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Carbon Composite Violas
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Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (4 votes) 
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ELCBK
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August 10, 2021 - 10:35 am
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I can understand how important it is to personally try out wood violas - even several from the same model and maker, because of inherent differences in wood. 

But, what about Carbon Composite Violas of the same make?  Would I notice differences in the way they sound, or does their manufacturing process eliminate most differences? 

Should I expect to find much difference in sound between a 15" and a 15½" CF Viola of the same make? 

https://www.electricviolinshop.com/media/catalog/product/cache/978e922220d2cffa0aba4bfd21d37413/g/l/glaserae_carbonseriesviola_green_left3-4s.jpg

 

- Emily

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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August 10, 2021 - 10:47 am
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I would still want to try the individual instrument. While more consistent than wood, carbon fiber bows still differ noticeably within the same model, and I assume the same would be true of instruments. 

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ELCBK
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August 10, 2021 - 11:37 pm
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Was kinda thinking along those lines. 

Think it's natural to become quite a bit more picky about a 2nd instrument, now that I hear & know a little more of what I want. 🤔

Don't suppose anyone has ever compared 2 CF Violas of the same make, same set up? 

Still curious about how much difference in sound between a 15" & 15½" CF - or if the difference is just more noticeable in wood ones. 

Of course I wish I was in better physical shape to just go try many instruments in person. 🙄

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AndrewH
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August 12, 2021 - 4:57 am
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I'm no expert on luthiery by any means,  but I wonder if the difference between 15" and 15.5" might be more noticeable in CF than in wood, especially when looking at bench-made wood instruments. Maybe it's possible for a maker to compensate for smaller size with wood selection, which would not be the case with carbon fiber.

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ELCBK
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August 12, 2021 - 6:47 pm
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Well, I suppose it's a bit of a moot point for me as I only have so many reasonable options, if I want a 5 string and Carbon Fiber/composite. 

Think anyone that buys a Viola wants to buy the largest they can comfortable play, to get the richest sound out of the low end.

Had some help measuring from my neck to the middle of my palm - 26½".  Think that puts me within range of a 15½" Viola. 

I know there's differences between wood models when it comes to overall, body & fingerboard, length - not a clue about CF.  If I'm judging by my Glasser violin, I can comfortably reach further and still across.  I'm just worried about Glasser weight.

I know of at least one manufacturer that states ALL their CF instruments sound almost identical - they make a 5 string Violin, but not a 5 string Viola. 

Fiddlershop carries Mezzo-Forte, but they don't make a 15½ with 5 strings. 

Even a 15" CF Viola is hard to come by as a 5 string. 

So, after all this - Glasser remains, and I have to admit a lighter weight instrument would be preferred, but at how many thousands of dollars more? 

I'm not soloing on stage, so... can't justify anything too extravagant. 😞 

I suppose if there isn't much difference in sound between a 15" vs. a 15½" Viola, it would be more comfortable to choose the smaller to play. 

...still thinking.

Still waiting to hear from Fiddlershop about a question I asked - are Glasser's 5 string Violas now available with CF bridge & sound post?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 3, 2021 - 10:31 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Seems that they have wooden bridges and sound-posts.
Are you interested in a composite bridge and sound-post. I could ask Andrew Glasser.

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

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ELCBK
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September 3, 2021 - 8:06 pm
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@Fiddlerman -

#1) I would absolutely LOVE to find out if Glasser has a

5-string Composite Viola Bridge & Soundpost available! 

#2) My big question, is do they improve the sound transmission from the strings? 

#3) Also, any way to get a sound comparison of the

Glasser 5-string Violin vs. Glasser 5-string 15" Viola? 

#4) Lastly,

is there much difference in sound between a

15" Viola vs. 15½" Viola? 

Thank You! 

...others on the fence might also appreciate this info. 😊 

- Emily

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 7, 2021 - 12:47 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15626

ELCBK said

@Fiddlerman -

#1) I would absolutely LOVE to find out if Glasser has a
5-string Composite Viola Bridge & Soundpost available! 

I'll find out.

#2) My big question, is do they improve the sound transmission from the strings? 

I think it's quite the opposite from what I've experienced. At least, we had some issues and they are hard to resolve with the carbon fiber sound posts. The bridges, not much of an issue though. The wooden sound-posts and bridges seem to sound better, perhaps not project more though.

#3) Also, any way to get a sound comparison of the

Glasser 5-string Violin vs. Glasser5-string 15" Viola? 

For you, yes.

#4) Lastly,is there much difference in sound between a
15" Viola vs. 15½" Viola? 

Usually yes. However a great instrument that is smaller will dominate over a worse instrument. A bigger viola tends to sound deeper. That being said, the individual violas differ from one another. I wouldn't choose a half inch bigger viola just for the darker sound, rather try to find a great smaller one that will feel good when you play it. I've played on small violas that pack a punch.

Thank You! 
...others on the fence might also appreciate this info. 😊 
- Emily

There is a good chance.

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

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ELCBK
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September 7, 2021 - 2:20 pm
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@Fiddlerman -

Thank you VERY much! 

Great, except now you're making me feel I need to hear a  15" Glasser Acoustic 5-string Viola vs. a 15½" (same)?

...sound, for me, needs to make the extra weight worth it. 

...I'm a Harley Girl. 😉

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 7, 2021 - 3:15 pm
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ELCBK said
@Fiddlerman -

Thank you VERY much! 

Great, except now you're making me feel I need to hear a  15" Glasser Acoustic 5-string Viola vs. a 15½" (same)?

We'll do that for you. Please send me the request and I'll put it on the schedule.

...sound, for me, needs to make the extra weight worth it.

We can get lucky and have a 15" that sounds as good or better than the 15.5"

...I'm a Harley Girl. 😉  

Why am I not surprised. LOL

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

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ELCBK
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September 7, 2021 - 5:43 pm
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@Fiddlerman -

THANK YOU! 
💖 💖 💖 
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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 8, 2021 - 11:16 am
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You're welcome. Don't forget to email me though.

Cheers!

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

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ELCBK
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September 25, 2021 - 2:15 am
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So, Fiddlerman helped me make a decision (🥰), but wanted to mention that I have been asked by several friends and family members - "Just why am I not getting a 5-string Viola made of wood?" 

Have to admit it, a nice wood Viola really crossed my mind.  ...until yesterday.  Three of my Grandkids ran in & jumped up on my bed, where I'd laid 'Mortimer', all to give me a hug! 

I managed to rescue 'Mortimer' just in time - this time! 😳 

Found a video comparison of an Acoustic Glasser 5-string Violin and an Acoustic Glasser 5-string, 16' Viola played by Victoria Athmann and great video samples at Fiddlershop - ALL SOUND GREAT.  So, I went back & re-measured my arm better this time, where the video said to (seems I didn't do it right the 1st time) - 27".

I'm now positive a 16" Glasser 5-string Viola will be perfect for me. 🤗  

AND, what if it doesn't sound like what I've heard the Professional musicians play... well, then guess it's up to me to change that. 🙄 

 

Btw, in case I haven't said it enough before...

Yay!  5-strings are magical! 

- Emily

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