Mute Recommendations unmuted?Accessories: Please recommend good mutes, thanks
From tammuz kolenyo
i would appreciate if someone could recommend a good mute (including model type if possible and wehre to get it from-internet vendor would be excellent) that doesnt necessarily kill the tone of the violin but quietens it down a bit, keeping a reasonably healthy tone but cutting out elements of sound that might carry too far and cause annoyance to neighbours. i know i could use a steel or rubber mute but the tone ends up being feeble and a lot is lost during practicing on tone production and dynamics. well, i would aprpeciate all suggestions. thank you
From Brian LeeI assume you're looking for a practice mute? I recommend the Artino rubber-coated metal practice mute... it mutes almost as much as a metal mute does but is safer on the bridge.
Posted on May 9, 2012 at 05:53 PM
If you don't want to take most of the sound away, or if you just want to reduce the edginess of the sound, then use pretty much any orchestra mute... or a folded dollar bill..
From tammuz kolenyohi Brian, thanks for the reply. which orchestral mute would you suggest? do these kind of mutes vary in sound quality and volume produced? thanks
Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:35 PM
From Andrew VictorI recommend the Spector mute ( http://www.swstrings.com/product/accessories/violin/9491 - for example) for orchestral use. It stores easily, is the easiest to slide on and off, and does not damage the string windings. It is a fairly new design that is rapidly gaining in popularity.
Posted on May 10, 2012 at 01:15 PM
From Carlo BallaraI find the Spector mute is easy to use but mutes slightly in the off position. The best, in my opinion, is the Bech magnetic mute. Easy to use and does not rattle or mute in the off position.
Posted on May 10, 2012 at 03:00 PM
From Brian LeeThe spector is good, but if your A and D strings are spaced too close together (if the notches on your tailpiece are too narrow) it can mute the sound of your instrument. The regular circular Tourte mute is pretty good, and cheap... I also like the Finissima mute.
Posted on May 10, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I personally use the shield-shaped "Polly" mute... a little more expensive than most other mutes, but I find that it produces the best sound.
From Tom HolzmanI use the Spector and find it quite satisfactory.
Posted on May 10, 2012 at 03:13 PM
From Carlo BallaraI would say none of the bridges on my violins have strings which are "too close together". In my opinion, the fault is in the design of the mute which is too tight a fit. I guess it needs to be like that in order not to fall off. Does it loosen with use?
Posted on May 10, 2012 at 03:19 PM
The other mute that works well and does not rattle or mute in the off position is the single hole Toute mute. The two hole mute is a pain as it rattles.
There were some bad designs in the past. The Menuhin Shield mute would mute in the off position, change the pitch in use of the A and D strings, damage your string windings, and fall off and scratch your varnish!
@Brian. How is the Polly mute an improvement? Does it rattle or mute in the off position? Is it quick and quiet to use? Does it damage the strings or fall off easily?
From Momoko TakahashiRecently changed to Specter mute after the 2 hole tourte rattled and I removed it... and lost it again. I like it, it doesn't rattle and does its job.
Posted on May 11, 2012 at 06:20 AM
I've never actually seen a Menuhin Shield. They're like unicorns in my head. :S
From Brian LeeOut of all the mutes I've tried, it allows the most overtones to come through while still reducing the fundamental pitch. It easily slides to and from the bridge, and I haven't experienced any dampening of sound when it's in the "off" position.
Posted on May 11, 2012 at 07:05 AM
The notches on the mute are angled in such a way that it cannot fall off of your strings unless you intentionally twisted it off; even if it were to fall, it is made of rubber, so it can't damage the varnish.
It seems to be endorsed by Pinchas Zukerman and Andres Cardenes, amongst others. http://www.nsamusicsupplies.com/shop/polly-mutes/
From Marsha WeaverI tried the Tourte single-hole mute, and couldn't really detect a difference in sound with or without the mute. Neither could the sales person at the shop I was in. A few days later I was in a small shop that had mutes that look like the Tourte, but are made of a slightly softer rubber. Bought one of these, and absolutely LOVE it! Unfortunately, there is no brand name anywhere on the mute or the packaging. The mute simply has "USA" in raised letters (I assume that's saying that it was made in the U.S.A). If anyone is interested, check with Simple Sounds in Shipshewana, Indiana, and ask about their $1.00 violin mute. I'm not connected with the store -- it just happened to be where I found a mute I really like.
Posted on May 11, 2012 at 04:18 PM
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