Free new design violin bridge sounds like a Strad.

February 20, 2010 at 06:10 AM ·

Brand new violin/stringed instrument bridge concept - The current bridge design we have all used for these last 300+ years is well known to all violinists. Now modern materials have caught up with not only violins but also their bridges. My wood and glue construction gives 25% more power to a violin and much greater tone and sonority. You can view great amounts of information on my web site www.schneiderviolinbridge.com where I am now offering a free working copy of my new creation. If you want, you can email me at www.jarms2@earthlink.net.  I have been sending these new bridges to violinist.com members for several weeks now so get in on the fun!

Replies (58)

February 20, 2010 at 07:57 AM ·

The bridge is not only there to transmit as much of the vibrations as possible to the body, but also dampens some of them. A properly set up bridge does this in the desired way, so the violin sounds as good as can be.

A too low mass bridge ( like yours, I suppose) will fail on the dampening part, and fine instruments will sound shrill or too bright. There is simply no real need for an improved bridge design, as I see it.

Your bridge can improve some dull sounding instruments (by making them brighter), I suppose. But I guess it cannot improve fine or already bright sounding ones.

You write that recording equipment cannot show the fine details of the improvement. Unless you use wax cylinders for recording, this is pure nonsense, sorry. Any decent digital recording equipment  will reproduce many more details than the average listener can hear.

I suspect strongly you don't take into account enough your natural loss of hearing. You state you are over 70, and so it is natural to hear fewer treble frequencies, any sound ingeneer or sound designer must consider and compensate this.

A lightweight bridge will do exactly this: compensate for the loss of higher frequencies. For the "normal" ear this will only result in a shrill sound.

I haven't tested your bridge, but the laws of physics are for all of us, and the demo videos show exactly what I tried to explain here.

February 20, 2010 at 12:18 PM ·

I did request one of John's violin bridges out of sheer curiosity and shall await any critique until after its receipt. A better mousetrap...perhaps; perhaps not. However, why criticize something you have not even seen much less tried?

nopity.gif No Pity image by TGrosjean

February 20, 2010 at 01:49 PM ·

why criticize something you have not even seen much less tried?

Some things don't have to be tried out. If someone pretends his car is running on water, for example. I have nothing against improvements, but in our case the method, the results and the motivation look rather clear to me.

Radical improvements in a 300 year old complex system like stringed instruments depending on just one factor are not very likely. Every other year comes another such inventor, but none of them has ever proved his claims or their real value for the music. Well, I may be wrong...

PS: I don't say the bridge is useless. I think I explained clearly what I critizise. I'm looking forward your statement.

February 20, 2010 at 02:25 PM ·

One thing I am wondering about - in terms of just sending one - is how one size could fit all? Doesn't the bridge have to be carefully fitted to the individual instrument? The feet have to fit the belly exactly; the height and curvature have to be right, etc. Or is the idea that this new bridge is a rough blank, and that a luthier would have to take it from there? BTW, the "traditional" bridge has evolved: the placement of the kidneys in relation to the head, etc. Some time back there was a lecture by Morel for the VSA, transcribed in their journal on the subject of bridge evolution.

That said, what the h*** - I'll ask for one!

February 20, 2010 at 03:18 PM ·

The Maestronet Pegbox forum had some comments on this a while back; you can search there.  They were not particularly complimentary.  We need to hear from a range of people who are actually trying the things.  I might note that the Maestronet comments include criticisms of Schneider's instructions for fitting the bridges; be cautious.

February 20, 2010 at 11:49 PM ·

 I'm very interested to try this bridge. 

I'd say don't be discouraged by the people who will always say that the violin is perfect as it is, don't touch! I think we have to be more flexible than always thinking that the violin is going to be played by a classical soloist in Carnegie Hall. 

Many of us are working violinists who find ourselves in a number of different environments. I sometimes play in a fairly noisy bar area of a restaurant and I have to compete acoustically against a trumpet in addition to the other noise. Many of us play outdoors where the violin does not project very well acoustically. For this I use a cheaper brash sounding instrument which sounds horrible inside but okay outside. It also works better in a crowded room where lots of people are talking. I use different instruments for different situations and this bridge may fit in just right for one of those. I'm sure it has its place.

