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Scherl and Roth Violin?
Guitarist clueless about fiddles...but ordered a used Scherl and Roth Violin Model R41E15 from an auction site; is this a fair quality fiddle?
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foxwaves
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April 5, 2022 - 8:42 am
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Hello Folks,

I've been playing guitar and a few other instruments for about 54 years, but never really tried a fiddle. Last night I bidded on and won a Scherl and Roth Violin, Serial J 20599, Model R41E15 violin, price just over $60 including shipping. It appears to be in good condition, with the exception of maybe needed one fine tuner replaced. 

Did I buy a decent fiddle for the price? Any guidance would be appreciated, such as strings to buy, fine tuners and so on. Thanks!

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Tim317
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April 5, 2022 - 12:05 pm
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Hello foxwaves

Scherl and Roth have been around for a while I do not know a lot about them but they seem decent for student violins.

As long as there's no structural damage and your sound post is still in place you should be fine for that price.

Being used you have an advantage if the violin was any good when it was made, of the sound being opened up a bit before you bought it

Not knowing what all was included in the auction you won makes it hard to give advice as to what you might need.

Fine tuners are fairly cheap as far as price strings are another story and depending on what style you want to play they can cost more than what you gave for you fiddle in some cases but I would not start with anything costly to start out with seeing you have never played one before.

And last of all that I can think of if it was not included you might want to get a shoulder rest and a mute might come in handy remember just starting out you will produce sounds that only cats make at certain times in the beginning.

The fine tuner and everything you might want or need can be found at fiddler shop (and no I don't get paid to say that) their prices are good and hands down you won't find anyone who cares for their customers as much as they do they knew their stuff.

I hope you enjoy the journey you are about to embark if you stick with it I believe you will really enjoy it.

Timviolin-1267   

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foxwaves
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April 5, 2022 - 1:12 pm
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Thank you very much for your reply, Tim. What you wrote is very helpful. Attached are some photos of the fiddle. I hope it's a dandy! I'm accustomed to guitar and bass necks, mostly, so the little fiddle neck is going to take some getting used to. 

Does it look like to you that one of the fine tuners has a missing knob? From what I can see, the instrument looks good, but as I said, I'm lost when it comes to fiddles. 

 

Much obliged for your help!Fiddle-1.pngImage EnlargerFiddle-2.pngImage EnlargerFiddle-3.pngImage EnlargerFiddle-4.pngImage Enlarger

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ELCBK
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April 5, 2022 - 1:21 pm
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@foxwaves -

Welcome to the Fiddlerman Forum! 

NO one can judge an instrument without seeing it & hearing it played, but here's a good article from Fiddlershop that has a few specs to check:  

What is a Setup and Why is it So Important? 

I do suspect the"R15" in your model# could possibly mean - a 15" Viola. 

String choices are totally personal, depending on the character of your instrument sound, what you like to hear, what style of music you play and where you plan to play it.  Choices also depend on if you live in the USA or overseas - shipping can be a cost issue.

Many threads on this forum address strings - maybe start with this thread:

Violin String Comparison Chart Thread

I didn't see Zyex strings on the Fiddlershop Chart - think they just forgot them, but they are also a very good, synthetic-core choice to start off with. 

If your instrument happens to be a 15" Viola, instead of a Violin - I would think you could still string it GDAE with violin strings, or choose a shorter scale CGDA Viola set. 

Others here will also share their opinions. 😊 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c0/a4/6f/c0a46f4a2d6370d2ed9512536ce19823.jpg

 

- Emily

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stringy
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April 5, 2022 - 1:52 pm
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Its an ok buy  to see if you like playing the violin, the fact is that if you take to it, you will want to change to a better one after a short while anyway, most people do;) 

Have you tried tightening the bow?

Like Emily said, could well be a viola, you would have to measure the back length to find out.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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AndrewH
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April 5, 2022 - 2:00 pm
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A quick Google search finds that there is no Scherl & Roth model R41E15. There is, however, a model R401E15... and it's a 15" viola.

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foxwaves
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April 5, 2022 - 2:51 pm
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Thanks so much, Emily, stringy and Andrew. All is appreciated! It seems that then auction site may have listed the wrong model number, and I now have a viola in the mail somewhere. Maybe that's a good thing as I'm a tall, older man with experience in larger instruments. 

