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
Violin Varnish?
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Avatar
augustoad
Ponta Grossa, Paraná - Brazil
Members

Regulars
January 6, 2015 - 4:49 pm
Member Since: November 19, 2012
Forum Posts: 220
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hey you guys. I'm working on a home project - it's a homemade EV. I've cut the body and the neck of the instrument already, and I'm a few steps away from getting it done.

However, I need to find a good varnish for it. Since it's an EV, I imagine the kind of varnish I use wont interfere in the sound that much (I'll be using either a magnetic pickup or a piezo pickup, haven't decided yet), but I DO need to varnish it to protect the wood and make it look a bit smoother.

Does anyone know any kind of varnish I could use on the violin? I've found a recipee online here: https://www.violins.ca/varnish/violin_varnish_recipes.html

I'm not sure if it'd work, though, and having in mind it could take almost an entire month to prepare I'd rather go with the easy way out. Thanks to anyone who might have any information!

About the violin, I'll make a post demonstrating it as soon as it's ready.

Skype: augustoad Email: augustoaguieiras@hotmail.com Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)

 

Avatar
iBud
Honolulu, HI
Members

Regulars
January 6, 2015 - 5:42 pm
Member Since: August 28, 2014
Forum Posts: 376
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Aloha @augustoad,

I have been tossing around the idea of making an EV myself.  You can order the pickups on eBay pretty cheaply.  You can get the same one that's the Cecilio sold at fiddlershop.com.  It doesn't look all that complicated to install, although I don't know if any soldering is involved.  Have you though of painting it instead of using varnish?  A lot of EVs are painted, but I did a quick Google search on how to make violin varnish that could also give you some ideas.  

Where did you get your design, or did you create one yourself?  Also, assuming yours is a solid body, how much does it weigh now (before you put on all the fittings, the electronics, bridge, and strings)?  I'm curious, as I've read that EVs tend to be just a tad heavier than acoustic violins.  I was considering making one that looks like a ship's anchor, with a small wheel on the backside, but that would probably weigh a little more than I'd like, so if I were to pursue that course of action, ti would probably be just the anchor.  I'm just a little bit biased towards that design as I am retired US Navy.

As for magnetic pickups, this website gives some pros and cons for you to consider. I don't know if you are planning on making them yourself or buying them.  I did see that most of the pickups on eBay are piezo.  I am not an electrician, and didn't stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night haha, so I'm planning on purchasing a pickup, probably something off eBay.  

I'm really looking forward to seeing what you have created.  It's one thing to see what's offered, but to see that a "real" person, vice a bit store, can create is truly inspiring.  I'd like to make my own 5-string, but I still have to get it past my wifelaugh

Congrats on your build and I hope you get it completed sooner rather than later.  I'd love to see pics and video of you playing.hats_off

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

 

 

 

Avatar
OldOgre
OhiO
Members

Regulars
January 6, 2015 - 5:55 pm
Member Since: March 15, 2014
Forum Posts: 203
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

you can use any good wood varnish, but I liked a little color so I used and automotive lacquer on my ev. just make sure you have all the scratchs out before you start painting.. even the littlest scratch will show.

With violins there is no fretting over the music.

Avatar
augustoad
Ponta Grossa, Paraná - Brazil
Members

Regulars
January 6, 2015 - 6:16 pm
Member Since: November 19, 2012
Forum Posts: 220
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

hey @iBud, thanks for the kind words. Answering your questions, I did create the design myself. I went for something more guitar-like, and took the C-Holes out of it. I also cut out one of the sides to make it look cooler and reduce a bit of the weight. As for the weight, it's quite heavy - the body alone weights more than my entire regular violin. But since I'm kinda "big", I wouldn't mind holding it for a long time as my back is stronger than the average. It'll get a bit of getting used to, but I'm sure it's nothing I can't handle. As for the pickus, I'm gonna buy them - it'd take too much time to do them myself and despite wanting it to be something mine, I also want it to be playable, so I'll be going with the option of buying them.

@OldOgre , thanks for the tip! Do you have any pictures? I'd love to see how it looks. 

Here's a few images of what I've done so far. It's still a bit rough around the edges, but I'm gonna get it right eventually.

 

IMG_20150106_210305.jpgIMG_20150106_210316.jpgIMG_20150106_210323.jpg

Skype: augustoad Email: augustoaguieiras@hotmail.com Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)

 

Avatar
iBud
Honolulu, HI
Members

Regulars
January 6, 2015 - 10:02 pm
Member Since: August 28, 2014
Forum Posts: 376
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Aloha @augustoad,

That looks kind of like those "baroque" styles on eBay - you could say that you're making a "baroque EV"! laugh

I also know nothing about electronics, so if I ever decide to make one myself, I'll buy the pickups as well.  I fired up Photoshop and put together a design some time ago, but this is what I'd do (the attached file).  I'm not sure about the ring on the top of the peg box, though - maybe I'll just go with a "regular" scroll - ie., just buy one pre-made somewhere.  Oh well, you get the idea.  I'd have the jacks either underneath, or if I could get what I want, have the 1/4" jack on the left fluke somewhere and the headphone jack maybe closer to the chin rest, but still on the left side.

