Tone gets better with age?

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    • #10150
      fan6@mac.com
      Participant

      Hi folks,

      I’ve just bought a new, good quality student fiddle and while it plays well enough and is responsive, the tone seems just a bit “planky.” Not really bad but just like newish wood I guess. So my question is does wood age, or does tone mellow with playing and time?

    • #10154
      Roland White
      Moderator

      Hi fan, Yes most of the time a fiddle sounds better the more it is played and as it ages. The wood does change over time and affects the tone usually in a positive way. But a fiddle that is played a lot also can change to better tone also with the time factor. I’m sure the bow is adequate but bows will sound different on different fiddles so you might try some different bows if you’re in a music shop and see if a different bow might have a better tone on your fiddle. Thanks for posting your comment. Regards, Roland

      • #10155
        fan6@mac.com
        Participant

        Thanks Roland. I like this fiddle and hope to keep it for awhile. Still trying to figure out what strings to use. I’ve got two decent bows and not only do they sound different, but the diameter of the older one is smaller and that is the bow that pulls a more mellow sound. The new bow grabs the strings better pulling more volume but the tone seems to recede a bit. Sheesh. Well, I think concentrating on playing is the thing right now.

    • #10168
      kevinalexander
      Participant

      It’s true, my fiddle sounded like shit when I first got it. Of course, I hadn’t learned to play it yet.

      • #10277
        fan6@mac.com
        Participant

        Ha! A marketing line from the music teachers association? But seriously, all too true. Sigh.

    • #12895
      renjenn
      Participant

      They definitely get better the more they are played. I got a violin off ebay that hadn’t been played since the 40’s at least. no strings or tailpiece or even a nut. I got it fixed and it was just ok. I was disappointed but I kept it. I’ve been playing it for several years now and people have complimented on its tone. It has changed a great deal after playing on it every day. warmer, more resonant. It can vibrate freely now.
      FAN6 how is your fiddle now after almost a year?

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by renjenn.
    • #21490
      GeorgeH
      Participant

      There is no evidence whatsoever that age alone causes tone to improve in a violin.

      Many things can change the tone dramatically including set-up, strings (kind and quality), sound-post adjustments, bridge, etc., so it is impossible to prove that age alone has any effect on tone, good or bad.

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