Can the bridge be not perpendicular to the middle axis of the violin? This way, the working part of G string is a bit longer than that of E string?
My guess. No. Unless a special bridge is cut. The feet must contour to the belly and the string spacing and height must be very precise. By angling the bridge I would think these fittings would be thrown off. Why would you want to do make the G measure longer?
Guitar Bridges are often staggered or offset a little to compensate for the fact that a thicker/stiffer string has a shorter vibrating length than a thinner/more flexible string. They're only offset at one end though, which seems to make limited sense since neither the frets nor the top nut are similarly adjusted. I suppose violins have the advantage of not having frets, so we place our fingers with intonation in mind... rather than conspiring with evenly spaced frets in some relatively clunky arbitrary compromise.
Perfect fifth would be very difficult to play, if strings have different vibrating length.
I read that the bridge needs to be on the line that connects "inner" notches on f holes. in my case this line is not perpendicular to the middle axis of violin
Mich, I suspect if your violin's notches are as you say then all bets are off. I have long suspected that using the F-hole notches to locate the bridge depends on the maker having put the notches in just the right places. Also, I have long suspected one can compensate for non-optimal soundpost location by moving the bridge slightly and vice versa.
you don't follow the notches if they're crooked or giving the wrong scale
I thought the bridge placement had more to do with the ratio between the vibrating string length and the after string length between the bridge and tailpiece.
John - some might look on what you say as a variation on the "Chicken-Egg" problem (i.e., which came first). The VB/Al (i.e., vibrating string/afterlength ratio) is usually solved by adjusting the combined length of the tailpiece and tailcord.
Mr. Victor, thank you for the explanation. That makes sense.
thank you!!! f holes have different sizes because of some warping, so notches may be affected. I guess I need to stay away from the violin and leave everything as it is. than you very much for advice!!!
I don't know of any high-end fiddle-fixer who determines the ideal bridge placement via some sort of alignment with the ff hole notches.
If it helps, the scale length of a "normal" full size violin is exactly 328mm, measured from the end of the nut (fingerboard side) to the top of the bridge. Should be equal on both E and G strings. The "afterlength" between bridge and tailpiece should be 1/6th of that measurement, so 55mm.
super! thank you! We are almost at 328+-1mm if I am measuring correctly
In my opinion, beyond some value, the length of the fingerboard is immaterial because you will not be able to push any of the strings down enough to contact it. Furthermore, you will not have to push it down that far to stop the string and produce "your sound."
Hi Mich: 270mm. Although historically, they were subject to some variation. This would have no effect on bridge placement though.
this is just interesting to know :) in my case it is 265mm.
Well, the position of the bridge relative to the soundpost is quite critical to tone production. Generally speaking, the soundpost should be positioned back from the treble bridge foot by about the thickness of the top of the instrument as a starting point. Even a very insignificant departure from this (as little as 1mm) can have a substantial effect on sound and balance across the strings.
We may (or may not) have noticed that the thicker and stiffer the string, the closer the notes along the string. This is particuarly noticeable on the E string where we have to open the hand a little.
Guitar saddles mostly only offer compensation on the G string - some offer it on the B string too. Bass strings don't need it - it only affects solid strings - the thicker the string, the worse the intonation. If you compare the harmonic at the 12th fret with the fretted 12th fret, you'll find that the fretted note is sharp, so the saddle needs to be further from the nut to compensate.
Violin strings are designed to achieve a working tension, tune and tone at a vibrating length of around 328mm. Measure from where the string exits the nut and first touches the bridge.
I agree. The frequency of the after-lengths can only be checked by plucking, not by measuring lengths: the silk windings will distort calculations.
Adrian, measuring the afterlength can work too. I suspect that this is because longitudinal frequency matters as much as transverse vibration, when it comes to this adjustment.
Of course, I'm no expert, but when replacing my tail guts I always did it by matching the vibrating frequency of the afterlength of one of my two lower strings to the 2nd octave harmonic of the next higher string. That approximates the 1:6 "rule" depending on how the string windings interfere with the vibrations.
As I like to remind people of my discovery, you can take a razor or knife to the silk threads on the string to change the frequency at which its afterlength vibrates.
You can also bow the afterlengths (@Adrian): mutes change their resonating frequencies - I put two of them on the G and A strings when I didn't like the sound of my C# and both those afterlengths resonated at C#.
Whatever the theory says, in practice the equation relating bridge position and soundpost position to afterlength lacks a perfect solution because the violin is not a symmetrical machine that obeys mathematical rules. Adding another variable such as a skew bridge placement or a harp-tapered tailpiece just makes things worse, and as for silk windings... My mantra is, let the luthier worry about the setup and then just leave it.
I'm feeling fine, thanks, Steve. And you?
Great! Just trying to understand your post - what kind of mutes? Sounds like another unwanted complication to me. C# on the A string has been a dodgy note for me too but I didn't think of attributing it to afterlength resonance.
Rubber mutes with one teadrop-shaped hole.
So the slot that's supposed to go over the bridge between D and A, you put over the G and A string afterlengths? That's worth at least three out of ten for ingenuity.
No, when they are merely sitting on the afterlengths waiting for one of them to be placed over the bridge, they are altering the pitch of the afterlengths by dint of their weight.
Why I prefer leaving it in the case, unless I know there's an orchestral or chamber part that requires it. You can also use the sort that doesn't slide up and down the strings. Those also sound better when on, but are more accident-prone in performance.
Like the Tourte mute, when not properly on the bridge it might be inclined to rattle against it. I'm sure we'd all agree the effect on the resonance of the afterlength is likely to be too random to be a viable way of tuning it.
Completely random. But if the tuning of the afterlengths is that critical, then mute designs need to be totally different.
Shouldn’t there be a relationship between the position of the bridge and the “peak” of the bass bar?
As far as afterlengths go, once you're in a section with 15 other players, the precise quality of your instrument won't matter quite so much. Obviously, it's worth getting as good as possible, especially when you're practicing. But if you have a Brand X fiddle that isn't at its best (say, X-1.4), then the odds are good that the guy next you you has an X/2, and is still making a decent contribution.
@Regit Young: Observing the violin as a static structure or a vibrating one, small changes in bass bar peak position have no noticeable effect on the stiffness or vibrational performance of the body.
Anyone here own an endoscope?
Are you contemplating soundhole surgery?
Presumably if the bassbar were too heavy, I'd get my luthier to take the top off and shave it down, but that would probably mean I've spent well over twice what the violin is worth - I've already had him shave down the fingerboard and bridge to match the action on my Breton. But curiosity and all that...
Placement of a bridge, and how that interacts with the placement of the sound post, can make a huge difference in the violin tone. I thought that the bridge on my current violin was geometrically a bit off center. So I moved it maybe a mm towards the g-string end.
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