Sunday, July 10, 2005

First impressions of the Evah's

I know at least one of you has probably been waiting for my review of the new Evah Pirazzi cello strings that Piastro sent to review. I'll be holding off on filling out the review form until I've played on them longer than an hour! I'm thinking a good week should do it.

The Evah Pirazzi set was replacing Jargar forte A and D and Helicore G and C. I was thinking the strings I was taking off were "new" but in reality I've been playing regularly on them for 4 months or so now! They have been duly labeled, dated and back in my cello case.

So on to my "first impressions":

The first thing I noticed on closer inspection was that it wasn't a straight "set" of cello strings. It was Med A and D and Soloist G and C. (As opposed to the regular Med G and C.)

My next impression was that ALL the strings were thinner and much more pliable than any other cello strings I've seen to date. In fact, I checked the package and the C and G strings at least twice each to make sure I had the RIGHT string - they were so thin! This made getting the strings ON the cello a much less frustrating experience. Add to that I also have purchased peg dope since my last frustrating string changing experience. So the change-over went smoothly and took less than 15 minutes from start to finish.

The con is that they are a touch longer than my previous strings - so I do have have to wind the strings on the pegs past the windings a bit on the C and A strings. That may shorten the life span a bit.

Then of course the sound. I tried the cello out briefly after switching the G and C strings and one thing was obvious - these strings were a lot LOUDER! The soloist Evah G and C strings made the Jargar forte's on the A and D sound more like dolces!

With all the strings on - it sounded like a different cello - but not necessarily "better" or "worse" than the previous set up - just different. The Evah strings - have more power and are louder. Plus they have more overtones - the cello vibrates more with them on it. However - the cello sounds "brighter" and not as "warm" as it did with the previous set up.

The Jargar/Helicore combo was a very beautiful, warm sound on my cello. While lacking the depth of overtones and sheer volume of the Evah Pirazzi's - it was next to impossible to create a "squeak" sound with the Jargar/Helicores! Not so with the Evahs - I had several squeaks over the course of an hour. It reminded me a touch of playing one of my teacher's cellos - lot of power available - but you had to BE a good player to sound good.

Another observation is that the Evahs play well together as a set on my cello. The pro is that a set by one maker is easy to purchase - just find someone that carries that brand. Plus there is a continuity of sound across the set that I just haven't seen yet on my instrument with any of the brands we've tried.

The con - if I break ONE string right now - I'm going to have to change the whole set back. It's not a mix and match set - the tone, volume differences and even the differences in string feel and response are too great to have it mixed up with anything else. (A good thing is I have the set that just came OFF my cello which still has tons of play time left - plus I have an identical new Jargar/Helicore set.)

My end of practice session assessment: I like them. If I was playing a lot with a piano or soloing - I would make these my first choice simply for the extra volume. However - the string set up that I had is just as good for practicing at home and playing in orchestra.

I'm going to leave the Evahs on for now and see how they do as they "play in" - also how they hold up over the long term. When it's time to change the strings - I'll go back to the set I just took off - then the other set I have - but after all that (probably in a couple of years) - I'll likely go back to the Evah Pirazzis and give them another go.

Allan's opinion from downstairs was just that he was surprised not to hear complaining and muttering while I was changing strings and he thought perhaps I hadn't bothered since I was playing so quickly after going up. Previous string set changes have taken me upwards of an hour and sometimes longer. He also said I sound comfortable and confident on them. He couldn't really tell a lot of difference in sound from downstairs.

1 comment:

LarryandJean said...

Wow! How did I miss this post! This is great as it gives your 7/8 instrument more power for chamber and soloist work. I can see that having a set with that configuration "on hand" for just such occasions would be a real "plus" - providing one really IS good enough to "sound good," of course!