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Buzzing sounds from my fiddle...
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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 29, 2018 - 9:48 am
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Well, the MJZ has had a couple of days having had some "experimentation" and "repair" done on it - repair was carving a new bridge, other experiments were radically de-tuning (by a whole tone) the instrument... (no,don't ask).   Anyway, brought it back to standard tuning, and, there's this darned slight buzzing sound under the ear.  I spend an hour investigating - it's always the "last thing you changed" - is it not ?

Well, it was the last thing I changed in the overall set-up - it was my darned shirt with the metal fastners - and of course I'm currently playing sans shoulder rest... oh well, what can you say...  life is full of laughs, even when at my own expense...  🙂  🙂  🙂  

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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September 29, 2018 - 10:09 am
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I'll take that as a recommendation: If the violin is making funny sounds, I'll just change shirts 🙂

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bocaholly
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September 29, 2018 - 10:10 am
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So now that you've gotten that shirt thing solved, how do you like the sound with your new bridge? Thinner, higher, lower?

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damfino
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September 29, 2018 - 10:21 am
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Hahaha 😀 
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mookje
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September 29, 2018 - 11:07 am
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That must be a great experience Billy, haha ? Are you happy with the other shirt and the new changes? 

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 29, 2018 - 11:07 am
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@bocaholly - well, as regards the bridge - at the moment I have done just-enough-and-no-more in order to get it installed in a reasonable and functional manner. 

Feet shaped, height reduced (relative to the new blank) leaving string clearance/action at the fingerboard as "standard" - and it pretty much is the overall size of what was there - so that's encouraging.   However, intentionally, I left quite a lot of material / mass on it - sure - I shaved down the crown, but didn't thin it overall (I didn't measure this, but it certainly is thicker than the one that came off - by eye - possibly up to 1.5mm )

So, the bridge is quite "massy" - and - if I can allocate the time as I hope to - I'll be gradually removing material to see how the sound changes.

Right now, the sound is, well, I *hesitate* to used the words "deadened" or "dampened" - it is more like the higher harmonics are significantly reduced.   It always was a hugely lively instrument, and it still is.   

If there is one word (and yes these are all SO very subjective, indeed open to other meaning in other folks minds) to describe it now - it IS "darker" and "warmer".  Although a hugely responsive and "bright" sounding instrument with the original bridge and strings - I would never have described it as "shrill" - but - it was kind of getting there (to my ear, and the genre I tend to play).   

It's always difficult to describe these things - and I go back to my comment above - I would definitely say that there is a large reduction in the higher harmonics (I mean the natural harmonics that occur from the vibrating string - I'm not referring to inter-string or body resonances or indeed artificial or stopped harmonics while playing). 

It sounds quite different under the ear, and by no means unpleasant.    Having mentioned stopped harmonics - I would seriously imagine that this bridge would have some difficulty with that, or, the player might have to work a lot harder to get that technique working.  [ I just "mess" with that sort of technique on occasion to understand how it works, but never even attempt to bring it into my playing ]

I wish I had taken some spectrum traces with Audacity before I took the old bridge off.   Of course - the old bridge is still largely "useable" - there's just a chunk missing if you saw the picture - oh - I don't think I posted it on the forum actually - hang on - here it is - 

broken-bidge.jpgImage Enlarger

 [ How did that happen ?    Well, I had a Barcus Berry piezo pickup attached, and I was in the process of removing it.   Then there is also a mounted jack socket on the ribs (clamped in a similar fashion to a chinrest) with a small cable going to the actual transducer, and I had loosened that(the jack socket), and was about to unfasten the actual pickup, when, bless her, Debbie said - "I fancy a coffee" - well I did as well, and immediately got up and walked away to make it - forgetting about the fact that the cable and 1/4" jack was still in the clamp-on socket ---- result - Bill trips on cable, off comes the clamp on the ribs - and all the energy goes into what's still fixed.....  oh yes - off comes the pickup complete with a nice bite out of the bridge !!!  Ha !   facepalm]

   Anyhooooo, that's what happened, and it's given me a chance to mess with bridge configuration.

  I have never yet messed with the soundpost on this instrument - and it remained in place during the bridge replacement, although of course it is also a candidate for taking out some of the high-end frequencies/overtones... we'll see...

  One thing at a time.....   exactly

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 29, 2018 - 11:13 am
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Oh, happy days !  🙂  bunny_pole_dancer

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damfino
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September 29, 2018 - 11:38 am
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BillyG said
Although a hugely responsive and "bright" sounding instrument with the original bridge and strings - I would never have described it as "shrill" - but - it was kind of getting there (to my ear, and the genre I tend to play).   
  

My Ming, 99.9% of the time, had opened up to being what I would call shrill, a rather harsh little instrument. On a super humid day, it turned into the perfect balance, so in the summer it tones down, but all cooler months when the house dries out, it takes on a whole other personality, haha. It kind of amazes me how much its whole tone character changes with the weather. It is probably just that way under the ear, but under the ear is what is important to me since I'm the one hearing it all the time, haha.

Are you able to just glue the missing bit back on and use that bridge as normal, or do you prefer the toned down voice with the new bridge? I'm thinking of having my Ming set up more like my new fiddle, which has lower action and a different shape to the bridge that I really like. Not in a hurry to do that, but it's on a to do list now. (never thought of my Ming as having high action until the new fiddle showed me the light, hahaha).

