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Adding fine tuners
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Byron Bay Australia

December 24, 2012 - 4:41 am
Member Since: April 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 1575
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I have a viola with no fine tuners. I can tune it without them, but being lazy, I'd like to have them.

My only concern in fitting them is that it will change the after length of the strings. What detrimental effect would this have on the sound of the viola.

I have noticed that the tailpiece could be, with a new tail gut,  be moved back about a quarter of an inch if needed to compensate for the change caused by the fitting of the fine tuners

Any help would be great


Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

King for a Day, Peasant for many

December 24, 2012 - 4:51 am
Member Since: February 13, 2012
Forum Posts: 1813
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Since I don't have a viola, only violins (3), all I can say is that on my Kohr K500 it came without the FT's and I ran a sound analysis trace. Compared to it's "as made" condition, I lengthened the after length dimension to compensate for adding FT's to the tailpiece and found to my amazment that the addition actually increased the upper frequency response and loudness of the instrument.

If things are similiar, (and violins and violas share the same general frequencies with the viola going a bit lower, I would venture a guess that you will find adding FT's to it will make little if any negative change and in my opinion from my violin experience, increase the quality of sound, and make it much easier to tune.

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

Regular advisor

December 24, 2012 - 1:20 pm
Member Since: June 24, 2012
Forum Posts: 110
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Another option would be to have a new tailpiece with a slightly shorter length, with fine tuners built into it. They usually look better in my opinion, but that's if you like composite looking metal materials (I am unsure if they make them in ebony or other classic woods!)

Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa

December 24, 2012 - 1:35 pm
Member Since: September 10, 2011
Forum Posts: 1969
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there are other types of fine tuners that don't effect the after length. They are sold at


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Fort Lauderdale
December 26, 2012 - 9:30 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13235

If you are concerned about the after-length you can probably shorten the tailpiece gut (nylon adjuster) to make up for the difference.
How much distance is there between the beginning of the tailpiece and the bottom of the viola?

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