Octave strings

October 4, 2017, 10:41 AM · Did anybody install octave strings on his/her violin?
Any experiences/learnings?

I ordered a set with Johnsonstring a couple of month ago. Friday I asked my luthier to install them on one of my violins. We only opened the g string package because it broke directly during installation. I guess it was a material issue. I will talk with Johnsonstring, I am not concerned about that.

My question is more if you are happy with the result and if you recut bridge grooves or nut grooves.

Naturally I do not want to harm the instrument. I inherited it (one of the thousands old German fiddles) . It is ok but pretty heavy and I already have a nice violin. I probably wouldn't use it at all although it has a fresh luthier's set up. The peg holes are big enough.

So it's octave strings or gathering dust in a corner.


Replies (7)

October 4, 2017, 11:40 AM · You will need to:1-Alter the nut. If you didn't do this, that might explain why the string broke.2-Widen the grooves in the bridge.See number 1. 3-Possibly make the bridge rounder. 4-Possibly, depending on the brand of string you got, drill larger holes in the pegs.

No damage to the instrument, just modification of replaceable parts that probably aren't orig. anyway, or doesn't matter if they are.

I also find that a viola bow or heavier violin bow works better.

Edited: October 4, 2017, 12:15 PM · I suspect that the fingerboard concavity would be less than optimal for octave strings too. And the size of the instrument would be too small to work effectively with the octave strings. All of these things taken together are why I think octave strings are best for electric violins set up specifically for them.
October 4, 2017, 2:36 PM · I have a large cheap chinese viola set up with octave strings. The C string is extremely fat - your fingers are balancing on top of the string without any contact with the fingerboard! Works better than I thought it would. I had to make all of the modifications Duane mentioned above. And I use a cello bow....
October 4, 2017, 2:42 PM · Well, an octave viola is certainly more convenient to carry around than a cello :)
October 4, 2017, 10:05 PM · And you don't get that irritating pin in your neck....
October 4, 2017, 10:22 PM · Ok Thanks!
Might be that I kind of destroyed the string. Sorry to Johnsonstring!
I will talk with my luthier about those changes. A cheap 14" viola would be an option too. But that would imply spending money and a further instrument. Not the path I wanted to take. I have really tiny hands, no big viola for me.
Thanks for the advice!
October 5, 2017, 1:35 AM · I think I spend almost as much on the strings as on the viola....

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