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octave strings--fiddle

Melissa 29 Oct 08 - 05:33 PM
Donuel 29 Oct 08 - 06:55 PM
Stewart 29 Oct 08 - 07:10 PM
Sorcha 29 Oct 08 - 07:37 PM
Stewart 29 Oct 08 - 07:49 PM
Sorcha 29 Oct 08 - 08:55 PM
Stewart 29 Oct 08 - 09:22 PM
Sorcha 29 Oct 08 - 09:33 PM
Melissa 29 Oct 08 - 10:31 PM
Melissa 06 Nov 08 - 09:40 PM
Stewart 06 Nov 08 - 10:00 PM
Melissa 06 Nov 08 - 10:12 PM
TheSnail 07 Nov 08 - 11:43 AM
Melissa 07 Nov 08 - 04:12 PM
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Subject: octave strings--fiddle
From: Melissa
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 05:33 PM

I'm looking for a set of fiddle strings octave/baritone and would prefer to spend under $50.
Does anybody know where to get them?

Or..does someone know what size strings to buy to make a set?

Thanks,
Melissa


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Subject: RE: octave strings--fiddle
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 06:55 PM

Try viola strings.


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Subject: RE: octave strings--fiddle
From: Stewart
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 07:10 PM

Southwest Strings sells Sensicore Supersensitive Octave violin strings for $43.48/set. That's a good price, I think I paid almost $70 several years ago. You will have to set up your violin with enlarged grooves in the nut and the bridge for the larger strings, and switch the D and G strings on the tuning pegs so the very large diameter G string doesn't bend down at too great an angle to the peg. I let my luthier do that rather than botch it myself.

It's fun to play an octave fiddle, and it always gets a surprise reaction from listeners who are not aware that a violin might sound like a cello.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: octave strings--fiddle
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 07:37 PM

Thank you all! And Stewart, I was wondering about that.....not at all sure my regular fiddle can handle them, I'm thinking about the thin-ness of the belly at the bridge area...if I had a cheap pawn shop 2nd instrument, I'd be VERY tempted to try this.

My regular fiddle also has 'machine gears' (like a guitar) instead of friction pegs.

And, wouldn't actual viola strings be too LONG for a violin? You would lose the 'tuning point' wouldn't you?


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Subject: RE: octave strings--fiddle
From: Stewart
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 07:49 PM

There's less tension with octave strings than with regular violin strings, so I don't think that's an issue. I took a cheaper 2nd violin of mine to convert and it sounds much better, although in a different way.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: octave strings--fiddle
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 08:55 PM

OK...and also, what about the thickness of the bridge? Yes, I understand that the grooves must be deeper...so, wouldn't the bridge also have to be thicker? More like the thickness of a viola bridge?


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Subject: RE: octave strings--fiddle
From: Stewart
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 09:22 PM

I used the same bridge on my octave fiddle.

S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: octave strings--fiddle
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 09:33 PM

Cool! I'm gonna start looking for another fiddle! Sadly, in my area the pawn shop fiddles have gone VERY far down in quality--as in missing parts like tailpieces and fingerboards, and UP in price. Some of these idiots thing that anything shaped like a violin MUST be worth at least $200. Geeze.


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Subject: RE: octave strings--fiddle
From: Melissa
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 10:31 PM

Thanks, Stewart..that's exactly the kind of strings I was looking at and had found for $70.

I think you ought to be yard-saling around this area, Sorcha..I bought a very decent one for 50 and he sold another (that needed a little cleaning work) for 35 while I was hanging out playing under a tree the next day.
An article I read a couple days ago said that it's better to use a scrawky fiddle for octave strings because it gave a clearer tone (link in the 'cheap fiddle' thread)

I'd never thought of stringing one up lower and the idea fascinates me..bet I'll spring for some of those beauties before long!

Thanks folks,
M


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Subject: RE: octave strings--fiddle
From: Melissa
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 09:40 PM

thanks again for the link, Stewart..they came today!


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Subject: RE: octave strings--fiddle
From: Stewart
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 10:00 PM

You're welcome.

Next, keep us informed how it goes
and what it sounds like
and how you like it.

You're going to have fun
I think.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: octave strings--fiddle
From: Melissa
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 10:12 PM

The sites I looked at before ordering sort of scared me with their suggestions of having them installed by a luthier..and a variety of adjustments that might need to be done so the strings would go on.

Putting them on wasn't such a big deal but I did end up taking off my fine tuners because the strings are considerably thicker and just wouldn't fit in the tuners.

I LIKE the sound!
The bow apparently needs a lot more rosin than I usually use and my biggest surprise (so far) is that the hardest string to get a solid tone from is the E.

Yes, I think I'll have fun..


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Subject: RE: octave strings--fiddle
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:43 AM

I've been experimenting for a while with a viola tuned up a tone to give DAEB so strings 2,3 & 4 are an octave below a fiddles 1, 2 & 3. This means I can play a lot of the fiddle repertoire just by moving down a string. Trouble is, it does my shoulder in. Not until I read this thread did it occur to me that with viola strings on a fiddle the shortening is pretty close to what you need to raise them a tone. I ordered some cheap viola strings and dug out a rather nasty junk shop fiddle that I never play and gave it a try. I've had some problems with slipping pegs which may be down to the cheap old fiddle but Stewart's suggestion of swapping the G and D (or in my case (D and A) strings between tuning pegs has helped.

The sound isn't great but it seems to work. I wonder what to call it, a violet?


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Subject: RE: octave strings--fiddle
From: Melissa
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 04:12 PM

ah..excellent, Snail.
Now when I take mine out in public and people ask what I've done to make it sound that way, I can throw a "..the other day I was talking to a guy who strung up a violet.." into the conversation.


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