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Playing my new Cecilio CEVN-1BK
Learning to play new strings
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Rosco
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January 16, 2017 - 4:20 pm
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I bought a CEVN-4Y from KK about a year and a half ago and didn’t like the curvature of the bridge either. I just worked slowly with a triangular jeweler’s file and made the necessary adjustments (using a luthier-made bridge as a guide). I also sanded quite a bit off the base of the bridge to lower the action and used the same file to drop the grooves in the nut a little. I replaced the tailpiece with a Wittner Ultra and put Zyex strings on.

Although I own 4 violins, I use the Cecilio daily for technical practice and development (bow control etc.). The playability is in the ballpark with a $1500 fiddle I play out with. Keep refining the instrument as you go. It’s amazing how much improvement can be achieved with a little time and a few dollars spent.

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MACJR
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January 16, 2017 - 7:39 pm
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I may end up having to do some similar custom bridge work, Rosco. Although I am getting used to the low clearance of the D string, to some extent, it is still all too easy to rub up against either the G or the A string at the same time.

I have also found that the clearance space for the A string is even worse. I thought the A string on my CVN-500 was bad (and it is), but the clearance space on this one is much worse. There is almost no clearance space at all to bow within.

The problem really kicks in when fingering notes on either the A or D string. This lowers the string height even more, making bowing those strings even harder.

I may have to invest in a set of spare bridges so I can experiment to find a bridge arc that works better for me.

MACJR

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Rosco
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January 16, 2017 - 9:06 pm
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Fortunately, bridge blanks aren’t very expensive (ebay or Amazon) and the CEVN not being an acoustic violin, you don’t have to worry too much about getting high quality ones to play with. I went to a local music store that had a luthier and begged a couple old bent and broken bridges from him, so I had a template of what the curvature should look like. I cut one in half crosswise and slid it up under the strings right in front of the Cecilio bridge. That pretty much showed me which grooves needed to be lowered. I left the highest (D string) where it was and dropped the rest accordingly.

It was great experience and emboldened me to do the work on the nut as well. It’s really important to build the muscle memory into your bowing arm based on a standard student curvature bridge. You need that spacing to allow you to build skill.

 I originally started to learn on a modified professional bluegrass fiddler’s setup on an old German fiddle (very flat curvature)… what did I know! It drove me crazy. My first private teacher told me to replace it or I was pretty much wasting both of our time. A well done bridge made a world of difference in my progression as a player. It cost $35 to have a new one carved by a luthier, but worth every dime. At least when I was faced with fixing the CEVN bridge, I knew what I was shooting for.

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MrYikes
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January 16, 2017 - 10:02 pm
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I had these out today to replace the original bridge on the soloist (its projection is down to 24 so the strings were too high).  These are the bridges that were worth keeping, many others were thrown away.  I post this so that you know it's okay to buy 3 or 4.  Having an extra is a good thing.

bridge-002.JPGImage Enlarger

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Rosco
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January 16, 2017 - 10:47 pm
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MrYikes said
I had these out today to replace the original bridge on the soloist (its projection is down to 24 so the strings were too high).  These are the bridges that were worth keeping, many others were thrown away.  I post this so that you know it's okay to buy 3 or 4.  Having an extra is a good thing.

You're absolutely right. I found this old violin with no tuners, bridge or tailpiece. I cut 6 or 7 inexpensive bridges before getting it setup right (learned a bunch), then I bought a nice quality bridge blank and made a copy of the best test piece.

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MrYikes
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January 17, 2017 - 8:18 am
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Hi Roscoe, isn't it fun when things work out?  and sometimes even more fun when they don't.  Good looking violin.  Hopefully someday you'll put up a sound file, I'd like to hear it.
I was cruising ebay yesterday and saw some prices:
bridges-$.50, set of needle files $3, humidity gauge $3, tuners $3, cherub piezo $5 and I bought a bow for $3.54 w/free ship.  Missed a chance to get another Mendini 650, but it went for $130 so the value wasn't there.

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Fran
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January 17, 2017 - 10:54 am
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Return it and complain to Amazon. They want customer satisfaction and will make it right

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MACJR
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January 17, 2017 - 12:22 pm
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I will look into bridge options. Buying one professionally done bridge to use as a guide does sound like a good idea. If I can squeeze it into my budget, I might do that.

A pack of cheap bridge to play with may have to do for now though.

I do have a set of needle files. They are still mostly in like new condition, with a couple having been used now and again for this and that.

Thanks for the suggestion, Fran, but I do not want to return the EV just because of a bad bridge. The bridge can be fixed or replaced, but I have found that buying Cecilio violins is a bit of a lottery. Ya never know if you are going to get one with an excellent paint/varnish job, or one done in a very sloppy manner. Since the EV I received has a well done paint job, I am not about to send it back and risk getting a sloppy job replacement. I would rather just replace the bridge.

The Cecilio CEVN-1BK violin itself is very good, it is just the bridge that I have issues with. In this case, it is worth fixing the problem rather than replacing the whole thing.

MACJR

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MACJR
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January 17, 2017 - 2:01 pm
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Okay, took a look around over at Fiddlershop.com for shaped bridges. They have an inexpensive "Teller Fitted Violin Bridge" over there that looks like it has a better shaped arc than the ones on my Cecilio bridges.

I think I will buy two of those, and their set of 3 unshaped ones too.

