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Playing my new Cecilio CEVN-1BK
Learning to play new strings
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MACJR
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January 18, 2017 - 12:04 pm
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I just finished looking over the first of the two links that Fiddlerman posted.

That is useful information. I will look at the second link next.

MACJR

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Fiddlerman
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January 18, 2017 - 2:02 pm
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Glad to hear that it's helpful to you guys.

"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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Fiddlerman said
Glad to hear that it's helpful to you guys.  

Based on the information posted, I will need a couple of additional inexpensive items, but it is doable.

Now, to dig out my compass, which is in with my art supplies... which is buried under a stack of other stuff.

When I converted over to creating art almost exclusively in digital format (back in the early 1990s), all of my old arts and crafts supplies became rarely used anymore. I still keep all that stuff somewhat accessible, just not right on top anymore. I have to dig to get to them.

MACJR

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MACJR
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I just tested the arc, at a 42 mm radius, on the spare Cecilio bridge that came with my CVN-500.

I was not imaging it, if the spare bridge has the same fault as the one on the CVN-500, and almost as bad as the one on the CEVN-1BK, then Cecilio has an odd tendency to flatten the areas of the A and D string.

Why in the heck would they do that? It makes playing the A and D string so much harder than it should be.

MACJR

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Charles
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Most bridges hand-carved (or hand belt-sanded, as the case may be) by a person are not an arc of exactly 42 mm radius. The strings are at different heights above the fingerboard (because the thicker ones need more room to vibrate), and the G and especially the E may be a little lower specifically to provide more room for the A and D. My guess would be that the bridge is factory cut to be in the ballpark of right, but it is in no way, shape, or form a properly cut bridge.

Depending on what tools you have, your degree of "handiness", the accessibility of luthiers and money, I would either build one of your own or have a luthier make you one.  You'll probably have to build several before you get good at it, so if you go that route, buy one of the packs of cheap ones and figure the first few will be a learning curve. (Put unintended, but noticed.)

You can play around with the radius of curvature, and as I said, that radius is not the same on all four strings. You're going to be somewhat limited by the fingerboard, though. Getting too close to it will give you buzzing, too far away will give you a high action that will take more work to finger, and be slower.  Deviating from the theoretical ideal by too much can also cause  some tuning issues. If you were to raise the A and D up noticeably, that might help your bowing issues, but it would make the strings longer.  Since it's a fretless instrument, you might could work around it, but I'd say it'd be better not to get too wild trying to address that one problem.

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MACJR
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Charles said
Most bridges hand-carved (or hand belt-sanded, as the case may be) by a person are not an arc of exactly 42 mm radius. The strings are at different heights above the fingerboard (because the thicker ones need more room to vibrate), and the G and especially the E may be a little lower specifically to provide more room for the A and D. My guess would be that the bridge is factory cut to be in the ballpark of right, but it is in no way, shape, or form a properly cut bridge.

Depending on what tools you have, your degree of "handiness", the accessibility of luthiers and money, I would either build one of your own or have a luthier make you one.  You'll probably have to build several before you get good at it, so if you go that route, buy one of the packs of cheap ones and figure the first few will be a learning curve. (Put unintended, but noticed.)

You can play around with the radius of curvature, and as I said, that radius is not the same on all four strings. You're going to be somewhat limited by the fingerboard, though. Getting too close to it will give you buzzing, too far away will give you a high action that will take more work to finger, and be slower.  Deviating from the theoretical ideal by too much can also cause  some tuning issues. If you were to raise the A and D up noticeably, that might help your bowing issues, but it would make the strings longer.  Since it's a fretless instrument, you might could work around it, but I'd say it'd be better not to get too wild trying to address that one problem.  

Reply to paragraph 1: The arc is actually not too far off of a true 42 mm arc. Both the left and right sides start out well, but it seems the luthiers at Cecilio tend to top off just a hair or two too much over the A and D strings. It actually is not a lot, but I believe it makes a difference. Just that little bit under a 42 mm arc on the top makes those stings harder to play, especially for a beginner. I am getting better, but those strings are still an issue for me, as they are now... especially on the EV. That A string is particularly hard to play, and the D not especially easy either.

