FORUM

Please have a look at our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Fixing up my recent purchase
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Avatar
srogers
Member
Members
July 3, 2014 - 12:32 pm
Member Since: June 24, 2014
Forum Posts: 7
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I thought I posted a similar posting last night in this forum but I can't find it, so if you find a duplicate to this post, I apologize.

I know that a lot of you here will be looking down upon the violin I purchased used--and that's OK. You would probably look down on any playing I might do with it because I'm the rankest of a beginner in violin.

The violin I bought is a Cremona SV-200 made in 2001 (so its about 13 years old). I bought it off of craigslist for $60 (with case and bow). I paid roughly 1/4 of the going price for the same model if purchased new today online. The finish of the violin is absolutely pristine--no scratches, cracks, or finish wear whatsoever.  The prior owner said that it was left unused for several years. It appears to have all the same fittings as does a new Cremona SV-200 violin.

My purpose for purchasing the violin is to be able to act as the parental helper (practice mentor?) for my grandson who will start Suzuki lessons in September. The Suzuki program requests that the parents of a Suzuki student rent a full size violin for a period during which the student is learning bowing. But I've decided to add to the requirements for this violin. I want to try to learn to play it reasonably well using help available in this site.

These are what I see are problems with my purchase which need addressing:

1.  The D string is missing.

2.  The bridge doesn't like it is in the proper position (according to the information I've seen on this site).  It looks like it is leaning towards the scroll of the violin.

3.  The seller said that the bow needs re-hairing. She said that while there are no loose hairs, she had trimmed the bow many times to remove loose hairs, so now there are many fewer hairs on the bod.

I want to solve problem 1 by replacing all the strings.  I want to attempt that task myself with instructions from this site, but I need some help in determining which quality and type of strings to purchase. I know that there is a tradeoff between good sounding strings and their durability.  I would prefer to err on the side of good sounding strings, because, once I know what strings I've used, if I have a break, I will know which string to replace it with. I have no idea what strings are currently on this violin.

For problem 2, I need to know if I should replace the bridge, or just reposition it correctly whilst replacing the strings.

For problem 3, rather that to pay for re-hairing a bow of questionable quality, I have decided that I should replace it with a FM carbon fiber bow. I know I'll be paying more for the bow than I did for the violin, but the point here is to bring any possible junk I've bought for $60 up to a higher level of junk that would be better for me to learn on.

If you have any comments about my purchase or any advice about what I should do, i.e., what strings to use, I'd love to hear.

 

 

 

   

Avatar
1stimestar
Members

Regulars
July 3, 2014 - 12:58 pm
Member Since: August 28, 2013
Forum Posts: 814
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

srogers said

I know that a lot of you here will be looking down upon the violin I purchased used--and that's OK. You would probably look down on any playing I might do with it because I'm the rankest of a beginner in violin.
 

   

Nope, that doesn't happen here.  Most of us were beginners very recently ourselves.  And it doesn't matter what type of violin you have, only that you have one to play.  You'll only find friendly, helpful people here!

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

Avatar
Uzi
Georgia
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
July 3, 2014 - 1:17 pm
Member Since: January 19, 2014
Forum Posts: 890
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I understand, I bought my first violin from my grandson and i ended up playing it. With regard to your fiddle:

1. There are a many good strings, but I would recommend the Dominant or D'Addario Zyex strings as good quality, warm sounding strings that are "reasonably" priced. (I say "reasonably" because violin strings are pretty darned expensive.) Make sure that you know whether you need a ball end or loop end E string.

2. The bridge is easy to set up at the correct angle when changing the strings.  Just watch some videos  on string changing and you'll be all set.  The most important thing is change the strings one at a time.  Have a look through the E string F hole and make sure the sound post is present, while you're at it. 

3.  Good move on the FM carbon fiber bow.  I have two of them and they work good and last a long time.  The FM pernambuco is nice as well.

4. Don't forget to use some peg (Hill's is good) dope or peg drops on the pegs so that the pegs won't be creaky or slip when you're tuning the fiddle.

 I hope this helps. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

Avatar
RosinedUp
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
July 3, 2014 - 1:56 pm
Member Since: September 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 985
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

srogers said
I know that a lot of you here will be looking down upon the violin I purchased used--and that's OK. You would probably look down on any playing I might do with it because I'm the rankest of a beginner in violin.

