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Violin is overly resonant


John Alexander
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Hi All,

I recently acquired a new fiddle for outdoor gigs.  It is a not very expensive 1994 Franz Sandner model 48KCB.

It came with Dominant strings which sounded rather strident and harsh.  I switched to Eudoxa with a Wondertone E.  It sounds rather nice now.  But it seems to be overly resonant.  Is there a simple adjustment I can do myself to tame it down a bit?  Or is this the type of sound that would be better for outdoor playing?

Thank you!

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One would think a resonant violin is a good thing... Perhaps you can take it to a respectable luthier where they can adjust the bridge and sound post and check your set up etc., 

Not too many people use Eudoxa strings anymore. Try Obligato if you are looking for darker sound or Dominants for simply well balanced sound

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I think you probably mean something else by resonant than I do, because I like resonant. Maybe there is too much sympathetic sound coming from parts of the string that isn't played?

If I'd want to get less response from a Cello, I'd look into things like the tail cord (use gut or sacconi instead of a steel wire or Kevlar chord), try different tail piece sizes and weights (bigger and/or heavier, aluminum or wod instead of synthetic materials, or a Wittner with built-in fine tuners, or add fine tuners to all strings if it already is a wooden TP), or tp placement (closer to the bridge will dampen the sound more). You could get a somewhat meatier bridge made, or one made of less hard wood (actually lower quality). You could look at the SP position (with too much resonance, possibly it is somewhat far south and somewhat loose). You could try out what higher tension striings do to the instrument (often makes it more brilliant, which may feel as if it is somewhat less resonant). Sometimes simple things like leaving the mute on the string afterlength (a rubber tourte mute) helps. You could try a Krentz sound modulator, see what that does for you. On a violin, I'd experiment with different chin rests (different sizes and weights, side mounted or block mounted etc etc). There is an awful lot that might have an effect. All of it is hit and miss; you have to try out to know if it'll do anything at all.

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I once had on trial a violin whose (I  thought) excessive resonance bothered me. After playing a D on the A string the ringing of the D string would sometimes overhang whatever notes came next. It was probably undetectable at a distance but little things like that...

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I kind of know what you mean by too resonant. I find that really good sounding fiddles have a sort of damping happening that filters the sound in the most desirable ways. I recently had a nice Gagliano that had plates that thudded when you tap them, but sounded absolutely supreme string up. Overly resonant violins tend to sound a little diffuse to me. 

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I am not sure what "overly resonant" means, unless it is causing a wolf tone.

I notice that when I play near my open violin cabinet with two violins suspended inside that I can hear they are resonating quite loudly from the sound of the violin I am playing. I think resonance is a pleasing quality of a good violin.

Maybe you just don't like the tone of the Sandner violin?

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Looking at your setup, which actually looks potentially quite good, I'd try one of those fine tuners for an e string with a ball, as it is heavier and larger (shortens the afterlength!) and very cheap to try out, and possibly also fit one for the a string (although it may not be so appropriate for a gut string). And I'd try a side mounted chin rest. There are those that say side mounted chin rests almost universally improve sound on violins (I believe @Don Noon said so once, can you elaborate, Don?). The mute helps, of course, but it looks a bit clunky. If you've got a kevlar tail cord, change it for a sacconi type. All of those things are easy and cheap and reversable, and, save for the tail cord change, anyone can make those changes by themselves without the help of a lutier.

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I am fairly certain it is a Franz Sandner.  From my own research I believe it was one of their best models offered.  It appears well made and does in fact sound good overall although rather one dimensional without much complexity.  But it is much better than what I was expecting.  I bought it at the October T2 auction for a few hundred dollars.

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