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Is a 35mm high bridge a "no no"?


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Back to the original question, if the pitch is over 27mm, I'd do a pull-down. Which is the opposite of a pull-up, obviously. If that's (a pull-up) called, in the trade, a "New York neckset" then maybe a pull-down is a San Francisco neckset?

Pop the board (a bit of trouble, but the easiest way to get in here), loosen the top from upper corner to upper corner, including the upper block, and then chisel or knife a BIT of top away where the end of the neck bears. It shouldn't take more than 1/3mm or so of wood removal for you to then pull the neck forward, and reglue everything (checking with the board, obviously, to make sure you're getting the right pitch). Then with 3.5mm/5.5mm string heights (where did this 6.5mm business come from, anyway? Everyone in the UK must have carpal tunnel syndrome if that's the standard there), you should have something usable.

Personally, I really don't like high bridges--I'd rather have them low, but I guess it depends on what kind of sound you like. Low = better response, a more balanced tone, note-to-note, fewer wolfs, and a sound that's more flexible, when compared to too high. Of course if you go below a certain point, you get bad things, too, so just right is just right.

Cassi: you ever want to switch trades, come and see me.

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Magnus,

yes, i measured them to the bottom...also, both instruments had new

Dominants on them (installed for 3-4days), so the comparison would

be valid...

Michael,

how does a high (tall?) bridge sound compared to a low (short?)

one, all else being equal?

cassi  

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In general, a too high bridge will give a tone that's stripped of personality, and the response of the instrument will feel rubbery. For a low bridge, listen to any backwoods fiddle--whiny, metallic, very responsive, and feeling tight. A higher bridge gives a flabbier feel to the strings. I think I could show you why with a sketch, but I suspect you could figure it out with a pencil and some dental floss. :-) Think: antenna, guy wires; valley vs plains.

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Mauricio writes..

" float: left; padding-left: 4px; padding-top: 5px; clear: left; width: 98%;">

'Has everyone been measuring string height from the underside of

the string? I need to wake-up, I've always thought it was from the

middle of the diameter.'

................................................................................

.............................

Good point!....I think the measuring point for string widths

is generally taken to the middle these days but string

heights still tend to be measured to underside, top or

middle according to different workshop practice.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Cassi

actually, i still don't get it! (don't worry, i don't expect a

long, detailed explanation to make up for my ignorance!)

i know that the bridge height required for proper string height was

mentioned in the OP, but that doesn't really tell *me* much about

the FB projection! i guess that you guys know from experience how

to extrapolate one from the other?

also, i did see the reference to the string angle, but it seems to

me that this is also related to nut height and saddle height (which

i realize probably didn't change during repair, but who knows?),

not just neck angle? i guess you could assume that everything was

fine before, and the neck angle moved during repair, but maybe it

didn't, it just wasn't so good in the first place?

not that i could give any advice anyhow, but I personally would

want more info on all this!

thanks for the reply!

cassi  
face-icon-small-smile.gif

Yes, assuming "proper" string heights, the fingerboard projection can be extrapolated.

Yes, if the neck were pulled back during the process of putting the top on, the nut will be in a different relationship to the instrument (it would be "lower").

As fo all these numbers being bashed around... While there are standard measurements which are useful as general guidelines, It's been my experience that the overstand and bridge height (and the resulting neck angle) that is appropriate for the instrument depends on it's build and arching. Roccas don't work the same was as filius Andrea Guarneris do... I find an overstand on the low side with a "normal" bridge height on many Rocca fiddle work wonderfully. On the Guarneri, it would probably be a disaster.

I measure to the underside of the string when setting string height. In my opinion, this really doesn't matter much... as long as the proportions are correct. I do what I do because I'm thinking "clearance" when I set the bridge height... and to me that's the space between the string and the board. I use 3.5 and 5.5 for starters, unless I know that the player works best with something lower, or occasionally, higher.

Players who use gut strings sometimes like the G on the high side... but certainly not always.

Setting in the neck at an angle (as Ben mentioned; overstand almost a 1 mm lower on the E side) is less in style than it was in certain locales... I see many necks going in a little closer to "flat" these days. Again, depends on the fiddle, the player, the shop (and it's clientele), etc.

As fo this particular fiddle (the one that is the subject of the thread), I'd really need to know more information (if the board is new and was left heavy, what the arching was like, if the neck went up as a result of replacing the top, etc.) before I'd make a suggestion.
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Cassi,

you did a good experiment,but in reality when you play the bow pushes dow the string lowering the string height for the left fingers.How much the bow will lower the string while playing depends on the string type,which string youre on, distance from the bridge,string tension,bow pressure,etc.

I'm not saying your experiment is not relevant,but in my oppinion playability goes beyond simple mechanics.

Gabriel

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Hi everyone, Thank you all for your input. It's been most helpful

indeed! Sorry I couldn't reply to your posts earlier, but one of my

birds has been ill and I've had to nurse it all day. Unfortunately

it didn't make it in the end...

