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Frustrated with my instrument.
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SaraO
Michigan
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August 14, 2011 - 10:40 am
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After a long hiatus, I pulled my childhood violin out of the closest a few weeks ago and began practicing. Things were going well for a bit, but I just can't get a good tone on my g or d strings.

The a and e strings are fine. Open g and d are okay, but playing with the third finger in first position is a little iffy, and it sounds just play awful with the fourth finger. Playing in third position? EEK!

I did some reading about sound post placement, and wondering if that could make a difference (although mine appears to be in the "typical" location). I have inexpensive red label super sensitive (steel) strings on right now. Maybe different strings could help?

I'm feeling a little stuck.

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Sofia Leo
Lebanon, Oregon
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August 14, 2011 - 11:42 am
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Have you always used steel strings? If not, maybe your violin doesn't like them cry I had to experiment with strings for awhile before I found the ones that my cheap Chinese fiddle likes best - it came with cheap steel strings and the A string sounded awful when noted and not so great open. Turns out my fiddle likes Helicore Mediums which are wound steel with a plain steel E. The sound quality difference is huge and the effect was immediate - as soon as I put them on and tightened them up to pitch I had a different fiddle in my hands.

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SaraO
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August 14, 2011 - 12:14 pm
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I remember having dominant strings at one time, but I don't know what I typically used.  I will definitely experiment with a different type next time I change them. I just don't remember ever having a good sound on the lower strings, and that worries me a bit.

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Sofia Leo
Lebanon, Oregon
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August 14, 2011 - 12:50 pm
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SaraO said:

I remember having dominant strings at one time, but I don't know what I typically used.  I will definitely experiment with a different type next time I change them. I just don't remember ever having a good sound on the lower strings, and that worries me a bit.

When I was trying to solve my string problem I saw a post on another forum from a woman who was also experimenting with strings (she has 6 fiddles.) She had bought several types of strings, found that they didn't work after a trial of a couple of weeks and wanted to pass them on to someone else in the same boat.

 

I'd like to offer you the same deal - send me your address off-list (catmccall@gmail.com) and I'll send you some strings that I've tried (including a set of Dominants) that didn't work out for my fiddles. Obviously they are used, so they can't be returned, but they are in "like new" condition, only having been strung up for a couple of weeks at most. If they work for you, great. If not, pass them along to someone else to try.

 

If one of them works, please tell us about it. The difference might be as dramatic for you as it was for me, making playing a real pleasure cheerleader

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SaraO
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August 14, 2011 - 1:40 pm
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What a wonderful offer! I'm off to email you now. Let me know if I can send you a couple of dollars via paypal for shipping. I'll be sure to update the thread with my progress.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 14, 2011 - 1:57 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Just a little point to add. I had a heck of a time playing with the steel strings on the CVN200 so I put some old Dominants from my main fiddle and a new E string on the CVN-200 and it was like night and day. Seriously, BIG difference in many ways. Of course the sound-post is short and needs to be changed but I feel certain that if I brought it to a luthier for a new post and played it hard for a few months it would be a fantastic fiddle. It's not bad now either.

PS: I'm talking about the one that is up for grabs in October.

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

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Sofia Leo
Lebanon, Oregon
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August 14, 2011 - 2:00 pm
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Fiddlerman said:

 Of course the sound-post is short and needs to be changed but I feel certain that if I brought it to a luthier for a new post and played it hard for a few months it would be a fantastic fiddle.

Good point about needing to "play in" a fiddle. They do improve with time, but dang, waiting is so hard when you're a beginner and just want to make a sound that doesn't make the dog howl!

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pky
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August 14, 2011 - 5:40 pm
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even though my 5-year-old daughter thought my violin sounds better than hers (her bow is better than mine:) i still think my A string sounds weak. It sounds like maybe I should get different string, too. i am planning on taking it to a luthier and see what he thinks.

