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Ok, I'm really bummed!  I was playing my violin this morning and I noticed it has a kind of "ringing/whistling" sound (and not in a good way).  It has a crack that was repaired at some point on the G string side.  It feels rough to me - like it is opening up maybe?

There are no local luthiers around here - the closest one that I know of is 2 hours away.  I am going to have my teacher look at it on Monday and see what she thinks.  I hope it's nothing serious but for the past couple of days my violin just hasn't sounded "right".  Not sure how else to explain it. :-( 

I really don't want to go back to my Chinese violin... <sigh>.  I've already gotten comfortable with this one!

Sorry - just venting! Thanks for listening. :-)

17 Responses
Posted: September 30, 2011
Last Comment: October 4, 2011

Posted: October 4, 2011
Beth, that is actually good to know about the sound post.  Now I'm not so worried.  The crack on top worried me the most but if you don't think these repairs are all that serious then that makes me feel better.  Like Eileen says, guess the old guy just needs a few nips and tucks!  I will have the luthier give me a complete run down on everything it needs.  Might as well since it will be there anyhow! :-) 

Eileen, Franklin, NC is actually the area we go to a lot! We love it up there but decided to do something different this year.  Maybe we should have our own little "east coast" gathering at some point?? lol  Could be fun!  We will just have to fly Beth out this way! :-)

Beth Blackerby
Posted: October 3, 2011
The good thing is that those are not serious issues. And once they're repaired properly, it will be even healthier than before!  It's actually good that the sound post is down.  Dealers often knock the sound post down before shipping, to protect the top of the instrument from incurring any cracks from stress due to improper handling.

Posted: October 3, 2011
Awe.....don't worry Shelly.   Once you get him all spruced up and start playing him regular, he'll be a MUCH happier violin !   Old instruments that have been laying around and not played for awhile generally need some nipping and tucking here and there.  

BTW...my dad lives in Franklin, NC....not far from Asheville.  

Posted: October 3, 2011
Well - just got back from my lesson.  <sigh>

Not only do I have a crack on the top, the button is also pulling out.  And, while my teacher was just looking at it and tipped it over the sound post fell!!! 

Looks like Grandpa's violin is off to the luthier in Charleston this week.  Back to my other violin for now.  :-(

Posted: October 3, 2011

Congratualtions on your anniversary.  sound like a fun trip.


i live near Athens in NE Georgia.

Posted: October 3, 2011
Hey Karen,

What part of Georgia do you live in? Didn't realize you were so close!  My husband and I are going up to Blue Ridge next week to spend a few days in a cabin for our anniversary.  We've not been to that area before as we usually go up to Asheville/Cherokee in NC.  Looking forward to a new adventure though! :-)

Posted: October 3, 2011

i understand.  The closest to me is about 2 hours.   I drove around one day and couldn't find 2 of them and gave up. 

Posted: October 1, 2011
Thanks, Karen!  I actually have that list as well.  Unfortunately Atlanta is about 5 hours from me.  I'm kind of in the middle of no where! :-)

I'll see what my teacher says on Monday and then go from there.  I've already contacted Sonja St John and if I need to I will ship my violin up to her.

Thank you for taking the time to send me this list though! :-)

Posted: October 1, 2011

Area Summerville - Sonja St John Violins-Charleston Area
Charleston - Chris Bluemel
Charleston - Chris Gawlik
Columbia - Horvat Fine Violins and Bows
Columbia - JHaning Music
Columbia - star music
Greenville - Bernhardt House of Violins
Taylors - Jim Clinton Violins

maybe you can look up some of these.  no clue as to who they are, but they came from another violin site with a directory search

Posted: October 1, 2011
Alpharetta - North Fulton Violins
Atlanta - Atlanta Violins
Atlanta - Boguslaw Kieta
Atlanta - Stephanie Voss Violins
Atlanta - Williams Gengakki Violins
Decatur - Alfaro Violins
Duluth - Huthmaker Violins
Duluth - Young Kim violin maker
Fayetteville - Squires Music
Lawrenceville - David Frederick Violins
Lilburn - Ronald Sachs
Monroe - Barry Dudley Violins

Posted: October 1, 2011
is Atlanta any closer than Charleston?  Stephanie Voss is in Atlanta.  i'm sure Alpharetta and Duluth are too far, right?

