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liang7079

How to achieve correct tail gut length

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Hi people: Just read some interesting articles on how the tail gut length could significantly affect the feel and sound of our instruments, which got me intrigued, how do you know if the length is correct?


 


Also does do tailguts that are bit too short tend to pull the end pins out when tuning? (by the short length and tension)


 


Here are the articles I read:


 


http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=4362


 


http://www.violinist.com/blog/laurie/201410/16309/


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Hi people: Just read some interesting articles on how the tail gut length could significantly affect the feel and sound of our instruments, which got me intrigued, how do you know if the length is correct?

 

Also does do tailguts that are bit too short tend to pull the end pins out when tuning? (by the short length and tension)

 

Here are the articles I read:

 

http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=4362

 

http://www.violinist.com/blog/laurie/201410/16309/

 

Look closely where the strings break at the bridge top.  From there, measure towards the tailpiece fret.  Try for the 55mm, or whichever number, for the prefered length of space.  If the tailpiece is loaded with four fine tuners the adjustments could prove to be a little different to attain the right length of open space between bridge and tailpiece.   After adjustments, pluck the string between the bridge and tailpiece.  The high pitched sound should be 2.5 octaves higher than the strings normal open sound.  I just woke from a nap- I hope I got that right, sorry if I didn't. 

 

If there is a problem with the pin coming out I believe you can use a small piece of brown paper to shim the hole for the pin.  With a new tailgut, adjust to where it will just clear the saddle and bend around barely.  Put the violin back together and wait a few days to stretch the new tailgut.  Stretching is part of the process, just wait it out.  If the extra length nylon ends appear they will eventually hit the violin varnish you may as well clip some length from the end as soon as possible to avoid indentions in the varnish.  Toenail clippers will work.  

 

When you are sure the tailgut is stretched, disassemble everything and adjust tailgut threads again.  Yes, you may have to run through this one more time after this here second time.  When length is found go ahead and melt the nylon ends just momentarily to lock the thread ends.   

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...................today is a different day.  I do have one 4/4 that could use a new tailgut.  Thinking about it now, I would put on the new tailgut with about 1/8th" of threads exposed and let it stretch from there.  Then go thru all the adjustments a few days later.

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I would be more worried about string afterlength, that is, the distance from the bridge to the tailpiece.

 

If I have to use a longer tail gut length to get the string afterlenght  I want I will do that.

 

In celli the tail gut length can vary a lot.

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Hi people: Just read some interesting articles on how the tail gut length could significantly affect the feel and sound of our instruments, which got me intrigued, how do you know if the length is correct?

 

 

 

You  take the violin to somebody who specializes in adjusting violins. If you do it by yourself chances are you'll end up

with rubbish like in the 2nd link you found. 

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You  take the violin to somebody who specializes in adjusting violins. If you do it by yourself chances are you'll end up

with rubbish like in the 2nd link you found. 

I agree with taking the violin to a specialist for adjustment, but what did you find to be rubbish in the 2nd link, and why?

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There was a very active thread on this topic just a few days ago:

 

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/333673-tail-gut-length/

 

If you ignore the giants tossing virtual boulders at each other, there is lots of interesting stuff to consider.

 

I am in the camp that says place the tailpiece as close as possible to the saddle without having it touch. Opt for a heavier tailpiece if possible to remove the tailpiece vibration from having any major affect on core tone.

 

You cannot get the 1/6th after length on all strings so how does one decide which string should get the special treatment?

 

If you are rarely playing that tuned after length string "open", then what is the point of tuning the after length to a resonate note?

 

You will spend a CONSIDERABLE amount of time adjusting the tail string length to get one string's after length tuned to two octaves plus a fifth. And any subtle change in the string tuning will throw it off. For example, if you decide to tune the after length of the G, do you use Equal Tempered or Just tuning base on A=440Hz?

