Two unrelated questions: (1) Tall chinrest / (2) Gut strings + finetuners?

July 1, 2019, 10:31 AM · (1) I’m searching for a tall side mounted chinrest. I’ve been using a Wittner Augsburg to its max height but it’s centered and I want something similar but side mounted.

(2) Can gut strings be used with finetuners? Could some of them bear them? I ask this because I’m sensitive to shrill sounds and would like to try gut strings.

(I’m playing a beginner Yamaha V5SA with 4 fine tuners, but don’t know if they can be easily ditched or not). Maybe it’s worth to wait until I get a better instrument.

Thank you.

Replies (24)

July 1, 2019, 11:23 AM · Never tried it, but from what I understand gut strings stretch so much that fine tuners would not be worth while. However it won't hurt if they are there as long as you can fasten the strings to them.

I've been very happy with my SAS tall chin rests.

Edited: July 1, 2019, 12:27 PM · Kreddle chinrest all the way. Comes as a side or centre mount and has adjustable height.

Completely pointless to use fine tuners with gut strings, but you could attach guts to fine tuners by tying a very tight knot which will essentially act like a ball end.
Gamut's Tricolore strings even come preknotted with a leather washer on them, so you wouldn't have to worry with those.

Fine tuners can easily be detached by unscrewing the nut on the top side of the tailpiece when the string is off, unless you have one of those built-in tuner tailpieces.

Edited: July 1, 2019, 12:40 PM · You may find fine tuners help you with the lower strings. The E string stretches too much. I say this for gut, I've all gut and was playing on a different violin for the last 3 or so weeks - the gut were in perfect tune when I opened it at orchestra yesterday! Of course, after 1/2 an hour of playing...
July 1, 2019, 1:01 PM · Miguel, you could take a look at the Extra tall Teka model at Fiddlershop

July 1, 2019, 3:19 PM · As much as it pains me to do so, I must agree with Cotton. The kreddle is a most revolutionary principle.
July 1, 2019, 5:39 PM · Agree with the suggestion to try Kreddle or SAS. There's also the Witttner Zuerich. It looks like the popular Guarneri model in that it's center-mounted, but the main chinrest is actually on the left side of the tailpiece. Perhaps instead of gut strings, how about warm synthetics? I've heard that the Pirastro Violino set and the Aricore are very dark/warm sounding. If you dislike shrill sounds under your ear, would an earplug help? I mean, it may not take away the shrillness but it can make the sound seem quieter in your ear.
July 2, 2019, 4:48 AM · SAS works for me. You won't need the fine tuners, but depending on the strings, you should be able to use the same tailpiece with gut to see if you like the gut before you commit to removing them or replacing the tailpiece. Essentially, what Timothy said.
July 2, 2019, 6:05 AM · I have the Wittner Zuerich and really like it. I did have some problems with it falling apart on me but tracked down the problem (assembler error).
July 2, 2019, 6:52 AM · Thank you everyone for answering.

(1) So on chinrests, so far the options you've mentioned are Kreddle, SAS, Wittner Zuerich and Teka. I'm not sure I completely understand the Kreddle: is it supposed to be moving while you play or does it just move until you find the ideal place where you can fix it like any other chinrest?

(2) Thanks for clarifying that finetuners are not useful with gut strings. I don't know if my violin tailpiece has them integrated or not. I had thought on gut strings because a set of eudoxa is as expensive as (and even cheaper than) some high end warm synthetic strings (like Obligatos, Kaplan Amo or Aricores). I already play with my left ear plugged. Otherwise, I wouldn't stand the instrument. I'm sensitive to shrillness and high volume and I'm prone to get migraines!

July 2, 2019, 7:19 AM · The Kreddle does not move while you play. It is locked in place once you have found a comfortable position. The Kreddle is very adjustable so it takes a little time to settle on the optimum location for it, but it's a worthwhile process to go through.

