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bryan

Eudoxa replacements

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Hello all. I am looking for a sythetic core string with the same tonal characteristics as Pirastro Eudoxas. I am currently using Eudoxas and I love the tone and response from them. However, the area I live in changes drastically in humidity and temperature and is causing havoc on the gut cores. Can someone recommend a synthetic core (or steel core) string that is similar to the Eudoxas? Thanks.

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I'd try Dominant G,(silver) D, A, with a Jargar Forte E. Sharmusic stocks the Jargar (it's $3). Besides filtering out some of the metallic gritty sound Dominants can have, I've found the Jargar E to be resistant to whistling.

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Hi Bryan,

Dominants are indeed very good, and I also recommend the silver D. But they are not very similar to Eudoxas, though. If that's a must, try some of the other Pirastro strings, such as Pirazzis, Obligatos or even Tonicas (kind of soft). In my opinion, the Pirazzis (yep, they had to be the most expensive!) are the closest you'll get to Eudoxas, they offer similar type of resistance to bow pressure and speed.

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Hi Bryan- This came up not long ago, but maybe is worth another mention. I love Eudoxa A's, and use them on most of my violins with Dom. D and G. Rub them in with a drop of olive oil every day and they will be stable and last as long as any other string. To do an even better job, before putting them on the violin,I often put them in a plastic baggie with about a teaspoon of olive oil, let sit for a few hours, then wipe down and put on.

Their sound is unaffected, and there will be no more problems with stability or breaking down. All Best, Larry.

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Thank you all. Mauricio, interesting. I always thought that the Evahs were known for a brilliant brighter tone and the Obligatos were closer to the gut warmth. I could be wrong though.

guta, thanks for the tip. Does the olive oil help with the humidity changes too. OK, I can't resist . . . oliv oil / Pirastro Oliv strings . . . punn intended.

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Bryan- The olive oil does indeed help with the humidity, and can be used on the Olives! It also works on pure gut strings. Cheers, Larry.

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Bryan,

yes, Pirazzis are probably brighter than Eudoxas, I only recommended them based on your liking for Eudoxas response. Other possibilities are the French strings Corelli Alliance or Cristal.

It's too bad that these can turn out to be expensive experiments, because it is necessary and useful, not to mention fun. I've been meaning to try Larsens for violin...

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The Evah Pirazzis are quite good. My spouse uses gut (Olivs), but recently loaned a violin to a friend in Cinci who put on a set of Pirazzis. The violin is back and the Pirazzis sound really very good with it... if you don't want to deal with gut, perhaps those would meet your needs.

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In my experience nearly all synthetic strings are a poor imitation of the Eudoxa. I say that having tried many brands and current models of string in varying tensions, including the entire Pirastro line of synthetics, three models made by Thomastik and various other brands. I also used Eudoxa in earlier days during all my student years. The thing is the tension and physical feel of nearly all synthetics doesn't emulate Eudoxa at all. It is, however, possible to get somewhat close-ish to the sound.

After trying many types of string, I have found that the Larsen "soft" strings come closest to Eudoxa, both in terms of tension and sound. They are a bit brighter than Eudoxa though, although I suspect the aluminium D would be warmer than the silver D. The Obligato are louder and much higher in tension than Eudoxa, but sonically they come quite close for a synthetic string.

I would have to diagree that D'adario Zyex are a good emulation of gut, even though they are marketed that way. You only have to look at the tensions and compare that to Eudoxa. The Zyex are *way* higher, even for synthetic strings. Most people I know who have tried them dismiss then as a gut imitation on account of the high tension.

As for Pirazzi, it doesn't seem to have anything whatseover in common with the Eudoxa in terms of trying to imitate it, or feel like it, or remotely sound like it.

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Just an observation- It seems to me that in almost every discussion on, or description of strings , the reference to gut is made almost automatically.

Phrases like "the feel and flexibility of gut" , "closest thing to gut", "the core sound of gut" are ubiquitous.

I am not trying to promote anything here, and enjoy the good synthetics too, but I would submit to all that gut is still the gold standard in strings.

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I agree with that. I tried a Eudoxa "brilliant" G string the other day. It was wonderful. If it weren't for the incovenience of tuning I would go back to them in a heart beat. I personally think that maunfacturers of synthetic strings have taken advantage of the fact that comparable levels of responsivenss (sythetic versus gut) can be had with heavier gauge synthetics as compared to gut. As a result, people who have gotten used to - or were brought up with synthetics - are quite accustomed to the relatively high output and tension of the synthetics. If they try gut, they would probably be amazed at the softness, pliability and the seeming lack of volume. That's why I prefer to use the lighter gauge synthetics. To me, they just get that one step closer to emulating gut, even though they aren't really a perfect substitute. Having looked at most of the technical brochures around, it would seem the light gauge Dominants should be the closest in physical feel to gut, but I have never tried them. I would be curious to try them though.

