Violin E string sounds airy

Edited: December 8, 2019, 2:31 AM · My violin A & E especially sounds airy and sandy in the background when I’m playing. It’s like the surface sound or “white noise” like breathing. Is this normal?
Is it just my violin?
This is a new violin I bought from fiddlershop. It is called the soloist and it says it’s suitable for advance players. I contacted fiddledshop and they said it is normal that you can hear it under your eye as it isn’t noticeable to the audience which violinist learn over time?

Replies (17)

December 3, 2019, 6:43 AM · Can you make a recording of it?
December 3, 2019, 10:18 AM · A recording is necessary for us to know what you mean by airy. I have at times felt that my E string is on the airy side, but this is changeable if you experiment with different string sets. If this is a question of whether something is wrong with your instrument, a luthier is a better source of advice than this forum. If you're just not satisfied with your sound quality, that is another matter.
Edited: December 3, 2019, 1:08 PM · Taking about string hiss, perhaps? That pitch-free noise that doesn't change with the note?
December 3, 2019, 1:17 PM · It’s very soft airy sound under my ears. It’s not noticeable when I record it..
December 3, 2019, 2:08 PM · The topic comes up frequently. It is "white noise", high frequency bow/ rosin noise. It does not carry very far to the audience. It will sound to them like a clean attack. If you use a mic. be careful about how close it is and where it is pointed. It is common on low-budget student instruments. You can suppress some of it with one of less expensive versions of a gold-plated E, or aluminum-wound, or thinner gauge E. For practicing, even in performance, you can use a cheap passive ear-plug in the left ear.
December 4, 2019, 6:02 AM · This is a new violin I bought from fiddlershop. It is called the soloist and it says it’s suitable for advance players. I contacted fiddledshop and they said it is normal that you can hear it under your eye as it isn’t noticeable to the audience which violinist learn over time?
Edited: December 4, 2019, 9:22 AM · I'm assuming that when you say "airy", it is more what Michael describes as a "hissing" sound? Could this be your strings just settling down, since you say this is a new violin you just bought? Maybe too much rosin on the bow? Do you have another violin? If so, did you try using the bow on that old violin? Or maybe try a different rosin? If so do you still hear that "airy" sound? I looked at fiddlershop's website, and they say they use Vision strings for the Soloist. Could they send you a different set of strings other than Visions that you can try for free?

Bottom line: If you're not happy with it, return it. I believe they have a 45 day return policy for instruments. You don't have to settle on this violin if it does not make you happy. After all, the violin is really not that cheap, albeit an outfit.

December 4, 2019, 3:53 PM · Shouldn't it be the "G" string that sounds airy?
December 4, 2019, 6:16 PM · ;))
December 5, 2019, 8:43 AM · I requested a refund from them but they have not replied to my email since Monday..
December 5, 2019, 9:50 AM · If you can't hear it when you record it, then ask someone else to listen to you but don't tell them what they're listening for first. If they don't hear your "airy" sound then it's not there. There's lots of crap that you hear under your ear that nobody else hears. If you just got new strings it could be that your previous strings are just so old and nasty that they have long ago stopped producing any of the types of high overtones that would be prominent contributors to white noise.
Edited: December 8, 2019, 1:52 AM · So it’s normal for all violins. I’m not sure what are overtones? It’s weird tho why only the A and E string especially when I play in 3rd position and higher
December 9, 2019, 5:10 PM · Part of it could be your technique. Your new instrument may ask for a little more grip or pressure and different relationship with speed on the bow that you are used to perhaps? You could be hearing harmonics that were absent before? Could be the different string/instrument combo etc. Doubt there is anything wrong with the instrument for what you are describing.
Edited: December 9, 2019, 5:20 PM · @Jo J, just curious... you said you emailed Fiddlershop about returning your instrument; were they responsive, or did they try to talk you out of doing so? I'm not saying you should return the instrument, in fact, it may very well be a very good instrument. But I'm just curious to know what their response was...
December 10, 2019, 3:40 AM · @ Ben David fiddlershop said I can return the instrument if I like. Pierre from fiddlershop said that it’s normal for all violins & even violins that cost 100k or more to have those surface sounds.
I’m not sure if I should return it cause I have to pay for shipping and I paid for customs as well which was a lot of money wasted.
December 10, 2019, 11:00 AM · @Jo J, good to know you can return the violin if you wanted to.

I still don't know what you mean by "airy and sandy", and perhaps I will never know, since I can't play your specific violin.

I wish you the best with your violin. Looking at Fiddlershop's website, and the youtube videos they have about the Soloist, it sounds like a decent violin. Maybe a change of strings in the future may help you find the sound you want.

December 10, 2019, 2:36 PM · Trying a different E and A string will be a lot less expensive than returning the fiddle and taking your chances on a replacement. Also, if it is brand new, you are the first owner, it will sound a little raw, and will take about a year for the wood to settle.


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