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Baroque violin tailpiece, nut, tailgut?

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I have an anonymous, probably late 18thC German or English, Baroque setup violin that needs work, including replacing the tailpiece, tailgut and tailpiece nut. It's not a wonderful quality instrument but has potential to be a good player if well set up (it sounds OK even badly set up). There appear to be a number of styles of going about this, including:

* Nut raised above the edge of the top edge like a modern violin, relatively thin tailpiece with tailgut running vertically up through it

* Nut level with the edge of the top, thick tailpiece butt end, fairly thick tailgut runs vertically up through the tailpiece.

* Tailpiece with a thicker pad integral to or glued onto the butt end, with a medium to very thick tailgut running either up through the tailpiece or parallel to it like a modern tailpiece. Examples of some of these:

59fef99cdd2fb_Tailpiece1.jpg.02c5984f81a9162a15233d2fa40072fd.jpg59fefb6426add_Tailpiece2.jpg.240478350318de6682fd92bf67870bc4.jpg59fefbcb303ee_Tailpiece3.thumb.jpg.f49b5b4727bf14b2f02622f147a88a10.jpg

Left is from a member's post here. Middle is from a member's photo posted here of a museum exhibit. Right is from String King's retail website, this is a new tailpiece made on the principles explained by Damian Dlugolecki at http://www.damianstrings.com/baroque set-up.htm

For this instrument, I'm not concerned about historical authenticity, just sound. Which tailpiece design/tailgut thickness/nut height setup would you recommend for the best sound transmission?

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Your violin seems to have a nut that is a millimeter or so above the edge of the top, which would make Damian's 2.7mm tailgut too thick bringing the end of the tailpiece too high. 

But by all means; if that is what you want then I can heartily recommend Kürschner gut - I have an almost-baroque violin (HOPF ca. 1800) and a Viola da Gamba strung up with his strings (and tailgut, on the violin).

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The nut is exactly at the same level than the edge, but soundboard is carved as we call "voute bateau" in France.

As lutenist, I know kürschner brand, but at this time, I have not found any distributor for thick tailgut.

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Hi.

Here is my new tailpiece I've made, lighter and shorter. I changed gut for 2.0mm.

20190206_161259_resized.thumb.jpg.147bbc0f8c756cd76eaec6b883eff9c3.jpg

The diffrence is really spectacular for G and D string. E is a little more powerfull. ! Don't hesitate to try !

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2 hours ago, Borisravel said:

Hi.

Here is my new tailpiece I've made, lighter and shorter. I changed gut for 2.0mm.

20190206_161259_resized.thumb.jpg.147bbc0f8c756cd76eaec6b883eff9c3.jpg

The diffrence is really spectacular for G and D string. E is a little more powerfull. ! Don't hesitate to try !

How exactly did you secure the ends? Did you just burn with something hot or tie a knot first?
Either way, you did a neat job.

Glenn

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Yes, holes are drilled to 2mm and ends of tailgut are burned with a lighter. Then, burned ends are hammered and that's enough.

There is another technique which is called "Stradivari's knot" but it creats a big knot which reduces flexibility, so I prefer this way.

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2 hours ago, Borisravel said:

Yes, holes are drilled to 2mm and ends of tailgut are burned with a lighter. Then, burned ends are hammered and that's enough.

There is another technique which is called "Stradivari's knot" but it creats a big knot which reduces flexibility, so I prefer this way.

That's very neat and probably the approach I will take but pictures of old tailpieces usually show a length of gut crossing from one hole to the other leading one to wonder where the join or knot is.

Glenn

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1 hour ago, GlennYorkPA said:

That's very neat and probably the approach I will take but pictures of old tailpieces usually show a length of gut crossing from one hole to the other leading one to wonder where the join or knot is.

Glenn

https://www.gamutmusic.com/tying-tail-gut/putting-tailgut-on-a-historical-tailpiece-the-stradivari-sti/4a2eb0eb-8a90-45a6-a6e7-fe4dcd9d62f3-13

Sometimes you'll see it as just a half hitch with burned ends under the end button.

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2 hours ago, Andres Sender said:

This is why the internet is so great. There is always an answer no matter how esoteric the topic. Thanks so much for this elegant solution to a knotty question. :)

Glenn

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I've tried Strad stich too and I think modern button are too narrow for the thicknesses of 2 X tailgut and ligature. I'm quite sure this knot can go out from the button, so I prefer this way.

Hammering burned ends make it really flat and you can't feel it with your jowl.

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6 hours ago, Borisravel said:

I've tried Strad stich too and I think modern button are too narrow for the thicknesses of 2 X tailgut and ligature. I'm quite sure this knot can go out from the button, so I prefer this way.

Hammering burned ends make it really flat and you can't feel it with your jowl.

My Perry has its original Georgian button which is even narrower than a modern one so, at best, this Strad stitch would have to appear between the button and upper edge. Hmmm. Decisions. I'll probably end up doing what you did. Thanks.

Glenn

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I did a hybrid approach.  Not a baroque setup; a baroque bridge because they are easy to make, and a sort of baroque tailpiece.  Sort of like yours in style.  They can be balanced in the middle.

Nothing to tie or burn.

20190207_091228.thumb.jpeg.de631f4a2d50ad5d9f8ebd4616aed026.jpeg

 

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I notice some of the tailpieces pictured here are much thicker at the tail. Do you think that changes the sound, and if so, in what way?

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I do it just to balance the weight in the middle of the tailpiece.  Balance one on your finger and see where it balances.  Closer to the top, right? You can't thin the top end down enough to even it out.  The center area can be thin.  It does nothing.  I figure if it is balanced, maybe it might vibrate nicely.  I don't know, but it is easy enough to do.  

Then again, some people want heavy tailpieces.  This is just what I do.

Ken

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1 hour ago, Borisravel said:

Could I see this violin ?

Do you want to see all of the violin or just the tailpiece area?

It just has an ebony Hill tailpiece currently.

Glenn

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