Violin wolf note

November 10, 2021, 5:19 AM · Hi I have a violin that plays really well on the A and E string but problem is it has wolf notes on second A on g string A on the d string and open a string i had new sound post put in new strings new bridge still the same the violin is German around 1920s

Replies (16)

November 10, 2021, 5:45 AM · If your violin does not sound right on the open A-string (!) it needs to be checked at a competent violin shop. (Apparently *not* the one you went to to have a new sound post installed!)
November 10, 2021, 7:16 AM · It could be an adjustment issue, but a wolf like that can also be the result of a top being thinned out too much. If it’s too thin, changing the setup isn’t going to fix it. Hopefully it’s just a setup issue!
Edited: November 10, 2021, 9:11 AM · It's the "classic" wolf, on or near the principal body resonance.
A quick'n'dirty fix can be a blob of blue-tack somewhere on the bottom left quarter of the belly, not far from the chinrest. There are more sophisticated devices for providing a more dynamic inertia in the same zone.
November 10, 2021, 9:12 AM · I think my top was too thinned (regraduated). A bit of rubber (erazer) in one of the F hole wings solved it. I was also advised to try small super magnets
November 10, 2021, 12:03 PM · Magnets are used in the line of sound (wolf) modulators made by Krentz; I have one on my cello and it works beautifully...they also make magnet modulators for violins.
November 11, 2021, 10:22 AM · The Krentz devices will be "tuned" to typical wolf frequencies: around A# or B for violins, F or F# for violas, and F or F# (an octave lower) on cellos.
They will absorb the excessive vibrations, whereas my mastic blobs will only shift them (hopefully out of harm's way).
Edited: November 11, 2021, 12:05 PM · If the diagnosis is correct that the top is too thin, then it sounds like a bit of a write-off, and the blutak/eraser is probably a better idea than magnetic devices.
November 11, 2021, 11:36 AM · My violin with erazer works very well thank you.
November 11, 2021, 12:30 PM · But wrote:
"My violin with erazer works very well thank you."

And I spilled Spot remover on my dog, and he disappeared. :-)

November 11, 2021, 1:54 PM · Update when take off chinrest and play with out with my chin on tailpiece a bit the wolf notes are gone
November 12, 2021, 8:58 AM · Just curious, but was it a centre or side mounted chinrest?

I think wolf tones can be a conflict between two (or more) vibration patterns on the same note: shifting one of them a little can solve the issue.

Pressing the chin on the tailpiece will increase pressure on the bridge, similar to using a high tension string: this seems to accentuate wolf tones at the expense of overtones.

November 12, 2021, 10:06 AM · It may be that there is a crack near where you affix the chinrest? Again, a good violin repairer should check this, we can't really help you.
November 12, 2021, 11:49 AM · It may be worth trying a lower tension G, such as Eudoxa) to reduce some of the pressure on the top plate and thereby remove or substantially reduce the wolf. This works on my 18th c violin, weighing 385gm, suggesting that it has a thinnish top plate. This violin has long suffered a prominent wolf on the A in the second octave of the G-string, with a suggestion of a corresponding wolf on the A on the D-string. Installing the Eudoxa G significantly reduced the wolf, and replacing the D and A strings with Eudoxas completed the job to my satisfaction, enabling me to play wolf-free in the second octave on the G string in orchestra, if so required by some possibly unthinking composer.

If you don't wish to use covered gut (e.g. Eudoxas or the Chorda G) then possibly a synthetic core string with similar tension to the Eudoxa may work. I have in mind Warchal's "Brilliant Vintage" set, which has suitably low tension, but I must say that I have yet to try it. I have used Warchal "Ambers" on a modern violin I once had, and they are great to play on. A wolf on that modern violin was never an issue because it didn't have one.

November 12, 2021, 2:46 PM · hi Trevor, the Wiener Philharmoniker plays a lot sul G, easily including that A, no unthinking composer needed :-)
November 12, 2021, 9:14 PM · You could also try a different E string or even e string gauge. I’ve had success with heavy gauge E strings when it comes to taming wolf notes.

Some violins like different brands of E strings more than others.

November 14, 2021, 9:54 AM · Christian, that's interesting, and the opposite of what I mentioned!

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