Fiddle is Finicky

October 6, 2020, 2:58 PM · I have a student West German factory violin made in the late 1960’s. I have noticed that the sound deteriorates whenever there’s a slight (as little as 1 mm) tilt in the angle of the bridge toward the fingerboard. The bridge is positioned so the back of both feet are at 19.5 cm from the point where the neck meets the shoulder on both sides, and the vibrating string length is 32.8 cm when optimal. The bridge feet are flat against the top at this position.
Is it typical for such a small variation of the string length to make such a noticeable difference in the sound?
Would moving the bridge slightly toward the tailpiece (and the sound post) make the fiddle less finicky?

Replies (2)

October 6, 2020, 4:29 PM ·
When your bridge tilts, the downward pressure on the top by the bridge feet is redistributed, and hence the energy transfer from the strings to the top is going to be different. Small movements of the bridge can greatly impact tone.

The solution to your problem is simply to keep your bridge straight so it does not tilt. This will also save your bridge from warping.

October 6, 2020, 5:21 PM · Well George, I will keep a close eye on the angle of my bridge.
Thanks for the advice.

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