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Changing the strings
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RP
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October 27, 2011 - 5:51 pm
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On the video you played through your warm up and said "obviously I have a problem with my A string." I listened to that a bunch of times, and I have no idea what you must be hearing to tip you off on when to change your strings. I also can't see how you are locking your strings on the fiddle up in the peg box.

Is there a way to describe what I should be listening for when it's time to change them? I can't find any information on it except when your strings start unwinding. With the steel strings I don't think they would unwind. Do I just wait until they start to rust? Or do they change in tone? duncecap

On "Cheap eBay violins" … Just tell people they are like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  With a little love, and some practice, they too can be made beautiful.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 27, 2011 - 9:05 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Good question RP,

When a string is "False" it kind of changes tone, flutters, won't hold a perfect steady note. You don't have to wait that long either. Fresh strings give off a pure, clean, steady sound and make it easier to play intervals, double-stops, fifths, etc. Usually very obvious while tuning for me.

Sorry for the bad video. I have that on my list of things to do. Make a new tuning video that is much clearer and easier to see details. When I lock the strings I turn the peg holding the string away from the peg, turn a little over one turn and cross over the string and continue to roll it nice and neat on the peg side till tight.

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RP
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October 28, 2011 - 12:47 am
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Thank you for taking the time FM I know you're really busy

I set the violin up myself and wasn't sure if this was just a bad string or if it was because I might have the bridge in the wrong place making my violin out of tune with itself somehow. (If that is possible)

My high E from day 1 vibrates like it is out of tune when you play it open with all the other strings dampened.

I can tune it with my electronic tuner and it says it's spot on E but it is madly making a  Wah- Wah-ing noise. Is that what you mean by fluttering and not holding a steady tone?

I plucked the strings for my friend who doesn't play anything, but has a good ear and as soon as he heard the E he said "Woah! that one is out of tune." (because of the mad "wah-wah-wah-wah-wah")

From your above post, it sounds like it's time to change strings. I just wanted to make sure before I went ripping them off.

Your video isn't bad btw, it's just pretty dark in that peg box for first-timers and the whole idea scares me.  😀 I am going to use the extra set I got with my violin first since strings don't last forever, and I might as well "use 'em if I got 'em."

On "Cheap eBay violins" … Just tell people they are like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  With a little love, and some practice, they too can be made beautiful.

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pky
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October 28, 2011 - 1:20 am
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Did you set up the bridge yourself as well? The bridge should be taller on G string and shorter on E string. The bridge should line between the two knotches of the f.

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RP
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October 28, 2011 - 2:37 am
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Yes I did pky, thank you for reminding me that the bridge could be the issue!

(Warning: This is a long post! Sorry, but it's as detailed as I can get with what I did to set it up.)

1.) I used a soft plastic bendy ruler marked in millimeters to line up the bridge as perfectly as I could get with the notch points. The back part of the bridge closest to the chin rest is flush with the points.

2.) I used the ruler to make sure it was even distance between the feet and the points on both sides with the edge of the feet. (Bendy ruler to the rescue!)

3.)I made sure it's taller on the low end strings, and the sound post seems to be centered under the A string, but it's a little hard for me to tell. I don't know if this is correct. dazed It looks to be a bridge length behind my bridge though, if you go by how wide the feet are. From FM's video that seems correct at least.

4.) What I completely failed at finding was how to space the strings on a bridge set with no notches. I used the bendy ruler and measured 12 mm between each of the curves between the strings to evenly space them apart... (All websites just say evenly!! That is WAY to general a description for me.) I have NO idea if I started spacing them on the correct areas of the bridge, or if I started the correct mm from the edge of the bridge.

There are NO YouTube videos even remotely helpful with this either that I was able to find. cry I just picked a random spot above each cut out to start placing the strings. I have moved them around a few times to see if I could get better sound.

If anyone knows this information, a little chart on this site with the measurement distances for the strings, a picture of where to put them over the bridge cut outs, (or wherever they are truely soposed to be in mm from the edge of the bridge. duncecap) The distance from the tail piece to the bridge, and the bridge to the nut would be super-duper handy.

