Narrow necks and intervals
There is such a wealth of knowledge and experience here, I know that someone will have thoughts on this.
When I was considering upgrading my violin 2 weeks ago, I tested a higher level violin at my shop. A full-size violin with a narrow neck, they recommended it due to my small hands. I gave it a good test and loved the sound. I had given it the "scroll cup" test and know it really was a full size violin, they had not accidentally handed me a 7/8th - they have several.
The odd thing, at least to me, was the note intervals. All 1st and 3rd position notes had different intervals on that violin, mine, and the others I tested that day. If the violin is the same length and the only difference is the width of the neck, shouldn't the intervals be the same? I hope my question is clear.
There was no upgrade, my teacher and I agreed that I won't upgrade until I'm ready to enter his adult student string orchestra next spring.
Have you checked the distance from the nut to the bridge?
I did not check it at the time. That would make sense if that distance were different, especially since the intervals between all notes in 1st and 3rd were different.
The vibrating string length (which determines note spacing) could be slightly shorter on the narrow-necked violin, but you would have to confirm that with actual measurements for comparison. It's also possible that a narrower neck makes the distances feel smaller.
7/8 violin should still have a proper neck stop: body stop ratio. The symptoms you describe may point to a non-standard, nonproportional violin. Check with an experienced luthier before you buy. Intervals have nothing to do with neck's width.
I appreciate the information! Rocky, that was what had me a bit confused- even as a returning beginner it did not make sense to me that a more narrow neck would impact intevals. This was not a 7/8 violin.
Neck width will not change spacing at all.
Thanks Lydia - I noted at the time that it was the only one out of 3 violins I tried on which I simply could not play in tune - I did find the notes (eventually) but my finger pattern felt incorrect.