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Bergonzi_Boy

Pirastro Olive E versus Obilgato gold E

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59 minutes ago, David27 said:

I've seen that, it gave me even more doubts, it seems to be the same string because they are together at the same part of the table, but that doesn't mean they actually are. Many people say they're not, so weird...

Email them. They are quite responsive to emails, and will know better about their own strings than most "people"; I am sure they would be happy to clear things up for you.

info@pirastro.com

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4 hours ago, devaraja42 said:

Email them. They are quite responsive to emails, and will know better about their own strings than most "people"; I am sure they would be happy to clear things up for you.

info@pirastro.com

I have in the past, that is, i spoke to someone face- to- face associated with Pirastro and the answers were not so simple. We just met, so i did not want to corner them into absolutes, but i asked them about packaging as the .26 steels are fairly similar except for the silk. And they generally agreed. I like Wondertone Solos for the spring time ( more joyous - except for auditions ) and Gold for the fall ( more grim - seating auditions, ) but mostly because that is what was purchased during the string sales. When i teach, the Wondertone appears to be less shouty and more responsive than the silvery steel. There is more pitch at softer dynamics. I asked about surface treatments but generally they hedged the questions.

My curiosity was about the plated Eudoxas compared to the Obligatos. Over the years, the Eudoxa e- strings felt stiffer,; i have one on my 1990s contemporary DG. Also, this could have been influenced by the many modern Italians played, that had Eudoxas on their instruments. Generally the early and mid- 20th century Italians owned by collectors tended to feel stiffer as they were not played as much and could also have been the set ups this way by care takers. 

I use Eudoxas when on a larger stage, but the plated Obligatos do not feel the same. They sound as if they break up into overtones at a lower threshold making it harder to control more pure tones at louder volumes. My only thought is that the strings are worked differently when brought down to .26. This should be measurable with the tools I own, but will have to determine how to go about this. My assumption is that the wires are originally from the same industrial spools.

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Goldbrokats are wonderful ( for the price ) but during a neurotic week before a performance, i might switch the e- string three times. I can go a week with one Pirastro. 

While experimenting more with scraping strings, I mostly do not play wound e-strings, so wipe e- strings gently with alcohol. This also allows for a better look at how much rosin gets fused to the string. 

Sorry, I interchange Olive and Eudoxa, which I should not but use both... these are more similar to each other in my mind. When I grab a string from the box, i do not care which one it is. The Obligato felt more similar a decade ago, but now they feel different.  

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8 hours ago, GoPractice said:

Goldbrokats are wonderful ( for the price ) but during a neurotic week before a performance, i might switch the e- string three times. I can go a week with one Pirastro. 

While experimenting more with scraping strings, I mostly do not play wound e-strings, so wipe e- strings gently with alcohol. This also allows for a better look at how much rosin gets fused to the string. 

Sorry, I interchange Olive and Eudoxa, which I should not but use both... these are more similar to each other in my mind. When I grab a string from the box, i do not care which one it is. The Obligato felt more similar a decade ago, but now they feel different.  

I like the Goldbrokat 0.27 mm (and on some instruments, the 0.28 mm) quite a lot. I haven't used any 0.26 mm E strings since I was in high school. I use them on 2 of my instruments, and Jargar Forte on my third.

I don't wipe strings with alcohol, but I've found that a few drops of naphtha (on a small piece of paper towel) work for me, and seem to get the strings cleaner than alcohol does. I haven't had to do this in a few years, since I generally wipe my strings every time I am done playing (which includes rehearsal breaks) and I do not use very much rosin.

I like the Eudoxa A and D (stiff) with the Oliv G (stiff), I find that the high tension of the Oliv D doesn't work well on any of my instruments; however, it's been a couple years since the last time I performed on gut strings.

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12 hours ago, devaraja42 said:

I like the Goldbrokat 0.27 mm (and on some instruments, the 0.28 mm) quite a lot. I haven't used any 0.26 mm E strings since I was in high school. I use them on 2 of my instruments, and Jargar Forte on my third.

I don't wipe strings with alcohol, but I've found that a few drops of naphtha (on a small piece of paper towel) work for me, and seem to get the strings cleaner than alcohol does. I haven't had to do this in a few years, since I generally wipe my strings every time I am done playing (which includes rehearsal breaks) and I do not use very much rosin.

I like the Eudoxa A and D (stiff) with the Oliv G (stiff), I find that the high tension of the Oliv D doesn't work well on any of my instruments; however, it's been a couple years since the last time I performed on gut strings.

Wow, intense set up. I use a similar set up on my older instruments but recently have rarely found time to play them. I love the sound and feel they make for a better player. It can be a lot of work as it seems to open up more opportunities in articulation and colour. They can either impress Pi players or leave me on a sonic island. Perhaps a slightly heavier e- string would be a consideration. The brilliance of some strings start fizzle out at some distances, i feel... but young players who are not afraid of digging in do quite well. 

It is interesting that you do not use that much rosin with this stiffer feel. You must have a very supple bow arm, know your activation points. Perhaps I do not visit the gut core strings ( as frequently ) because further up the fingerboard, there is a loss of control if not careful in lifting the fingers on descending arpeggios.  

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2 minutes ago, GoPractice said:

Perhaps a slightly heavier e- string would be a consideration. The brilliance of some strings start fizzle out at some distances, i feel... but young players who are not afraid of digging in do quite well. 

It is interesting that you do not use that much rosin with this stiffer feel. You must have a very supple bow arm, know your activation points. Perhaps I do not visit the gut core strings ( as frequently ) because further up the fingerboard, there is a loss of control if not careful in lifting the fingers on descending arpeggios.  

