recommendation on E fine tuner

December 14, 2009 at 09:32 PM ·

Hi guys: following my previous post few days ago I have found that the buzz/echo comes from the E string adjuster, which rings if I pizz the G at FF or if I play C # at first position on G. Any recommandation on brand/style to eliminate this (I currently have a Hill style one, the ring somehow doesn't fit perfectly onto the surface of the tailpiece)?

Replies (49)

December 14, 2009 at 11:51 PM ·

Make sure the ring isn't too tight or too loose. There shouldn't be a problem, otherwise you might want to check with a luthier if there is a problem with the violin body. Or you just need a change of E string.

December 15, 2009 at 04:46 AM ·

My Hill style tuner ring doesn't fit exactly flat on the tail piece  but buzz here. I just tighten it till it doesn't move. Maybe buy another one and install and see if it rings.

December 17, 2009 at 07:12 PM ·

Get a nice carbon fiber one :) $15 but you only have to pay it once.

December 19, 2009 at 03:48 PM ·

I would not even consider using an E string tuner which moves a piece of metal closer and closer to the violin surface as the pitch is raised.  The large number of violins which have gouges in the wood beneath the E string tuner is sad evidence that this mechanism is to be avoided.  Yet most E string tuners, other than the Hill type, use this harmful design.  The Hill type E string tuner is one of very few that are safe for the violin.  I would stay with the Hill style tuner and try to tighten the nut enough so there is no buzz.

December 19, 2009 at 08:37 PM ·


although I also use a Hill tuner, the ones made for ball end strings that have that "lever" ( in search of a better term) only gouge the top if the user is careless and is after all a fine tuner, yes?  I have witnessed folks cranking on that to gain the "E"  from a whole tone down. The basic tuning should be with the peg and only  slight adjustment done with the fine tuner, regardless of the type or design.


December 20, 2009 at 12:59 AM ·

 Sam Mihailoff wrote that lever tuners " only gouge the top if the user is careless and lazy".

A person who has neither of these character deficiencies can still make a mistake.  I wouldn't use, nor recommend the use of,  a lever tuner when one may simply use a Hill type tuner which doesn't have this risk.

December 21, 2009 at 12:13 AM ·


Buri's comment in another thread also applies here..

The habits of caring for the instrument are as important as the playing. It all goes together in one parcel.

December 21, 2009 at 08:01 AM ·

The more intelligent solution is to use a Hill adjuster and a loop end string. There are two main reasons for this:

1) The Hill adjuster will never touch the top of your violin.

2) This type of adjuster keeps the E string afterlength closer to the proper one, thus improving the sound. Lever types makes the afterlenght too short.

December 21, 2009 at 10:15 AM ·

thanks for the replies guys! Can anyone tell me where I can get a Hill style tuner made from carbon fiber?


Merry X mas : )

December 21, 2009 at 03:20 PM ·


there is no need for a carbon fiber tuner if it is fitted up properly.

December 21, 2009 at 10:40 PM ·

You might also want to try a Götz fine tuner.  The design is very similar to the Hill, but the little arm which you place the E-string loop over is smaller, and deigned so that the E-string rides over the saddle on the tailpiece,giving it the proper afterlength.  They also claim that this fine tuner is lighter than the Wittner hill-style, and that the threads are better.

February 7, 2010 at 10:42 PM ·


The Götz Master Adjuster is priced at $20 while a Hill adjuster is priced at $5. How is your experience with both? Is it worth it?


February 7, 2010 at 10:44 PM ·

 I'd like to put a fine tuner on my A string and a light fine tuner make sense. Anyone know where to get one made of carbon?

February 7, 2010 at 11:32 PM ·

I use the Hill type on the instruments I build. It does not inferfere with the string afterlength.

February 8, 2010 at 03:18 AM ·

I don't really know whether the higher price is worth it that much.  Only one of my friends use it, but she says that it makes a big difference.  Then again, her violin costs about four times as much as my house.

I just use two regular Wittner fine tuners.  I used to use two Hill-style ones, but when I switched to using a Helicore A-string, the string and the fine tuner were incompatible, so I had to switch back to the regular kind.

Bogaro and Clemente makes carbon fiber fine tuners, I've never seen anybody actually using them though.  I don't know where you can actually buy them.

There's a few places where you can buy titanium fine tuners, which are also super light.;jsessionid=A2B7879151325842EDDE0F9DE58560A9

They're pretty expensive.  One of the ones at Stringmall is $237.05.  I emailed them about it, thinking it was a mistype - it wasn't.  And people actually buy them.

