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Aug 11, 2022 - 7:08:39 PM

Jeff Y

USA

2 posts since 7/25/2021

Hey all, any input on any of the current offerings of new 5 strings, be it Fiddlerman Master, Sonic, or Realist. the Fiddlerman one has the C string as the first slot but goes to the top peg to connect. G goes to second peg, D to lowest peg. They claim the C sounds better when longer. Any thoughts on that?

Aug 12, 2022 - 5:47:24 AM

2457 posts since 10/1/2008

IDK , but most complaints I hear about five string fiddles involve the C string being weak. I have to say the length will make some difference as all changes make some difference. How much or how little is a matter largely of opinion. The C string on a viola, say a 15" model, will have some added length but that length won't be "used" in the same manner on a violin. If you decide to give one of these a try let us know what you think. The Fiddlershop does have a solid return policy. R/

Aug 12, 2022 - 7:57:42 AM

208 posts since 4/2/2019

I was in a music store in Lawrence KS this spring (Beautiful Music Violin Shop) and somewhere in the discussion 5-string violins came up. They said they are using a larger body (I’m not sure if it was viola-size) to give deeper, more resonant C string. The instruments I saw were about $2100? I guess it makes sense that a regular size violin body is not going to be ideal for a C string.

I have been tempted to try an electric 5 string violin (Yamaha YEV-105) since body size would matter less for the C string. I have smaller hands, though, and was worried about the wider fingerboard.

Aug 12, 2022 - 8:24:12 AM
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208 posts since 4/2/2019

You might also reach out to forum member kcfiddles (Michael Richwine). Last week he showed me a very nice 5 string violin model that he has sold to players in multiple countries, but it was about $6k. I think he said that he might have some lower-end models in your price range?

Aug 12, 2022 - 10:19 AM

2272 posts since 8/27/2008

I built a 5 string once that had a regular violin scale. The C string was definitely unbalanced with the rest of the strings. I also built a small scale viola which was fairly successful, and that put me to thinking of the difference between a 5 string viola with an E and a 5 string violin with a C. Clearly there will be a compromise in tone with a larger or smaller body. I thought of trying to build with an intermediate body size just to see if I could find a compromise. Meanwhile, I found I wasn't really very interested in the low C on a fiddle. I couldn't find much use for it, not enough for the hassles it causes (wider fingerboard, too) so I've given up the notion for now.

I have tried a couple electric 5 string fiddles and the electronics can even out the balance and tone. But I'm not sure it's worth it on an acoustic. Of course Bobby HIcks proves me wrong about that.

Aug 12, 2022 - 11:01:16 AM

208 posts since 4/2/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Y

Hey all, any input on any of the current offerings of new 5 strings, be it Fiddlerman Master, Sonic, or Realist. the Fiddlerman one has the C string as the first slot but goes to the top peg to connect. G goes to second peg, D to lowest peg. They claim the C sounds better when longer. Any thoughts on that?


I just noticed you are in Kansas City - another reason to reach out to Michael Richwine! :)

Aug 24, 2022 - 10:43:16 PM
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5746 posts since 7/1/2007

I've got a selection of old five-strings (new old stock ) in that price range, plus some new old stock Elites in a variety of configurations for half of current price. Some with wide neck, some with standard neck, some with large bodies, some with high ribs, etc. We went through a lot of variations when deciding what product line to settle on with Krutz! Some of them very inexpensive. All of them good values.

What we eventually found out was that people mostly wanted a fiddle with a decent C string, that would fit into a standard case, and that's what sells the most. Getting good C string sound takes the right arching and setup, and peg location is insignificant and we found that putting the C peg in weird locations is bass-ackwards for most players and a likely sales killer unless you have some kind of made-up benefit to justify it. Try an A/B comparison to see for yourself.

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