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How come nobody has mentioned JOHN PEARSE "Artiste"? For my money, these come closer to gut than any of the string brands mentioned - IF the setup of the violin is appropriate (meaning mainly the standard, correct modern neckset for the appropropriate string angle).

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Wow, thanks to all for your advice. It seems a very wide range of choices and opinions. I used to be a synthetic user before I tried the Eudoxas and was immediately impressed by the softness of the string. This was in the winter and when the weather began to change I realized what the verb was about the instability. Now if only I could find a steel core with a soft feel and warm sound . . . I think I have to try the olive oil thing.

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So what, really, is the problem with tuning? Have we become a bit "lazy" with modern steel and synthetic strings? Sure gut changes with humidity, but once you tune them in a new environment they are relatively stable and require only touch-up tuning while playing. To my mind, it is not a big deal. For the record, I use a Dlugolecki plain gut A and D and Pirastro Olive on the G and C of my cello. The sound is worth the effort.

Terry

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I have one violin that carried me through the 1950s - 1970s with Eudoxa and then (after i could aford them) Olive gut strings.

Dominant's were never satisfactory with this violin. Tonicas, when they finally came out were acceptable for sound - but I kept reverting to gut - and then quiting because of humidity instability.

This violin has been acceptable with Obligato, Evah Pirazzi, Infeld-Blue/Red mixed, and now, best with the new Thomastik VISION strings.

Do not ignore the thin-gauge (low tension) Obligato strings - they can have incredible sound on the right instrument - sometimes a thin/medium mix is best (say, thin G/C and medium A - with an E of your choice (I now like Kaplan Solutions) on my vioolin that favors the thin Obligatos.

Andy

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Andrew, I agree about the low tension Obligatos. Of all the Pirastros, I probably like these the most, although for me the Larsens have a better balance of warmth and brilliance (the Obligatos for me tend to "tone down" any brilliance whereas the Larsen's seem to be more neutral).

Anyway, I would encourage people to try low tension synthetics in general if they can afford to experiment, since in all cases I have tried them, they have brought the sound closer to what I used to get with wound gut.

It's interesting in that nowadays I just play for my own pleasure / displeasure and the violin pretty much lives it's whole life in the one room. The temperature and humidity are pretty consistent all year round. I wonder if I should try a full set of Eudoxas...it's been around 22 years since I did that.

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Quote:

Andrew, I agree about the low tension Obligatos. Of all the Pirastros, I probably like these the most, although for me the Larsens have a better balance of warmth and brilliance (the Obligatos for me tend to "tone down" any brilliance whereas the Larsen's seem to be more neutral).

Anyway, I would encourage people to try low tension synthetics in general if they can afford to experiment, since in all cases I have tried them, they have brought the sound closer to what I used to get with wound gut.

It's interesting in that nowadays I just play for my own pleasure / displeasure and the violin pretty much lives it's whole life in the one room. The temperature and humidity are pretty consistent all year round. I wonder if I should try a full set of Eudoxas...it's been around 22 years since I did that.


Bergonzi_boy, I'd be willing to trade you a set of Eudoxas with about 15 hours of play time on them for another equal quality set of synthetics . . . say a thin guage Obligato or similar . . .

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That is a really kind offer Bryan, but unfortunately I'm not sure I can think of anything to give you that would be a fair swap!! The only low tension strings I have lying around that I definitely don't want are an Evah Pirazzi D and G string, which have about 5 hours total playing time each. I'm not sure that would be a fair swap though - I absolutely hated them and even though they were a "soft" tension they felt very unlike Eudoxa!!! That said, if you want to swap your Eudoxa A and D (I already have a G) for my Pirazzi D and G I am happy to do the deal. I just feel like I would be swapping an Ikea for a Victorian masterpiece though. But PM me if interested. I live in Australia, but strings coiled in a flat envelope only cost a few dollars to ship.

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If you only have 15 hours of use on them, you might hold off for a couple more weeks until they're fully broken in and then see what you think. Don't know about Eudoxas, but Olivs typically settle down quite a bit after about two weeks of heavy play... you don't have nearly the same tuning issues after that.

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JOHN PEARSE "Artiste" - anybody? For goodness sakes, these strings are made in Pennsylvania - where have you guys been?

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I've use John Pearse strings, and rather like them. They're warm without being particularly rich (say I , slipping into the undefined jargon of tone).

The problem is, they are virtually unknown in violin circles. The company mostly makes guitar and (I think) banjo strings, so there is some name recognition among fiddlers. but generally violinists will shy away from this 'unknown' brand. It's a chicken-and-egg marketing problem; I don't use them because no one wants them, and no one wants them because no one uses them.

I must say, though, that the normal violin string manufacturers have come out with so many strings, in so many price ranges, that I haven't even thought of using the Pearse strings in a long time.

--Claire

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Bergonzi_Boy, I tried sending you a PM but it shows that you are not set up to receive a PM. I am interested in swapping for your Evah's. Set your profile up to receive PM's and we'll work out the details. Thanks.

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