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Great G, D, E strings, Dull D String
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Raioneru
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January 31, 2016 - 7:35 pm
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*Sorry I made a typo in the post title. I meant to say: "Great G, A, E strings, Dull D String"

 

Hey all,

My violin has a great sounding G, A, and E string. The sound from these strings is full, powerful, and even has a bite to them. The D string however is rather dull. The string does project, but lacks in fullness and doesn't have that "bite." I've tried using different strings sets (I tend to keep the strings after I replace them), and all across the board, the D string is always lacking. 

It does bother me as the piece I'm playing has a number of phrases that end on the D string. I noticed now as the intensity of my playing fades once I start playing on the D string. I'd have to put even more weight into the string if I wanted to match the intensity of my playing to that of when I am playing on the other strings. My violin teacher and friends have made similar comments. 

Has anyone experienced something similar to this and solved the problem?

Thanks for reading.  

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bfurman
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January 31, 2016 - 10:25 pm
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Assuming you are applying the necessary amount of weight to the bow, it sounds like you may need to have your soundpost and/or bridge adjusted.  Has your teacher played your instrument and found the D response lacking?

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Raioneru
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January 31, 2016 - 10:45 pm
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Hi @bfurman thanks for replying.

Yes my teacher has played on my violin and remarked on how dull the D string sounds when compared to the other strings.

To add, when I was doing my tests, I applied the same amount of weight (I just let my arm sink into the string and maintained the same bow angles) to every string.  I'm assuming my teacher performed a similar test. I'll be taking it to a luthier soon. I'll be sure to post what happened. 

This dilemma raised a question in my mind. If the D string sounds dull, shouldn't the G sound dull also? I mean, if you moved the sound post to the left, wouldn't the D get louder and the G even louder? And the A and E strings would get quieter? Does this mean it's the bridge? I'm no expert so I can only speculate. 

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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February 1, 2016 - 3:26 am
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This is just a wild guess - since it occurs even when you change the D to another type, and I assume you mean it is dull at any position on the D, not just the open string - how about the seating of the string in both the nut and bridge notches ?  Any possibility they (more likely the bridge notch) has widened / deepened over time ?  Don't know how new or old your instrument is - unlikely I guess on a new instrument - unless it (the bridge) had originally been badly made.    

Some strings come with these little plastic tubes (commonly on the E) - if you cannot accurately measure the bridge notch on the D, maybe try the plastic sleeve, which would lift the string slightly in the notch - just as an experiment.

Possibly the bridge feet as well - ideally they should be sculpted to the curvature of the belly - very often replacement bridge-blanks will have "flat" feet and need to be sanded to the contour of the top plate.  I *suppose* there is a possibility that the bass side of the bridge foot could be in contact at the far-outside under the G, but "lifted slightly" towards the D (or, simply, poorly, or not shaped ) ?????

No obvious visual "deformities" / cracks in the bridge ?

Just idle thoughts and probably nothing to do with it......

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 2, 2016 - 8:58 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

I've also experienced this in some violins. One string in particular can be weak. My suggestion is that you try a silver D with whatever set of strings you happen to be using. The G tends to be silver wound and the D is often not. That string is often the weakest. The A tends to be slightly louder because if it's added tension.

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