Getting My Violin a Checkup

November 14, 2018, 2:56 PM · Hi. I have had my violin for about 3 years now and I got it from a person who lives very far from me. I have not once gone to a luthier to get it checked. Is that something I should be doing, and how frequently? The violin I play on is fairly good ($8,000-12,000 would rather not say how much), and is from Italy.

Replies (9)

November 14, 2018, 3:06 PM · At least once a year. They will clean it, check it over, let you know if anything is wrong, and if you want to do anything to change the setup, that's the time to do it!
November 14, 2018, 3:17 PM · Wellness checkup every 6 months. Check the bow, strings, bridge, post, seams, tail-gut, etc. A summer adjustment won't probably be good for winter and vice versa. The nicer the instrument, the more sensitive to small changes.
November 14, 2018, 4:39 PM · Twice a year (summer and winter) if you don't live somewhere with sharply differing seasons. Once every season otherwise, if possible.
November 14, 2018, 5:32 PM · Twice a year. I take my violin and viola in twice a year to get new strings and bow repairs, and, at that time, my luthier checks it out to make sure all is well. Especially if you have a relatively expensive violin, it is important. For all you know, a seam could be coming apart.
November 14, 2018, 5:58 PM · Every week for me!... My luthier is also my teacher and he can't resist keeping a constant eye/ear on it :-) ... that said a quick check every other set of strings probably isn't a bad idea.
November 16, 2018, 5:59 AM · My luthier is saying that the most harm on the violin is made by luthiers :) too much care is bad. But yes, once a year for check and cleaning is something different than moving soundpost etc without reason
November 16, 2018, 3:52 PM · The person who made my son's violin likes to see it at least once a year (and he adjusts for free!). We've done one so far and he fixed a small crack, cleaned, touched up varnish (he says my son has very acidic sweat due to being 13), adjusted the bridge, changed out the strings, and adjusted the soundpost. I would go in at least yearly and more often if you are doing a ton of playing/performing.
November 18, 2018, 9:49 PM · If the instrument was new three years ago when you acquired it, it will most likely need a new sound post. New instruments plates push out and usually within the first few months a new post may need to be fit, and sometimes more over the first few years of the violin's existence.

Also you should check if the bridge is tilting forward, that can also affect the sound for the worse. A luthier or violin shop can check on these things for you. They should easily know if you need a new post. You can check how far in the post is in relation to the bridge foot. If it extends past or is at the bridge foot, it either is too short which is why sometimes luthiers may try to salvage a post that is too short to move it towards the edge, but ultimately if it sits too far to the right, it is out of standard and more ideal adjustment. In your case, since it was untouched since acquired, your situation may be different depending on the age of the instrument.

November 18, 2018, 9:49 PM · If the instrument was new three years ago when you acquired it, it will most likely need a new sound post. New instruments plates push out and usually within the first few months a new post may need to be fit, and sometimes more over the first few years of the violin's existence.

Also you should check if the bridge is tilting forward, that can also affect the sound for the worse. A luthier or violin shop can check on these things for you. They should easily know if you need a new post. You can check how far in the post is in relation to the bridge foot. If it extends past or is at the bridge foot, it either is too short which is why sometimes luthiers may try to salvage a post that is too short to move it towards the edge, but ultimately if it sits too far to the right, it is out of standard and more ideal adjustment. In your case, since it was untouched since acquired, your situation may be different depending on the age of the instrument.


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