 

5-string-anchor-electric-fiddle-design01.pngImage Enlarger

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

 

 

 

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 6, 2015 - 10:31 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Nice project Augustoad.
No matter if you paint or varnish, you'll need to sand or wet sand between layers with micro mesh to get it perfectly smooth. Spray paint is the next best option. Easier to get good results if you spray.

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

Avatar
augustoad
Ponta Grossa, Paraná - Brazil
Members

Regulars
January 6, 2015 - 11:03 pm
Member Since: November 19, 2012
Forum Posts: 220
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Fiddlerman , Thanks! I really wish for it to look a bit more "wood-ish", if that even makes any sense, so I'll try varnishing a part of it; If it doesn't look or feel good, then I'll sand it off and spray-painting it is. :D

@iBud I really like that design, although I figure it'd be really hard to cut it and sand it by yourself. If you have any experience with wood, though, I'd say go for it - it might take some time (I've actually been working on mine for almost a year and a half, but just recently I've made a lot of progress and tomorrow I might even put the neck and the body together), but it's gonna be your own project and nothing can take it from you. 

Of course, I'm not gonna try to get too fancy - the pickup in my EV is just going to be a straight up pickup with no tone regulation, but you could also give it a shot if you understand anything of electrics. :)

Skype: augustoad Email: augustoaguieiras@hotmail.com Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)

 

Avatar
DanielB
Regulars

Members
January 7, 2015 - 7:27 am
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Since solid body electric instruments don't rely on the surface of the instrument vibrating to produce sounds loud enough for a listener to hear, the finish is less critical to the sound and more a matter of what you like the look of.  So I wouldn't worry about trying to replicate antique finishes intended for acoustic instruments unless you really want that look.

Personally, I tend more towards electric violin (though I do like my acoustic as well).  I've done a bit of tinkering, so I'll offer a few thoughts.

The C-bouts on the acoustic violin are there to allow you to get the angles you need with a bow.  My own (storebought) electric has body in part of that space on the G string side and I do sometimes end up bowing the body when I mean to be bowing the strings.  You don't have to have C-shaped cutouts for that, but you do want to check and make sure you'll be able to bow ok.

Doing a cutaway so on the E-string side your hand doesn't run into the body completely *rocks* in my opinion.  Some violinists do count on the body being there as a cue for their hand when finding the very high notes.  But being able to reach the whole fingerboard easier is strictly a good point, in my opinion.

It looks like the "scroll" section of the neck on your design doesn't tilt back much.  You may have some problems with the strings having enough pressure against the nut to stay in place without buzzing.  There's ways to fix that without changing that angle, if you like the look, though.  You can use a little bit of metal or something to hold the strings down up above the nut, like they do on some electric guitars, for example.

Magnetic vs piezo pickups.. Well, magnetic doesn't have to need any sort of preamp or etc, really, and piezo will.  They sound different and they respond different, though.  The thing with magnetic pickups is that unless you get them really close to the string, violin strings don't have enough mass to put out a lot of signal.  Looking at the ones you posted a link to, they look like they are probably high enough that it isn't possible to play using the whole neck without the strings hitting the pickup.  Since the pickup is kind of strapped to the upper fingerboard, it looks like it wasn't intended to allow full use of the whole fingerboard anyway.  If that's a limitation you're ok with, then it could be alright.

If you go with magnetic, you'll need a steel core string for the heavier strings, since synthetic cores won't have enough metal to them to give much signal.  So your string choices are more limited.  Also the way a magnetic pickup works, it picks up sound mostly from the movement of the string up and down over the pickup.  A bowed violin string is mostly moving side to side over the pickup.  So the sound you get when bowing can be quieter than the sound you get plucking or when you lift the bow off the string and let it sustain for a moment.  Not saying that isn't a usable thing, but it is just about backwards from what you'd expect from playing acoustic violin.  LOL

Piezos act more like an acoustic violin, but pretty much all need preamps to match the impedance to most amps or mixing boards.  They also have the (in my opinion) mildly annoying tendency for often getting a little "zip" sort of sound when you first start moving the bow, because they'll pick up the movement of the string even before it would be sound as we normally hear it on the acoustic violin.  Switching between the strings also can take a little more attention on electric to get it to sound as smooth as it would on acoustic. 

You get used to such things, but they will always be a clue to a listener that they are hearing an electric instrument, not an acoustic.  The sound is different and some techniques you know from acoustic will work less well, while some will work maybe a bit better.  Electric is a different instrument, much like it is with guitar.  Hopefully you aren't expecting it to be able to sound exactly like an acoustic, or to play exactly like one.  