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 29, 2018 - 12:04 pm
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Interesting....   yes - personally I prefer the "toned down" sound - I always go for the lower registers - that's why, when on my viola-strung-fiddle I play everything - how do I say this - I play everything with the same actual fingering as I would do on fiddle - i.e. it ends up a 5th down.   Now that "viola" is a pig of a thing - it is hard work, and it's just the build of the instrument - it NEEDS digging into the strings - even when it was a violin.

The MJZ on the other hand, darned near plays itself.   It's almost as if you just need to LOOK at a string and it will vibrate (OK, I exaggerate, but you get the idea).

It is super responsive - and indeed in my still relative beginner hands - is at times "out of control" and I'm well aware of that.  Its original setup would most certainly sound wonderful in 3rd, 5th positions - of that I have no doubt - and it IS nice in 3rd, but, few of the pieces I work with require any shifted positions (although, it can of course be done, generally). 

I *do* find its setup as I think I mentioned "getting towards shrill" (although I wouldn't go that far myself - I know it can be controlled to some extent by string choice - but - it really largely is "my ear" - it's almost as if there are too many overtones present - maybe gut strings or a soundpost move would quieten it (to my ear) considerably ???? )

Yes - I still have the broken-off piece - and indeed a touch of PVA wood glue would make a virtually seamless repair (I've checked - the break is really lean, no torn bits of wood - fits like a glove) but I decided I would go down the "lets experiment with bridges" route anyway, having only ever done one before...   I'll keep you updated 🙂

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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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September 29, 2018 - 1:07 pm
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The only buzz I've had from my fiddle was when the fine tuners were loose.

Andrew

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 29, 2018 - 1:25 pm
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🙂 Indeed @Gordon Shumway - had that ( well, on a single E tuner with an improperly engaged string).

Also, to my unending shame, I had, for WEEKS an E with that little green plastic "bridge-protector" still on the string, between the bridge (which has a parchment protector) and the tailpiece.  I never noticed it, in fact, it had "stuck" on the ball-end winding (same colour - that's my excuse) and I never noticed until one day it came free... 🙂   🙂   🙂   buzzzz buzzzz buzzzz - but immediately obvious then !

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damfino
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September 29, 2018 - 3:43 pm
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I'm the same way, preferring a toned down instrument. I'd really like to hear what the Mings sound like when forced into submission that way, haha. The way my teacher described the tone, after not having heard it in months, was dark, but a nasally dark tone. I have Vision strings on mine, which I really like the feel of (the winding is very nice feeling to shift on) but I think they lend to the shrill character of the tone, so I'm going to swap Helicores back onto it. I think I might still have an old set somewhere for it. 

My new fiddle, under the ear, feels like it's as low as a fiddle can go before it just becomes a small viola (I know it doesn't project that way to the listener). I am curious how that one would handle octave strings, haha.

But, I don't blame you for wanting to experiment. I still have to do that with one of my wall hanger fiddles. I have some of the stuff to get started, but just never have.  

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Fiddlerman
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October 1, 2018 - 2:24 pm
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Sometimes when a violin sounds too dark, it begins to have a boxy feel to it.

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but the one who needs the least."

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damfino
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October 1, 2018 - 9:35 pm
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Fiddlerman said
Sometimes when a violin sounds too dark, it begins to have a boxy feel to it.  

Oh yeah, I could see that with an instrument that didn't have a good clear open sound to it. I think the Mings would have a hard time being made to sound boxy. They just have such a big voice already. 

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
January 6, 2019 - 11:57 am
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Oh man - done it again - a few months on roflol

Suddenly there's this buzzing sound from the fiddle (yup, oddly enough, on the MJZ again as it happens, but as it turns out, it could have been any of them.  Well -  other than the EV I guess)

Hahaha - this time round I had it sussed within seconds - yup - I was wearing that same darned shirt with metal stud fasteners instead of buttons ( it's actually an old, very old, shirt I hang on to for things like painting and decorating jobs) - so it was being worn earlier today whilst doing some painting - but I was obviously very neat and tidy about it, and got nothing spilled or rubbed off, on me- so I didn't bother changing out of it)

As ever, since I suffer from FPWS (fiddle playing withdrawal syndrome) I HAD to get working on the C part of Drowsy Maggie...  ( lol yeah, there's a C part in a version I like - technically - it (the entire piece) is scored in the key of D, but, modally, it's really E Dorian throughout the A and B parts - but this third part, the C part - has quite unexpectedly a cadence into C minor and finally resolves to D (major) - and not to the E of how it starts in E Dorian - it really is an interesting little sequence/cadence.  It is not immediately obvious when soloing the piece - but - with a backing track playing the chord sequence - yup - it really does catch the ear... I like it ! )

So... for a while I just kind of "worked it in to place" to get the feel of it - then I start PLAYING it, not  just noodling-around-with-it - giving it some "welly" as we say -  and ... bzzzz  bzzzz   bzzzz  it sounded like a bumble bee in my ear... and sure- it was that darned metal stud again !!!!

I'll maybe go back to using a shoulder rest Hahahahah - that'll lift the body off the darned button - oh - well - I suppose I could change my shirt.....

D'Oh....  facepalm

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bocaholly
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Sounds like we need a "Fiddler Fashion" section of the forum, ha, ha, tee hee.

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BillyG
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January 6, 2019 - 12:37 pm
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Hahaha !  Indeed !   Still can't believe it caught me out again...   🙂

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