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pky
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August 18, 2011 - 1:56 am
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I didn't say I was frustrated with my violin, I just wondered about my A strings. After 11 days of practicing, i noticed inconsistency on how my A string sounds -- sometimes it sounds great (at least to me) and sometimes it sounds weak. I know the main reason probably is because I'm a beginner whose bowing skill is still yucky. Any way, will report back after I take it to a luthier for an assessment.

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HALSTLAU000
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August 19, 2011 - 1:49 am
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Dominant Strings do sound wonderful, however i only bothered to use them once because they started to rust even though i take very care of my violin. THe most important thing is to get rid of the steel strings, except for possibly the E string (depends on what sounds you prefer), and get strings with a synthetic core.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 19, 2011 - 8:37 am
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HALSTLAU000 said:

Dominant Strings do sound wonderful, however i only bothered to use them once because they started to rust even though i take very care of my violin. 

I don't think Dominants can rust. Maybe you thought they were Dominant but they were something else. They only have nylon cores and are wrapped with aluminum or silver. Possibly your E string started to rust, but I've never seen that either.

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

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Paul
Indiana
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August 21, 2011 - 1:21 am
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Someone came up to me a month or more ago and told me they had a couple of Stradivarius copy student fiddles, they had been in the family for years but nobody wanted to play them and he was thinking about selling them.
At the time I was not interested in getting another fiddle.

Has anyone had any experience with these fiddles? Are these the same quality as some of the new student fiddles or if they are at least 40 years old does the age of the wood give them a better sound?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 21, 2011 - 10:17 am
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They can be anything from junk to great violins.

Probably not special at all. Most violins are Strad or Guaneri copies so that means more or less nothing. The term student violin usually means that they were cheap to begin with. Age can do wonders for the wood but if not maintained properly and if stored in the wrong environment it could easily do the opposite.

In most cases these violins will need a lot of work to sound good.

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

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SaraO
Michigan
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August 21, 2011 - 3:45 pm
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OK, so I bought another full-size violin. There is a logical reason for this. I got it for a friend's daughter whom I'll be teaching beginning lessons to this fall. We're working out a trade where I'll teach her beginning violin, and her mom will teach my kid to sew. Even though it's been a few years since I played, I figured I could get it together enough to teach beginning lessons to a great kid.

I took a gamble and bought a used violin off of ebay. It arrived yesterday. I tuned it and tried it out, and you know what? Even with the crummy old strings that won't stay in tune it has a better tone on the lower strings than my other violin. I'm doing  a happy dance over here. dancing I will still be experimenting with different strings on both instruments after my gift from Cat McC arrives, but I'm starting to think my student will be getting my old violin.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 21, 2011 - 3:48 pm
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Congratulations SaraO,

Sounds like you found a deal.dancinbunny

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

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SaraO
Michigan
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August 21, 2011 - 3:49 pm
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And even the chin rest is more comfortable on the ebay instrument. I couldn't be happier.

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myguitarnow
Laguna Beach
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August 21, 2011 - 6:15 pm
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Sounds great...I'm really excited about my violins and new Dominant strings coming tomorrow. I can't sit still!. I have a local luthier lined up to look at them too. That's great that you found a violin that you're liking SaraO.

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pky
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August 21, 2011 - 7:45 pm
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MGN, I knew how you feel! On the day when mine arrived, I tracked it at least twice and when it said it had been delivered, I called my husband to make sure it's in the house and that he may not open it:)

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myguitarnow
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August 21, 2011 - 8:10 pm
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Yep pky, I'll be home all day tomorrow looking out the kitchen window. How is your CVN 500 sounding with your new sound post? Can you tell the difference at this point? Did you get new strings yet?

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pky
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August 21, 2011 - 9:16 pm
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After replacing the sound post, I think the high strings -- A and E sounds a lot stronger, especially A string.

 

I haven't bought my new string yet, I couldn't find them on musiciansfriend.com, but on nsa and sw. I think I will get them from nsa. Meanwhile, I'm waiting for your report:) on dominants on your cvn500

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