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Dark vs. Bright Tone
How Would You Describe a Dark vs. Bright Violin Tone?
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FortyNothing
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March 10, 2019 - 4:46 am
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After playing pretty much every violin in town under $3000, I'm having trouble distinguishing the difference between a "dark" or "bright" tone.

To me that means low frequencies vs. higher frequencies. Dark tone has a richer, more wooden sounding low end, then bright has more of a metallic high end. 

Which is more desirable?

A saleswoman at one of the violin shops told me that newer and amateur players usually prefer darker sounding instruments because they can hide behind the rich tone, but many professionals and virtuosos prefer brighter sounding violins because they can really showcase their technique with them. What do you think?

She also said that new violins tend to sound brighter and get darker as they age.

I think my current violin sounds really bright, almost too bright compared to the other violins I tried around town. Is that a common thing with less expensive instruments? It's bright, but not very resonant. So kind of a dead sounding brightness if that makes any sense. 

Some of the Y. Chen (Chinese Workshop) violins I tried I couldn't really tell if they were dark or bright sounding. They were really loud! Louder than any other violin in my city. Low end and high end. Loud and resonant.But they also had a woody character to them as well, especially on the lower strings. I probably should have asked her if she thought they were bright or dark sounding. I was playing in a very big, open, warehouse like room with loud acoustics and I was using a very nice carbon fiber bow which I'm told can sound brighter than pernambuco

The Gliga (Romanian Workshop) violins I tried are advertised as being very dark. They definitely sounded "deader" to me, less resonant, but all they had were cheap wooden bows and the room I was in was littered with other violins and miscellaneous junk, so the room was very dead which may be why they didn't sound as good as they probably are.

I also tried several 100 year old German Workshop violins at another shop which sounded similar to the Romanian violins, but I was in a better sounding room and was using a JonPaul Fusion bow which was significantly better than the bow I was using at the Romanian shop. (The lady at the Romanian shop even managed to snap the first bow she tried to rosin for me to use lol. Not her fault though. Just crappy student bows. I'll go back with my nice bow and try again.) The German violins sounded pretty good, less resonant than the Chinese violins, but more resonant than the Romanian violins.

If I had to guess, I would say

The Romanian violins are the darkest

The German violins are dark, but more open sounding

The Chinese violins are bright and open

I also tried a Scott Cao 850 Kreisler violin which sounded the most balanced of everything I tried

Can anybody point me to a comparison video on YouTube or something showing the difference between dark and bright tone? It's still a little iffy to me.

Or just tell me your thoughts on dark vs. bright tone

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cid
March 10, 2019 - 10:04 am
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I went through this from Aug 2018-Oct 2018 with my violin choice. 

I first bought a Mendini Violin for $67 through Amazon. This was a test to see if I could actually hold, bow and like it. The day before we were to receive the Menidini we drove south for about an hour to check out an inexpensive viola, for the same reason, can I hold and bow it, would I like it.

This man also had a $50 violin. So I held it and found I could hold it, bow it and liked it. We were going to receive the Mendini violin the next day but my husband said to get the $50 violin. 

The next day we received my Mendini. We set up the bridge and tuned it. It sound pretty good, actually. They were a little similar in the wood quality. They did sound a little different. They are both bright. The Mendini has more fullness to its brightness. It also feels sturdier. The Windsor is hollow. Strange thing is, they both sounded kind of nice. A week later, I put Pirastro Tonicas on my Mendini. What a difference! Still bright, but not hollow. I put the strings I removed from the Mendini onto my Windsor because they were obviously a better quality string. The Windsor improved immensely. 

I enjoyed learning on my own while waiting for an instructor. This was August. In September my husband suggested we get a better quality. We could not find a violin shop close by and were actually thinking about Fiddlershop, and it would have been the go to, except I expanded the distance by another half hour drive time. I found a violin shop. I did a violin tasting. I really wanted hands on tasting.

I played a lot of violins, from their least expensive student outfits to their $2500 range. I did notice a difference. These violins all had the same setup, as much as humanly possible because the sound posts and bridges are adjusted manually in their shop. They all had the same brand and model string, Dominants, and I used the exact same bow, in the exact same room, and played the exact same songs. I was just teaching myself, so my repertoire was limited. The assistant also played the same songs on each violin for me. That was a good test.

