Peg head angle adjustment and string longevity.

March 18, 2021, 1:40 PM · I have read how to adjust the angle of the pegs so they are at the optimal angle when tuned to pitch. That ideal angle is such that the upper edge is approximately 30 degrees from vertical toward the nut with the instrument horizontal. This position makes it much easier to tune while bowing. I am presently using Oliv GDE and Passione A, and the A has been stretching for a while. I don’t want to risk damaging the string by loosening it to adjust the peg angle.
I wonder if loosening the strings to adjust the pegs reduces the longevity of the strings. Is it the same for gut and synthetic?

Replies (9)

Edited: March 19, 2021, 9:10 AM · Wherever you set the angles of your pegs they will change. It's like preventing your height from decreasing with age!

It's just one of the reasons I switched to geared pegs (Knilling, Peghed and Wittner) a decade ago. They're so easy to turn that the angle doesn't matter.

March 19, 2021, 6:26 AM · Life is too short to be worried about this sort of thing. Just instal Wittner geared pegs and enjoy playing the violin.
March 19, 2021, 6:50 AM · While I do appreciate your suggestion, I prefer to continue using my friction fitted, 18th century technology pegs. I am still seeking any input that goes to my question. Does loosening the strings completely for peg adjustment or any other reason, cause damage to or reduce the playing life of strings, either gut or synthetic?
March 19, 2021, 8:09 AM · I have also heard that releasing tension on strings can shorten their life but I see no harm in this case adjusting the A string peg for convenient tuning. I am very particular on the E string peg angle so as to avoid hitting it with my knuckle on F note vibrato.

March 19, 2021, 11:05 AM · Thanks Jeff, I am glad it won’t harm the string.
March 19, 2021, 1:17 PM · Jerry, I can't claim that repeated loosening and tightenimg of a string between playing pitch and zero, has no effect. From my experiences so far, I will recommend that people do this as little as possible, if one prefers the sound and playing properties of a newly installed string, versus one which has been used for a while.

I do adjust pegs for a convenient tuning orientation, but I usually wait about a week before doing so with a new string, if possible, so the string will have stretched to somewhere near its final length, so the adjustment won't need to be done multiple times.

March 19, 2021, 2:31 PM · David, Thank you for sharing, I will probably do as you do, and wait to allow the string to settle in at its final length.
Jerry
March 19, 2021, 4:02 PM · Getting the peg faces at the optimum angle; I have heard of that, but it is mystery to me how to do that,- like timing screws, getting the screw head slots on a pistol all pointing the same way.
March 19, 2021, 7:09 PM · Joel, this is the YouTube video I watched:
youtube.com/watch?v=Z75ByNldv5Q
Here are 2 photos of the “ideal” positions:
https://www.kevinleeluthier.com/violin_info/Peg_A_Bass.jpg
https://www.kevinleeluthier.com/violin_info/Peg_A_Treble.jpg

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