Correctly placement of bridge and sound post...

July 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM · which place is the correct placement of bridge and sound post according to sound quality?

Replies (11)

July 12, 2012 at 12:03 PM · It varies on different fiddles.

Most of the time, bridges are positioned to conform to a standard set of measurements, rather than according to sound, so the skills players learn on one violin will have a better chance of working on other violins.

July 12, 2012 at 12:22 PM · David : is not the bridge placement dictated by the two inner nicks on the F holes ? That is what I have been doing : lining up the middle of the base of the feet of the bridge with the two inner nicks. Is that wrong ?

July 12, 2012 at 12:34 PM · It depends on where the nicks are. ;-)

Sometimes, they conform to standard measurements, and sometimes they don't.

I think it's most common for technicians to measure, rather than trusting the location of the ff hole notches.

July 12, 2012 at 01:13 PM · Yes, I aim for a string length of 330mm and an afterlength of 55mm.

Have other types of wood been tried for the bridge ?

I have no idea about the soundpost but I would love to fiddle with it ! It is not an easy thing to adjust unless you know what you are doing, even with the right tools.

July 12, 2012 at 02:30 PM · When I was a kid I learned that bridges were made of sycamore but more recently someone else told me maple. The type of wood probably matters very much.

Regarding the location of the nicks in the f-holes, perhaps David can correct me if I am wrong, but it seems highly unlikely that a maker will be able to put those nicks exactly where the bridge should be for empirically optimized sound quality unless the nicks are put in after the violin is completely finished and set up.

July 12, 2012 at 04:09 PM · As mandolin was my first instrument, I was taught that the correct bridge placement for mandolin was determined by the position where the harmonics played on the 12 th fret matched the noted string. Play the 12 th fret position and then play the harmonic, [ 12 th fret ] If the harmonic is sharp, the bridge should move twards the tailpiece. If it is flat, then the bridge move twards the peghead. I believe that on violin it should be the same, apart from the lack of frets. Since all violins are not exactly the same measurements, this could be a very small variance on any given violin.

Sometimes a luither will measure the bridge placement

with a predetermined measurement without using the harmonics as a guide. Most of the time a good place to start is the inner nicks on the F holes, assuming the nicks were carved in the correct spot to begin with.

July 12, 2012 at 04:26 PM · It shouldn't be too hard to locate the inner nicks in the correct position should it ? Wouldn't the maker simply measure 330mm from the nut ? I am assuming that all other measurements of the violin were standard.

Has anybody ever seen a violin set up with the bridge other than in this position (aligned with the nicks) ?

July 12, 2012 at 06:10 PM · There're more than one setup to bring out the instrument's potential, and it has to please the player. The best setup is the one that please both the instrument and the player.

To start off with, though, is to follow the standard measurement. As a player, it's highly advisable to leave the job to competent luthiers.

July 12, 2012 at 06:38 PM · "Has anybody ever seen a violin set up with the bridge other than in this position (aligned with the nicks) ?"

Sure. Could be a lot of reasons:

The instrument was made before some of these dimensions were standardized.


A boo-boo.

An aesthetic decision.

Maker decided the instrument sounded best at 327, after the notches were cut at 330.

Maker decided the instrument sounded best at 327 and cut the notches there, and then it was later decided to use 330.


You just never know what bizarre things might be going on in a maker's mind. LOL

March 25, 2014 at 04:00 PM · I have a lower cost instrument and if you place the bridge where the rear (facing the fingerboard) is at the f hole notches, the string length is 325mm. If you set it so the harmonic note matches the fingered octave note (similar to doing a 12th fret intonation check on a guitar) the string length is 328mm and the front lines up with the notches. I was told the only reason to match the harmonic and fingered note is if you are using a "Don't Fret".

March 25, 2014 at 04:02 PM · As far as soundpost.... about 1/8" behind bridge and centered on the foot below the A and E strings. Couldn't tell one about "afterlength" since I haven't checked it yet.

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