Discussion of the Tonerite Device That Claims to Improve the Violin Tone

April 22, 2011 at 02:51 PM ·

 Hello Everyone,

I recently got curious about this Tonerite device that claims to improve the violin tone quality by letting the violin doing continuous vibrations with its device (according to the website, for 72 hours) Personally I am actually a little bit doubtful about this thing, since it is a very artificial process. I am wondering whether anyone has any experience regarding this device? Does it really improve? I deeply appreciate your sharing of experiences and comments!


Replies (80)

April 22, 2011 at 04:30 PM ·

I don't have personal experience with this device, but you can read a review of it here:  www.seerystrings.com/tonerite%20review.html

My opinion, based on what I think I know about wood structures and acoustics, is that it might slightly speed up the settling of a brand-new, straight-off-the-bench instrument.  So, what might take a few weeks naturally could happen a week sooner.  I wouldn't bother with it.

April 22, 2011 at 04:40 PM ·

I agree. It's far better for you to get used to the new violin and for it to get used to you. A mechanical device won't do this.

April 22, 2011 at 05:02 PM ·


Thanks for the comments. I have a Joseph Anthony Chanot from 1906. I was thinking if it's possible to make this 105 years old violin sound like 200 years, but that just seems flight of fancy.

April 22, 2011 at 05:41 PM ·

I have tried it and it does work; the instruments becomes somehow more open and resonant, and with a better response. Some friends of mine borrowed it and they got the same impression. Obviously it´s not meant to do the practicing for you, but rather to do its work while the player is resting.

April 22, 2011 at 07:10 PM ·

 I bought a Tonerite as well and yes it does a difference. I got the same results....seems to open the inst. up. I was very skeptical at first, but it does seem to help.


David Blackmon

April 22, 2011 at 07:55 PM ·

According to the review, itseems that this device only vibrates at a single frequency. I believe there may be other similar devices which use a range of frequencies (?). However, what we want is for the violin to "learn" the correct frequencies. I remember reading a quote from a violonist a number of years ago after he'd acquired the instrument of one of the 20th century "greats" - unfortunately I can't remember the names. However, what he said was that the instrument rang beautifully if you were in tune, but miss a note by a fraction, and it was pretty dead. The previous owner did have the reputation of always playing in tune, and I can only surmise that the instrument had become accustomed to vibrating at just the frequencies for the correct notes, and not "in the cracks".

April 22, 2011 at 08:57 PM ·

Kenny, what exactly do you think would be the difference between a 105 years sound and a 200 years sound?

April 23, 2011 at 12:17 AM ·

Thanks for all the comments. Felt very useful!! Does anyone know besides Tonerite what other devices claim to improve the violin tone?


April 23, 2011 at 05:11 AM ·

 "Does anyone know besides Tonerite what other devices claim to improve the violin tone?"


Yes, there is a device called a violinist! 

April 23, 2011 at 05:18 AM ·

 Good one Christopher!  

April 23, 2011 at 06:14 AM ·

"Does anyone know besides Tonerite what other devices claim to improve the violin tone?"

Well-fitted soundpost and bridge, a good luthier.

April 23, 2011 at 08:32 AM ·

 I must stop laughing long enough to pst a witty responsse...  no I can't do it ..   OMG, too funny .. cant typ... feeel lik Buri ...   waaaaaahhhhh..............



Gotta' love that placebo effect.

Try just, you know, PRACTICING.   - Or leave your violin hanging in front of your stereo speakers, with some, you know VIOLIN music on.  

(that actually DOES help.)

April 23, 2011 at 03:15 PM ·


I do practice a lot. I'm just thinking if the device does help, it can be used when I'm resting or not playing. Thanks for all th good comments!!

April 23, 2011 at 03:59 PM ·

I can't imagine the Tonerite being any more successful than setting the violin on top of a speaker, and having violin music play constantly. That way, you get all the range, as well as double stops! Even vibrato....

That said, playing not only tunes the violin, but it tunes the violinist!

April 23, 2011 at 04:16 PM ·

The amplitude (=energy) is much smaller in front of a speaker, compared to playing or using a device. This is kind of a placebo's placebo...

