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gryffynda

Bunched up thread at ball end of D string

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I ordered a new Dominant silver D string online.  The thread at the end which inserts into the tailpiece was all bunchy and weird, and it looked like the string was sort of misshapen there, as well.  I'm thinking this is a used string they sent me?  Or do they sometimes just come with bunchy thread?

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I'd use it unless I was making my big record.  But then I'd probably still use it.  The only thing is if you bought it from someplace that might be selling knockoffs.  Other than that, I'm sure it's perfectly okay.  It's not a used string, else it would be all curlicue at the peg end/  Plus, who's going to sell used strings?

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It was so much effort to get all that bunching into the tailpiece slot and then finally get the ball up against the tailpiece, I'm loathe to remove it.  You're right, though, it was not curlicue at the peg end.  Thanks.

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Maybe the thread on strings is getting thicker.  I've had that violin with the same tailpiece since I was 10 (nearly half a century!) and I don't recall there being issues with putting strings on it before.

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I ordered a new Dominant silver D string online.  The thread at the end which inserts into the tailpiece was all bunchy and weird, and it looked like the string was sort of misshapen there, as well.  I'm thinking this is a used string they sent me?  Or do they sometimes just come with bunchy thread?

Gryffynda,

 

I have a small pair of flat nose pliers with smooth jaw faces. I use these to lightly compress the knot or bulge at the end of the string so that it will slip easily into the tailpiece groove. I don't like opening out the groove with the tailpiece in position on the instrument as a small slip can cause damage to the violin underneath.

 

Bruce

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Gryffynda,

 

I have a small pair of flat nose pliers with smooth jaw faces. I use these to lightly compress the knot or bulge at the end of the string so that it will slip easily into the tailpiece groove. I don't like opening out the groove with the tailpiece in position on the instrument as a small slip can cause damage to the violin underneath.

 

Bruce

I have just such a pair and that hadn't occurred to me. Thank you!

Curious though - why not take the strings off, remove the tailpiece, and open the string slot just a touch? I certainly understand not wanting to do so while the tailpiece is in place on the instrument considering the risk.

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I'm new at this, but couldn't removing the strings possibly cause the sound post to move, or even fall? It would also mean one would have to relocate the bridge correctly also. For a player that is having a problem with a tight string in a tailpiece, I would think removing the strings and tailpiece could open a Pandora's box.

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I'm new at this, but couldn't removing the strings possibly cause the sound post to move, or even fall? It would also mean one would have to relocate the bridge correctly also. For a player that is having a problem with a tight string in a tailpiece, I would think removing the strings and tailpiece could open a Pandora's box.

My reason as well. I don't take the strings and bridge down unless it is necessary. Nothing may happen, but then again ......

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I'm new at this, but couldn't removing the strings possibly cause the sound post to move, or even fall? It would also mean one would have to relocate the bridge correctly also. For a player that is having a problem with a tight string in a tailpiece, I would think removing the strings and tailpiece could open a Pandora's box.

You're right of course. I have a tendency not to think from the players perspective and I need to rectify that. As a student luthier, if the post falls it seems to me it might not fit well or be in the right spot/orientation and may as well be addressed, and it's likely the bridge is not in the "acoustical center" of the fiddle anyway, so I'd go ahead and find it.

You're absolutely right, however, that for a player to do this would likely cause more heartache than its worth.

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Thirty yrs ago when everybody was using Eudoxas they had a knotted loop that you were supposed to put through the tailpiece and then run the string through the loop.  But a lot of people instead would just let the string hang by the knot, which was a small knot.  Maybe his width was a compromise...

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I have had lots of tail piece slots that were both so big and too small.  Back in the dark ages when all I played were Eudoxas the G string slot on my viola was a bit too big and the knot on the strings was a bit small so it was always a pain to get it to stay.  When I was in school I think we tried to make the damn things last as long as we  could (or couldn't)

 

DLB

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When I was in school I think we tried to make the damn things last as long as we  could (or couldn't)

 

Us too.  I remember tying a new knot in one or two, and I think even turning some strings around when the windings would come apart on top of the bridge.

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I didn't look at a fiddle for about 40 years, till just last year when out of the blue I decided to start playing again.  I don't even remember what strings were like back then because my mom would've done all the string changing.  She basically left them on till they either popped or got rough enough to significantly irritate my fingers.

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IMHO, having a variety of vintage stuff that accumulates from buying old violins and parts auctioned from defunct shops, strings have gotten thicker at the tailpiece end over time, particularly since synthetics have come to dominate the market, while tailpieces haven't changed much in dimensions over the same period. :)

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I've seldom had a new Dominant G or D go into an unmodified tailpiece slot without some mischief involved, usually a roughed-up wrap (I now routinely slightly widen the G and D slots with a blade-type warding file). One wonders from your description if it's possible that someone had tried to insert your string in a tailpiece, and gave up without ever tightening it, before it was sold to you. :)

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