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What should I expect from gut-core strings


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I just can't seem to stop experimenting. After going through Pro-Arte's, Dominants, Violinos, Infeld Reds & Blues, and Eudoxas, I thought my Obligatos were the best to be had. Then I decided to try a set of Eudoxas.

The violin that I've had for about a year doesn't even sound like the same instrument. The G and D strings, which had always sounded like harsh, non-melodic vibrations now are producing warm, dark tones and the A is sweet and clear. The Obligato gold E (which I kept on advice of the person who sold me the Eudoxas) is now even smoother. Although I could always tell the difference between one synthetic brand and another, the difference was never as dramatic as this. And guess what? They were less expensive than the Obligatos!

It was really tricky getting the Eudoxas on my violin and maybe it's my imagination but they seem to require a much lower(looser) tension. Then they had to be re-tuned about every 15 minutes. They've been on 4 days now and I can go a bit longer between tunings. How long should they take to stabilize (or is this it?) and what should I expect as far as humidity responses (it's fairly high here - we're in our rainy season)and how long can I expect them to last.

As long as they sound this good, I'll put up with the rest.


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i used to use oliv viola strings for a while a couple years ago...they usually stopped the massive tuning every 15 minutes after the first week or so. i loved the warm rich sound they produced, i'll never settle for anything but olives i dont think. i'm going to bust out the cash and treat my violin to some in a couple months, soon as my tonicas die. the response was pretty good, very quick for gut...similar to Zyex viola strings in my experience (the response, the sound is greatly different). enjoy the gut strings...theyre a treat.

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My experience of playing Eudoxas (in folk bands..) has been that they are one of the least stable gut core strings available. I was prepared to put up with fairly frequent retuning of Olives, but Eudoxas were too much for me. Now it may be that Eudoxa suit your violin and playing perfectly. However if you haven't tried Olives before, I would recommend begging a used set from somebody (because they're so expensive) and trying them. They can be amazing on the right violin.


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You're right, gut-core has less tension than synthetic. Completely different feel.

My Oliv's weren't atrocious with the weather, but changes in the weather always affected my strings. I notice little or nothing with synthetics, but gut core made me notice the effects of temperature and humidity.

The changes aren't enough to stop me from trying Oliv's again or Eudoxa's (to compare with some synthetics). Besides, that's one of the main reasons why you have to learn to play in tune on an out-of-tune instrument.

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my obligatos were strange...they sounded great for about a month then declined til they were totally false in about 2 and half months. all the sets of olivs i had lasted about 4-5 months. on one of my violas zyexes sounded wonderful, and on another were terrible. neither really sounded much like olivs per se. next on my list of viola strings is tonicas, then sensicores, then back to olivs for good. unless the intro evahs for viola *drooool*

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  • 2 weeks later...

My favorite covered gut strins are Kaplans or Gold labels. The price is much less than most synthetics and they still have a very rich, complex sound. They also are surprisingly stable, especially as I live in southern Alabama. Right now I'm experimenting with Chordas, Pirastro's plain gut string, which I use with a Gold label G and sometimes E when the gut one gets too ragged out. They string up with very light tension and are thicker than synthetics, which may feel weird for a while. But do try them, the give you a whole new tone and articulation to explore!

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