April 23, 2011 at 06:00 PM ·

 Malcolm,  that story has gone around for more than one instrument. But if that was true one could only play the instrument with the exact tuning of the initial owner. Going from say  A 440 to A 442 would cause your instrument not to respond. That is hard to believe; then  better keep violins at their original side of the pond re the difference between American and European tuning. And what about all the older violins that started off with baroque tuning and have gradually moved up, and yet seem to have gained so much from being played well over the ages?

That a well-played violin  sounds better than one that hasn't been well played - or hasn't been played at all -  is not disputed. A violin probably needs "good vibrations" to open up well and dissonant and screechy sounds likely don't help. An explanation for an improved sound and responsiveness may be that when well played there are more natural overtones produced, and good bowing technique will produce more vibration = more volume. When chords are played out of tune the resonance is less. Playing very close to the bridge will cause a much more intense vibration of the instrument and some including my present teacher recommend to often play close to the bridge in the first year of a new instrument to speed up the "opening up" process. Makes sense to me. ( There may be a similarity in the way a car or motor bike eventually responds when driven more aggressively versus very tame -- not that i recommend aggressive driving).

There was a post last year -- was it Lauri's ? - about a device being developed that feeds music through a clamp-on through the bridge. That would probably work better than just single frequency vibrations. Have James Ehnes help open up your instrument!  Don't know if that device is commercially available yet.



April 25, 2011 at 02:08 PM ·

 David's website is interesting. But tuning ALL parts of the violin? How do you even do that? What note to tune your blocks to?   And now Equisatum ( Dutch Rush) is going to give your violin that Strad sound? Wasn't it supposed to be a  fungus or some secret ground mixture. Sorry I'm not a believer. 

Roger Hargrave has probably opened up and checked out more Strads and DGs than any living person and he doesn't even believe in tuning the plates let alone any other parts of the violin. I'm not saying that tuning the plates - and maybe even the instrument as a whole - is useless; it may well work for some luthiers.


April 25, 2011 at 09:56 PM ·

 Clearly, the makers of the "tonerite" dingus think the plates should be tuned to 60 Hz.

-except in Europe, where the magical frequency seems to be 50 Hz.


Imagine the vast scientific research that must have gone into this fascinating discovery!

April 25, 2011 at 10:17 PM ·

My local "adult" store has the Tonerite. Or was it something similar, but less expensive?  I may need to go back and check. LOL

April 25, 2011 at 10:37 PM ·

 Hey, David.

- No such thing as bad vibrations, but best when the device runs on batteries.  (g)


- You know, we may have just inadvertently increased Toneright sales ten-fold.

"Toneright - Sheep Approved!"  (in more ways than one.  Bahhhhh....)

April 25, 2011 at 10:44 PM ·

 Hey, that Toneright dingus should come with a little bottle of olive oil.

-To prevent chaffing of your, you know,  BRIDGE.  (Yeah, that's it.)


Somebody stop me before I hurt myself ............

July 1, 2012 at 07:35 PM · Yes, it works very well. So well in fact that they're working on a new model specifically for bassists- it will be worn on the head and stimulate frequencies in the cerebral cortex! Sorry, bassists!

July 1, 2012 at 07:54 PM · I am actually wondering about this myself. In the music store I work at, we have many instruments, and although they get played a good amount, it is not enough, and they seem to always sound closed up.

July 1, 2012 at 08:58 PM · This is a fairly old thread; since my first reply, I have gotten a tonerite (no, I didn't buy it) and did some testing. I couldn't detect any changes in a new instrument after 3 days of tonerite application, either by ear or by spectral response. I was suprised how wimpy the tonerite vibration level was, even at the highest setting, so it was not surprising that nothing changed. You'd get far stronger shaking by shipping a violin by UPS.

July 2, 2012 at 12:21 AM · I also fall into the tonrite = snakeoil crowd. You would get better results by putting it in front of the stereo speaker and blasting some pink noise, but even then, you are not "playing" it in, which is doing a lot more than just vibrating parts.

July 2, 2012 at 02:05 PM · Seems you could hold your violin in front of a speaker that projected sound (sine wave) swept through the whole frequency range of the human ear.

This device reminds me of the little copper coin-shaped object that you're supposed to be able to put in wine for three seconds to "age" the wine by 20 years.

And as for devices that improve a violin's tone, lots of good suggestions above, but so far nobody's suggested the shoulder rest! LOL!!

July 2, 2012 at 02:57 PM · Much better is to hold one's ears in front of a speaker and listen intensively to a recording by Ehnes, Hahn or Grumiaux...

