Shunyata

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  1. As a violinist myself, I have a little leg up on knowing what is desirable. The difficulty is knowing how to produce it!
  2. I was responding to someone else's suggestion that a bulkier neck was affecting tone. I don't know if that is actually true, but it's worth investigating. Myself, I prefer playing with a bulkier, rounder, less steep/less oval profile. It makes it easier for larger hands to support the violin during vibrato. I learned my scroll working from a bulkier Guarneri scroll template. And i think i have gotten pretty refined in my control of its shaping. But I have always had an eye for some of the lighter scrolls I see on some of the French instruments. And my neck heels are simply to deep by about 3mm. Makes highest positions on the E string even more challenging! I've written this down on my reminder poster in my workshop. (My first entry is don't cut the button off. My second is don't cut the neck mortise upside down.)
  3. I will do exactly as you all suggest! I have an otherwise reasonable violin with crapped up the finish. It is an earlier build where I didn't handle the ground right and wound up with poor adhesion. In addition, my overall workmanship isn't up to my current level. So i won't worry about banging it up, but will be working with good enough quality to actually learn some things. Let the sound post setting practice and positional studies begin! Are there any position experiments this group would be interested in seeing? (Please don't ask me to tilt soundposts just yet!)
  4. While I am duly shamed by your answer, I can only say that getting the sound post in a particular spot is difficult for me. (Don't have much experience yet.) I would save myself the risk of chipping my varnish if someone said, "No, Don't move the post. That is a stupid idea." But I hang my head and acknowledge that I should be more responsible for my own skill development.
  5. Would moving the sound post northward damp the resonances. My own observation is that northward tends to choke the tone overall, and to alter the balance between the D string and the others. So I am loathe to do this.
  6. The top is 2.5-2.7mm in the lungs and closer to 3mm in the plate center. About 3.3mm right at the sound post. The neck and scroll are a little heavy. Each scroll iteration gets better, but I need to refine it even further. The necks come out too bulky even when I take more off that the last time. Also need to lighten the heel. The violin sounds better the more I play it. I think it may be just a matter of a new violin having a less warm sound than an old one. I am having a professional try it out early next week, so I will have another opinion. My concern is that the resonances persist to the point of muddying the Sound. But I can't judge this under the ear. I need someone else to play it for me.
  7. So where would you recommend I start if I wanted to tame the resonance?
  8. My most recent build seems to have much more resonance (sympathetic vibration on open strings) than my 100 yr old daily-use violin. These resonances seem to damp out at the same rate as my old violin, but they somehow seem more intense to me. But this may simply be due to the fact that the tonal color is generally a little "sharper" on a newly made violin and my ear simply isn't use to hearing it. Or maybe the vibration amplitude really is greater. The resonances seem to be fading a bit as the instrument plays in, but again maybe I am just getting used to it. Overstand, projection height, and bridge thickness are all standard. Sound post is well south of the bridge foot. Top is old growth red spruce, with wider grain than I would like. More dense than usual spruce. Top graduation is a little on the thicker side, around 2.5mm. Instrument is very responsive with full tone (slightly weaker around the C natural notes, but getting stronger as it plays in). The G and E strings are awesome! Have Pirasto Evah Gold strings on it. What setup or construction choices affect these resonances?
  9. On a related note, what tonal impact should I expect if a post is too far south?
  10. Agreed. Vertical is the starting point, but you move from there to balance the string color and responsiveness, control wolf tones, etc. This process probably results in non vertical configurations, although I never thought of verticalness as a "control lever".
  11. I agree it takes a few tries if you are fitting a new sound post. I measure height with a guage first, then cut about 2mm long. It usually takes about three tries to get the length right, using 80 grit sandpaper. Then I do a last cleanup with a knife to carefully fit the plate surfaces.
  12. I always read/heard that it should be vertical, and never notices any tonal difference if it wasn't. So I blindly perpetuated what I heard. And in response to another commenter: yes, I know the post goes a little south of the bridge foot. I put it south a distance about equal to the thickness of the top.
  13. I sort of figured out something that works but would be interested in suggestions. I place the Sound post from the bass f hole, reaching over to the treble side. First I try to get the neck to endpin direction placement right, while looking through the treble f hole. At the top of the post, the gap between the post and the bridge foot is about the same as the top thickness. Looking through the f hole, I try to keep the post vertical, or with the post bottom slightly canted toward the end pin. I then use a bamboo skewer inserted through the end pin hole to true up to vertical. Then, looking through the end pin hole, i adjust to make sure the top of the post is under the foot of the bridge and just inside the top eye of the f hole. Then finally i adjust the bottom of the post to vertical, using the edge of the top block as a sighting guide. This takes under five minutes - and i dont chip any varnish this way - but is probably more involved than it needs to be.
  14. I removed the fingerboard this evening and will begin refining the thickness. I suspect this will take care of most of my problem, if not all of it. Only as a last resort will I start shaving the neck down. A commenter also called out my overly thick bridge. Thank you for that. It's simply amazing how much impact bridge thickness has on Sound! I will update you on progress. Once done, I am giving this violin to an enthusiastic young student who has been struggling with an awful rental. Thank you again to everyone for your gracious help!
  15. What market? That question is so far outside anything I have ever considered! I am just an amateur making instruments for my own pleasure, and perhaps donating to a young student without the financial means for a decent instrument. The fingerboard is actually 1-2mm thicker than I know to do now. So reshaping the fingerboard a little, and perhaps using a wedge should completely fit the bill. What is the best way to fit a wedge? Glue on a shim and then plane?