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Very specific question


Craig Tucker

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I was recently asked by a friend and long time customer, to set up his new Chinese violin.

Of course, I accepted, I don't have a problem with this at all.

However, I do have a question here specifically aimed at those people who routinely work with some of the newer better quality student Chinese import violins, such as this one is, as, other than accept them into the shop for repairs or adjustments - I don't routinely deal with them as new violins.

This violin has not been set up yet, ever, and is much better quality than most of them I have dealt with in the past.

It appears that the bridge is Chinese - with a Chinese Brand, but it has been carefully fitted to the belly, and carefully cut - the strings are evenly spaced (by evidence of the grooves on the top of the bridge) and it is nicely made and of stiff, fairly well flecked maple. All it required, was some minor tinkering. I've never been close to tempted to use the supplied bridge before, but this one seems worth using, at least to see how well it performs

The sound post as well was carefully worked and fit, with an absolute minimum of hand re-fitting needed. The fittings were all matched medium quality boxwood, and the pegs were as well fit as I fit my own pegs... (very interesting.)

The tailpiece and chinrest - adequate.

My question has to do with the supplied strings. They're not the cheap imitation very stiff, poor quality easie to identify, faux Dominants that I used to see with just about every Chinese violin I dealt with,

they look like this and are pretty supple - use them or trash them? In the past I would have simply replaced them out of habit.

Opinions about this would be appreciated.

The ball ends are wound violet/red. Except for Mr. E string who is just violet. Should I give them a try even?

post-3950-0-97081500-1326075165_thumb.jpg

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...Should I give them a try even?

I say, "Why not?", too.

My experience with the set-up of medium-quality new Chinese instruments is similar to what you describe. I check the soundpost fit and position, the fingerboard scoop and radius, the nut height and spacing and the bridge fit and height, and I find very little that needs to be changed.

Edit: Now that I have looked at the picture of the strings, I don't think I would try them, because they're steel strings and I prefer Perlon.

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Was this a violin from "Yitamusic" in Shanghai? They make surprisingly good student instruments that ship with strings that look like that. They hold the bridge in place during shipping, I suppose. Otherwise, I found them to be pretty awful substitutes for even the cheapest of recognized nylon strings. Corelli Crystal or D'Addario Pro-Arte would be an improvement.

Rat

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In my opinion, you have nothing to lose by trying the supplied bridge and strings. Because the owner is your friend and trusts your expertise, I doubt he would hold any ill feelings because you tried to save him from spending money on new strings and bridge, unnecessarily. At the very worst case, you'll end up replacing them if they don't work out.

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[

+++++++++++++++

I thnk your customer wants the violin be in the best shape when it is returned in his or her hands. Put a set of new

strings. Cut new bridge. Return the old parts if he or she wants them back for later use. Adjust the tail gut. As if you sell him a new violin.

Why save a few dollars for your customers ?

The shops in my area do not care this kind of work. They are more interesting in sellings. The rents are high here.

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The ball ends are wound violet/red. Except for Mr. E string who is just violet. Should I give them a try even?

Hi CT,

They look like D'Addario Pro-Arte strings to me. Cant really see the peg ends very well in the pic but the ball ends match. (edit) Are the peg end colours...E - Green, A - black, D - gold or yellow, G - red? If so they are more than likely Pro-Arte.

Tony

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Put a set of new strings. Cut new bridge. Return the old parts if he or she wants them back for later use. Adjust the tail gut. As if you sell him a new violin.

Why save a few dollars for your customers ?

The shops in my area do not care this kind of work. They are more interesting in sellings. The rents are high here.

Fellow,

Why would you do that without asking the customer?...In my view that is just asking for trouble.

Do you have any idea in the additional cost of a new bridge, new strings etc? Your not talking just a couple of dollars.

Tony

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Fellow,

Why would you do that without asking the customer?...In my view that is just asking for trouble.

Do you have any idea in the additional cost of a new bridge, new strings etc? Your not talking just a couple of dollars.

Tony

++++++++++

Very often the customers have no idea what a new bridge can do. True, nowaday a bridge costs about $80. It is used to be $25 to $40.

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C'mon Jacob, be more specific.

I say try them out for my own selfish reasons. If they work well then give us a good report. Some of these strings may have improved by now. Competition may bring the other manufacturers prices down, or at least stabilize the high prices that they now ask. I'd trust your judgement and recomendations on these matters too Craig. There it is, a new career for you, Violin String Critic.

Scott

Yuen, get a grip on the topic, be more specific.

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Sadly, I don't doubt it.

On the other hand, I've heard what the general opinion here is, and, I believe that I will (in fact, I already have) strung up this violin with its own strings, and, after a day or two I'll start playing it for a while. So I can evaluate its (the violins) potential.

And the strings - which will either satisfy me or not.

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I say try them out for my own selfish reasons. If they work well then give us a good report. Some of these strings may have improved by now. Competition may bring the other manufacturers prices down, or at least stabilize the high prices that they now ask. I'd trust your judgement and recomendations on these matters too Craig. There it is, a new career for you, Violin String Critic.

Scott

I will post what I find - If I forget, ask me bout it in a week or so.

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My experience with the set-up of medium-quality new Chinese instruments is similar to what you describe. I check the soundpost fit and position, the fingerboard scoop and radius, the nut height and spacing and the bridge fit and height, and I find very little that needs to be changed.

Yes, also surprising to me, was the accuracy of the fb scoop and radius. No humps - etc.

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...They look like D'Addario Pro-Arte strings to me. Cant really see the peg ends very well in the pic but the ball ends match. (edit) Are the peg end colours...E - Green, A - black, D - gold or yellow, G - red? If so they are more than likely Pro-Arte...

These are not Pro Artes. Regardless of the winding colors, you can tell that these strings have steel cores by the wire loops running around the balls at the tailpiece ends. Pro Artes look different at the balls.

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Was this a violin from "Yitamusic" in Shanghai? They make surprisingly good student instruments that ship with strings that look like that. They hold the bridge in place during shipping, I suppose. Otherwise, I found them to be pretty awful substitutes for even the cheapest of recognized nylon strings. Corelli Crystal or D'Addario Pro-Arte would be an improvement.

Rat

Not sure where it came from.

I have Domiants here (in stock). If I don't like the supplied strings, after a day or two, the Dominants go on...

Thanks for the answer.

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CT,

Is there any kind of label or other markings on the vln.? I've gotten a few similar quality vlns. with nice bridges and posts. Some wholesale companies offer their vlns. with string upgrades since they know that the stock Chinese strings go right into the trash can. The last Chinese violin I got was strung with Dominants for a reasonable upcharge.

Barry

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These are not Pro Artes. Regardless of the winding colors, you can tell that these strings have steel cores by the wire loops running around the balls at the tailpiece ends. Pro Artes look different at the balls.

Hi Brad,

Good catch..How did I miss that.Attached a real ProArte compared to CT's chinese look alike...Thanks Tony

post-28965-0-04463100-1326140413_thumb.jpgpost-28965-0-83004700-1326140443_thumb.jpg

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