So I have an old French violin made sometime in the 1930s. It's a great instrument of considerable value, very bright and carrying sound. I use it for both solo and ensemble playing. I've used it for the past couple of years and it's served my needs well, but all this time, I've been having major issues with the pegs.
First, the pegs are extremely large for a violin. I suspect that at one point, over the many years that the violin had been used, that the original pegs were switched out to these extremely thick viola pegs. Unfortunately, this makes my violin extremely hard to tune. I only have fine tuners on the A and E strings, so tuning those two isn't too much of a problem. However, when I need to tune the D and G strings, it's nearly impossible to turn the pegs because of how thick the pegs are. I have to put my violin down on a table and tune it that way. The A and E string pegs are equally tight, if not more than the G and D string pegs.
There is another problem with the pegs on my violin. It sounds contradictory to what I said above about the pegs being too thick, but my E string peg actually has a tendency to pop outwards, causing the string wound onto it to loosen. I suspect that it is because the peg is too thick for the hole and the pegbox wood is forcing it out. The peg doesn't loosen completely; the string usually drops from a E to a B or C#. Yet, this has happened 7-8 times in the past 6 months and once in the middle of a concert. I am certain that it is not an issue with the peg not being pushed tightly enough into the hole. I checked my E-string peg before an ensemble rehearsal one day and it was extremely tight, tighter than either the D or G string pegs. But even though the E-string peg was exceptionally tight, it "popped" outwards slightly in the middle of the rehearsal, maybe about half a centimeter or so. It caused the E string to drop to a B. It is also not a problem with humidity. It's happened in the spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons. Also, the E-string is the only string that has this problem. The peg just loosens and the string goes out of tune suddenly and unexpectedly.
I've ignored the problem over the years, but only now have I begun to consider re-bushing the pegs. I simply can't go on performing at concerts with the risk of the E-string loosening. I have two questions that I am hoping will be answered.
First, will changing the thick viola pegs to normal violin pegs affect the sound of my instrument? The pegs currently on my violin are ebony and I will have them replaced with ebony. I really like the way my violin's sound carries, but I wonder if changing the pegs from thick viola pegs down to thinner violin pegs will make a noticeable difference in terms of sound.
Second, will having the pegs re-bushed have an effect on the instrument's value? I don't know too much about violin repair, but a peg re-bushing sounds like a structural repair.
Thanks in advance for the help. I greatly appreciate it.
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