Eddy sounds from strings

May 11, 2019, 5:43 PM · I have a peculiar problem that I have no idea what causes it. I was wondering if anyone has had a similar anomaly happen to them.

I have a “new” old instrument, that I am getting slowly acquainted with (some 5 months now). I have tested 2 types of strings on ti until now.

First the Dominants with Westminster E, which were rich and sonorous, with some high frequency grit. They were a nice string on this fiddle.

Now I switched to Vision Solo (Titanium for D and A) and Westminster E and The funny bit started. Apart from the regular string sound, I get this metallic ringing as if something was loose. First I thought my chinrest had come undone or fine tuner is resonating.... but no.

The ring is consistent and the same in pitch on all strings in all positions up to 8th. I have had my bandmates try to locate the source of this metallic ring - to no avail. We tried to mute different parts of the fiddle and accessories, but the ring remains... it’s not noticeable from the listener”s point of view, but Its audible in the studio recording. The strings have now been used for almost a month, so they are not new - yet the ringing s stil there.

Any ideas?

Replies (19)

Edited: May 11, 2019, 7:55 PM · I'm sorry, but your violin is haunted. We'll have to call a priest to burn it and safely hide the ashes somewhere where no unfortunate soul shall ever stumble upon them again.
May 11, 2019, 6:48 PM · Maybe switch to a different brand and see what happens!
May 11, 2019, 6:48 PM · Maybe switch to a different brand and see what happens!
May 11, 2019, 9:10 PM · Have it looked at by a good luthier.
Edited: May 11, 2019, 9:50 PM · Have you tried tapping on the fiddle to see if some ungluing has occurred?

Try detuning each string 1/2 or a whole tone and see if the reduced string tension gets rid of the problem.

If that works and you still have the old Dominants, put them on again. If the good old sound returns, your problem is solved. If you threw those strings away one choice is to buy a new set of Dominants. Or you might try a set of even lower tension strings.

May 12, 2019, 3:27 AM · We tried taping, holding different parts of the instrument and all such jazz... did not figure it out.

My experience with open seams and even cracks is - they change sonority of the instrument - it becomes dull or resonates too much... this metallic ring would be a new thing...

Thanks for all the advice. The violin just came from my luthier 2 months ago, I’ll trust him to weed out the demons. I’ll try to make some recordings today for demonstration purposes.

May 12, 2019, 3:38 AM · did you switch to a CF bow, that could explain it!!
May 12, 2019, 3:53 AM · Andrew: the sound is fine with Dominants and Solos... just the Solos produce this additional potentially unwanted ring... but then again... the audience does not hear it. Only my ears and mic when recording.

I am waiting for a set of rondos to restring the fiddle. Dominants were shot and are useless... good for cutting cakes only ;]

May 12, 2019, 4:03 AM · Could it be a faulty (i.e. loose) winding on the D or A string?
May 12, 2019, 4:05 PM · Lyndon: I actually switched to a pernambuci because it gives me a richer and more aggressive sound on this violin

Here is a sample of ringing on G string:

May 12, 2019, 6:08 PM · If the phenomenon occurs only on an open string then a location to look at is the notch through which the string passes into the peg box. If the notch is too big then that could be the source of the unwanted vibration. A test is to fit a thin piece of chamois in the notch. If the metallic ringing disappears then there is your answer.

I had this problem - and the above solution - in the past on my cello when I fitted a extra thin metal string. A small piece of paper was the solution in that case.

May 13, 2019, 1:21 AM · The file is ona google drive and should be accessable if you paste the entire lingk (maybe it was wrapped in next line or something).

The ring appears also when I go up the string, but is less pronounced. This made me think it originates somewhere in the fine tuner area, but I will surely have a look at the pegbox fret.

May 13, 2019, 8:08 AM · you say it's not the fine tuner, but did you check whether the base of the tuner is loose as well as the part you turn?
May 13, 2019, 9:56 AM · Could there be a string end extending beyond a peg inside of the pegbox, and positioned so that it's vibrating against the pegbox wall? If so, I'd guess it's most likely to be the E string, because we tend to leave the E peg unmoved and do all the tuning with the tailpiece fine tuner.
May 13, 2019, 10:24 AM · Do you have a full set of fine tuners, or only on the E (or E and A) strings? Are any of the tuning screws loose?

If you use ball-end strings, you might check to make sure that the end is aligned and secured properly in the tailpiece.

Get another set of strings in the same tension range as the Dominants and put those on your instrument, if the ringing goes away then your violin simply needs strings at that tension.

Edited: May 13, 2019, 12:39 PM · Thanx for all the ideas. I tried and tested them all today.

1. The mike is Rode NT2-A going into Tascam iXZ interface for ipad with garage band. I do not think this setup would produce the ringing. It’s audible acoustically without recording too.

2. The sound seems to originate from center of instrument, not pegbox, stuffing napkins into pegbox does not alter it.

3. Only one fine tuner there on E string, wittner style and well attached. Tried muting top and bottom, no effect.

4. Pegbox fret has very shallow grooves, so possibility of string moving in the groove is very slim indeed. Holding any part of the violin including top and bottom to quench resonance does not help...

It’s the luthier now. I have exhausted my knowledge... I hope the insides of the fidle have not come undone or anything... otherwise it sings like a nightingale :)

Thanx for all the ideas and help. Will keep you posted if my luthier finds anything.

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