Here's the carbon fiber fine tuner from Bogaro and Clemente.  I don't think they're selling it from this source anymore though, and I don't know of any other one.

February 8, 2010 at 05:18 PM ·

Marc wrote:

"The Götz Master Adjuster is priced at $20 while a Hill adjuster is priced at $5. How is your experience with both? Is it worth it?"

But I recently bought two of the Götz adjusters in the U.S. for less than $6. each...

With regret, I cannot remember the source, but if you Google it, you will find only a few places in the States that sell the item and can checke the prices as I did.

It works very well, and is essentially the same design as the Hill. The "hook" is more compact than the Hill's and that is a real advantage because it does not intersect (and posibly break) the saddle on the tailpiece. (Don't ask how I know about that issue...)

All the best,


February 8, 2010 at 09:02 PM ·

Hi again Marc, and others,

It took me a while to find that inexpensive source, but here it is:

All the best,



February 21, 2010 at 05:11 AM ·

A plain old Hill style tuner works fine for the E string.  They're very light.  Paying big $$ for a titanium tuner strikes me as ridiculous.  The back of the prong on a Hill style tuner should be rounded slightly with a file.  Some brands are quite sharp on the back side and will snap the string.  The original iron and brass tuners made by Hill never did this for me, but some current ones will. 

May 15, 2010 at 01:53 PM ·

I recently discovered a fantastic new design of E-string adjuster/fine tuner:

I am now using a fine tuner made out of titanium, with a gold plated screw/screw thread, which is much lighter than any other on the market.  This means that it will not act as a mute in the way that others do, because they are too heavy.  The gold plated screw and screw thread makes tuning smoother, and the fine tuner, because of it lightness, is the size of a normal fine tuner (the smaller ones, although obviously lighter than most, do not allow sufficient movement of the mechanism to always be convenient).

The best thing about this new fine tuner, however, is that, apart from the screw, there are no working parts!  The pivoting fulcrum movement is instead replaced by the built-in 'spring' action of the main body of the tuner, which is controlled by the screw alone.

I have noticed an immediate difference in quality of natural tone.  I have always only ever used one tuner, and I am very particular about shoulder rests and mutes, as these also contribute to muting of the instrument, in varying degrees.  The best solution would still be to play without a shoulder rest, fine tuner, and mute, but alas modern music demands the freedom, and 'sordino effect' that these things give. They are not cheap (about £25), are made in German by Dick GmbH, and available to order from Maison Tasset (Belgium) [Google search: 'Maison Tasset' > Accessories >> Violin >>> Fine Tuners].

My favourite shoulder rest so far (and believe me, I have tried them all), is the Mach-One model made of maple.  Mach-One make a plastic version which has a superb built-in plastic/rubber pad, which grips well.  The ergonomic design of these models has been copied, but they are hard to find.  I am amazed that so many makers still make shoulder rests where the bowl of the curve of the pad rests against the body (or doesn't, to be accurate), when it is immediately clear to the user, that the 'S' shape of the Mach-One model fits anyone's collar bone and shoulder perfectly comfortably.  The only drawback with the maple model, is the leather pad, which after a short time becomes smooth, and therefore loses its grip.  If only the maker would fit the plastic/rubber pad as used on his plastic models to this, it would be absolute perfection.  A well fitting and comfortable rest allows freedom of movement, and less risk of cramp and muscular problems.  The Mach-One allows the tips of the fingers to face more towards the bridge, which, as Aaron Rosand explained, gives a better tone and a better quality of vibrato.  Rosand also said that this is not possible if one uses a shoulder rest.  That may be, but certainly the Mach-One lets you nearer achieving an ideal vibrato and finger pressure.

I have also tried every mute I have ever come across, and I can only recommend two mutes for having minimal effect on the sound, when in the 'off' position: 1) the 'Heifetz' mute 2) the Tourte 'Violin Shaped' or 'Waisted' mute.  The Heifetz would be the better of the two, except that it is possible to accidentally knock it off the instrument, especially when dusting off the strings after playing.  Anyone who has experienced this, knows how difficult these are to find once they have fallen off the instrument and bounced off the floor!  These mutes are also very tight fitting, and thus noisy when attaching to the bridge (they are really only for soloists playing the Canzonetta of the Tchaikovsky concerto!).  I therefore recommend the Tourte mute.  Because of its unique shape, there are two possible ways to fit them.  They can be clipped between the two inner strings (which fit either side of the waist), or they can be slotted onto one string (I favour the 'A' string for this).  If using the latter method, which halves the alread minimal negative effect of the mute's weight, I advise a quick downward push of the finger to the top of the mute, to allow the small inverted 'V' shape of the hole, to grip against the string (that's why I prefer to use the 'A' string - it's a tighter fit).  he mute will stay satisfactorily in place, unless physically knocked out of its position.  Using these three pieces of equipment together, will have the best effect of improving your instrument's sound, unless you are lucky enough to be able to play well without accessories!  You'll also want to practise more too!

