STRINGTELLIGENCE BY THOMASTIK-INFELD | ‘Taming a Wolf Tone & Eliminating String Buzzing’ [NEW SERIES]

The Violin Channel just lately caught up with Thomastik-Infeld string producer’s Director of Engineering and Know-how, Mr Franz Klanner.

Partially 2 of a brand new weblog collection, launched in celebration with Thomastik-Infeld’s 100th anniversary celebrations, Franz affords his suggestions for taming wolf tones and eliminating irritating string buzzing.



The wolf tone is a wavering – much like the change between a growing and collapsing tone – of the vibration within the strongest predominant resonance of the instrument’s physique.

The wolf tone considerations the interplay between the vibration of the strings and the highest of the instrument – similar to a dancing couple whose steps solely operate after they’re in the identical rhythm. It happens with devices that don’t have sufficient sound dampening of their high plates. It’s attributable to the coupling of the vibration of the string and that of the insufficiently dampened high plate. The incompatibility of those vibrations results in the vibration collapsing. Once more, it’s much like one a part of a dancing couple stepping on the opposite’s foot, thus resulting in a collapse of the frequent vibration or the dance altogether.

In an effort to generate many various tone colours and overtones, a cello wants a wolf tone and a double bass wants a number of ones. Violins and violas don’t want wolf tones for this function. That’s as a result of dimension of the instrument or relatively the ratio of the highest plate’s dimension to its thickness, to be actual. The bigger the instrument, the thinner the highest plate turns into (in brief: the floor space of the highest plate is bigger however that doesn’t result in the thickness growing proportionally) which ends up in a poor dampening. And as we’ve simply discovered: a wolf tone happens with devices whose high plates don’t have sufficient sound dampening.


We’d prefer to share some suggestions and methods on tips on how to tame the wolf. Why not get rid of it? Straightforward: By killing the wolf you’d get rid of sound colours and brilliance as nicely. Briefly: Having a wolf tone means compromising.


1) As a primary step, examine the situation of the bow hair and ensure to vary it frequently, at the very least each six months.

2) Use stickier rosin to your observe as this will typically tame a wolf. When enjoying the violin, combine violin and viola rosin, for violas combine viola and cello rosin and for celli, combine cello and bass rosin – a mixing ratio of as much as 1:1 applies to all mixtures.

three) A wolf tone eliminator is finest identified for its use on celli and double basses however improves the wolf tone situation on violins and violas as nicely. Please notice that each instrument is exclusive and what works for one, may not have the identical impact on one other.

four) In the case of your string setup, attempt the next for violin:

§ Select a heat and targeted sounding G-string with comparable stress to that of your earlier string for a begin.

§ If that doesn’t resolve the issue completely, put extra stress on the G-string and fewer stress on the D-string to maintain your setup in stability. When coping with a really outstanding wolf, we advocate an aluminum-wound D-string over a silver-wound, for instance Peter Infeld’s PI03 or Imaginative and prescient Solo’s VIS03 which can be included in our full Imaginative and prescient Solo set VIS100.

§ If you happen to’re nonetheless not profitable in taming the wolf, as an alternative of adjusting one string solely, change your entire setup for one that’s completely heat and targeted as a wolf tone is extra outstanding on sensible and broad sounding strings. Check out our sound chart under! We advocate Imaginative and prescient Solo’s set VIS100 with an aluminum-wound D-string or Imaginative and prescient Solo’s set VIS101 with a silver-wound D-string to your violin. For viola, attempt Imaginative and prescient Solo’s full set VIS200.

5) Nonetheless no luck? Lowering vitality in the principle resonance is one other key component in controlling the wolf, due to this fact growing string stress helps lowering the wolf tone. As a consequence, there could be just a little an excessive amount of stress on the highest plate, immediately resulting in the loss of some sound colours but in addition taming the wolf tone. Simply be sure you don’t over-tension the instrument so take note of its sound growth over the following week and months. The cue? If you happen to’re knowingly shedding extra sound colours throughout this time, it’s a particular signal of your instrument being underneath an excessive amount of stress.

6) An extended sound put up additionally would possibly regulate your violin or viola in a approach as to tame the wolf. The impact is similar as when utilizing increased stress on the strings.

7) Utilizing a darker sounding bow mannequin could be the following step so that you can assist do away with the wolf.

eight) Final however not least: A thicker bass bar may additionally assist with the wolf tone phenomenon. Please seek the advice of a luthier or repairman when fascinated with re-adjusting your instrument!

Remember: The above-mentioned measures grow to be extra time-consuming and cost-intensive from high to backside!


An irritating buzz tone is taken into account the “little brother” of the wolf tone, solely that it’s the upper strings which might be affected. A buzz could be as irritating because the wolf, however what’s inflicting it’s the skinny, much less dampened again plate close to the ribs. The therapy of a buzz tone is sort of much like that of the wolf’s: Verify the situation of the bow hair and goal for a stickier rosin as first steps. Use a better string stress and select a darker sounding E-string (for violin) and a darker sounding and targeted A-string (for violin and viola) to your observe! If that doesn’t assist, goal for a wound E-string as an alternative. For violins, we advocate the tin-plated Imaginative and prescient Solo E-string VIS01 which is included in each Imaginative and prescient Solo units VIS100 and VIS101. In its place, the tin-plated E-string AL100 which comes with the Alphayue set AL100 would possibly work as nicely. For violas, we advocate the chrome-wound A-string PI21 from the Peter Infeld set PI200.




STRINGTELLIGENCE BY THOMASTIK-INFELD | ‘Coping with String Corrosion and Perspiration’ [NEW SERIES]


To study extra about Thomastik-Infeld’s string science and get insider suggestions on tips on how to enhance your efficiency, go to!

Do you could have a burning query about strings? Mail the consultants at [email protected]!





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