The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59947   Message #958902
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
24-May-03 - 11:36 PM
Thread Name: Cheap fiddle, so what
Subject: RE: Cheap fiddle, so what
Also several other past threads, and a versification in the DT: TOUCH OF THE MASTER'S HAND.

Doubtless also innumerable past copies of the Reader's Digest. It's a fair point though, if extremely hackneyed; what you do with the thing is what counts, and an expert will always get a better result out of what some might consider a piece of firewood than a beginner could hope for.

Get it set up properly, as has been said. A very decent alloy or carbon fibre tailpiece with integral fine tuners can be had for a few dollars (Wittner and Thomastik both make perfectly good ones, far better than a standard tailpiece with cheap individual tuners attached) and some attention to the bridge can make all the difference to playability. Don't expect a cheap, new fiddle to come perfectly set up any more than you'd expect it to come perfectly in tune. Get the bridge seen to professionally first time round (obviously not by the people you originally spoke to!) but, if the replacement requires it, consider changing the tailpiece yourself. Just follow the instructions that come with a new one. It's remarkably easy, if you take it slowly, and no harder than tuning the thing (which, of course, you would not want to get done at a shop).

Don't be afraid of experimenting, within reasonable limitations (you're not dealing with a precious thing, after all); but do get good advice first so that you don't waste time, effort and money.