Best component to upgrade for better sound quality?
I got a cheap stradivarius copy violin and was wondering why the sound quality is so horrible when I play certain notes. I had just gotten the A-string changed, and it's the same string that makes the worst scratchy sound most of the time. It may have been a worse quality string than the rest. I'm just starting out, and I know when I am bowing wrong which can also made a bad sound. The sound goes terrible when I 1) play on A-string, 2) play towards the frog on the A-string especially, 3) place fingers on the strings for higher notes like low B and G. Even when I play a long note and am looking at it to make sure I"m bowing straight, it still comes out bad. I've tried adjusting bow tightness, rosin amount, etc. My question is, assuming it's not my technique, what part of the violin should be changed to produce a decent sound on all notes? the bow and/or strings?
Is it necessary to buy an entire upgrade of a violin, body and all? Or is it worth it to just invest in better strings and a better bow? What's the difference? Thanks
Have a tech check it out. Also, this violin is probably not that great.
By "cheap" how cheap is it? I've heard really cheap ones <$100 and they do sound meh. There's definitely upgrade in sound quality as you move up in price. That upgrade in sound quality/price diminishes at a certain point. I think people generally will agree to invest the most money on the violin in terms of equipment.
Debbie, you said you are just staring out and you are self-teaching. I'm sorry to tell you that we cannot assume it's not your technique because as a self-taught beginner, it is a certainty that you will not sound good with any violin. Buying another instrument or even buying a set of new string will be more wasteful than find a reputable teacher, even just for one trial lesson. Let a teacher play your violin and to show you how it could sound with proper technique. Alternatively, rent a best violin you can afford and try it to see how much you can improve your sound. So that's the bad news for you.
The player. Even with professional instruction and a great instrument, a beginning student will not be able to produce a sound comparable to that teacher on a student instrument. Or at least not consistently, given that a student with effort and specific instruction should be able to make a single note sound good for a while, within limits. Moreover, when listeners complain about the sound of beginners, it's usually mostly about intonation, not the tone per se. A bad tone can be listenable if it's in tune.
Beginners (and some others!) should be aware that the sound they hear from the violin they're playing is not the same sound that a listener 10 feet or more away will hear. This is because the really high-frequency noise - bow hiss and other very high-frequency noise which is always present - doesn't carry more than a few feet from the violin. This means, incidentally, that microphone positioning has to be carefully thought out beforehand to get good results.
I also play a late 1800's German copy of a Strad. I put a lot of money into restoration and improving the tone. A good luthier can only do so much and it depends on how much you want to spend. Different bridges, adjusting the sound post, even measuring and shaving the plates to change the resonance.