FoxMitchell

One Very Loud Note (A5)

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I have a violin with a peculiar quirk: The strings are all evenly balanced and it plays well, but one specific note, the A on the E string on first position (A5) is disproportionally loud! It's painfully loud, in fact!

I have tried adjusting the soundpost, it doesn't seem to do much to tone it down; tried also making a new bridge for it and that actually made it even louder! Strings afterlength is where it's supposed to be.

Anybody ever had something like this? Are there any solutions for it? Something else to try perhaps that doesn't involve opening it up?  ;) 

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FoxMitchell, do any other A notes do this? you may try removing your chin rest and see if it quits or even try another tailpiece. or try the magnet thing as talked about here

 

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It's probably this strong body mode (840 Hz on the Titian), and maybe your violin is a bit stiffer.  The only thing I know about to tame it is to move the soundpost closer (North) to the bridge foot, to reduce the leverage the bridge has that is driving the mode.  Afterlength frequencies are too high to match to this, but you could add some mass to an afterlength to tune it to the offending note, and that should tame it.  I don't like doing that kind of thing, 'cuz it's another moving part to get out of alignment and fuss with.  Likewise, opening up the instrument doesn't sound great, as I think it would take some major modification to do anything significant, and you never know what else will be affected... and most likely in an undesirable way.

5a09acf5e9d48_Mode840.thumb.jpg.b6cb51aed3e3c013fbc0650b58a9d7de.jpg

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I hope this is not a Hijack.... but Jackson mentions "Not Raspy, just loud?"

I have exactly the raspy issue on a fiddle with extensive belly repairs [that look to have been done quite well and appear stable]

The D string is raspy [ "Has a Hiss" according to my teacher,,, to my inexperienced ear I would describe it a unfocused and boomy compared to the other strings]

The issue is on the open string and all notes on the D string.

Have changed strings and types [ Jager, Heliocore, Dominants ] and the issue is the same with all.

General thoughts/ideas/directions much appreciated

 

Moderators please delete if this is an inappropriate wander/hijack.

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Michael,  it sounds like you might have a variety of issues involved, and certainly nothing I could try to armchair-diagnose just from the descriptions of raspy, hissy, and boomy.  Best would be in-person evaluation.  However, if you could record a semitone scale without vibrato, it might be possible to find something that way.

 

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Thanks Don..... Don't have a lesson till after Thanksgiving [would rather the teacher play the scale and I record.

Boomy is probably a poor description..... unfocused... the fundamental note weaker and unclear among the overtones as compared to the other strings.

I'll send you a PM when I get something to "evaluate".

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The general take on matters like these is that "raspy" can contribute to projection in an auditorium, despite not being the most favored sound under the ear.

If the goal is to "blend", there certainly can be other priorities.

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David,

I am hobbled by my verbal descriptive vocabulary.

The concern here is that the D string has an "unfocused" character that is noticeably different than the other strings. [My teacher describes it as a "Hiss" (her high frequency hearing may be better than mine)]

It is apparent on the open string and also on stopped notes on the D string. [Which would seem to eliminate the nut?]

D note on the G string does not produce the "Hiss", nor do the open or stopped G/A/E exhibit the "hiss".

My old ears can hear the difference although my first impression would be to describe the sound as "unfocused with a fair bit of unwanted "reverb".... Sorry, doesn't help much, I know.

The Violin is an old... possibly mid 19th... most likely trade fiddle. Represented as possibly French. Based solely on very "sharp", and flush with the back, C rim corners I'm guessing BOB.

Belly has had significant repair over the years.... Replaced [well done] wood at both ff's. Several crack repairs that seem stable.

Well done Sound post patches Belly and Back.

Belly is noticeably asymmetrical now with the high point go the arching neared to the treble foot of the bridge than the centerline. { Assuming, again, an overly long soundest for decades}

I am digitally challenged both in equipment and talent but will attempt to get some help with photo's and sound clips....

[Nice wood/ 1 piece back (352mm LOB) /  Grafted scroll of no great beauty / nice neck wood / appears fully blocked (although I have not had the back off).

I replaced a crumbled saddle [issue was there before and after] chasing the repaired cracks to see if there are any "loose areas the are buzzing" but the fact that it is a D string only issue has me puzzled.

MY APOLOGies to Fox for an apparent complete Hijack.

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42 minutes ago, Michael Jennings said:

David,

I am hobbled by my verbal descriptive vocabulary.

The concern here is that the D string has an "unfocused" character that is noticeably different than the other strings. [My teacher describes it as a "Hiss" (her high frequency hearing may be better than mine)]

It is apparent on the open string and also on stopped notes on the D string. [Which would seem to eliminate the nut?]

D note on the G string does not produce the "Hiss", nor do the open or stopped G/A/E exhibit the "hiss".

My old ears can hear the difference although my first impression would be to describe the sound as "unfocused with a fair bit of unwanted "reverb".... Sorry, doesn't help much, I know.

The Violin is an old... possibly mid 19th... most likely trade fiddle. Represented as possibly French. Based solely on very "sharp", and flush with the back, C rim corners I'm guessing BOB.

Belly has had significant repair over the years.... Replaced [well done] wood at both ff's. Several crack repairs that seem stable.

Well done Sound post patches Belly and Back.

