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Dark violin sound


ricecereal
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Try clipping something to the bridge. I am currently using paper clips on my violin.

Also try adjusting the position of the clip (or clips) on the bridge. I put mine between the E and A string. That gives me the dark sound that I want and sounds more comfortable under my ear. That also soften the volume.

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I distinguish "dark" from "deep." In my experience, what people call "dark" comes from a violin with relatively thin graduations, especially around the edges, and a center-weighted bridge. The strings are just a minor influence. "Bright" violins, which I distinguish from "Brilliant," are usually heavily built and sound more thin. This is a complex problem. I personally hear "dark" and "bright" as flaws, but "deep" and "brilliant" as good things. So you might not be able to get very far away from the core characteristics of your violin.

Steve

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Steve,

You are so right. I have spent several years looking for a "dark" fiddle, or trying to darken the tone of my fiddle. I have succeeded in muting it at times, but have not been satisfied. I finally realized that I was really searching for "deep" tone. Preferably, "deep" yet "brilliant"!

You don't happen to have such a creature, do you? (for sale, that is)

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I tried the paper clip thing last night. Interesting! I have a small rubber mute and the sound was along the lines of using it, but the paper clip was a bit less muffled. Looks tacky though! I can see it having some use in certain pieces, but as a rule, I like the "in your face" volume of my current setup.

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I have a viola that initially I found too 'brassy'. I think it wasn't set up too well. Changing strings helped, but replacing the bridge helped more. I don't like the rubber mutes, but wound up clipping a bit of 'popsickle stick' on the low end of bridge. Otherwise it's still a bit shrill.

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Interesting regarding the paperclip. Is there anything less visible, and well, less paperclippy that you could use?. Something more tasteful. I can't complain, I have used elastic bands to hold sponge shoulder rests before, so I guess I shouldn't be too picky about appearance:)

I want a 'dark' violin. Except after seeing one of the posts I now think I want a 'deep' violin. Actually, I think what I really want is a 'cello............

I found this regarding the making of instruments. Maker is Robert Spear:

What do the Spears do that is different than other makers? Just as in the old days, makers generally obtain their wood and varnish materials from the same trade sources, so everyone starts off more or less equal. The rest is careful observation, gentle persuasion, and a generous helping of experience. If a musician expresses a preference for a dark sounding instrument, it is possible to persuade the wood in that direction during plate tuning by observing the frequency of the dominant modes, either by machine or with traditional tapping methods. If the wood wants to be bright, however, it will always retain that basic character, no matter what is done to it. Forcing the pieces to a pre-conceived ideal generally produces poor results. Attention to detail is also important, like observing that wood that makes excellent bass-bars may not be the best for soundposts.

Not much use I know:)

Have a good day,

Kris

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Paper clips, wood glued to the bridge, heavy bridges, mutes -- they're all the same. Technically, they are known as low-pass filters, which means that low frequencies pass easily, but high frequencies are attenuated. Because it's hard to shake a heavy weight fast, fast vibrations (i.e. high frequencies) do not get past the bridge if it's weighted down. Just think of that practice mute that weighs so much that almost no sound gets past the bridge.

You can change the sound of your violin all right, but you're turning the whole thing down a notch or two. A mute does not a dark violin make. And I think those who can afford endless, expensive adjustments (and those who sell them) frown on such home improvements.

There is a little more that can be done with a bridge, which actually consists of lots of little springs and weights linked in a complicated way. Likewise with the sound post, which operates in mysterious ways. The setup can change your violin somewhat, but I think the biggest factor by far is the soundbox. It's either bright or dark, and that's that. If you want big, deep bass, I don't think paper clips are going to do the trick.

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I feel naughty today, I feel the need to rattle a few cages, and my suggestions are guaranteed to raise a few hackels...

It will cost money, but regraduation and sealing the inside of the instrument with "vernice bianca" are pretty much guaranteed to produce a deeper sound in a too-bright violin.

OK, OK, not recommended for the average classic Italian (which won't need it anyway) but the garden-variety factory German, French or Chinese - I'll do it - I've done it - it works.

I've got my crash helmet on - ready for the responses...

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Vernice bianca (white varnish) is generally used to describe a ground in old italian manuscripts. It was used in the outside and, according to Sacconi, inside the violin. I use it very diluted. It`s made of egg white, honey, sugar, arabic gum and water.

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