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2nd year student, looking for intermediate instrument
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
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Octopus.Violinus
Illinois
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January 24, 2016 - 9:39 pm
Member Since: January 24, 2016
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Hello,

First-time post here.  I currently have a Kennedy Violins Ricard Bunnel G2 outfit. (About $250/$300) It's nice.  I put Dominant Strings on it.  I play a lot.  I have an instructor here, and she's awesome, skillful & kind.  I don't know hardly anything about instruments in general though, so far as qualities or what "bright/sharp" vs "dark/warm" mean acoustically.  I realize that's not something easily suited to a text-answer either.  Explain "green" to a blind person -.-   Sorry. 

Regardless, I have been eyeballing a few of the products on fiddlershop.com, and have a pretty high opinion of Pierre, because he seems very down-to-earth, practical, knows what he is talking about, and plays fiddle LIKE A BOSS. >^_^<  

I am thinking of purchasing the fiddlerman 5-string violin, as I like the regular violin setup of the GDAE strings.  However, I have been cautioned that the addition of a 5th C string (I think it's a viola string) may change the sound/temper/insert-technical-jargon-here of the rest of the instrument. 

Two questions: 

A.) What does anyone here who has one of these or similar think of it?  (Notes on differences? / what's the drawback?  -- talk me out of this, so I won't be a freak w/ 5 strings?)

B.) Although I have head nearly-nothing but good things about products bought from fiddlershop.com, I am apprehensive about spending nearly $1,000 for something I have never handled/played/heard in person.  I live in Illinois.  His shop is in Florida.  Is there any sort of rental program, or do I need to go to Florida?  (I would LOVE to do so, if only just to meet the man himself & maybe listen to him for a moment)

 

tl;dr:  I can't make up my mind about buying stuff.

 

Thank you all for your patience in advance,

 

(¯`V´¯)
  `*.¸.*´
  ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´.•´   (¸¸.•¨¯`• Octopus

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Octopus.Violinus
Illinois
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January 25, 2016 - 7:25 am
Member Since: January 24, 2016
Forum Posts: 5
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Sorry to list this here, as I am not selling anything, but wasn't sure where else to put it.

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Mark
Honorary advisor
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January 25, 2016 - 8:35 am
Member Since: September 30, 2014
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Octopus,

I understand your hesitation on ordering a large ticket item with out seeing/touching it.

However Fiddlershop.com has a 30 day money back guarantee that is your not happy with the instrument/bow they will take it back and I believe that they stand by there word.  

Everyone has a personal preference on what sound and tone makes a good Fiddle. We have a few folks here who have 5 string fiddles some acoustic some electric.

If you play mainly in first position I can see it having some distinct advantages, as it allows you one more key, the key of C with the same fingering as G, D and A. I had a situation where an Individual sang for years in the key of G and the all of a sudden he switch to C with out warning, so I had to relearn the songs with a new fingering. It was a good learning experience for me to relearn them with new fingering, however, just being able to slip down a string and play would of been handy to have available.

That was the AH HA moment when I realized that being able to play in different positions and utilizing the 4th finger more would of come in handy when presented with the need to play a song you know in different keys.

 

Good luck on the decision I'm sure you won't be dissatisfied if you buy a 5 string from Fiddlershop.com, I know it sound awfully good to meviolin-1267

Mark 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 25, 2016 - 1:34 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

Thanks Mark.

Yes, if you are not satisfied you can return the instrument for a full product refund.

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

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Octopus.Violinus
Illinois
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January 25, 2016 - 8:21 pm
Member Since: January 24, 2016
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Thanks for chiming in guys!

That makes me feel a lot better.  I do play in 1st position a lot, and 3rd occasionally (still learning, not yet mastered). 

@Mark: You have an excellent point about fingering sequences.  A C string would be amazing!  I'm not sure about a Viola vs. a 5-String Violin.   But I have reached out, and begun to touch the quality of my current instrument.  It's not holding me back by any means, but I would like to move to something nicer.

I am still a bit concerned about how a 5-string would stack up to a 4-string in terms of playing regular violin parts.  Since I am not currently using the upper registers of the instrument yet (1st & 3rd positions -- not ready for 5th yet), would it be about the same to use a viola in the upper registers? 

I am trying to understand the differences, since you pretty much never see a 5-stringed violin used in performances - there must be drawback, yes?

Thanks again,

(¯`V´¯)
  `*.¸.*´
  ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´.•´   (¸¸.•¨¯`• Octopus

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Mark
Honorary advisor
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January 26, 2016 - 7:31 am
Member Since: September 30, 2014
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Perhaps in a typical Classical Orchestra setting the 5 String might be out of place, I could be wrong about this I really don't know for sure.
 
How ever in Blue Grass, Folk, old time, Gospel, everyday jam sessions it would be right at home.
 
