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The wolf tone on B note of G string


Mr.Tung
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My daughter's violin had the wolf on B note of G string and I went to the best Luther in my city. He told me most of the Italian violin got wolf tones and It's hard to make it disappears.

He told me it needed to open the violin and take very long time to fix it and he is not 100% sure if he can make it disappear.

I read an article about René A. Morel fixed Sarah Chang's Del Gesu wolf tone. but sadly he passed away on 2011. 

I wondering if it worthy to give a try? any thoughts? thanks a lot!

 

 

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Have you tried easy solutions first?  I had this conversation yesterday with a luthier who had a weird wolf problem. He managed to find a solution with his last by adding a super light chinrest which made the wolf virtually disappear. Ive added mass under the fingerboard in the past…which has helped. I think its more about making it more manageable to play around. A bunch of great instruments have wolfs which has been discussed ALOT on here with different threads. Tons of useful ideas to try.  Some aggressive solutions my have unintended negative effects on the overall sound of the instrument.  

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This is the high b- note above the octave on the g-string?

I would approach the problem differently if it were the b- note in 1st position.

Depending of the age and ability of the players, in addition to the manipulation of the instrument, we sometimes have to learn how to play past some wolf-y areas.  

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12 hours ago, GoPractice said:

This is the high b- note above the octave on the g-string?

I would approach the problem differently if it were the b- note in 1st position.

Depending of the age and ability of the players, in addition to the manipulation of the instrument, we sometimes have to learn how to play past some wolf-y areas.  

Thanks GoPractice, this is exactly what my luthier said. He actually not suggested to open the violin and said good player should knows how to play with wolf tones.

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17 hours ago, Jwillis said:

Have you tried easy solutions first?  I had this conversation yesterday with a luthier who had a weird wolf problem. He managed to find a solution with his last by adding a super light chinrest which made the wolf virtually disappear. Ive added mass under the fingerboard in the past…which has helped. I think its more about making it more manageable to play around. A bunch of great instruments have wolfs which has been discussed ALOT on here with different threads. Tons of useful ideas to try.  Some aggressive solutions my have unintended negative effects on the overall sound of the instrument.  

My luthier actually not suggests us to open it, instead, he said a good players should know how to play with wolf tones.

I just wondering if there any one can 100% sure to fix it. Thank Jwillis!

 

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100% is a difficult goal. A player might need a 125% repair as wolves can re-appear. 

This only one approach of many, but is relatively inexpensive and will likely not harm the instrument ( maybe a string ) unless one drops in on the top. Try searching for New Harmony Music wolf "eliminators" or supressors. My memory is bad because I am uncertain if this is the original producer or a copy. They make various weights, there must be a video.

It's easy to install and take off. This product may not lead to a solution, but it might be possible to feel or hear a difference. These are similar to the old school cello eliminators, but a bit more convenient. The frequencies and the lengths on cellos are different so the cello solutions tend to work a little quicker easier to find a "fix." For violin, at higher frequencies and shorter lengths, and the immediacy of change in sound, makes finding a solution more complicated for the player and the luthier.

Depending on the musical work, an eliminator might not be necessary. 

I have tried a few of the magnetic eliminators and though a friend loves it on his cello, I am not entirely sold. I was able to slightly dislodge one when trying to move a mute. This was an obvious mistake, but I do not think the New Harmony would have moved. 

Not hearing the actual instrument or the player, it is too difficult to offer an ideal solution.

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As for the location of the wolf, on one of my older violins, the wolf evolved ( and my playing to offset adverse effects ) and changed pitches. When it did settle on a pitch near b- natural we worked on lowering it a bit toward the b- flat note. The result was that if I played in tune, I would rarely hit the problem area. Eventually the instrument was sold, with the wolf disclosed, but it played great.

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All the great violins have a wolf around this area...It's part of the deal you sign with the devil to play a stringed instrument. The player has to learn to deal with it.  It's a bit like buying a great race car or a race horse... and you don't know how to drive or ride....Not going to be a nice experience...of course we can put a weaker engine in the car or castrate the horse if that is what is ultimately required or you can put some hours in to learn to ride

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3 hours ago, Melvin Goldsmith said:

All the great violins have a wolf around this area...It's part of the deal you sign with the devil to play a stringed instrument. The player has to learn to deal with it.  It's a bit like buying a great race car or a race horse... and you don't know how to drive or ride....Not going to be a nice experience...of course we can put a weaker engine in the car or castrate the horse if that is what is ultimately required or you can put some hours in to learn to ride

I use the race horse analogy a lot.  Difficult to ride but if you want to win races a back yard pony won't do.

I have no idea what could be done by taking the top off which would not make it into a different fiddle. There are many things which can be changed about the set up which will modify the wolf somewhat but ultimately all instruments have a wolf tone and the better fiddles amplify them equally as well as the other notes.

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Ya, I have heard "all good Italian violins" in there, and as we don't know what we are dealing with, I think suggesting ripping something open not the best approach, these kind of things will be as Melvin says , about working around it, or in simple terms, one will need to "split hairs" related to pitch and need to learn to not evoke the wolf by micro finger/pitch adjustments as well as some bowing placement/technique adjustments.

That being said I wouldn't be opposed to non invasive attempts at reducing its presence such as blu tak under the fingerboard, swapping out transient parts, hoping for a "physics miracle" . meaning interactions of all the various components can be so complex that there are occasions where simply swapping out "something" such as rest's, tailpieces, tail gut, bridges, sound post, "something", most likely based on a change in weight can improve the situation dramatically, I've even heard a violin improve by swapping out pegs, this one had VERY light rosewood pegs and by swapping out to much heavier ebony ones it seemed to smooth things out quite a bit, that was rather unexpected and no real great explanation other than the small amount of weight added in that location helped.

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This is a good video by Augustin Hadelich discussing a wolf note in the area you're talking about which validates everything being said here (and how to handle it in software :) ).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bgg8PeVBYss 

My favorite violin is like every note would like to be a wolf note.  It's controllable and modulate-able and combined with being loud if you approach it right it causes a very vibrant and rich sound on the higher strings, especially.  It totally changed my thinking about violin sound and what a good violin should do.  Reinforced by having heard good luthiers say don't suppress the wolf, try to bring everything else up to that level.  What Melvin and Nathan are saying is kind of the same I think.  I have decades plus good training but haven't played a lot of violins

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