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String Damage and changing question
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AnnyJ
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January 22, 2017 - 11:02 pm
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Hi,

wow, I haven't been on here in ages, so I feel kind of guilty posting a question.

How often do you have to change strings on average? When you do, do you change all of them at the same time?

I've gone through 3 string sets (all different makes) in the last 9 month to a year...everytime I had to change the strings was because the D string started to unravel and shortly thereafter the A string usually followed. The damage seems to be on the same spot every time; that is where the third finger usually goes. Is this normal?  I do keep my nails extremely short. 

I'm ordering new strings right now, but wanted to make sure that I'm not going to go through those within the next 3-4 months too.

It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. Johann S.Bach

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MrYikes
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January 23, 2017 - 7:19 am
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Glad to see you back, Anny.  You have been missed.  You have an unique problem.  I have not heard of this and cannot think of a reason for this to happen unless  the fingerboard is very rough at those spots.
I will be playing a tune and suddenly think "eww, this doesn't sound good".  Then I analyze which string sounds bad-normally my mind says all of them, so I change them all.  But realize that I use $5 a set strings, so it doesn't hurt too much.  I put new strings on Vanessa just before xmas and changed them yesterday.

Again, happy to see you here again.

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damfino
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January 24, 2017 - 9:13 am
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I've never had this problem, either. I'm usually able to keep my strings until I'm tired of the dead sound (I'm only on my 2nd set of strings on my Ming, and have had it since about October of 2015) except for when my little old German fiddle decided to eat all my A strings (changed the fine tuners, and no more issues).

But, to answer your question, except for when the German fiddle ate my A strings I usually change all the strings at once, and the E more often. I think the strings were about 8 months old when I first changed them on my Ming. Getting ready to change them again soon.

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Fiddlerman
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January 24, 2017 - 1:52 pm
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The A string is the thinnest of the synthetic core strings since the E strings are almost always steel. It's more vulnerable and is harder to make durable using the same materials. We just recently changed our Fiddlerman Synthetic Core strings to be a bit more durable. Also, we will send a new string if it breaks within a reasonable amount of time. So far we have never denied a replacement.
http://fiddlershop.com/fiddler.....t-4-4.html

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

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MACJR
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January 24, 2017 - 2:20 pm
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Looking over my budget, I might be able to squeeze in a set of Fiddlerman strings next week, in addition to some Teller bridges I had already planned to purchase from Fiddlershop.com.

If I order those Finddlerman strings, will I be getting the new formula strings?

I had read a post reply, from Michael (of Fiddlershop), I think, at Amazon that the new strings would be available soon.

MACJR

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Fiddlerman
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January 24, 2017 - 3:46 pm
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You would be getting the new strings from Fiddlershop. New strings will soon be available from Amazon. The question is if they will first use the sets they have remaining. The sets will all sell shortly for sure but I'm not sure how they handle new inventory.

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

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MACJR
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January 24, 2017 - 4:04 pm
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Fiddlerman said
You would be getting the new strings from Fiddlershop. New strings will soon be available from Amazon. The question is if they will first use the sets they have remaining. The sets will all sell shortly for sure but I'm not sure how they handle new inventory.  

This order will be from Fiddlershop.

I often like to order from Amazon for the Prime services, fast shipping and such, and to get that verified purchase for the reviews I do. But I do not buy exclusively from Amazon, and I do not review everything, and not always at Amazon.

I have read that the new strings might fit into tighter bridge slots than the older ones did, which is why I would want the new strings for my Cecilio CEVN-1BK. It was hard enough getting Prelude strings to fit in those narrow tailpiece gaps, thicker strings would be even more of a problem.

Of course, I could always do some work on the tailpiece, but that would be a last resort for me.

MACJR

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MrYikes
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January 24, 2017 - 8:42 pm
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Mac, there are a couple of things I do on the tailpiece tuners.  First I stick a standard flat screwdriver in the slot and turn it, to widen the slot.  Then I insert the ball and then I push a pencil down behind the ball to help force the ball into the slot while I pull the string.  Without the pencil the ball just pops out.  And yes synthetic strings are "fatter" than Preludes.

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MACJR
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January 24, 2017 - 11:05 pm
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MrYikes said
Mac, there are a couple of things I do on the tailpiece tuners.  First I stick a standard flat screwdriver in the slot and turn it, to widen the slot.  Then I insert the ball and then I push a pencil down behind the ball to help force the ball into the slot while I pull the string.  Without the pencil the ball just pops out.  And yes synthetic strings are "fatter" than Preludes.  

Actually, I take the fine tuners off, except for the E string.

It is the string slots on the tailpiece itself that I may need to work on to get it to fit thicker strings.

I did not have this issue with the CVN-500's tailpiece. Those strings slots took the Tonica strings without a problem. I am pretty sure the Tonica strings wold not be easy to install on the CEVN-1BK's tailpiece string slots.

MACJR

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Fiddlerman
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January 25, 2017 - 8:40 am
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MACJR said

This order will be from Fiddlershop.

I often like to order from Amazon for the Prime services, fast shipping and such, and to get that verified purchase for the reviews I do. But I do not buy exclusively from Amazon, and I do not review everything, and not always at Amazon.

I have read that the new strings might fit into tighter bridge slots than the older ones did, which is why I would want the new strings for my Cecilio CEVN-1BK. It was hard enough getting Prelude strings to fit in those narrow tailpiece gaps, thicker strings would be even more of a problem.

Of course, I could always do some work on the tailpiece, but that would be a last resort for me.

MACJR  

You can also feed the strings in from under the tailpiece all the way through to the ball. We have to do that on some tailpieces.

As far as ordering from Amazon, that is not an issue for us. Just contact us directly if a string breaks too easily or before a reasonable life expectancy.

