Is this damage under the chinrest normal?

May 16, 2020, 10:04 AM ·
The violin is new, I noticed the chinrest was resting mostly on the edges and then I took it out the wood is sunk in/compressed:



Replies (9)

May 16, 2020, 10:15 AM · Pretty much unavoidable for the varnish to get smushed under the chinrest clamps---especially if it's screwed on too tight. If you replace the pads with rubber or soft leather, the marks will be less pronounced, but it's nothing to worry about anyways.
Edited: May 16, 2020, 1:16 PM · No, if the wood is compressed, as it appears to be, then that damage is certainly not normal. It looks as if the chinrest was tightened up far too much.

When I install a chinrest it will be just tight enough to be stable when in use, but not so tight that I cannot gently pull it off with my fingers without damaging the wood of the violin.

Over a period of time there will probably be superficial damage to the varnish, but that is repairable. However, distortion of the wood, which constitutes structural damage, possibly causing a gap to open up in the future between rib and top or bottom plate, is quite unacceptable.

I'd take the violin back to the dealer for their comments.

May 16, 2020, 11:03 AM · Thank you, I’ll tell the seller.

The marks on the back are normal? I mean are marks (varnish is darker) a common occurrence in violins? I know the bridge do leave marks.

May 16, 2020, 11:11 AM · This is totally normal, and I wouldn't get excited about it. The next step is for the chinrest to get embedded into the varnish and when you remove the chinrest some varnish will come off with it. The ONLY way to avoid it is to not use a chinrest. The same thing is happening under the bridge, but you don't see it.
May 16, 2020, 12:48 PM · Yup, quite normal. There can be significant structural damage from over-tightening a chinrest, but this is not what I'm seeing in the photos.
Edited: May 16, 2020, 2:43 PM · It looks like the wood on the edge of the violin has been bruised a little on the top where the feet of your chin rest were. The cork or leather under the feet of your chin rest is going to leave dull marks on your varnish and there's nothing you can do about it. Leather and cork are organic materials and so is varnish, so over a very long time their surfaces can gradually bond together under pressure, and all it takes is a little of that to happen for your varnish to lose its sheen. The striations that you see in the bruises on the top are where the bruising has pressed into the grain of the wood a little. That's my guess looking at your pictures, anyway. I have not seen this kind of bruising occur on any of my violins, but David and Michael have seen enough violins to know what "normal" means. Still, you do want to be thoughtful about how much you're tightening your CR clamps. A metal screw like that can generate a lot of force.
May 16, 2020, 6:16 PM · It is less than a month old violin.. I don't think it should be like this already, most probably the setup was wrong.
May 19, 2020, 12:40 AM · Hi,

The dealer is saying that this is could happen and is normal. But the comment from Trevor worries me a lot, there are obvious depression between the wood grain, something I haven’t seen in other cheaper violins when I removed the chinrest.

Others here are also stating there is not much to worry about.

I’m a bit confused, it is a pain to return it so I basically want to known if for sure there will not be consequences in the future.

Thanks all.

May 19, 2020, 2:33 AM · Damian, personally I would feel reassured if David Burgess says it's normal. If you look up his profile you might agree.

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