After a search that cost way too much money time and emotional and physical exertion, I finally found and raised money for the instrument that allows me to express my musical ideas without limitations (now the limitations are how I play- a dearly welcomed challenge) it is everything I want in terms of timbre, responsiveness, and the ease of creating colors and wide ranges of character/volume without loosing the core integrity of the sound. .................until I tune it or the weather drops a degree. Or if I walk into a different room and try playing it.
I am looking for serious responses (from you guys and the instrument), as I have some critical questions regarding the setup that have led to sleepless nights. - wonderfully in love with the viola, but the following issues need to be addressed- the invaluable input of the master makers and wonderful insight of those who've been here would be a godsend.
1.) the end button and neck don't line up perfectly, giving me the horror of facing a wändersteg. The vagabond bridge makes everyday experiences like...uh...tuning...simply infuriating as it'll sound great until it perceptibly moves from tuning (with pegs, fine tuners more so). Besides moving the end button, is there any way to make this walking bridge take a hike instead.
2.) I'll post pics, but the neck was shortened to accommodate the violinist who owned it...will reversing this quite drastic moving of the nut towards the tailpiece affect sound? Or is it a nonsequiter. I don't care about interval spacing- if the sound would noticeably open up and be more responsive it'd be worth the new fingerboard. I figure the resonating length of the strings being changed without considering all the other ratios affected by this could be a source of the problem...
And this nutty nut causes the inner two strings to hit the nut, the old nut, and the a-string peg...tuning has unravelled strings because of this, and I'm inclined to think the sound is compromised
How will returning the original string length and nut change sound/timbre/responsiveness? Will it at all? What would it most likely do?
3.) afterlength when set up 'right' yields high tension and no responsiveness from faster strokes. I've tried myriad strings to no avail. I put lever style tuners on the c g and d, which transformed the instrument, but I don't think it's optimal, not to mention all that extra weight. The after length is 3 octaves above the respective string and works so much better, but can be a bit whiny on the D
Lastly, I've been experimenting with strings a lot to find a great setup that provides the timbre and responsiveness/volume/wide range if colors etc...is me changing the strings often unsettling the instrument or 'confusing ' it? A good luthier is in town and I will ask his advice, but the more ideas the better imo.
Thanks for the help. And I know technique is equally important, but that's not the factor as the instrument is clearly not perfectly balanced. Even so my heart is set on it, just wanting to know what I can have done to get more regularity across the strings and the timbre which I KNOW is there having played it when it is in that sweet spot post and bridge-wise. But the ambulatory bridge undoes this everytime my luthier gets it there.
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.