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Fiddlerman Soloist too bright / Pegs stuck
Fiddlerman soloist
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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bunify
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March 22, 2020 - 6:54 am
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I have a Fiddlerman soloist and it’s way too loud. The E strings is very ear piercing. It costed me $2580 AUD plus customs. 
will changing the strings to obligatos help tone it down? I regret getting the Fiddlerman Soloist.. maybe should of gotten the MJZ 905 as that is supposed to sound bit more darker? 

Also, the A string peg is stuck and so hard to turn and I’ve put peg dope many times and it still can’t turn properly.

I wonder if the violin will sound more mellow and darker over time?

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cid
March 22, 2020 - 8:31 am
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I don't know for sure, but I would suggest you contact the Fiddlershop. None of us work for them. There may be some replies coming from others who may have suggestions, but I would definitely contact the Fiddlershop for suggestions. They have great customer support. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Irv
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March 22, 2020 - 8:48 am
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@bunify and others.  Loud, in my book, is good.  

The only listed complaint that I can help you with is the stuck peg.  Find a bottle of unused (or reactivated, you can do this with a conventional or microwave oven) desiccant.  Pour the desiccant in a plastic bag.  Put the bag over the peg head and secure the bag over the neck with tape (only put the tape on the bag or you will have another complaint).  In about 8 hours to a day of the wood losing moisture to the desiccant, the peg will free itself from the pegbox and you can remove it.

Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular race.  The soul emanates equal and eternal from bodies different in shape and color.  It is sufficient to say ‘Man’ to comprehend therein all rights.                                                    — Jose Marti 

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

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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March 22, 2020 - 9:21 am
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The volume you hear when you're playing has much more to do with where you hold the violin than how loud the instrument is. The intensity of sound drops with the square of distance; over short distances such as that between a violin and the player's left ear, an inch or two can make a huge difference. Perhaps you are holding it closer to your ear because of a different chinrest or shoulder rest from what you are used to?

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GregW
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March 22, 2020 - 1:22 pm
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the pegs on mine react like the tuners on my guitar.  I couldn't believe how smooth they were.  wasn't expecting that.  I know that doesn't help you much but maybe it does comparison wise to someone else's experience. also..my soloist is also loud under my ear compared to my 1st violin.  

reading back through your search for a violin..do you think its possible youre due for a string change now as far as the e string being piercing?  I think maybe youve had the soloist since around November or so?  Have you recorded your playing to see if the piercing sound is audible from a distance?

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bunify
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March 22, 2020 - 4:19 pm
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I did contacted fiddlerman support and they sent me peg dope which didn’t help loosen the pegs.. I also tried all their suggestions. 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 22, 2020 - 4:57 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Did you ever check that the string is not wound up against the inner wall of the instrument. We set up the instruments as good or better than any dealer/luthier/string tech out there, and test them afterwards. However, a certain degree of knowhow is necessary to get pegs to just the right tension.
If they wind hard against the inside they will pull themselves in to the point that they are extremely hard to turn. You must attempt to back the tension off and allow the peg to move outwards.
Some people like strong bright violins will others prefer dark ones. Usually strength is good in the sense that you can relax with less pressure and not press to get the sound out when necessary.

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

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MrYikes
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March 23, 2020 - 11:58 am
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I am going to suggest something that will be unpopular. Go to ebay or amazon and buy a $30 basswood or plywood violin. It will play quieter and easier than the soloist. It will have a darker, lower sound. You will not sound fantastic on it, but you will be able to play tunes that you will enjoy hearing.
After a period of time, you will want to hear something better out of your violin and you can then pick up your soloist and have the best of both worlds. You will have also acquired enough experience to know how to handle the pegs if you play with your cheap violin.
I used to change strings weekly because I was testing different cheap china strings. I became very good at working the pegs and understanding different problems (like the strings rubbing against the peg box) and I was having fun doing it.
Bottom line: your soloist violin is a very good instrument. Fiddlerman and his business are first rate, absolutely great people. My soloist is also loud which will be a good thing when I play with others at a jam session (banjos are tough competition), but for practicing at home I much prefer a different violin,,,or I just go pound on the drums.
Nothing I wrote was meant to be hurtful.

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
March 23, 2020 - 1:43 pm
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Very good point @MrYikes 

Never having played a Soloist, I cannot compare it to my MJZ 905 although they're pretty much in the same price range - so I would imagine they are pretty much of equal quality.   

When I first got my MJZ 905 - boy - was she hard to play (but sounded great!).   It is hugely responsive, and it was as if she had a mind of her own (well, rightly so, LOL), and I had to learn to "control" it.  And that was all in the bow control!  My "normal weight" bowing almost required me to wear ear-plugs, and I am not joking....   After a few days re-learning my bowing action, and adapting to her demands, she was fully under control and could talk in a sweet and super-gentle whisper, all the way up to a deafening lion's roar.

Good point on the cheap violin - to get my old Skylark (that's the one I've now strung C, G, D, A) to sing properly, the necessary bowing action reminds me of sawing through a 6" x 4" flooring joist with a hand-saw.  It's just different.....   I love her as much as the Ming and the others - they all have their own unique voice, and I have no favourite ! 

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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x Coach
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March 23, 2020 - 11:17 pm
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I owned a soloist and upgraded to a Holstein MJZ last month. Obviously the higher quality violin projects louder when I play. If you want yours to not project as loudly, I suggest Piastro ViolinO strings. They are not as pricey as the Obligatos and have a more mellow sound than the Dominants or Visions that are on your soloist. I’ve never had a peg to stick, so I can’t be of much help on that. You could also use a tourte mute to dampen it some. I used one a lot when practicing at night on my soloist to not disturb my wife in the other room.

