I wanted to write you to report on your marvelous tailpiece on my cello: it is like a new instrument. It is very responsive to my musical intentions. It is a kind of epiphany. The violinist of my group listened to the improvement at first. I am very glad - thank you so much!
I hope you don't mind reading my long writing, but my story will give warm, proud feelings...
Last night I attended a cello concert at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. It featured Amid Peled and Noreen Polera. Amid played Pablo Casals' cello, a 1733 Goffriller. The theme was "Homage to Pablo Casals", as he played the concert from one of Casals' previous concert programs from way back. The theatre seats 350 with a single balcony and is very intimate and inviting.
His first piece was Handel's Sonata in G minor. From the get go the cello spoke a strong, sonorous sound. The rich harmonics so crystal clear and beautifully defined, warm, rich and so precise!
Then I looked closely and there was a Nicholas Frirsz cello tailpiece on the Goffriller. I was stunned, but not surprised. The cello projected beautifully filling the hall. It even stood up to the Steinway Polera played. At the end, all three bowed, Peled, Polera, and, with Peled's help, the Goffriller! An evening I will not soon forget."
I got my Frirsz about two weeks ago, and now that I am well acquainted with it, WOW is all I can say. I play a modern Montagnana pattern cello, and the Frirsz tailpiece has brought my love for this cello up a couple of levels - something I didn't even think was possible! I had my luthier install the tailpiece with the Harmonie Kevlar cord, following Mr. Frirsz's recommendation of the tailpiece being 5-8mm from the saddle. On my cello it is set at 5mm. It took a few days to settle in, but the cello has benefitted tremendously; I would describe my cello as being exceptionally warm and pretty dark, and now with the Frirsz tailpiece, my cello has still retained its warmth and dark chocolate sound, but it is also tremendously resonant and clear. The low end was already impressive on my cello, but now the sound is absolutely magnificent. It is incredibly powerful and has a nice openness. Before, it was pretty powerful but sounded a bit covered. Another benefit is that my wolf is completely gone. In the past I used a Krentz to control my machine gun wolf, but with the Frirsz the Krentz is now only used for the tonal benefits it provides. A huge plus is that the fine tuners have a very nice range and the mechanism is quite nice. I like that when installing the strings into the fine tuners that the ball does not come out when bringing the string up to pitch. I've had that happen with every other tailpiece I've had, whether it be the Harmonie, Akusticus, or Wittner. A small detail, but one that I definitely appreciated.
To sum it up, the cello has improved tremendously with the Frirsz tailpiece. While I was already in love with the sound of my cello, the Frirsz essentially enhanced it. While the basic properties of the sound are relatively unchanged, the tailpiece made cello more powerful, open, and resonant. The speed of response has remained the same.
I highly recommend this tailpiece. Of course all experiences will vary, but the Frirsz Music Company has outstanding customer service (thank you Thomas Dunn and Nick Frirsz!!) and will provide a full refund if you return the tailpiece within 90 days. I think that offers a great opportunity to try the tailpiece with virtually no risk. I couldn't be happier with this product!”
Thomas Lin Jr.
I finally found the right opportunity to put you tailpiece on my Goffriller cello--when the tailpiece was the only thing I was changing so that I could ascertain its affects under controlled circumstances. You will be pleased to hear that it transformed my cello! It now sounds like I always hoped it could and would. The sound is MUCH more open, the response is quicker, and the tone quality remained rich and deep. I am totally delighted! I would not hesitate to say it is a life-changing improvement."
Professor of Cello, Temple University
Past President, ASTA
President, The Violoncello Society, Inc. (NY)
You have probably heard this before from others but, my God, the transformation effect that this little accessory has on a violin is absolutely miraculous. I had almost written off my Derazey as simply an investment instrument because I had grown to dislike its tone so much. The tone was thin with the A string dominating the sound. The instrument is now much more balanced and has gained a richness that is so pleasing.
I promised feedback from the “other side”. Your tails work just as well upside down. It took a while to get used to all these changes, but the tail is definitely responsibly for a much stronger and better balanced sound. The challenge is now to play pianissimo!!
Hello Mr. Frirsz!
Just writing to let you know that the four tail pieces my mom Annette and I ordered in November will not be coming back. We are completely satisfied with the end result. My Mom's Sean Peak viola has more oomph, to it. Her $4K violin no longer sounds like it is playing through its nose. My great uncle's violin that I regularly play orchestra music with is so powerful and kicks out so much sound that I've begun wearing Etymotic Musician ear plugs to prevent hearing loss and my $10K Andrew Hyde violin not only retained its chocolaty richness, it gained in power and the big bad Wolf on the high Bb is gone.
