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Drilling string holes in pegs


Frank Nichols
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It can be difficult to tune the A string if the peg orientation isn't convenient. But the one that really matters is the E peg. If it's aligned with the pegbox it will inhibit the left hand index finger in first position (particularly F natural), so the peg should always end up at right angles to that line, or close to it.

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1 hour ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Yes exactly but in a busy shop with lots of violins being set up there really is a significant amount of time spent diddling with the alignment of the pegs and then often having to do it again after the strings have stretched. I have found players extremely sensitive to this and will say the pegs don't work if the  orientation is not perfect

I suppose we can't blame the players, though. They don't know any better lol. 

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On 6/22/2019 at 2:54 PM, nathan slobodkin said:

Yes exactly but in a busy shop with lots of violins being set up there really is a significant amount of time spent diddling with the alignment of the pegs and then often having to do it again after the strings have stretched. I have found players extremely sensitive to this and will say the pegs don't work if the  orientation is not perfect

Yes, I almost never get it on the first try.  But you got to admit, it's important. I can't imagine any other way.   I'm a LOUSY violin player and misaligned heads even drive me crazy.  Not as much a pain as the on and off getting the tailpiece afterlength the way I want, you gotta admit, that's much more of a pain.

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On 6/22/2019 at 6:45 PM, Nick Allen said:

having to do it again after the strings have stretched

 

21 hours ago, Jeff White said:

Not as much a pain as the on and off getting the tailpiece afterlength the way I want, you gotta admit, that's much more of a pain.

All of which is even more irritating when using real gut, for either application.

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On 6/22/2019 at 6:37 PM, martin swan said:

It can be difficult to tune the A string if the peg orientation isn't convenient. But the one that really matters is the E peg. If it's aligned with the pegbox it will inhibit the left hand index finger in first position (particularly F natural), so the peg should always end up at right angles to that line, or close to it.

Never thought about that. Thanks.

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Guys, I think you're over thinking this and over estimating the time involved. First of all, if I'm replacing a string with another of the same overall length, and the peg was where I wanted it before, I look for the kink in the old string where it came out of the hole and try to insert the new one to the same length. That usually works fine without any need for diddling afterwards. If I'im installing "cold" after repairs or finishing a new fiddle, I do a "guesstimate" based on the fiddle size, brand of string and string length, nothing fancy or mathematic, just 45 years worth of putting on strings, then as I start to approach pitch I can feel where the peg head will end up, and if necessary I loosen and pull a little more through or tug a little out, trying to leave 5-30° less rotation than where I want the head to end up, depending whether I'm putting on a metal, synthetic or gut string. It hardly takes more time than just "slapping on a string," and in the worst case, I just go back and re-adjust. Sure, some strings don't like to be repeatedly tensioned and released, like plain gut E's, but one doesn't need to do that more than 2-3 times to get the head in the right place, and in the life of a string, between slipping pegs and soundpost/bridge adjustments and replacements, I don't think a couple cycles more should do much to shorten the string's lifespan.

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That said, I'm starting to put geared pegs on more of the fiddles I make, especially the ones meant for advanced students/young professionals. A friend of mine who's leader of one of the big french quartets had them put on his Gagliano, and that convinced me to start taking them seriously. I won't be putting them on my Gagliano, but I've had them on my teaching/orchestra back-up fiddles, and I have to admit, it's nice not being the last one in the section to finish tuning...

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15 hours ago, Michael Appleman said:

That said, I'm starting to put geared pegs on more of the fiddles I make, especially the ones meant for advanced students/young professionals. A friend of mine who's leader of one of the big french quartets had them put on his Gagliano, and that convinced me to start taking them seriously. I won't be putting them on my Gagliano, but I've had them on my teaching/orchestra back-up fiddles, and I have to admit, it's nice not being the last one in the section to finish tuning...

I think geared tuners are the inevitable future. 

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16 hours ago, Michael Appleman said:

That said, I'm starting to put geared pegs on more of the fiddles I make, especially the ones meant for advanced students/young professionals. A friend of mine who's leader of one of the big french quartets had them put on his Gagliano, and that convinced me to start taking them seriously. I won't be putting them on my Gagliano, but I've had them on my teaching/orchestra back-up fiddles, and I have to admit, it's nice not being the last one in the section to finish tuning...

 

54 minutes ago, Nick Allen said:

I think geared tuners are the inevitable future. 

I've been a definite convert to them.  Properly installed, the Wittner type are fully reversible (though why would you want to?), freely removable, they get rid of the need for fine tuners, and make tuning while listening to a tone (or watching an electronic tuner) much easier.  They also make retuning due to drift during a performance less of a nightmare.  I've had mine for a few months now, and I like them a lot.

IMHO, someone needs to produce a set which can have custom wood heads and tips made and fitted by the luthier.  :)

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4 hours ago, Michael_Molnar said:

I thought Pegheds.com can customize theirs. 

You might glance at this discussion:   https://www.violinist.com/discussion/archive/27669/    I personally prefer the 8:1 action on the Wittners to the 4:1 on the Pegheds/Knillings, along with some of their other characteristics.  I was suggesting that figuring out how to fit the Wittner action into a package suitable for local customization would "make a better mousetrap".  OTOH, I'm not interested in opening or pursuing a comparison discussion of the brands.  :)

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

You might glance at this discussion:   https://www.violinist.com/discussion/archive/27669/    I personally prefer the 8:1 action on the Wittners to the 4:1 on the Pegheds/Knillings, along with some of their other characteristics.  I was suggesting that figuring out how to fit the Wittner action into a package suitable for local customization would "make a better mousetrap".  OTOH, I'm not interested in opening or pursuing a comparison discussion of the brands.  :)

Picky....Picky!

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2 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

Can you cut the length of the Wittners to reduce overhang outside the pegbox?

Anyome like their rosewood colored pegs?

Yup, the stuff on the tips is cuttable and polishable, but has the usual caveats of working a thermoplastic.  Using a razor saw on it leaves a "fringe" that has to be cut off with a knife.  Rounding it afterwards must be approached with slow caution and fine abrasives.

Haven't tried the "rosewood" yet.

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12 hours ago, Michael Jennings said:

Let us know your opinion of the comparison please.

I have installed Perfections/Pegheads on a couple of my instruments.... haven't had the opportunity to try Whittners.

Thanks

Will do, but I have a lot on my plate. So it might be some time before I get around to doing this.

Stay tuned.

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On 6/22/2019 at 6:37 PM, martin swan said:

But the one that really matters is the E peg. If it's aligned with the pegbox it will inhibit the left hand index finger in first position (particularly F natural), so the peg should always end up at right angles to that line, or close to it.

Somehow I got that in the back of my mind, and it's something I usually look for about a player.  Seems like most probably don't care, to me.  But depending on how much string they push through, your well-laid plans are for naught.  One thing along those lines I can't stand is if the treble side of the nut doesn't taper into the fingerboard and there's a sharp edge there

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