...Why some violin strings sound better than others when plucked or bowed...
...First it is a good idea to eliminate several of the other possible causes:
- The string may have become damaged internally so that it can not vibrate correctly. Inspect the string, looking for broken winding wire or narrowing at some point. Replace any old or defective strings...
- The string may not be seated correctly at the nut (the ebony block or wood at the peg box entrance end of the string). Here there could be one of two problems:
...First; the groove the string lays in needs to be the right shape; it should be just larger in diameter than the string (so the string touches the bottom of the groove but can transfer its side vibrations to the nut).
...Second; when looked at in cross section and from the side, the string must be pulled strongly downward just at the front lip, before going over the fingerboard in order to transmit its vibrations to the nut and without 'buzzing'. In other words, the groove must slope downward as it moves closer to the pegbox. This is done by carefull filing with a jewlery round (tiny) file, which is of a larger diameter than the string being seated.
...The same information applies to the bridge grooves with the slope being on the tailpiece side and perhaps 1/3 of the width of the bridge top. If the string pinches here it can hurt the tone and make tuning the strings difficult.
...If we have eliminated the above as problems; I want to suggest the solution probably lies with the bridge adjustment. Please click the box to the right to read my article on Bridge Adjustment...
...Side profile of string in nut groove. The groove must be larger than the string diameter.
...Side profile of nut and the end of the fingerboard. The front edge of the nut must be the highest point of the string groove, or a string 'buzz' will be created.