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The effect of a violin tailpiece
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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Fiddlestix
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May 20, 2015 - 1:29 am
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Recently I purchased an expensive violin. I thought i would put a tailpiece on that had four fine tuners as the original only had one.

After installing it I have noticed a difference in sound quality and if I pluck the strings I can hear a slight vibration coming from the tailpiece tuners which I just noticed today.

The violin doesn't seem to have to same sound quality as with the fine tuner-less tailpiece. When I purchased the new tailpiece my luthier wanted to know why, he said it just adds weight to the instrument and that's what you don't want, more weight. Well being that I think I know more than a man who's done it for better than 45 years I wouldn't hear his reasoning.duncecap So I put it on anyway.

Upon investigating further into the subject I found a very interesting article which I thought I would share.

This is not to entice everyone to start changing their tailpieces, it's just a good read.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0277/9891/files/TellingTails.pdf

I'm changing back.

And I do know about tuning after length.

 

Ken.

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Mark
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May 20, 2015 - 4:29 am
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Thanks  Ken,

Interesting article.

Mark

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Schaick
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May 20, 2015 - 6:53 am
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@Fiddlestix Interesting!!

I recently bought 3 fine tuners to add to my violin.  After 2-3 weeks I decided that I did not like the sound and I was needing to tune more often!!  I now have just the 1 fine tuner.

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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coolpinkone
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May 20, 2015 - 12:18 pm
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@Fiddlestix 

wowsa... that is quite an article and quite a study performed.

Makes sense that you want to put your violin back to how it was. 

Thanks for sharing.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlestix
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May 20, 2015 - 12:29 pm
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It's back...... cheerleaderbirthday_balloonvibration is gone and the sound is back.

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DanielB
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May 20, 2015 - 4:50 pm
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I've seen some people try to claim it makes no difference.  But I think with an instrument like violin, everything makes at least some difference.  At least with the tailpiece it is easy enough to change back, if you find you don't like the difference a change made.

My acoustic violin (Shar) came with a nice carbon fibre tailpiece with built in fine tuners.  But I have a simple ebony tailpiece on it and I like it better.

No way of saying for sure though.. Some violins actually may sound better with a fine tuner type tailpiece. 

"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

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Fiddlestix
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May 23, 2015 - 8:50 pm
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Ok, here we go again.  facepalm Today I took my violin back to my luthier.Tuning with just the pegs is difficult for me, turn it a fraction one way and it goes sharpe, the other way and it goes flat. Now I'm talking just barely turning the peg(s) it's frustrating.

So I walk into, Mark's shop and say, "guess what I want". He says, "there's one alternative to the tailpiece". I say,"you got it". So he pulls out a (real) rosewood tail piece with four fine tuners. I say, that's not what I was thinking of, "what were you thinking", he replies. I said, I was thinking of the Knilling pegs, he says, but you said you didn't want to spend anymore money. He puts on the new tailpiece using a different type of tailgut, it's very flimsy and about the size of a fishing line with metal threaded ends, made of aircraft wire, (very strong) don't have to melt the ends and can be installed without removing the chin rest, if the chin rest is that type that straddles the tailpiece. So he finishes putting on the new tailpiece and I ask what do I owe you ? He says nothing right now, take it home and try it and if you don't like the sound then I'll install the Knillings.

I got it home, plucked the strings, no vibration or rattles and the sound is as it was before, nice. So I saved a considerable amount of money and it's easy to tune.

cheerleaderthumbs-up

Ken.

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Fiddlestix
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May 24, 2015 - 8:08 pm
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Another update on the tailpiece situation. I was up at 5:15 am this morning, fixed the coffee pot and went and sat down in the recliner, turned on the TV, picked up my violin and began to play. WHEW!!!

I can't believe the resonating sound that came from it. Much more resonance than before I did anything to it. Even with full carpeted rooms and stuffed furniture the sound was so nice I couldn't put the thing down, I play for 3 hours steady.

Im not sure if it is the tailpiece itself or the tailgut wire being so fine that it lets the tailpiece vibrate more creating more resonance.

So tomorrow, (Monday) I'll drive the 25 miles to, Marks shop and pay him.

The End.  banana

Ken.

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DanielB
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May 25, 2015 - 12:52 am
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Congrats, Ken!

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Always have to love it when you make some change and the results are good enough to be delighted over.  Then you end up playing through pretty much everything you can think of, just for the enjoyment of hearing all those songs with that little bit of extra goodness.

"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

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RedViolin
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May 25, 2015 - 2:45 am
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Very interesting thread - I'm learning a lot!

Glad things worked out well for you Ken 🙂

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Fiddlerman
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May 25, 2015 - 1:51 pm
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Fiddlestix said

..............When I purchased the new tailpiece my luthier wanted to know why, he said it just adds weight to the instrument and that's what you don't want, more weight. Well being that I think I know more than a man who's done it for better than 45 years I wouldn't hear his reasoning.duncecap So I put it on anyway.........

The problem is that this guy is narrow minded. If you do things for 45 year the same way and do not experiment you won't learn anything. It kills me that a luthier would say that to you.

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

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Fiddlestix
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May 25, 2015 - 3:35 pm
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Kills me that I said that to him. He knew best, so I'm guessing that he knew I wouldn't be happy with it. I'm sure he's experimented a lot in his time.

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Fiddlerman
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May 25, 2015 - 10:11 pm
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Don't feel bad Ken. Everyone can learn. I'm bet he can take it.

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

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coolpinkone
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May 26, 2015 - 6:26 pm
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Very cool Ken....

Music to my ears that you are playing and loving your violin.

Yahoo.. pay the man and play on!!!  Yahoo!!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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