Hi! I am trying to look for new strings. I have been using Evah Pirazzi Gold for the past year or so and I really like them. However, I have found that the A and E string are not durable and since they are so expensive, I was thinking about trying other types strings. Do you prefer the normal Evah Pirazzi strings or the Gold? Any thoughts on another strings I should try? My violin is quite bright.
I think Evah Golds are slightly better sounding than the regular ones. I used them while in college. They’re very high tension strings which can make some older violins sound choked in my opinion. They’re very reliable and stay in tune but I find them to be rather angular and one dimensional in sound.
The aforementioned Gamut Tricolore and Eudoxa are great, modern gut strings-I would take them over Passione/Passione Solo, especially considering cost to benefit ratio (Passione's technology is not too affordable for the purported benefits-though they do not sound bad at all, one may as well use Eudoxa for an even better sound and musical characteristics).
I've been looking for "favorite strings" since I graduated from college and started earning my own income 65 years ago. I used Pirastro Eudoxas until 1970 on the one violin I owned during those years.
Another vote for Warchal Timbre. You have to get it directly at a dealer, as most won't sell through the mail. Another like that is Rondo, which may be a little jazzier than you are looking for.
Titanium Solo with Goldbrokat.
Thanks for starting this topic - I was really going to ask the same question for the same reason (but its the 'A' that I loose).
My daughter uses Rondos with the PI platinum E recommended by Andrew Victor above. Don’t like paying for the E but it makes her violin sound better across all the strings.
"A & E not durable" - For the A, plain gut is not a reasonable option for most main-stream players doing multiple genres of music. It is the soft aluminum winding that wears out or breaks quickly. So either use a less expensive aluminum on nylon A and replace it as needed, or try a good quality steel on steel A from Warchal, D'Addario, or Thomastik. For the E; a lot of players find that the very inexpensive Goldbrokat E is good enough. It is available in three guages and they even make a gold-plated version. Carbon-steel is stronger than chrome/stainless steel, but it corrodes quickly. For the D I use a silver on synthetic string. For the G; silver on gut.
If you use heavy enough gauges for plain gut strings, they are just as loud as synthetic, you can hardly claim that the tone of gut strings is not appropriate for classical music, it was universally used 50 years ago, for all manor of classical music. It was good enough for Heifetz, and other top players.
I learned on gut Lyndon.
Eudoxa can be used as a "soloist" string-so can be Dominant, et. al. Sometimes one does not need the theoretically loudest strings to be heard. In fact, ALL strings mentioned on this thread can work well for that purpose. The player and violin/bow may be more important than merely just using Evah Pirazzi for maximum loudness (nothing against EP.)
I thought it wasn't about being loud. I thought it was about "projecting" instead.
I'm far from a professional, but I've seen first hand where the strings make such a difference on a given instrument. My 19th century violin came with EPs, and it sounded good. So good that it won the blind sound test with other instruments with a rather large margin (my teacher used my bow for the test). Then I had a set of Warchal Ambers installed about a week later - and as good as it sounded with the EPs, it seemed to come alive with the Ambers.
I agree with Lyndon. I find I can get more focus and projection from pure gut A-strings than synthetic or wound gut strings. They also maintain a certain core to the sound at the softest of dynamics - which I find unique.
I like the Dominants becuase they are fairly neutral (at least on my instrument). I have had good experiences with the Rondos and Ambers too (I'm using Ambers now and I'm happy with them). In the future, I'd like to try the Eudoxa for comparison (I haven't tried gut strings before).
The optimal combination of strings, in my opinion, is Dominants for the G, (silver)D, A, and Pirastro Gold for the E string. They are the best for volume, colour, and projection on my Amati. I find standard EP’s loud but one dimensional, gold EP’s more interesting but very short lived.
I never had any problems playing as the soloist on gut strings. The violin can only be so loud anyway.
One of my violins really seems to like PIs. Other than that I seem to have pretty much settled on Evah Pirazzis. I've tried Passiones and Olivs; between the two I preferred the Olivs. My more folk-oriented fiddles do fine with Helicores and Prims.
Just out of curiosity, can anyone name a current star classical (not baroque) concerto soloist that routinely plays on gut strings? I'm genuinely interested.
Plain gut E strings can be difficult, although my experience has been only good. I did a Rossini opera (4 shows) with all-gut E/A/D, and had a wonderful time. Apart from being a bit of a pain to tune at the beginning, the E did just great. By contrast, my stand partner did lose about one string per night, but he blamed that on his toxic perspiration. He was also using Pirastros, and not one of the other good US sources.
Elise: It's true that current mega-star soloists don't use gut strings, and it's totally understandable - for all their beauty they can be a bit more troublesome and soloists who are constantly travelling, changing venues and locations would prefer a quick to change, predictable and easy to find synthetic string. Most of them seem to stick to something that works for them - that's why even now many still use Dominants.
To be fair, I know most soloists wouldn't have problems projecting over orchestras with those gut strings either. They likely got so used to their brands since childhood, they see no reason to switch. It works for them, and the strings are reliable enough.
A couple of years ago, as an experiment, I chose not to change my gut E every few weeks, as I usually did with a gut E, but to keep it on, and on, and on ... just to see how long it would last in some sort of playable condition.
I'm not sure how much my opinion on viola strings matters, but I've been very pleased with the full Kaplan Amo set I am using now (trying them for the first time). I previously used Vision Solo with Larsen A, and was happy with them as well, but Vision Solo may not work as well on a bright instrument; I think the description as "the poor man's Evah Pirazzi" (green) is apt. My viola is in the middle of the bright/dark spectrum and takes a wide range of strings well. My string selections do take into account the need to project in solo passages, as I am principal violist in one of my orchestras.
Now here's a first: I followed the advice on this topic! By background I have a modern Luiz Bellini (1991) that came with EP golds on (which I also had on my previous violin). While they are reliable, loud and balanced I was struggling with playing quietly and expressively and thought the G and D were, lets say, boring!
Passione is a gut/synthetic hybrid, try the Eudoxa A which is pure gut core. Or if you want to get serious try an unwound pure gut A from Gamut.
Apparently, I'm going serious down a ramp, not a precipice! I've been this route before - somewhere there are wound gamuts in my deepest violin box but goodness knows where. Right now I'm happy to stay with the wound strings. What is the winding on the Passione? I want to avoid that - or maybe it has an odd finish...
If wanting to stay wound gut, all the other Pirastro options you have yet to try, with the exception of Passione Solo, which will likely be even "crunchier".
What's odd about Passione a is not the wrap, which will be aluminum like everyone else, but the core which is not pure gut, but a gut/synthetic hybrid, I can only assume its the core that makes you not like it.
It probably is the synthetic material cover over the gut core. I have studied a broken string. They are basically genuine gut, but with a super thin synthetic cover that probably is used to account for the stability, and silver/aluminum windings. I do not dislike them but know the Eudoxa have a much more beautiful tone.
Another option for pure gut A is Lenzner SuperSolo.
Hello Elise - if I may I think I'm the one responsible for the combo with Eudoxa and the Passione A, so let me give you some tech support.
Thanks for all the advice guys, I'll hang on for a bit and see if the Passione A settles. Else, there are a few options!
Since I started to use synthetic-core (and even some steel-core) strings 50 years ago I have switched back to gut (Eudoxa, Olive, Passionne and finally Tricolore) at least 6 times. After having exprienced the newer-tech strings on my violins I just could not stick with gut even though I continued to try until about 2 years ago (the last time).