Looking for the ultimate Wolf solution

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Does anyone have a tried and true method to get rid of the nasty

wolfs on the open E string on 1/4 violins?  

If you deal in small instruments then you will know that this is a

common problem with 1/4 violins.  I have even spoken to

D'Addario about a possible string solution for this 1/4 violin


Do any of you have a standard fix for this problem?  Thank you

in advance.

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Have you experimented by using a commercial wolf eliminator that fits between the bridge and tailpiece? I am not certain what string it should be used on, but I would try all of them, one at a time. Another problem since the wolf eliminator is made for full size violins is that it is too heavy for your application.

It might be worth a try to get fishing shot (split round shot)--I would start with the lightest shot and press those into place, one or two at a time at the string centerpoint (on the tailpiece side of the bridge). Again, I do not know which string would be the most effective. Happy experimenting!

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I've never tried handling a wolf on a 1/4 size violin. On full size instruments what you try to achieve is to get some part of the vibrating system to resonate at the wolf tone frequency- If you could get the tailpiece, for instance, to resonate at E then it will pick up some of the excess vibrations and lessen the effect of the wolf. Similarly with the after string length, find an after string length that's somewhat below an E and by strategically placing some split lead (see above) so that the after string string now vibrates at E, it should dampen the wolf. Before doing any of these things I'd try moving the bridge either closer to the fingerboard or further away and see if that helps.

Good luck

Oded Kishony

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I have worked on scores of violins now, and some fractional sizes too. I have yet to encounter a single violin with a wolf note. I only know what one sounds like because a cellist I know was able to demonstrate a mild wolf on a certain cello (periodic oscillation of less than half a second). Either I am lucky, or the phenomenon is less common than one might believe.

I was always under the impression that wolf notes were only to be found in the lowest registers of a given instrument.

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There are some interesting ideas here. Thanks for the help.

So far, here is what has been tried:

1. Adjust bridge/soundpost;

2. Adjust length of tailgut;

3. Try New Harmony 1 gram and then 2 gram wolf eliminator;

4. Install a Suzuki type tuner on the E string - the violin is set up with a Wittner tailpiece with built in tuners so the Suzuki tuner isn't needed for tuning.;

5. Try different E strings including Kaplan Solutions which made the wolf worse.;

6. Put a small rubber shim under the tailpiece. So far this has been the best solution but does slightly mute the violin.

Any other suggestions out there?

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Thanks for asking. All of the E's wolf on this violin, but the open E wolf is extremely bad. It really makes for a hideous rendition of the Twinkle Variations. Unfortunately most who play on a 1/4 violin aren't using 4th finger and aren't skilled enough to come up with creative ways of playing "around" a wolf. We frequently see this problem with 1/4 size violins. I believe it is the physics of the instrument that create this problem.

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Just another piece of information. We have a large rental program so I would guess we have more than 150 1/4 size violins. I have never heard a wolf on a Suzuki violin - perhaps because they are pressed rather than carved? We do frequently see it on the better 1/4 (carved) instruments such as Scott Cao, Eastman, Avalon, and Rudoulf Doetsh to name a few. We don't carry the commercial German instruments like Roth, Glaesel, Knilling, etc. so I can't say if they are also plagued with the E wolf problem.

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Melving's idea may be the solution. How much scoop does this fingerboard have - any ? The E may be buzzing right at the nut on the fingerboard. With everything you've tried it's starting to look as if it isn't a wolf at all.....

Is the E string adjuster ( or others) screwed tightly onto the tailpiece ? Loose hardware can make for some interesting sounds.

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The fingerboard has the proper scoop and the tuners in the Wittner tailpiece are not rattling. Good suggestions though. Thanks. I should also mention that the notches in the nut are correct - not too wide or too deep and the same with the notches in the bridge. There is a parchement securely glued on the bridge under the E string.

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