July 2, 2012 at 05:13 PM · John, a discussion ending up in reductio ad Heifetzium is certainly more appealing than the more common (in more than one sense!) reductio ad Hitlerium (Godwin's Law).

July 2, 2012 at 09:14 PM · Well, I avoided the name of H. intentionally. I didn't want to say Jehova...


July 3, 2012 at 01:50 PM · He who must not be named?

Heifetz = Voldemort

July 4, 2012 at 02:16 PM · I still think the basic idea behind the Tonerite is sound. If you had something playing chromatic scales constantly through the violin you might get some result don't you think?

The Tonerite just seems a bit too basic.

July 4, 2012 at 11:25 PM · The vibration is a very weak 60Hz sine wave; way too weak and out of the normal operating range of the violin to have any effect, in my opinion. Like trying to cure varnish with a flashlight.

July 5, 2012 at 10:43 AM · I think the more conservative, the more prone to bs. Definitely true for a big number of guitarist and violinists.

July 7, 2012 at 12:34 PM · Science is nothing personal. It aims to find out if things work and how. And it builds on earlier knowledge, on theories, on consistency or contradiction.

Because of that knowledge we don't even have to consider to try out a car that is claimed to run on water...

There is no 50:50, because the two alternatives are not equal. There are the laws of physics on one side.

Do we have to take a device like the tonerite into consideration? Think about it.

July 7, 2012 at 01:58 PM · It's such a hard thing to test really. I actually did some before and after recordings of several violins with Luthier Michael Seery who has done a review on his site. On some violins I thought the sound was marginally better on one violin I thought it actually lost something. However, my experience with recording tells me that there are so many variables anyway. I may have had the level slightly different or the microphone placed differently, further, closer or in a different place in relation to the f-holes. My playing varies just like anybody's does, I don't produce exactly the same tone all the time I guess. On top of that, one's perception comes into play. I couldn't really conclude either way absolutely, which only goes to say, if there are any changes they are fairly subtle like most adjustments that claim to improve tone.

July 9, 2012 at 06:44 AM · Ok, I'll try to express it as clearly as possible. (Sometimes it's hard to discuss in a foreign language).

Car running on water. Does it deserve a test?

No, waste of time. We know there is no usable energy in water that a car can use for working it's engine.

So it's not a matter of 50:50. We know the result without even testing.

Tonerite device: Not so clear as with the water engine, but the odds are clear as well. It completely lacks an theory about how it will work. No, sir, there are only claims, rumours and pseudoscience about how vibrations should affect an instrument's structure. These are NO theory in a scientifical meaning.

Add the primitive design and the big amount of credulity among string players. These together say "it won't do anything than pull money out of the buyers and make them deceive themselves, because they want the improvement in tone an they have spent their money."

This works without needing a test. This is no close-mindedness, it's only a knowledge based decision to avoid wasting time and intelligence (not to forget money) on things that are clear how they (won't) work.

Give us a scientific or technical theory (not just claims and talk) and reproducable results. Then I'll be ready to change my mind.

July 9, 2012 at 07:34 AM · "quite simply water is hydrogen and oxygen, seperate them with a fuel cell and any engine can run on that..... "

I hope your skills in violin making are substantially better than your understanding of physics ;-)

July 10, 2012 at 12:40 AM ·

July 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM · "actually some high performance race cars use water injection to add power, quite simply water is hydrogen and oxygen, seperate them with a fuel cell and any engine can run on that..."

With water injection, the water is not a fuel source, delivers no energy, and creates no additional power by itself. What it does is help stabilize combustion, allowing other power-producing factors (like boost or compression ratio) to be pushed farther before combustion becomes unstable.

One way it achieves this is by lowering temperatures, as the injected water changes state from a liquid to water vapor (it is still water, not separated into hydrogen and oxygen, and not a fuel source).

As others have mentioned, it requires more energy to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen than can be recovered by burning the mixture in an engine. No free lunch.

July 10, 2012 at 12:26 PM ·

July 10, 2012 at 09:07 PM · "So you have to prove they are wrong as well as the Tonerite."

No, sorry. From the Skeptical handbook, §1 I learned: The burden of proof lies with the one who claims unusual things.