 

The links are great and I'll be exploring a lot of those and videos, too. From the photos does it look like I'll need new fine-tuners? I also read some things about peg compound...well, this will all be brand new to me. 

 

Oh, the mute is a good idea! I live in the woods and might run off some good animals and call in some others! 

 

I looked up the suggested model number for a viola and it makes me think the little price I paid to test the water was a bargain. 

 

So far, from the little reading and watching I've done, I think I may string it as a viola. I do like a cello sound, so maybe the viola will appeal also. 

 

All of you are kind to educate me. I'm on a lot of guitar forums and have seen some folks there be cruel to beginners asking questions. I'm glad that's not the case here! 

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stringy
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April 5, 2022 - 3:43 pm
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Fine tuners are easy t fit and cost little,  you will only need peg compound if your instrument is hard to tune but to be honest with fine tuners you probably wont need it.

Everyone on here is genuine and everyone on here knows how extraordinarily difficult violin and viola are to learn, they are also the most rewarding instruments in my opinion. I along with nearly all people on here play lots of other instruments, and are on this forum because we love learning fiddle and viola and helping each other as well as new beginners, for me violin and viola are the ultimate in musicianship, though others may disagree.

Everyone on here is a nice and good person and are always too happy to help if we can.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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ELCBK
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April 5, 2022 - 4:50 pm
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@foxwaves -  

You may be able to rummage up a fine tuner screw from a luthier, music store or maybe even a good hardware store - otherwise you'll have to buy a new fine tuner assy. 

Many people use a fine tuner ONLY for the highest string, because accidental over-tightening can break it.  I have geared pegs, so I don't hardly ever use my fine tuners.  ...some might say it accounts for my playing. (lol) 

Quite a few of us play the Viola here!  AndrewH, Worldfiddler, JohnG, Mouse, Ripton, wtw, ABitRusty, I think BillyG has a violin he strung CGDA  - and I just recently started playing a 5-string Viola. 

Love that you might join us 'on the dark side' (viola) - best of luck to you on this new journey!  🤗 

 

https://images.fineartamerica.com/images/artworkimages/mediumlarge/2/dancing-cat-playing-a-violin-graphicaartis.jpg

 

- Emily

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foxwaves
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April 5, 2022 - 7:02 pm
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stringy said
Fine tuners are easy t fit and cost little,  you will only need peg compound if your instrument is hard to tune but to be honest with fine tuners you probably wont need it.

Everyone on here is genuine and everyone on here knows how extraordinarily difficult violin and viola are to learn, they are also the most rewarding instruments in my opinion. I along with nearly all people on here play lots of other instruments, and are on this forum because we love learning fiddle and viola and helping each other as well as new beginners, for me violin and viola are the ultimate in musicianship, though others may disagree.

Everyone on here is a nice and good person and are always too happy to help if we can.

  

Thank you, stringy. I looked at fine-tuners online and there were many that looked very reasonably priced for the set. I'm resisting ordering anything, such as strings and the tuners until the viola arrives. I'm looking forward to it. I need something to brighten my days a little. 

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foxwaves
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April 5, 2022 - 7:05 pm
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ELCBK said
@foxwaves -  

You may be able to rummage up a fine tuner screw from a luthier, music store or maybe even a good hardware store - otherwise you'll have to buy a new fine tuner assy. 

Many people use a fine tuner ONLY for the highest string, because accidental over-tightening can break it.  I have geared pegs, so I don't hardly ever use my fine tuners.  ...some might say it accounts for my playing. (lol) 

Quite a few of us play the Viola here!  AndrewH, Worldfiddler, JohnG, Mouse, Ripton, wtw, ABitRusty, I think BillyG has a violin he strung CGDA  - and I just recently started playing a 5-string Viola. 

Love that you might join us 'on the dark side' (viola) - best of luck to you on this new journey!  🤗 

 

https://images.fineartamerica.com/images/artworkimages/mediumlarge/2/dancing-cat-playing-a-violin-graphicaartis.jpg

 

- Emily

  

Thanks Emily. I'm a scrounger on a fixed (broken) income, so I'll have to not get carried away with getting the viola playable. "The Dark Side", haha. Is that how violin players see viola players? :) Thanks for the "Welcome"! 

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ELCBK
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@foxwaves -

Oh yes - minor/melancholy music sounds beautiful on the Viola. 🤭 

Just looked at your bow - no way to know if your bow is bow is worth the cost of a re-hair - hadn't noticed the hair before. 

