Viola Vibes

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  1. Hi there I realise that there's been a lot of discussion around set-up for instruments - but most of what I have read relates to violins and cellos and not a lot of specific viola advice. As violas vary even more than violins, I'm asking for tips from viola makers / experts for my situation. My viola is quite rich and dark sounding, which is lovely on it's own but not useful when trying to cut through in ensembles. It's not quiet but not as powerful as I would like either. There are a lot of resonances and overtones. I used to have a more strident instrument which cut through but didn't have nearly as much depth in it's basic tone as this one. I'm wondering what setup tweaks I can do to try and give it a bit more edge. (tailgut, tailpiece, strings etc.) One thing I was particularly wondering was about the distance the tailpiece sits from the saddle & material used - is it more useful to be metal/ kevlar & very close to the saddle for a darker sounding viola? I'll try and give as much info on my instrument as possible: Quite new viola (5 months - so I realise more playing in will be useful, although it's already had some quite aggressive breaking in being played in a very loud show twice a day for 2 months). 16.375" back length. (It's not especially wide nor has especially deep ribs) Vibrating string length of 370mm (with an afterlength of 78mm) It's arching is between moderate - moderately high. The seasoned maple used is apparently particularly dense / heavy wood - with the luthier thinning the plate 0.5mm more than she would normally. The current strings are Evah Pirazzi Gold. Current tailpiece Wittner ebony w/ integrated tuners - nylon tailgut. The bridge is slightly more wedged than 'normal' (slightly more thick towards the bottom) but is top quality & hard. The action isn't low, and might get uncomfortable any higher. Oil varnish (still a little soft) Thanks in advance for those who able to take some time on this... Simon