If this information is already here, I failed at finding it, like I did everywhere else on the internet.

Sorry again this was sooooooooo long.

On "Cheap eBay violins" … Just tell people they are like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  With a little love, and some practice, they too can be made beautiful.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 28, 2011 - 7:39 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I don't think that your bad E sound is coming from the bridge. I'm very surprised that you bought a new violin that didn't have notches on the bridge.

Is there any way that you can record a video for us to hear. I'll be able to help you much better that way. Play the A then the E and play them together as well. If the violin is not tuned perfectly you will get that fluttering sound when playing the two strings together. Most electric tuners are not perfect. Which kind do you have?

Lastly, I found a great post online but I can't see what the distance between the strings is on his instrument. I think it looks as though he set it for 12 mm.

Check this post for lot's of details and this picture in particular for distance between strings.

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RP
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October 28, 2011 - 5:44 pm
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I got the Cecilio CVN-100 package, their lowest model#.... I figured none of the Cecilio violin bridges came with notches just because mine didn't. I guess it was a luck of the draw thing I must have been unlucky with?

Image Enlarger

I have a penciled number on my neck and on the feet of the bridges which I guessed were "set up marks" because the feet fit very nicely and the bridges seems tapered well (But I don't have anything to compare it to either.)

Image Enlarger

I didn't take it to a luthier to get set up because the minimum for a bridge set up is $50-$90+. I payed around $80 for the violin. (If I had $130+ I would have gotten a higher quality violin to start with, but this one doesn't seem like a bad violin overall.)

Image Enlarger

The picture above shows the scars I left on the bridge moving the strings around trying to figure out where to put them. I did learn moving them even a little bit affects the sound a lot.

 

The online tuners I use are yours, and get-tuned. I make sure I'm hearing the tones correctly by double checking on my Cecilio tuner that came with the package. (I set that to 440/ violin and made sure I had no flat value notes on the screen.)

I will try to get a recording of what I'm describing with my open E a little later tonight, but I am not sure my headset mic is sensitive enough.

 

BTW -sorry anyone who has a slow connection I couldn't get thumbnails to work.  🙁

On "Cheap eBay violins" … Just tell people they are like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  With a little love, and some practice, they too can be made beautiful.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 28, 2011 - 7:23 pm
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Look forward to hearing the recording.. Good job setting it up. The post does look like it is leaning slightly.frown

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but the one who needs the least."

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RP
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October 28, 2011 - 9:29 pm
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WahwahwahE by doggiedog44

FM you're a nut to look forward to this, but I appreciate the help a lot.  😀

I can't remember how to link the sound here, I played each string twice, and the E is the only one that does the wah-wah-wah. It's kind of hard to hear, but you can hear it only after the E.

Back to the original question I asked: Is this a bad string sound then?

 

After pondering what you said about the sound post yes I can see it's not totally strait now, but it's close enough as long as it isn't the thing driving me crazy with the E.  🙁

Oh, and here is kind of a fun pic of the sound post I was trying to show where it was located under what string but it looks more like a jack-o-lantern.

On "Cheap eBay violins" … Just tell people they are like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  With a little love, and some practice, they too can be made beautiful.

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Fiddlerman
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October 28, 2011 - 10:11 pm
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It doesn't sound to me like you need a new string. It's not the string itself that is changing pitches but the echo. Can you play a long and strong note on the open E? Then again, I've never really heard a wha wha wha sound like that before. A new E string is not expensive though. Worth a try. cow-fingerscrossed

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
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myguitarnow
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October 28, 2011 - 10:55 pm
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I hate to be the broken record here telling peeps are playing out of tune but it is not your E string that is messing up. Are you checking out your other strings?

Take long bow strokes. I checked out your links and um you are not playing in tune. I did not hear the wah effect on your E string cause the bow strokes are too short. Play long bow strokes to dial in the notes and work on bow pressure with the angle of attack on each string and that may help. And I'm just trying to help…

If this helps any you may want the bridge to slightly lean back if it has to lean at all to keep a stable sound. Ya don't want it to lean forward which it looks like in your pics. 