On additional factor, I think the sunk the string slots just a touch too low at the nut. They got the string slot spacing better on the nut better on the EV, than with my acoustic, but the depth puts those strings a bit close to the fingerboard. I think it does cause some buzzing on the G string sometimes. I am thinking that I may need a bridge that stands just a little taller to make up for this.

Reply to paragraph 2: Money is always an issue for me. It is a good thing I am able to do most things myself. I do the research, prepare, and then fix my own stuff, most times. I build my own custom computers, from name brand parts, I install and configure my systems, I fix old lamps if they need it, on and on it goes. Also, I did take carpentry training in my youth. My instructors thought I would make a good cabinet maker, or work with fine woods. I chose not to follow that carrier path though. This all that training has barely been used over the decades since, but I am still somewhat comfortable with carpentry tools. But yes, I definitely want to work on a few cheap practice bridges before cutting a better quality bridge.

Reply to paragraph 3: I will try for a true 42 mm arc first and see how that goes. With a little practice, I should be able to do a better job than I see in some of those pictures of bridges selling on eBay. "Fine quality workmanship," my backside!

MACJR

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Charles
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MACJR said

On additional factor, I think the sunk the string slots just a touch too low at the nut. They got the string slot spacing better on the nut better on the EV, than with my acoustic, but the depth puts those strings a bit close to the fingerboard. I think it does cause some buzzing on the G string sometimes. I am thinking that I may need a bridge that stands just a little taller to make up for this.

Caveat:  I am NOT a DIYer. I'm clumsy as hell with most tools, and have tried very little on a real violin. I'm mainly passing on what I've read.

Given how far the nut probably is from the buzzing point and how far away the bridge is, you would probably have to raise the bridge way more than desirable to get rid of it. You can get a nut fairly cheap ( http://www.stewmac.com/Materia.....n_Nut.html, qid=1484943978&sr=8-2&keywords=violin+nut ).

You could also try filling in the groove in the nut (I've heard of superglue mixed with ebony sawdust, plastic wood, etc) and then re-file it, rather less deeply. I've read several discussions on that, but a quick search for 'violin nut filler' didn't show a lot. Guitar makers have the same issue, so they might have some good suggestions, too.

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Charles
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Don't ask me why it put all my stuff in boxes and italics. The mysteries of WordPress, I guess...

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Charles said

On additional factor, I think the sunk the string slots just a touch too low at the nut. They got the string slot spacing better on the nut better on the EV, than with my acoustic, but the depth puts those strings a bit close to the fingerboard. I think it does cause some buzzing on the G string sometimes. I am thinking that I may need a bridge that stands just a little taller to make up for this.

Caveat:  I am NOT a DIYer. I'm clumsy as hell with most tools, and have tried very little on a real violin. I'm mainly passing on what I've read.

Given how far the nut probably is from the buzzing point and how far away the bridge is, you would probably have to raise the bridge way more than desirable to get rid of it. You can get a nut fairly cheap ( http://www.stewmac.com/Materia.....n_Nut.html, qid=1484943978&sr=8-2&keywords=violin+nut ).

You could also try filling in the groove in the nut (I've heard of superglue mixed with ebony sawdust, plastic wood, etc) and then re-file it, rather less deeply. I've read several discussions on that, but a quick search for 'violin nut filler' didn't show a lot. Guitar makers have the same issue, so they might have some good suggestions, too.

Wordpress does handle text formatting oddly. I am used to a different system, but there is no perfect system. Some are better at this and that, but not as good at a few other things. It is always give and take with message board software.

There is a way to clean it up, but you have to view the source code and tinker with the html tags in there.

Yeah, I had kinda figured that raising the bridge height might not be the best solution.

Thanks for the suggestion about filling in the nut grooves. I had read something somewhere that suggested something like that was possible, but I have not yet bumped into a "How To" page on doing that.

I do plan to eventually be able to remove and replace a nut, but I need to take things one step at a time, and I am currently several steps behind being ready for that.  😉

If I had all the tools and supplies I would need, and plenty of instructions to follow, I would try removing and replacing a violin nut. My plan is to wait until I do have the tools and supplies, and backup violins (one for the acoustic, and another for the electric). It will be a while before I get everything I need, and want.

