Making the most of Logic Pro 8 string sounds


I've been using Logic's stock string sounds for backing parts and can't seem to rid them of their cheesy artificialness. I am aware that an expensive sampled string program would solve this problem but, as they are really only background instruments, I don't feel that Logic's strings are unusable. I think that with a bit of tweaking they might work just fine.

I've been trying various approaches, such as adding a bit of chorus and distortion, to create a more 'synth string' sound, but still feel that I'm not quite there yet. So I am basically looking for any tips to improve the string sound, whether it be to create a more realistic sound or a warped synthy sound.

I know this is quite a broad question but any tips at all would be much appreciated.