 

If I listened very carefully, I could detect an extra ringing on an open G string when I tuned its after length to 2 x 8ve + 5th.  But when I recorded open strings and simple scales and compared, I could not hear any difference. So what is the point of a time-consuming, non-projecting modification?

 

 

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I agree with taking the violin to a specialist for adjustment, but what did you find to be rubbish in the 2nd link, and why?

 

Neither the sound post nor the bridge fit properly. The s/p doesn't fit on either the back nor the top - listen how the violin barks at him on the D string and how he battles to put up with it. It's harsh, unresponsive and false.

It's not a bad violin though, it only needs some attention from a professional. 

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You cannot get the 1/6th after length on all strings so how does one decide which string should get the special treatment?

 

If you are rarely playing that tuned after length string "open", then what is the point of tuning the after length to a resonate note?

 

You will spend a CONSIDERABLE amount of time adjusting the tail string length to get one string's after length tuned to two octaves plus a fifth. And any subtle change in the string tuning will throw it off. For example, if you decide to tune the after length of the G, do you use Equal Tempered or Just tuning base on A=440Hz?

 

 But when I recorded open strings and simple scales and compared, I could not hear any difference. So what is the point of a time-consuming, non-projecting modification?

Here's what I have laying around 4/4 violin, afterlength unadjusted, in regards to this topic.

 

65mm with 4 fine tuners

63mm no tuners, E string 54mm 1 fine tuner

57mm with 4 fine tuners Whittner

54mm with 4 fine tuners Whittner

 

I like all 4 violins for what they are.  Can they be improved upon?  I'll see what I can learn from here, then proceed with possible alterations later. 

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Neither the sound post nor the bridge fit properly. The s/p doesn't fit on either the back nor the top - listen how the violin barks at him on the D string and how he battles to put up with it. It's harsh, unresponsive and false.

It's not a bad violin though, it only needs some attention from a professional. 

How can you possibly tell this from a compressed recording on a cheap VCR mike from a guy standing in a small room next to a large glass window? 

 

To me his comments (and this is the actual experience of a serious professional soloist) were a good synthesis of everything that came up on our earlier thread (and on other threads), specifically to do with the requirement for core sound and how that relates to tailgut material, and to do with the effect of increasing tension on the E and how that impacts on the whole sound.

 

My own view is that the afterstring on the G is the only afterstring that is hugely relevant, since the afterstring on the other strings is so strangled/damped as to be unlikely to have any sympathetic vibration effect. And even then, I regard it more as a handy guide to a good set-up rather than anything sacrosanct ...

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  - listen how the violin barks at him on the D string and how he battles to put up with it.

 

I realize that isn't your taste in sound, but many modern players like this sound, and and he specifically mentions the sound on the D as being something he likes about this particular fiddle.

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I realize that isn't your taste in sound, but many modern players like this sound, and and he specifically mentions the sound on the D as being something he likes about this particular fiddle.

 

I accept the Pinky sound :) but it's the barking I could do without and the hesitation in pitch. 

 

Listen here how this violin "catches" the pitch instantly and never lets go. 

 

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How can you possibly tell this from a compressed recording on a cheap VCR mike from a guy standing in a small room next to a large glass window? 

 

 

 

Please don't worry about my posts. I'm just an imbecile ranting on MN. Just ignore me.

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Please don't worry about my posts. I'm just an imbecile ranting on MN. Just ignore me.

Give yourself a little credit........  I thought the D string notes were alright but he didn't move to the A string during the same time playing.  Possibly he knows that could be better, but didn't want to show inadequacies.  He said it took a year for that violin and himself to become one unit.  Something I'll try to remember.   

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Here are Gregg Alf's comments on the thread involving Giora Schmidt - also a very concise summing up! Also chimes with what Michael Darnton was saying about taking into account in front of and behind the tailpiece - and the corresponding need to keep a stock of tailpieces of different lengths ...

