Humidity & Violin Stand
As mentioned in another thread, my lovely violin appears to have had more problems than expected when I took it to the luthier when a nasal/buzzing G string developed. Fingerboard, nut, bridge, soundpost all needed attention. I'm out of town and will get more information when I pick it up later this week.
I've been keeping it on this violin stand since the temps started warming and low humidity was no longer a problem:
I live alone, and no animals around to cause problems. I still kept it in a corner where nothing could accidentally happen to it. It leans against the stand and no part is being gripped by the clamp by the scroll.
Could storing it like this outside of the case have caused it to be more sensitive to humidity? Just trying to think what might have caused this so I can, hopefully, prevent a repeat.
I'm a bit out of my depth here, but low humidity is supposed to cause shrinkage, which would create cracks. And any knowledgeable person, feel free to blow me out of the water there.
Low humidity isn't the issue.
How old is the violin and how long since it visited the shop? Maybe you are just catching up on normal time-dependent issues...
I've had it for 7 months, and that was the shop from which it came. It was not new...label says 2016 if my memory is correct. It has a beautiful sound - outside of the recent problems with the G string which precipitated the visit, and stays in tune amazingly well - until about the same time that the G string started sounding possessed.
Welcome to the rip-van-winkle returners group! I also 'paused' for >40 before returning in 2008. Since its been an amazing ride (my email is in my profile if you want to connect).
Inside the case will be more stable than outside. For temperatures, humidity, etc.
I'm out of town and will pick it up Thursday. About the tuning, I meant that it stays in tune for days on end regardless of how much/hard it is played. I checked every time I played and my teacher simply said that I should be thankful. When the G string became possessed I also noted that very minor tuning was needed daily, but nothing major- just more than before.
The microclimate inside a violin case is much more stable than in an uncontrolled room space. Wooden cases with lots of fabric and padding are more stable than minimalist high tech cases. First, within a case you have a small air space, and no through drafts and second the fabric and padding act as buffer on rapid changes in humidity, even more so if you keep the case closed when you are playing! If you have a small practice space it is entirely possible to keep it humidity controlled year round. David Burgess' website has an excellent step by step guide to how to do this at very reasonable cost.
I didn't know keeping it in the case would protect it from quick changes in higher humidity levels Guess the stand will have to be reserved for breaks in practice sessions rather than between them...
I don't mean to alarm you but I used to keep my violin on exactly the same stand (I just looked at your link). One day I put it down in a rush and the instrument pitched forward; when I tried to catch it one of the lower supports poked into the front of the instrument shattering the front plate. Needless to say, I now lay the instrument on a padded counter top or put it back in its case.
eeeek Elise! I didn't think it would be likely to tip that direction given the design...
I absolutely agree with Elise. Instrument stands, and, while we're on the topic, instrument hangers that you attach to your music or microphone stand, are accidents waiting to happen. I have a table with a fabric pad on it to lay my violin and bow down on when I take a break. And they go back in the case when I'm done. Fortunately I didn't have to learn this the hard way like Elise.
I remember quite a while ago Mrs Stanley writing about her search for a new violin and how happy she was after finding it and was wondering why she was recently looking for a new one but now I know and I'm very sorry to hear of her misfortune. Her experience is an extremely valuable lesson to everyone here to be very careful with our treasures.
I know that you are picking the violin up tomorrow, but I'd want to know exactly what is wrong with each of the items on the luthier's list. For example: is the fingerboard warped or did it drop? What's wrong with the nut? What's going on with the bridge and soundpost? Did the soundpost need an adjustment in location (if so, they should be doing that with you there, in my opinion).
I think they only moved the bridge and thus the soundpost, and I will find out the other information. Frankly I was surprised to hear so much was needed as it had such a good sound outside of the sudden problem with the G...
They obviously don't understand about loaners: lend an instrument considerably better than the customer owns on the hope that they can not part with it...
Elise - oh my gosh, isn't that the truth?! I was given a loaner that cost considerably more than my violin (unbeknownst to me what it was) and when I finally got into playing the violin I felt how much I jived with it... then I found out what the price was and had to sadly say goodbye.
Some rules about handling instruments I have learned over many years either from my sad experience, sad experience of others, or good advice from professionals.
I'll add to number 7:
The report is in and my lovely violin is home. Apparently things had moved so fingerboard required dressing and they also adjusted the notches on the nut. While the bridge had looked like it hadn't moved, apparently it really had so they shifted both that and the soundpost.
I suspect it's the changes it's sensitive to - in my apartment I've noted there can be a 10% change in temperature between, say 74 and 75 degrees...
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