(excuse my bad english)

According to the great Carl Sagan: If my neighbour claims to have a unicorn in his garden, it's not me to proof he's wrong. (He simply needs to show the beast)

Nobody has to proof the tonerite is not working, it's exactly their job to proof that they can deliver.

If I'd claim to be able to perform the Brahms concerto only on the g string, it would be my task to give the proof.

In matters of acoustic properties, physics, instrument making etc. such devices are nonsense.

And we know that even pros believe nonsense. The argument of the many doing and believing things is not worth discussing.

John, you seem to stick to the "equal chances for both sides"-thinking. Sorry, but this is twisted logic, because the alternatives aren't equal, as I tried to explain before.

Or, as another example: homoeopathy could only be working if the whole physics and chemical knowledge were fundamentally wrong. This could be, in a strict philosophical sense, because every knowledge is provisional, if that's the right word. But what are the odds? Do you use a computer to read this? have you ever drank a cup of coffee and are still alive? Doesn't look good for quackery like homoeopathy.

July 10, 2012 at 11:21 PM ·

July 11, 2012 at 05:41 AM · Eric, this can be found here:


July 11, 2012 at 02:47 PM · "You can choose to disbelieve everybody if you like."

Who is disbelieving “everybody”?

Drawing conclusions based what the majority of people believe is a slippery slope, though. What’s the saying? Something like, “Our vote on what's real doesn't matter. Reality will still be what it is.”

Questioning old beliefs in our business, or asking the questions in a different way, has turned up some interesting results so far. I don't reckon that we've reached the end of that road yet.

July 11, 2012 at 03:11 PM · "The possibility to sound "as good as it can " within it`s own limitations , is the point here."

Whether a violin can be "played in" to sound better is a slightly separate issue, and also debatable. Personally, I don't know... there is some logic that it might be so, plenty of believers and anecdotes saying it is so, but I have yet to experience it in a way that is clearly NOT age-related, and have not been able to objectively measure any tonal changes due to playing.

Now, getting back to the main topic of the Tonerite: The frequency and vibration level from this device are far lower/weaker than even quiet playing. The stress distribution in the wood from a 60Hz sine wave is nothing like the distribution you have in the wide range of frequencies of actual playing. So from a physics standpoint, this device looks hopelessly ineffective... even assuming that vibrational stress from playing actually improves tone.

July 11, 2012 at 04:25 PM · I came to fiddle making from a traditional making/restoring/dealing/violinist background, and I've needed to discard some of what I formerly believed, or was taught.

Don came to fiddle making from NASA, and the Mars Rover project.

Very different backgrounds, somewhat different approaches, yet we both suspect that some of the same questions have been inadequately answered so far. Maybe it's just us?

No, actually it's not. There are many people associated with the fiddle biz who are involved in questioning, and taking a fresh look at what is already "known", including some makers who have among the highest name recognition in the business.

July 11, 2012 at 04:32 PM · I'm having trouble following your argument, John. If the theory is that the slight strains in the wood occur from playing, making the wood more likely to resonate at the given frequency, then as others have pointed out, a 60 Hz sine wave should do nothing for the violin. The violin is assumed to become "more sensitive" to the frequencies that it is played at.

Of course, the mechanism could be different, but in that case, there really needs to be some science to back up the claim that the device improves the resonance. A theory on how it works would be nice, but given conclusive data, not strictly necessary. Some science to back up the general claim that violins can be played in and material-science based research would be great too, but the claim for this device is even more novel. The point here is that there are many "miracle" devices that claim any number of things as far as improving sound, so it pays to be skeptical.

July 11, 2012 at 04:57 PM · "violins will decline in tone quality when not played for about 6 months"

Different question. Simply said, I don't know. My opinion: No decline. Only if the setup changes, or the strings get old, etc., this would be an obvious reason for change in sound.

But changing wood properties or the properties oft the resonating system - I think not.

I don't know anyone who could explain the assumed decline in quantity and quality.

Maybe there's a small amount of stiffness after a long period of rest. And it would be a matter of one hour or so to wake up the instrument. This is something different from any permanent or even increasing change in tone. The unquestional fact that a sleeper may open up in your hands is due to you "getting warm" with the instrument. And the new strings/setup stabilise after a small time of playing.

The matter of "nailing myself to one position". I'm a sceptic, and this in the scientifical meaning. This means I'm absolutely open to all ideas, given they are supported by facts.