The lower end outfits did not sound full. They were bright, but not full. They did not feel like the more expensive ones that would be made into an outfit by selecting a bow and case of your choosing. At the lower end the price included all the little extras. The next step up the price was all violin. The violins were better quality. They felt and sounded it, also. There were darker sounding ones and brighter sounding ones. The feeling of the difference when picking up each violin surprised me. I think it was due to the quality and make up of the wood and finish. Just like wood furniture, you can feel the difference of good wood over lower quality wood.

Now, I did notice that the more expensive the violin, the more robust it was, whether bright or dark. The sound was not as hollow.

I purchased a Revelle 500QX or XQ. It is a bright sounding violin. The notes are clear and crisp. Think of it as a drawn out staccato, best I can do, happy sound. You bow it and the note is there. I liked it at first, but, now here is where I think the decision between choosing bright and warm/dark comes in, the music I wanted to play was really not suited for “bright”. I had two violins that handled that good enough for me already, anyway. So, we went back to the violin shop with my violin.

This shop has a terrific trade in policy. For as long as you own the violin, you can trade for equal or greater value. They will deduct any amount needed to prepare it for resale, if it is in perfect condition like mine was, you get full purchase price towards one of equal or greater value, no matter how long you have had it, but you have to have purchased it from them. 

I did another violin taste test with violins from the price of the Revelle up to $3000 (I may have these price ranges off a little. I can’t remember how much I paid for my current violin) I explained to them that I was not happy with the brightness. It also did not sound full enough. I am still learning, but sound quality really affects me and my desire to play it, I am not being a prima dona thinking the instrument will magically make me play better. I explained all of this so they would eliminate the bright violins.

I did the taste test. It was done the same was as before. Setups all had Dominants and used the same bow and songs. I could notice the difference of the step up violins. I noticed the feel. Again, the more expensive ones felt different. I must point out, I did not know the prices or model when I was testing. It was violin 1, violin 2, etc.

The luthier came in with one that he apologized for because it was a little over my budget. He did not say by how much, but I always lowball my max when I am buying something of higher value because I know this is going to happen, so I tried it. It was beautiful. It was nice an warm. Had the same strings, etc. It was easy to play. It did have a Passione E string. I don’t know if the others in this higher up group of violins did. I didn’t know until I got it home. 

I went back and forth between that an another two violins. Back and forth. The assistant came in and I asked her to play them. I was always leaning towards the one the luthier came in with. I did not want to because it was the most expensive, but I did not know how much. I ended out getting that one because I was not going to do this again, this time it would be my keeper. I played them again, and the same feeling came across, I love this violin. I love the sound. I love how it feels in my hands. I know the sound and bowing ease will change with strings and bows, and how well it is played, but I think that deep down, the feel and the basic resonance you get, the vibration, etc will not change that much. That is what I loved about this violin. It was warm. It did not shrill like the Revelle, it felt warmer than all the others.

I went in thinking I wanted to get the Scott Cao, based on the writeups and correspondence with them. I was emailing back and forth with them. This was a big investment for us, at the higher price range and I was not doing it again. When I played the violin that the Luthier brought in. I fell in love. It is my Rudoulf Doetsch, as many of you have read in some of my posts. I still absolutely love this violin. 

It was a bit more than I had expected, but we did get it. The luthier apologized for brining it in, he wasn’t going to, but based on what I told them I was looking for when I made the appointment and what I was saying about the ones I was taste testing, he decided to bring it in. He said he knew this would be it. He was right, and I thanked him. Considering that I am not getting another, and, hopefully, will improve, we decided to get it. I am very pleased with it.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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cid
March 10, 2019 - 10:06 am
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This is a continuation of my previous response above.

Now, I am typing this on Notepad because the typing and editing of what you are typing in the forum text box is next to impossible for me so I might miss something, I think you were asking about sound and which is more desirable. That is up to the player. What do you like? If you are going to be performing, I would think both would be desirable. I mean, if you are going to be playing a beautiful romantic piece or a dark classical  piece, I would think you would want a dark warm violin. If you are going to be playing a reel, or happy song, or fiddle songs, I would think you would want a violin that suits that mood. So, a performer, I would think, would have more than one violin. 