February 21, 2010 at 12:06 AM ·

I record violins quite a bit, and even making allowances for recording deficiencies, the sound of the instrument in the two videos is so bad we couldn't even rent an instrument that sounded like that, much less sell one.

If you are serious about selling these things, at least get some decent wav or hi-res mp3s of an A-B test of a good violin with your bridge and a standard bridge.

I'd be interested in learning about something like that if it worked, but so far I haven't seen much to pique my interest. I'll be waiting to hear what others think when they have one in hand.

February 22, 2010 at 04:54 AM ·

I feel it's unnecessary to make personal comments about age and hearing deficits etc.

Honestly, without trying the bridge personally (and a free sample is offered) any comments positive or negative are mainly speculation

February 22, 2010 at 05:02 AM ·

Being of a certain age myself, and having measurable age-related hearing loss, I take no offense in reading that a level of compromise in my auditory ability might be taken into account. While it is annoying and unfortunate, it is also a fact of life and the aging process, not a personal slur, as I read it.

February 22, 2010 at 05:20 AM ·

Quite so, but on the other hand, if this invention turns out to be fantastic, would that have anything to do with the ears being of a 'certain age'?

February 22, 2010 at 05:14 PM ·

Actually, no. The ears and the bridge are separate issues.

The bridge may have specific capabilities. The ears may have specific abilities and/or limitations.

I think Michael and Bob was only mentioning that if the ears do not have the measurement capacity in a certain range, then they may not be the best criteria to measure the bridge.

That said, I think the bridge may have possibilities. I have not ordered one, but I do not see the 'violin sound' as stuck in stone. I think that as technology develops, music will develop also. If anyone remembers when country music first stopped shunning the electric guitar, they should also have a bit of openness toward changes in what music can become. fast forward a couple years, different type of music; remember Jimi Hendrix?

However, I notice the posters are players.... I'd be interested for a luthier to chime in about the possibilities of a bridge made of a different material. Possibly someone working with carbon fiber?

February 22, 2010 at 06:17 PM ·

"I'd be interested for a luthier to chime in about the possibilities of a bridge made of a different material. Possibly someone working with carbon fiber?"

I've experimented some with various composites. The traditional bridge is pretty hard to improve on without tradeoffs. A normal bridge does a good job of producing a sound that the majority of musicians like; is reasonably priced; is easy to customize to the instrument (some of the composites will trash our normal cutting tools); with some tweaking, it already offers quite a variety of sound options, and is already capable of being taken outside of the range which most musicians find acceptable.

A bridge doesn't just transfer vibration from the strings to the body of the instrument. It will amplify certain frequencies, and filter out others. Note that even most of the carbon fiber instruments still use a traditional wooden bridge.

February 22, 2010 at 07:49 PM ·

I received my complimentary bridge today. Oh my...NO, I shall not be using it nor experimenting with it

nopity.gif No Pity image by TGrosjean

February 23, 2010 at 07:05 PM ·

Hi Sam... details, please!

February 23, 2010 at 09:33 PM ·

Glenda,

I have sent my critique directly to you

February 23, 2010 at 09:46 PM ·

Me, too!

Please let me know, I think after my detailled critcs this would be appropriate.

I always love to learn ;-)

Greetings

February 24, 2010 at 12:21 AM ·

Sam, me too, please.

February 25, 2010 at 06:21 PM ·

I received mine yesterday!  Interesting!  A lacquered violin bridge?

February 25, 2010 at 09:28 PM ·

Ach,  lacquered! Many trad bridges are covered in a mixture of oil and rosin, and have been subject to alcohol as a solvent.

No matter.

gc

February 26, 2010 at 03:48 PM ·

The desighn reminds me of what a cellist friend of mine had and she called it a Belgium Bridge?  It was rather narrow and high!  Dr.Fadial said the same thing Wednesday when I showed it too him!

I'm into new concepts, I wonder what it will sound like and if it was uncoated and made of maple?

February 26, 2010 at 03:58 PM ·

 A question for the luthiers:

It's my understanding that a bridge doesn't just transmit vibrations, but mechanical force as well. If a bridge is too light and flexible as this one appears, doesn't that diminish its ability to make the violin top between the f-holes rock back and forth as it should?

February 27, 2010 at 12:33 PM ·

Scott, I'll try to answer this in a low-tech way so more people can understand it.

