New violin sound
Just bought a (newly built) violin which I like in all respects except... that is sounds « new » and in particular on bad days it tends to sound bit « pinched ». I now call it Daffy Duck ^^
But what bothers me, it that its perceived sound (by me - it’s the only instrument this happens with) seems to change widely several times a day :// (from acceptable to very pinched on the A string in particular). Originally I thought this was nothing to worry about and that the sound would open up over a few months and I guess it already did since I got it a month ago, but it’s something beyond that.
To my question: have you ever seen a lot of variance in sound with new violins? What in your experience causes that sort of « pinched sounds »? (I switched the bridge once and the tailpiece three times with mixed results, but always that pinched sound every other time i pick it up) Would it be something obvious like temperature, humidity? None of my other violins are that temperamental though so I discarded rhat... thanks for your thoughts!
I will still keep on playing it and won’t return it because there is something about the core sound that I enjoy with this one.
Can you be more specific with "newly built" violin?
I would have my violin person see if adjusting the soundpost, which I assume you already had your violin person do.
Newly built as in construction finished December 2020 and purchased March 2021.
Which notes on the A string?
I have to wonder, what is it about a solid piece of carpentry presumably strung with new, high quality strings that can possibly change several times a day? Whenever I find I'm unsatisfied with the sound of a violin that I usually love, after eliminating temperature and atmospheric conditions my prime suspect is always the player. In my experience it can take quite a while to discover how to get the best out of an unfamiliar violin.
Yes, Steve, I ask which notes because I have to be very careful with my pinky on my D string not to get a bizarre sound (I also have to make sure I'm not bowing too far from the bridge). In the past I have found A strings to be temperamental, but I like my current Dominant Light A. I have also had odd C#'s possibly due to a couple of afterlengths resonant on C#.
Lots of interesting ideas, thanks!
"it never occurred to me to try lighter A strings. good suggestion."
Change the strings : try another brand. I would be doing that before swapping bridges and tailpieces. Dominants are not the best choice for every violin.
Before you spend more time/money with a luthier, I think you should work with a teacher and/or other players to see if it is reproducible due to the player. An experienced teacher could be able to watch you play to hear the phenomena to see if it correlates with something you are doing unconsciously.
In October I bought an instrument built in August 2020. The sound was fine when I bought it but it changed dramatically over three or four months, what they call "opening up" I suppose and now sounds much "larger." At four months it stabilized. It is strung with Dominants and sounds very nice. Its sound changes slightly according to temperature and humidity. It's at its best above 50% humidity which is what it is here in the summer.
Is there still a lot of pectin in the pores, causing the sound to deteriorate at higher humidities?
Solution: wash your hands after you've been eating jam!
In 1970, when they first were marketed, I tried Dominants on the violin I have had since 1952. To me the violin sounded pitiful with the Dominants compared to the way they had sounded for nearly 20 years with Eudoxa gut-core strings. So I have never since tried Dominants on that violin. When Tonicas were introduced, I tried them and that is the way I went. But I have spent lots of money since then as different strings came out, always with some improvement, and have finally ended up, these past several years, with Evah Pirazzi Gold and a Warchal Amber E string (although it was also good (maybe better) with a Peter Infeld Platinum-plated E string).
In addition to the above comments; with a new instrument the first year is a break-in period, the wood flexes, resonates, adapts to your playing. After that first year take it back to the maker or shop for a complete check-up and don't be surprised if it gets a new bridge or sound-post.
All super helpful and thoughtful! Thanks everyone - will mull over and implement suggestions!
The only other suggestion I can make that hasn’t already been mentioned is perhaps trying a steel A string. That might give the more resonate sound your seeking with this fiddle.
My currently favorite luthier (I have access to and have pplayed his instuments) is very clear on the violin sound: sucking ages with the instrument.