Disparity in intonation between G and D strings
I recently put on a set of Pirastro Chorda (yes, I know) strings and I've noticed, much to my horror, that the D string intonates higher than the G string, and it gets worse up the fingerboard. I made my own bridge (would never let one of those pesky "luthiers" lay a finger my precious, let alone pay them a hundred Canadian pesos to do it) while I was still playing on synthetics and the intonation was perfect. Now a perfect fifth at the middle of the strings is fingered like an augmented fourth.
I did adjust my slots for the strings at the bridge (as some of you may know, the chorda D is thicker than any G string on the market... save for a bass G, of course) but the D string is still only about one fifth into the nut. Even if I did adjust it, though, the difference in intonation is unprecedented for an extra 0.3 mm in height on that side.
Anyone else have a similar experience with chorda? Also, I plan on switching to Tricolore, and would like to know if those need their own hardware adjustment.
As a side question, my strings ring about 20 to 30 cents flat plucked / resonating compared to bowed. It's not a huge deal but is super annoying and I'm not sure what to do about it.
When you press a string to the fingerboard, you stretch it slightly which will raise its pitch.
Strings always vibrate to a higher pitch when bowed compared to when plucked. That's normal and the reason why we always tune by bowing and not plucking. However the difference is closer to 2.0 to 3.0 cents, not 20 to 30 cents. I think you're misreading the decimal point. That's also why we bow lightly when tuning, because bowing heavily will make the pitch even sharper. There's a great deal of art in intonation, it's not pure science.
+ Mark B,
If the fifths are ok in the 1st position, then I would suspect string clearance and fingerboard shape.
Cotton Mather, I understand what you mean about the thickness of the Chorda D. Last year, I had to have a new bridge installed on one of my violins when the old bridge unexpectedly snapped in two. My luthier, at my request, set up the new bridge and the nut for the Chorda set already present. Everything has worked out well.
You will need to get the D bridge slot lowered. When I had this problem, the luthier lowered it by exactly 0.1mm and it was enough for perfect intonation. Either that, or you have to choose a thinner gauge.
A visit at one of those pesky folks might save you some time and money? They got yearslong education to solve problems like this, and not only by trial and error. Since you adjusted the bridge by yourself, the problem might really be there. As James Dong experienced it's also the small details that matter.
? quick and dirty way to test... Place a matchstick over 2 strings parallel to the bridge.
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