The violin I bought is a Cremona SV-200 made in 2001

See http://fiddlerman.com/forum/th.....in/#p39423

The fiddlerman.com traveling violin is a Cremona SV-100 donated by @scotty .  I haven't noticed any complaints about it, and yours is presumably a notch or two better.

It sounds to me as if you made a pretty good bargain.

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 3, 2014 - 3:39 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11702

I might have already welcomed you but in case I didn't, Welcome srogers :)
We're happy to have you here no matter what your level and instrument. The more the merrier. Also, everyone has something to offer the forum and we appreciate that. Over the course of time you gain knowledge and help us answer questions as well.
Many beginners even post there progress along with videos on Critique Corner which becomes lessons for the next beginners as well.
Thanks for your post.

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

Avatar
coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
Members

Regulars
July 4, 2014 - 12:59 am
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3755
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Welcome again.  There is nothing wrong with a second hand violin!  It all good.  I think you seem to have good answers already.  I like Zyex Strings.  I have a Fm CF Bow.. And I think that with the tips and friendly people here you can set that Bridge.  Congrats and enjoy!!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Avatar
DanielB
Regulars

Members
July 4, 2014 - 2:50 am
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

A new set of strings can work wonders. Many good brands have already been mentioned here, so I won't add to that confusion.  I don't think you can go far wrong with any of them.

I bought a CF bow after going through a couple of freebie and one cheapie wood bows.  In my opinion, one of my better moves.  CF doesn't warp, and you don't have to take as much care with it as you would with *nice* wood.  I feel that makes it very much worth considering for a beginner.   A new CF like the one Fiddlerman sells can cost less than it would to have a bow re-haired.  I don't think re-hairing is really worth it on bows of questionable quality, wait till you have one you really like for re-hairing.

There are some great tutorials and articles on this forum about how to cut and adjust a bridge.  But the chances of getting it right or even reasonably good on the first try or two are kinda slim.  Maybe better to stick with what you have for now and just position it right.

Peg dope or drops have been mentioned.  I don't use either of those, and would personally think it might be better to only use them *if* you find you have a problem with pegs sticking or slipping.  But points of view on those products vary a good bit with different players.

Sounds to me like you got a great deal for 60$!   Some new strings, maybe a new bow and perhaps some nice rosin, and you should be all set.

thumbs-up

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

Avatar
RosinedUp
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
July 4, 2014 - 3:37 pm
Member Since: September 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 985
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

IMO, making a decent bridge isn't hard. 

After reading a little and spending say $8 on a bridge blank, I think you have a good chance of outdoing a pro, who might look down your low-end violin while overcharging you.

But maybe you don't need a new bridge.

See Pierre's videos on adjusting a bridge and replacing strings.  Be careful that your sound post doesn't fall.

http://fiddlerman.com/2012/09/.....-or-viola/

http://fiddlerman.com/tutorial.....ur-violin/

Avatar
srogers
Member
Members
July 4, 2014 - 6:27 pm
Member Since: June 24, 2014
Forum Posts: 7
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thanks to all who have responded with assistance in this topic.  I ordered the Zyex strings, and the FM carbon fiber bow, and a few sundries (rosin, peg drops, and a clip-on tuner) to the tune of about $150 worth of stuff.  So my used violin so far has cost me about $210 now, but I'm sure that it will have far better strings than the strings the CV200 came with initially, and, for sure, a far better bow. 

So this retired old guy will start learning the violin again, after an abortive start in junior high school in Los Angeles in 1958, with probably a terrible school instrument. 

Now, after having gained an appreciation of finer classical music in the meantime, I am determined to succeed in playing something that me and my family will like.

Avatar
coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
Members

Regulars
July 5, 2014 - 3:14 am
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3755
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Congrats on your purchases.  Can't wait to hear more in your journey. Xo Cheers!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Avatar
srogers
Member
Members
July 16, 2014 - 4:40 pm
Member Since: June 24, 2014
Forum Posts: 7
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

OK, I finally got the strings, bow, sona tuner et al, and I wanted to change the strings and tune the violin I had recently purchased. When purchased, the violin was missing the D string. The pegs were kind of tight. Fortunately I bought some peg drops. They are still kind of tight but I'm giving the peg drops a day or so to "work in"--more on that later.