From Gregg Alf
Posted on October 24, 2014 at 5:07 AM

Thanks Laurie, for such an interesting piece. Giora is a great player, …it’s wonderful to see an artist who is so knowledgeable and so curious about their instrument.
May I share something we learned recently about tuning the strings behind the bridge to a perfect 5th (usually not exactly 1/6th of the string length, due to the string windings). This is normally done by adjusting the little threaded nuts on plastic tailguts or by fiddling miserably with the knots on kevlar tailguts: A longer tailgut length will mean a shorter after-length, etc., and vice versa.
But what if tuning the bridge after length was only part of the story? Violinmakers want to get to the bottom of such questions, and some colleagues at Oberlin came up with an experiment to test it. The after-length on various violins was detuned, admirably ruining the sound. Then the after-length was retuned, but by changing the length of the tailpiece itself, instead of the tailgut length. With each instrument, the tail-gut length was kept THE SAME and a different tailpiece of the same weight and design, but different length, was used. Not very feasible for every day practice, but a nicely designed experiment.
Guess what? Tuning the bridge after-length did not make so much of a difference when tailgut length was removed from the equation. It seems that stiffness in the coupling between the tailpiece and the violin, which is also regulated by tailgut length, is equally or even more influential to the sound of a violin. When you think about it, the reason we began using kevlar tailguts to begin with was, as Giora pointed out, exactly because it adds more flexibility to this area, compared to plastic tailguts. Instruments that sound a little on the bright side, tend to sound better.
So, having a longer or shorter after length BETWEEN THE TAILPIECE AND THE LOWER SADDLE, also changes the sound. It's just that we were looking so closely at the magical 1/6th of the string length and the fun and empirical tuning to perfect 5ths, that we were overlooking the important coupling effect dictated by tailgut length. 

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Kavakos' Strad is adjusted very differently, and very different player to Mr. Schmidt as well, so totally different effects and sound.

 

Kavakos is the greatest player at this moment for quite a while and nobody heard about Giora. He is just another player with very good technique but very dul musically who is looking for a gimmik

to prop up his career. But that kind of tone is already out of fashion for most of the world. Giora is betting on a dead horse and he is at least 20 years too late. In the YT videos the Strad is well adjusted and very sensitive but to me is someway too dry and Gioras violin is a dog, it sounds like my violin when we get into the dry season. I am checking YT all the time for years and I can not find one single successful violin player soloist who is into that kind of sound. Maybe that tells something. Zuckerman could do that kind of tone on a normal violin and had the option with it to do "normal" too. Not that he did "normal" much.  Why sound like a trumpet all the time in Tch first movement and why sound like a trumpet all the time in second movement ????

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To me his comments (and this is the actual experience of a serious professional soloist) were a good synthesis of everything that came up on our earlier thread (and on other threads), specifically to do with the requirement for core sound and how that relates to tailgut material, and to do with the effect of increasing tension on the E and how that impacts on the whole sound.

 

 

Check on Wikipedia. He is a long time Zuckerman protegee and I am sure imitator. There are videos on YT where Zuckerman and his students torture the daylights out of violins or violas. Giora is a a very very very very comptent player but no more than that. He climbed on the Zuckerman tone bandwagon when everybody is getting of it.

 

Here is "serious professional soloist" with a career and prizes and everything and no Zukerman "tone" :

 

 

Think about - if you scream at me for 45 minutes I will start to ignore you pretty soon.

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 Zuckerman .....

 

 

 .. Zuckerman ...

...Zuckerman..

..He climbed on the.Zuckerman tone bandwagon when everybody is getting of it.

 

Who is this "Zuckerman" you keep mentioning? Are you talking about the owner of the Daily News in New York?

Or did you mean "Zukerman", the violinist?

Just askin', since you were coming across as if you were pretty familiar with various soloists. ;)

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Who is this "Zuckerman" you keep mentioning? Are you talking about the owner of the Daily News in New York?

Or did you mean "Zukerman", the violinist?

Just askin', since you were coming across as if you were pretty familiar with various soloists. ;)

 

Good point. It was getting confusing. Zucker is sugar

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