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  1. I use AutoDesk Inventor for modeling my instrument components for CNC and 3D printing, and have been extremely impressed with it. They offer free educational accounts, and many high schools and universities offer rudimentary classes. Like most other types of software, learning is as easy (or as difficult) as the number of good tutorials on YouTube, and the support community for Inventor is vast. I believe fusion 360 is similar, but perhaps more cloud-based and less education-oriented?? Both are extremely powerful, and well worth the effort to learn! JohnHE Cornell Department of Music SaddleRider.com
  2. For a quick solution, when you don’t have time to try different string types, etc., You can push the tailgut contacts on the saddle a little over towards the g string side (just a tiny bit, adjusting by ear). In most cases, this will favor the lower register of the instrument, and take some edge off the e-string.
  3. Was 157-8 a universal favorite regardless of string type, table arching, relative humidity? In my experience, each instrument, string type, and playing style responds a little differently. Most will be “in a range” (which could be 157-58?) but there are outliers. And in very humid or very dry weather I prefer different amounts of downward force on the bridge. (ie different break angles) During the 21-22 season I’ll be playing a concert with violinist Aaron Berofsky and fortepianist Matthew Bengtson (U Mich School of Music faculty) on all gut strings. I expect a shallower break angle will sound best there? Looking forward to finding out!
  4. Because violinists don’t want those variables to be linked. But I like your creative idea!
  5. I can only answer this in cello-related terms, which I believe are the same for violin. (David Burgess, Could you please help me out here? In a properly adjusted and set up instrument, the height of the strings over the fingerboard, assuming they’re not too high to be pressed down comfortably, or too low and rattle against the fingerboard, won’t affect the sound (other than very slightly based on a player’s fingertip contact “feel,” and the resulting fingertip damping changing very slightly depending on string height.) You are correct that this device doesn’t change the string height, but it *does* change the tonal and response attributes that drive most players’ or luthiers’ desire to reset a neck. If it’s just higher strings they want, they’ll simply put on a higher bridge (a far cheaper option than resetting a neck!) Tonal and response changes may *feel* related to height of strings over the fingerboard, but are actually changing because of variation of downward force of strings on the bridge. With minor variations, this downward force is changed by changes in bridge height, neck angle, or saddle height. To a significant extent, these 3 variables can all accomplish similar results (not identical, granted, but similar.)
  6. Hi all, I’m the inventor of the Saddle Rider Tone Adjuster. It’s nice to see it mentioned here! Just to clarify: I’m a professional cellist, and invented the device because I needed to be able to adjust the sound and response of my instrument when concertizing. The changes it brings about with graduated precision are equivalent to a neck reset or higher or lower bridge. A luthier could certainly cut multiple saddles .5 mm apart in height, glue each on, take down the tension fully on the violin and wait for the glue to dry between comparisons, and try to remember what it sounded like before — so why do we need a device that allows nearly instant AB tone and response comparisons? Is tiny enough to be invisible on stage? I have encountered a great deal of resistance from people who haven’t tried it, but most recent adopters luthier Lawrence Wilke and Berlin Philharmonic violist Matthew Hunter are pleased with theirs! Sincerely, John Haines-Eitzen, cellist Senior Lecturer and Artist in Residence Cornell University Department of Music Member of The Philadelphia Orchestra from 1995 to 2005
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