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Changed strings and developed a wolf tone
Do different brand strings on an instrument cause wolf tones and other brands not? I changed strings on my Goronok, aka Belle. I now have a wolf tone on my D string, when playing F# in first position
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September 27, 2019 - 1:54 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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I finally removed the Spirocore C and G, and Larsen D and A from my Goronok, aka Belle. They are the strings that came on her.

Upon playing, I am finding the D string starts a wawa with the F#, first position. The longer I bow it, the more prominent it becomes. Belle also vibrates a lot at that time, that is actually what I noticed first. 

My instrument came with a wolf tone eliminator on the G string. The cello specialist at the shop said I would probably find I needed another. I guess he was right. We will have to go to the shop next Tuesday and get another wolf tone eliminator.

I put D’Addario Kaplans on her. OMGosh! She is oozing with projection. The A and E no longer have the brash raspy sharpness sound I always hear with Larsens. The G and C are so much fuller and richer. I hope it stays this way.

The minute I hit that F# in the Minuet I in Bach’s BWV 1007, wawawa with the F#, and Belle starts vibrating. A couple questions.

Do strings make a difference? I know what causes the wolf tone, so I am not looking for a scientific explanation of what causes it, it overloads me, really. I am just wondering since different string brands cause difference vibrations, is it the Kaplan string and if I ever try another brand, it might not have that F# wolf tone?

Also, if there is a wolf tone with the F# on the D string, would the F# on other strings, obviously in a different octave, cause a wolf tone on those strings? I assume a similar vibration, but maybe closer on the higher registers, and wider in the lower register F#’s, if you saw the waves. I just thought of that question,I don’t have my cello out, and won’t for a day because I need to rest a knee so it won’t get sore, preventative care, so I can’t check.

Since I just thought of that last question about wolf tones on other strings when playing F#, I was wondering if I should just get three wolf tone eliminators and put them on each string, or are wolf tones different for each note issue, or will one wolf tone eliminator will handle any string issue.

I am attaching a photo of the current wolf tone eliminator that came on my cello.

C3AB1171-C994-4B1F-AFC8-1976893758AD.jpegImage Enlarger 

The Bumblebee Flies!

September 27, 2019 - 2:13 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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Well, since the wolf tone on my G string is actually to eliminate the wolf on the D string, I should probably do the easy thing first, and just move the wolf tone eliminator. I put it in the same spot it was when the other strings were on her. I took a photo before removing the strings.

it is already pretty close to the bridge, so maybe I will move it down a tad and give it a shot when I get her out again.

The Bumblebee Flies!

September 27, 2019 - 8:04 pm
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What happens if the wolf tone does not get eliminated? I moved it down, it is now almost touching the wrap. I started at the top where the eliminator was and played for a little while, and kept tweaking it the eliminator down. It is still showing a bit of wolf tone on the F# in first position on the D string.

It was on the G string for the D string wolf sound when I bought Belle. Would the eliminator on different string and not the D string, help rid Belle of her wolf tone? 

The eliminator goes onto the string rather hard, and I think doing it often could damage the string, so I don’t want to be taking it off and putting it on over and over. 

The Bumblebee Flies!


Honorary advisor

September 27, 2019 - 8:28 pm
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I do not know all that much about wolf tones except the eliminator does need to rest on the string that is next to it and on the left (lower) side.  I do not know about positioning.

You may need to check with a string instrument professional repair.  There may be alternatives that I do not know about.

- Pete -

September 27, 2019 - 9:08 pm
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I have a lesson Wednesday, and will check with my instructor. One article I just now read said that if the wolf is on the first position F - G notes that it could be an issue with a sound post. Not necessarily, but could be. If so, I will bring it in. Time to get Rudoulf and Rudoulfa a physical. I can bring in all three, violin, viola and cello at the same time is that is the case. The instrument was never banged or jarred. I only did one string at a time, as always.

I am pretty sure it is a wolf. It really felt like nothing I ever felt when playing and only on that note, the F# on D first position. I can feel it a tad when I get close and just a tad beyond when just moving my finger up the string slowly while bowing. I don’t feel it until almost at the F# and it is very prominent at F# and has a faint remnant just the smallest tad after. Every time. I did lessen it when I lowered it.

The wolf tone  eliminator I have is a New Harmonics and comes in different weights. I checked online. Not sure which weight it is. Not going to remove it to weigh it. I don’t have a different weight to try. It only had one on it.Maybe it will just need a different weight with these strings. They do project a LOT more than the strings I removed. It does not take as much bow movement to create a good sound, either, so far. Maybe that difference created this wolf issue change. I did not notice any wolf tone before. I went up and down all strings, and that was the only one I noticed. Hoping the fix for that one does not create another.

Never really heard one before. If you ever do, you will know it. Stops me right in my bow stroke. The cello vibration feel changes, too. It is like it got a chill up its spine because you just hit the wolf spot. LOL 

I would try it on the C string because some recommended that, but most said it affects that C string too much. 

The positioning on the string the eliminator is attached to adjusts to where it works best. There isn’t a set spot. When I realized what it was and did some searching, I moved it up high by bridge and worked its way down a little at a tine while playing. Where I have it now seems to be the best place, but did not eliminate it. It is lower than it is positioned in the photo in my original post taken before I changed the strings.

The articles said that it happens more on better instruments and this is a better one, not a student. So, maybe that is why I never had that issue before? 

Will let you know what I find out for future reference for people. Hopefully, I can get this taken care of in a week or so. I always wondered what one of those sounds like. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

Fort Lauderdale
October 3, 2019 - 10:35 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16267

We actually find that the better the cello the more likely to have a wolf tone.
Perhaps we'll make a video on how to tame them at Fiddlershop.

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

October 4, 2019 - 6:13 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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I heard that, too, about better cellos, somewhere. It is a good cello. I mentioned it to my instructor the two days ago. He mentioned those magnetic eliminators. They violin shop mentioned it, also. I really didn’t want to spend the money, or be dragging the top part across the top of my cello and damaging the finish. Not sure if that would happen, but it crossed my mind. 

The cello that I was debating over with this one had one of the magnet ones on it. I preferred the Michael Goronok, though. It is a much better cello. The cellist at the shop, if I remember correctly, said I might find another woftone somewhere down the line. I was not too familiar with wolftones, so I don’t remember exactly what he said. The minute I heard it and felt my cello after putting the D’Addario Kaplan strings on, I knew it was a wolftone. I eliminated most of it by sliding the wolftone eliminator it already has on the G string down towards the string wrapping. Not too bad, now, but I do hear it and feel it a little with the F#. I thought I noticed another in a song, but haven’t come across it again. 

Maybe the Kaplan strings vibrate more and that is why the change of strings caused the other position the eliminator was in not to be effective? The eliminator was up closer to the bridge when I bought the cello. It came with Tungsten Spirocore C and G, and Larsen D and A strings. The eliminator was on the G, more than half way up towards the bridge. It is still on the G with the Kaplans, but now about 1/8” or less from the wrap. Higher up made the woftone more noticeable. The Kaplans are not as stiff as the Spirocore. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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