To answer some of your questions, the overstand of the neck at the

belly is 5mm. The angle at which the neck is set into the body

measures 83 degrees when I stand a protractor against the edges of

belly and back, up against the neck.

I did not take the top off for the crack repair since it was an old

f-hole wing crack which I was able to clean and cleat using a

little jig I devised. (For the amount of possible trauma the violin

would have to go through in removing it's top, the size of the

crack didn't seem to justify it.)

The fingerboard is new, and is 5.5mm thick at each of it's 4

corners. The scoop is just under 0.5mm deep, and climaxes near the

centre of the board's length, towards the top end. The projected

height of the top of the fingerboard to the belly at the bridge is

29mm.

The junction of the neck heal to the belly is perfect, so the neck

has not been pushed back in an accident or anything.

What Manfio said about leaving it as the maker intended spoke

strongly to me, yet I myself have made slight dimensional errors in

violins I have made from time to time, and have always regretted it

if I let them go uncorrected. I want to decrease the neck angle for

this violin since I too have noticed that violins with higher

bridges sometimes don't have the 'colour range' and response of

lower-bridged instruments.

Thank you all for your good suggestions. I'll think them all over

and make my decision. If anyone has any further ideas or comments

from the additional information I've given here, please don't

hesitate to post it! I'll wait to read your comments before taking

any action.

Thanks again.

Andre.

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Pop the board (a bit of trouble, but the easiest way to get in here), loosen the top from upper corner to upper corner, including the upper block, and then chisel or knife a BIT of top away where the end of the neck bears. It shouldn't take more than 1/3mm or so of wood removal for you to then pull the neck forward, and reglue everything (checking with the board, obviously, to make sure you're getting the right pitch). Then with 3.5mm/5.5mm string heights (where did this 6.5mm business come from, anyway? Everyone in the UK must have carpal tunnel syndrome if that's the standard there), you should have something usable.

I am trying to get this, are you saying the by removing some of the wood next to the neck , ( the flat part facing the bridge) that when you put it back, the little space you left will allow the neck to tilt ( down, towards the top) to change the neck angle? Or am I just missing it completely? thanks.

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wow, what a great thread!  

Michael:

 thanks for the info on high versus low bridges!

Jeffery:

i didn't mean i am stupid, but i really *am* ignorant (as in

being unaware!) thanks, though!

i learned quite a bit about the way the overstand, nut height,

saddle height, arching height, and bridge height interact to make

the correct string heights and string angle in a recent thread, and

how (if i understood correctly) that the neck angle is really

somewhat independent of the all the other stuff, which is why i was

surprised at suggestions to alter the neck rather than move it!

by-the-by, it's funny that you should mention Andrea Guaneri (does

filius mean grandfather?), because i recently bought an Andrea

Guarneri copy, and i love it!   i don't know

anything about Roccas, though, do they have flatter arching?

gabi:

thanks for the input! i agree that many, many things relate to

playability, and that my little experiment doesn't begin to be a

comprehensive measure...however, would you agree that even with the

bow reducing string heights, that higher strings of the same type

would tend to make the instrument harder to play? i wasn't looking

for absolute, quantitative data, and definitely not some general

index based on a very simple and crude measurement, it's just that

my wrist hurt and my arm was tired, and knowing a little physics, i

thought that forcing the higher strings into a more extreme angle

than the lower strings required would take more work!

saintjohnbarleycorn:

i'm not one of the builders, but yes, i think you do get it!

 

thanks to all for your explanations!

cassi  

edited for typo

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Michael Darnton
I measure

from the center, which I admit doesn't make sense, but that's the

standard I was taught. I was also taught to measure widths between

strings, but that really doesn't make sense, and I abandoned

that.

Since you abandoned the one thing that didn't make sense, are you

thinking of abandoning the other?

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I felt that measuring between the strings, which would put the tops of the strings at different distances apart, would not be a help to the player, since players put their fingers on the top. String height is a different matter--it's just a number, and as long as you get the right result it doesn't matter how you arrive at it. Doing it to the middle of the string is extremely nice for the maker, though--all you have to do is spit the mm marks on the ruler, which is verrrrry easy to do by eye. Put the rule behind the string, not in front, and with the G string, the marks just peep out over and below the string, and that's precise; with the E, if you cover the half-mm mark so that you can't see it at all, that's precise, too. No fuss.

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Cassi---It's just a nick-name. "Joseph filius", like "Strad", "del Gesu", and "Horse" Bergonzi. Wait.....I just made that last one up. Rugeri was apparetly called "Il Per", though no one now calls him that, AND no one can figure out what it means. :-)

As for the various ways to solve the problem. Usually one tends to look to the least invasive method. It might be a "complete" solution to reset a neck, but it's invasive. The other available ways all have advantages and disadvantages, and MAY solve the problem entirely, or not. That's part of the art of figuring out what to do.

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