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bkwood

5 string

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I''m thinking of making my next violin a 5 string. I'd welcome any pointers to good information about that, especially as regards to any change in body size and scale length from a standard violin.

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Choose a model with a wide C bout-- 111.5-113, put a wide brave bass bar in a little more angled, a little further in, and don't leave the plates too thick. Be careful with your peg spacing and tighten the bridge radius a bit. Thick soundpost and pour a shot of mescal thru the bass effhole

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I have the back plate pattern for a 5 string. I'll make some measurements and a pic for you. 

It's a facsimile, made of shelf grade finger joined pine, for demonstration purposes, but it's still to measurement spec for this particular model. 

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8 hours ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

Choose a model with a wide C bout-- 111.5-113, put a wide brave bass bar in a little more angled, a little further in, and don't leave the plates too thick. Be careful with your peg spacing and tighten the bridge radius a bit. Thick soundpost and pour a shot of mescal thru the bass effhole

With or without the worm? B)

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Which 5 string instrument is better: a violin with a lousy C string sound or a small viola with a lousy E string sound?

Go for the good sounding c every time.

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Perhaps a bigger model.  More viola like. perhaps 15" or so?  I think it's always going to be a bit of a compromise (I'm so proud that I spelled that word after 5 tries) The use of some of the newer strings on the market may make things more workable.  The new Evah Perazzi Gold steel rope C string may be a help ( hopeless Pirastro Fan-Boy) (so lame) .  I have to admit the few times I have tried an instrument with 5 strings it scrambled my not very elastic mind.  I have enough problems with four strings.

I would also add that Jacoby is a bad influence :-) Any way everyone knows you use single malt scotch for a five string :-)

 

DLB

Love you Chris!!

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2 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Which 5 string instrument is better: a violin with a lousy C string sound or a small viola with a lousy E string sound?

Nothing really works well when tuning in 5ths, history has proven that, otherwise they would be more common. I went down this road years ago with a smallish viola, ultimately went with viola d'amore tuning using the dominant set, just the top 5 strings, good practice for some of the music, but eventually the instrument was given away. 

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2 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Which 5 string instrument is better: a violin with a lousy C string sound or a small viola with a lousy E string sound?

I suspect that a 5-string violin with a great C or a small viola with a great E would be best.  If I ever get around to building one, I want to find out.  It's on the list of things to do, but instruments with customers unfortunately comes first at the moment.

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20 hours ago, Michael Jennings said:

Are the pegboxes any longer usually? Or are the peg spacings just shortened and cramped up a bit?

I lengthen the peg box 10 or 15mm and use 3/4 sized pegs. As of late, I've been using the small sized Wittner finetune pegs for them.

I like the idea of a small 5 string viola, but haven't ever been able to get an E string that wasn't whiny, sharp and difficult to play. I got some hints from John Silakowski, some of which are echoed by Jacoby.

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1 hour ago, Michael Jennings said:

???? I started reading the linked thread and all of Ernie's [Ipr1584] posts on the thread are blank ??? Not sure why that is but I certainly feel like I'm missing some useful info.

Those was pictures I think

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1 hour ago, Michael Jennings said:

???? I started reading the linked thread and all of Ernie's [Ipr1584] posts on the thread are blank ??? Not sure why that is but I certainly feel like I'm missing some useful info.

Nope. He did that when times were tough. Kinda makes the threads useless.

 

Clarification: Nope=not pictures

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Here are some measurements for the two different 5 string patterns I have. (All measurements are linear): 

First one is a top plate

Upper: 177.5mm

Mid: 121mm

Lower: 199.5mm

Corpus: 360mm

Arch height: 17mm

IMG_20170823_205320.jpg

IMG_20170823_214549.jpg

IMG_20170823_213919.jpg

IMG_20170823_214656.jpg

IMG_20170823_213959.jpg

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12 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Which 5 string instrument is better: a violin with a lousy C string sound or a small viola with a lousy E string sound?

If you are making a 5-Sting violin make I would sure it sounds like a violin and fits in a violin case.  The C string will take care of itself.   A fiddler will be playing it mostly as a violin and occasionally drop to the lower strings for harmony etc... Adding a couple of millimeters in rib height with higher arching and a longer body of ~362mm should be sufficient to produce a reasonable sounding C string.   Be careful of a c-bout that is too wide ... it might comprise the bowing of the E-string.

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