A typical violin bridge has a "rocking frequency" where it bends from side to side at the waist. This is at about 2700 to 3500 hz, or around the pitch of the third G up on the E string. Around this frequency, the bridge will put its own sound into the violin body, sort of like if you were to hold a tuning fork against the top. This happens to be an important range, because it's an area where the human ear has high sensitivity, and it also happens to be the area which singers accentuate when they use their funny "opera voice".  :-) 

The bridge also tends to filter out sound above this range, sound in the "harsh" region.

This frequency can be moved around when making a bridge. If it's too high or low for the particular instrument, we lose "core" and brilliance. If it's way too low, it might even accentuate the area which we perceive as being "nasal".

Note: The explanations I've given above have been pretty well accepted by the research community for a long time, but more recent research is calling some of them into question, and there are also other important ways a bridge vibrates, at other pitches. There is much more to be learned about the technical side of violin sound.

One of my favorite quotes is from a retired "rocket scientist" who was involved in the Mars landing, and is now  getting into making violins: "Making fiddles ain't rocket science....it's much more complicated."

Back to your question: Yes, a bridge can be too flexible to effectively communicate string motion to the body of the instrument. This bridge looks very flexible, but I wouldn't know whether it actually is without testing it.

Silly science project for any unabashed nerds:    You can get an idea of what a bridge sounds like when it is too stiff, and doesn't rock normally, by breaking off the tapered ends of a toothpick, and lightly wedging them in the openings at each side of the bridge. Post your impressions of how this changes the sound.

 

February 27, 2010 at 03:06 PM ·

 I have experimented with a minimalist bridge as prescribed by Rivinus?

http://www.rivinus-instruments.com/DesignConcepts.htm

 

I had good success on a viola which I made into a baritone viola with strings going down to B flat below cello. The bridge worked quite well for what was essentially an instrument too small for such low vibrations. I did similar experiments on the violin with less improvement of tone and move towards more harshness. Rivinus himself says that this may work for small violas and the like rather than violins. Perhaps there is a place for John's bridge on a small viola or a baritone instrument. Whatever, I can't believe that the standard bridge is exactly right for every single violin ever made. Some alternatives would be welcome.

February 28, 2010 at 04:39 AM ·

 Roland I think you were pointing at me when you brought up the carbon fiber bridge.  

I have made several Carbon fiber bridges.  One that is similar to this one, thin and lots of it cut away with rounded feet so it did not have to be fitted.  It worked quite well on my CF violin but would punch through a wood violin like a knife.  I have also made Cf copies of the standard violin bridge with the same thickness at the foot and head as a wood one.  It Darkened the tone quite a bit, I like it.  

The latest on I made today and it is a mix of the 2.  the top portion is very thin only 1.5 to 2 mm thick until it gets to the feet then is curves out to 4 mm.  I tried to keep it simple so I cut the ankles like a wood bridge but then drilled holes to stop the vibration from having a direct path to the feet.  I can not tell a difference in the sound from this one and a good quality maple one I cut to fit.  

Doing audio spectra of the sound for the wood bridge and the CF one showed a decrease in the 900-1600Hz  (nasal) range.

February 28, 2010 at 06:16 AM ·

Stuart,
Was I that obvious?
 

Actually, I was trying to look at this like an engineer, but without actually testing one (I don't currently have enough free time to reconfigure my instruments and play them, so I will pass on the bridge for now). I thought that someone working with carbon fiber would be less likely to be reflexively traditionalist, and could give it a more fair chance.

My reflex is to suspect it is not an improvement, but only because I don't know the underlying story about why it was developed. I do not know what it was trying to address that needed improvement, and how it intended to do that. My perception is that without those basic underlying components, you are simply trying something different, not better.

February 28, 2010 at 07:26 PM ·

 I just wanted something I could make out of scrap CF and not have to buy a bridge blank and keep my cost down. :-)  It is different, but not really better.  I can see an overly bright instrument using one of the CF bridges to darken the tone but it is a band-aid effect not a real solution.  I don't have the intention of selling them as a commercial product and I usually include a wood bridge with the instrument when I ship it out.  Wood is a lot easier to work with!!