I don’t think strings will make a warm violin bright. I think they would make it not so warm, but I don’t think they will make it a bright chipper violin. The same goes for a bright violin. Warm strings, say Obligatos, might take the edge off, but I don’t think the overall, characteristics of that violin will be changed. I think a sound post adjustment affects it, too, but I would never mess with that. But, I am not a performer or professional. I think bows affect it too, but I believe the wood and craftsmanship of the violin give it its true base character and all the other”stuff” just affects that base character. I could be wrong.

 

Addition to my response:

You mentioned Romanian, German and Chinese. First, let me say, I am not an anti-Chinese violin person. You can get a crappy German violin.  That said, the wood is a factor. I think, from what I have read, the things you mentioned have to do with the aged wood in Europe. The aged wood, I think gives the violin its richness. They have different wood than the Chinese. 

I don’t think most of the violins that are said to be made in China, are actually entirely made in China, anymore. I think the better quality Chinese ones are made in Europe and sent to China for the final touches, sound post, etc. And, they are sent to those brand name violin shops’ Chinese shops to their trained luthiers, or almost luthiers (not sure if they are or are all lutheirs). Many people do not realize that. I am not getting into the politics of that and am not going to debate it. I just cringe whenever someone snubs their nose (and you did not) simply because a violin was said to be made in China. If people would read up, they would see that it is not the same as it was before. Again, not getting into the politics of this, just the miss-generalization that I often read.

Now, the wood, from my research, rather limited, affects the sound. The grain of the wood affects the sound. The age of the wood. I also,read that years of playing does indeed make a violin mellower, warmer, darker. Something about the vibrations affecting the wood. I would think that would not happen over our lifetime of playing it. I would think that is why some people look for the older violins or violins made with older wood. And that is probably why they are more expensive. I also think that is why those European made ones are warmer than the ones that have the actual body of the violin made in China. It is the old wood availability issue.

Which one one prefers, as I stated above, I think depends on the music you desire to play. I actually use my Mendini or Windsor when I want to play something brighter. Not all the time because I do have issues bowing them. I think the bridge may have a slightly different curve? I have issues with the G and D strings and D and E string crossings. That C and G seems to be fine. Anyway, I think it is a type of music you want to play and the sound you prefer to hear. I actually think that you should get a good that has the overall sound you like, be it bright or warm. Then get a less expensive one that covers the type of songs that do not suit that overall sound. If you like warm, get a good warm and a lesser quality bright violin. If you like bright violins, get a good bright and lesser quality warm. I kind of think it would be harder to find a lesser quality warm sounding violin than a lesser quality bright because I think the more expensive old wood is used for the darker warm sounding woods. Again, that is just based in the way I am thinking about it, not because I l actually know. Of course, if you can afford to get a good quality of both ... I cannot. 

For comparison video, maybe Fiddlerman can do it or hs it.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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damfino
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March 10, 2019 - 10:25 am
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FortyNothing said

A saleswoman at one of the violin shops told me that newer and amateur players usually prefer darker sounding instruments because they can hide behind the rich tone, but many professionals and virtuosos prefer brighter sounding violins because they can really showcase their technique with them. What do you think?

Wow, initial thought is she sounds like a snob electric_gif 

I think it's all in sound preference, not hiding behind a tone. I don't even see how that could work. Tone does not = volume. 

Fiddlerman has given the simplified explanation in the past that dark vs bright toned fiddles is like adjusting the treble or bass on your stereo. Dark is like the bass being turned up, bright is turning up the treble. 

For myself, I much prefer dark fiddles. Not because I'm hiding behind the tone of my fiddle, it's because it is what my taste is. I hate the sound of a bright fiddle, it won't matter what my skill level will ever be, it's all in personal preference. 

As far as where a fiddle is made I can't say. I haven't played enough fiddles. My old fiddle teacher's main fiddle is a 300 year old Italian fiddle, and is dark and rich sounding. My old German trade fiddle is on the dark side. My Ming Jiang Zhu has been called slightly dark but with a nasal bright side. My newer fiddle is European made, American finished and set up, and very dark toned. But they are also all different models and set up differently and by all different people. 

