Pegs Tailpiece

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Is it a good idea to change a violin’s pegs, tailpiece, etc.?

Right now, my violin has ebony pegs, chinrest, and tailpiece. They’re very average looking, and I would like to change them for more rosewood fittings with more intricate designs. Could I just buy them online and they’ll automatically fit? What is the process people go through to do this? thanks!

I know this question may seem silly – but is it actually worth it to do these conversions on your instrument? You aren’t doing $100 or $200 upgrades to an instrument worth less than $500? Less than $1,200? It would be more worth your while to save up for a new instrument in that case.

If an instrument was made by a master luthier, then you should not change anything on the instrument.

Violins are carefully constructed specimens. There is a huge difference between a masterpiece and a mass-produced hunk of junk. If you are trying to make a cheap violin ‘look’ good, then it may simply be a waste of time and money. These conversions are not going to produce a better sound.

All this having been said, it isn’t hard to swap a chinrest and a tailpiece. You can fasten a chinrest on with fairly simple tools – a paperclip practically does the trick. Be careful, though. The tailpiece is similarly easy to put on; however, removing all the tension from your violin (taking all the strings off) is a horrible idea. That is why you’ll want to take it to a luthier.

There’s no telling how the new tailpiece will alter the violin and/or sound.

Good violins are expensive. All the nice rosewood fittings you are talking about usually find a home on well made instruments. Just because they can slap these fittings on a cheap instrument does not mean that they should.

Good luck, and I do hope you’ll visit a luthier and a violin shop – and seriously consider saving for a new instrument (if your current one is in the price range that I specified).

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