 

March 3, 2010 at 10:26 PM ·

 Joseph Curtin recently designed a bridge that basically acts similar to taking a mute off the violin.  he is still experimenting with it, but I witnessed a live comparison, and it really give the instrument more power, and doesn't increase any kind of shrillness.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/11/27/science/figure-8.600.jpg

March 13, 2010 at 06:05 PM ·

John,

That's an interesting design and I hope you do well with it. I like the idea of the multiple vertical beams. I use a similar technique in one of my designs:

violin bridge pic

 

March 13, 2010 at 07:14 PM ·

The difference being that Tim Van Dusen's designs are exquisitely elegant, and beautifully executed--almost little pieces of jewelry in themselves:  www.violinbridgeworks.net/MiscStyles/index.htm You don't really have to have a violin to want to own one. :-)

March 13, 2010 at 10:31 PM ·

The bridge is incredibly high, I tried it though, and it kind of made my violin sound like a viola. The sound wasn't as focused as I'd have liked it to be. I'm going to put it on a lesser instrument when I get some time and see what happens with it.

March 13, 2010 at 11:00 PM ·

Thank you Michael. The attention to detail that you've shown in your work has inspired me through the years. You've been a mentor in both that regard and in other ways as well.

March 20, 2010 at 05:20 PM ·

This bridge sounds really nice. A little brighter and louder and really responsive. It makes everything easier to play like when you use distortion on a guitar. But I love bright tones. And I play in a bedroom surrounded by carpet, blankets, and big stacks of telephone books. And my violin outfit was only $280 new 3 months ago made in China. This would not be good for anyone who likes smooth warm tones. I dont know if it would sound good in a room with more acoustics - Im keeping my maple bridge in my case. And if a violin already sounds this way would it sound good with this bridge? Or too bright and strange?

 

It came really high and it took about 15 minutes to file it down to 3.5 and 5.5 string heigth. But you dont need string grooves or plastic tubes or pencil. It has something soft on top that is nice for the strings to rest on. It looks alright. I want to use a black sharpie all over it but I am afraid it wont sound as nice if I do.

March 20, 2010 at 10:35 PM ·

I´ve try this bridge on a good fiddle. Very ugly sound, empty, hollow, unfocused. And it look even worst!

I did not have time to try on many instrument, maybe it work better in different violin (perhaps one with a too "métalic" sound)

March 22, 2010 at 11:25 PM ·

Someone said you might damage your top with that bridge because it sits in between the sound post and bass bar and spruce is soft wood. So I got scared and took it off. I guess you could buy a pick up if you want it loud.

March 31, 2010 at 01:06 PM ·

violin bridge pic9i have tacken this picture from further up the page)

it looks a lot more sturdy and less lightly to bend perfect for travel i am curently being sent myne and am going to use it in the urdd eistedfodd i carnt wait to try it :D

April 2, 2010 at 12:00 AM ·

Eisteddfod yr Urdd?  Sorry for not posting in English, but rhaid i mi ofyn -- sgynnoch'r iaith?  (Just asking if she speaks Welsh.)  You can PM me if so ...

April 8, 2010 at 05:13 PM ·

leah edwards,

You seem to indicate that you are receiving the bridge shown in the picture with your message, which is the one I make, but as far as I know you are not, unless you're using an alias name here. You may be receiving one of the ones that was the topic of this original discussion. The bridge that is the topic of this discussion, can be seen at a link towards the top and one in the image below.

That bridge made by John Schneider, is also the one being commented on by Andrew Pollow, Vernon Kirby, and Christian Bayon, prior to your comment, as well as the people further up before I posted the picture of my bridge. John's bridge seems to have both positive and negative comments about it, as do most things that are new. If he's still giving away samples you should ask him to send you one - you might be pleasantly surprised.

October 3, 2010 at 05:53 AM ·

 Just heard about this gizmo.

 

Too funny for words.  Sadly, this type of scam idea makes money, just look at the high-end stereophile market.  99% of the expensive add-ons sold to those folks is made from the expensive element known as "placebium."

 

I don't need my free demo.  A brief look at the website's claims is enough.   I direct your attention to the section titled "Your new Schneider Bridge will: "  It lists, among other amazing benefits, the following PATENTLY ABSURD claims:

 

7- give it a sound like an old master made it.

 

8- keep the strings in tune longer.

 

11- stay flexible where current bridges are rigid. This flexibility gives the greatest transmission of sound possible.

 

 

Puh-LEEZ....

