Hill E "string guard"

May 28, 2018, 8:02 AM · I installed a Hill e string (ball end) recently and there was this small disk of rubber or leather that came with it. From what I can tell, it's called a "string guard", but it's much different that the typical tubing that sits on the string at the bridge.

I installed it as a vibration dampener where the ball meets the fine tuner. It seemed pretty good at first, but then within 2 weeks the thing shredded.

Can anyone explain the right way to use this thing and whether it adds anything to the set up?


Replies (1)

May 28, 2018, 9:45 AM · Five months from now will mark the 80th anniversary of receiving my first violin. So I have seen many, many of the leather, rubber, and felt string "donuts" (or " bagels" depending on your preferred inclination) and tiny tubes. I have puzzled over them long and hard over those decades and used them in many ways but actually not used them more often.

I believe that their general functions are to protect your strings or to help your sound. Using the tiny tubes on the bridge will protect the bridge groove from the bite of the E string (but so will a parchment groove "implant"). Using the rubber donuts on the bridge will not really protect anything, but it way help dull an over-bright sound - and the tiny tubes might do some of that too (I haven't used them for years).

I have used leather and felt "donuts" on the tailpiece end of strings - most recently the felt ones when I strung one of my violins with Tricolore gut strings into the tuners of its Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece to reduce the strain on the knot at the end of the string - and that worked fine - I just didn't like the sound of those strings as much as I had hoped - so they came off after about a month.

Those extra pieces that come with the strings are free and I think you are free to use them or not use them any way you want.

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