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cid
March 10, 2019 - 11:34 am
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Oh, I forgot to mention that saleswoman’s quote. That hit a sour note from me. Maybe she uses a dark warm violin to hide those snobby sour notes!? 

She is not the only one I have read that believes that. It is also said as a reason new violinist want to learn vibrato, to hide bad intonation. Is that why some of the more experienced violinists use warm and/or vibrato, to hide their inaccuracies?

I find those statements very arrogant and ignorant. Learners have ears and sound preference. It seems to me that a violinist, without good intonation, playing a warm toned violin would have a harder time on a warm violin. Based on my experience with my first violin being bright, for me, that is the case. The notes are darker and warmer and I think it needs to be more exact. That is what I noticed between my previous brighter Revelle and my current warm Rudoulf Doetsch. Flats and sharps show up more with my Doetsch than they did on my Revelle. Flats more-so than sharps. That does not mean it is the same for all. It is my hearing. I don’t have a hearing problem, but I pick up on it more with the warmer darker violin. 

How many of those so called bad notes can be hidden by a warm dark tone? Likewise, a bright sounding violin would make those sounds stick out in a different way. Either way, intonation in the learning stages, sounds like intonation in the learning stages, no matter on a warm or bright violin. 

Does that mean that professional violinists who prefer a warm dark tone do so because they might not have perfect intonation and want to hide it? 

I really think some experienced violinists forget what it was like trying to learn the violin, and what it is like to have these generalizations aimed at them. Some experienced violinist are very helpful, but others give statements giving the impression they were born with a violin in their hand. She is a saleswoman who needs to be educated on proper salemanship and customer respect, or saleswomanship (in her case).

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Irv
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March 10, 2019 - 12:28 pm
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@cid and others.  You made my day when I read that you took the strings of a Mendini violin, swapped them for the strings of a Windsor, and the Windsor violin sounded better as the result of it.  I would not have thought that feat possible.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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cid
March 10, 2019 - 12:49 pm
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@Irv Yep. I knew the ones I took off my Mendini were better than the ones that came on the Windsor, so gave it a shot. I like the different sound the Windsor has, so I want to use somewhat good strings in it, without it costing a lot. Gave them a small upgrade of strings from the Mendini, and it was amazing. I don’t have a better quality used to try right now.  

I go from new ones for my Doetsch. The ones I removed from the Doetsch will go to the Mendini. The ones I remove from my Mendini then will go to the Windsor. After the Windsor is done with them they are pretty much ready to scrap. If I remove the strings from my Doetsch just because I want to try something different, the removed ones go back in their package because it wasn’t because they were about spent. They still have too much good time left on them.

I have only made the complete change down the line once because I don’t have to change them that often. I have some I removed from my Doetsch, but it was just to check two other brands out of curiosity, so the removed are in their original packages.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Irv
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March 10, 2019 - 1:03 pm
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@cid , you are amazing.  Reminds me of an old engineer that mentored me in my youth.  Mobil #1 synthetic motor oil was just on the market.  At every oil change, fresh oil was given to his wife’s new car, the drained oil was cleaned (as I remember with diatomaceous earth) and given to the son’s car, and so on through his fleet, with the final swap given to his old diesel.  He would only trust this procedure with full synthetic oil.  The oil filters were crushed to extract their valuable cargo.  

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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cid
March 10, 2019 - 1:49 pm
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 Nah, I am just cheap.

But, to get back to the original poster’s question, what do you all think of warm vs bright, and the other items in the original post? I am curious, too. And what about warm dark violins being chosen by students to hide bad intonation, as stated by the sales person. I strongly disagree, as my reply showed.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Irv
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A lot can be done to influence the tone of a violin.  In the case of a bright violin, changing out the bridge to one of lighter weight, moving the sound post, change out strings, and even using scotch tape to create a chimney in the treble side f hole (more on that later in a separate thread), can mellow out the tone.  I have even tuned an instrument to a lower “A” frequency for a simple fix. It is much harder to add volume to a weak sounding instrument.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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GregW
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The Scott Cao sounds like the one you were happiest with.  That might be the one that gives you the most peace that you chose correctly.  Maybe see if there is one out there that allows you to play things easier that maybe others you have to fight a little with to get the sound youu like. 

