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Prims Finally Settle In on Booker, and a Different Bowing Discovery!

Posted by fiddlepogo on Sunday, June 26, 2011

Okay, I put the Prims on Booker Friday after having done some tweaks that had improved the bass response.

At first they sounded pretty good, but Saturday they sounded different and not that pleasing. Complicating matters is yet ANOTHER tree that I'm allergic to coming into bloom by our house! So my right ear is rather plugged up, and I'm judging the fiddle tune with the left ear with an earplug and the other temporarily half deaf!!! Later Saturday I took Booker to the mansion, and the Prims sounded better, less nasal, but no cigar.  I did use some Hearos so I could hear a bit better out of the left ear.

I was afraid I was going to have to tweak Booker some more, but thankfully I held off, and today however, the Prims on Booker got the cigar!!!  I think they've finally settled into useable, and what a useable!  The E string still sings (but it's the old Westminster... it wasn't "broke" in the sense of sounding bad,  so I wasn't going to fix it!) and the low strings are sounding rich with just enough bite.  Part of the challenge is that they have just a bit more tension than the Precision Lights- after all, they're mediums- and so the sweet spot has changed- I need to use a slightly heavier touch with the bow.  I had just lightened my masking tape "weights" on that bow, maybe I need to put them back where they were. Easily done! (I love REVERSIBLE tweaks!) And the Westminster E is sounding good now with the settled-in Prims.

Overall, what I'm getting now is a much sweeter, richer sound that's a lot more versatile- it sounds good on waltzes, Irish tunes, AND Old Time. If I'm gentle it sounds almost too pretty for Old Time, but it takes VERY well to digging in for a more aggressive sound.

After a while on Booker, I decided to check out the other two.  They sounded better than I expected, partly because I noticed that the string tension on both was slacker than on Booker with the Prims, so I moved the bow about a centimeter from the bridge, which is WAY closer than I normally bow.  And their tone improved when I did that, and of course the more consistently I bowed there, the better it sounded (you REALLY have to control your position to get so close to the bridge, because at some point near the bridge the strings will be too stiff and squeak.).

The only downside is that Booker is sounding so good and versatile that MAYBE the Eastman is redundant.

We'll see though- I'm not done with string changes on her yet.

(Prelude Heavies??? Black Diamond 7207s? D"Addario Zyex??? But it may need to wait... the power tubes in my main electric guitar amp seem to be dying, and a pair of power tubes is about as pricey as violin strings!!)

.. and maybe some more tweaks!!!

(Edit: Later in the evening....)

Took the wife and the fiddle out to the mansion.  She enjoys getting out of our poor, shabby, noisy neighborhood (Too many DOGS!!!! Yap, yap, yap, arf, arf, arf!), and I enjoy the acoustics and the odd combination of relative solitude and occasional listeners.

And the fiddle (Booker) sounded MUCH better now that the strings have settled in somewhat.  I really had no complaints whatsoever with the sound- good balance, good dynamics, a versatile sound.  And the carbon fiber LaSalle bow which has attitude gets some cool sounding expression with that attitude out of Booker with the Prims- beauty with a BITE!  Then I switched to the K. Holtz FG, and the sound was all sweet and velvety.

I'm really looking forward to the next gig with this fiddle and the Prims!!!

3 comments on “Prims Finally Settle In on Booker, and a Different Bowing Discovery!”

bj Says:
Monday, June 27, 2011 @4:44:22 AM

HAH! Another prim convert . . .

I'm glad you're now happy with this fiddle. Now . . . DON'T TOUCH IT AGAIN! LOL!

fiddlepogo Says:
Monday, June 27, 2011 @8:05:36 AM

BJ, the way you're gloating, you'd think you were either Swedish, or owned stock in the company!!! ;^D
Yeah, it's sounding TOO good to tweak.... IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT!!!!

I'll have to focus my tweaking on the other two. Last night Stinky got a new E string- Lenzer Goldbrokat from a string pack I got a while back- it didn't work on Booker, but matches the Precision Lights currently on it well, plus it sings better than the Precision Es (both light and medium) that I had on it before. And somehow having a sweeter E is helping the tone of the other strings too.

WoodshopFiddler Says:
Thursday, June 30, 2011 @5:12:27 AM

I have never had very good luck with the Prim E string. Most likely operator error.

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