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Thinking of replacing tailpiece and have a couple questions
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iBud
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September 24, 2014 - 8:37 pm
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Aloha everyone,

As seen in the attachment, I have a rosewood chin rest and an ebony tailpiece.  I am thinking or replacing my current tailpiece with a rosewood one that matches the color of my chin rest.  To that end, I have been looking at what Amazon and eBay have to offer.  There are a lot of options, many of which also have very low prices, but I question the durability and quality of workmanship.

I would like to ask, for those of you who have replaced parts before, from which company or website did you buy your replacement parts?  My wife is leery of Chinese "junk", but not everything that comes from China is bad, right?  I plan on keeping this violin for a while and just wanted to spruce it up a bit.

Thanks for any and all responses. violin-1267IMG_0117.jpgImage Enlarger

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coolpinkone
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September 24, 2014 - 11:53 pm
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@cdennyb ... Any tips?

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Tucson1
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September 25, 2014 - 3:34 am
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Hey Ibud ,

I get my goodies from SouthWest Strings here in Tucson ...have never bought on line ...but maybe ya could call Pierre and see what he has / recommends ? I'm sure he will be happy to fix you up ...

violin-1267Have fun   Be happy

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cdennyb
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September 25, 2014 - 3:44 am
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I have bought from these guys. They have a very nice tailpiece available and if you order it be sure and ask for the nylon tail gut as you will need one to install it. It is an easily installed part but I suggest you lay out a nice fluffy towel on the counter, then gently relax your strings evenly, lay down the bridge, and gently remove them from the tailpiece one by one and then gently reattach them to the new tail piece, after slipping the nylon tailgut over the rear peg. Gently is the word here as you don't want to knock over the soundpost inside the body as it will be a process to stand back up and will require special tools and skills.

If you get this far, stand the bridge back up under the loose strings and gently tighten up the G string a little to hold it in place, then the E string a little and then the other two, alternating back and forth until you have it in the right position and pitch. Be sure to keep an eye on the bridge as you tighten as it will tend to lean as you do so. Using both hands and your thumbs and index fingers gently slip it under the strings and keep it upright.

A little adjustment might be in order as the bridge position on the body has a dramatic effect on your sound. If all has been returned to the place it started from you're all done. The nylon will settle over the next day or two and you will be tuning up all the strings as it stretches into position. Soon it will not stretch any more and will be good as gold.

your new tailpiece will fit fairly close to the edge of the violin, like within an 1/8" or less. Close is good but not touching anything (including the chin rest) is mandatory here. Check everything over and live with it for a day or so before demanding perfection.

good job! thumbs-up

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Old-Vi.....20eb9a71ed

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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iBud
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September 25, 2014 - 11:53 am
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Aloha and thanks for the responses,

The sound post is the one thing I don't want to screw up, so I will be extra careful with that, as well as the bridge.  I wasn't aware that the nylon tail gut would stretch all that much - the videos I've watched thus far didn't mention that.  I'll check out SouthWest Strings online and see what they have.  I may be able to get something locally here, but the one violin shop we have is rather pricy (meaning they seem to charge more because there's only one violin shop in town).

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iBud
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September 25, 2014 - 2:25 pm
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Aloha @Tucson1 and @cdennyb,

I checked out SouthWest Strings, but got a bit confused.  I saw the violin fittings, but the only thing they have in stock is made from Snakewood, priced at $270.  I wondered why it cost so much and decided to price out the parts separately.  

While I couldn't find Snakewood, I did find Boxwood, which is a nice match to my current chin rest.  I was unable to find tuning pegs and the end pin, but with a chin rest, carved tailpiece and four black fine tuners with gold screws, the total only reached $47.41.  When I looked at the violin accessories page, the picture icon for fittings listed the starting price at $90.  As I mentioned, the only things I couldn't price were the tuning pegs and end pin.  Do they really represent at least half of the cost of the fittings set?  

On the plus side, I do like the carved tailpiece.  I'm not from New Orleans or France, and am not a fan of the New Orleans Saints, but the fleur-de-lis is OK with me.  It's actually quite nice and would add that bit of flair I like.  It's also quite comparable in price to the carved tailpieces I could get elsewhere.  If only my playing would complement the carved tailpiece, I would be set :D

I'll have to call them and ask about shipping, however.  I'm currently in Timbuktu, at least with respect to shipping.  Thanks for the pointer to that site, although I may check out Fiddlershop.com's shipping as well.  I don't have to have a carved tailpiece, and Fiddlerman has boxwood tailpieces in Pear, French, and Hill styles.

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Kevin M.
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September 25, 2014 - 5:31 pm
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I too have bought many items from muchofino violins 

http://stores.ebay.com/Mucho-F.....7675.l2563

for the most part the quality is OK. His fine tuners are not the best and tend to strip easily. He is a very honest dealer will make it right if it is not right. 

