You are here:

Violin/Effect of Fine Tuners on Sound


Hi Mr. Fisher. I may get my violin re-adjusted like you suggested. I'll get a teacher to play my violin and get her opinion.

I still have another question before my final question if that's ok with you.

How does having 4 fine-tuners vs. just 1 fine-tuner effect the sound of the violin or viola?

Mr. Fisher, I would also like to update you on how my violin sounds after possible re-adjustment and change in strings. I will update you if you send me your email. Can you see my email that I've entered through the site? Also can you see the comments we make while thanking you?

Thanks Mr. Fisher.

Hi Ridwan,

When selecting a tailpiece for an instrument, the size, weight and material of the tailpiece must be considered.  A tailpiece that is too light or too heavy for the instrument can adversely affect the tone.  Likewise, a tailpiece that is too large or small will make it difficult to adjust the tailgut to a proper length.  (The tailgut is adjusted to make the after-length (the distance from the bridge to where the string attaches to the tailpiece) of the strings correct.)  Different materials - ebony, plastic, rosewood, pernambuco - also yield different results.

A single fine tuner on the E string does not generally have an adverse effect.  But, having all four fine tuners adds considerable weight to the strings, just below the bridge, where it can dampen the vibrations of the bridge itself.  Most fine tuners also make the after-length incorrect, which has a considerable effect on the tone.  The additional weight and reduced after-length can also cause undesirable wolf-tones.

It is therefore recommended that you have the pegs well lubricated (with peg compound or soap and chalk), and adjusted so that they can be tuned with the left hand.  (It's also much more accurate to tune while bowing than while plucking.)  This can be a challenging skill to learn, but one that is worth the time.  If you feel that you need the fine tuners, I would recommend a Wittner Ultra tailpiece, which has the fine tuners built-in.  This reduces some of the weight, compared to traditional fine tuners, and allows for the after-length to be properly adjusted with the tailgut.

If you'd like to contact me directly by email, you may do so through  Click on the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page.  I'm not sure what email you refer to in your question, but yes I do see the comments that you have made while rating my answers.  Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Best Regards,
Jim Fisher


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


James S. Fisher


Please Note: For an accurate appraisal of your instrument's value or history, I must advise you to take it to a local luthier or string shop for an evaluation. It's really not possible to do this with any accuracy via email.

However, I am happy to answer other questions about violins, bows, violin playing, and violin/bow repair. I can also talk with you about what bows, rosin, strings, cases, shoulder rests, etc. might work best for you and your particular instrument. (There are some great new products on the market.) I've taught violin and fiddle playing for the past 18 years and will answer questions about playing and technique.


I've been studying the violin for over thirty years. I started teaching in 1996. In addition to my training at Lebanon Valley College and at the Violin Institute, I handle violins, bows, and customer questions of all sorts on a daily basis in my shop - J.S. Fisher Violins,


I hold a Bachelor of Music degree from Lebanon Valley College, as well as certificates in violin repair, violin maintenance, and bow rehairing from the Violin Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

©2017 All rights reserved.