Check out Mr. Jims videos on you tube, under world fiddler and you can see and hear him play his, also the current Bluegrass fiddler of the year Michael Cleveland plays a 5 string fiddle and he has no issues with fiddle tunes as a side note he has won that award 10 times now, the most anyone has won. You can check out his performances on you tube also. Fiddlermans demonstration on the Fiddlerman 5 string Violin you can hear the range it has.
 
I don't think there are any real draw backs, It appears to me, just my two cents.
 
Mark
 
 
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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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January 26, 2016 - 9:18 am
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LOL - I "cheated" !  ( OK, I did have a loan of a real nice 5-string EV for a while, and still looking for my own ! )

I like the extended range, and decisions about purchasing a 5-string ( and whether to go acoustic, A/E, or EV only ) were too difficult to make  - well - cost came into it ( a bit ) as well ( although I AM thinking about the new Yamaha ).  

So, in the end, I sacrificed my "cheapo"  acoustic violin ( standard 4/4, so somewhat smaller than a real viola ) and restrung it ( as a viola ).  I kept the D, A, E - moving them up - and after trying a few different C strings, and messing with the sound-post position - I finally decided on a C intended for a 5-string EV.   ( A "proper" viola C was just "too heavy and unresponsive" - best description I can give - I could use it, but it sure needed a lot of bow (still the violin bow) to dig and catch the string.  As an aside - no - I never tried different rosin - which may just have made some of the other viola-C strings I tried "work" for me )

It's just a pity I can't play both at the same time....  roflol

Oh - and I'll second what Mark mentioned earlier - have no hesitation whatsoever in dealing with FiddlerShop - I've made about 5 purchases so far ( 1 violin and various accessories ), and although my needs have been simple, I have always been 100% satisfied.   And - as testified by other contributors on the forum - if, or when, there are "issues" which sometimes can happen outwith their control - Mike and Pierre will move heaven and earth to get it sorted out....  call, email, discuss what you want/need and have no worries...

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

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Octopus.Violinus
Illinois
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January 26, 2016 - 5:54 pm
Member Since: January 24, 2016
Forum Posts: 5
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Thanks guys -- that helps a lot.  I think I may move forward with this, but want to do a little more digging on the subject of 5-string vs 4-string violins vs. viola.  I have never dealt with fiddlershop before, but already have a very high opinion of them, and can't wait.

@BillyG -- that's the most I've heard on the subject of using a Viola C string on a violin -- thanks, that's kind of what I mean.  I don't know if the strings for Viola are phyiscally any larger/more dense etc, but speculate they must be in order to resonate at lower frequencies.  Pairing that on the same bridge & neck as a regular violin E (the one I break the most!) may not be wise.  Also, I know that Violas typically take a different bow than a regular Violin bow, but do not know why.  Is this just a few orchestra snooty nerds, or is there legitimate reasoning behind this?

 

Sorry for all the endless questions,

 

(¯`V´¯)
  `*.¸.*´
  ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´.•´   (¸¸.•¨¯`• Octopus

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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January 27, 2016 - 1:35 am
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I'll only guess at this, since my "viola" is not really a viola - but here goes - 

Viola strings are indeed "heavier" ( thicker gauge ) and, when brought up to tune, will have a higher tension than the "same string" on a violin - the viola A will be a higher tension string than the violin A.

Partly due to this, I imagine the viola would be somewhat less responsive in the player's hands (it would take more effort to both start the string vibrating and draw the volume desired from the instrument)

How this would affect the type of hair used, or structure of the bow - well I don't know - perhaps bow hair can be "graded" in terms of its thickness - creating a greater hair-surface-area to more aggressively grip the string ?      Perhaps there would be an increased "hiss" from the hair as the bow is moved across the strings (largely only heard by the ear of the player) ?   Perhaps more bow-pressure is generally required (I certainly observed that with the real-viola-C on an otherwise normally strung violin).  Perhaps the viola bow NEEDS heavier and stronger hair and drawn to a higher tension than its violin counterpart  ????   Oh, questions, questions, questions....  

I'm sure someone will step in to discuss / clarify / correct my understanding !

@Octopus.Violinus 

.........Sorry for all the endless questions,

   Heyyy - there is never a need to apologize for asking questions !   I work on the basis of there being no such thing as a stupid question - it's all about enlightenment and understanding !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

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Octopus.Violinus
Illinois
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January 27, 2016 - 7:05 pm
Member Since: January 24, 2016
Forum Posts: 5
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Thanks again BillyG,

 

I really like your signature about making one's own mistakes!  I hope this isn't one of mine.  Thanks again for patient explanations.  I'll be back around here soon, and will likely be buying this beast soon:

http://fiddlershop.com/instrum.....iolin.html

 

I'm excited, but the more I learn, the more I realize what there is to know that I don't :F

Regards,

 

(¯`V´¯)
  `*.¸.*´
  ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´.•´   (¸¸.•¨¯`• Octopus

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