Have you tried http://www.fiddleshop.com

The quality will be higher and the service is the best.

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Kevin M.
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September 25, 2014 - 5:34 pm
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Are you sure the chin rest is rosewood? It looks too light, like boxwood. It could be the picture.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 26, 2014 - 11:20 am
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Thanks Kevin. :)

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

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iBud
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September 26, 2014 - 2:52 pm
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Kevin M. said
Are you sure the chin rest is rosewood? It looks too light, like boxwood. It could be the picture.

Well, the salesman at CK Violins told me that it was rosewood, but I agree that, at least in the pictures, the boxwood pieces I've seen online look more like the color of my chin rest than the rosewood pieces, which do indeed look darker.  I won't know until I order, but I do like the look of boxwood.

Keep-Calm-and-Fiddle-On-small-2.jpg

 

 

 

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iBud
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September 26, 2014 - 3:02 pm
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Kevin M. said
I too have bought many items from muchofino violins 

http://stores.ebay.com/Mucho-F.....7675.l2563

for the most part the quality is OK. His fine tuners are not the best and tend to strip easily. He is a very honest dealer will make it right if it is not right. 

Have you tried http://www.fiddleshop.com

The quality will be higher and the service is the best.

Aloha Kevin,

I have looked at both eBay and Amazon primarily doe to lowered shipping costs.  I am located in Honolulu, and shipping anything here is more expensive than shipping to the mainland.  I would love to order from Fiddlershop.com, but if shipping is lower with another online retailer, I would have to consider the lower cost.

I have looked at offerings from muchfinoviolins as well as yourdealscenter because my wife, being Vietnamese-American, doesn't care for Chinese goods.  I, personally, think that while quality control can be an issue, the fact that some virtuoso instruments are crafted in China is enough for me to give careful consideration to their violin fittings.  I have yet to have an issue purchasing from Chinese vendors via eBay.  The only thing I don't like is the dreaded waiting for the package to arrive.  

That being said, I'm still gathering information to make a better-informed decision, prior to discussing this with my wife.  She does the books, and I run everything by her.  Of course, her response will probably be along the lines of "You'd better learn how to play that thing before you start spending money adding stuff to it," which is probably good advice.   :D  I'll have to pick up a chin rest tool so that I can remove the chin rest as well as a tail gut, and as the violin was used, it would also be a good time to restring the violin as well.  I'll cross that bridge when i come to it.  Thanks for all of the responses and the information contained therein.

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cdennyb
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September 30, 2014 - 1:36 am
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I'll have to pick up a chin rest tool so that I can remove the chin rest as well as a tail gut, and as the violin was used, it would also be a good time to restring the violin as well.

 

There isn't a special tool required. I use a paper clip to fit the tiny hole in the "turnbuckle" used to clamp the chin rest to the body of the violin. The tiny brass nut on the tailgut is usually easily turned with just your fingers.

The link to the tailpiece I presented was for about $6.00 shipping included. I understand totally the lack of confidence on Chinese items and your domestic situation but that company has not done me wrong yet. Perhaps you'll find something on Pierres' website http://fiddlershop.com/accesso.....tailpieces

...and yes... the nylon tailguts do stretch and will upset your tune for a few days as it settles into place and straightens out. Not a big deal.

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Fiddlestix
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September 30, 2014 - 4:02 am
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@iBud:  Purchasing a chin rest online is rather risky. They are kinda personal, what I mean is that one size one shape doesn't fit everyone. There are so many different shapes and sizes to choose from, not to mention the height and location on the violin which will suit you best for comfort.

I have tried several different chin rests while at the violin shop and find it very difficult to find the perfect rest. I have a rather short neck which makes it hard to get a proper combination of chin rest and shoulder rest fit.

Removing and re-installing the chin rest is very simple, I use a small allen wrench it won't bend when tightening or loosening the turn buckles, but you need to be careful using any other tool besides a chin rest tool as the object you use can go through the holes and scratch the violin finish if the holes are through holes........... And yes, they do make a special chin rest tool (not necessary though)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/1.....00?lpid=82

Incidentally, looking at the photo of your violin, the bridge needs to be in line with the f-hole nitches and centered between the f-holes.

Good luck.

Ken.

