Are Shar Music fittings reliable?

September 7, 2016 at 03:23 AM · This is a continuation of my last post.

So Carlo, I looked into the fittings, and they are very expensive. As a student and not a pro, I don't think its worth the money to buy fittings? Maybe when I grow up and proceed my career as a violinist, then I may buy new fittings.

But on Shar, there is a tailpiece for $7, Pegs for $13, and so on. Should I get this? Will it be an upgrade from my heavy metal tailpiece that has fine tuners in it?

Tailpiece adjuster:

Fine tuner:






Replies (19)

September 7, 2016 at 04:46 AM · Not sure if you are aware of this or not, but pegs and the end button need to be fitted specifically to your violin. This needs to be done by an experienced luthier, as it requires specialized tools and knowledge to do it. Also the tailpiece should have its tailgut adjusted to ensure proper afterlength of the strings behind the bridge. That you can do yourself if you have some skill putting delicate things together and a lot of patience.

So it's not just a matter of buying new fittings, but you'll also need a luthier to set them up for you.

September 7, 2016 at 05:00 AM · You've got a rental. I'm pretty sure changing out the fittings would violate your rental contract. If you're not sure, you ought to call Potter's and ask.

Rentals are normally set up with perfectly adequate fittings. If you want to avoid a tailpiece with 4 fine tuners, though, just take it back to the shop and ask them to swap the tailpiece. They'll likely do that for free, since plenty of people would prefer a rental without the fine tuners.

September 7, 2016 at 05:51 AM · David's been on Maestronet saying he plays a 300 year old violin, what gives??????

September 7, 2016 at 10:35 AM · David, I have no experience of the the fittings that Shar sells. If you have a heavy metal tailpiece, but need four adjusters, an upgrade would be to get a lightweight Wittner tailpiece.

Cheers Carlo

September 7, 2016 at 11:19 AM · What Fox said. And is Lydia right that you are playing on a rental?? Then what Lydia said, too! Don't obsess about fittings. Concentrate on practicing, following the advice of your teacher and making progress. Even for an advanced or professional player who is financially ready for a major upgrade, the appearance of the fittings should be at the bottom of a long list of priorities.

But since SHAR has been brought up, I've dealt with then a number of times over the years and have always found them to be a good and reliable company. If you're ever dissatisfied with an order, you can return it in the same condition for a full refund. The sales people can also give advice.

September 7, 2016 at 11:27 AM · Its been my experience that you don't get good quality pegs for $13/set, from any supplier!!

September 7, 2016 at 01:50 PM · LOL Im not going to put fittings on my rental!!! Of course not! I am going to put them on my new violin when I get one, Im not saying Ill get them now.. Lyndon, I do have a 300 year old violin, based on what a luthier said. He said it was a 17th century violin

September 7, 2016 at 01:54 PM · And your 300 year old violin is not as good as your rental???

September 7, 2016 at 05:47 PM · I've never had a problem with Shar or with their products and since I live fairly nearby, I've dealt with them somewhat regularly.

September 7, 2016 at 09:59 PM · Since what you are linking here is pretty standard, assuming you are going to be getting this new violin from a shop/luthier in town, can't you just ask them to replace the fittings for the ones you like best when you buy the violin? Usually it's no big deal for them.

September 7, 2016 at 10:02 PM · oh, you can do that? I might ask that when I get a violin

September 8, 2016 at 05:21 AM · Thing is, unless the violin is valuable to you (regardless price) or expensive, I would take pause, as high quality fittings ARE not cheap; on the same token, though, they generally are very, very good. The ones Shar has are fine, and so are many others (many violin shops carry similar types), but even if perfectly serviceable, definitely not as good as the less affordable ones.

If it was me and I knew my violin wasn't as important (say, merely an instrument I know I am going to dispose of one day), I would not care about changing the fittings, unless there are problems. If you are planning this for the violin of your dreams, may as well spend "top dollar" for the change when you obtain it, rather than going the cheaper route (there are also some fittings that don't cost $200.00+ as well, though they still usually are more than $100.00, rather than just $13.00)

I am no elitist, though, and concede that you could do with cheaper alternatives. But there are not so subtle differences, and if you love the instrument and it makes sense, why not?

