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“Trapped” sound


Mystic
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7 minutes ago, ______ said:

Change your strings - that's for sure. What was mentioned above the case can also be bow pressure, attack. 

I would check also the projection, maybe the 'original' bridge is too low. 

Soundpost perfect fit should be secured.

According to strings maybe worth trying is to temporarily put a heavier gauge E string i.e. Westminster E, next to a better grade than Amazon's other ones. 

Last but not least - maybe your violin needs also some time to get use to sing again.

Regards

J

I changed out the strings  last night to a mishmash of extras I purchased for two violins that I had professionally set up 2 decades ago no idea what they are... except I remember they were expensive and have a Warchal Amber e. It sounded MUCH better but the same issue, it needs aggressive bowing to make it open up and sing. It’s a learning for me. 

  I took measurements when I installed the bridge, the projection is a tiny, very tiny, bit low. I definitely thought about carving a new one but at the time, didn’t want to waste the time if other things didn’t resolve. I’ll let it get used to the changes before I jump to a new bridge. Thank you for your thoughts.

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3 hours ago, Mystic said:

 It sounded MUCH better but the same issue, it needs aggressive bowing to make it open up and sing. It’s a learning for me. 

 

That can be a tradeoff with a more robustly-built instrument. It can sound weak and non-projecting in the the hands of a "tickler" (someone who doesn't know how to play hard), whereas a less robust instrument can lack the reserve to be played hard, and won't even offer the option of doing so.

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2 hours ago, Don Noon said:

VSA 2022 should be good.  Other than that, you'll have to just go with video clips that I post.

I would love to see those, if you can share a link with me?I would love to see those, if you can share a link with me?

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1 hour ago, Mystic said:

changed out the strings  last night to a mishmash of extras I purchased for two violins that I had professionally set up 2 decades ago no idea what they are... except I remember they were expensive and have a Warchal Amber e. It sounded MUCH better but the same issue, it needs aggressive bowing to make it open up and sing. It’s a learning for me. 

Get fresh good strings. Doms or Evahs. Break them in carefully, and play them for a few days. Then see how it responds.

It is unreasonable to evaluate the quality of a violin when you're playing on either $12 a set strings from Amazon or used strings that are 2 decades old.

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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

Get fresh good strings. Doms or Evahs. Break them in carefully, and play them for a few days. Then see how it responds.

It is unreasonable to evaluate the quality of a violin when you're playing on either $12 a set strings from Amazon or used strings that are 2 decades old.

I completely agree with that.

After that, if it's still hard to get sound out of it I'd check if post isn't too loose (or too tight).

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52 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

When they are initially installed and stretching, being careful not to tune them sharp. When they go flat, tune them to pitch and not beyond.

Okay, thanks. I actually don't do that. I play on steel strings, and when I put on a new set I often pull them a little sharp as seems necessary to help them settle in. I've never had a bad outcome. I also play them hard to help them settle in.

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7 minutes ago, bkwood said:

Okay, thanks. I actually don't do that. I play on steel strings, and when I put on a new set I often pull them a little sharp as seems necessary to help them settle in. I've never had a bad outcome. I also play them hard to help them settle in.

Understood. That recommendation is for synthetic core strings where it is not good to overstretch the filaments.

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5 hours ago, Al Cramer said:

Could you comment on the finish?

In USA we sometimes get instruments where some shop gets in a fiddle, passes it over to the guitar guy to fix it up, and that guy sprays on some super-heavy lacquer that kills the sound.

It appears to be the original varnish, fairly thin. Nothing spectacular and definitely not oversprayed. But good thought. 

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14 hours ago, Mystic said:

  I took measurements when I installed the bridge, the projection is a tiny, very tiny, bit low. I definitely thought about carving a new one but at the time, didn’t want to waste the time if other things didn’t resolve. I’ll let it get used to the changes before I jump to a new bridge. Thank you for your thoughts.

The height of the bridge (within small bounds) should be a given depending on the fingerboard projection. If you mean you cut the bridge too low you should definitely start over. Also, even small changes in bridge height (string angle/ pressure) can have a significant impact.

Narrow f-holes wouldn't worry me. I have seen plenty of successful violins with very narrow f-holes, including one of my favourites, a Raffaelo Bozzi. And yes, inserting sound-posts through the lower eye is standard repertoire.

Be sure to exhaust set-up related options before looking at the bass bar and the graduations.

If you set up instruments more often you should get familiar with your personal "standard" string to have a base line/ comparison. For many those are Doms, a bit cheaper and probably as useful are Tonikas. I personally use Karneols as the first string in most cases... and then go from there.

And as an additional thought to some of the ideas produced above I may add that a loud-but-not-very-refined sound can also be the result of a bridge that is on the thick/stiff side.

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5 hours ago, Guido said:

The height of the bridge (within small bounds) should be a given depending on the fingerboard projection. If you mean you cut the bridge too low you should definitely start over. Also, even small changes in bridge height (string angle/ pressure) can have a significant impact.

Narrow f-holes wouldn't worry me. I have seen plenty of successful violins with very narrow f-holes, including one of my favourites, a Raffaelo Bozzi. And yes, inserting sound-posts through the lower eye is standard repertoire.

Be sure to exhaust set-up related options before looking at the bass bar and the graduations.

If you set up instruments more often you should get familiar with your personal "standard" string to have a base line/ comparison. For many those are Doms, a bit cheaper and probably as useful are Tonikas. I personally use Karneols as the first string in most cases... and then go from there.

And as an additional thought to some of the ideas produced above I may add that a loud-but-not-very-refined sound can also be the result of a bridge that is on the thick/stiff side.

The bridge, (assumption on my part) was cut by the maker. He stamped a star on the scroll and also the bridge. He dated the bridge, 4.14.36, Given the minimum wear (including the bridge) and neck length, I’m also assuming 36 is 1936.

I wanted to get a feeling for the makers original intent before I moved away from it. It’s a well crafted bridge. As for strings.... I’m cash poor at the moment. I’ve used a mix of spares (old but not used). Back in the dark ages during my second (note dyslexia) attempt to learn classical violin,  I had tried both Dominant and Tonika.  My current favorite is Warchal Amber. So as soon as that HUGE stimulus check hits my account, it’s a done deal.  

As the violin settles in and I get used to it and it to me, I find that it takes an aggressive bowing style that my “beginning” status (3rd time’s a charm) as a violinist find a bit challenging. But it’s teaching me. As are all of you. And I thank you for your insight.

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Regarding dimensions, is there a set dimension for the thickness of the blade of the bridge? Where the strings sit? And if so, is it a percentage(ratio) of height? Or is it just a standard thickness for a given instrument? I have often seen bridges That appeared to have very thick blades( the edge. I’m not sure if there is an official term for it, but “blade” seems to work fine) and it seems intuitive that it would affect the sound, but I’ve never been sure.

Edited by PhilipKT
Grammar
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