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Difference between treated/untrted Aubert bridge?


zizou
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Is there really a difference to justify the price increase?

Has anyone any experience with both bridges?

I'm not sure if I believe Aubert that the treatment improves stability and tone. If it's simply a matter of heating the bridge over a candle flame, I'll do it myself!!!

Btw, is the Quinn website's Aubert a mirecourt violin bridge equivalent to the aubert #7, untreated?

Quinn violin

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I like the #7--it's almost a deluxe, at a much lower price. The small differences, those I can live with. I often use the #5 as well, on my own violins, but never on expensive ones--they just don't have the same look that I figure customers are paying for--the #7 has that look, though. Tonally, however, I don't see any difference. I have a pile of deluxe blanks, but I rarely use them.

I don't know the difference in treatment, and among the 120 or so Aubert blanks I have there's quite a difference in appearance among blanks of the same grade that leads me to think the treatment isn't well-controlled. The darker ones tend to disintegrate under the knife, and the lighter ones are smoother. I actually prefer cutting the lighter (I believe less treated) ones because it's easier to make a nice bridge. Usually I pick blanks psychically :-) based about how I *feel* about the blank for a certain violin. Either that's really Sensitive, or I have No Idea what I'm doing. :-)

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  • 10 years later...

I have tried heat treatment in the following manner:

I use an IR non-contact thermometer. I put the bridge blank on an electric cooking plate and switch on the heating then I wait till the temperature reaches 250 deg C as measured by the thermometer. When the temperature reaches 250 deg C I remove the blank. Next I switch the heating off and let the temperature drop to ca. 70 deg C (better would be room temperature). Now I put the other side of the blank towards the heater and wait until the temperature reaches 250 deg C again and remove the blank.

 

I have measured the tap spectra for an untreated and a treated blank and it looks like the tap frequency will rise slightly due to the treatment (ca. 30 Hz based on one measurement).

 

The treatment accentuates the surface structure of the wood and makes the blank look "old".

 

Another and possibly easier method to control is simply to bake a number of bridges in the oven. I don't know what the optimal temperature should be but if one don't want a strong colouring of the blanks I think the temperature should be kept below perhaps 250 deg C ... this is dependent on the treatment time.

 

I don't know if the heat treatment really is significant. Comments are welcome.

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If it's simply a matter of heating the bridge over a candle flame, I'll do it myself!!!

 

 

 

 

I don't know if the heat treatment really is significant. Comments are welcome.

Based on some of Roger's work, I believe one must wave it over a candle and under a rabbit...... probably not at the same time :lol:

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The story told by Rene Morel, who was from Mirecourt and a part owner of the Aubert Co. about the "treated" bridges was that they had been amoniated by exposure to animal waste of one sort or another. The images I have and don't know where they came from are both the stacked in layers of stable or cage cleaning detritus and/or stacking wood in the overhead of the barns where the ammonia rose up from below. The theory was that the ammonia equalized the texture of the hard and soft grain and made the wood more homogenous and smoother to cut. He also said that the wood for the Deluxe bridges was very carefully selected and was somehow better than the less expensive ones.

My own experience is that after about 1990 I couldn't tell much difference between the DL and #7 bridges and that lately they seem to be selecting for wild ray figure at the expense of tighter more uniform grain which I think is the most important feature of good bridge wood. I am still buying some DL bridges but am being an absolute pain about sending back all but the most perfect looking blanks. In short I save the DL blanks for only the very finest instruments and then only if the client asks for them and is willing to pay for my extraordinary attention to the cutting.

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 The theory was that the ammonia equalized the texture of the hard and soft grain and made the wood more homogenous and smoother to cut.

Interesting. That was also a theory of William Fulton's. After experimenting a bit with ammonia fumigation, I was unable to confirm it. Not that Fulton didn't do a whole lot to educate me about varnish making.

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I'm not sure I'd want to eat food cooked in the oven after the bridge blanks had been in there,as I thought they were treated using rabbit urine !

The wood of some of the trees that grow in boggy ground have very pungent smell. I got some bridge wood from a dealer that was "high".

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