(Do remember that fittings have no bearing on whether the instrument is "professional-looking" or not.)

I believe good fittings are definitely more expensive to produce nowadays than it was hundreds of years ago-it's not just a "rip-off" or even merely inflation.

September 8, 2016 at 08:19 AM · For an inexpensive tailpiece, I would always go for the Wittner. It is really not expensive - under $30 - and known to be a decent quality component.

I haven't tried the Shar one that you linked to, but one violin that I owned came with a very cheap tailpiece - all of the harmonics sounded strange on it, and replacing it with the Wittner immediately fixed this.

September 8, 2016 at 02:44 PM · I have to say that it's never occurred to me to replace the fittings on my violins.

My first full-size violin came with perfectly nice-looking ebony fittings. My second violin. My second violin had rosewood fittings, probably original to the (late 19th century) instrument, looked nice with the varnish; I changed the chinrest for comfort and kept that in rosewood to match. My current (pretty expensive) violin has plain, perfectly decent-looking ebony fittings, other than the old chinrest, which is of a wood that I don't recognize off-hand but looks good with the varnish.

I assume that the fittings have always been of high quality, but I don't really know. I figure that if fittings could have improved the sound, they would have been changed already.

I'm curious about the thoughts of other folks who own higher-end (non-student) instruments.

September 8, 2016 at 05:31 PM · Higher end instrument: I've replaced the chinrest, of course, since I didn't like the one it came with, and I think on a previous violin I might have had the pegs replaced for some reason or another. Other than that, I've never thought of it. My violin's set up well enough that I figure any deficiencies are easier to fix through practicing than through messing with setup.

September 8, 2016 at 05:52 PM · My standard setup is with ebony accessories, because I consider them to be the most reliable and long-lived.

Sure, the quality of ebony accessories varies, and rosewood pegs can have some self-lubricating properties which are nice, and require less frequent applications of "peg dope" to keep then working well.

But also, at the moment, "rosewood" seems to be on a higher international watch list than ebony, at least when it comes to law enforcement priorities. Some species and sources of both woods are arguably illegal, and it produces vexing problems for folks like me who don't have a legal department or a lobbying agency, who are just trying to make violins on a small scale, and don't really present any challenges to the world's resources.

Sure, I think we all understand that the legislators "mean well".

September 8, 2016 at 06:02 PM · I always replace the chinrest, because I use a custom one, so it's the custom one on my primary violin and a tall Teka on the others.

I have never replaced pegs before, going by the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" mentality. I guess I've been lucky and always had good working pegs (one violin had geared pegs put on it by whomever had it previously).

I have replaced tailpieces before, for various reasons.

And had 3 new bridges cut before.

The instruments varied from "pricey" to ..."Yita". ;)

September 8, 2016 at 08:07 PM · Every decent violin I have bought I have changed the fittings, usually for aesthetic reasons. I don't like mis-matched fittings and ones that don't go with the varnish colour. This is also an opportunity to have the peg holes bushed, if they need it.

There are many ugly sets of pegs out there and I want my fiddles to look as good as they sound. Mostly I have had sets made for me by Hansell violins although I have also used sets by Bogaro and Clemente too.

Cheers Carlo

September 8, 2016 at 08:30 PM · While I love my Tempel fittings, the aforementioned Hansell and Bogaro & Clemente are also great, from what I've seen and gathered here and elsewhere. I ordered Bogaro/Clemente once but canceled my order because of the delay in e-mail communication (oddly enough, the cancelation was acknowledged without delay, with apologies.) The Tempel ones ended up being a great choice, and I couldn't be happier with the results.

There are also the custom fittings of Mr. Eric Meyer, which are understandably more expensive than other options, but undeniably great.

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