I am totally thrilled with my new Frirsz tailpiece on my viola. The instrument is more resonant, especially on the C-string, and there is better focus of the sound now. The small wolf I had on the low A-flat is gone. I am enjoying exploring the new sound colors and timbres. Thank you for your idea!
New York, NY
Hello Mr. Frirsz
Your tailpiece is brilliant. Best innovation in the string world in the last hundred years!
Los Angeles CA.
I've had Nick's new tailpiece on my violin for about six months now. The first thing I noticed was a big improvement in intonation and double stops were locking in much better.The G & D strings are much bigger sounding and overall projection is enhanced. But it's more than just a bigger sound. It's a richer and more complex sound. My German violin now sounds more like my Italian violin! My musician friends noticed the difference as well. This tailpiece made a great sounding violin even better! The best investment I ever made. Thank you Nick for all you do!
Saratoga Springs, NY
Thank you for your magnificent invention of this new tailpiece. You put one on both my 18th century violin and viola. The fullness of sound and evenly matched strings is beyond my wildest dreams! I just played Beethoven's KREUTZER SONATA and a colleague came forward after the concert saying that she heard a dramatic increase in sound after the first note! Technical passages are much easier to play because there is no struggle to project; the tone just comes pouring out of the instrument. The transformation of the violin is stunning, but the viola projection and beauty is beyond belief! I initially said, "Nick has created a monster"----I have to be very careful performing with others not to overwhelm their sound! I would never have believed that such a small change would create such a magnificent difference in quality of sound. THANK YOU!!!
Mary Lou Saetta
Director and principal violinist/violist of Capitol Chamber Artists
I think this tail piece does incredible things for the instrument's resonance. I notice it on the C most, but the whole cello range seems to have better projection. What a great invention!
Years ago, Rene Morel's shop replaced my cello's wooden tailpiece with an aluminum one. That opened up the sound tremendously, as if a mask had been removed from the sound. From this, I could see that a tailpiece can make a huge difference.
But years later, I was still wishing my cello were more responsive and easier to play. When I heard about the Frirsz tailpiece, with its light weight and special design, I thought it would be worth a try - certainly less expensive and easier than getting a new bow or instrument. So, I bought a Frirsz tailpiece for my cello. The difference in sound knocked my socks off. My cello is now clear, responsive, and easier to play. I can shape the sound. The cello now provides so much more feedback that I can more easily separate how the left and right hand are each affecting the sound. I'd always wished for an instrument like this.
With much appreciation and gratitude,
(Former cello student of Harvey Shapiro at The Juilliard School)
The entire violin sounds like a different, much better instrument, with the repairs and new tailpiece. the strings are much more balanced, with the A & E much sweeter and the whole sound more beautiful and ringing. the violin is SO much easier to play and it's such a pleasure to play now. if i had known it was possible to get such an improvement with this violin i would have brought it in to you years ago."
many many thanks,
Tailpiece received and installed on my cello - WOW! It's everything your material says it is PLUS - I couldn't be happier with it.
In fact, I just installed it on a modern cello I just received from the maker. The cello was full of wolfs and unfocused - with the tailpiece the wolfs are now gone and the cello sounds like it's been in use for a long time!
Congratulations - You have a great product."
Blue Ridge String Instrument Co.
In the past my violin had a very fuzzy sound on the G string, especially after the strings were a few months old. With the new Frirsz tailpiece which Nick installed last summer(2011), I've had no problems with getting notes to respond on the G. In fact the whole violin sounds much better! It is a pleasure to play!
Elsa Nagy, violinist with the San Juan Symphony in Durango, Colorado.
Thank You Nick, the new tailpiece is great! My cello has a bigger and brighter tone. I am so excited to play it! The ring it produces is beautiful! I can't wait to share it with my cello friends! Thank you for your dedication to this art!
When my tailpiece broke I knew I would have to get a new one, but I never thought I would come out with one so special. When you told me about your new tailpieces I was very intrigued as to what was actually so special about it. I soon found out!! As soon as you put it on my violin I got a clarity and a certain resonance that I have never gotten from my instrument. It blew my mind that a different design could do that to my instrument! People now come up to me thinking I spent a fortune on my violin. I simply explain to them that its really the tailpiece. The overtones on this violin and the clarity of sound are incredible. I also get so many comments on how cool it looks all the time! I recently went to the NYSSMA conference in Rochester, NY and many of the violin shops represented there could not understand how I got so much sound out of my violin especially considering how much it is worth! I had to tell them it was really the tailpiece that got the sound to be so incredible. It was surely a shock to them that they could not offer to find me a better sounding violin for the price. I really feel as if you have done a great service to the string community by spending so much time developing it. In the world of string playing any extra clarity or resonance we can get is desperately needed. I am honestly so proud to be one of the first to experience the first innovation to the tailpiece since its conception! Thanks you so much!
