anna5710

Can you make a fiddle sound mellow??

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I bought a violin recently but i think it sounds very tinny and sharp when played. is there anything i can do to get a more mellow sound from it, like changing strings? i dont know what strings are currently on it. I just really hate the sharp tinny sound. Thanks

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If you are just playing at home and you are able to tune a violin on your own the easiest way would be to tune all strings down to A 432 or A 433 instead of A 440.  You'll notice a difference but not many players will want to keep tuning that low.  After a few days tune up to A 435-36,  then eventually work your way back to A 440 or stay where you find a comfort zone/pitch before getting back to A440.

Other ways would be soundpost adjustment, thicker bridge and or new lower tension strings -  last resort for me would be to just keep sawing away until changes occur like higher humidity weather to notice any changes.

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My son plays at A 444 because the pianos where he studies are tuned to A 444.  He claims that tuning produces a sweeter sound.  I'm not in a position to argue.

As to the new violin, I think taking it to a shop to look at/adjust the set-up, and then consider strings that better suit the violin may sort things out for you.  

I see that KYC out typed me. :)

-Jim

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Good advice in general would be to try numerous violins before buying one; that way you might not buy one that doesn't suit your ear.

Otherwise, strings, sound post and bridge can greatly affect sound. Some violins can sound totally different, while others might not change much. Hopefully yours can change enough that you like it better.

 

Edit: if you're just sitting around your house playing/practicing, you can put a sliding mute on and try it at different distances to the bridge, or even fully on it if you're not concerned with projecting a lot of volume. That might get you by until you can try other things.

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15 hours ago, anna5710 said:

I bought a violin recently but i think it sounds very tinny and sharp when played. is there anything i can do to get a more mellow sound from it, like changing strings? i dont know what strings are currently on it. I just really hate the sharp tinny sound. Thanks

Everything already said, plus........if this is a brand new (particularly student) violin, as well as needing a better setup, it may have some maturing to do yet.  I have one Chinese violin in particular, which I'd relegated to using as an electric, that suddenly started sounding great on its own after about 3 years of use.  Just something else to consider.

OTOH, is this your first violin?  Have you tried other bows?  :)

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A good player will be interested in creating different colours in sound, so that a good instrument can sound mellow and edgy, depending on the player's will.

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15 minutes ago, Peter K-G said:

Mellow and muted are not the same thing.

 

Absolutely.

If a violin is "tinny and sharp" then I don't think you can ever make it mellow - you can make it quieter or more muted (filtering out the high and high-mid content), but its essential nature is unavoidable, a result of the quantity of wood, the quality of the wood, and the arching.

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1 hour ago, MANFIO said:

A good player will be interested in creating different colours in sound

Yes, and a good player can take the edge off of a bright harsh instrument much easier than the opposite.

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On 12/01/2018 at 2:40 PM, anna5710 said:

I bought a violin recently but i think it sounds very tinny and sharp when played. is there anything i can do to get a more mellow sound from it, like changing strings? i dont know what strings are currently on it. I just really hate the sharp tinny sound. Thanks

I should qualify my previous comment by saying that you obviously bought this violin without playing it. Was it a mail order violin, maybe inexpensive Chinese? If so, then it may have very cheap and nasty strings on it, and changing them might make a significant difference.

It may have a poor set-up, for example a very thick bridge, but if you "improve" the set-up you are unlikely to make it sound more mellow ...

 

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

Absolutely.

If a violin is "tinny and sharp" then I don't think you can ever make it mellow - you can make it quieter or more muted (filtering out the high and high-mid content), but its essential nature is unavoidable, a result of the quantity of wood, the quality of the wood, and the arching.

I'm still on my project 10 "Soils", 4th one ready, not a Soil, the wood was not up to it so I made a mellow bastard. When I have made some more I will send you one.

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On 1/12/2018 at 8:40 AM, anna5710 said:

I bought a violin recently but i think it sounds very tinny and sharp when played. is there anything i can do to get a more mellow sound from it, like changing strings? i dont know what strings are currently on it. I just really hate the sharp tinny sound. Thanks

anna5710, can you post pictures of your violin and the bridge setup, that might help others here more knowledgeable to tones .

I have made thicker violin bridges (5 mm wide at bottom feet and at  middle of bridge) to help mute the tinny nasal sounds. you could also use a mute on the bridge that will do about the same as that thicker bridge. you may also need to check the sound-post and it's location. http://www.violins.on.ca/luthier/soundpost.html

as others have posted the wood and graduation of the plates also effect this, what size and kind of is this violin ?

Glaesel.jpg

Super-Sensitive.jpg

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I have a really bright Schweitzer violin and when I want a really mellow soft sound,I hate to say it but I use half of a Dr. Scholls bunion pad directly under the G string.  I have carved a bridge to mimic this but it was not as affective. 

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