From Allen Liang
Posted December 6, 2009 at 12:37 AM
Hi people just wondering if you can help:
I changed my strings from Pirazzi to Passione 2 days ago (BTW loving the Passione, much easier to play and lot richer, warmer and colorful sound, more powerful too on my violin!) and today noticed a slight buzz (metallic sounding,) when I play C # on G string in first postion and second position on D and rarely when I pluck the open G at FF. Has anyone experience similar experience after chaging to a different brand of string & change of weather (getting colder here in Scotland)? What are some of the usual causes/solutions?
Open seam, loose nut, chinrest clamp, and so on. Something shrank in the dry air. If you can't find it, your luthier should be able to.
Your bridge could have shifted a bit when you changed the strings. Also, it takes a while to break
Passiones in. In my case, about three weeks of playing.
Hi guys thanks for the response. I have tapped the top of my violin and found a little ratting noise when I tap the upper left part ( 2-3cm from the fingerborad, not close to the pufling though) which corresponse to the "buzz" I 've been hearing sometimes when playing C#, could this be a loose bass bar?
It might just be a wolf tone that is more noticeable because of the lower tension of the strings. It might also be a problem with the sound post or bass bar, so you might want to get it checked by a professional.
I had a buzz that was driving me nuts and finally noticed my chinrest had slipped over and was barely touching the tailpiece. That buzz only showed up on certain notes. Cheap and easy to look for. :-)
Rarely is it the bass bar. In the area that you tapped, check where the ribs join the top and bottom plates, to see if there is a slight separation.
Violin buzz! I did a survey about this, with most of the responses coming from the Pegbox on Maestronet - which has lots of eminent luthiers. I got this huge long list of possible causes. Best thing to do is take it to a competent luthier and have the instrument examined; the buzz may have nothing to do with the change of strings, and just be coincidental to that. See:
Why is my Viola making a buzzing sound?
A buzzing sound could be caused by any or some of the following:
Aside from making sure it's not a problem with a fine tuner (#1-2), or some problem extraneous to the instrument, (#21-28), you should take it to a luthier and have them examine the instrument, as only a luthier can do the repairs.
Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but the problem is still there! I have eliminated the possibilities of loose chinrest, E string fine tuner and external sources (other things vibrating in the room or shoulderest etc), and it's definitely a buzz instead of wolf note. The buzz is coming from the upper tail piece area as far as I can tell, Is it possible for a certain note to buzz because of a tail piece that is too light? (Thinking of getting a better tail piece anyway)
Perhaps you have already tried this, but if not...
I would suggest that you try to locate the buzz with a helper:
You play until you hear the buzz. Then, while you hear it, have your helper (gently) touch parts of the instrument until the buzz stops. Sometimes it is really tough to locate this sort of problem for those of us who have only two hands...
All the best,
Connie and I have had our differences, but her buzz list is actually pretty good. Have you eliminated everything on that list? (No, Connie, this does not give you permission to use me as an endorsement on your web site) LOL
If your time is money, and the buzz isn't from one of the more common and obvious problems, it might be cheaper to take it to a specialist, rather than trying to find it on your own. Violins are made to conduct vibration, so a buzz can sound like its coming from one place, and actually be coming from another. Tracking the tougher ones down has even driven every pro luthier crazy, at one time or another, so don't feel bad if you can't nail it on your own.
Have you ever used one of those vibration sniffers used by auto mechanics?
The contact type, like a rod attached to a stethoscope? With those, I found that they could create their own buzz where they contacted the vibrating instrument. Pressing harder so it wouldn't buzz, it could damp the vibrations enough that the buzz I was trying to find went away.
I've used a flexible plastic tube between the instrument and my ear though (not in contact with the instrument) to try to localize the source. The screwy thing is that the noise isn't always loudest at the source. For instance, one time, the source was an ever-so-slightly rounded-over groove in the upper nut. Typically, this would show up only on the open string, but on this one, it occurred even when the string was stopped. This miniscule buzz was conveyed by the string, past the finger to the bridge, and was then amplified by the fiddle in such a way that the noise was loudest in the region of the top near the tailpiece. I think I spent a whole day tracking that sucker down!
Oh, Allen, it so happens that this problem started with a string brand change. I guess the stiffness of the replacement string was different enough that it followed the curve in the upper nut groove differently. I don't mean to suggest this as the cause of your buzz though. It was really quite an obscure and unusual case, and that's why it was so hard to find.
Allen you are a very patient fellow, having stayed with a violin that is buzzing for 18 months. In the mean time you tapped the top and found a buzz. You found a buzz coming from the upper tail piece area. You went down Connie' list and eliminated all extraneous causes. I know you are Scottish but even that has a limit. Take Connie's advice and go to a luthier that might even do the job on a piecemeal payment scheme.
what kind of buzz is it? I have passionne strings too and have noticed a sort of bow hiss that I suspect only I can hear. Is it like that or really a fly-like buzz?
Can we please refrain from citing the advice of a trolling nutcase who is no longer permitted to post on this forum? Please, cite David, or somebody else.
Thank you Connie for putting out a very comprehensive list of buzz causes. The list will be hard to beat, and I will print it for future reference.
Sure you weren't just wearing a big blingy necklace! ;)
I had a buzz that lasted for a year. Turns out it was cause by a shirt button lightly touching the instrument. It went away when I finally changed my shirt. ;-)
Bill, how about if we just re-name the list, since the ideas were compiled from other people, and weren't Connie's anyway?
Uh oh, now she'll re-register here under a different name again and give me a serious verbal bruising! LOL
Sometimes it is hard to find an open seam. I have never tried this but has anyone tried to have a light source inside the instrument ( without chipping the varnish on the f holes) in a dark room to see if light escapes through an open seam?
On the other hand, an open seam that is hardly noticable probably doesn't buzz.
Hendrik, a light source inside the instrument will work if there happens to be a gap where the seam is unglued. Often there is not. Also, sometimes you get a seam which is not completely open, but not completely glued either. For instance, it might be secure on the outside, but loose on the inside.
Simply roll back to Evah Pirazzi.
If the buzz is not there, keep the strings.
If it is, go back to the extensive list posted above and check out each and every possible cause.
Change only one thing at a time to avoid adding more complexity in problem solving.
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