July 3, 2019, 4:35 AM · Miguel, for the shrillness I'd ask your luthier to move the soundpost & strings fit for purpose here.
July 3, 2019, 3:00 PM · As a teenager I played for years with gut strings and fine tuners. There are finetuners specifically made for gut strings now too although I have no experiences with those. I think it works, it worked for me ... KIND OF! I still used a steel E, but the rest of the strings did break more often than synthetics and of course were a lot more prone to react to climate changes. I second trying really warm sounding synthetics. I’m a big fan of obligatos, because they do sound very simliar to guts imo. I know people say they don’t last that long, but I think they still last better than guts, and they can handle fine tuners for sure.
July 3, 2019, 3:04 PM · I use a Kreddle, and since I use it on the highest setting, it doesn't fit in my case, so I just keep the allen wrench in my case and remove the top and keep it with my rosin and then put it back on each time I play - It's easy.
Edited: July 4, 2019, 3:03 PM · I don’t know anything about this chinrest.

Gut strings are not designed to be used with fine tuners. You can easily remove them on most tailpieces. Definitely do not use fine tuners with gut.

July 5, 2019, 2:17 AM · Thank you for your further explanations and suggestions.

Nate Robinson: Do you think gut strings are a good idea for an amateur like me who is still learning the basic techniques of violin playing?

July 5, 2019, 3:46 AM · Miguel, I think gut strings are great for all levels of players. They’ll teach you a lot especially about bowing.
July 5, 2019, 5:07 AM · Thank you, Nate. And just a last question: which kind of gut strings would you recommend? Eudoxas? Other Pirastro types? A different brand? Which gauge?
Edited: July 5, 2019, 5:12 PM · My pleasure Miguel! For silver wound gut I’d recommend either Pirastro Oliv or Eudoxa. The Oliv G is probably my all time favorite G. I would however avoid using the Oliv A (it has stability problems - Eudoxa A is much better in my opinion). I’d first start with a medium gauge, nothing extreme - that way you can see how your instrument likes it. Violins will all react differently to certain gauges. Gamut Strings in Minnesota makes the very best pure unwound sheep gut strings in my opinion. I’d highly recommend their strings if you want to try plain unwound gut. Be sure to get them with varnish if you choose to use plain gut - it will keep the pitch more stable especially during the summer months.
July 5, 2019, 5:25 PM · Just to add to above (Thanks Nate!) The varnish is optional-I personally leave it off my strings because it makes them a bit stiffer and throws off the pure sound to a small extent (they get a bright in a non-optimal way).
July 6, 2019, 1:55 AM · Another vote for plain Gamut strings - I have Toro strings coming in the mail so excited to try those too.

Miguel, I find gut strings take longer to settle than synthetics (depends of course on how much you play) so give them time.

July 8, 2019, 2:14 AM · Thank you very much for taking your time to reply, Nate. I'll save your comments as a reference for my future string changes.

Also thank you to A.O. and JI for their suggestions.

July 9, 2019, 10:09 AM · Got the Toro strings in the mail - enough length for two strings, do you guys have any suggestions for storage?

These strings sound great, I got 0,80mm for A and 1,14mm for D string

Edited: July 9, 2019, 10:50 AM · Gut strings generally resonate better with older antique instruments when historically that was all that was available. Factory violins are generally designed with less costly syhthetic strings in mind.

Please consider getting a better instrument first. A $100 in gut strings will not make up for the beginner quality of a factory built $300 violin. If you stick with the strings you have, you could save to upgrade your violin. I recall breakpoints in quality at around $500-$600 and then again around $1000, then $2500 the last I helped someone find a voilin in that range.

Also, if you like Wittner chinrest, they have a variety of side mounted ones.

July 28, 2019, 9:15 PM · I'm looking for the opposite: a tall chinrest that is centered. When I look at the photos of the two options for Kreddle mounts ( it looks like regardless of where it attaches to the violin, the chin rest itself always is in essentially a side position (maybe side-center). Is that correct? Or is there a way to truly center a Kreddle?

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