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Switching from ebony to boxwood fittings


Michael Appleman
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In my experience pernambucco fittings make a difference. So does a titanium tail gut vs. Sacconi style nylon tail gut- more than anything else a side mounted chinrest opens up the sound of a violin. It is a shame because we all know the best location to clamp a violin is at the bottom block...

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2 hours ago, germain said:

... more than anything else a side mounted chinrest opens up the sound of a violin. It is a shame because we all know the best location to clamp a violin is at the bottom block...

My finding as well... which is why I add some vertical reinforcing struts to avoid rib crush with a sidemount.

sidemount.jpg.a7b9e220318a810d2882272c146ccff8.jpg

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11 hours ago, germain said:

 more than anything else a side mounted chinrest opens up the sound of a violin. It is a shame because we all know the best location to clamp a violin is at the bottom block...

Interesting. I used a side mount mostly for 40 years, but switched to center mount when I found it made a huge improvement on a particlar violin I used to play. With most violins, I've never noticed much of a difference swapping chin rest types, but on this particular violin with a slab cut shell maple back the center mount rest really opened up the sound.

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4 hours ago, Michael Appleman said:

Interesting. I used a side mount mostly for 40 years, but switched to center mount when I found it made a huge improvement on a particlar violin I used to play. With most violins, I've never noticed much of a difference swapping chin rest types, but on this particular violin with a slab cut shell maple back the center mount rest really opened up the sound.

That is interesting. Perhaps it has something to do with the way each violin resonates? As I said in most cases in my experience clamping the violin at the center block seemed to reduce the resonance. Also I try no to tighten too much. 

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5 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

Hi Don,

are the reinforcing struts simply overlapping the linings or is there some kind of interlocking?

The struts are lining material, and tapered at the ends to conform to the beveled linings.  My linings have a small step to them, not fully tapered down to the ribs.

Strut.jpg.0da58f67bddae4f13a5e881ebaeff326.jpg

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8 hours ago, Michael Appleman said:

Interesting. I used a side mount mostly for 40 years, but switched to center mount when I found it made a huge improvement on a particlar violin I used to play. With most violins, I've never noticed much of a difference swapping chin rest types, but on this particular violin with a slab cut shell maple back the center mount rest really opened up the sound.

When optimizing sound, there has been a trend towards the side mount. I read that here? Maestro Z?

Due to weird practices in the past including placing the chin on the right of the tailpiece and cupping in the shoulder, I am mostly in the middle, over the tailpiece resulting in clamping over the block. The sound takes a backseat to what's technically playable when working and performing some pieces. Aside from my personal issues with arm length, I have wondered why there is this "improvement" in sound, as it is less defined in tonal or response characteristics.

If if is to free up the mass of the structure, I get it. This overall free vibration might be reduced a bit by different shoulder rests, which we might hear the difference. Also might explain my preference for wooden rests. Working on this subject myself, as there are subtle differences in how attacks sound and feel in different positions.

Shoulder rests are used in my playing where the shifts and control aspects have to be dialed in. The wooden Peter Mach model, for example has a place where the body locks in with a bit of freedom while the Bon Musica is almost restrictive ( for my body and playing. ) But there are some art pieces that require the Bon Musica and some pencil marks on the fingerboard because it requires so much accuracy given a limited time of practice. 

Otherwise, the violin on the leg, collarbone, laying on the bed, I do not care.

Slab cut. Some of the most wonderful instruments played had slab cut backs. Looking for a slab cut Cannone to try. Have always been curious. 

 

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Shoulder rest is not part of the set up so I do not consider it part of the equation. When selling a violin it must have a chin rest so I always try to find the best combo between fittings, tail gut and chin rest. 

Yes some shoulder rest are very bad and stifle the instrument. I have been playing lately without one. Heifetz said: "one is not a real violinist if they use a shoulder rest" haha... 

Pirastro Korfker Rest is the least sound obstructing one IMHO. Very light to the point you don't feel its there. I find it very comfortable too. So if you have to use one it is $220 well spent. 

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4 hours ago, germain said:

Heifetz said: "one is not a real violinist if they use a shoulder rest" haha... 

Yes, but Heifetz had a really short neck! :D

We had multiple students of his come into the shop who had much longer necks, and we'd do the best we could for them by making (sometimes ridiculously) higher chinrests.

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