, 2019, 1:10 PM · I agree with Mr. Mather and Mr. Valle-Rivera. I’ve sometimes gotten 3 months out of a set of plain gut. Gamut to my knowledge pre-oils the strings so I leave mine alone. To my ear they’re the best sounding, most voice like A&D strings. You have to get plain gut from a good place - plain gut string level can vary depending on where you get them from. I also prefer getting the gut varnished, otherwise it frays more quickly and is less stable especially during the summer months. Gamut plain gut A’s are a lot more stable on my instruments than Pirastro Oliv A’s.
June 19, 2019, 2:43 PM · Hmm.. I did love the sound of the Tricolore A, and the plain Gut D has been very durable for me so perhaps I'll give it another shot with the heavy gauge varnished and regular oiling. Do any of you think humidity plays a role in the longevity of the plain gut A? When it did break, it was during the winter season with the heater frequently on.

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