Unpacking and Setting Up the Virtuoso PlayerViolin
(And checking for shipping damage)
The unpacking and setting up of the QRS Virtuoso PlayerViolin should only be carried out by an experienced technician. Damage can result from improper unpacking and setup.
The QRS Virtuoso PlayerViolin will arrive in a double box, which must be kept upright.
1) Open the outer white box and pull out the inner blue box.
2) Carefully open the inner blue box by lifting the top straight up to avoid damaging the violin which is contained in the lower portion of the box.
3) Unscrew the 3 rear screws to open the cradle.
4) Have somebody hold the violin cradle in place while you insert and tighten cradle/swivel screws.
5) Close the violin cradle and level it on the tower. This is a good time to locate the instrument so that it has plenty of room on each side for bow travel.
Once the violin is properly attached to the tower, setting up and adjusting the violin for performance can begin. The QRS PlayerViolin has been carefully prepared for shipping by removing the bow mechanism, installing a blade guard and loosening the blade extension.
To prepare the violin for performance:
- The blade guard (1) needs to be removed
- The blade extension (2) needs to be tightened
- The bow mechanism (below) needs to be installed.
6) Remove packing/shipping tape:
a) Remove tape from extension clamp (2 above).
b) Remove tape from the blade guard, but leave the guard in place (1 above).
7) Check to see that the violin leveler screws (under the rear of the violin) are secure against the violin, and that the violin does not "rock" back and forth against the screws, but is steady.
8) Pluck the 2 violin strings that are holding the bridge up. They should be at about D4-E4 (ie: middle C = C3) to keep the bridge properly seated against the violin belly.
9) Check that the blade is seated down against the bridge. It can be a bit loose, but no more than @.010" above the bridge. ie: If it is more than .010" above the bridge notch, it should be adjusted back down by loosening the core screws at the bottom of the string-driver (inset on the RHS) and moving the assembly down until the blade seats against the bridge.
10) Measure the gap between the extension and the Grooved Crossmember as indicated by the arrow. This is best measured with a feeler gauge. There should be about .010" to .020" of clearance. (Clearance can be adjusted by screwing the flathead 4-40 sockethead screws up or down on either side of the grooved crossmember.)
11) While holding the blade down (in the middle) flat against the bridge, tighten the two 4-40 allen clamping screws evenly, so that the clamp remains level as it draws the blade extension down and locks it in place.
12) Remove the blade guard and put it in a safe place for reuse the next time the instrument is shipped. Check to see that the blade is centered between the magnets. (If the blade is not centered, see Adjusting the Blade below.)
At this point check to make sure the blade is centered in-between the two rare-earth magnets, and that it is also seated securely on the bridge.
13) Sight down from above the string driver to make sure the blade is centered between the 2 magnets. If it is not, see the section below on "Centering the Blade."
14) To check how the blade seats against the bridge, grab the frequency damper and gently wiggle it back and forth -- the blade should be locked in place and not feel loose at all on the bridge. If it is loose, see the section titled "Adjusting the Tailpiece Pulldown Screws" below.
Once the blade is properly seated and adjusted (ideally it will not need any adjustment after shipping and unpacking) the bow arm can be attached by following the directions below.
Attaching the Bow and Bow Line
15) Unwrap the bow assembly and hold it above the violin, about ¼” in from the bridge, just above the string blade.
16) There is a slight difference in attaching the new bow mechanism. The steel dowel axle has been replaced by a 4-40 shoulder screw. Screw the bow mechanism solidly into place with this shoulder screw. Do NOT adjust the two 4-40 socket head screws (just below the arrow) holding the bow arm bracket to the frame as these are set at the factory.
17) Bring the bow down to a horizontal position and use the supplied 4-40 allen cap screw to attach the left end of the bow arm to the Servo Connector Rod.
18) Pull the knotted loose bow line (fishing line) from the Left side of the violin, over the Left Bow Line Pulley, into its groove, and finally hook it into the Right Bow Hook.
19) Now pull the knotted loose bow line from the RIGHT side of the violin, over the Right Bow Line Pulley, into its groove, and hook it into the Left Bow Hook.
20) With the bow line in place, unscrew the left and right cradle bow line holders, putting them in a safe place for future use. DO NOT UNSCREW UNTIL LINE IS HOOKED INTO BOW HOOKS. If you do the line will unwrap from the motor pulley in the cradle box and you will have to rewind the bow line following directions on page___.
The violin is now ready to play.
Note 1: Always have the bow attached while playing a note or piece.
Note 2: Now that the bow is attached, use caution in walking around the instrument and opening the case. The bow not only extends out from the instrument, but once it starts playing it extends out in both directions. Use care not to damage the bow by walking into it, opening the case near a wall or piano, or being too close to the bow when the violin is playing.
Note 3: The above bow setup and blade adjustment takes me less than 5 minutes to do. It should be viewed as standard maintenance.
Note 4: The latest version of the Chili code may not allow the violin to play at full volume or the bow to move at full speed.
Checking the Virtuoso Violin for Shipping Damage.
The QRS Virtuoso Violin should arrive undamaged. However, there are some items you should check before proceeding to ensure a well-performing instrument.
The Violin String Blade and driver is a precision device. It needs to be aligned and seated properly to perform optimally. Rough handling during shipping can cause the violin to move in its cradle and the blade to come off adjustment.
After unpacking and setting up the instrument and before the bow is attached you should perform the following adjustments, if needed.
Note: Do Not Unscrew The Left And Right Cradle Bow Line Holders Until You Are Done With The Next 2 Sections.
Note: Never Turn The Instrument On Until The Bow Is Attached And The Line Holders Are Unscrewed.
1) Leaving the Blade Guard in place, grab the blade assembly by the Frequency Damper and gently try to move or wiggle the string blade back and forth on the Bridge. The blade should be seated solidly on the bridge and not move at all. If it seems solidly seated, move on to step 3, otherwise continue to step 2
2) If the blade is loose on the bridge, carefully tighten down the Tailpiece Pulldown Screws (4-40 x 1" allen flathead), screwing both left and right screws evenly to pull the tailpiece down flatly. This is a precision adjustment and the blade should be brought down against the bridge until it is solidly engaged with the bridge, but no further. Over tightening of these screws will cause a deterioration in sound quality and possible damage to the associated parts.
3) Once the blade is properly seated on the bridge, remove the blade guard and observe how the blade centers between the 2 Rare Earth Magnets. If it is centered, move on to step 5. If not go to step 4.
4) To center the blade carefully unscrew the two 4-40 allen adjusting plate hold down screws while holding the Adjusting Plate in place with a small flathead screwdriver placed in the driver/plate slot near the fingerboard. With one hand, gently turn the flathead screwdriver in either direction moving the adjusting plate back and forth until the blade is centered, then with the other hand lock the plate in place with the 4-40 allen screws. This is a precision adjustment and practice and experience will make perfect. If the blade centers, you are ready to attach the bow as outlined in the next section. If the blade does not stay centered go to step 5.
5) It is important to remember that the String Blade is made from the same spring steel as piano strings, therefore it wears in a similar manner. Like a new piano string, a new string blade will require several adjustments over a period of playing time until it “settles in.” To center a newer string blade it may be necessary to effectively stiffen it’s vibrating length by moving the Delrin Blade Holders in the direction of the bridge by a small amount. (This would be equivalent to tightening a new piano string.) To do this, simply loosen the Blade-Holding Screw and using tweezers shove the Delrin Blade Holders towards the bridge by 1/32” or so, then tighten the screw. (Note: If this does not center the blade, or if the blade is stuck to one or the other magnets, the driver could be broken. Contact QRS for instructions.)