New strings or bow rehair: No problem. Strings get bad after heavy use- the windings get worn, the fibres start braking, the surface gets rough, the shape gets uneven etc. etc.

But no theory in sight about the influence of vibrations on a string instrument, only claims, anecdotes and unquestioned belief.

July 11, 2012 at 05:55 PM · The best way to inprove any fiddle (especially if its an old fiddle like the ones Lyndon loves) is to put it through a cement mixer ...

July 11, 2012 at 06:29 PM · I think I'll stick with Don's and David B's scientific approach along with their vast experience and knowledge of violins.

The Tonerite thing seems more like an offshoot of the sex industry than serious fiddling. (I could see an application for it, but I would be told off if I suggested it ...)

July 11, 2012 at 06:43 PM · "The latest theory arising here is that only the audible vibrations in a violin matter."

Sorry, this is no theory, not even a hypothesis. It is only an assumption or a claim.

I tried to point out that a (scientific) theory is not an assumption, but a clear and precise description together with explanations that give quality and quantity.

It's different from the commonplace use of the word "theory".

July 11, 2012 at 08:49 PM · Ah, the Kronos Quartet?

Then it must be true. This was the proof.

Sorry for me being sarcastic. But we are not talking about taste, belief or authorities, but violin related facts and the way to find them out.

One of the most respected men on this planet, with a mass of highly educated men around him, with more than a billion followers, is in fact a complete fool. I won't mention his name, because he also came from germany :-(

When it comes to authorities vs. facts, I always recommend reading the lovely tale "The Emperor's New Clothes" by Andersen. There it was only a child who put things right.

PS. I like the Kronos' music very much, but they have a kind of touch of esoteric nonsense around their work. Lots of pop, glitter and fashion. But they can play, that's certain.

July 11, 2012 at 08:54 PM · "If the vibration of the Tonerite seems ineffective and pointless how about vibrations from a small plastic hammer tapping the side of a bridge? Much research about violins depends on such minute vibrations that could not be classed as musical sounds. This makes the argument against the Tonerite seem very flimsy .

I sense that there is a resolute disbelief in place before the pros and cons have all been fully explored. The disbelief needs to wait till the evidence has been examined."


All this presumes that the level of research and evidence (and understanding and interpretation) doesn't exceed your own. Of those who post regularly here, Don and I are probably most familiar with the violin research, and studies on wood behavior. There's way more information than I have time to post here.

If you have some idle time (which I believe you do, since you post numerous consecutive posts on other forums without drawing enough interest for replies), look into wooden aircraft, and wooden aircraft parts. They can be subjected to high levels of vibration, and aircraft have attracted big money and the attention of high-level engineers. What changes in the wood properties have been documented? One of the people involved in current violin studies is a Boeing aircraft vibration engineer.

None of this is to say that I know the answer to "playing in", although I've experimented extensively with artificially vibrating violins. I think Don has done some of that too. But maybe that says something in itself, in that the results weren't obvious to people who came into the game willing to go either way.

I'd best withdraw at this point, since I'm starting to get a bit snarky with John, and have a history of losing patience with him.

July 11, 2012 at 10:32 PM ·

July 11, 2012 at 11:43 PM · "Something to chew over there I think."

Sorry, I think this has been chewed enough until there's no flavor left. All I can say is that I tested this device as objectively as I could, with zilch result. And from all physics and acoustics that I know, it won't have much effect. However, if someone were to find solid evidence (acoustic response plots or double-blind listening tests) that it DOES work, I'll be happy to re-visit the concept.

Sometime I'd like to put together a bridge driver to blast violin music through the instrument at well above the amplitude soloists can generate... that should show up any "playing in" effects, if anything can.

July 12, 2012 at 05:52 AM · Don, there's a guy here in germany named emil weiss. He offers "Klangoptimierung" for any instrument (!) and charges 770EURO for his service.

He locks the poor thing inside a cabin and I think he puts it under the real big noise, whatever.


He claims his effect to be irreversible, so one can leave his fiddle resting more than 6 months ;-)

He gets a lot of praise, but there is no trace of a theory or scientifical evidence...of course not.

German page only.

July 12, 2012 at 06:47 AM · Eric, you may have hit on something here. Special flights to improve violin tone. Imagine aircraft full of instruments being flown around. The commercial possibilities...