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FortyNothing
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GregW said
The Scott Cao sounds like the one you were happiest with.  That might be the one that gives you the most peace that you chose correctly.  Maybe see if there is one out there that allows you to play things easier that maybe others you have to fight a little with to get the sound youu like.   

Almost all the ones I tried were easier to play. I was hitting less multiple strings by accident, less squeaks.

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Pete_Violin
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@FortyNothing 

This is actually a very interesting and important topic regarding tone and instrument quality.

You mentioned resonance.  My luthier showed me something quite interesting one day.  He brought out several violins of various ages and quality.  He played each one and asked me to listen to the resonance or "ringing" which the instrument produces as you play.

He demonstrated to me that one aspect of quality workmanship and material is in how the instrument will "ring" with resonance..  it is a good way to gauge quality.  Not only should the instrument ring like this, but it should sound clear and clean... no buzzing, no dropping of tone.  Incidentally, this is something that can be heard better with a trained ear.  By that, I mean the nuances and overtones of the instrument is something you train your ear to hear.  It is subtle.

I agree to some extent that older instruments tend to develop richer sound.  This is why string instruments appreciate in value.  However, age is only one aspect.  The type of strings used play a major part in tone and projection of sound.  And an instrument which can produce brighter tones can benefit from bright strings.  By the same token, instruments with a warm sound can benefit from warmer strings.

My violin produces a warm sound, and my luthier chose specific strings for my violin that bring out the warmth in the instrument as well.

- Pete -

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Fiddlerman
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FortyNothing said
After playing pretty much every violin in town under $3000, I'm having trouble distinguishing the difference between a "dark" or "bright" tone.

To me that means low frequencies vs. higher frequencies. Dark tone has a richer, more wooden sounding low end, then bright has more of a metallic high end. 

Which is more desirable?

I think in most cases the darker sounding violin.

A saleswoman at one of the violin shops told me that newer and amateur players usually prefer darker sounding instruments because they can hide behind the rich tone, but many professionals and virtuosos prefer brighter sounding violins because they can really showcase their technique with them. What do you think?

Pros have varying opinions. You can showcase your technique on either just as well.

She also said that new violins tend to sound brighter and get darker as they age.

Not necessarily. Some instruments will be bright forever. Some antique instruments are very bright sounding.

I think my current violin sounds really bright, almost too bright compared to the other violins I tried around town. Is that a common thing with less expensive instruments? It's bright, but not very resonant. So kind of a dead sounding brightness if that makes any sense. 

Some of the Y. Chen (Chinese Workshop) violins I tried I couldn't really tell if they were dark or bright sounding. They were really loud! Louder than any other violin in my city. Low end and high end. Loud and resonant.But they also had a woody character to them as well, especially on the lower strings. I probably should have asked her if she thought they were bright or dark sounding. I was playing in a very big, open, warehouse like room with loud acoustics and I was using a very nice carbon fiber bow which I'm told can sound brighter than pernambuco

The Gliga (Romanian Workshop) violins I tried are advertised as being very dark. They definitely sounded "deader" to me, less resonant, but all they had were cheap wooden bows and the room I was in was littered with other violins and miscellaneous junk, so the room was very dead which may be why they didn't sound as good as they probably are.

I've played on many Gliga violins and they are both bright and dark. They vary a lot.

I also tried several 100 year old German Workshop violins at another shop which sounded similar to the Romanian violins, but I was in a better sounding room and was using a JonPaul Fusion bow which was significantly better than the bow I was using at the Romanian shop. (The lady at the Romanian shop even managed to snap the first bow she tried to rosin for me to use lol. Not her fault though. Just crappy student bows. I'll go back with my nice bow and try again.) The German violins sounded pretty good, less resonant than the Chinese violins, but more resonant than the Romanian violins.

If I had to guess, I would say

The Romanian violins are the darkest

They can be extremely bright and metallic sounding. We have purchased a lot of them.

The German violins are dark, but more open sounding

Also not so.

The Chinese violins are bright and open

Some are and some are not. Ming Jiang Zhu violins are generally very dark sounding. 

I also tried a Scott Cao 850 Kreisler violin which sounded the most balanced of everything I tried

Scott Cao violins are Chinese until I think around the STV1500 and up.

