G String oddities

Edited: May 27, 2019, 8:28 PM · Several weeks ago several things happened:

1. I switched out my chin rest to an adjustable (Wittner Zuerich) and lowered my Kun.

2. The temps/humidity in central Indiana started rising and I've noticed that the humidity in my practice room can change from 50% (at A/C set at 73) -60% (set at 74). My violin is currently in it's case - but I've had it on a stand since mid-late March.

At some point during this time period my G string started sounding nasal/hollow to me. My teacher said it's buzzing. It is especially bad at G4, to me it just sounds hollow at that point - doesn't sound right at all.

I've taken off both CR and SR to rule those out and there was no apparent change. My teacher couldn't find any of the usual suspects with tailpiece or fine tuners - nor any sign of a problem with a seam. He doubts my G string has worn out early.

Can the humidity range I noted above cause this type of thing? I don't want to start throwing money at it unless I've tried all that I reasonably can.

Replies (11)

Edited: May 27, 2019, 9:45 PM · What brand is the string and how old it is? Some strings do become as you describe over a period of time. The lease expensive is to replace the G string and let it settle. It the problem persists, I would 1st suspect the sound post then (less likely, but not to be ruled out) bass-bar issues.
Edited: May 28, 2019, 6:05 AM · The G-D strings are Dominants (with a Piastro Gold E). Assuming the Dominants were new when I bought the violin at the end of last November (bought it used) it's 6 months old. Knowing them as I do, they were new at the time.
May 28, 2019, 7:03 AM · >Seven months is a long time for a set of strings.

>Increasing humidity has most likely caused the post to be loose through expansion of the body. Tightening it (pulling it slightly East) may or may not help the situation, but will probably be beneficial in general.

May 28, 2019, 7:35 AM · Time for new set of strings.
Edited: May 28, 2019, 9:15 AM · Another approach is to use the "Russian" string setup - so called because of its use by many great Russian violinists. The setup is steel A and E with covered gut G and D, although my preference has always been for a plain gut D.

It is a combination that works very well for me, and the two lower gut strings can be expected to last significantly longer than most of their synthetic counterparts. The steel strings should last even longer of course. The Walchar Amber G and D are, in my view, very acceptable substitutes for gut in this usage. Walchar also make an excellent steel A, called the "Russian A", for the mixed setup.

Edited: May 28, 2019, 9:33 AM · I called my luthier and they are 90% certain it's a "hardware" issue. I will take it tomorrow and drop it off. I've a set of new Dominants already and may just have them switch out my D, and A strings as well. Perhaps a new E as it's a bit tarnished after 3 months.

Next time I will consider different strings, and will keep your string suggestions in mind, but as an advanced beginner (returnee), I think the Dominants are fine for now. Just not their E...

I can get a loaner so I can at least practice on something- they warned me it likely wouldn't be near as nice as my violin, but I want a chance to practice before my next lesson!

May 28, 2019, 10:20 AM · 6+ months for a set of strings means it's time to replace them all.
May 28, 2019, 11:22 AM · That's what I'm getting Pamela, good thing I already have a set... Even though this likely isn't the problem - haven't seen my teacher wrong yet - I will have the luthier switch them all out while they are at it.
May 28, 2019, 11:37 AM · Prim Lisa E. If it took 6 months for you to wear out synthetics, a stainless E will literally last you to the end of your days.
May 28, 2019, 11:54 AM · I will check that out Cotton. I'm also playing a lot more than 6 months ago. THEN most of my practice sessions involved far more repetitive bowing exercises/scales and trying to figure out where the notes were with the assistance of my tuner = long breaks.

A lot more time is spent actually playing by now (and I do count scales and drills). I doubt they will last 6 months again. Also, my Piastro Gold E is only ~3 months.

I do like a warm E, might there be a good choice that is still warm but less apt to tarnish? I imagine it's more the oils in my fingers, I do wash them (no lotion) before playing. I like the sound of the Piastro Gold E - which isn't gold...

Edited: June 3, 2019, 11:03 PM · I dropped my violin off at the luthier last week at my teacher's advice. I'm away at a conference and they contacted me today on what they found.

I won't know all the details until I'm back and pick it up Thursday but they found problems with fingerboard, nut, bridge and of course the soundpost. I had already requested they change all my strings.

Guess I'm surprised they found so much, it has a beautiful sound (outside of the G string recently), and stays in tune. At least it did until the humidity started going up but still not bad.

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