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Uneven heights on strings? And new violin opinions.
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New member
March 9, 2012 - 8:48 pm
Member Since: March 9, 2012
Forum Posts: 1
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I got a new violin just about 2 weeks ago from a music store called Music and Arts. The violin is from Eastman Violin and the name of the violin is Otto Benjamin Series ML-300 (

The problem I have with this violin is that the D string seems to be too close to the height of the G and A strings so whenever I play on the D string, I would sometimes accidentally hit the surrounding strings.  I can play the D string alone but I'd have to give some focus to control myself from hitting the other strings if I'm playing at a fast tempo.  But I'm also able to play G D and A strings all at once if I use enough force so I'm not sure if that's normal or that's a bad thing.

Another problem is that whenever I play really high notes, there's this sound that sounds like a rosin-less bow is rubbing against the strings.  This usually happens after the D note on E string or just a really high shifted position on the A string.

Basically the possible problems I have are:
- D string seems a little bit too low or the surrounding strings are too high
- Playing high notes gives off a sound that sounds similar to rubbing a rosin-less               bow on the string.

I tried taking some pictures at a parallel angle with the strings but it's still not a clear picture.

 And if you're still feeling helpful after all that :o, then can you tell me whether the violin is a decent violin?  Much thanks

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Abingdon, VA
Advanced member
March 9, 2012 - 11:29 pm
Member Since: January 27, 2012
Forum Posts: 73
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That looks like a very nice instrument. 🙂  I am not sure on heights for the middle strings, but the E string should be roughly 3.5mm measured from the end of the fingerboard to the bottom of the string.  The G string roughly 5.5mm.  I imagine the A and D are somewhere in between.  Each string needs a little more height since each one needs a bit more room to vibrate without striking the fingerboard -- or so I understand it.  Fiddlers prefer the strings closer to the fingerboard, while classical violinists might like them higher.

I'm not sure that's the answer you're looking for, but maybe it will put you in the right direction.  It's probably in the setup of your instrument (perhaps the bridge is altered, crooked, angled, warped, etc.).  A professional luthier could definitely help you with that, but I'm sure some of the more knowledgeable folks on this forum can be of assistance as well.

King for a Day, Peasant for many

March 10, 2012 - 2:04 am
Member Since: February 13, 2012
Forum Posts: 1814
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Welcome to the forum, hope your stay here is helpful.

It would appear from what I can see in the pictures that there is nothing wrong with your strings or the bridge, but upon closer examination, perhaps there's something I'm missing.

I would check the tension of your bow, if the hair is not tight enough, it can bend around the strings, touching two or three at one time, and not keep straight enough to miss the opposite side strings from the one you intend to bow.

Your bridge looks very similar to mine.

My strings are synthetic core wire wound Zyex strings and require 5mm clearance on the G string and 3mm on the E string.

The curve of the bridge would be a 42mm radius (not diameter) circle connecting the point on the bridge where the measurements would intersect. 

you can see a very good discussion on that matter here...


There's picture of my bridge in there as well.

Try to check the bow hair tension and see if that cures your problem, when tightened to play the bow hair will depress to with in 1/4" near the middle of the bow. 


Your violin looks like a nice one, but the real value in it is with the sound... if it sounds good, it IS good. Tune it up, tighten it up, and play it... 

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

Fort Lauderdale
March 10, 2012 - 8:00 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14138

From the pictures, I think that you might be right about the A string being too low or maybe the E string should be sunk slightly more. Just make sure that you have room to bring it down. You don't want to get the buzzing sound of the E string hitting the fingerboard.
Kevin made a how to on cutting a bridge. Check that out as well.

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

Honorary advisor

March 10, 2012 - 3:37 pm
Member Since: January 18, 2012
Forum Posts: 347
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I recently bought an Eastman violin. So far a like it a lot.  Seems like a quality, well made instrument and so far I like the tone quality... Plus Eastman came highly recommended by several players and instructors that I spoke with prior to buying.

Regardless of quality however, setup of any violin is crucial. It seems that no one setup is the same depending on where you buy it. Some music stores will selll it more or less "as is" with very little setup, other reputable luthiers will spend the extra time and care to set things up carefully and/or to the musicians specs.


From the pics your bridge seems to be cut pretty much the same as mine but it's hard to tell just from the pics. perhaps check some of the resources  mentioned above regarding bridges, heights, setup, etc.

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