Fine Tuners' Impact on Sound?
Do GDA fine tuners impact the sound at all?
1. The mass that fine tuners add to the tailpiece affect the sound.
Frequent fine tuning makes a great difference to the sound!
Fine tuners on GDA = steel strings. That is going to impact the sound.....
I read a research paper a couple of years ago conducted by a university (don't remember which) on acoustical properties of stringed instruments and one of the observations I noted was there were definite measurable changes in harmonics and amplitude between violin strings NOT in direct contact with the tailpiece (using integral tuners) compared with strings in direct contact. I don't remember any statements or observations regarding quality of sound, just the definite differences. Ebony tailpieces without fine tuners and with integral tuners were used. No mention of add on tuners. FWIW
I saw this thread a few days back and became curious. I teacher friend of mine often commented that an instrument with more than one fine tuner wasn't real. I naturally thought at the time that she was just being an arrogant snip. This morning I decided to remove the fine tuners from all but my E-string. Holy smokes! It sounds like a completely different instrument! Lesson learned!!!
My same experience as Peter's above except it happened 40 years ago
The string afterlength is a critically important (and overlooked) area of the violin for sound production.
Yes Peter, anything that reduces mass on the tailpiece can make a big difference If you replace your E tuner with something titanium or carbon fiber, you might get another boost in sound.
I had a funny experience with a new, high-tech tailpiece just put on by one of my makers. Shorter than usual, carbon/boxwood laminate, very light, etc. He's found it makes a huge difference, and while it was one of a bunch of variables at the last adjustment/fix-up, I can't disagree. On the other hand, the E tuner-- integral, probably carbon or titanium-- produces an after-length that makes no sense at all in terms of pitch.
Some violins sound and play better with lighter tailpieces, and some with heavier. There's no universal rule on this. Depends on the fiddle.
I think a more noticeable adverse effect on tone can come from an SR or CR that has not been fitted properly than from a fine tuner. If so, that should be fairly easily rectifiable.
My most recent violin has tuners on all strings yet sounds better than my other violins.
Tim, I would expect that the wood of your violin responded to the humidity more than your strings.
The string could be slipping on the peg. This can happen if the peg windings are not touching as they should be. Even given that, I had that problem several years ago with a set of new steel core strings on my cello. Although the strings were correctly crossed over at the hole in the peg, as they should be, and the windings were touching, the strings were steadily slipping out of tune within a few minutes.
It's worth noting that plain gut strings work perfectly well with the Wittner micrometer tailpiece fitted to my Jay Haide. Just ensure that you make a tight knot at the end of the string that is the same size as the ball end of a non-gut string. A wound gut G or D, such as Eudoxa, will already have a loop end which behaves as a knot of the right size. Note that you can't make a knot at the end of a gut E that is sufficiently robust to act as a ball end in the Wittner - so no gut E.
@Peter Papura. I'm keenly aware of the danger of the sound post falling over when doing maintenance such as replacing a tailpiece or end button. Installing a new bridge is a job I always leave to the skills of a luthier.
What I have done for decades when de-tuning ALL the strings is gradually move the soundpost laterally toward the the f-hole so it will remain firmly in place. Later, as I re-tune the instrument, I gradually move the post back toward its original position. I do have the tools to move and resurrect my soundposts, but if I fail to reclaim my original sound I visit my luthier.
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