Hi there. I’ve been using Evah Pirazzi Golds on my modern Italian violin, and I’ve loved them. However, due to issues with longevity and also with the extremely high tension of the strings, I’m on the hunt for another brand of go-to strings. In the past, I’ve use Rondos (which used to be luthier-exclusives) and occasionally Dominants when I had to replace a string. I’ve never really been a fan of Dominants, especially on my violin. I was thinking of maybe trying PIs but my violin is already pretty bright. Please let me know if you have any other recommendations!
I thought EP Golds were fairly low tension strings. They work wonderfully on my violin that has never liked Dominants, or green EPs, or Warchal Amber or Timbre.
What didn’t you like about the rondos? You could always give them another try. Otherwise we can’t really recommend anything without hearing your violin first or at least knowing what you want to change. You say you don’t like dominants on your violin. Why? You also say you love the evah gilds you just don’t like the longevity and higher tension. Does that mean you essentially want the same sound but with better longevity and less tension?
I found PIs had fairly high tension, and a smooth, warm, clear tone.
On a bright violin Zyexes can work well.
Perpetual Cadenza (the original Perpetual version will be slightly more high tension than EP Gold.) According to what you are stating, it seems that the Cadenza would be worth trying (lower tension, not too bright but still clear, excellent longevity.) The sound for a synthetic is pretty great, IMHO.
Curious about your post, I searched for a site that might show strings in order of tension. Hope this is helpful.
EP and some others have more than one gauge. Light is an option, but don’t rule out trying heavy just to see if the character changes— especially with the G and E.
So on tension and tone, Karneols are worth a try.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, different strings sound different on different violins, and, thus, it is really difficult for folks who cannot hear your violin with the strings you are currently using to do anything more than make educated guesses. A luthier can hear your violin and give you better advice on how to achieve the sound you seek without the issues raised for you by EPGs. Good luck!
I totally agree with Tom Holzman's advice.
On my violin, Rondos have a sound fairly similar to the EPGs, but last a whole lot longer and don't have the tension issues. (Rondos are actually quite high tension, but EPGs are even higher tension. EPGs are somewhat less tensioned than the Evah greens though.)
@ Christian. Since you have a violin shop it's safe to say you don't pay full price for Dynamos?
I've heard the Dynamos on two different violins owned by two different friends, and I'm very impressed by them so far!
Dynamos are your best bet.
Am I the only person who doesn’t care about the strings I use?
I would love to try them. At three different sources they averaged $142 a set.
@Marty - I care, but only up to a certain point. As long as my strings do a fairly good job, that is enough for me. I depend on my luthier to help me choose, and once I do so, that's it.
"It's the best sound, so you must pay the highest for the best!"
Since you're trying things and no one has mentioned them, I'd recommend Warchal Amber strings for a very sweet sound from a synthetic, coming pretty close to gut. The other advantage, you can get them for under $60, half of what these crazy premium strings are going for. The e string is pretty interesting, too.
I found Warchal amber to sound very thin and worse than Tonica
I use Tonica on both violin and viola.
Warchal Brilliant Vintage strings:
Warchal Brilliant Vintage are what I use on my violin - really nice sound, plenty of volume, slightly lower tension than the average these days. And, George is right - they are less expensive, too.
Tom, I’m the same way. If the strings are decent and affordable I’ll buy them. I usually play helicores.
@Jeff Terflinger, I'm employed a violin shop. The price or my employment has no bearing on my recommendation. The original poster described what they were looking for and to me these strings fit the bill. If the cost is prohibitive that's fine. It dosen't change the quality of the product. Unfortunately quality often costs more.
There's a lot of variables on strings. I started off purely with PIs on my French violin which I like. I then tried dominants but wasn't impressed. I tried perpetuals but they're too bright and harsh. I didn't mind obligato, but they're not very responsive and found they sound a lot better with the PI platinum E string rather than the gold obligato E. I recently shifted to dominant pro and like them despite mixed reviews as they sound a bit more warm and full for my violins than PI and are half the price.
