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Soundpost Cracks


One_Tree_Hill
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I found out about two weeks ago that my Scarampella has an open soundpost crack in the top of the instrument. I am planning on getting it fixed in a couple of weeks when my busy performance schedule is done for the year.

My question is, how does having an open soundpost crack generally affect the sound quality of the instrument? I ask this because in a recent competition, I received comments about my sound that were a little unusual to me, and I wonder if they might be in part due to this crack in my instrument. Basically, a judge said that my tone wasn't sounding very rich, which is actually the opposite of what I normally hear. I assume most of this is my playing's fault, but I'm also wondering if it might be partly due to the crack.

Any thoughts?

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It's difficult to say how the crack is effecting the sound in your case (especially without being able to see it), but it could be causing the difficulty you're referring to. In part, it depends on if there is a true separation (the crack goes all the way through the top), or if the crack is surface (part way through).

This is not the type of crack that I would advise a player to finish their season with... You should at least have it looked at... and follow the restorer's advice if he/she suggests borrowing an instrument to complete your season. This is a stress area. If it's not a true separation yet, it probably will be soon. If it's a true separation, the crack can travel (get longer).

Sometimes, a surface crack (if you catch the crack quickly and depending on the exact location) can be glued and reinforced with cleats. If the crack is all the way through the top (or ends up going all the way through the top), you're looking at a more extensive repair (soundpost patch). I posted a couple shots of one on this thread over on the auction scroll if you don't know what one looks like. A post patch requires a bit of time and is a more expensive restoration.

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Thanks for your quick response, Jeffrey. I may look into borrowing a violin for the rest of the season. It's hard to find one that feels the same as mine, which is a concern, because I don't have a lot of time to adjust, but I will look around.

The crack in question is a surface crack.

I suspect it's due to my poor maintainance of the violin. I haven't been able to get regular soundpost adjustments, so I suspect that the weather changes over the past few years has caused it. I will have to try and be better about that in the future...

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