Posted: October 1, 2011
Thank you all for the advice!  Ray, I will definitely check out those things.  I did replace the chin rest on it so maybe it is a bit too close to the tailpiece?  I guess that's a possibility. 

I know my violin needs a few things:  bridge, fine tuners, a new tail piece (the tail piece gut is REALLY long and looks like it all stretched out) so perhaps I need to make a trip to Charleston to get it taken care of.  I hope it's nothing more than just something minor.

It's just amazing how many intricate parts go into making a violin sound right!  :-)

Posted: October 1, 2011
I had a horrible vibrating sound once that was coming from the my shoulder rest.  Those bon musica ones have a couple of nuts and screws on them and a one had come slightly loose.  Now I periodically tighten them up.

I actually need to buy another shoulder rest as the one I have is barely holding together with the pen caps and tape I've wrapped it all up in...lol.   I hope I get around to doing that before the thing falls completely apart on me...which most likely will happen JUST before I go up for an important performance...   <:-\

Beth Blackerby
Posted: September 30, 2011
Thanks, Ray.  There are some things on that list I didn't know about and will now check out!

Posted: September 30, 2011

I have a few books on making and repairing violins-here is what The Art of Violin Making by Chris Johnson and Roy Courtnall have to say on buzzing:

  • Tailpiece-Touching saddle, front or chin rest. Has loose fret or fine tuner
  • Strings-Occationally have faulty windings, string protector loose
  • Bridge-Bridge feet not fitting perfectly, String groove too deep, Hairline crack in bridge.
  • Soundholes-Small gaps bridged by varnish or rosin.
  • Fingerboard-Bumps in surface, or hollowing insufficient
  • Pegs-Loose collar or pip
  • Seams-Open; check by tapping lightly all around edges of back and front, listiening carefully
  • Purfling-Loose
  • Soundpost-Poorly fitting or cracked

I picked up this book when I made my violin because it is concidered one of the bibles in violin making.  The list may seem overwhelming but remember this is a list of most of the common reasons for buzzing.  Good |Luck.


Posted: September 30, 2011
Hi Shelly,

I know if I leave my violin out in dry weather I start to get funny sounds from it.  It's an old violin and has a few expertly repaired cracks in it as well.  I found that if I keep it closed up in the case with a hygrometer when I'm not using it.....I don't have that issue.  It's especially a concern in the winter months after the heat gets turned on, not so much in the warm humid days of summer. 

It's certainly a good idea to get that checked out.  After it's fixed be sure to keep it in a place where it doesn't have a chance to dry out and the wood shrink up.  I think it's especially important with older instruments.   I hope the closest luthier is good at what he/she does.  This is your grandfathers old violin that your mom gave you ?   Do make sure that where ever you take it that they are competent.  I don't like to talk negative about anyone but not ALL car mechanics are good at what they do...and goes the same with anything else.   Try looking online...that's how I found my luthier, and she's VERY good.  She was entrusted with some work on a genuine Stradivarius.....and did a fantastic job repairing the neck of my violin after it broke off.   

I hope you can find someone to help you out Shelly.  What a disappointed !   I had to set my old man aside for a year and a half and play on a $50 ebay special until I could get it fixed....so I know how you feel !   :-(

Beth Blackerby
Posted: September 30, 2011
I occasionally get a little "buzz" in my violin, depending on the climate conditions.  I took it to New York on two separate occasions to have it looked at. The first trip revealed that it had loose purfling, but then it came back several years later. The second trip revealed nothing.  They couldn't find the source. The buzz is intermittent, but it really can drive me mad.

If your teacher doesn't find an opening or crack, and it's not too bothersome, then I think it would be ok to keep playing it until you can have it looked at by a good luthier.