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  • #17460 Reply

    Texasfiddler
    Participant

    What is the advantage of tuning without fine tuners on g, d and a strings? I’ve never learned how & always use fine tuners for all 4 strings.

    #17474 Reply

    Suzanne Cox
    Moderator

    Jmcculley, Great question! It has to do with the physics of how the strings vibrate on the instrument. The best sound is produced from a precise length of the string. It is so much harder to tune with just the violin pegs though, so I still recommend keeping the fine tuners, they just make life easier! They make tailpieces now with special fine tuners to try to accommodate this problem and provide as much length as possible while still using the fine tuners.

    Suzanne with Violin Tutor Pro

    #17499 Reply

    Scott Adams
    Keymaster

    May I jump in on this one as well?

    Choosing between using pegs over fine tuners does primarily have to do with keeping string after-length (the space between bridge and tailpiece) and resonance natural. As Suzanne said above, they do now have bridges that help make this possible, even with fine tuners.

    There’s also another consideration for choosing pegs over fine tuners – string type. Fine tuners are most prominent these days on beginning students’ instruments not only because of them still learning how to tune, but also because most student-level instruments use metal-core strings. These are not very elastic, so they don’t take very much tightening or loosening to make a big difference in pitch. The fine tuners allow for slower, more precise adjustment where pegs are very clumsy. On the other hand, gut and synthetic-core strings are much more stretch. The effect is exactly the opposite of metal-core strings. Precise adjustment is much easier to accomplish with the pegs, and fine tuners can sometimes take too much effort to make even small tuning changes. You often see violins and violas with only one fine tuner on their highest string because those oftentimes will be the only metal or steel-core strings in the entire set. Violin E’s are very often bare metal, even when the other three strings are gut.

    #17559 Reply

    HDuaneaz
    Participant

    I used to have fine tuners on all 4 strings because I had trouble turning the pegs, which I used peg drops on because they were slipping. The other day I took my pegs one-by-one and cleaned the peg drops off with alcohol, let it dry, and sparingly put a new product I found called “dope”. Dope looks like a tube of dark brown lipstick. I put a little on and turned the pegs about 10 times to spread it good. They were still a bit slippery at first, but I guess it set in because they are perfect now. I love the sound now. Just a fine tuner on the e-string now.

    #17565 Reply

    Suzanne Cox
    Moderator

    That’s great HDuaneaz! Glad the peg dope worked well for you. I use peg dope (also known as peg compound) with all my students that bring me instruments with slipping pegs. It really does help a lot. I take off one string at a time, apply the peg dope, twist it around in the wooden hole, and then I usually bring it back out for a second coat of peg dope, and string it back up. You just need enough to lubricate the wood. I tell my students to apply a bit of peg dope each time they change a string to keep the pegs in good shape for tuning.

    If you are having trouble with your pegs slipping a lot, I highly recommend getting some Peg Compound, available from our sister site, Superior Violins.

    Suzanne from Violin Tutor Pro

    #17566 Reply

    HDuaneaz
    Participant

    That’s how I do it. One string at a time. It is real easy to snap your bridge if you do all, unless you really know what you are doing.

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