Brad H

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About Brad H

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    So. Oregon

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  1. MN poll: What's not to like?

    This reminds me of the luthier who showed me how she puts the final shine on peg ends by rubbing them on the side of her nose. It's quick and never fails, although you'll need to wash up at the end of the day.
  2. MN poll: What's not to like?

    Nice! Which bridge blank? Ankle width? Did you put a finish on it? I am now supposing that my notches are too deep
  3. Does a violin improve with age?

    Have you done any double blind comparisons? Just kidding!
  4. Does a violin improve with age?

    I have that happen too... mostly due to initial self-delusion, and then reality slowly sinks in. I have noticed this as well and I have wondered whether little flaws in the tone only become apparent after some settling in, i.e,. right after a new setup, the violin is too unsettled, the tone too "raw" to reveal nuances.
  5. Bridge Rocking Motion and Leverage

    I don't have anything intelligent to add to the mode of sound transmission discussion but I am inspired to do some more research into the scientific study of how violins produce sound. Besides the website that David linked (which I will check out), are there other recommended sources? By greater advantage I assume you mean that more string energy is transmitted to the table? For what it is worth, a prominent fiddle teacher once mentioned to me that he always seeks out fiddles with bridges lower than normal in height (I didn't have a chance to ask about his reasoning). Marty, thanks for your distinction. I will check out that link when I have more time.
  6. Neck Overstand

    After playing the violin this morning, I am no longer as convinced as to the improvements from my taller saddle. The violin's power seems to have regressed some to pre-tall saddle. I think it is better but, as you suggest, that may be from the change in afterlength. I suppose this highlights the difficulties of using one's ear to judge changes.
  7. Neck Overstand

    File in the "for what it's worth" category. This post probably fits better in Don's Downforce thread, but this thread is more recent and it relates to some of the discussions here. In the past, I have raised a number of saddles to increase the string angle over the bridge (and reduce the downward force) and usually have found an improvement in the tone and response of an instrument, so was surprised by Don's results with his tall saddle. I just set up a violin with an aggressive neck set which resulted in a 35 mm bridge. The original saddle was 4mm above table top. The tone was pleasant but sounded a bit fuzzy and lacked power. I replaced the saddle with a new one measuring 6 mm above table top and there was a marked change in the tone and response. It now has more power,, more definition to the tone (better bite) , tone is rounder, and it is more fun to play (quicker response). Same unchanged bridge and same ears. Disclaimer - I did not change the tailpiece adjuster length which changed the afterlength from a too-short 52.5 to 56 mm. I doubt that the changed afterlength was solely responsible for the change in tone and response (your thoughts on that?)- I think this fiddle is happier with less downward force.
  8. Bridge Rocking Motion and Leverage

    Here was my response to Ken. "Ken (or anyone), this is a new concept for me. Here is my interpretation of your concept. Low arched fiddles need higher bridges. Higher bridges will have more lateral rock which (maybe?) transfers more energy to the table, therefore the extra table thickness helps evenly transmit the energy. High arched fiddles have lower bridges, therefore with less rock. Less rock = less energy transferred to top, so the top has to be more flexible to transmit the energy. But, don't makers already do this but base it on the concept that tall arches are stronger and thinner tops are needed for the flexibility. Lower arches are not as strong and thicker tops are needed for the strength. In my repair work, I normally choose bridge width based on position of bass bar and secondarily on the width of f-hole eyes. How important is this bridge rocking stuff?"
  9. In the thread on Neck Overstands, Ken N brought up the topic of the relationship between top arch height and bridge height and how that might dictate top thickness (Ken, I hope you don't mind me using your comment here). He said, 5 hours ago, Ken_N said: "Another thing I use when thinking of different models is what Joseph Curtain wrote somewhere about bridges. Something about rocking angle and leverage. So I figure out the bridge/arch ratio. A high bridge/arch ratio, like on a 14.5 mm del Gesu with a 34 mm bridge has a substantial amount of leverage, and the belly can be much thicker. A Montagnana with a 19 mm arch and a 32 mm bridge doesn't have that advantage, and must be made with more flexibility. Of course they will have a different sound and feel. That's a good thing, isn't it? You want them all the same? The del Gesu, even with the taller bridge might have a flatter string angle. You could make them the same. You could probably play around and make the overstands the same if you wanted to. All kinds of variables. Shorter stops, and longer stops change the angle ratio between the neck and the tailpiece. " I hope Ken won't mind that I copied and pasted his post here. This is a new concept for me and, partly inspired by something Jerry P said in another discussion, I want to find out if this topic has wings (he mentioned something about wanting "control" of factors, or "imagine having that kind of control."....not a bad goal to pursue). I will copy and paste my response to Ken's post below to tilt inertia in our favor.
  10. Neck Overstand

    Ok, time for a new topic.
  11. Neck Overstand

    Ken (or anyone), this is a new concept for me. Here is my interpretation of your concept. Low arched fiddles need higher bridges. Higher bridges will have more lateral rock which (maybe?) transfers more energy to the table, therefore the extra table thickness helps evenly transmit the energy. High arched fiddles have lower bridges, therefore with less rock. Less rock = less energy transferred to top, so the top has to be more flexible to transmit the energy. But, don't makers already do this but base it on the concept that tall arches are stronger and thinner tops are needed for the flexibility. Lower arches are not as strong and thicker tops are needed for the strength. In my repair work, I normally choose bridge width based on position of bass bar and secondarily on the width of f-hole eyes. How important is this bridge rocking stuff?
  12. Bridge Foot Alignment & Tonal Quality

    I have never heard of a bridge purposefully angled like this. Maybe it had this angle when he cut the feet to fit the bridge and, when you move it back to "straight", the feet don't fit as well and the sound is impacted. I will let others address intonation issues from your offset feet.
  13. Minimum top thickness at sound post

    I do some work on the local rentals and it is all too common to find the tell-tale ridge on the outside of the top from poorly fit and overly tight posts. In my experience, it is rare to find a top in any vintage instrument that does not have some damage from the post - those post veneers are sounding better all the time.
  14. A pleasant surprise

    Congratulations on a satisfaction well earned Nice story and writing - what a powerful moment! Congratulations on a satisfaction well earned.
  15. Neck Overstand

    That does look handy, but it will probably take more than a knock on the head to dislodge "soh cah toa"...but, I am rusty on the application. Using your triangle calculator, plugging in values of 325 mm, 90 deg. and height of 49.5 (arch of 16 + 33.5 for bridge), you get a string angle of 81.4 deg from nut -bridge-base line. What do you do for the string angle from bridge to saddle?