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14"viola; 4/4 violin: distinction?


texas_gardens
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I have a 14" viola which
belonged to a student;  I upgraded their size and got stuck
with this instrument.  It really never did have the deep, warm
sound on the C string for which students are often attracted to the
instrument in the first place.  I don't feel like I want to
even sell this instrument to anyone, because of that
problem. 


 


I use this instrument to
demonstrate that the 14" viola is the same size as the full size
violin, and in so doing, one of my students said, why don't you put
violin strings on it.  This never occurred to me (doesn't
sound fair really) -- so the question becomes:  aside from the
strings, what are the primary differences between this 14" viola
and a violin?  Would it be horrible to put violin strings on
it? 
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I went ahead this morning and restrung this thing with violin

strings. It sounds wonderful! It has a huge sound and the E string

seems normal to me. On examining the body, it does look more like a

Stainer, with much deeper ribs and a bit wider bouts and probably

the thicker G bar. But still, a good sounding violin. It wasn't

originally a violin, because I have violins from the same shop and

they are less thick, etc., as described. I guess it's okay for an

extra violin around here. I could have put the small viola specific

C string on it (the Pirastro "Piranito" as mentioned by Jack on

rec.music.makers.bowed-strings), but since the chances of finding a

use for a 14" viola in this community is miniscule, I think the

revamping as a violin is okay. Been playing Bach on the stupid

thing and it sounds great. Real bright, real good, actually - for a

$200 instrument..Thanks!

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