I am so thrilled with the new sound my cello now has thanks to the Frirsz tailpiece. It has so much more tonal range and clarity. My cello speaks much more freely and with such a beautiful tone! It truly is astounding and I only wish it was in production years ago. There is still a wolf on E, but with a Bice eliminator, it still sounds amazing. If my results are typical, I believe you have a very revolutionary product that will be in strong demand. Bravissimo!
I am thrilled with how the cello plays and the increased potential your new tailpiece gives me for a more varied palate of colors, volume, response....and no wolf! I was able to play in fourth and fifth positions on the g string and received as much response and color as anywhere else on the instrument!
Everyone tells me how great the cello sounds.
Park City, UT
I have had the pleasure of trying out Nick's new cello tailpiece on a beautiful J.B. Ceruti instrument generously on loan from the Einar (Jeff) Holm Collection, Ithaca, NY.
Over many years, Nick has taken expert care of this instrument, and opened up it's sound by loosening the setting and masterfully improving on old repairs. As many of you know, his work places Nick in the highest echelon of violin makers world-wide! Anyone who has relied on him also knows of his personable customer service and high level of integrity.
Nick generously placed one of the first cello tailpieces on the Ceruti with astounding results!! Immediately, the bass resonance was improved to that of a larger, Montagnana model. The improved technique also became quite obvious, allowing me to play typically challenging passages with the greatest of ease.
I believe any cellist from high school and conservatory students to adult amateurs and world-renowned professionals should try Nick's tailpieces. In addition to his detailed workmanship, I believe his satisfaction guarantee will make this amazing revolution in instrumental sound a winner for string players around the world!
Humble gratitude and God's richest blessings to you, Nick!
Your friend, Eric Samuels
CEO & Artistic Director
Utah Music Festival & School
(former student-Bernard Greenhouse, Leonard Rose, Harvey Shapiro,
Ron Leonard, Robert Gardner, William Stokking, Warren Lash, Peter Rejto)
I am very happy with my new Frirsz tailpiece. It is miraculous!
Immediately, my violin sounded louder, stronger, richer, and easier to play. After years of discouragement, I have found the joy of playing again.
I wish everyone could have one.
I ordered and received one of your tailpieces in October. It was in place on my fiddle in two days. Since then I have been giving myself time to get accustomed to and to fairly judge the results of my "conversion."
My gorgeous violin has always sounded very beautiful during the 12 years I've owned it. It is a 1933 Gustave Villaume. In the "Universal Dictionary of Violin & Bow Makers" the author William Henley states that his, "wood, workmanship and general appearance eminently qualify this maker as highly-successful in Guarnerian modeling.
So, my approach was, if there is any chance I can make this violin sound even better, then I had better give it a try. If it doesn't do the job, I can simply switch back.
My judgement two months later -- IT DOES THE JOB!
The sound is at the same time more intense(penetrating), clearer (not that it could ever have been accused of NOT being clear/pure). The power of the sound is increased to the point where I have spent the past two months learning to control the new possibilities for sound production that you have provided me with.
Now, the question is -- how do you get scoffing violin-shop folks (the boss of the repair department in my local shop, laughed and looked at me with pity in his eyes for my falling for such silliness) and a few well-known professionals to give it a try????
Thanks very much,
"The Frirsz tailpiece did improve my violin. It brought out more overtones giving the violin a richer focused sound with greater carrying power. It became very responsive and much easier to play. I really loved the darker sounds I got on the D and G strings, but I found the tone still even through-out the instrument. Other improvements were ease of playing harmonics and eliminating the common wolf tone areas."
The new Frirsz Tailpiece is decidedly one of the most significant improvements in acoustic accessories for string instruments of the last hundred years. It opens the entire harmonic series to a new level of brilliance and resonance in instruments of all qualities. On moderately good violins it seems to create a ringing of the tone that is sure to inspire even beginners to spend more time at practice. For artist level equipment it opens up a rainbow of tonal colors and brilliant clarity that in many cases is truly breathtaking. Personally I could not be more enthusiastic about any new product I have encountered, nor could I give a more hardy recommendation to students, colleagues, and to all who are interested in realizing a significant improvement in the performance of their instrument.