 

 

October 3, 2010 at 11:00 AM ·

I don't think this is a scam, although the use of the word "Strad" in the title is misleading. I listened to the YouTube demos, with old bridge and new bridge :

old : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVIAWnSajpk

new : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRjvkeaZU8c

...I had them open in two separate windows, so I could flip between them, listening to each same phrase alternately.

I think the sound of the violin is pretty average-to-poor, ie not a particularly good instrument to begin with. I thought the standard bridge sounded marginally better, ie purer tone, rounder, a little sweeter, etc. The new bridge sounded louder, more trebly and a bit nasally too. Aside from the fact that I play a 5-string, even if it was a 4-string, on the strength of those videos I wouldn't go to the trouble of getting one, making it fit, etc (I'm not skilled in setup anyway, I'm just a player).

I think this idea is well-intentioned but I can't see it working. That's not to say a different bridge made of different materials, somtime in the future, would produce an improvement in tone over a standard high-quality wood bridge. Maybe in time I'll be proved wrong on this one. Let's see.

One last thing, related to the ears-bridges-hearing thing mentioned earlier, any comparative demos really need to be audio-only, (on a decent instrument, like Michael said) and double-blind too. We are testing our ears only, in the act of testing the bridges - so all other distractions should be removed.

October 3, 2010 at 12:24 PM ·

I also listened to the two examples Jim put up from youtube and agree that there was liitle if any difference.

BUT, the normal bridge had some sort of plastic looking area underneath which must surely have been dampening the belly a lot?

I think you need a really good virtuoso player to play something with a full sound and all over the instrument as well, to enable any sort of judgement to be made, whch is hit and miss on a recording anyway. A live screened demo in a good accoustic is really the only way.

 

October 4, 2010 at 01:23 AM ·

Greetings all, once again:

It seems i may have stirred up a hornet's nest, as it were, by reviving the subject of the Schneider violin bridge. Nonetheless, it's fun...^^ BTW, has anyone actually tried to take advantage of Schneider's offer of one of his bridges for free? Over the past weekend, i attempted to e-mail him to request one, but the e-mail address he provided generated a delivery error message. Rather odd way for him to do business, it seems, although it has been several months since his initial offer was made~    

October 8, 2010 at 05:24 AM ·

 Peter, you don't think it's a scam?

 

So, you think it's plausible that this design will "keep the strings in tune longer"  ?

And you think the extra flexibility can possibly "give the greatest transmission of sound possible." When all the laws of physics say the opposite?

OK, then, do I have a bridge to sell YOU.  - And some swampland, and ....

 

 

October 8, 2010 at 08:43 PM ·

"Peter, you don't think it's a scam?

So, you think it's plausible that this design will "keep the strings in tune longer"  ?

And you think the extra flexibility can possibly "give the greatest transmission of sound possible." When all the laws of physics say the opposite?

OK, then, do I have a bridge to sell YOU.  - And some swampland, and ...."

@Allen - i think you might be talking to me, not Peter :) No, I don't think it's a scam, as in, you pay money, and get ripped off (how could you if, you get a free one on request?) - I just don't think it's a good idea at all, and the inventor's YouTube clips seems to bear this out. That's my impression after listening. If it was "Buy my book that tells you how to make $2000 a week just by answering the phone" - that's a scam.

 

October 9, 2010 at 04:03 AM ·

Is this some kind of bad joke?

 

October 9, 2010 at 05:13 PM ·

You don't have to be very long in the patents profession before you realize there is any number of well-intentioned and very serious private inventors out there. However, of that number there are those who unfortunately have little or no clear understanding of the technical basis of what they are trying to achieve.  The end result is frequently, sadly for them, an "invention" which doesn't, and never will, do what they had hoped for, and is commercially a non-starter.

October 9, 2010 at 07:30 PM ·

"However, of that number there are those who unfortunately have little or no clear understanding of the technical basis of what they are trying to achieve."

This would be a good example of what you describe. :)

October 9, 2010 at 08:29 PM ·

Are any of the modern designs of serious interest - for example, the Van Dusen design mentioned above?

Unless I'm missing something, no major soloist or luthier has found anything they prefer to the classic design?

