Eudoxa / Gut Curious

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by anonymous0726, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Ok -- here's the question, preceeded by some belly-aching.

    Looking for a change in my string thing. I played Spiros Solos for about a year, looking for a good string for both arco and pizz. I have to say that I liked the Solos pretty well. The sound when at Archestra pitch is pretty cool, and they bow easily -- but bright as hell. My bowing technique is up to the point where don't need the help of the light strings so much and am looking to get into some heavier strings so that I have my pizz volume back for all the acoustic playing that I do, and at the same time want a darker string. Spirocore E and A are just fine for me, but the D a G are the question mark.

    I've had on / tried:

    • Spiros (D and G blow with the bow, tone-wise)
    • Spiro Solos
    • Spiro Weichs (don't like them either)
    • Dominants (pretty good, but stiff as hell, as I recall)
    • Obligatos -- OK. Would buy them over many strings, but not interested right now.
    • Original Flexocors -- G string sucks. D string is beautiful arco, but not so great pizz.
    • Flatchrome Steel -- Bow well, but the pizz sound doesn't kill me.
    • Pyramids -- after the old man retired the quality went to hell and hasn't come back as far as I know.
    • D'Addario -- hate them all for anything.
    Here's the thought/question. Although I'm generally not into the gut sound, I have played a couple of gut setups that I could almost stand. One was a NOS set of Red-O-Rays, and the other were Olives, which were a little to dark for me, but tolerable. I was then thinking about Eudoxas as these are to be a little brighter and much sustainier. As they are steel wrapped, and I have had a chance to bow the Olives, I think I could deal with arco on these strings. How would those with experience -- and knowing my taste in sound a bit -- make book on my liking the Eudoxas? Given the price of the damned things I'd just like to bounce things offa folk before I spend.
  2. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Thanks for the tip, although I'll want a fresh set (pair) to see the whole deal if I make the move.
  4. I have a Eudoxa D that I've had on for 4 months. I like the sound of the string, however: The silver winding is not as smooth as the Oliv (I have Oliv G), or any other chromesteel winding. Also the tuning is whack on this string, more so than the Oliv. It is hard to hear the pitch clearly (compared to a steel string). It even has quirks when using a tuner. A-Cho wrote that the Eudoxa has a higher proportion of winding to core which accounts for it being brighter. I can attest to it being brighter than the Oliv, but not drastically.

    They make light guage Eudoxas. A student of mine had the D and G on his bass. They were maybe a year old, but the tuning and pitch instability was so bizarre I don't think I would ever try them. I guess that was an example of a string gone false, if one could assume that it was ever true to begin with.

    I'm sure you've read the gut string threads - people dig em for the tone and put up with the drawbacks. You spoke of heavier, darker, and louder, but nothing of the tone. My guess is there must be a heavier, darker, and louder steel or perlon core string which would fit the bill for you, and then you could still have a few good meals this month.

    What about Superflexibles or the other Flexocores? Heritages?
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Tonewise I don't mind some guttiness in the tone. I liked this about the Dominants and the Obligatos when I had them on. Obligatos aren't loud enough and wouldn't balance with the Spiro E and A well (which I want to keep), and the Dominants were stiff and kind of cheap feeling, but are at the top of the running for the next D and G, depending on what I learn here. Olives aren't out of the question, either, but I really, really don't want that muddy-ass gut sound and I'm afraid that Olives might get me there. With the FCS G and Orig. Flex D that I'm running now I have nothing but mud with pizz, especially thorugh the amp.
  6. Was that the original or new FCS you had/have?
  7. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    The new ones.

    To add to the 'tone' answer:

    I guess I'm really a rope-core guy at heart, but there are a few guts sounds that I like. Scotty, NHOP when he was in his Scotty phase, Steve LaSpina on those Jim Hall records. These guys, at these times, where getting the clarity and sustain of rope-core/steel strings from the guts. With the steel wrap on the Olives/Eudoxas I'm thinking that I'll be able to get some kind of sound with the bow still. I've had the stick on Olives and at the time thought that I could get an arco sound out of them that I could like given a week or so to find the right touch.
  8. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I had medium Eudoxas on the G and D, over Spiro A and E, for a little while. They sounded like cannons: really great body to the sound, quite punchy, plenty of sustain. But I thought they were at least as difficult/scratchy as Spiro mittels under the bow, and the rough windings gave me the "Velvet effect:" like having five hundred little speed bumps under your fingers. (speaking of which: I've had two heavyweight classical guys tell me they hate spiros not for the arco response but because they feel "so rough under the left hand." ???)

    Anyway, the tuning issues with the Eudoxas filled me with rage, and one night at a noisy restaurant I couldn't even begin to get them in tune let alone keep them there. It was the first and only time I've changed strings in the middle of a gig, much to the amusement of the sound man and the bartender. I put spiros back on the G and D, and for the rest of the gig I was in heaven and promised the weichs I would never leave them again.

    So much for promises...
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    It sounds like pitch is a real issue with Eudoxas. That's not tolerable for me. I do know that this is a gut tendency, but for me it has to be within reason.

    The winding issue isn't a biggie, as I play a LOT alla the time and my fingers are pretty hard.