A higher tension E string seems to be quite helpful for Olivs - the Oliv medium E has a tension of 8 kg (about 17.6 pounds), which is the same as the Goldbrokat heavy gauge E from what I've been told. Using conventional medium-gauge E strings with Olivs seems to lead to a particularly stiff feel. Menuhin used a medium gauge Goldbrokat E with the Oliv set, but my understanding is that he used relatively thin gauges.

I don't use much rosin, but I get rehairs on a regular basis - a dead rehair bothers me much more than a dead set of strings. I'm able to keep playing on played-out strings for a month or two if I have to, but I can't deal with the loss of control resulting from shot hair.

I do really like gut strings, but since I play in a variety of halls and venues, I prefer to stick to synthetic strings - and I'm lucky that Dominants, Pi's, and most of the other popular string sets work quite well on my current instrument. I'd be more liable to use them if I had a tenured job and did most of my playing in the same hall, or if I had more than one first-rate instrument (and could have gut strings on one, and synthetic strings on the other). I find them to be quite stable as long as I arrive at least 30-40 minutes before any rehearsal or performance, to give them a little time to settle.

Have you tried the Passione set? I didn't mind the middle strings, though I could've used more bite from the D string (which is silver wound - and my preference for D strings is aluminum). The G string was the weakest of the set for me; it felt like a significant downgrade from Oliv and Eudoxa G strings in terms of complexity.

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2 hours ago, devaraja42 said:

A higher tension E string seems to be quite helpful for Olivs - the Oliv medium E has a tension of 8 kg (about 17.6 pounds), which is the same as the Goldbrokat heavy gauge E from what I've been told. Using conventional medium-gauge E strings with Olivs seems to lead to a particularly stiff feel. Menuhin used a medium gauge Goldbrokat E with the Oliv set, but my understanding is that he used relatively thin gauges.

I don't use much rosin, but I get rehairs on a regular basis - a dead rehair bothers me much more than a dead set of strings. I'm able to keep playing on played-out strings for a month or two if I have to, but I can't deal with the loss of control resulting from shot hair.

I do really like gut strings, but since I play in a variety of halls and venues, I prefer to stick to synthetic strings - and I'm lucky that Dominants, Pi's, and most of the other popular string sets work quite well on my current instrument. I'd be more liable to use them if I had a tenured job and did most of my playing in the same hall, or if I had more than one first-rate instrument (and could have gut strings on one, and synthetic strings on the other). I find them to be quite stable as long as I arrive at least 30-40 minutes before any rehearsal or performance, to give them a little time to settle.

Have you tried the Passione set? I didn't mind the middle strings, though I could've used more bite from the D string (which is silver wound - and my preference for D strings is aluminum). The G string was the weakest of the set for me; it felt like a significant downgrade from Oliv and Eudoxa G strings in terms of complexity.

Thanks for your reply. I used to measure the tension of strings with a tensiometer used for work, but they started to vary, so stopped. Published numbers were not always accurate. There might have been a D'Addario sheet with a string length, but...

Menuhin's playing exhibits a lighter touch and his phrasing sounds as if he is using more middling strings. I do think that strings pre-1980s were actually thicker than they are now. After Dominants were introduced, though it took me a dozen years to notice, gut- strings changed ( quite ) a bit. There was an era when most youth in the United States were playing on Super- Sensitive strings. The strings lasted a rather long time, but they were thick. 

Rehairs are a gift, especially made better if your tech is fine. You bring up an excellent idea that depending on one's technique or style, it is important to be discover where the differences matter. You must have an arm - accuracy and control. Your choice of aluminum over silver requires a narrowed contact point. Showing how to drive the strings is necessary, but my overall play is without much pressure. But i kill strings. Demonstrating multi- stop and dynamics all day takes the upper midrange out of the strings. I do need to rehair. Rehair expertise is esoteric and bow dependent but the plus is that there is way more awareness now about how some players would like their bows to behave. I know a bunch of students with way too many hours on their bows with gunky build up. 

Synthetics are the way to go. Not having to think too much is great. Recently, i put on whatever is on sale, but stay away from the tonal varieties.

Passiones are complicated. I have an unopened Passione set that is about ten years old. The first set I received was lovely and gave the semi-used set to a student. At the time her playing was improving fast because of the clarity of the Warchal Brilliants and the Passione slowed her down. She was frustrated with me and the strings and made very little effort to make the Passiones work. When she went back to the Brilliants, her playing improved even more. I am not sure if it was her rage or the effort she had to make the Passiones speak, but the Passiones gave ( way ) more depth to her playing. How much gravitas does a 100lb teenager need?

The Gold series came out and though the set was better the pricing was increasing at the time. Maybe the Passione series allows synthetic- core players to experience and explore gut core strings without the less defined edges and quirks that someone might experience with the Eudoxas and Olive. Tzigane with a piano might like the Passione Gold, but the Tzigane with a string orchestra might like the Pi. It's colour vs clarity vs shimmer vs expression. 

I have three students who choose to play Eudoxas or Olives and have tried Passiones. They prefer the warmer, vague-ish attack ( compared to the highend synths. ) I do on occasion have to remind them of their contact points. That accuracy make a difference at a distance. The power fades every 2mm as they are not power players. But i might be doing them a disservice by leaving them on medium gauge e- strings. The .26 is a little quieter and makes the g- strings a little flabblier which is fine for practice. Two are preparing for college auditions for their non-major ensembles. 

Thank you for your suggestions.

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