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I Can't Leave Well Enough Alone, Can I???

Posted by fiddlepogo on Sunday, July 25, 2010

Well, after the last tweak polishing a bit of varnish off the Knilling's purfling areas with baking soda, it was sounding pretty good... but the E string was just a tad weak, so I tweaked it again, and had to polish a couple more purfling areas to get it into balance.

Tonight I played it again, and it's hard to tell whether I just had a bad practice session, or if the fiddle has really changed that much.  It's balanced now, but seems a bit louder, and a bit touchier.  It seems to have more dynamic range and is more responsive, but I'm going to have to get used to that.  It seemed like I could feel the fiddle's neck vibrating more with my left hand fingers.

But I think I will get used to it... it's sounding more expensive than it really is!!!

For the first time, I also did just an eensy weensy bit of polishing on the Eastman VL100.  The finish seems to be brushed on and not so thick as the Knilling, but there seem to be a couple places along the ribs where there is a ridge of thicker varnish, and I put a bit of baking soda on a damp Q-tip and rubbed along those varnish ridges to thin them.  I also polished some on the scroll and the sides of the pegbox.  It did seem to push the tone in the direction I want, which is to have just a little more clarity, not quite so dark, although it's still darker than the Knilling Bucharest.  Also I wanted, and I think I got a little more "oomph" on the E string.

It's really still hard for me to believe how just a little polishing in key places changes the tone so much!

At some point I HAVE to say "Enough is enough!!!"  When you have Compulsive Guitar Tweaking Syndrome that's morphed into Compulsive Fiddle Tweaking Syndrome, that AIN'T easy!!!!

4 comments on “I Can't Leave Well Enough Alone, Can I???”

mudbug Says:
Sunday, July 25, 2010 @1:50:51 AM

Uh, Michael............did you stop taking your meds, again? :-)

bj Says:
Sunday, July 25, 2010 @11:08:52 AM

What mudbug said . . .

A friend got a bad haircut once, and decided to fix it herself. She started with hair below her shoulders. By the time she was done "fixing" it was less than an inch long all over her head and she HATED IT.

Just sayin'.

fiddlepogo Says:
Sunday, July 25, 2010 @2:41:08 PM

Meds??? What meds???
The only medication I'm taking is allergy medicine...

I HAVE given myself a haircut, and it turned out surprisingly well (I asked OTHER people for an opinion too)... but it's a lot of twisting to see the back in a mirror somewhat- WAY too much work if I have the money for a haircut. But then, a guy's haircut is a different animal altogether.

Still, non-reversible tweaks, however small, are scary.
Actually, there IS something like a limited amount of reversability on this finish removal tweak-
some places enhance the bass, others the treble, and you can just go around again till you've got it in balance, BUT even though the amount of finish removed is miniscule, there is only a finite amount of it, so I can't go on doing this forever.
So, I'm hoping I've found a stopping place, at least on the Knilling.

mudbug Says:
Sunday, July 25, 2010 @2:48:26 PM

STOP! Sir, step AWAY from the fiddle.!

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