    Bowing, Spiros aren't hard to bow once you get your chops up a bit and let a new set settle in for a week. My shortcoming with new Spiros and the bow is that I get a little squeak off the last string as the hair brushes by it on string crossings.

    Bowing the Olives kinda felt like pulling your stick from under the sofa cushions with big, fat-ass cousin Eddie refusing to move, but I think one could get used to this.

    Perhaps Olives are the next try, then?
  10. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    The $5 box is a cool thought. I'll have to check that out. Last time I was there almost everything on the second floor had Spiros or Weichs on them. Spiros sell basses like chrome wheels sell cars...
  11. I used to have an Oliv G+D, Eudoxa A+E setup, and the Olivs were in the same league as the Eudoxas pitch-wise...

    How about solo Dominants? If you liked the regular Dominants except for the stiffness, the solo version might be just the ticket. And they won't cost you an arm and a leg like the Eudoxas.

  12. Rayon Parka,

    My experience w/ Eudoxas is just the opposite of what everyone else here has described. After about a week of break-in tuning stability is ok. My current set's been on about 15 months and they're just as stable as steel except when the humidity jumps or drops.

    The windings are silver, not steel, and there's a lower proportion of gut which makes them fatter sounding than non-gut but with plenty of sustain. And they're easy to bow too.
  13. For me it's that little bit of extra friction that bugs me when shifting. I like it to feel smooth and slippery to facilitate all the left hand stuff, hard fingers or not. (No wise-guy remarks, please!)

    Somehow the tuning on my Oliv is not as difficult. Also, the pizz sound is SO much more to my liking that I'm willing to tolerate it. It's got that nice thick attack and stays that way up into T.P. The reputation of this particular string is well documented round these parts.

    I'm amused/curious about your reaction to the Oliv bowed. I don't brandish the stick anywhere near as much as you do, but I found coming from a Spiro G that the Oliv responds just as well if not better. D-Hig also is a fan of the bowed Oliv. If anything, it took a minute to get used to that guage being under the LH, but it feels normal now.

    Of course you'll have to file your nut and bridge slots, then I dunno what if you don't like it and go back to a smaller guage string. Could be a 'spensive 'speriment.
  14. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    i'm new to the Oliv G/D Eudoxa A/E camp (a month or so) but so far, very pleased. I fine tune before each set, and there's no problems. the sound is pretty great, but the arco is not as "buttery" as others have suggested it would be... could be my soon to be replaced composite tailpiece and clamp...really, the arco sound is great, the feel is kinda slippery...
    and i'm used to doing a lot of "legit" arco on Flexocors, as a reference point

    back to the original question, finding a match for spiro E and A (that was it, right?) I think the Oliv will not satisfy a spiro lover. Eudoxa would probably mix better. I read somewhere Rod Stewart's touring bassist ueses Eudoxas. obviously they're not a nightmare for everyone!

    btw, if matching spiro E and A is the goal, the Pirastro Pizzicato gut G and D might be even closer...
  15. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Ok, ok. It's sounding more and more like I oughta just try the things and see for myself. Maybe the way to go is to run down and see Sprocket and take the project a step at a time. Put a used one or the other on, see if the tone works, file the nut if good, etc, etc.

    As far as stickiness and winding, I'm a long-time Fast Fret junkie as I tend to have moist hands and friction is always an issue -- especially with the winding that Spiros have.

    My arco impression of the Olives might have to do with the room/bass/night etc. that I tried them.
  16. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I know Conrad, and so might give him a call and play his bass for a few minutes. I'll look into the Pizzicato thing as well -- thanks!
  17. Ray,
    I too am fairly new to the Olive camp [On G and D strings] on a bass I play on mostly acoustic gigs and feel your choices being Olive or Eudoxa's are pretty much it.I tried Pizacato's and they were ok,but the roundwound thing is rough on your left hand [And fingerboard]and not too bow friendly.
    That being said I would recomend getting the string oil that Pirastro sells for 7 bucks a bottle[Quinn Violin] and I think it helps keep the string[Gut Portion]from drying out and separating from the winding.Found out to late for my G string,but D is still real good.The Olives bow great for me and this bass is fairly new ,bright and sustainy.needs a dark string.If you have a dark instrument,then prolly the Eudoxa's and you will get the flat winding needed for smooth feel and for Arco playing.
  18. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    You use string oil with Olives?
    You put some on a clothe and wipe them?
    How much often?
    Thanks in advance!
  19. Yes, after having a client or two complain about the windings coming loose on these very expensive strings and the help on TB ,I ordered this oil.I just put a small amount on a paper towel and rub on the 2 Olives on just the fingerboard part of the string[The nut to the end of the board.] I don't want any oil on the portion of the string where the bow hair touches.
    I do it maybe once every week to 2 weeks.I had some windings come loose on the G almost a month after they were put on the bass,but it was becoming winter time and the tuning was changing alot w. the dryness of having the heat on in the house.I also would say you should tune these to pitch as often as you can.they go sharp or flat depending on the weather and I think if they go to sharp that might contribute to the start of the windings coming loose.Might of read that here on TB.
  20. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Is that necessary in the summer too?
    I guess not becomes it becomes quite humid?