the plastic thing on the e string??

September 10, 2016 at 03:42 AM · I have a general idea of what that is, but do you guys have it on or off? Like do you like having that and do you use it? Or do you just shove it into the winding thing or cut it?? What are the pros and cons?

Replies (13)

September 10, 2016 at 03:52 AM · I've always been curious as to whether or not it changes the tonal transfer in any significant way. Obviously any extra mass on the bridge will dampen the sound, but being that it's so small it likely isn't noticeable. However, being that it's between the string and the bridge I'm curious if that makes any difference in tone

September 10, 2016 at 04:11 AM · The small plastic tubing is there to prevent the e string from digging into the bridge. If your bridge is not protected by a piece of parchment, I think it is better to position the tubing at the contact point between the string and the bridge. If it is, then removing the tubing is recommended.

September 10, 2016 at 05:08 AM · I take them off as soon as the E string comes out of the package. If you're starting with a proper bridge and putting graphite on the grooves of the bridge, you can have the parchment replaced every year or so for minimal cost. Otherwise you're stuck with the "tone killer"!

September 10, 2016 at 08:36 AM · I have violins with the parchment thingy and without it. I've had bridges that had the parchment thingy and had it removed, and bridges without it and had it added, and I can't say I ever sensed any advantage or disadvantage to one or the other.

So! On violins with parchment on the bridge I don't use the plastic thingy on E, and on those that don't have parchment I use it.

September 10, 2016 at 09:48 AM · Some bridges using an ebony insert under the E string. One would think that might affect the tone too...comments ?

September 10, 2016 at 11:00 AM · I have been told that it brings the e string to life or "pop". I personally have no experience with it myself and I am not good enough yet for it to matter.


September 10, 2016 at 11:51 AM · What Nathan said. It's called a tone filter. Why would anyone want to filter the tone of the E string? The string rings out more without it. If the winding is too thick to pull it off completely, stick it up in the pegbox area, rather than behind the bridge. It's less likely up there to do mischief, such as buzzing when it moves around. If you forget, then stick it snugly into the lower winding which you'll probably have to redo from time to time, as the vibrations will get it loose.

Re the ebony insert, that will certainly hold up to the E string but you usually will find them on cheaper bridges, rather than the kind that a good lutheir will custom fit. I think that the ebony, being heavier and denser than the maple, will not vibrate as openly and would adversely affect the tone.

September 10, 2016 at 12:28 PM · I've always added parchment to my e-string grooves. I used to buy them from the luthier section of the Johnson String catalog and after I moved to the Bay area Ifshin sold me a piece of about 2 square inches of variable thickness that I could cut to work well for cello bridges too.

A dab of superglue works well for installing a parchment patch - you only have to squeeze it in place for a minute and it can last for years.

Otherwise, everything that Raphael said.

September 10, 2016 at 04:06 PM · I've been using s small strip of a rubber band between the E string and bridge. The last time I went to repair he put a small metal tab (tape) there to protect the bridge.

September 10, 2016 at 04:14 PM · There is no doubt that the parchment option is slightly brighter, the sleeve slightly reduces the highest harmonics, I really doubt it has much effect at all on the fundamental. On most violins a very slight reduction in the highest harmonics is not objectionable. But not everyone sees it this way.

September 10, 2016 at 04:20 PM · I agree with Lyndon. I've not heard any difference from the "tone killer." But my violin is not a Strad, and my hearing is slightly compromised, so I doubt I can detect the higher harmonics anyway.

If an ebony insert is better, presumably because ebony is harder than maple, then why not something even harder like bone or sapphire or gold.

September 10, 2016 at 06:41 PM · Paul, I've seen some ivory inserts on some bridges... I'm sure have other inserts.

September 10, 2016 at 08:18 PM · Even in my non-Strad, I can vouch for the parchment being a much better solution than any included rubber accesories-it is also a cheap violin shop "fix." The sound and "breath" is so much better without it.

On Gold Labels and other Pirastro Es (Oliv, etc.) you can really slide it off from the bottom out (very little force needed), so you don't even need cut it. Most Es rubber protectors are even easier to slide out-I would try if possible not to have it on the tailpiece or peghead, though I have done voth and have seen some soloists with Gold Labels having the protector down to the windings closer to the tailpiece.

The Hill Es, great strings, come with an optional old school tone filter which is not needed and aafely left on the string sleeve.

Be sure to have the parchment "fix" ready before not using these "tone filters", though.

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