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paolojacm

My Bridge: unusual shape?

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Hello, here it is!

Do you know this kind of bridge? It has big and strange holes...

how do they interact with sound? Do you think this kind of holes

can darken the emission of sounds?

bridge.jpg

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I think that your bridge looks fine, and is
especially fine if it was fitted and tweaked properly for your
instrument.  I’m not sure if removing material from the
bridge is going to darken the sound. 



 



What do you mean by darken, making the G
string sound as deep as the sea, and the E string sound like the
gates of heaven swinging open?  I know that a straight off the
shelf bridge is going to produce muted sound (like a stuffy
nose).

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Have you tried it? I think if you were going to isolate the effect the bridge has on bright vs dark you could do this. Do you have a bridge jack?? Or if you have a beater fiddle carve it out with a Fordam tool while the instrument is in full tension. Then try to isolate change in tone. To me the goal of the bridge is to optimize the fiddle's qualities and playability. If the fiddle tends to be bright, optimize the brightness etc. IMHO

These kinds of questions are hard to answer as the change in bridge design usually leads to worse response of the fiddle. Having said that, you should give yours a try and see what comes of it and report back your progress.

Mike

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Hmmm, the cut is definitely amateurish, and I'd expect it to give rather poor quality of sound compared to a pro bridge. The waist is very narrow, and the waist is also too high above the feet. The ankles are to thick, the bridge between them is very wide in proportion to the "waist" and the "ears" are very exaggerated too. Have you tried the same instrument with another bridge?

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As to what kind of bridge- It's a violin or viola bridge, if that's what you are asking. Can't tell without the size. The holes are OK (not great), but the curve on the bridge appears to be wrong. A standard bridge, as I've been trained, is a curve with a 41 mm radius (for violin). Holding a curved template up to the monitor, it appears that the E side of the bridge is a bit too flat between the strings. I would have also continued the curve to both ends of the bridge, rather than flattening it out on the outside of the G & E strings.

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I agree that the form is a bit amateurish
(like I did the job), but at least it’s not a blank. 
This probably sounds better (but doesn’t play more easily)
than one of those pre-done jobs. 



 



Yes, the bridge looks a little peaked in the
middle (or flat on the E side), but what does the fingerboard look
like?  It would be nice if we could see the instrument.

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Thank you all!I'm an eletric violinist but I'm trying to setup my

old acoustic violin (wanna play acoustic!), so I've taken my

"guarneri" (probably a 100 y.o. german violin) to a young violin

maker, that fitted this bridge for a very little amount of

money.

I've taken now a photo of the fingerboard (sorry no light to make

it decently).

And sorry for octave strings eheheh now just bought a Dominant

mute.

guarneri.jpg

octave.jpg

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My gut reaction – the bridge seems a tad
thick.  I bevel mine more, but I’m a newbie.



 



As far as the bridge shape, it seems to have
been fitted based on string height/action off of the fingerboard
only, without taking playability at the bridge into
consideration.  The E string seems to have been moved closer
to the fingerboard to make it easier to depress, but as for bowing,
it might be hard to hit a clean A near the bridge?

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My impressions are as follows: The fingerboard appears to have an even radiused curve the way that it's supposed to. This would confirm my first impressions that the bridge is not correctly curved. Measure the string clearances at the end of the fingerboard. The E string should be about 3.5 mm above the FB. The G should be about 5.5 mm. I agree that the top of the bridge seems a bit thick. The top edges should also have a VERY slight rounding. I noticed that on your first picture of the bridge there is a small patch over the E string location that is not there in the picture of the bridge on the instrument. A small parchment patch at the E string crossing of the bridge is common and correct. The string notches on the bridge should be lubricated with a soft graphite pencil. Also, no fine tuner on the E string on the tailpiece?

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It’s perfectly okay not to have a fine
tuner on the E, or any other string.  If the pegs fit properly
and are made of good ebony, you should be able to tune up
properly.  If life isn’t perfect, someone suggested bar
soap and talc on the pegs (which I have used… works
great).



 



It’s time to break out a file and round
out your bridge, and bevel the upper edge away from the fingerboard
slightly (if you really can’t play it, and if there is enough
bridge remaining to give the strings the ‘proper’
height off of the fingerboard).

