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Kallie

Does these tailpieces really "Enhance" tone?

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For some violas I believe longer afterlength in the lower strings helps, at least in response. Could be my imagination though.

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About five years ago I stopped in Nicholas Frirsz violin shop who has his own similar designed tailpiece with tapering afterlengths. At that time his tailpieces were some kind of a cast metal. I was strongly considering purchasing one as it was touted to improve a violins tone, but since I am a copycat and have seen none of my violin idols have one, I decided not. I have seen one fiddler have a Frirsz tailpiece made from multi-colored laminated wood, and he said he was happy with it.

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Do they really "Enhance" the tone?

 

After you've paid too much for one, you'd probably convince yourself it does.

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Proper after length technically should be enough to make any violin sound "better" than it did before but then again 90% of the violins being played are not adjusted to have perfect after lengths and a lot of them sound perfectly fine.

 

If you like the look, why not? Don't expect major improvements though!

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 then again 90% of the violins being played are not adjusted to have perfect after lengths and a lot of them sound perfectly fine.

 

What is the perfect afterlength?

And what percentage would sound even more perfectly fine if the afterlength was in fact perfect?

:)

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I think people do think tailpieces affect the sound. But I don't think it is worth the time and money to experiment with tailpieces until one has tried everything to adjust sounds via strings, sound post location, and bridges.

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If you could actually quantify improvement it would help. If a tailpiece (or whatever) resulted in a 20% improvement it might be worth it. If it added a 1% improvement maybe not so much.

But since we can't quantify - speculation is endlessly entertaining...:)

My violin sounds really really good today...I attribute it to Saturdays blizzard (and the increased humidity from the resulting rapid snow melt)...

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What is the perfect afterlength?

And what percentage would sound even more perfectly fine if the afterlength was in fact perfect?

:)

 

Exactly my point XD

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I was a sucker who bought one of those things, the Frirsz, because it claimed to eliminate wolf tones. It did not; it made my good cello sound like it was played through a cheap amplifier. I switched the Frirsz to my student cello, on which it did improve tone, but did absolutely nothing to alleviate the wolf. My advice is, don't even bother. (And if you have a wolf, get a Krentz; it works.)

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I think it's better to think of it as a bad tailpiece dampens the sound and makes the strings ring for a shorter time. The worst is to put fine tuners on all strings, that will definitely kill the vibration time, metal tailpieces with built in tuners are also a bad choice especially with gut like strings like Dominant and Zyex. After length and tailpiece gut adjustment can have an effect if you want to knock down a too strong body mode (B1-/B+)

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Unlike many of the theories and fads discussed on Maestronet I think afterlength does affect tone. I tune the distance from the bridge to the tailpiece so that the note plucked on the AL of the bass string sounds an octave above the next string over. With my woodchoppers education I can imagine that the energy of the vibration of the AL on the bass string then adds to the the second partial of the bass string instead of absorbing some energy at that frequency as it would if close to the pitch but not exactly the same. I would appreciate if some of the more technically educated people here could comment on that. If true this would be especially important on violas where the fundamental of the lowest note is missing due to the string being too short to vibrate at that frequency. I think it may be significant that Nick Frirz and his dad are best known for their violas. I would guess that the makers of compensated tail pieces are trying to get the same effect on all strings.

As to the wolf note issue sometimes just changing anything about the set up will move or modify the wolf so these tailpieces might have a positive effect in that regard on some instruments.

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>>

 

If true this would be especially important on violas where the fundamental of the lowest note is missing due to the string being too short to vibrate at that frequency.

 

 

The viola C string does vibrate at its 130Hz fundamental for the C note.  But the small viola body doesn't do much with it.

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>>

 

If true this would be especially important on violas where the fundamental of the lowest note is missing due to the string being too short to vibrate at that frequency.

 

 

The viola C string does vibrate at its 130Hz fundamental for the C note.  But the small viola body doesn't do much with it.

 

 

Don't you need a 20" viola before the body can do something about the C string fundamental?

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Hmm. Thank you for all the replies so far. I never planned to buy one of these really. If anything, I might still carve a similar one myself out of a piece of cut-off maple and see what difference it makes. Got nothing to lose... except time. :P

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Hmm. Thank you for all the replies so far. I never planned to buy one of these really. If anything, I might still carve a similar one myself out of a piece of cut-off maple and see what difference it makes. Got nothing to lose... except time. :P

If you think you can make one right the first time you could get a piece of flat sawn rosewood.  I used a guitar fret for the fret.

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I've had some recent experience with a Frirscz tailpiece. Some observations I made about it were that is has a flatter profile which makes the string angle of each string quite different. It was fairly short and the tailcord recess on the underside was further towards the fret than typically seen which resulted in a longer tailcord. The tailcord holes were also narrower than what is typically seen. This tailpiece was on a violin that came in for some setup work and my wife and I spent a good deal of time trying different tailpieces. On this violin, a small del Gesu model, it worked as well as anything else we tried and I couldn't justify changing it.

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I cut one from ebony, couldn't tell the difference.  I did notice the fine tuner on the "e" pulled that side of the tailpiece down severely.  Its now in a drawer with other curiosities.

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Hope someone can tell me why the tailpiece has a longer after string length on the bass string  then the  treble string. If you have a very shrill E, wouldn't having a long after length soften it?

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