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scratchy rosin

Experience with Evah Pirazzi Strings

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I recently played in a violin that had suffered a long period of storage. I used a set of Eudoxas that I keep for sound post setting and bridge tweaking. There was the usual improvement as the wood remembered what it was supposed to do and all opened-up nicely.

I then decided to try Evah Pirazzi Strings for the first time. They are quite expensive in the UK so I added them to an order for violin bits and pieces from the USA and got them about half the local cost. Don't tell the excise man

The first stretching was quite significant and I felt that it was more than gut but they settled down within a day to be very stable. The sound was subjectively louder and had loads of good character with clearly accessible harmonics and a pleasant timbre. They coped well with a lot of pre-Christmas concert rehearsals and some extensive playing and temperature cycles from cold car -3 centigrade to hot halls and lights.

On the third week I am feeling unsure about them now. There seems to be a real nasal shift to the sound particularly on the D and G. Is this unusual for Evah's or could some other adjustment have shifted?

Soundpost position, bridge location and fit and all string angles are unchanged and are "typical" for strad pattern afterlength on G is set to D'' harmonic.

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I think this is a pretty good description of the Evahs. They are very good for a short while... I simply think they need to be changed very often..? At least this is my feeling about them, they change after a few weeks on the instruments and for most people they are too expensive to be changed very often...

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Evah Pirrzzi. Ah, a good vintage. Like getting out a 2000 Stag's Leap for Thanksgiving dinner. Not what I can afford every time I sit down to dinner, but for special occasions, oh so nice. (Or Balvenie 21-yr-old Scotch; or a Cuban cigar; or a high powered corvette; or a cheesecake; or tickets to Broadway, etc.)

My experience with Evah for violin and for viola is the same. Fabulous after the first hour, and staying great for about a month on viola, less on violin. The high's really fall off fast. But this can be another tool in your toolbox because that mellowness pleases many violists.

I just installed Vision on my personal viola. Rehearsal tonight. will be interesting to see how they behave.

Marilyn Wallin

Boston

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I use Evah Pirazzi strings but they don't suit all violins. What's not to like? They're expensive. They have a long break in time, up to a week before they finally settle down. I like the loud and proud sound. It slowly deteriorates and I change strings at six months. By contrast the Vision Titanium strings are good to go within an hour, are even more oriented toward power and are lower tension. If you like Dominants you may prefer Vision as a premium string but they aren't my taste.

If you're getting a real nasal sound after a few weeks it may be that the violin is reacting to the higher tension of the EP strings and they don't suit this violin. I suppose you could make changes in the setup to cope with this but I'd switch strings.

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I don't like the tension of the Evhs, or the slightly metallic artificial sound they produce, but it's mainly the high tension. Give me Dominants with a Jargar Forte or Eudoxas with a Golden Spiral E any day.

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People complain about the high tension of medium Evahs, and also

Zyexes (the Zyex violin strings...the Zyex viola strings seem

pretty standard in tension)--so why not try these strings in light

tension?  

Each of these strings in light tension feels pretty similar to

many synthetic strings in medium, maybe a touch lighter than some,

and both (in light) are among my favorite strings.

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Good point, also; if the Evahs really are high tension strings, that could be partially why they have to be changed more often. High tension strings seem to be more sensitive to the condition of the string itself. However, I would like to understand better the difference between Evahs and Dominants. Are the materials any different and is the core and winding structure different? If anyone knows, these are interesting things... and why can't string producers be more informative?

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quote:


Originally posted by:
MarilynWallin

Evah Pirrzzi. Ah, a good vintage. Like getting out a 2000 Stag's Leap for Thanksgiving dinner. Not what I can afford every time I sit down to dinner, but for special occasions, oh so nice. (Or Balvenie 21-yr-old Scotch; or a Cuban cigar; or a high powered corvette; or a cheesecake; or tickets to Broadway, etc.)

