Michael Appleman Posted August 12, 2022 Report Share Posted August 12, 2022 I'm sure this topic has been beaten to death over the years, but searching through the forum I mostly found "friendly advice" threads and after all, both sound and appearance are matters of very personal taste, so I thought I'd just share a personal anecdote. I have a violin that's mostly just been sitting around the last ten years or so. It's a middle of the 20th century italian with a good, loud, brilliant sound, but something about it's playability just made it less enjoyable to play on than other violins I have. It was basically a great fiddle to play loudly, but trying to do delicate piano passages felt like trying to dance with heavy boots on. Since I haven't used it much these last years, I thought I'd leave it on consignment at a friend's shop just before the summer. The reaction to the violin was pretty good, but a comment came back that in addition to feeling a bit "lethargic" in its response, it felt heavy. I took the violin home since my friend was closing up for the summer, and I checked the weight which was 515 grams with chin rest. On the heavier side, for sure, but not exactly a boat anchor. The violin was fitted out full ebony with what were probably the original fittings that came from the maker. The chinrest that was on the fiddle when I got it was even heavier than the ebony "Guarneri model" I had put on it. I decided to refit the violin with boxwood pegs, tailpiece, endpin and chinrest. The total weight savings is only 30 grams, but there is a noticeable difference when picking up the violin, as the single biggest difference is between the chinrests (still a "Guarneri model"), so the "lever effect" when picking up the violin by the neck amplifies that difference as well as the lighter taipiece and button. What has surprised me, however, is the difference in playability. I don't believe the basic sound of the violin has changed, much, but it's response is much quicker and it has become much easier and more enjoyable to play at lower and medium volume levels, making the violin feel overal more flexible and versatile. I really wasn't expecting such a dramatic difference, but at this point I feel like I'll be holding on to it and playing on it more often. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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