 

October 10, 2010 at 11:25 PM · I've made a number of bridges from spruce that are both very unconventional and work quite well (and contradict some of the conventional wisdom). I recently fitted one to a 1/16 size. These bridges have a few advantages but do not look "right." I haven't done anything with them lately, except for the 1/16, because they don't look traditional and because there is no money to be made from them.

June 5, 2012 at 07:04 PM · In my 50 plus years making violins, I have probably constructed 500 to 1000 experimental bridges. I have a degree in engineering and upper degrees in busines. Yet no success.

Some bridges get good sound quickly, but never the best long term sound is posible from the original violin makers with using standard parts and weights.

At present, I follow my grandfathers bridge pattern, which is almost identical to Walter Weaver and Henry Strobel. Thinking this, the weight and consistency of a bridge needs to be the same, all the time, in order to make proper comparisons from one to another.

You need predictable behavior with any bridge.

If I see a close grain table I use a soft bridge, wide grain hard bridge. If the bridge is made from dense enough wood and is 19% kiln dried, with the proper dimensions, not too high, nor too low, you still need to stran, balance, match and de-damp to squeez the very best out a violin.

All that done and said, it is far better to use a standard tried and true pattern bridge than to deviate to compensate because of:

1. Not being able to play the violin to test,

2. Not understanding the violin dynamics well enough to properly adjust it after it is properly cut.

I have learned over the years that beautiful theories are more often killed by ugly facts.

There is no substitute for carving and setting up a violin in the old fashioned "proven way".

Wait..........maybe there is a better bridge.

OK, you got me. I do have one of grandfather`s secrets on bridge making....... I use it and it looks standard.......but you can`t see it.

June 6, 2012 at 02:46 AM · Any time someone tells me all the experts are doing it wrong, I get nervous. If, instead, they try and convince the experts first, I get interested.

June 6, 2012 at 08:14 AM · I know a way to make your violin sound ten times better and it too is free.

It is called "practice".

Cheers Carlo

June 7, 2012 at 08:32 AM · I personally received 3 bridges from John and did a comparison sound spectrum analysis on only one (one was enough) and after my tests were concluded, I returned the 9 page report and the 3 bridges to John. Although his efforts were well meant, his ability to achieve the results he wanted are lacking. The lack of consistency in the design and the general lack of symmetry in their construction was probably mostly to blame for their lack of performance. Although I can appreciate his desire to "make a better mousetrap" I was not able to confirm the claims and found the bridges to actually resemble his web site promoting them. If he can acquire the talents of some industry professionals and do some extensive testing, then perhaps the price will go down considerable and the performance may go up considerably. For now... it's a work in progress.

June 7, 2012 at 11:00 AM · "I know a way to make your violin sound ten times better and it too is free.

It is called "practice"."

Carlo - I think you have re-discovered a long lost secret!! I have also been saying on this forum for some time that if people spent as much time practising and trying to improve as they did messing with rosin, new briges, etc., etc., then they would be a lot better off!

June 7, 2012 at 01:38 PM · Mr. Schneider, my first problem is with your website. Please get someone to create the site for you. It looks like a bad Myspace page.

Secondly, you have an entire part of your site dedicated to yelling at the people at violinist.com. I cannot believe how much you ranted about it. That does not help promote your product.

You need testimonials from acclaimed violinists. Right now they are from random people, one of them is the impression from a 13 year old kid. The only one that talks about a more advanced player is not actually written by the person, but from someone else who knows the professor. You say "I wish I could tell you his name but can't since I promised him not to use his name to promote my bridge in any way." That makes no sense.

Now, you claim that you will play double stops better, but do not know why. You cannot say you will do something better, without explaining it. That is like me saying, in this car you will drive better..... don't ask why... you just will.

Your video demonstrating it makes me not want to get one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5GasrdjkSU If you are going to show how something sounds, you should also compare a standard bridge with it.

Lastly (Just because I don't want to keep writing) you have a page title "logic" where you yell at more people. If you believe in your product, do not have the majority of your site tell why people are "stupid."

If your bridges really are better you need to contact some professionals, or maybe send a sample to strings, and straw magazines for them to review. Have someone create a better site for you without it being dedicated to yelling at people, and with a proper payment method that does not involve just sending you an email with our address.

Take notes on the Luis and Clark Carbon Fiber instrument site http://www.luisandclark.com/ Now many people are against the idea of these instruments. I've tried the violin, and was not too impressed. I would like to try a viola though. Their site is very clean looking, and has comments from people like Yo-Yo Ma, and the Principle violist for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on it.

