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E string sound on two different fiddles

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Jun 25, 2022 - 4:45:08 PM

WyoBob

USA

412 posts since 5/16/2019

My two "good fiddles" are a Kennedy Antonio Giuliani Primo and a GEWA Aspirante (Chinese Kennedy and a made somewhere besides Germany, GEWA).    After some experimentation with strings, I now have Pirastro Chromcor strings on both. I've also had Prims on both and they would be my second choice.  I like the Chromcors the best with the Prim mediums a close second.  

The Helicore mediums that I tried on both are out of the running.  I don't like them.   The "A" string, whether "standard" or Titanium didn't suite me at all.  I've never had a winding break on any Helicore "A" string.  They just sound "wonky".  Don't hold tuning.  Just sound weird compared to any A string I've tried.  

The setup on both are as close as I can get.  The Kennedy was poorly setup.  Way too high action at the nut and a 1.75 mm relief for the scoop.  I reduced the relief in the scoop to .5 mm and lowered the actionat the nut.  The GEWA (bought from the Bluegrass Shack) was set up great and didn't need any adjustments.

The strings on both are now Chromcor with the Chromcor "E" string.  The bridge height on the Kennedy is 1.21 inches (30.73 mm) and on the GEWA, 1.15 inches (29.21 mm).  The after length on both fiddles is just over 55 mm which is the most I can get with the Wittner, composite tailpieces.  The nut to bridge length is 329-330  mm on both fiddles.

The "ease of playing" is best on the GEWA but there's not that much difference.  The "E" string on the Kennedy is "screechy".  

So, my question is, what other things would be the cause of the "screech" on the E string?

I plan on switching out the "E" string on the Kennedy in the next day or so.  I have a Lisa E, a Golbrokat and a Pirastro "Gold" E that can I try. But, I wonder if there is something that I'm missing?

I'm using the same bow and the same rosin (either Magic or Kaplan (in the little plastic case).

 

 

 

 

Jun 26, 2022 - 4:19:07 AM

kjb

USA

760 posts since 6/8/2013

i agree dont' like helicores

Jun 26, 2022 - 4:37:44 AM
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524 posts since 9/1/2010

Since you are using the same strings and bow/rosin my only guess would be that the bow angle may be slightly different. Could just be that particular fiddle doesn't agree with that E string too. Prim Medium w/ Goldbrokat E is my preferred set. I have never used Chromcor's so I have no correlation there.

Jun 26, 2022 - 6:37:44 AM
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RobBob

USA

2832 posts since 6/26/2007

I settled on Prims after going thru many strings from Helicore to Chromcor and others. For an E, the jury is still out. I am using a Kaplan right now but find a Prim Lisa E is good for dances as they cut through real well. Each person's ear will be the judge for sound but once you settle on a set the E's are cheaper to change than entire sets of strings.

Jun 26, 2022 - 7:57:48 AM
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2232 posts since 8/27/2008
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Different fiddles have different characters and respond differently. That's just a fact.

Jun 26, 2022 - 12:09:55 PM
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5733 posts since 7/1/2007

First thing I'd look at is old reliable: The fit of the sound post.

Jun 27, 2022 - 1:00:57 PM
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WyoBob

USA

412 posts since 5/16/2019

quote:
Originally posted by KCFiddles

First thing I'd look at is old reliable: The fit of the sound post.


You are correct, Michael.   The post appears to be in the proper position in relation to the bridge but I can easily see that there is a poor fit of the post on the bottom.  If I still lived in Kansas City (left when I was 15), I'd be over to your place in a flash!    There are no violin luthiers in a several hundred mile radius from where I live so I'll probably make a new post and see if I can fit it properly.  I did this recently on my freebie "no name, can't give it away" fiddle and it turned out pretty well.  Sounds much better.  (The original post was set around an inch away, south of the bridge).

Kennedy did a poor setup job on what is now a $500 fiddle outfit.  But, being a brand new fiddle player 3 years ago, I didn't know what I didn't know.   After spending time on the FHO, I'm a bit more knowledgeable now than I was then in regard to fiddle "mechanic's" .  I reduced the 1.75 mm relief in the neck to .5 mm, installed Wittner geared pegs, made a new nut, flattened and lowered the bridge and increased the after length a bit.

The Kennedy fiddle sounded fine for quite some time.  It just seemed like I woke up one day and the E string was a bit screechy.   I know my hearing can change from time to time and I have been a hearing aid wearer for 15 years but, the sound of the other fiddle set up the same way with the same strings didn't have an E string that changed for the worst.

Anyway, I put on a Helicore, wound E string that I had on hand and it sounds pretty good to me now.   I've tried the Lisa E which sounded OK and the Goldbrokat, Chromcor Gold, and the Thomastik Alphayue E.  I have the Alp. E on the free fiddle and it sounds pretty good and I prefer it to the Goldbrokat or Chromcor Gold E.

Thanks for the help, everyonesmiley

Jun 27, 2022 - 1:16:08 PM
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5733 posts since 7/1/2007

Go back on the sound post threads from just a little while back and watch the Davide Sora videos on fitting a post. If the post doesn't fit right, not much else matters. You can't really tell by looking at the post in place. You really have to Look at the very ends of the post to see where it is bearing. You can't see .0001" gap with a light and mirrror.

Edited by - KCFiddles on 06/27/2022 13:20:14

Jun 27, 2022 - 2:09:11 PM

10241 posts since 3/19/2009

Often I wonder just how much micro adjustments make in the sound of a string.. For instance, how does the curve of the NUT slot matter? How does the seating of the string on the bridge matter? What difference is there in the sound if the string is bowed just maybe 1/4 inch up or down the string..???

Almost forgot to mention my favorite question..If a string is brought to its proper tension by 'tightening' vs 'loosening'..that changes the tension on the bridge and can THAT make a difference?  A violin's sound is found in subtleties...I think..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/27/2022 14:13:15

Jun 27, 2022 - 2:52:09 PM

WyoBob

USA

412 posts since 5/16/2019

quote:
Originally posted by KCFiddles

Go back on the sound post threads from just a little while back and watch the Davide Sora videos on fitting a post. If the post doesn't fit right, not much else matters. You can't really tell by looking at the post in place. You really have to Look at the very ends of the post to see where it is bearing. You can't see .0001" gap with a light and mirrror.


The gap I'm talking about can be seen with 75 year old, been wearing bifocal's since the age of 10 eyessmiley

Oh, and I did watch the video which I thought was great!

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