May 16, 2010 at 12:18 AM ·

I don't recommend the Heifetz mute, I think it's an overpriced piece of junk that doesn't mute well and is overly inconvenient to use. You can buy nine or ten Tourte mutes for the price of one Heifetz mute, and it sounds better once the shape of the mute has conformed to the contour of the bridge. The one I recommend is the Finissima artist mute, it's the easiest to use, and gives a pleasing tone.

May 16, 2010 at 05:44 PM ·

Any photos of the titanium tuner?  Is it like a Hill tuner coming through the string slot, or does it stick out in front of the tailpiece/

May 16, 2010 at 06:06 PM ·

It is not complicated to tune G,D, and A ,the natural way. I agree with Oliver Steiner that this metallic device leaves unforgettable marks on the table. And this can be seen unfortunately on many Cremonese. I watched a video of Stern playing beautifully Bach Chaconne on youtube yesterday. He was playing on the "Panette Del Gesù " and you can watch him tuning the E string with the wooden Key. Not the metallic device. If the violin is properly ajusted, you do not need to be a virtuoso to tune the instrument as it is supposed to be, the natural way.

May 16, 2010 at 06:23 PM ·

Hi Eric,

You can see one version here:;jsessionid=A2B7879151325842EDDE0F9DE58560A9

It is essentially the familiar "lever" version with a "leaf spring" replacing the hinge.

All the best,


May 17, 2010 at 12:07 AM ·

Hmmm.  It seems like a titanium E adjuster is a bit of overkill. 

The familiar iron and brass Hill style through the tailpiece tuner is very good.  It's light and neat and unobtrusive.  The only thing to be careful of is that some of the Hill style tuners will have a sharp edge on the back of the prong that will cut the string and break it.  The original Hill-made tuners were wonderful and did not have this problem, but some current ones for sale do.  A tiny bit of filing to round the back edge of the prong solves this problem.

May 17, 2010 at 12:34 AM ·

The problem I tend to have with the Wittner hill-style fine tuners made today is that the screw threads tend to jam a lot... either that, or they're just plain hard to turn.

May 17, 2010 at 01:27 AM ·

I use a completely different method altogether. I use Perfection geared pegs on my violin and have completely eliminated the E fine tuner altogether. The gear ratios on the perfection pegs means you can still get the fine tuning on the E string in the tiny increments that are necessary.

I know a lot of people don't like perfection pegs, and that's fine. but it works for me. :)

May 17, 2010 at 02:27 AM ·

Hi Brian!

I am assuming that these tuners are not be used on cheap/student violins, because, at $250 or so, the stuffing will end up costing more than the turkey and Thanksgiving will be ruined!


May 26, 2010 at 02:48 PM ·

Dear Allen,

In my experience, fine tuners (whether for loop-end or ball-end E strings) should not cause any buzz if used correctly, ie tightly fitted into the tailpiece and correctly set. If you've made sure your fine tuner is well fitted and used, it could be that the buzz is coming from somewhere else. The source of buzzes on violins is amongst the most difficult things to identify, and can sometimes be traced to a loose collar on a peg or something loose inside the violin body. If you've tried a couple of regular tuners and it's still buzzing, don't spend huge sums on expensive fine tuners - have your instrument checked by a luthier.

Hope this helps!


May 26, 2010 at 10:56 PM ·

I got rid of my fine tuner when I started using a gut E.  Really, no need for it.

April 19, 2011 at 01:36 AM ·

Someone can help me to find a string adjuster like this one on the A string ?

I know that it isn´t the " Wittner Uni string adjuster ".




April 19, 2011 at 03:06 AM ·

 They're pretty much the same thing, except this one is bulkier. They have a couple in the pile of old, unused fine tuners that they have in my high school's instrument repair shop; I tried them on a violin once, they were really heavy and offset the angle of the tailpiece by a lot.

Also, that A string appears to be a forte-gauge Jargar; you can easily pull out the ball and use a Hill-style or Gotz tuner with it.

April 19, 2011 at 05:26 PM ·

Brian, do you know where can I buy one like this ?

I want to do a experience.


April 30, 2011 at 12:18 AM ·

Another option for the OP:

Buy a Wittner Ultra tailpiece, then remove the fine-tuners you don't want.  (easily done)

This is a very light TP, which gives a fantastic tone. I've never heard anything but raves, even from picky players & luthiers using expensive instruments.  The fine tuners work great, and give the proper after-length.   It looks just like Ebony.   