Cheers Carlo

July 12, 2012 at 02:45 PM · "He gets a lot of praise, but there is no trace of a theory or scientifical evidence...of course not."

This is another "dedamping" method, with the idea that damping in the material is reduced by applying high levels vibrational stress (which the Tonerite does NOT do). I recall another method of strapping guitars to a giant shaker table. While the idea might have some merit, there is very little in the way of hard evidence and plenty of verbiage and salesmanship. That is a red flag for sure, but I can't dismiss the idea entirely yet.

July 12, 2012 at 04:46 PM · I usually do not put vides on Netflix that I don’t want my young children to become familiar with, but this discussion reminded me of something.

In the Red Violin, in the Netflix version, after 1:48 (one hour 48 minutes) the technician is demonstrating to the appraiser the violins responses to sound coming from a speaker underneath the violin.

Can someone explain this process and let us know if this is something that violin technicians actually do? Meaning, I guess, does this type of test really indicate anything?

I hope this is relevant to this discussion, but in any case I would like to know.



July 12, 2012 at 06:48 PM · It resembles something which could possibly have been used at some point, but it shows some inherent problems, so I doubt it would be used today.

(Viewed on this free clip, at 1 minute 32 seconds)


It looks like the violin is being stimulated with sound from a speaker, and vibration from the top is being picked up with some kind of pickup, probably an accelerometer.

But yes, researchers and some makers actually do things like that, and some have learned to interpret the information in a useful way.

July 12, 2012 at 07:30 PM · Interesting.

Thank you,

Pat T.

July 12, 2012 at 09:39 PM ·

July 13, 2012 at 02:57 AM · "Can someone explain this process and let us know if this is something that violin technicians actually do?"

No, it is not. But, like David said, some researchers do things "like" that, but not quite as shown.

"What physical parameter is purported to change due to vibration? Stiffness?"

Primarily damping.

July 13, 2012 at 06:23 AM ·

July 13, 2012 at 11:10 AM · To expand on what I said earlier, it's become quite common to play or vibrate a violin, and use software which produces a "picture" of the sound output of that particular violin.

It's also possible to rig up a violin to gather enough information to create an animation of how the parts are actually moving. The motions in the animation can be exaggerated so they are easy to see.

The site below has some simplified examples of this. Much more detailed views can be generated which include the whole violin, along with animations of motion at higher frequencies, which become hugely more complex.


The rig used in "The Red Violin" movie may have been an effort to mimic some of the early such information gathering attempts, or could be something that someone actually tried to use at one time. As I mentioned, it has some obvious problems, one being that the sensors on the top of the violin are so heavy that they would significantly change the motion which they are trying to measure.

The latest, and probably the most accurate way to measure violin motion is with 3D laser scanning.

July 14, 2012 at 02:28 AM ·

July 14, 2012 at 07:55 AM · Hi All

I have experimented a bit with "dedamping" treatment of new instruments. I have not tried the tonerite(200$ for a vibrator?) but used a simple homemade contraption: A wooden mute hotglued to the membrane of a loudspeaker from an old portable cassette player. This is then connected to the stereo and music is used to provide the vibrations. At first I used Bach solosonatas on a violin thinking that it should be vibrations in the same tonal range as if playing the instrument. After almost a week (that is untill SWMBO said "turn it off or else...") of continous playing I thought the sound of the instrument had improved somewhat, but I was not overly impressed. Then we bought a new cello for our oldest daughter and I gave that a similar treatment with the cello suites. But I forgot to disconnect the violin on the other channel. This made a huge difference on the violin. It became a lot more responsive. The lower frequencies give the instrument a "good shake" and that seems to loosen up whatever it is that needs loosening. I have since used this approach on a handfull of chinese instruments - violins and violas. They all became more responsive, but the treatment does not perform miracles - a bad instrument just becomes a more responsive bad instrument. Some of the instruments are very good, though. It is amazing what can be had from China for the price of a tonerite.....



July 14, 2012 at 06:35 PM · "I find these studies all very interesting as a good example of physics but I do sometimes wonder what the real point of it all is."

I was just making it available, since some posters had expressed interest in the technical end of things.

Sometimes, I wonder what the point of it all is too. If it enables us to make better violins, it just raises the bar, so the satisfaction level might end up about the same. Does it have any real value, or are violins basically good enough already?

