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Violin/excessive ringing of strings


I have a German made violin from the 1870's. It has always had a nice tone. About 2 months ago, I changed the strings, installing Enfeld red strings. After that, I encountered strings that ring to much. For example, when I play "G" on the "D" string, the open "G" rings excessively. When I say excessively, it will continue to ring for a second or so after I move to the next note. Also, it will ring (though not as much) even when my intonation is off just a bit. This happens on other "ringy" notes, but not to the extent that the open "G" does.
  Since I changed the strings one at a time and the bridge is straight and sits on the violin correctly, can I assume it is the strings? If not, can you tell me what else may be causing this?

Thank you,
Joe Hasselberger

Hi Joe,

Thanks for your question.  Yes, it sounds to me like you and/or your fiddle just don't like the Infeld Reds.  You didn't mention what you had on before, so it's difficult to make a good comparison, here.  But, from what you're saying, it sounds like the old strings had been on for some time?  Old strings, even of good quality, will get dull sounding after a while.  Replacing strings every six to twelve months is average for students.  Professional change strings more frequently.  Comparing a new set of Infeld Reds to an old, dead sounding set of the same brand, would cause your violin to be much brighter, louder, clearer, and perhaps more "ringing" in tone.  If you were using cheaper strings before, then the difference would be even more pronounced.  And, new strings require greater precision in intonation; you'll hear where you are out of tune much more clearly with new strings.

It could also be that you or your fiddle just don't care for this particular brand.  If you're primarily a fiddler, I'd recommend Prim strings.  If you're a classical player, then Infeld Reds aren't a bad option.  But, there are lots of other choices.  From what you're describing, I might recommend trying Dominant strings, as a more balanced, not too "ringy" option.  Or, even better - Obligato strings.

Of course, the placement of post and the fit, cut, placement of the bridge, choice of bow, choice of rosin, etc., can also have an impact on what you're describing.  And, if you haven't had your instrument checked out lately, it might be worth taking it to a reputable shop for an adjustment.  But, if none of those things have changed, then it sounds like it's the strings.  Different instruments sound best with different string sets.  And, everyone has their own preferences.  

Best of luck!
Jim Fisher


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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.

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