I am considering to buy a very good sounding old violin inspired by Stainer model, with a long body (364mm). The issue I am pondering about is the condition of the top; the middle part of the violin, approximately between the f-holes has a depression starting right from the bass bar (which has held bass side quite well) and stretching underneath the area between the bridge and the end of finger board. That area is flattened, like someone removed the top layer of the board and levelled it. A test has been performed using the magnet tool and the thickness of that area and other pars of the top and the belly is within expected.
A procedure to fix this is an arch recovery.
My major concerns are:
1. The impact on the sound quality; the violin sounds great tuned @ 415Hz and I would be sad to lose it.
2. The possibility for belly to sink back again over time; is the condition fully reversible and repair stable? Common sense is telling me that some sort of re-enforcement (sound post patch, thin braces or a plate?) would help the structural stability, but would most likely affect the sound.
Apart from that condition, the violin is in a quite good shape; no major cracks, no sound post crack and no crack on the back.
As per the cause.... current owner acquired this instrument in 1971 from a reputable shop. The shop claims that violin did not have this condition at the time of sale. So, the depression developed gradually over a span of 42 years. The violin has not been used a lot. It appears that the main culprit is the case: a sturdy one, but too low for this high-arched violin!
As you may have noticed, I am not too concerned about the financial aspect of the repairs, a long as they are reliable and the sound is still great.
Has anybody had experience with this type of repair and what has been the outcome?
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