Belly is noticeably asymmetrical now with the high point go the arching neared to the treble foot of the bridge than the centerline. { Assuming, again, an overly long soundest for decades}

I am digitally challenged both in equipment and talent but will attempt to get some help with photo's and sound clips....

[Nice wood/ 1 piece back (352mm LOB) /  Grafted scroll of no great beauty / nice neck wood / appears fully blocked (although I have not had the back off).

I replaced a crumbled saddle [issue was there before and after] chasing the repaired cracks to see if there are any "loose areas the are buzzing" but the fact that it is a D string only issue has me puzzled.

MY APOLOGies to Fox for an apparent complete Hijack.

Do you have a fine tunner on that string? Sounds from your description that something is rubbing or loose causing vibrating. Or a bad string.

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Violin has a Wittner synthetic tailpiece [on it when I got it] with 4 integral fine tuners.... Is one of my "suspects" and may change that out for ebony, although I haven't bee able to find a "rattle" in it.

For the strings it has had the issue through Helicore, Jager's and now Dominants but will explore when I hang the tailpiece.

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21 hours ago, carl1961 said:

FoxMitchell, do any other A notes do this? you may try removing your chin rest and see if it quits or even try another tailpiece. or try the magnet thing as talked about here

 

Try wedging a rubber eraser between the chin rest and the top plate to kill the plate's vibration in the lower bout.  

The brown ones look better than the pink ones.

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I would try that under the tail piece and under the fingerboard as well, and try a clothes pin on the E side of the bridge.  Also have somebody gently squeeze the red areas of Don's diagram while you play the offending note, E5. 

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22 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

The brown ones look better than the pink ones.

:lol:

Reminds me of Galamian's good technique is pretty, bad is ugly comment.

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Thanks for the responses, folks!  

The sound is just loud. It's still a pure and clear note, it's just noticeably louder than the neighboring notes.

I have injured my index and middle fingers so I'm taking a few days without playing anything, but as soon as I'm back in action I'll try the suggestions and report back!

Thank you!  :)

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25 minutes ago, FoxMitchell said:

Thanks for the responses, folks!  

The sound is just loud. It's still a pure and clear note, it's just noticeably louder than the neighboring notes.

I have injured my index and middle fingers so I'm taking a few days without playing anything, but as soon as I'm back in action I'll try the suggestions and report back!

Thank you!  :)

not going to ask how your hurt your fingers, but hope you get better , maybe do a audio or video of the violins problem.

 

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1 minute ago, carl1961 said:

not going to ask how your hurt your fingers, but hope you get better , maybe do a audio or video of the violins problem.

It's nothing dramatic, really: I have a cat who doesn't like to get his claws clipped, and he managed to land a lucky strike right across the tips of my fingers while trying to escape the very procedure that would make it so he couldn't scratch me.  ;)

But that means I can't play the violin either, so yeah, I'll report back when everything is back to normal functionality.

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22 minutes ago, FoxMitchell said:

It's nothing dramatic, really: I have a cat who doesn't like to get his claws clipped, and he managed to land a lucky strike right across the tips of my fingers while trying to escape the very procedure that would make it so he couldn't scratch me.  ;)

But that means I can't play the violin either, so yeah, I'll report back when everything is back to normal functionality.

Awful Cat!

 

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1 hour ago, carl1961 said:

Awful Cat!

 

hqdefault.jpg

Hehe, he could use some cuffs sometimes!

He's a sweet kitty, ...unless you try to examine his teeth or clip his claws, those are the two things he absolutely won't have any of!

But he does help me with my music, so...

20160816_222913_2048.thumb.jpg.731e9672e0a9e6491bec29eab41d18aa.jpg

 

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I just looked at this because I have a small, narrow,  Strad model that I made a long time ago, and strung up a couple weeks ago, and I noticed the same thing.  The A on the E was a good strong note.  It doesn't sound terrible at all;  just noticeably stronger. Enough that I noticed it, and I don't play!  I assumed it was just reinforcement from the A string, but then the others don't do that.  I'll try Don's advice and move the soundpost closer to the bridge and see what happens.  I'll post what happens.

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7 hours ago, FoxMitchell said:

It's nothing dramatic, really: I have a cat who doesn't like to get his claws clipped, and he managed to land a lucky strike right across the tips of my fingers while trying to escape the very procedure that would make it so he couldn't scratch me.  ;)

Reminds me of the recent irony of cutting my arm on the sharp edge of the blade guard on my bandsaw. 

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We went shopping this morning, and I just played this violin now after lunch.  It is just plain resonant all over.  The A on the E might be the most resonant one.  A5 on the A string is strong too.  I tried recording it, but it doesn't seem to come through much.  Mostly at the ear?  Lots of crunchy bow noise though.  Hah!  C on the A does it to a lesser extent.  I moved the soundpost up.  It is .05" or more lower than the bridge now. It was more than .1"   Don't know if there is much difference in sound.  It is mostly ringing of the strings.  even damping the A it will do it.

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On 11/13/2017 at 6:32 AM, Don Noon said:

 

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One thing I forgot to mention... it is obvious from the diagram that the active areas are in the lower bout, closest to the player.  So while this can be offensively loud to the player, it might not be all that bad to a listener.

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