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Artino Practice Mute
The ARTINO PRACTICE MUTE clearly is a technological advance over other mutes. It has the capacity to blunt the volume of the loudest fiddle, without necessarily distorting the sound so that what is emitted can still be understood as music.
It also has the capacity to soften the blow of a newcomer's bow stroke so that now, extremely early hours are available for playing, meaning it can heal marital rifts, restore order and joy to households, rekindle relationships with teenagers, and even soften the lines of combat drawn during daily practice sessions with neighbors. It's a truly great product.
The cautionary note regarding the consequences of pressing down too hard to get this thing in a position where it can do some good might be taken as an advisory that compels some fiddlers to look elsewhere for a different mute. When I deployed the Artino mute for the first time, it guided itself into position, with great ease, and no consequences - though using a light touch makes sense instead of ramming this thing into position as though it is a clip for an AK-47.
Thanks for this review, Lew. I looked up the Artino on Fiddlershop.com and it has very good reviews with reviewers saying just about what you did, that it really quiets the sound without distortion.
What are the screws for that are pictured above? Are they for adjusting in any way or are they just how it is joined?
I have a plain Fiddlershop Ultra Practice Mute. It is made out of rubber. It does a good job, I think of quieting without much distortion, but I still wouldn't use it at night with anyone sleeping in the house. (Luckily, I don't have to worry about neighbors out here in a rural setting.)
I may just have to pick up an Artino, because sometimes I do fell like practicing in the wee hours.
Both mutes are mentioned in this video, along with a brass mute.
"The violin sings but the fiddle dances"
Good morning! The screws basically bolt the thing together. They're part of the mute infrastructure and don't really have an adjustment function. The Fiddleshop video suggests that one could jam the thing down too hard on the bridge, but the structure of the mute really prevents that from happening - without really undue force. And, in my minor experience, even just seating the thing on loosely has a decent muting effect. In my case, I don't notice much sound distortion - I do notice significant muting (as does my wife) . . . but I think in my case, at my point in fiddling, sound distortion would not appreciably impact the reception my fiddling receives. I purchased one of those rubber mutes, too - figuring I could use it during the day when I really did not require as much muting as the Artino Mute provides. Take care, Lew