FAQ's about wiplstix
Do you make viola's cello's and other instruments like the wiplstix?
How do I inflate the chinrest?
Directions for this are on the instruction booklet you received with you wiplstix. In case you bought the wiplstix used, or lost your booklet: The chinrest is a bike innertube, and has what is known in the trade as, a "presta valve". Simply unscrew the top so it is loose. Put your index and middle finger on either side of the valve and the thumb directly underneath the base of the valve. Blow air into the tube and then pinch your fingers and thumb together. This will trap the air in the tube and you can now screw the valve closed
Why wont the bow make a noise on the fiddle?
The bows are newly refurbished student bows that have been rehaired. Thus they have no rosin on them. If you want to be thorough, I recommend getting some alcohol and a paper towel and gently and thoroughly wiping the hair with the alcohol soaked towel. Do this as well, with the strings of the wiplstix, where the bow with be in contact. Plucking the strings where you bow will leave grease and the bow will not work. you will have to clean this again if you or someone else violates this cardinal rule of owning a violin.
Softer rosin expedites the bow loading with rosin. It will take awhile so be patient. I will scrape the rosin with my pocket knife to loosen up some dust and rub my bow in it. Rosining your bow will make a pot of water boil a lot sooner.
Can you use standard strings on a wiplstix?
The wiplstix is set up as a 4/4 violin. The string length from nut to bridge is standard, but the length from bridge to tailpiece is about 1.5" shorter.
A string broke and I dont want to take the tailpiece apart.
Changing a string is as easy as falling off a log. Simply curl the end of the string by running an inch or two of the end through your thumb nail and flesh of your index finger like you were scraping something off it. It will curl and you can hook it under the tail piece and through the string hole. It will take a few times so be patient and steady.
The silks of the new strings are where I finger the wiplstix. How do I adapt the strings?
The silks must be trimmed back past the nut towards the tuners. This is a delicate matter because the strings are wound with very thin metal. It is easy to cut these and that will ruin your strings. The way I do it is to take a straight razor for scraping paint off windows, and sharpen it as well as you can with a fine sharpening stone. With the fiddle in a clamp, and the string set in the tailpiece, I pull on the string so it is taught and gently shave the silks back to the nut. The angle of the razor is nearly as flat as the string and I am slicing at a 45 degree angle. Go slow and slicewith the slightest weight on the razor and you should hear the silks cut.
I want to use perlon strings.
I find that if someone prefers to have perlon strings on a wipstix the A-string is fatter and it wont fit in its slot in the nut. You will have to open the width of that slot with a sharp pocket knife, or better, a very thin saw. I use a hacksaw blade that has been ground thin. Do not make your slot deeper or the strings will begin to buzz on the finger board. If you have one you can use a .16 depth gauge on top of the finger board under the saw as a safety to not go deeper.
The Tuners are too loose or too tight?
(A word about the tuners. They are very fine screw threads. That means that they slowly go in and out. The more they are in the tighter they will be and vice versa.)
1.) Thread the tuners in more. The tuner will bottom out when the threads disappear. Continue screwing the tuners in and they start stripping the threads in the wood and not hold as well.
2.) Take the tuner out and rub rosin onto it
3.) Get a piece of paper that is about 1/4" wide and 1" long and stick it into the loose tuner hole like a post in a hole. It will become a shim that will make the hole smaller. If it stays in place as the tuner threads in it will fix 95% of loose tuners. A bigger piece of paper can be used.
4.) If the paper isn't sufficient then wick some super glue in there and call me in the morning
1.) Back the tuner out a few turns
2.) take the tuner all the way out and then screw back in. (This usually does it)
3.) take the tuner out and touch it ever so slightly in one place with a wax candle. You only need the littlest bit to lubricate the tuner.
Went too far and its too loose? Try rosin and the paper as described above.
The Bow doesnt fit in the case with the fiddle.
Check the diagram in the instruction booklet. Engineering a violin into a small tube leave little room for negotiations. If you are having trouble with the instrument fitting with the bow try turning the case until the best position is found. See where the bridge hits the sides of the tube and slide the bridge a little to one side or the other. If the bridge doesn't hold this position put a little rosin under the feet so it will stick. The tubes can be irregular so sometimes squeezing them allows the fiddle to go in easier.
If I carry around a WipLstix will people like me? ..think I'm cool?
Definitely yes. What's more it's easier to carry to jams then your own fiddle and everyone will want to trade you out to try it. Then you'll always have a fiddle to play but dont have to lug a full sized around.
What about travel abroad and security at aeroports?
Never heard of any trouble, but in foreign countries there is a certain respect and berth given to a foreigner carrying around a piece of PVC pipe.
What does it sound with a pick up on it?
Loud and clear... though you may want to opt for a more portable pickup.