So, we love all things strings but sometimes the strings themselves can be illusive. We decided that we would put some of the popular ones to the test and share our findings with you, you lucky beggars! So the task was set and bravely undertaken by Sam Blade, our Shop Manager. Sam, who has played the violin since he was 4, still regularly plays violin and viola in solo, chamber, and orchestral music, and has even played for Her Majesty the Queen. Sam has been working in string instrument dealers since 2013, and has quickly developed expertise in fine instruments and bows alike. This is what he has to say about…
Pirastro Violin Strings
Evah Pirazzi Gold
Steel E, Synthetic/Aluminium A, Synthetic/Steel D, Synthetic/Gold G
124.36 £102.25 from us here
|Sound Quality||Really big, rich and warm sound with plenty of tone colour available||As before||As before|
|Playability/Feel||Initially a bit floppy under the bow but they probably just need to stretch slightly||Good under the left hand, bowing still feels slightly slow to respond||Bowing response is much improved. Also the|
|Bright/Mellow||Strangely both (in a good way). The G and D strings are very rich and the E bright but not in an unbalanced way||As before. The set balances really nicely together||As before|
|Projection||Good dynamic control and great projection||As before||As before|
|Focus||Dense and round sound with lots of power||As before||As before. The immediacy of power is really noticeable even at lower dynamics|
|Tuning Stability||Stretching quite a lot but I imagine they’ll settle soon.||Pretty much settled||Settled|
|Complexity||Complex with dense overtones||As before||As before|
Fantastic warm yet brilliant tone
When they’ve settled the bow response is excellent, particularly noticeable on the G string
Huge tone and colour range available
Immediate power even at low dynamics
Strings take a while to stretch to settle at pitch
Bow response slow to start with
Possibly too loud for chamber music or orchestral playing
All round these are fantastic strings. They very similar to the D’addario Kaplan Amo, just a little more refined with less excess “noise”. One of the most evident characteristics to me was how responsive the G string was at fast tempi, and the range of character and expression that is available with different bowing positions. In my notes I wrote that the strings are both bright and mellow. I think more accurately they are mellow but with such clarity, focus and projection that they feel bright, open and responsive to play. The E string sings, especially in the upper registers, but somehow Pirastro have managed to balance that against the roundness of the GDA strings.
There are a couple of little negatives that do need addressing. They do take a while to settle in but it is worth waiting, but having spoken to a pro soloist his trick was to put a set on his second violin a week before needing them on his main instrument, to keep tuning them up and that worked fine. It’s a bit of a luxurious way to get the strings up to tension but if you have the facility then it saves hours of being out of tune in rehearsals or concerts!! The other main issue is that they are a really loud string and in my experience they tended to overpower the rest of the orchestral section I was sitting in – I felt like I had to concentrate a lot on blending in playing Sibelius 7. However, if budget isn’t an issue, for any soloists I would very highly recommend these strings. They really are a joy to play on.
At this point we probably need to add that this blog is our opinion. We have no interest in persuading anyone to buy any particular string or brand. We want to inform our customers to the best of our abilities and share what knowledge and information we have.