I replaced the missing D string and then all the others in the following order: G A E.

I used the Zyex strings I bought. There were no particular surprises except that I had a hard time unwinding the old E string.  When I finally got it out, there was a severe kink in the string that was present in the original installation. I made sure to do the dipsie-doodle in the first wind to anchor the string on the peg. As I replaced each string, I made sure that the string's ring was properly seated in the fine tuner mechaniism.  The original ring ends were, I thought, rather helter skelter, and not vertical in the ring catch). I gave each string a very rough tune to maintain reasonable
tension on the bridge. I also corrected the forward lean of the bridge's original position.

Then I started tuning.  I read the instructions for the sona Tuner. Could they be in any more fine print?. I had some real trouble attaining tuning on the strings, partly because this was my first use with the sona tuner.

I selected violin mode (V) and the Reference pitch of 440 Hz. I think this 440 Hz is the actual target frequency for the A string.  The sona uses an LCD display and an LED to show the tuning progress.  I started with the A string. There is KEY legend on the sona display where small two-digit will display which displays, according the the sona instructions, the scale in the chromatic mode. It is not supposed to work in the violin mode. Next to the KEY legend is the note display, and there is sort of a bar graph thingie and an led to tell you you are on a note.

As I started tuning, I noted that it was pretty hard to get right on the the appropriate note and that when a note was isplayed, on the left side of the note was a number. I was plucking rather than bowing the string. Later, the tuner seemed to respond better to bowed sounds.

When tuning the G string a small number (4, I think) and the large letter G were displayed. When tuning the D string, a small 3 and a D was displayed. and with the A string, a small 2 and an A was displayed. For E, E was displayed and a small 1. At first I thought the numbers were the associated octave numbers of the letter notes, but it now appears that in violin mode, the small numbers are the string number sequence, left to right. They can't be the true octave numbers because on a violin the open string notes are as follows:

G3 196.00 Hz sona display: 4G
D4 293.66 Hz sona display: 3D
A4 440.00 Hz sona diaplay: 2D
E5 659.25 Hz sona diaplay: 1E

This notation on the sona was a bit confusing but I'm pretty sure the sona is referencing the string number.

So with all the confusion and trouble getting the tuning to stick, I set the instrument aside and started asking these questions on line. Maybe after a day or so the peg drops will be working better and the violin will adjust to its new tensions and will be Easier to tune. Then I can crank out and rosin up my new Fiddlerman CF bow.

 

Avatar
Barry
Members

Regulars
July 16, 2014 - 4:58 pm
Member Since: June 30, 2011
Forum Posts: 2661
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

the only violin I look down is the one Im playing  wink Welcome to the greatest violin forum on the planet

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

Avatar
DanielB
Regulars

Members
July 16, 2014 - 5:02 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

How tight the pegs are in the holes largely depends on how hard you push them in.  If they are being tighter than you want, you may be jamming them in too hard/far.  They only need to be pushed in hard/tight enough to not slip, really.  Not sure how peg drops will affect that situation, never used them.

Never have used your particular brand of tuner, but.. It is usually better to bow the strings when tuning than plucking.  The bowed note can be slightly different in pitch than the plucked notes, and a bowed note is a much stronger and longer signal for the tuner to detect.  When you pluck a string, it will also be slightly sharp until the vibrations settle down a little.  A steady bow stroke can give a more stable signal for your tuner (regardless of brand) to detect and display.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

Avatar
Panzón
Member
Members
July 16, 2014 - 5:39 pm
Member Since: May 12, 2014
Forum Posts: 28
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

srogers said
The pegs were kind of tight. Fortunately I bought some peg drops. They are still kind of tight but I'm giving the peg drops a day or so to "work in"--more on that later.

I understood that peg drops were used to prevent pegs from slipping, and that if your pegs were sticking, peg compound or dope was what should be used. According to this luthier's website, peg drops are made of rosin dissolved in alcohol. I've never used peg drops, so I don't know what effect they have, but all the various peg drops I've seen online indicate that they are used to prevent slipping pegs.

