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I stole the FM’s poll title.
I have a 4/4 Stainer copy. I bought it because it was listed as ¾ size. Any way, nothing was as described, size not right, there was open seam, and sound post was rolling in the body. I stood the sound post up and took it to a luthier, he fixed the open seam but would not put a new sound post in for me because there are three pieces of wood glued on the back on the inside. He thought there might be cracks. So I just left the sound post the way I set it.
I bought a new set of strings and put them on. My husband and my daughter both like the sound but I thought its sound was too bright, too ear piercing, and too loud under my ear. Whenever I used it to practice I put a rubber mute on.
Ferret posted “What strings to tame a loud and very ‘bright’ violin?” as well as the FM’s poll inspired me to make some changes on my Stainer copy. So I bought a new set of pro arte strings to put on it. While I was changing the strings, I thought I would take the bridge off to make a template so I could fit a bridge later to see if a bridge would make a difference and I thought the bridge was on the thin side. When I attempted to take the bridge off, the strings glided on the groves and sort of “sand” off the wood. I stopped the string changing process and went ahead to fit a bridge.
When the bridge is done, I continued the string changing process. All of a sudden, I heard the sound post fell over and began to roll in the body again. So I started to cut a new sound post – a plan that I had postponed. So now my Stainer copy has a new set of strings, a new bridge that I intentionally make it thicker than the old one, and a new sound post.
When I played on it, I immediately noticed a big difference on the sound and love it! It’s still loud but much less ear piercing that my ear could take it! I tuned and played and played. However, I cannot tell for sure, which change make the difference, the strings, the bridge, or the sound post, or any combination of the three, or all of them. Any way, I am glad that I made the changes and that I love the new sound.
I should have recorded the original sound before I started all these so I could compare the sound before and after changes. Well, too late now:)