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Hello everybody! I've been too busy this past year to follow the forum much or do much violin making, but I've been getting a little time to get back into it lately and I thought I'd post this to see what some of your thoughts might be on the topic. Last summer I finished a violin with very low arching. (As a matter of fact a bit lower and scoopier around the edges than I originally intended, but I got a little over aggressive in the rough out stage...I eyeball it at about 12mm finished up) After installing the neck with "traditional" overstand and projection values (7mm, 27mm) I found I had a string break angle over the bridge a bit flatter than I usually like coming in at over 161° at the d-string. The violin sounded ok, but darker and tubbier than what I consider useable by a serious player. As I usually do with my fiddles, I left it as is, playing on it and having it played on to see how it might evolve for a few months. Around this time Don Noon posted his experiment about the effects of extremely flat string angles, so I thought what the heck, I'll just leave it as is. After a few months, I still found the violin disappointing, so I decided to try my own experiment and found that by attaching a string to the sides of the tailpiece at the playing string holes and wrapping it around the back of the violin, I could pull the tailpiece down to make the string break angle more acute (increase the down force). The result was that, yes, once I brought the angle down to 158°, I was getting the brighter "treble fizz" the violin had been lacking. I recognize that the pressure of the wedges on the ribs that I was using to tension the "pull down" string and its immobilizing effect on the tailpiece might have been contributing to the change in sound quality, but the result was so compelling to my ears that I decided to do a neck reset. I finally got around to it last week and went about it with the goal to have a 158° break angle, and a minimum 4mm overstand, and the result is that I have a 35mm high bridge. A higher bridge might have an advantage in its greater lever effect between the strings and the feet, and that the relative differences in lever length between the inner and outer strings are diminished compared to a lower bridge, but the downside of course is that there's greater mass to swing around. I don't like my bridges to be too spindly, but I managed to get this one down to 2gr. The violin, by the way, is finally sounding good: still on the dark side, but within a "useable" range for a professional classical player. The questions I'd like to throw out to the forum are: what do you do with a neck set on a violin with very low arching? How low would you go with the overstand? How high would you go with the bridge? Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated!
I am building a cello so I Have lots of questions. For the most part the answers have been straight forward, But on the subject of string angle over the bridge, overstand, and fingerboard projection I am hearing quite a variety of things. Questions: 1. Is 153o standard no matter what?, or does the angle change proportional to the arch height. I would imagine that it is standard, but I don’t know. I noticed at the end of Yo Yo Ma playing The Swan he turns sideways for a straight on\side shot of his cello, it looks as if it has a fairly low arch, it measured at 153o or so. 2. I have been told a stand height from 19 to 27 without any regard to arch height. I realize there could be different ways to measure, (I would assume top of plate edge to glue line under fingerboard.) I have heard to make it 25, project to 80 or 81, and don’t worry about the angle over the strings. I do worry about it. To me the stand height and the saddle are used to accommodate the proper string angle. 3. 80 or 81? I would say 82 or 83? ,,, to allow for settling?. 4. Is there a reason to make the angle greater or less than 153o? I would appreciate any insight on these matters, String angle over the bridge, Stand height, Projection,, Is the string angle is ever varied and when? I would like to get this neck set in a couple of days and I still feel like I’m in the dark. I’ve heard too many conflicting things,, I give. For what it's worth it has 1740 montagnana proportions with a 29-30 arch height. Thanks for your time and patience and knowledge.