One thing to remember is that a luthier can also do adjustments such as moving the soundpost slightly to change the sound. S/he can do this to affect individual strings or overall. I use Obligatos and a Warchal Amber A on my viola. I was trying out a more expensive, larger viola. It sounded better than mine, but was too big for me. My luthier described the difference in the sound quality by saying that my viola sounded somewhat sunnier, and the larger one somewhat warmer. I asked whether he could make mine sound more like the larger one. He told me no problem, he could just move the soundpost a bit. He did that, and it improved my sound. So, instead of trying lots of different strings to get the sound you want, don't rule out other types of adjustments as a possible way of making your current strings sound more the way you want.
Hi, good afternoon!
Every violin is different and so are our collective tastes.
I'm always on the lookout for great strings at a reasonable price. I've had Warchal Brilliant strings on my violin for about 6 months now and they are excellent. They show no signs of fading yet. Powerful, responsive, and balanced. I would rank them up there with the Evah Pirazzi regular (green) strings. I have no complaints. Only compliments! I may try the Brilliant Vintage strings next time just to see how they differ from the regular Brilliant strings.
There are so many great options available. I think it's fun to experiment with different strings. It's hard for someone else to know what you're going to like. You just have to try them out for yourself.
I'm currently enrolled in Dylana Jenson's Violin Mastermind program. She uses regular Dominant strings, with both D and G in silver. And she uses a Westminster E (27.5) string. She owns a modern violin made by Sam Zygmuntowicz. And she sounds phenomenal!
I just got my first set of Tricolores a few weeks ago and love them. They're on a 1924 violin tuned A=440. I didn't like the steel E that was included so I swapped it for a Kurshner light gauge E, so all 4 strings are gut, though the G has a metal winding.
One thing I can say for DYNAMO strings - each string envelope is labelled with the string tension in pounds & kilograms.
I personally think the gut core strings sound the best and have the warmest sound on a modern setup. There’s a reason Heifetz and Milstein chose to use gut. They wouldn’t sound the same on Evah Pirazzis or Rondos.
"A luthier can hear your violin and give you better advice "
The above rings true-of course no disrespect meant towards Mr. Holzman. In my experience, many luthiers have their string favorites from personal experience, and are bound to recommend what they would use in violins on their shop, based on a wide criteria (brightness, this option; too dark, this other option.) Very really they know and use in their shops every string on the market. So asking others at least gove you another "professional opinion", in case you are not satisfied with your luthier's recommendations for one reason or the other.
"they are stable enough to last a rehearsal or concert."
I’ve never tried gut strings, but with the availability of geared pegs I don’t think we need to worry about the stability or instability of gut strings anymore. I would imagine tuning gut strings with geared pegs to be very easy to where even if the tuning stability is as bad as people say it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
You bring up a good point Adalberto, but I was referring to people worried that gut strings lack pitch stability despite people like yourself and others that have said that they are quite stabled. As a synthetic user myself I have seen many slack strings due to weather changes. I don’t think it’s a matter of gut vs synthetic I think it’s more weather and how well your pegs are fitted. Either way I still like my geared pegs just due to ease of use. So much that I have them on both of my violins and my viola.
Gut is stable in a stable environment - it served me throughout my childhood and early adulthood
Andrew, just curious, what kind of gut did you use in the 60’s? I did an outdoor gig in NY on unwound gut D and A. It wasn’t the most stable. Up at Tanglewood a while back in the (outdoor) Koussevitzky Shed I used Pirastro Oliv G,D, Eudoxa A and steel E. It seemed to work really well and was very stable. So I think wound gut can be good outdoors. Unwound gut is more hit or miss outdoors, but indoors it works out great in my opinion.
It is worth remembering that Heifetz, who required unwound gut A and D of his students, also required them to be able to cope with extreme pitch changes. There is one story of his taking a student violin and putting it completely out of tune. Just before the student was to play a Paganini caprice on it to show his ability to adapt, the Dean walked in with a prospective donor. To save student embarrassment and show that he could walk the walk, Heifetz then performed the caprice on that violin. Sweating a little, no doubt. But a useful illustration for the studio.
Nate, I was using Eudoxa in those days, with some other steel E but I also used Oliv for a while and found I did not like their sound as much on that fiddle - which also did not like Dominant when those strings were first sold.
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