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How do you calm down an E string?


Sapiens
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For a quick solution, when you don’t have time to try different string types, etc., You can push the tailgut contacts on the saddle a little over towards the g string side  (just a tiny bit, adjusting by ear). In most cases, this will favor the lower register of the instrument, and take some edge off the e-string.

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57 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Are the notes on the E string too loud, or are they too harsh (bright), or both? 

Yes, too harsh and too bright more than a question of loudness. 
Would you treat harshness and loudness differently?

 

5 hours ago, JohnHE said:

For a quick solution, when you don’t have time to try different string types, etc., You can push the tailgut contacts on the saddle a little over towards the g string side  (just a tiny bit, adjusting by ear). In most cases, this will favor the lower register of the instrument, and take some edge off the e-string.

Will try that thanks

 

3 hours ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:

I assume that you're already using "protection"

e.g. a parchment pad on the bridge and/or the little plastic sleeve that comes with the string

If not, these always help soften the sound on that string.  Use both for best results.  

yep, already using protection/plastic sleeve but doesn’t affect much. It seems it needs something more radical

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It would have helped if you told us what (brand, model, gauge, etc.) E string you are using. I have had to change E strings sometimes after changing the other strings because the E string I had been using was too strong or too weak for the rest of the set.

Some E strings come with a tiny felt "donut" that may provide more muting than the parchment or plastic sleeve.

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Is it harsh only when played open or also when a note is fingered? I think there was a thread recently about harsh sounding open A string on a cello (analogous to E on violin) and I think a nut adjustment ended up helping. For a more radical approach than the parchment or plastic sleeve at the bridge some cellists use rubber o-rings under the strings to dampen them. Janos Starker was known for using very bright strings (Prim, I think) on his Gofriller cello and then having the o-rings to tamp the brightness down a bit.

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Wound E, move post, Leather/o-ring/string sleeve on bridge, shorten afterlength with a non-Hill E tuner, use a UNI fine tuner to decrease the break angle over the bridge, thinner or heavier E than you have presently, new bridge, humidify the instrument...it goes on and on. These are the most straight forward and easiest, except for moving the post and a new bridge. Some instruments just have a brighter than you would like E string.

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3 hours ago, Andrew Victor said:

Some E strings come with a tiny felt "donut" that may provide more muting than the parchment or plastic sleeve.

I have not seen the felt donuts on E strings from any brand for decades. Plastic sleeves are usual.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Bean said:

I have not seen the felt donuts on E strings from any brand for decades. Plastic sleeves are usual.

for gut violin strings and cello/bass strings, the felt donuts are still standard.

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1 hour ago, duane88 said:

for gut violin strings and cello/bass strings, the felt donuts are still standard.

Not in my part of the world.  I've not seen them used for decades either, except on perhaps very inexpensive student instruments, but I see very few of those.

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7 hours ago, Sapiens said:

Yes, too harsh and too bright more than a question of loudness. 
Would you treat harshness and loudness differently?

>

 

Are the same notes played with higher positions up on the A string also too harsh and too bright?

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He fills the fiddle with linseed oil, puts it on a widowsill for a week, and...

Actually, the player needs to alter his/her technique, try all the (realistic) recommendations, and let us know if any of them work.

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23 hours ago, sospiri said:

Tell us more Mark, I'm all ears.

I almost never encounter and instrument that's working as well as it could, especially on the lower end.  By adjusting an instrument to bring out the best of the lower strings generally results in excellent balance across all four.  I don't recall ever encountering an instrument that required special measures to quell the sound of an E string after everything else was working well.  That said, if someone came in and wanted me to make their E string stick out less without doing anything else, I'd probably suggest they use the silly plastic tube which comes on most, if not all steel Es

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2 hours ago, Mark Norfleet said:

I almost never encounter and instrument that's working as well as it could, especially on the lower end.  By adjusting an instrument to bring out the best of the lower strings generally results in excellent balance across all four.  I don't recall ever encountering an instrument that required special measures to quell the sound of an E string after everything else was working well.  That said, if someone came in and wanted me to make their E string stick out less without doing anything else, I'd probably suggest they use the silly plastic tube which comes on most, if not all steel Es

How do you adjust the lower end? By carving a more responsive bridge?

That's what I do. I find soudpost tweaking to be unsatisfactory as a tone improver. Maybe changing the tailpiece helps? What other things can I do?

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I almost never make new bridges as a starting point to address sound problems, wanting to do the best I can with what walks in the door and get an understanding of the potential of an instrument as it is and to demonstrate to the player what's possible.  I start by making sure the instrument is physically sound and that the fingerboard, bridge and strings are in good condition.  If the bridge is suffering from abuse I address those issues on the existing bridge.  After that, it's a matter of concentrated trial and error to refine what works for that instrument.  My goal is always to get rid of as much extraneous noise as possible.  When that is achieved, instruments work, play and sound better.

 

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I didn't follow through with the request.  Unfortunately the can of "Great Stuff" was a dud.  Had it not been,

I was going to see about turning the joke on the person who asked me to fill the instrument by making F hole shaped bits of foam to make it look like I had filled the instrument.  That would probably have caused the guy who gave me the foam to fall off his chair.

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