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"Hmmm, the cut is definitely amateurish, and I'd expect it to give rather poor quality of sound compared to a pro bridge. The waist is very narrow, and the waist is also too high above the feet. The ankles are to thick, the bridge between them is very wide in proportion to the "waist" and the "ears" are very exaggerated too. Have you tried the same instrument with another bridge?"

---------------------------------------------------------------

I am perplexed at how you can say you expect it would give rather poor quality of sound compared to a pro bridge. I am not so fond of the way the ears have been cut (or the E string protector, and thick ankles), but some other elements look fairly respectable.

In addition, if you measure the width of the waist and the distance between the outer portions of the feet and divide the former by the latter you will get a ratio. This ratio can then be compared to other bridges, and my quick checking of this ratio compared to several dozen bridges found at violinbridges.co.uk by well known persons or shops shows that it is not inordinately narrow. By my calculations, the waist of the pictured bridge is about 14.6mm, and pro bridges are sometimes less than this, including examples at violinbridges by Beare, Gand, Machold, Collin-Mezin, Millant, etc. Perhaps the original poster can confirm the width of the waist.

There is no absolute correlation of bridge aesthetics to tone production, and who knows, with regard only to maximizing sonority, the bridge cutter in question could be an idiosyncratic savant at such tuning. To know either way, one would have hear the bridge on the violin it was meant for, and compared further to a "pro bridge" for the same violin.

It is fair to compare the aesthetics to accepted norms, but it is somewhat unfair to assign a "poor quality of sound" based only on conjecture.

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Ehm! The E string protector is a creation of mine, my first attempt

with papyrus and glue (looking at some others photos in the forum)

Can you help me to improve this tecnique? Next year I'm probably

going to a violin making school, but at the moment I'm really a

noob!

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Papyrus? Yes, a move from the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs to at least the middle ages would be in order. Parchment or vellum of about .004" thick would be ideal. Invest in a digital caliper for measuring bridge dimensions, and things like parchment.

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quote:


There is no absolute correlation of bridge aesthetics to tone production,

Agreed but the more aeshetic the bridge the chances are that you will also have a very well fitted soundpost by someone who has done both these jobs probably a few hundreds times or more. Attention to detail is everything in bridge cutting/

The more you cut the more you can see ..

gerard

www.violinbridges.co.uk

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"Agreed but the more aeshetic the bridge the chances are that you will also have a very well fitted soundpost by someone who has done both these jobs probably a few hundreds times or more."

---------------------------------------------------

I would also agree, and this is why I say "absolute correlation", as this leaves some room for the odd luthier who is not so meticulous in cutting or aesthetics, but is keenly intune with tone and dynamics. It is also worth noting that there's going to be a few bridge cutters out there with superior aesthetic skills, who are just average at tonal adjustments.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
GMM22
By my calculations, the waist of the pictured bridge is about 14.6mm, and
pro bridges
are sometimes less than this, including examples at violinbridges by Beare, Gand, Machold, Collin-Mezin, Millant, etc. Perhaps the original poster can confirm the width of the waist.

Sound bridge carving is a well kept secret. Seriously, I wouldn't make it less than 15.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
paolojacm

Maybe this kind of waist was shaped beacause of the
octave

strings
(huge tickness)...

don't you think that a bridge should also be fitted with the

strings?

Of course it should. How would thicker strings benefit from a narrow waist though?

When all is said and done: If the customer's happy, then everything's fine.

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"Sound bridge carving is a well kept secret. Seriously, I wouldn't make it less than 15."

---------------------------------------------

So does that mean the short list I provided were not privy to the secret? Mind you, I actually agree with this statement.

The waist size all depends on the blank. Strong blanks are going to require smaller waists, and smaller waists are going to also demand other parameters be of suitable values.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"It's irreversible."

It is not entirely irreversible, although I would grant that it is much easier to lower the modal frequencies than it is to raise them. Removing wood from the top and peripheries will raise the frequency.

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I am not sure who the question was for, but I cut a very standard well fit post, then cut 80 to 90% of the bridge, tweak the post, pare the bridge almost to completion, tweak the post again, and finish the bridge. The toggling might have one more or less steps depending on circumstances. I think there is no definitive last step. Either the post or the bridge might demand the final touch.

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