If violinists 100 years from now can play better than violinists do now (whatever that means), will it make music better?

July 14, 2012 at 10:55 PM ·

July 15, 2012 at 12:19 PM · "When tuning the plates/violin is there an expectation that the resonance peaks will shift towards slightly higher frequencies with time and is that taken into account at all?"

What I can say is that they don't stay exactly where you put them, and will even move around depending on the humidity and temperature. On a new violin, just strung up, I see most of them go down in frequency a bit over time, but the change on most of them is small enough that I need electronic equipment to detect it. Is that what you've found too, Don?

July 15, 2012 at 07:08 PM · "On a new violin, just strung up, I see most of them go down in frequency a bit over time, but the change on most of them is small enough that I need electronic equipment to detect it. Is that what you've found too, Don?"

I haven't noticed any obvious trend, other than that the "signature modes"... the low frequency ones... stay pretty much the same. The higher peaks seem more prone to wander up and down with time. However, I usually mess around with the bridge, soundpost, strings, and other more radical modifications so I don't have much in the way of undisturbed measurements.

July 16, 2012 at 07:50 AM ·

May 21, 2015 at 06:07 AM · Rubber covered metal violin mute on a dual motor 120 Gallon Aquarium 48GPH pump with adjustable intensity, both air outlets plugged with screws for frequency modulation. It has worked well on the Yita/Old Violin House violins and brought openness and breadth. The better the violin, the less dramatic. I consider dedampening as a tool on par with bridge fitting/choice, sound post placement and slightly behind string choice in attainment of tone. The device works.

November 26, 2015 at 05:03 AM · The ToneRite Works !!

It will NOT make a well played in Violin sound one bit better. All it does is speed up playing in. I know a VERY large Violin Shop that has a "ToneRite closet" they keep several of their popular mid-grade violins "Played In". $1000-$4000 or if you make an appointment they will put the tonerite on overnight.

They Pay Professionals to keep the uber expensive Violins Played in.

I know another very good Luthier that also uses it.

It is simply a Time Saver (and ear saver). When SOME Violins are new or dormant or repaired. They can sound pretty bad, until they are played in. Pop a ToneRite on their for say 72 hours, is similar to playing it an hour a day for 72 days. It's probably not as good as Playing it. But it DOES help.

There is nothing magical about it. It is overpriced. But it does work.

I have 5 stringed instruments. And sometimes one may sit for months. Then I get the urge to play it. So I pop the ToneRite on.

I've bough several cheap China Violins from China for friends starting out. I put good strings on it and put the tonerite on. It make something that was OK, very good.

I loaned it to a friend for her son, after buying a new violin. A year later the Violin was damaged (I forget what happened). The son asked if they could borrow the ToneRite again.

Some instruments need it more than others.

The advertising is a little misleading that it will make your instrument sing. If you've been playing regularly, it won't do a thing.

It's also great if you are trialing an instrument. You might have the best instrument you've ever played. But it's not played in and will take weeks to do so. Pop on the ToneRite and get a taste of what the instrument might do in the near future.

It's just a tool to speed up playing in.

November 26, 2015 at 06:24 AM · I used the ToneRight a couple of years ago on a violin that had just been through extensive restoration and I have to say that it makes a positive improvement but albeit not a spectacular one. It will not turn a bad violin into a Strad.

November 28, 2015 at 01:34 AM · I'm puzzled by this Discussion - Is John a naughty boy whom Laurie has had to ban from the site and delete all his posts? 'Cause I can find no post of his here!

Yes I know I'M called John, but this is definitely my FIRST post in this Discussion.

November 28, 2015 at 01:52 AM · John, yes, that was indeed the other John, known for his eccentric and sometimes misleading ideas which tended to upset people.

November 28, 2015 at 02:42 AM · But I miss his posts! :(

November 28, 2015 at 02:50 PM · I'm not going to buy a Toneright, I'd rather play in my fiddles myself!

But for the self-styled Scientific Crowd ther is a properly conducted study by C.M.Hutchins which found changes in frequency response after much playing. I have a printout from the CAS journal somewhere.

She adds that at a microscopic level, the resins in the wood break down (or is it up?) under vibration, and tend to "heal" when the violin is left idle.

November 28, 2015 at 07:38 PM · If you want to try out this artificial break in of an instrument I posted a much cheaper device in this thread a couple of years back:



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