I just installed Vision on my personal viola. Rehearsal tonight. will be interesting to see how they behave.

Marilyn Wallin


Sounds like you know, and may occasionally share, a few of our close friends & colleagues vices, Marilyn!

I've had some good experiences with Visions on violins... but the fall-off on performance is every bit as fast as with the Evas. Let us know how they fare on the viola, OK?

The Visions seem to work much better in higher humidity situations, on violin. That's a weakness in Evas that I've noticed, but can't quite figure out.

I agree with you, though. It's nice to have options in the toolbox, so to speak.

Want to share that Stag's leap??

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i've used evahs on my viola for a year now.  before that i was

using obligatos for 5 years.  I'm not really as concerned with

the sound quality as the playability however. the reason

i like these strings so much is because they are very stable and

stay reliably in tune and that allows me to practice more without

distractions.  i don't see why people are arguing about the

cost of strings when they last for a few months. people spend $5 on

coffee at starbucks and dont seem to mind....

based on a string tension chart that was

posted on here a week or two ago, evah medium violin strings are

almost the exact same tension as d'addario helicore

violin medium  strings, so excessive tension really isn't

a contributing factor to why they seem to 'fall out' so quickly.

 helicores last a long time.  I think evahs last just as

long as any other string, the thing is they sound really silvery

and sparkly when you first put them on, and then after a month they

sound like any other synthetic.  that 'silvery and sparkly'

sound they have at the beginning is what people miss, but the

strings are entirely useable past that.  i believe after 2-3

months they end up sounding mellow, similar to dominants or

helicores.

also, there are two different A string

types for the viola in the evah line. one is a thin high tension

steel A that is similar to the larsen A.  the other is a much

lower tension synthetic A that is thicker more like the d, g and C

strings. It seems like fewer shops sell the synthetic

A. I was using the steel A for quite some time, then I

switched to the synthetic and it made an improvement in the overall

resonance on my instrument. the D G and C strings all opened up

more, plus the thicker A string plays more like the bottom 3.

 I highly recommend it.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Jeffrey Holmes

quote:


Originally posted by:
MarilynWallin
..... I just

installed Vision on my personal viola. Rehearsal tonight. will be

interesting to see how they behave. Marilyn Wallin

I've had

some good experiences with Visions on violins... but the fall-off

on performance is every bit as fast as with the Evas. Let us know

how they fare on the viola, OK?

One request for all:  When discussing Visions, we need to be

clear WHICH Visions we are talking about.  There's Vision T

(titanium) in both "solo" and "orchestra" an also Vision-regular

(not titanium.)  Thomastik sure made it confusing.

I assume you're both referring to Vision-T solo, med gauge, since

that's the most common. If so, I agree strongly about them going

flat as fast as Evahs.  I tried three sets so far, playing

maybe 2 hrs per day, and didn't even get three weeks per set.

 They don't go completely DEAD in that time (Evahs do) but

they lose their magic spark.

They sure are a hoot while they last, though.  I haven't found

any other string that responds so well to agressive playing near

the bridge.  Yee-Haw!

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Hi Alistair. You ought to try the Warchal Karneol strings sometime. I thought they are terrific. The "Brilliant" models may be even better but I have not tried those.

Still in the mountains:-)

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I really want to like Evah Pirazzis. During the week or two they sound good, they sound really good. But not only do they deaden in a big hurry, but I always had a week to 10 days of heavy surface noise before they finally broke in. No such problem with Visions Titanium, although they're not quite as interesting or complex a tone. After 3-4 sets of pricey EP's I learned my lesson. Hopefully they'll keep tinkering and come up with an improved version.

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quote:


Sounds like you know, and may occasionally share, a few of our close friends & colleagues vices, Marilyn!

I'm raising my glass of scotch to that Jeff!