All that said, I think your project looks seriously cool, and I applaud.

clapthumbs-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
iBud
Honolulu, HI
Members

Regulars
January 7, 2015 - 1:00 pm
Member Since: August 28, 2014
Forum Posts: 376
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Aloha @augustoad,

I just added the ship's wheel - the original idea didn't have it.  That will add a lot of extra work.  The cool thing is, with the wheel that small, nothing extends beyond the C bout of an acoustic violin, so I shouldn't have to worry about bowing the wheel.  I was actually thinking that I could maybe get one from a craft fair.  I live in Honolulu, and there are lots of Navy/nautical wood items that can be easily obtained.  It's still really just a thought, however.  I would most likely just buy an electric violin first.  Still, the thought of creating something myself, completely custom, is rather enticing.  Please keep us updated on your progress.

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

 

 

 

Avatar
iBud
Honolulu, HI
Members

Regulars
January 7, 2015 - 1:15 pm
Member Since: August 28, 2014
Forum Posts: 376
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Aloha @DanielB,

Thank you for your explanation about magnetic vs. piezo pickups.  I had read that the difference would be like that of adding a pickup to an acoustic guitar (piezo) to the sound of an electric guitar (magnetic).  Still, you provided more information and now I can understand why so many electric violins use the piezo pickup.  As I keep mentioning, I learn something new here every day, and for that, I am very grateful.  Thank you again for sharing your knowledge.

I do have an additional question you may be able to answer.  The body of an solid-body EV doesn't provide any resonance for amplification, therefore the treatment of the body isn't as critical as that of an acoustic instrument.  Painting it, as has been discussed, is one of the choices taken by many companies and individuals.  I would suspect that, to get the gloss look I've seen, an additional component is added on top of the paint.  Is that a clear coat or some type of lacquer?  What would you suggest?

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

 

 

 

Avatar
DanielB
Regulars

Members
January 7, 2015 - 2:34 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

iBud said
Aloha @DanielB,

Thank you for your explanation about magnetic vs. piezo pickups.  I had read that the difference would be like that of adding a pickup to an acoustic guitar (piezo) to the sound of an electric guitar (magnetic).

I can see where someone might put it that way.  But the thing to remember is that a solid body instrument doesn't have the same sound as an acoustic instrument for the piezo to pick up.  Not that it is a bad sound, but it is a different sort of sound.  It will sound different than a magnetic pickup though.

Piezos are a good enough pickup for what they do, and they are amazingly cheap to manufacture on the large scale compared to a coil with a few thousand turns of copper wire and a magnetic core.  They are also very light, so they won't throw off the sound of an acoustic instrument much.  Those reasons are probably why they are used so much.

Magnetic can work though.  But it has even more differences from an acoustic instrument, so far as i have been able to tell in my own experiments.  I tinkered with adapting magnetic pickups made for guitar and also wound a couple pickups myself to get configurations not usually used on guitar.  Not to say the results weren't good in their way, but the differences would not make them attractive to the market of acoustic players wanting an electric instrument.  People don't usually want to have to re-think/re-learn the instrument for the sake of a pickup.

For something quick, easy, and inexpensive to use to amplify a solid body violin (or even an acoustic one being adapted for electric use) the piezo is hard to beat really.  Sure, it needs a pre-amp to sound it's best, but plenty of those are available pre-made, some with built in equalizers and tuners, even.  LOL

Now with paint, what you use for a top coat will always depend on the type of paint you use.  The sealer, primer, color and top coats have to be compatible with each other.  So if you want lacquer for your top coat, then you use something compatible.  If you want a simple sprayed acrylic type top coat then you may be using something else. 

If you want to preserve the look of the bare wood, you have a few more options.  I like an oil rubbed finish, where you just treat the wood with an oil that hardens like tung oil or boiled linseed oil.  You apply it to the bare or stained wood, let it stay on for a few minutes and wipe off the excess.  You can do a few "coats" like that to get a finish that still feels a good bit like the bare wood did, but can be cleaned if it gets soiled with a damp  cloth or even alcohol.

I have also seen occasions where people even used stain and urethane intended for hardwood floors and got a decent looking finish for solid body instruments. 

I think that the finish does have some effect on the sound of solid body instruments.  Or at least some folks seem pretty sure it does.  But it is comparatively very slight vs the effect it has on acoustic instruments.  So solid body instruments are a place where you can get a bit wilder, artistically speaking.

And by the way.. I think your nautical design could come out looking really cool!  I can't think of any reason why it might not give a playable instrument with an artistic theme.  If you wanted to deal with the extra bother of figuring out the wiring and the cutting/routing it would take on the wood, maybe even add port and starboard lights.  LOL

"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

Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 231

Currently Online: Jim Dunleavy
29 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming HeadCheese, Mad_Wed, ButteryStuffs, kit, makinnoise

Top Posters:

coolpinkone: 3767

Mad_Wed: 2849

Barry: 2661

Fiddlestix: 2637

Oliver: 2439

DanielB: 2379

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1

Members: 3557

Moderators: 0

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 16

Forums: 56

Topics: 6445

Posts: 80388

Newest Members:

sexymom04, FerSZ, elaine a, Mukundan, MyMing, dbsimon

Administrators: Fiddlerman: 11717, KindaScratchy: 1651