Of the two fitted bridges, I can keep one as a master template. The second one I will fit to my Cecilio CVN-500.

Then I will use the reserved fitted template bridge to shape one of those three unshaped bridges for my Cecilio CEVN-1BK. This leaves me with two blanks to spare.

Now that I have the plan, and have adjusted my budget, I just have to wait a couple of weeks for payday so I can buy them.

They will be my first Fiddlershop.com purchase.  😉

MACJR

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 17, 2017 - 2:18 pm
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I'm glad to hear that it wasn't an issue that Fiddlershop was responsible for but it would have come from Cecilio anyway. Glad to hear that you will turn to Fiddlershop for future purchases though. 🙂

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

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MACJR
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January 17, 2017 - 2:37 pm
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Fiddlerman said
I'm glad to hear that it wasn't an issue that Fiddlershop was responsible for but it would have come from Cecilio anyway. Glad to hear that you will turn to Fiddlershop for future purchases though. 🙂  

Fiddlershop has been on my radar for a while now. I do have a wishlist of items there that I plan to get at some point. I just have a lot of other things to get first.

Also, I live on a tight budget, so sometimes I need to take the lower price from a competitor. But there are items there at Fiddershop that do have an acceptable price, that I do plan to buy.

For example, the Cecilio CVA-600 viola, that is listed over at Fiddlershop, may cost a little more than I can buy it for elsewhere, but the one offered at Fiddlershop is the premium version of that CVA-600, and that, I do not see listed anywhere else I have looked. That makes it worth that little bit higher price Fiddlershop is asking for it, to me.

It is an item I will have to save up for anyway, so saving a little more is not a problem.

MACJR

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Fiddlerman
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January 17, 2017 - 3:47 pm
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MACJR, we will beat anyones price. Lowest price guarantee here.
Cecilio is hard to compete with because they actually sell their own product secretly (though we know about it) through their own store called kkmusicstore. One time we got a return call from Cecilio Music about an issue that we had on a return and the number ID showed KKmusicstore. They quickly hung up and called right back on Cecilio Music..... LOL
They also sell their own product on Amazon. Of course we can never compete with Cecilio selling Cecilio instruments. We'll do our best though.
Truth is that we have been called by some retailers complaining that we are dumping the market on some instruments 🙁
Can't win them all.
In any case everyone, let us know if you find a better price on something somewhere else and we'll do our best to beat it short of loosing money on the sale, which believe it or not, has happened a few times.

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

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MACJR
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January 17, 2017 - 4:05 pm
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I just learned the other day that the KK Music Store was actually Cecilio... or at least, I was give strong reason to suspect this.

When I wrote to Cecilio support, to see about getting a replacement bridge, I sent that to a Cecilio support e-mail address.

The replacement bridge, that cello bridge that isn't what I needed, came from KK Music Store.

I suppose that Cecilio could have done some research to find out where I bought that electric violin from, because I never told them. I just said brand and model number, and stated the issue. I never said where I bought that EV from, which was KK Music Store, through Amazon.

MACJR

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Rosco
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January 17, 2017 - 4:53 pm
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MACJR,

Something to be aware of, the feet of a pre-cut fitted bridge will very likely be shaped to match an arched surface (the top plate of an acoustic violin). The surface of the electronic pickup (where the bridge stands) on your CEVN is more than likely flat (not arched). You will probably have to sand the base of a fitted bridge flat in order to sit properly on the CEVN pick up.

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Fiddlerman
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January 17, 2017 - 5:07 pm
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KKmusicstore is Cecilio. They will deny it to avoid loosing their retailers but we have learned this on several occasions. This is why we have trouble competing with this one product. They also sell directly through Amazon.

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

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MACJR
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January 17, 2017 - 5:15 pm
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Rosco said
MACJR,

Something to be aware of, the feet of a pre-cut fitted bridge will very likely be shaped to match an arched surface (the top plate of an acoustic violin). The surface of the electronic pickup (where the bridge stands) on your CEVN is more than likely flat (not arched). You will probably have to sand the base of a fitted bridge flat in order to sit properly on the CEVN pick up.  

Which is why I am buying a set of three Teller unfitted bridges to go with those two fitted bridges.

One fitted bridge goes on to my CVN-500, the second fitted bridge is to be used just as a template, so I can transfer the arc over to one of the unfitted bridges, that already has flat feet (or relatively flat feet). Then use the worked-over raw bridge on the electric violin.

That's the plan, Rosco.  😉

MACJR

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Rosco
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January 17, 2017 - 5:57 pm
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MACJR said

One fitted bridge goes on to my CVN-500, the second fitted bridge is to be used just as a template, so I can transfer the arc over to one of the unfitted bridges, that already has flat feet (or relatively flat feet). Then use the worked-over raw bridge on the electric violin.

That's the plan, Rosco.  😉

MACJR  

And it sounds like a well thought out one... anxious to hear how it goes.

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MrYikes
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January 17, 2017 - 9:30 pm
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Mac, you can google "how to make a violin bridge" and get a lot of info.  The arc is 42 mm radius.  Just draw it on paper, cut it out and put it against the blank.

Making a bridge is a lot of fun as long as you don't have to hurry.

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Fiddlerman
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January 18, 2017 - 7:19 am
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"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Rosco
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January 18, 2017 - 11:57 am
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Fiddlerman – Both of those links have great tips in them. Thanks so much!

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