Saturday, February 10, 2007

 

Overtones


I arrived at the violin shop first thing Friday morning after a three hour drive to Anchorage on a cold, snowy, foggy day - at least the road through the mountains was in good shape with hardly any traffic that time of day. For the next hour and a half, I was the only customer in the store (whew, for me at least.) I introduced myself and explained why I was there. We talked about my cello; he had heard of the brand and was curious how much I paid for it. This luthier also imports Chinese cellos and brands them with his own name. I tried a couple out of interest. They were nice, but who am I to be able to tell the difference.

I showed him my concerns - primarily the twang in the open g-string. First, the luthier carefully inspected my cello, every part - down to the metal caps on the end of the peg keys. No cracks; no open seams; no physical defects; the bass bar was secure; the soundpost intact. My humidifier and dampits seem to be working. He tried it out with and without the wolf-eliminator I'd had on the g-string. He made a slight adjustment to the bottom of the soundpost. He unstrung it and shortened the "gut" holding the tailpiece, with the intent of increasing the string lengths between the bridge and tailpiece. Then he restrung it and we tried it out again. I noticed a little improvement change, but nothing significant. Then we talked about strings. I had Pirastri Flexocores on the c and g, with Larsens on the d and a. He suggested my overtone issues could be due in part to the metal cores of the strings. He put some Thomastik Dominants, which are synthetic cores, on the c and g. There was a definite difference. Not as bright on the low end, but it "felt" a little richer. Then he put on a different type of wolf-eliminator that clips across the g and d strings.

I left my bow for rehairing. He commented that I've been using too much rosin. Finally, I checked out two bows for trial. Both are "house" brands, one is carbon fiber. They are a just a shade lighter than my current bow but nicely balanced. They both feel very comfortable. After just a little bit of playing (last night in the motel, pianissimo), I'm leaning towards the carbon fiber bow - and not just because it's a little cheaper. I've got a week to try them out. I'll discuss them with my teacher at Tuesday's lesson.

So, was it worth it? I haven't had a chance yet to break in the strings nor try it out in my living room. We'll see about that in the morning.

Comments:
i'm confused about whether i should rehair my bow now. sometimes it sounds very bad, sometimes it sounds OK.
maybe i am just too lazy for rehairing.
 
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