recommendations on a carbon fiber 5 string violin
I have left the 4 string world and play exclusively on a wooden 5 string that I quite like. I recently took it on a camping trip and it may have suffered from the heat/cold (e string peg lost traction and wouldn't tune up). so, I am interested in finding a carbon fiber 5 string for, mostly, Americana/bluegrass/old time/blues (not so much classical in the woods).
When I played 4 string, I had a Glasser for the same purpose. it was fine for what I needed and impervious to the weather. it was heavy, though. I tried a 5 string glasser, but it was even heavier, generally muffled sounding, and the C string was particularly unexciting.
I have only found Luis & Clark and Gayford in my searches (the mezzo forte doesn't seem to permit replacement of the chinrest, and I would need to replace the chinrest). Anybody have any experience with these instruments? does one sound or play better than the other (I prefer as dark a sound as possible)?
Are there any recommendations for other carbon 5 strings? if there's an acceptable option (other than the glasser) that's less expensive than the L&C or Gayford (~6k for each), I would much prefer to spend less on a woods fiddle.
I have the 5-string Glasser that you didn't like. But the reasons you give for not liking it were part of what I was initially disappointed with. I've got the acoustic-electric version, so it's got the added weight of the pre-amp in the tailpiece.
Lyndon might recommend that you consider antique German CF 5-string violins ...
David Bailey: were you able to get a good sound out of the C string once you adjusted the glasser?
similar experience to David, but with the 4-string Glasser. It was set up properly in a shop in Az with an ebony TP w/o fine tuners and played better than the other ones I had tried. I just put on a ConCarbo harp tailpiece with a MI & VI Ti tailgut. It feels less heavy and is more open (much less stuffy.) I also tried and liked a Wittner center chinrest, but went back to a Flesch with rubber pads like those Andrew V. recommends because of my security with that shape despite the mass. The sum total affect is much more acceptable than the stock Glasser. I even use it to practice on, saving my 130 y.o. svelte, dark, almost viola-ish sounding primary German violin from my hacking on etudes and more boisterous works.
I really should try to get my Glasser properly setup...
thanks for the advice on maximizing the potential of the glasser. I'm on the fence. the pricing structure of carbon violins is somewhat annoying. $500 vs $6000, without really anything in between.
going with the glasser. will try the recommended tweaks, maybe try some different strings also. any particular recommendations on strings? I am currently using Larsen tzigane G-A, thomastik vision E, and Kaplan short viola C on my wooden instrument.
Tzigane is allI have tried so far. I might put on some Obligatos or Kaplan Amos. I think I have a set of Warchal Ambers in my box too.
Sang Shin, I think it's a good tone on the C string, full and rich. Not like a true viola C string, but not boxy or stuffy.
OK, you don't want to spend 6k on a Gayford, but here's what they sound like.
interesting. he appears to have something plugged into the jack on his pickup. I wonder if the recording is from miking the room or from the pickup.
From the viola side, generally steel C and G like Spirocore Tungsten are more responsive and have a bigger sound on violas smaller than 16”. It’s what I use on my violas after trying a wide range of strings. Others I would recommend trying are the steel Kaplan short scale C and G for viola on your violin. Although I am generally not a fan of Helicore, I might try thet short scale C and G as they are more svelte than most atrings and may feel more violinistic.
are the spirocore tungsten strings made in short (13") lengths that would fit violins? I didn't see any at Shar or amazon, but I may have missed something.
Spiro-not in tungsten, I think they do silver c in the shorter scale. They also make a tungsten and silver violin G, but that may not be what you are looking for. The steel Kaplan’s will be a little brighter, but similar in playability. I prefer them to the slinkier Helicores. Pretty sure that Both Cs will be tungsten.
One problem with these 5 string instruments is string spacing. The 5 string instruments I have owned don't have the proper amount of space between each string. The spacing is too close together. It makes playing double stops and chords problematic, to say the least.
I have one of Gary Bartig's London 5 violins, as well as a Yamaha electric 5 string (which I use unplugged when I need to play quietly - the ultimate mute). both of them have a wider fingerboard to accommodate 5 strings at near normal spacing. I didn't find the string spacing, in general, difficult to adjust to. I'm playing through the Bach adagio and Biber passacaglia at the moment, and there are several (3, to be exact) 3 note chords which are difficult to sound cleanly with the 5 string because of unintended touching/damping of adjacent strings. this has, however, forced me to pay particular attention to the arch in my fingers, how vertically they are coming to the strings, and how precisely they are landing on the strings. it appears to be improving slowly and I anticipate them not being a problem at some point - and it appears to be helping with my other "easier" chords.
It’s interesting to read your comments, sang shin, as I (a relative beginner) bought a Yamaha electric as a practice instrument as I can often only practice late at night.
received glasser, sounds good, much much better than the last one, definitely good enough for the woods and bad weather. maybe it was a setup issue, maybe these instruments are subject to manufacturing variances and some sound better than others.
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