I'm an enthusiastic newbie who has already got my hands dirty with changing out strings, then messing around with lowering my bridge, trying to cut my own bridge (not yet successful--feet are about 90% a good fit, but not quite, so I am still using the stock bridge), installing kevlar tailgut, re-installing nylon tailgut due to the kevlar being a bit too harsh, trying to sleeve the kevlar (perhaps I'll detail that in another thread)....
Anyhow, just trying to say that I like to get my hands dirty and see what is what (I'm an engineer by trade). So, when the mailman delivered my new Yitamusic vunder-violin I got busy messing around with it. Threw on a set of Warchal Ametysts I had as a second set for my other violin. Those certainly were an upgrade of the stock Chinese spaghetti steel it came loaded with. Violin sounded pretty good, but definitely a bit abrasive and harsh...
I purchased this violin for a couple of reasons: firstly, to see how the Yitas were (pretty nice for what they are, actually quite nice...), secondly, I wanted to do some experimenting with sound posts and their adjustments, so a bargain violin was what was required. $241 delivered including a carbon bow. No tears would be shed if I made a total hash of things (OK, yes I'd still cry.....I'm not made of money here...)
I crafted a soundpost tool out of a fork: I ground away three out of the four tines, and modified the broad end into a pretty decent facsimile of a proper tool, sharpened the end, and custom bent it to suit my needs.
I removed the strings, bridge and endpin (removing the endpin gives you a great vantage point for seeing what's happening inside there as you guide the post in). It took me 4-5 tries to get it where I wanted, but eventually I was successful!
I re-strung that bad Larry and tuned it up: Aha! Eureka! The tales are true-- by moving the soundpost aft a smidgen (luthiers use such terms in place of the metric system), the harshness was eliminated, and now it sound robust and full.
I'm not planning on trying this type of shenanagin on my primary violin, but it felt nice to tackle the mysterious and arcane world of soundpost adjustment and not split my top plate in twain, nor transform my violin into a screeching banshee of auditory atrocity, in fact it made it sound rather nice.
Anyhow, just sharing my little adventure!
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