Also, just noticed in your photo - you aren't getting much of a shoulder rest. 

Most of us have had a hard time finding a good shoulder rest/chin rest combination to make playing comfortable & to avoid neck injury.  Maybe you'll be lucky & won't need anything different.

Luthier or any Fiddle Associations in your area for help? 

Hopefully, you won't have to buy anything more except good strings to get started.  Synthetic-core strings may last you a year, if you play a little every day. 

(edited) I see the D string (not the A) is missing the screw on the fine tuner.

Since Viola is strung CGDA - you might get by, removing the C String fine tuner assembly, then just use that screw for the missing one on the D.  Your C string has the least amount of tension - easiest to stay in tune, so doesn't really need a fine tuner, but it shouldn't be expensive if you want to replace it. 

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foxwaves
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April 5, 2022 - 9:51 pm
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ELCBK said
@foxwaves -

Oh yes - minor/melancholy music sounds beautiful on the Viola. 🤭 

Just looked at your bow - no way to know if your bow is bow is worth the cost of a re-hair - hadn't noticed the hair before. 

Also, just noticed in your photo - you aren't getting much of a shoulder rest. 

Most of us have had a hard time finding a good shoulder rest/chin rest combination to make playing comfortable & to avoid neck injury.  Maybe you'll be lucky & won't need anything different.

Luthier or any Fiddle Associations in your area for help? 

Hopefully, you won't have to buy anything more except good strings to get started.  Synthetic-core strings may last you a year, if you play a little every day. 

You can probably get by - just take off the C String fine tuner & use it for the A string.  Your C string has the least amount of tension - easiest to stay in tune, so doesn't really need a fine tuner.

  

Minor keys and sad music...maybe my favorite. 

 

Oddly enough, I bought several very old bows at a sale in an old town years ago. Can't really give a good reason why I bought the old bows since I didn't own a violin or such instrument at the time. The price was very low and I just liked them, I guess. Maybe one of those old bows will suffice. I'll send information in the next few days and maybe you could give a thumbs up or down. 

 

I don't know anything about the rests but in time will learn. If I have enough time, that is. 

 

I live in the mountains of East Tennessee, in the backwoods, so not much chance of getting in-person type instruction. I guess YouTube will be my teacher. 

 

OK, I'll look for synthetic core strings but will dig into the subject first so I don't waste the money on the wrong gauge or something. 

 

Thanks for the good advice about the fine-tuner switch! You've been very helpful!

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Tim317
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April 6, 2022 - 1:38 am
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foxwaves said
Thank you very much for your reply, Tim. What you wrote is very helpful. Attached are some photos of the fiddle. I hope it's a dandy! I'm accustomed to guitar and bass necks, mostly, so the little fiddle neck is going to take some getting used to. 

Does it look like to you that one of the fine tuners has a missing knob? From what I can see, the instrument looks good, but as I said, I'm lost when it comes to fiddles. 

 

Much obliged for your help!Fiddle-1.pngImage EnlargerFiddle-2.pngImage EnlargerFiddle-3.pngImage EnlargerFiddle-4.pngImage Enlarger

  

Wow all be it a viola it looks to me to be quite clean looking.

The bridge on it is a well known brand and looks well carved but you will have to get it placed in the proper position which is not hard to do just remember never mess with a bridge when the strings are tuned to pitch or at least have a good proper hold on it if you need to adjust it under tension if not you can do some major damage.

If by chance the bow looks to need to be replaced or re-haired if it says pernambuco it will likely be worth getting re-haired that is if its in bad shape.

Someone mentioned shoulder rests and comfort if you have a short neck (as in the one on your body) you will likely be more comfortable with the padded rest that is on it in the pictures you posted so that's one less thing to have to buy, I would personally replace the fine tuner Wittner style is what those look to be $3.99 for a viola.

Make sure as soon as its delivered to check the sound post to be certain its still standing in place.