Also I see a couple slots in that bridge and your strings are not in them. You want to have your strings in slots so they don't move and make sure the strings are all straight with each other going up the neck of your fiddle.

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Fiddlerman
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October 28, 2011 - 11:15 pm
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MGN, the sound that RP is talking about is the reverb in the violin. That is why the short notes. If you listen real carefully you will here a pulsating tone and only after playing the open E.

I still want to hear a long E though to assure that I don't think there is a problem with the E string.

devil-violin

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pky
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October 29, 2011 - 12:34 am
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my violin making and measurement books arrive, so I could offer you the measurement of the string space: In my book it says string space 1 - 4 on bridge for 4/4 violin is 33.5 mm. I measured the template it is evenly spaced, about 11.2 mm. Does thin information help? 

Does your violin come with an extra bridge? If so, does it have a precut grove for strings?  If not, you may want to try to contact KK and have them mail you a new bridge.

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RP
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October 29, 2011 - 2:19 am
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Thank you pky yes that helps a lot clap I will adjust everything again tomorrow afternoon.

My extra bridge has no groves for strings. 🙁 I will check their website and see if the warranty would cover the bridge. That may be in their 30 day warranty which is already over. (by 7 days) I guess it can not hurt to call them and see what they can do.

What books did you buy?

 

FiddlerMan - I will adjust the strings to pky's measurements then record a long E today. I will check my tuning before doing it this time.

 

On "Cheap eBay violins" … Just tell people they are like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  With a little love, and some practice, they too can be made beautiful.

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Kevin M.
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October 29, 2011 - 9:21 am
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I'm not great at this by any means but it sounds to me that the string grove in the bridge is too big and the E string is vibrating back and forth in the bridge. Try holding the string behind the bridge and play an open E.  If your problem goes away you need to fix the bridge. or use an E string with a plastic tube on it.

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Kevin M.
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October 29, 2011 - 9:29 am
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http://www.lashofviolins.com/m.....easurments

 

Here are a bunch of measurements in cluding string spacing at the bridge and the nut.  There is no need to bend a ruller around the top of the bridge. These measurements are the distance between the strings only and not the distance over the top of the bridge.  Hope these measurements help.

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Fiddlerman
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October 29, 2011 - 1:01 pm
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I thought that your intonation was pretty good. If you feel like recording a long E I'll try to tell you weather I think you need a new one.

I just remembered that when a string is bad one of it's characteristics is that it doesn't ring that long afterwards.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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RP
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October 29, 2011 - 7:24 pm
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Thank you Kevin, and here you go FM

One last stupid question:

Is it really worth upgrading to a nicer synthetic core string? Until I get a bridge with notches it would be pointless, but something I had read said that they are a little bit more forgiving with intonation where the steel core strings aren't? (If I am kicking an old dog and anyone knows of an old post I missed talking about this I apologize.) I know I am really bad at playing still and I didn't want to waste money if it won't help.

HighOpenEL by doggiedog44

(I am still working on smooth bowing (Datchae?) I tried to keep it as smooth as I could but I am really shakey today.) I am not holding the e string in the back while I'm bowing this btw, but it's spot on E according to my needle on my tuner It fluctuates -02 to 02, but I see it jumping more when I shake or bounce the bow.

And Kevin I held the string in the back of the E after I changed the placement and it does kill most of the wah-wah junk. duncecap TY for the website too. Between the 3 of you I think I have it right now. And MGNs' reminder to keep checking how strait my bridge is - that could have been a disaster.

I will look for household items I can rip a small piece of plastic off of and see if I can find something that works until I get brave enough to go at my bridge with weapons of mass destruction.

On "Cheap eBay violins" … Just tell people they are like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  With a little love, and some practice, they too can be made beautiful.

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Fiddlerman
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October 29, 2011 - 9:56 pm
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I think your E is OK. I wouldn't change strings just yet. Yes, in my opinion you would have an easier time with synthetic core strings but that is only if you play hard and strong. I think you can change them in about 3 - 6 months depending on how much you practice everyday.

By the way, it sounds like you are singing in the beginning when you say, "Here you go, here's you long high E open" Pretty cool

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