If I had good instructions on doing a nut refill, that I would be willing to try sooner. I might wait until I get at least one backup violin for that too though. My current G string issue is not a constant problem. I just get a buzzing every so often... probably from sloppy bowing. However, I can do that same sloppy bowing on my acoustic and not get that buzzing sound.

I am working to get less sloppy at bowing, but when learning a new tune, my focus tends to shift away from my bowing. Rude and unexpected sounds coming from the strings tell me to wake up and bow better though.  😉

MACJR

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Charles
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For those in the US, shopgoodwill.com is a good source of cheap violins.  You can frequently get one for about $25, including shipping. (In fact, at that end, the shipping is usually more than the violin is.)  It's an auction setup, so it's best to not have your heart set on one particular one. (I discovered the hard way that I had a LOT to learn about auctions.)

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MACJR
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Charles said
For those in the US, shopgoodwill.com is a good source of cheap violins.  You can frequently get one for about $25, including shipping. (In fact, at that end, the shipping is usually more than the violin is.)  It's an auction setup, so it's best to not have your heart set on one particular one. (I discovered the hard way that I had a LOT to learn about auctions.)  

Well, Mendini certainly is well represented at that Goodwill site.  😉

A lot of low end stuff, a few good ones, and some that might be very good, if they were restored. Some of those would take a lot of time and skill to restore though.

Some of those violins might be good for a few spare parts, but others would be better as firewood... as long as you did not breathe in any of the toxic smoke they would produce.

However, there are a few items in there that I would have bid on, if I had the cash to spare right now. A 5 string electric/acoustic viola, a couple fixer-upper violins, and such. I am not ready for something that needs a lot of work, but some that just need a little bit of TLC, that I could handle.

MACJR

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MACJR
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Okay, I think I found the source of the buzzing, if not the exact cause.

It's probably not the G string being seated too low at the nut. Although the nut grooves are lower on my EV than on my acoustic, they are not too low.

Instead, it is the bow that will rattle/buzz on the G string, if it is not quite tight enough. The bow may look tight enough, but if it does not get one or two more turns, after that, it will rattle/buzz on the G string, especially when fingering middle C.

Maybe there is one or more hairs looser than the rest, that is not apparent, at least to my aging eyes, if the bow is not tight enough.

However, this is not an issue with my other two cheap bows. All three of my bows are Cecilio cheap bows, but the one I like best is the one that will buzz/rattle, on the G string, on the electric violin. Why the EV, but not the acoustic, and why just that bow? I do not know.

Even with the buzz/rattle, it is still the best sounding bow. It has the best arc and balance. However, the hair is not completely uniform on one side. It is a bit thinner of hair on one side than on the other.

I will not be able to budget in a Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Bow until March, so these cheap ones will have to do for now, even if the best of them sometimes buzz saws my tunes when playing middle C.

MACJR

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newbiw-001.JPGImage Enlarger

newbiw-006.JPGImage EnlargerMy $3 bow came in today.  Its just like all the other cheapies.  Bouncy like a wet noodle.  But hey, it was worth a shot.

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MACJR
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I think I will skip the $3 bows, and just wait until I can buy a good one.  😉

As for my current set of cheap bows, I decided that the second best bow will have to do. It does not have the good arc, or the best balance, but it does not buzz saw my G string.

And yeah, all three of my bows tend to bounce easily, but I thought that was me, because I am still a beginner. I have worked hard to reduced the instances of bounce, but they still happen sometimes. I had figured I just needed to learn more control.

MACJR

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I over-tightened this new bow which helped a lot.  It weighs 68 grams which is heavy (almost viola weight--violin60,viola70,cello80) but most of the cheapies are this weight. They are too short in the throat (the area between the wood and the hair at the tip).  I think the extra weight will help me and since I don't try to work up speed, I don't think it will hurt.

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Charles
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Some of those violins might be good for a few spare parts, but others would be better as firewood... as long as you did not breathe in any of the toxic smoke they would produce.

MACJR  

I had the super-cheap ones in mind as experimental animals, rather than firewood. For example, if you're wondering how to replace a nut, you experiment on the cheap one, and when you've found what works, then you tackle the instrument you care about.

It's not a very good site to go to for an instrument you'd want to keep. They exist, but they're rare, and it's even more rare that the price doesn't go up beyond the point it's a wise decision. (There are no returns because it has problems you didn't notice. It's very easy to spend a good chunk of money for crap.)