 Regarding the Sona tuner:  I use this tuner, and have found it easier to use the chromatic mode, when changing strings, to bring the string close to the correct pitch, and then use the violin mode to fine tune. In the chromatic mode, you can see where you are in pitch at all times, but in the violin mode, if the pitch isn't close, the tuner seems to get "lost".

Mike

Avatar
srogers
Member
Members
July 21, 2014 - 12:56 pm
Member Since: June 24, 2014
Forum Posts: 7
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Panzón said

I understood that peg drops were used to prevent pegs from slipping, and that if your pegs were sticking, peg compound or dope was what should be used. According to this luthier's website, peg drops are made of rosin dissolved in alcohol. I've never used peg drops, so I don't know what effect they have, but all the various peg drops I've seen online indicate that they are used to prevent slipping pegs.

I goofed up here pretty bad, I think.  I got the peg drops because I thought they were a cure-all for both sticking and slipping.  Apparently for sticking I should have gotten peg dope.  So I now have a real problem turning the pegs smoothly.  I think I will turn this into and advantage here and do an installation of pegs with planetary gears and remove all the fine tuners -- even the E string fine tuner -- from the tailpiece.

These geared pegs are called Knilling pegs I think. I think that worn fine tuners might also be a problem on my violin keeping or getting tuned.  I've read that fine tuners can destroy some of the finer string overtones that are transmitted into the violin. 

So I am off to purchase a violin peg reamer, which is a required tool for the fitting of planetary pegs.  Seems like these reamer tools (at least the inexpensive ones) come from China, so It'll be a couple of weeks in shipping.  In the meantime I can get some ideas about whether I should get Knilling or some other brand of planetary gear pegs.

Regarding the Sona tuner:  I use this tuner, and have found it easier to use the chromatic mode, when changing strings, to bring the string close to the correct pitch, and then use the violin mode to fine tune. In the chromatic mode, you can see where you are in pitch at all times, but in the violin mode, if the pitch isn't close, the tuner seems to get "lost".

I'm sorta getting the hang of this tuner.  I tried the chromatic mode, but I'm not sure of the display when tuning in that mode, primarily because when it shows a letter for the note, I think it also shows the octave number. But the octave number is too small for me to really see it. I am worried about tuning an octave over in chromatic mode and putting too much tension on the bridge. Maybe I need to get my glasses which I've not worn for over a year now.  I have two Sona tuners, one I got for my grandson when he starts playing in September, so I'm thinking about comparing the two to see if I have the same violin mode problems with both tuners. I'm chalking up most of my tuning problems to sticking pegs.  But all of this will need to wait now until I get my new planetary tuning pegs installed.

Avatar
RosinedUp
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
July 21, 2014 - 4:56 pm
Member Since: September 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 985
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

IMO you would be going overboard with all the peg work.  The cost is well over what you paid for the instrument, and you would be modifying it in a way that can't be reversed easily. You can try some less drastic stuff first, namely cleaning the peg holes and pegs with alcohol or sanding them lightly and evenly.  If you've already ordered the reamer, you could use that. What you read about FTs affecting the sound probably applied to FTs added on to an existing tailpiece.   I would just spend $15 on a nice Wittner tailpiece with built-in fine tuners.  With that, it wouldn't matter much whether your pegs are sticky.  Unless I am wrong, you could in a few days stop worrying and start playing---with no serious issues.

Avatar
coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
Members

Regulars
July 21, 2014 - 7:35 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3755
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
17sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

wow.. look at you .. I am impressed with your learning about your violin, and the modifications.  Right on!  Let us know how the new pegs work. :)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 231

Currently Online: discountsale, Ripton
44 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today harvestman, fiddlinmama
Upcoming HeadCheese, Mad_Wed, ButteryStuffs, kit, makinnoise

Top Posters:

coolpinkone: 3755

Mad_Wed: 2849

Barry: 2661

Fiddlestix: 2637

Oliver: 2439

DanielB: 2379

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1

Members: 3555

Moderators: 0

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 16

Forums: 56

Topics: 6441

Posts: 80326

Newest Members:

elaine a, Mukundan, MyMing, dbsimon, stirlingite771, mdedmon

Administrators: Fiddlerman: 11702, KindaScratchy: 1651