Unless you need a non-Ebony look, or something slightly smaller than the standard 110mm length, this is a highly recommended option.

April 30, 2011 at 02:31 AM ·

Hmm... I actually heard that a longer length of tailgut (with room to flex) between the tailpiece and saddle is required for cellos and violas, and a shorter length is desirable for violins, otherwise the sound becomes diffuse or something.

Don't take my word for it! I just vaguely remember reading that somewhere!

Oh, and the Wittner tailpiece idea is good especially if you're on a budget. It actually looks pretty nice!

April 30, 2011 at 02:41 AM ·

@ Brian Lee

I used a Bogaro & Clement`s carbon fine tuner, It was ball-type  and It donesn`t give bad effect to afterlength. but It has two problems, difficult when you change string, and low durability.

so Now I use Hill type fine tuner, sometimes It cuts e-strings. but I don`t have other choice,

April 30, 2011 at 08:56 PM ·

 I don't think anyone really knows what length cord is best.  I have never seen a strong, informed opinion on the subject.  This is due to a few factors, such as:

1:  Setting the perfect after-length IS critical, and that's what the cord is adjusted for.  Very few people or techs are going to audition tailpieces with various lengths, so that the after-length can remain constant.

2:  For those folks driven enough to actually audition tailpieces of various lengths (like myself, who bought a ton of used ones off Ebay then spent probably 100 hrs trying them all)  The first problem is that you have to remove the strings to do it.  Every time you do this, then bring them back to pitch, the sound of the strings themselves deteriorates.  Have you ever heard of anyone, let alone testing cord length, but using new strings for each new tailpiece? (I got around this problem by using non-wound gut, which doesn't deteriorate in this way, and running the test twice, the second time in backwards order.)

But then, I'm insane.

3:  For those folks insane enough to actually audition tailpieces of various lengths, PROPERLY,  the next problem then becomes:  Is the difference you're hearing due to a different cord length, or a different TP weight?   TP weight does make a significant difference (and it's not always "lighter is better") so.....

My strong guess is that the actual cord length is virtually meaningless.  The bottom of the TP does not vibrate very much. It is surely not a significant thing to worry about.  - even if you're insane.  (g)

May 1, 2011 at 02:12 PM ·

 "The bottom of the TP does not vibrate very much" ... which is perhaps why you sometimes see baroque players who don't use a chin rest sometimes touching their chin briefly on the lower end of the tailpiece, specially when doing a down shift.  Although I'm not specifically a baroque player I sometimes like to play without a CR for a few days (I never use a SR anyway), and I use that technique.

September 12, 2012 at 07:29 PM · I have been using the titanium E-string adjuster from Dick GmBh in Germany for almost three years


This is without doubt the best adjuster available.

It is advertised as being 50% lighter (I have not weighed it, but there is a noticeable reduction of the muting effect that other string adjusters inevitably cause). It is hypoallergenic - for those players bothered by such things - and very stylish (string adjusters are not the most beautiful of accessories, but this is without doubt the Ferrari of them all).

Most exciting to me is the fact that, apart from the screw and nut, it is in one piece (two pieces of metal joined at the fulcrum by a pivoting rivet can only interfere with the transmission of sound vibrations) which flexes according to the pressure induced by the turning of the screw. This means that there is absolutely no chance of any annoying buzzes, provided that the screw and nut are sufficiently tightened onto the tailpiece.

It is also designed to accommodate strings with either a ball, or a loop end, and because the end of the string is held more or less the same distance from the tailpiece as a traditional adjuster, the pulling angle behind the bridge is therefore similar. Small adjusters, even though they are lighter than their full-size counterparts, do not allow much lateral movement of the screw, which necessitates that the player has to continually unwind the screw completely, tune the string using the peg, and finally reset the screw in its start position. Therefore, this adjuster allows as much scope, when fine-tuning upwards or down, as any full-size adjuster.

For best results, I recommend you combine this superb adjuster with the Pirastro Universal E-string (which complements all brands and combinations of strings, and does not squeak - ever!), and a leather sliding mute from Boston Violins USA, remove any string cushion or sleeve from the string, so that it rests directly on the wood of the bridge, and make sure that your bridge is properly positioned and not leaning or bent, and is not cut too thick. Assuming that your instrument is properly set up, if you follow all the points above, you will notice a tremendous improvement in sound.

So, while this adjuster is probably the most expensive on the market, it is definitely worth every penny.