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Charles said

I had the super-cheap ones in mind as experimental animals, rather than firewood. For example, if you're wondering how to replace a nut, you experiment on the cheap one, and when you've found what works, then you tackle the instrument you care about.

It's not a very good site to go to for an instrument you'd want to keep. They exist, but they're rare, and it's even more rare that the price doesn't go up beyond the point it's a wise decision. (There are no returns because it has problems you didn't notice. It's very easy to spend a good chunk of money for crap.)  

Yes, I know what you had in mind for me to consider.  😉

The lowest I will go is an instrument with ebony fingerboards though, since that is what my instruments have. I want to work on comparable instruments, not toys pretending to be instruments.

Unless I feel ready to replace the fingerboard, and I am not. Not just yet. I do not have a work space setup for that, nor do I have the supplies for that kind of job right now. And why in the world would I put an ebony fingerboard on a possibly plywood body?

No, I will look for good deals on instruments close to what I have. If I do not win, because I do not want to pay too much for a used instrument of unknown condition, then I wait until I do.

And I did notice that those pictures do not show enough detail to allow a person to get a really good idea of what kind of condition that instrument may be in. What is shadow, or reflected light, and what is damage, and what is not seen in those shadows, and what is lost due to small or reduced sized images?

As for online auction sites, the first one I tried of those was one Yahoo! used to have. I remember the burn of my first bad buy to this day. I do buy on eBay sometimes, but I really do hate auction sites. Most times, I do get a good deal, but I hate getting burned, and sometimes, burned two or three times in a row. Grrrrr!

MACJR

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MACJR said

And yeah, all three of my bows tend to bounce easily, but I thought that was me, because I am still a beginner. I have worked hard to reduced the instances of bounce, but they still happen sometimes. I had figured I just needed to learn more control.

You might have been right the first time. Generally, a good bow is bouncy. I think you might have misinterpreted MrYikes metaphor (MrYikes, correct me if I'm wrong). Wet noodles are generally notable for how bouncy they are not. ("Plop" is the first word that comes to my mind. 🙂 )

One trick for correcting too much bounce is to tip the bow over the way you do near the frog (where only the side of the hair away from you is touching the strings).  The bow is under tension in the plane that goes through both the stick and the hair. It's not under tension in the plane 90 degrees to that, so it bounces less.

For me, slowing down my bow strokes also helps. It's when I'm pushing my ability to control it (on the fast end) that I tend to have bouncing problems.

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MACJR
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Charles said 

You might have been right the first time. Generally, a good bow is bouncy. I think you might have misinterpreted MrYikes metaphor (MrYikes, correct me if I'm wrong). Wet noodles are generally notable for how bouncy they are not. ("Plop" is the first word that comes to my mind. 🙂 )

One trick for correcting too much bounce is to tip the bow over the way you do near the frog (where only the side of the hair away from you is touching the strings).  The bow is under tension in the plane that goes through both the stick and the hair. It's not under tension in the plane 90 degrees to that, so it bounces less.

For me, slowing down my bow strokes also helps. It's when I'm pushing my ability to control it (on the fast end) that I tend to have bouncing problems.  

Actually, I had started tilting the bow in the manner you describe, recently. It does seem to help.

Although I will still get some bounce now and then, it is easier to get it to smooth out now. At first, four months ago, I was getting all kinds of unwanted bouncing bow action and I was having a heck of a time to get it to settle down.  😉

Although I had read an old 1920s lesson book, a free online resource I had come across somewhere, that said to hold the bow at an angle. Unfortunately, I failed to implement that at first. It was only when I was watching a Fiddlerman video, several weeks later, that I noticed how his bow was at an angle that I recalled reading that was the proper form. Since then, I have been working harder to remember to angle my bow. It does help.

Yeah, I may have missed the wet noodle reference. I love to eat, but I am not much of a cook.

MACJR

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BillyG
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January 21, 2017 - 12:32 pm
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Charles said
Don't ask me why it put all my stuff in boxes and italics. The mysteries of WordPress, I guess...  

Because you quoted something... like I did here.

And it did it again, but, now, in this paragraph, I go to the menu-bar and switch off the "Blockquote"   ( the double-quote icon ) - and it's back to normal...

  🙂

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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