Aside from the sound factor, I have found that the Evah A is seriously flawed. When you first string it up, look at the nut and you will see the beginnings of seperation in the winding. When I unstrung and restrung my violin many times to experiment with different soundposts, it shredded it. I have tried making the groove in the nut very wide, shallow, rounded back, lubed.....and always have that problem; with every instrument I have seen them on. (We can't keep the A in stock because of this. Always the first one to run out.)

quote:


There seems to be a real nasal shift to the sound particularly on the D and G.

Scratchy,

When a violin has not been set up and under tension for a long time, it is like a new instrument. I have to adjust or change the sound post within a week or so because the top compresses under string tension and the post becomes too short, usually resulting in a "pinched" sound. Before scrapping the strings, maybe you could try pulling the post out, snugging it up.

Let us know how it works out. I certainly learn by others' tweaking of setups and string experiences.

Dorian

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Dorian,

Raising a glass of scotch to the vices of friends and colleagues? the best way to share that one!

I am glad you shared that bit of experience about Evah Pirrazzi violin strings having the vice of unravelling at the nut path on the A-string. I thought I had been out of the game for too long and had lost my touch at the finer arts of set-up. I even replaced the nut thinking there was something sharp embedded in the ebony. (Crazy maybe, but I couldn't figure it out!) Next time I will hand the instrument over to the new owner with anything but Evah Pirrazzi on it.

Marilyn Wallin

Boston

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"How are the Vision strings holding up? "

I really love the sound of the Vision strings on my viola. So far, I have had a rehearsal; a couple of hours of practicing; and a chamber music party recital of Bach unaccompanied 3rd cello suite, 1st movement. My viola, which is a small Guad. model of my own making, now sounds less loud, which is a good thing. And the quality of all Vision strings on this particular viola is warmer and richer than the Zyex/ Jargar (A only) combination I have used since I finished it in June. I intend to keep the Vision strings on through my next concert in 5 weeks. I will let you know if I sense a falling off, etc.

I like the purity of pitch, the variety of tone colors, and the feel. They roll under the bow for articulation of the Bach very predictably and responsively.

Marilyn Wallin

Boston

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FWIW,

Pirastro sent me a treasure-chest of strings to try, in return for

some detailed feedback.

I just strung up the Wondertone Solo's, and am REALLY impressed so

far.  As it relates to this thread, They have the same top-end

and life as the Evahs, though the E and A -strings don't have quite

 as much warmth if you play softly.  The G & D,

though, are every bit as dynamic.

They break in insanely fast, reaching pitch stability in

about 1/2 hr, and sonic stability in only about 4-5 hrs.

 (it took a bit for the sound in 5th  position to open

up) They are both fuller AND more exciting than Obligatos.

 Pitch stability is the best I've seen yet.  Overall a

GREAT string.

Pirastro describes them as having less range than the Evahs, but

that's really only true on the E and to some extent on the A.

 (I am describing the steel-core A, as I haven't yet tried the

Aluminum A)  They are kind of a softer version of the Vision T

Solo.  In fact, I may end up using these with a Vision T heavy

gauge E-string.

I am recommending to Pirastro to offer the Wondertone Solo with an

optional heavier gauge E.  I think that would be a serious

thing.

No idea how long these strings will last yet, but I'll report back

here as soon as they start to fade.

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Marilyn,

Which visions are you speaking of, and what gauge?

Also, what is the general sound of your violin?  Do you like

to play aggressively, or do you use more of a velvet touch?

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Allan asks:

"Also, what is the general sound of your violin? Do you like to play aggressively, or do you use more of a velvet touch?"

A velvet touch, but of course.

Actually, I have been called on for a variety of styles in the last week. The concert includes the Sibelius violin concerto, which has a cool viola part, and anyway all orchestral viola work requires some aggression. But the other end of the spectrum was/is Bach, which I played with slightly lowered pitch and a light, loose bow.

I have Vision V1200 Medium, Synthetic core Viola strings on my 15 3/4" viola.

Marilyn

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