Tim  

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Fiddlerman
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April 6, 2022 - 10:42 am
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Welcome to the forum @foxwaves
I see you're getting good information for the members so I won't add anything to that. What size is that viola? Not sure if you mentioned that. You might be able to read that on the label but if not, you can measure the length of the back not including the "nose" which is the additional length of the neck heel.
Good luck with your new viola learning journey. 😁

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

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foxwaves
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April 6, 2022 - 8:54 pm
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Tim317 said

foxwaves said

Thank you very much for your reply, Tim. What you wrote is very helpful. Attached are some photos of the fiddle. I hope it's a dandy! I'm accustomed to guitar and bass necks, mostly, so the little fiddle neck is going to take some getting used to. 

Does it look like to you that one of the fine tuners has a missing knob? From what I can see, the instrument looks good, but as I said, I'm lost when it comes to fiddles. 

 

Much obliged for your help!Fiddle-1.pngImage EnlargerFiddle-2.pngImage EnlargerFiddle-3.pngImage EnlargerFiddle-4.pngImage Enlarger

  

Wow all be it a viola it looks to me to be quite clean looking.

The bridge on it is a well known brand and looks well carved but you will have to get it placed in the proper position which is not hard to do just remember never mess with a bridge when the strings are tuned to pitch or at least have a good proper hold on it if you need to adjust it under tension if not you can do some major damage.

If by chance the bow looks to need to be replaced or re-haired if it says pernambuco it will likely be worth getting re-haired that is if its in bad shape.

Someone mentioned shoulder rests and comfort if you have a short neck (as in the one on your body) you will likely be more comfortable with the padded rest that is on it in the pictures you posted so that's one less thing to have to buy, I would personally replace the fine tuner Wittner style is what those look to be $3.99 for a viola.

Make sure as soon as its delivered to check the sound post to be certain its still standing in place.

Tim  

  

Hello Tim,

 

     Thanks for the good advice! I'll refer to your post when the viola arrives and be sure to get the type of fine-tuners you recommended. I've set up a lot of guitars for intonation and so on, but without frets I'll have to study about where the bridge should be. Have a great day!

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April 6, 2022 - 8:55 pm
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Fiddlerman said
Welcome to the forum @foxwaves

I see you're getting good information for the members so I won't add anything to that. What size is that viola? Not sure if you mentioned that. You might be able to read that on the label but if not, you can measure the length of the back not including the "nose" which is the additional length of the neck heel.

Good luck with your new viola learning journey. 😁

  

Yes, Fiddlerman, I sure am getting so good information from the nice folks here. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions after the viola arrives. Thanks for your help!

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foxwaves
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April 9, 2022 - 7:08 pm
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My "new" viola is to arrive tomorrow, but unfortunately I'll be away for the day. I was amazed at the price of a set of quality strings (compared to what I pay for my other stringed instruments!), so ordered a cheap set for now. I'll put any other posts I make in the "Viola" category from now on. Thanks to everyone that has offered so much good instruction. 

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Tim317
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foxwaves said
My "new" viola is to arrive tomorrow, but unfortunately I'll be away for the day. I was amazed at the price of a set of quality strings (compared to what I pay for my other stringed instruments!), so ordered a cheap set for now. I'll put any other posts I make in the "Viola" category from now on. Thanks to everyone that has offered so much good instruction. 

  

Oh yes I certainly understand that, good thing is violin strings and viola strings last a bit longer depending on the amount of time you play.

I'm not sure about you but my first impression of violin strings was that they reminded me a lot of flat wound guitar strings.

I can hardly afford to keep 5 (1 is actually 2) guitars going and 3 violins.

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April 9, 2022 - 10:24 pm
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Tim317 said

foxwaves said

My "new" viola is to arrive tomorrow, but unfortunately I'll be away for the day. I was amazed at the price of a set of quality strings (compared to what I pay for my other stringed instruments!), so ordered a cheap set for now. I'll put any other posts I make in the "Viola" category from now on. Thanks to everyone that has offered so much good instruction. 

  

Oh yes I certainly understand that, good thing is violin strings and viola strings last a bit longer depending on the amount of time you play.

I'm not sure about you but my first impression of violin strings was that they reminded me a lot of flat wound guitar strings.

I can hardly afford to keep 5 (1 is actually 2) guitars going and 3 violins.

  

I think there is only one string missing from the viola arriving tomorrow, so I may just put one of the new ones there if the gauges aren't too different. I also have a mute ordered which should keep the paint from cracking while I saw away. 

I've used flat-wounds on guitars before but never liked them very much except for the reduced finger noise. I know what you mean about the expense of strings, Tim! Mine stay on a looooong time! 

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