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What are the best Gut Strings??


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You said you were performing a solo with orchestra, yes?

Try Pirastro Olives.

I'd be somewhat nervous about performing a solo with gut, personally; they like neither stage lights nor perspiration, both part and parcel of solo performance.

Consider Pirastro Obligatos instead. Most of the richness of gut, more power, and excellent stability. Synthetic strings.

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i will be performing a solo with my youth orchestra we are playin saint saens intro and rondo caprisioco and a little bit later I will be doin the sibelius I just gotta repolish it I havent played it since I was 10 so thats like 6 yrs ago. And Itzhak Perlman is gonna play with the Milwaukee Symphony and we have a competition going and whoever wins gets to do a duet with him so that sounds really cool. Thats why I want really good strings.

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I second what Lydia said. Whatever instrument you try in a shop, chances are it will be strung with synthetics - most probably Dominants, which in my experience do very well on very good instruments (Pirastro Tonicas are also used). I just tried an Andreas Guarnerius violin strung with Dominants last Thursday - and I thought Lydia's violin sounded great with Dominants, when she first tried it.

My own choices for sound quality and projection would be Pirastro Obligatos (be wary of the gold-plated E-string, if you have any open Es to play) or Pirastro Evah Pirazzi, or a blend from the new Thomastik-Infeld Blue and Red strings - if the violin itself is very bright, the Reds might mellow it a bit - but at no reduction in power. The Kaplan Golden Spiral E string has a good sound and doesn't have the whistle of the Obligato, Olive, or Infeld Red E (all gold-plated) - but it doesn't have the fabulous natural harmonics of those strings, either - nothing does.

You might also consider mixing strings - I use a Pirastro gut Olive G string with a set of Obligatos to add that extra "harmonic overlay" and richer fundamental tone to the sounds from my G string on that violin.

Stage lights will rapidly change the intonation of gut strings - but the thicker the string, apparently, the less (or at least, the slower) the effect. Try keeping the instrument at stage conditions for about 30 minutes (or more) before performance. Also, be constantly wary of the tightness of your bow hair while it is drying out under the stage lights.


[This message has been edited by Andrew Victor (edited 11-20-2000).]

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Other very reasonably priced on-line services I have used include:





http://www.ifshinviolins.com/ (fine walk in shop in Berkeley CA)

http://www.stevensviolin.com (fine walk in shop in San Jose, CA)

and try Music City Strings, http://www.musiccitystrings.com/ which has presence by phone, mail and web -as well as a front door - somewhere in Massachusetts, after having moved from Nashville a few years ago.

There are many choices, and some have better prices on some items than others.

In general, you will find that the shops listed above - and most pro shops - sell strings for 1/2 the list price (that you would have to pay at a regular general purpose music store) - typically around $22 for a set of Dominants up to $40-something for a set of Obligatos and almost $60 for a set of Olives.


[This message has been edited by Andrew Victor (edited 11-21-2000).]

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