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

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MACJR
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January 25, 2017 - 12:14 pm
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Fiddlerman said

You can also feed the strings in from under the tailpiece all the way through to the ball. We have to do that on some tailpieces.

Took me a second to picture what you meant, but now I see.

Insert the un-balled ends through the holes, from the underside of the tailpiece, and then gently pull the strings through until the ball ends are under the holes.

Seems like that should work.

Thanks for the suggestion.  🙂

MACJR

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Fiddlerman
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January 26, 2017 - 8:43 am
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Any time. 🙂

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

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AnnyJ
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January 26, 2017 - 6:21 pm
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Thank you everyone! 🙂 The fact that 3 different string makes have all 'broken' at the same spot makes me think it's something I'm doing wrong or as MrYikes said, a rough fingerboard (I wasn't aware that that could even be a problem before)

My fingerboard appears to be 'fake' ebony, since on a few spots the paint as worn off ;especially on the spot where the strings like to unravel after a few months. 

I'm posting a picture of it. Let me know what you think.

2017-01-25_02-58-20_796.jpgImage Enlarger

The windings have traveled further down, since I continued to play with the bad string, but the damage started at the brown spot where my 3rd finger usually goes.

 

P.S. I already got my new string-set yesterday even though I only ordered it on Monday afternoon, you guys sure are quick! 🙂 And thank you for another cloth. I like them.

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It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. Johann S.Bach

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MACJR
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January 26, 2017 - 7:20 pm
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It looks like you need to replace more than the strings. That is one worn out fingerboard. If that is ebony, you must play that violin quite a bit, and quite often.

If that is just painted maple, from what I have read, it was doomed for a short life. I have read that grooves form in maple rather fast with heavy use.

I am not experienced enough to say for sure, but it seems to me that a worn out fingerboard could indeed be causing premature string death... and that strings in the shape of those pictured there, would make that fingerboard pit and groove even faster.

I am not sure how much it would cost to have a fingerboard replaced (I plan to learn how to do that job myself), but if that is a budget violin, you might want to consider investing in a new violin that has an ebony fingerboard.

MACJR

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MrYikes
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January 26, 2017 - 8:05 pm
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Anne, the perfect solution would be to send it to FM and let his people swap fingerboards.
On one of my cheap violins, the pear wood fingerboard was wavy, so I sanded the board and stained it.  A fingerboard can be painted also.  An ebony fingerboard can be purchased on ebay for $8 and hide glue is like $5.  There are videos showing how to do it.
But I would want to smooth out those rough spots rather than ruin more strings.
But also:  YOU GO GIRL!!!  Anyone who can wear out a fingerboard like that has my respect!

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MACJR
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January 26, 2017 - 10:36 pm
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MrYikes said
YOU GO GIRL!!!  Anyone who can wear out a fingerboard like that has my respect!  

Agreed. 🙂

MACJR

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Fiddlerman
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January 30, 2017 - 11:28 am
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Wonder what kind of wood that is. Can you take a picture from the side so that I can see if it can be planed/reshaped?

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

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AnnyJ
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January 31, 2017 - 1:41 pm
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MACJR said
That is one worn out fingerboard. If that is ebony, you must play that violin quite a bit, and quite often.
If that is just painted maple, from what I have read, it was doomed for a short life. I have read that grooves form in maple rather fast with heavy use.

I am not sure how much it would cost to have a fingerboard replaced (I plan to learn how to do that job myself), but if that is a budget violin, you might want to consider investing in a new violin that has an ebony fingerboard.
MACJR  

I'm not so sure that fingerboard in itself is worn out, but I do play from 2-4 hrs just about everyday. But it doesn't mean that I play particularly well just to be clear, lol.

Whatever wood it is, it is painted, I get black fingers every night after I finish playing. What you see in the picture is the worn of paint, the bare wood shows through.

It is a budget violin... I've had it for about 18 years, but it has never been played until October 2015. I'm still saving for the real deal, but it's a slow process. Eventually I would like to have either  GCV Cremona Violin - Kreisler Model (preferred at this point or  Fiddlerman Soloist Violin Outfit.

 

MACJR said
MrYikes said
YOU GO GIRL!!!  Anyone who can wear out a fingerboard like that has my respect!  
Agreed. 🙂
MACJR  

Thanks guys, (blushed) I'm sure it's just paint though, lol.

 

Fiddlerman said
Wonder what kind of wood that is. Can you take a picture from the side so that I can see if it can be planed/reshaped?  

Me too, lol, whatever wood it is it seems to be brown (haha just about every wood out there) and kind of grainy. My chin rest is about the same color and just as grainy, so I'm thinking it might be the same type wood....just a wild guess. I'll include a picture of that as well.

 

2017-01-31_03-34-30_496.jpgImage Enlarger

2017-01-31_03-37-17_496.jpgImage Enlarger

It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. Johann S.Bach

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MACJR
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January 31, 2017 - 2:22 pm
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The chinrest looks like it might be rosewood.

Rosewood in not as strong as ebony wood, but it is not the worst type of wood that can be use as a fingerboard.

If that is just the "paint" that is worn down, then it looks like it is a very thick layer of paint, or whatever that stuff is that they used to ebonize the possible rosewood with.

It might have been better just to go with rosewood rather than to put such a thick coat of stuff over it like that. Although a rosewood fingerboard will not hold up as long as ebony, from what I have read, it is a hard wood.

I want to make install a rosewood bridge on a spare violin at some point. Although it is not as strong as ebony, it is a pretty wood... too good to be buried under paint, in my opinion.

MACJR

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Fiddlerman
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January 31, 2017 - 2:40 pm
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I agree that it is probably dyed Maple wood.
It appears to be thick enough but probably not worth planing since we are not dealing with Ebony.

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

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