Can anybody point me to a comparison video on YouTube or something showing the difference between dark and bright tone? It's still a little iffy to me.

Or just tell me your thoughts on dark vs. bright tone  

If you play a violin piece/performance/recording through an amplifier and you turn up the low frequencies and turn down the high, you'll here a dark sound.

If you instead turn down the low frequencies and turn up the high, you'll hear a bright sound.

All the variations in between exist as well. I think you already know what a dark sound is. 🙂

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

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steveduf
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Mack plays a Gliga as her main, hers is dark and warm which is what she likes likes.   She said it feels like her violin is talking to her, that is versus one of her brighter ones

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FortyNothing
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@Fiddlerman I should clarify, I was referring to the ones I tried sounding dark or bright, not necessarily all romanian, german, or chinese violins. But it's good to know that they vary.

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AndrewH
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I've never heard of the idea of hiding intonation errors with a darker-sounding instrument. To me, intonation errors seem equally audible regardless of tone quality. Same is true of strings as instruments. I don't think my intonation seems better with darker-sounding strings or worse with brighter-sounding strings.

Resonance probably works both ways. A more resonant instrument may expose sour notes, but also gives the player better reference points to adjust intonation.

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Gordon Shumway
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damfino said

FortyNothing said

A saleswoman at one of the violin shops told me that newer and amateur players usually prefer darker sounding instruments because they can hide behind the rich tone, but many professionals and virtuosos prefer brighter sounding violins because they can really showcase their technique with them. What do you think?

Wow, initial thought is she sounds like a snob  

I don't really object to what she says. If you think you will achieve showcase technique and will want to show it off, then maybe you'll want a bright violin, but my ambition is just to join an orchestra and/or a chamber group and blend in. It's not the case that you can't solo (i.e. as part of a chamber group) on a dark violin. Maybe the audience will get an even bigger buzz from it.

AndrewH said
Resonance probably works both ways. A more resonant instrument may expose sour notes, but also gives the player better reference points to adjust intonation.  

Yes. I used to enjoy tuning my guitar using the resonances, differently for each key the music was in. (correct - it was a cheap guitar, lol)

When I got a violin, I was playing tonally flat sul tasto all the time and found the resonances to be intrusive. But now that I can select my sounding point and am more in control of my tone, I like the resonances as intonation guidelines and as tonal enrichments.

I've lost track of whether this adds to the OP or is at a tangent to it, lol!

I'd rather have a dark violin and play with depth than with bling.

Andrew

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Fiddlerman
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March 11, 2019 - 8:49 am
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FortyNothing said
@Fiddlerman I should clarify, I was referring to the ones I tried sounding dark or bright, not necessarily all romanian, german, or chinese violins. But it's good to know that they vary.  

I understand exactly what you are saying. Truth is that it was a great question. Just wanted to point out that all instruments vary greatly since I have played on more instruments than anyone can imagine. 🙂
We have plenty of contacts in Romania and distributors as well who sell Romanian instruments and I would say that it is more common that they are bright and metallic sounding. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of great Romanian instruments.

AndrewH said
I've never heard of the idea of hiding intonation errors with a darker-sounding instrument. To me, intonation errors seem equally audible regardless of tone quality. Same is true of strings as instruments. I don't think my intonation seems better with darker-sounding strings or worse with brighter-sounding strings..........

Agreed on bad intonation Andrew. I didn't catch that someone said that you could hide intonation with a darker instrument. However, it may be that bad intonation is not as bothersome for some people with dark and low notes vs high. If you hear a bass player playing super low notes out of tune, you may not be as irritated hearing them as you do when a violinist plays just as incorrectly out of tune. Just saying that it is possible.

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

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Gordon Shumway
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March 11, 2019 - 8:58 am
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Fiddlerman said
I didn't catch that someone said that you could hide intonation with a darker instrument.

I was thinking that. But it's probably implied in bright instruments demanding perfect intonation.

However, it may be that bad intonation is not as bothersome for some people with dark and low notes vs high. If you hear a bass player playing super low notes out of tune, you may not be as irritated hearing them as you do when a violinist plays just as incorrectly out of tune. Just saying that it is possible.  

Wherein lie many bassist jokes.

How do you make a bassist cry - detune one of his strings and don't tell him which one.

Andrew

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