September 12, 2012 at 08:21 PM · My luthier refuses to try that sort of fine tuner, because he's afraid of what will happen when the lever does eventually give way to use..

October 22, 2012 at 05:05 AM · I've looked at those harp shaped pieces lately, it's an interesting concept - has anyone tried one?

March 13, 2013 at 04:27 AM · I may be 3 years late in responding to this thread but I read this only today. The tuners I ordered that are made of carbon composite material from´Bogaro and Clemente did not arrive in time and I need a tuner badly for my practice violin. I considered at one instant to use some of my discarded black Wittner ball end fine tuner. But when I looked at the design underneath the tailpiece, I immediately took it off and decided to practice with no fine tuner or Practice on lly performance violin. Hopefully they will arrive tomorrow. For today, it will be my "Solo" violin. I just installed gut strings on it and don't want to wear them off before the big´day.

I totally agree to what Oliver Steiner wrote. This Wittner string adjuster is very dangerous especially If the price of your instrument is high. If one could afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars or more on his or her instrument, investing on Carbon composite, or builtin tuners is nothing. One does not buy them yearly. I only use Bois d'Harmonie tailpieces with builtin tuners on the A and the E on my two main violins. The rest, I use Bogaro and Clemente tailpieces that came with. Loop end E adjusters. But I'm using the Warchal Russian style A, which is stell, a reason why I need extra tuners for the 'A. It's worth spending for. Think of it this way, It cost far more to have your instrument repaired, than to avoid the problem before it even begins, minus the stress.

March 14, 2013 at 04:18 AM · I use a good old Hill style with no problem, however I couldn't help taking a look at the titanium adjusters on line just out of curiosity. I was surprised that the price range was so wide for these little beggars. The one made in Germany which is essentially one piece I found on several sites pricing at about 25 euros plus shipping. The one made in Austria which you can buy in the USA comes in at over $400! I found a one piece titanium at the Old Violin House that is listed for $15 with free shipping that is made in China. The Chinese one looks very much like the German one, that is one piece with a gold plated screw whilst the Austrian one appears to be two piece and apart from being lighter, I could see digging into the violin if one wasn't careful. If anyone is interested here's the link for the Chinese guy. It looks like the best buy to me. (

March 18, 2013 at 05:46 PM ·

March 18, 2013 at 05:52 PM · I recently purchased a Gotz all-gold-plated adjuster directly from Gotz for $8.24 + $7.14 S/H (although the shipment contained multiple items). I could not find this item anywhere else and it's exceptionally nice looking!


March 18, 2013 at 08:22 PM · You can get a black or black w/gold screw Gotz tuner here for $5.95

They were preferred by the shop of Rene Morel for having high quality threads that turned smoothly, and for not breaking E string loops

Also, Otto Musica is now producing titanium Hill-style fine tuners

March 28, 2013 at 04:56 PM · Anyone else using the B&C carbon fiber tuners? It seems like they are an excellent fine tuner: extremely low weight, no after length change, virtually no vibration dampening. Can this tuner bottom out though and scratch the top? It seems like the lever could if it was screwed down enough. Any other opinions on this tuner?

March 28, 2013 at 07:30 PM · All of the titanium fine tuners that I have seen stick out in front of the tailpiece and effect the afterlength, except the ones from Otto Musica. They only work for the loop style string however, but they have lowered the profile of the hook so it angles closer to the saddle on the tailpiece. I was pleased to see it on display at the VSA Convention in Cleveland. It would be great if they made them black like the German ones. There may be other Hill style fine tuners in titanium out there but I haven't seen them. I've been trying to talk someone to make this style in titanium for many years now.

March 28, 2013 at 09:39 PM · Eric, if you are replying to Nick G, he didn't ask about titanium. His question was about this one:

Nick, It doesn't look like top damage is likely unless you have unusually low clearance under the tailpiece. The picture shows slightly longer afterlength (which probably doesn't matter on the e anyway), but it looks like string changes could be more interesting. Fit in the tailpiece may be critical, too. If you try it, let us know how it works.

March 28, 2013 at 10:14 PM · No I was referring to previous posts about the titanium ones. The Bogaro and Clemente tuner system is brilliant since you can use them on an existing tailpiece without drilling holes in it to mount the screws and the strings break lower to the tailpiece top. The other carbon fiber types stick up higher above the tailpiece and force the tailpiece proper closer to the top of the instrument. The disadvantage is the that the strings are loaded from underneath and some players don't like the inconvenience. Also the parts sometimes come out without string tension. The slots must be the right size for the insets or be modified as well as the holes which must be the right diameter to hold the rubber encapsulated adjustment srrews.

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