Yesterday I bought a new violin. (For those who are interested, here's the link: http://www.paganino.de/shop/k202/a183946/emanuel-wilfer-solist-violine.html?lg=en)
It's a very reasonably priced instrument, and I wasn't expecting too much. I only wanted a decent fiddle for classroom teaching, busking etc. where I don't want to bring my concert instrument.
The fiddle comes set up with passiones. I bought a coda diamond gx bow with it, and so I had a complete new set to get aquainted with.
First impression: Man, that simple fiddle has a kind of warm and complex sound, and this from the low g up to the highest notes. No breaks between the strings.
I'm used to the easy handling of dominants, and the way the passione got out of tune all the time was new to me. I decided to be patient and give them a try.
Today I played some hours. I found that there was a serious wolf note on the a' on the d string. I wondered why I hadn't found this earlier, but I hadn't played the d-minor-sonata by Brahms in the shop...
I adjusted the too short after string lenght (from 4.5 cm to 5 cm), it seemed a little bit better, but after some trying out I noticed that double stops on g and d sounded very wobbly. The tone broke away when they weren't hit perfectly from the very start. No forgiving, no chance to use some minor changes in intonation.
At this point I was very disappointed and thought of giving the fiddle back. Then I decided to attach a new set of dominants. Guess what: All wolf tones are gone, every note is clear and defined, the overall wobbly feeling is gone.
On the other side the violin seems to sound a little bit less powerful, the astonishing warmth and complexity that I noticed in the beginning is reduced to "normal" (what is still very fine).
I don't know if I should have given the passiones some more days to settle, but I felt the instrument sounded worse than in the very beginning. Now it's fine - I don't have to fight against it any more, it's response is already quick and even (it's only one week old!).
This experience doesn't make me want to go back to gut strings. Maybe I'll try a set of wondertones next time, because I found them to be warmer than dominants, which could be nice with the new instrument. But first I'll let the dominants settle for some days, as well as the fiddle.
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