June 7, 2012 at 03:44 PM · Quote:

"One funny thing that was being said by my uninformed, knee-jerk critics on the violinist.com comments sheet was that I was so old that my ears were no longer trustworthy"

Looks like a reply to my first original comment. He put it at least twice on his site. Must have hit him.

I tried to read all the extended comments, but couldn't. My eyes hurt. I think Mr. Schneider's web programming skills are on par with his other skills, like being open to criticism, or violin bridge designing.

"DO YOU REALIZE WHAT THIS DOES FOR YOUR PLAYING??? IT MAKES YOU AN INSTANT VIRTUOSO !!! " etc. etc.

Either this is the work of a joker, or it's the sad example of someone completely having lost his sense of reality. It could be skullduggery, too, but it's way too naive.

I intended to add some ironic remarks, but since I read further over his extensive rants, I refused. I got the sad impression of someone who, let's say it this way, is living in his own reality. I hope no innocent beginner will be taken in.

June 8, 2012 at 09:06 AM · OK,OK this is a bit like the Zaret bass-bar, we criticise the pretentious claims without being able to verify them. Personally I have learned a lot from trying to make mediocre violins sound a little better. Trial and (a lot of) error!

Let's also remember that Stradivari's bridges were very different in shape and tone from ours!

But unlike the Z.B.B, we are offered a close-up U-toob comparison:

Yes, the upper harmonics disappear in compressed recordings, and yes, at 63 my hearing stops at 12-13 kHz, so I can't judge the finesse of the tone.

BUT the "old" bridge is sitting on a layer or two of paper, which in my experience absorbs some of the overtones. (Even the ones I can hear!)

I still prefer the sound of the "old" bridge. To my experienced ears the Schneider bridge introduces a rather "pinched" formant and the tone lacks the "grain" of the old bridge. There is also a slight "warbling" instability in places.

But the research should continue! Already the same Aubert bridge will be less cut-away in London than in Paris, allowing a broader band of overtones, but slightly less ease of emission.

Inventors can be both hyper-sensitve and arrogant: let us not condemn them soley on the basis of tradition, or their appalling taste in web-site design, but on the actual results.

June 9, 2012 at 12:35 AM · I tried one of those for a few minutes. Absolutely horrible sound.

I have also designed a few bridges that work pretty well, but will NOT make your fiddle sound like a Strad. In the end they were not worth my time. I've invented/modified several other things but only considered them successful when they either served my purposes or were actually accepted by other users. I never found it helpful to promote something just because I thought it was wonderful.

June 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM · I cannot hold comment any longer. I think these blogs are fabulous. Opinions herein are great. All of these answers are correct. I need to be careful not to give away any of my family secrets here, however, most of my violin ancestors are 6 feet under at this time.

I operate a small violin shop in the upper midwest. I am a violin maker that started making my 1st violin in the late 40s. My grandfather was a violin maker and I grew up in his shop..... the shop I operate today. I am also a Civil/Structural engineer.

Bridges seem to work best in the traditional way. One exception; they have always seemed to me to be a little on the heavy side. I have done hundreds of experiments, over the years, and I can only state one thing clearly.

Marginal instruments seem to show a fairly high state of improvement, with a lighter bridge. But not too light. High quality instruments seem to get little benefit from my new bridge concepts.

The body of a bridge needs, however, to stay at a normal standard size, to be strong enough to support the strings, cover the right amount of space over the violin, wide enough to provide the correct amount of wood to balance the bridge to the other woods of the violin, and support the strings from digging in too far. (Except the E string.)

The interesting thing to me is that my Italian violin and french backup violin, that I use to play concerts, ( I am a violinist) do not seem to be improved much with this new type of bridge, or any modification to the old type bridge. I am assuming here, that the settup person knows wood matching, straning and violin balance techniques.

(I cannot imagine someone taking a concert violin to someone that does not know and practice these set up concepts.)

I invite sincere comments from other`s on this interesting subject and my findings in general.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music

Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition

Pirastro Strings

International Violin Competition of Indianapolis

Yamaha V3 Series Violin

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Metzler Violin Shop

Gliga Violins

Corilon Violins

Meadowmount School of Music

Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Violin Lab

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

Subscribe