Violinist, Philadelphia Orchestra
Hi Mr. Frirsz~!
I am always privileged to have my violin looked at and worked on by you. You are the only person that I 100% trust with my violin. The tailpiece is fantastic! My violin teacher thought that I got a new violin during last summer because my sound was so much better :)
Many thanks for your craftsmanship! It is always a pleasure to stop by your studio and see you.
Your tailpiece is a big hit with my customers. That tailpiece just rocks!!!!!
Congratulations! I am using them with every instrument i make.
(By the way, I am going to need more of them.) My customers are lining up to buy them and it is a hit here in the Midwest.
I have a bass player wanting one, too, so start designing!
Mark T. Womack
Dear Nick, I have been playing my viola for the past several months with the new Frirsz tail piece and have found that it increased the sonority and projection of my instrument greatly. The improved resonance of the lower strings is astounding. In addition to these benfits, the response of my instrument has been greatly improved. Playing harmonics has always been a problem for me, but now they speak out easily and clearly. I firmly believe that this is a monumental contribution to the tonal needs of string intruments.
Viola Recitalist and Managing Director
Viola World Publication
Dear Nicholas, I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am with your Tailpiece. It has highlighted the enjoyment of playing my violin. The increased volume and richness of the sound is truly wonderful. I wish you much success with your invention. Best regards.
Although it was a very bad and upsetting thing to happen....my only violin* getting punctured 24 hours before a NYC Ballet Musicians & Friends chamber music performance, (of which I am Artistic Director as well as performer), I could not have been luckier than to have it happen in Saratoga Springs, where Nicholas Frirsz has his beautiful violin shop.
We got a hold of him right away, and he said to come by right after the dress rehearsal. When he saw it, he forbid me to play on it so that he could save all the little splinters that were hanging on. Then he happily gave me one of his own violins to practice on.( I was unrealistically hoping that he could have my violin ready in time to use for the next day's performance.)
The repair turned out to require major surgery; removing the top of the violin. Three weeks later, it was ready. The results were incredibly amazing---NO SIGN of the terrible injury!!! A friend of mine, Bobby Feldman,was there at the time---he also couldn't tell which side had been repaired. Bobby picked up my violin, played and played, and remarked how well it sounded.
I need to mention now that I had been using Nick's violin the whole time and had found it remarkably easy to play--much easier than mine had always been, which he claims is because of his formulaic set-up. Lucky me, to get my violin back with the Frirsz set-up! It is so much easier to play, and definitely much more vibrant and resonant. I am so happy and grateful---this unfortunate accident had been turned into a golden opportunity.
Bobby Feldman was there to buy Nick's newly patented Tailpiece which I can't wait to get for my violin. Bob raves about how much more resonant, powerful, and clear his violin sounds with the new tailpiece, and that it makes for easier playing.
Nick's shop might be out of the way for you, but worth the trip**. I would compare it to finding the best doctor for your precious "baby". He is calm, trust-worthy, and masterfully brilliant at his craft.
Submitted by Luellen Abdoo
*Luellen's violin is a 1936 George Schlieps, purchased in 1989 from David Nadien
** Saratoga Springs, NY, should be on your "Must visit" list anyway!"
The new tailpiece and set up of Mr. Frirsz - worked a miracle on my violin - It is listed in the Henley book as a Gaspard de Salo - One of the best sounding violins anywhere - It still was to me a tired old lady - Mr. Frirsz new setup increased clarity, power and eliminated Wolfs to a huge degree so that NOW it is a world class instrument. Also Mr. Frirsz is a maker and master of the utmost honesty and integrity - I totally recommend all to try the new Tailpiece based on my experience.
Menachem Mendel Feldman
Hi Nicholas--I've been meaning to tell you that your new creation has made a major improvement in the instrument, and I'm really happy about it--you're right about the G and D strings but I also think the whole sound has been improved--thank you again for doing such a fine job on that violin.
I am extremely happy with the positive changes in both my 60-year- old Italian violin and my 160-year-old small English viola. The wood tailpieces have clarified and deepened the sound of both,especially the viola, where the difference was dramatic.The alloy tailpiece worked better on my old viola, but the wood ones are better on the above instruments. Also, I've been impressed with your understanding and prompt help with my tailpiece "trials". I'll keep spreading the word- thanks again-
Mike Stewart -
Violist - New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, avid Irish fiddler.
Just a word to let you know how happy I am with the tailpiece which arrived a couple weeks back. It has far exceeded my expectations, and as impact goes (positive impact) far exceeds any adjustment I've ever had done on my viola.
Thank you for this!
With much gratitude,