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Sasha
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March 24, 2020 - 5:30 pm
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I have the soloist also, and mine has been mellowing out over time, but I also think some of that is due to strings breaking in more, and for my case (being new) my bowing.   It still was brighter (but not unpleasantly so) when I listened to my teacher play it vs playing her own.  It was also louder, and projected more.

I don't know what yours came with, but mine came with Vision strings, and I am sure I will be switching to different strings when it is time to replace them (which seems to be coming up soon).  My next set will probably be Dominants (G, D, A) with a Pirastro Gold E.   That seems to be a pretty common 'mixed' set and should be mellower than the Visons, especially on the E string.

For now, since the Soloist is so loud, I do occasionally play with a musician's ear plug in my left ear only, that tones down some of the volume and brightness (due to proximity) without having to resort to a mute, and a decent set of earplugs are great to have around.   It also does not affect tonality as much as a mute does.

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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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March 25, 2020 - 2:34 am
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bunify said

I have a Fiddlerman soloist and it’s way too loud. The E strings is very ear piercing.

What @AndrewH said.

Also, the A string peg is stuck and so hard to turn and I’ve put peg dope many times and it still can't turn properly.

What @Fiddlerman said, probably.

Oh, how did I go from 997 to 1002 postings? I don't remember posting 5 times!

Andrew

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AndrewH
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March 25, 2020 - 4:12 am
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But if OP was playing a VSO or a barely-above-VSO student violin before, then Billy has a good point. Those are often constructed very heavily (I remember a chat in which I discovered that Billy's Skylark violin weighs more than my 15.75" viola), and need both high tension strings and a heavy bow stroke. If you're used to that, then your "normal" bow weight will be a fortissimo on a good violin.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 25, 2020 - 9:19 am
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Sasha brings up a great point. Well built violins such as the Soloist "open" up over time. They mellow out, they not only break in but become easier to play.
We sell a great deal of Soloist violins and we don't have time to "play" them in. We definitely test every one before shipping but if I ever get a hold of a Soloist owned by a customer coming in for something else, the sound is almost always way better when they have been played on.
A better instrument should not be forced as much as a badly built or overly thick instrument. The fact that they are better allows one to play with more ease and relaxation. You must also keep that in mind if you're not used to this type of instrument.
Funny story.

Not too long ago we had a customer that purchased a MJZ905 and was super dissatisfied with it. We immediately made it clear that she could return it and get a full refund but her email to us was very aggressive.
To our offer she told us that she wanted to show it to her teacher first.
The day after she met with her teacher she sent us an email saying that she has never been happier with a purchase in her life and wanted to apologize for her previous email and correspondence. Not only did her teacher love the instrument but she preferred it to her own violin. This same teacher has recommended all her students to purchase from us and we have been serving her students since then.

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

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MrYikes
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March 25, 2020 - 10:07 am
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It is my hope that Bunify will be able to do the same thing soon.

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Irv
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March 25, 2020 - 10:10 am
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@bunify and others.  In order to help you (if you are indeed still with interest to this forum thread), I need some input.  A few digital pictures of how the strings are wrapped to the pegs in the pegbox would go a long way toward determining if the pegs are binding due string interference with the peg box wall.  In this age of wonders, it is not difficult to post a picture on the forum (even I can do it).

Opening up a violin either requires playing it or exposing it to a high level of vibrations (like placing it near a loud speaker at a rock concert).  

Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular race.  The soul emanates equal and eternal from bodies different in shape and color.  It is sufficient to say ‘Man’ to comprehend therein all rights.                                                    — Jose Marti 

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

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bunify
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March 26, 2020 - 6:27 am
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Thanks for everyone’s replies and I’m sorry I didn’t mean to offend anyone or Fiddlerman. It’s good to hear that it does mellow out. Maybe I’ll have to give it some time. I think my regret is that I’m kicking myself that what if I could of gotten the MJZ 905 which might of been better? Or is it not? 

I will post pictures of my strings in the pegbox tomorrow. 

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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March 26, 2020 - 9:53 am
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Hi Bunify,

I'm from the "wear a musician's earplug" coalition! 

It takes the perceived sound level my practicing (almost 2 years worth) from "hard to bear" to "almost lovely" with little inconvenience!

I'm using just the left earplug from Earasers which I got from Fiddlershop. 
At about 69 AUD they're expensive but the body is of silicone and can be easily cleaned. They also come in 4 sizes.

Besides for practicing, I wear the left plug at Old Time jam sessions and orchestra too. Being the last of the second violins, picture me just in front of the percussions and/or the trumpets, LOL. BTW, I take the earplug out when we start chatting at the jam or when the conductor is sharing any lengthy thoughts since the plug does an overly good job at filtering out speech IMHO.

Re: Your stuck peg, I'm sure you'll find a fix and hope you do sooner rather than later!

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Mimi Aysha
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March 27, 2020 - 11:57 am
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Too funny Bocaholly, I have some I wear as my hubby snores light a freight train...never thought of wearing them for anything else....I tend to grind my teeth when I'm playing - not going to be a pretty sight with my night mouthguard and ear plugs !

@bunify - I hope doesn't put you off playing, I think most instruments calm down a bit after some playing, when it all settles in, (apart from my grandsons saxophone! it's still torture)

The soloist sounds to me like its leaning towards the darker side on the FM website, it's a gorgeous violin, congratulations..... I do hope you find your happy strings and volume...

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bunify
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March 27, 2020 - 7:54 pm
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C06D28F0-24D0-4BE0-A5EC-9683D44D65E3.jpegImage EnlargerMy strings in the pegbox.

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