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iBud
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September 30, 2014 - 4:54 pm
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Aloha @Fiddlestix,

Thanks for your response.  The violin fittings sets I saw primarily have the same chinrest I have.  Should I get one of those sets I would probably end up getting the chinrest tool.  While adjusting the turnbuckles appears to be easy, they have to be adjusted to the same degree as the other, which can get tricky.  On one of the videos I saw, the suggestion was that you adjust one a few turns, then adjust the other the same amount of turns, as opposed to adjusting one all the way, then worrying about the other one.  It all sounds easy until you try it, kind of like playing the violin :D

As for the bridge, thank you for your comment.  I thought it was off a little, but the salesman assured me that everything was good to go.  I'm thinking of loosening my strings just a tad and readjusting the bridge.  Just to make sure that I understand this correctly, the flat side should be facing the tailpiece and the curved side should be facing the fingerboard, correct?  Also, if looking from the side, the flat side should be vertical, or a little bit tilted towards the tailpiece, correct?  That last part, about being slightly tilted toward the tailpiece was suggested due to its being pulled towards the fingerboard when tuning with the tuning pegs.  I'll post pics once I'm done, from each side and above, so that y'all can give me any necessary corrections.

Thanks again, @Fiddlerman, for having such a great forum.  I've really learned tons about the violin since I've been here.  Of course, the more I learn, I'm exposed to how much more there is to learn.  That's OK, because this is one subject I really want to learn :D

violin-1267  

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Fiddlestix
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I usually adjust the turnbuckles by starting at the beginning, then I turn them with my fingers equally until a tool is needed. I then use a tool to finish, keeping the showing threads equal.

Yes, the flat of the bridge is facing the tailpiece and should be 90° to the violin top or even 1mm tilting back. Using a #2 pencil, rub the lead in the bridge slots, this helps lubricate the wood so the strings slide easier.

Installing your new tailpiece is kinda tricky also. This may take several tries / attempts to get the proper size / length of the tailpiece. You may or may not have to shorten the tailpiece by filing down the tail end, you want your string length and after length to match. The after length is the distance between the bridge and where the string touches the tailpiece.

It should be 1/6 of the vibrating length of the string so the tone of the string between the bridge and the tailpiece should be one octave and a fifth over the string tone.

All these measurements are in mm, if you don't have a metric tape they can be had at any fabric store. Just like the ones a tailor or seamstress uses to measure sizes to fit clothing.

I hope this helps, also, be careful of your sound post. If you remove all the strings and tailpiece at the same time, you can wrap a rubber band(s) around the belly to keep pressure on the sound post.

Again, good luck. It's not really difficult to do, just don't rush it.

 

Ken.

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Fiddlerman
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September 30, 2014 - 9:54 pm
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You are more than welcome. Anything we can help you with will be our pleasure.

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

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iBud
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October 1, 2014 - 3:09 am
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Aloha @Fiddlestix,

The tailpiece I have now has integrated fine tuners, but the ones I've seen do not, meaning that I'll have to either go without (and use a Hill fine tuner on the E string, but I would have to buy another E string in that case as mine has a ball end), or use the extended fine tuners.  Using the extended model, the after length would seem to be shorter than what I currently enjoy.  I would then, as per your suggestion, need to file down the tailpiece a little bit.

One last question is this.  I've seen the 1/6 measurement referenced, and I think that length is as compared to the length of the string from the bridge to the nut, but would like to have that verified.  I do have a dual-purpose tape measure (standard on one side and metric on the other), so at least that is covered.

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Fiddlestix
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You can remove the ball at the end of the string. 

Here's a short 'how to' video on removing it.

Yes, the string or playing length is in fact the distance from bridge to nut. Most all  D'Addario brand strings will have printed on the package 330mm playing length, but most violins because of the location of the nitches in the f-hole will work out around 328mm. Some violinists like a shorter playing length, as low as 325mm, I myself use the 328 measurement, but then again,,, the saying goes, "move the bridge, move the sound post too"

thumbs-up

Ken.

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iBud
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Aloha @Fiddlestix,

Thanks for the video - I would never have imagined it would be that easy!  I can now replace my tailpiece, eschew the fine tuners for all strings but the E string, then use the same strings I have now.  

OK, next question - how easy is it to put the ball back on the end of the E string?  hahaha :D  Just kidding - why would I ever want to put it back on?

Assuming I get the green light to proceed, I'll post pics once the job is done.  I may also end up going to a different luthier in town and end up with different tuning pegs and button.  in either case, I'll post pics because as is known in the internet, "if you don't have a picture, it just isn't so" :D

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iBud
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cdennyb said 

There isn't a special tool required. I use a paper clip to fit the tiny hole in the "turnbuckle" used to clamp the chin rest to the body of the violin.

Aloha @cdennyb,

You can get enough pressure to adjust the turnbuckles with just a paper clip?  I've, obviously, never replaced a chin rest, but am a bit surprised at that, as a paper clip would seem to be a bit on the weaker side.  Wow, I learn something every day on this site.  I guess if you're replacing chin rests on a much more regular basis, you may want to get the tool.  I'll keep that paperclip suggestion in mind.  Thanks.

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