How do you know if a dent is bad?

May 24, 2018, 1:52 PM · I'm asking this question because today I found a long dent on the top, between the fingerboard and the bridge. It's not deep or anything, just long and flat. It's undetectable so I couldn't take proper pictures but when I tilt it to a certain angle I can see the light reflecting off of the varnish and showing the dent. Actually, I'm not even sure if it could be called a dent. It's just so flat. I can feel it when I run my finger there. It's on the right side, just before the f hole (not the left size where there's the sound post). It didn't affect the sound. But does it need to be fixed?
I saw some people saying that it doesn't affect the sound so it's okay to keep it.
Should I adjust the bridge or something? Can something like this get worse?

Replies (7)

May 24, 2018, 2:29 PM · Get that violin to the Luthier STAT! You have a cracked top plate. Chances are it can be repaired but ignoring it will only make things worse.
Edited: May 24, 2018, 6:36 PM · Violin tops can deform without cracking, which sounds like what you are describing.

Your bass bar may have become partially unattached causing the bass side to lose support and start to cave. Yes, get it to a luthier pronto, but I would also recommend loosening your strings as soon as you can (starting with the G-String) to take pressure off of the top.

Loosen the strings slowly and evenly starting with the G-string and then D, A, and E. The go back to the G and repeat the process. The objective is not release all the pressure on one side or the other at once.

May 24, 2018, 11:35 PM · Update: I decided to listen to your advice and loosen the strings the way you said I should but I also put a homemade humidifier (a slightly damp sponge in plastic zip lock bag with slits) inside the case and after an hour when I checked my violin again I noticed that the dent got smaller. It was slightly stretched out towards the tailpiece but now it's within the bridge and fingerboard.
I'm going to leave it like this for another two hours and see what happens.
By the way, it's not a crack because I did a test by slightly pressing down the area to see if I hear anything and I hear nothing. Actually, it didn't press down at all. The body was stiff just like when it was without this dent.
Edited: May 25, 2018, 12:06 AM · You had three replies. Each can be summarized with the words 'take it to a luthier immeidately.' I foresee a long chain of replies each saying the same thing, until you are persuaded, so to provide a bit of variety, I will give a dissenting view: if it is a cheap violin (the kind dealers buy for $150 and sell for $1500) it may not be worth getting it looked at professionally because you can replace it as and when required.

Old violins are fun, but unlike most professionals I prefer to buy new to minimize such problems. If a new violin does that, unless I have done something very careless I'd expect some after-sales-service free of charge from the seller. A violin top is a wafer-thin piece of fragile spruce supporting enormous loads, so it is marvel of engineering how long some last, though many Strads are a now patchwork of repairs--not that their proud owners will tell you that!

May 25, 2018, 12:02 AM · @john birchall you're right. It is a cheap student violin. I bought it for 200$ and it came with a case, bow and rosin. So i guess it's okay to keep it like this and replace it when I need a new one?
Edited: May 25, 2018, 12:08 AM · What you have is probably crack starting even though it does not look like a fully fledged crack. It will certainly cost over $200 to fix. Buying new instruments is fun, and you will want something better soon (unless you were very lucky with this particular one).
Edited: May 25, 2018, 12:48 AM · Honestly, i don't think my parents will take this dent seriously enough to get it repaired anyway.
I checked your previous reply so now I'm going to contact the shop I bought my violin from and ask them if they even repair instruments or not. If they do I'll try to find time (and convince my parents) to take it there.
Thank you for your help. ^.^


Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Metzler Violin Shop
Metzler Violin Shop

Yamaha YEV Series Violin
Yamaha YEV Series Violin

Dimitri Musafia
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Corilon Violins

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Pluhar Violins

Pro-Am Strings Ltd

Violin Lab

Violin Pros

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

Subscribe