I almost never see violins with a fine-tuner on any but the E string.

Is there any drawback to placing and using fine tuners on lower strings? (Other than the need to use strings with loop ends.)


It's a bit pointless with non-steel strings since the precision of a smooth-moving peg is quite adequate and their range is required since non-steel-core strings hold pitch worse and react to length changes quite less. When moving a fine-tuner too far, you'll damage the violin's top (depending on tail piece and fine tuner construction), so reserving fine-tuners for just the string(s) where they are by far most useful is a good compromise. Also they used to be a noticeable expense.

That being said, I've seen enough violins/tailpieces that apparently came with (identical) fine tuners from the start.

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    Fine tuners haven't been expensive since... I dunno, more than 40 or 50 years ago? Compare to the cost of a decent tailpiece, let alone a decent bridge or bow. That said, the new generation of tailpieces with built-in tuners get rid of almost all "buzz" risk. Keep in mind that you can always leave the fine tuners at "null" and tune with the pegs. – Carl Witthoft Mar 12 at 12:55
  • Even 40 years ago, I had a violin with fine tuners on all 4 strings. Can't remember how much I used them, though... My current electric violin has steel strings, so has 4 fine tuners, and I use them every time I pick it up – Doktor Mayhem Mar 12 at 18:46
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    Carl said it. There's no good reason not to use a tailpiece with built-in fine tuners, although most professional violinists would scoff at them because of tradition. Just make sure you get a good one- the cheap ones with plastic parts don't last long and they don't sound quite as good, as they damp the strings a bit. – Scott Wallace Mar 12 at 18:46

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