Should violins be shipped with bridge down or up ?Instruments: Should the strings be under full tension (in tune) or slightly less tension ? How much should the strings be slackened off, if at all ?
From Brian Kelly
My first Chinese violin was shipped with the bridge up and the strings were almost at the correct tension, just about one half tone below correct tuning. There was no problem and the violin arrived safely.
My second Chinese violin arrived from a different company with the bridge down and the soundpost had fallen in transit. This company says that they always ship with the bridge down as to do otherwise results in a cracked violin.
Which company is correct in their shipping method ?
From Robert SpearI split the difference and tune the strings a step or a step-and-a-half down, after which I wrap the bridge with soft foam and slide a piece of foam under the tailpiece. If the case fits, and you can tell if it does by looking inside the case where the fabric under the top will show marks if it has been resting on the bridge, you should be able to ship safely. If you can see marks of the strings, which will show up as white streaks of rosin, then either the case doesn't fit or the suspension is inadequate. Most damages are caused by having the force of blows transmitted directly through the case to the bridge, rather than whether or not the strings are up to pitch.
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 01:56 PM
From David BurgessWhich risk is acceptable (neither is zero risk) will pretty much come down to the way the instrument is supported and packed. A violin with the strings and bridge removed will tolerate a lot more banging around. On the other hand, I've never had a strung-up violin damaged in transit. But I always use a special suspension shipping case which makes it close to impossible for the bridge to impact the top of the case (same for the back contacting the bottom of the case), and float the case in the center of a much larger cardboard box to provide additional impact cushioning.
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 08:58 PM
What a shipper needs to be prepared for, at the least, is that the parcel will go from riding on the belt to being the first package dropped into a 4 foot deep bin.
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