Soundpost adjusting and fitting.


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Hi downhere, In general, moving the soundpost towards the fingerboard tends to increase brilliance and loudness and more direct sound. Moving the soundpost towards the tailpiece decreases the l

I 100 percent agree with Melvin on all points. Well, maybe not 100% on the last one, but it's more likely that we're both thinking of the same thing and using different descriptions. My take on it is

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Has anyone tried one of these?

http://wood-carver.com/Sound-Post-Setter.html

I did at the VSA Convention. "Mr. Gemini" laughed, told me not to bother, and said it was targeted to people like school orchestra teachers, not to people who are already skilled with a soundpost setter. It was pretty slow compared to a well-functioning stabber.

I did buy a couple of clip-on soundpost retrievers from Metropolitan Music though. I was going to link to the picture from their site, but it's too small to see details of the tool. It's basically a spring-clip on the end of a rod. Push down from the top, and it clips onto the post. Works quite well. Easier than rolling the post around inside the instrument to line up the stab mark.

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....I did buy a couple of clip-on soundpost retrievers from Metropolitan Music though. I was going to link to the picture from their site, but it's too small to see details of the tool. It's basically a spring-clip on the end of a rod. Push down from the top, and it clips onto the post. Works quite well. Easier than rolling the post around inside the instrument to line up the stab mark.

I consider these to be essential sound post tools. I bought the violin/viola and cello sizes and made one for double bass. I would not want to wave a bass upside down above my head waiting for the post to fall out.

post-4504-0-82381000-1293562683_thumb.jpg

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I consider these to be essential sound post tools. I bought the violin/viola and cello sizes and made one for double bass. I would not want to wave a bass upside down above my head waiting for the post to fall out.

You can get these in ebay for reasonable prices. Check this

http://cgi.ebay.com/CELLO-Sound-Post-Retriever-Violin-Luthier-rare-tool-/350284303375?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item518e924c0f#ht_500wt_949

and this

http://cgi.ebay.com/sound-post-gauge-Setter-retriever-luthier-tool-T2B-/280606861989?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item415578eaa5#ht_5961wt_1217

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I've never used anything but the standard S setter...until I lost it one day. So as a temporary measure, I took a piece of welding wire and bent it into the S shape, hammered one end flat and sharpened it. I've been using it ever since. I think a part of the problem for new luthiers or hobbiests is that the frustration of learning to use the S setter causes them to turn to easier methods long before they develop the skills necessary.

Further to that, many new makers try a post setting and give up on it way too early, after a day or sometimes even a few hours. I feel that any new post setting needs a few days to work in before a fair assesment of the sound can be made. Also, I've never found two violins in where the best post setting is in exactly the same spot (I'm sure there are some, but I haven't seen this). One of Kenny Bakers fiddles that I looked at had the post just short of 1/2" behind the bridge, while Grappelli's Guadagnini had the post almost under the bridge! The point here is that the standard beginning setting is strictly a starting point, and ideas like "move it here and it sounds like..." must be taken strictly as generalizations. Sometimes, depending on arching, graduations, bridge shape, etc. it doesn't get fatter or whatever if you move it a certain way. Patience is the key...to me anyway.

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BTW, my soundposts have no marks and the fit is beautiful IMHO.

I don't care if my soundposts have marks. Call me a wild-man.... :lol:

A beautiful fit is..... a thing of beauty. B)

You can get these in ebay for reasonable prices.

I think I paid less, but the situation might be different for those outside the US.

Here's a link to the Metropolitan Music soundpost retriever:

http://www.metmusic.com/SearchByCategory.aspx?CategoryCode=TOOLST

Ah hell, it won't link directly to the correct page. Look at page three.

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Yes, David, the soundpost fit is what it's all about. Also the frustration level must be low for an old fart like me. <_<

I bought one of those Gemini setters at the Cleveland VSA for a buddy up North. I tried it out before sending it, and felt it was too cumbersome for me. I too had some time at the bar with Mr. Gemini. Interesting fellow. Another reason to attend VSA meetings. ;)

Anyhow, I showed MN people my "thing", not to proselytize, but to give experimenters an idea of what they can come up with at their bench. Hopefully, someone will show me something even better! Anyhow, I used the medieval peg-sticker for 4 years before switching to this. It works for me. :)

(Early) Happy New Year Gang!

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I used shake rattle, etc. up to and including basses until someone pointed out that those "mechanic's finger" gadgets at auto-parts stores are so cheap. I bought one, and it worked perfectly to retrieve bass sound-posts, so that is how I do them now-- I wish I could get a little one for cellos-- violins and violas are no problem.

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I still shake rattle the post and let it fall out, on my violin that is. I can't imagine how to do that on cello, let alone bass. :lol:

Further to that, many new makers try a post setting and give up on it way too early, after a day or sometimes even a few hours. I feel that any new post setting needs a few days to work in before a fair assesment of the sound can be made. Also, I've never found two violins in where the best post setting is in exactly the same spot (I'm sure there are some, but I haven't seen this). One of Kenny Bakers fiddles that I looked at had the post just short of 1/2" behind the bridge, while Grappelli's Guadagnini had the post almost under the bridge! The point here is that the standard beginning setting is strictly a starting point, and ideas like "move it here and it sounds like..." must be taken strictly as generalizations. Sometimes, depending on arching, graduations, bridge shape, etc. it doesn't get fatter or whatever if you move it a certain way. Patience is the key...to me anyway.

I don't see why all violins have the same best soundpost spot. But I do believe most violins have a spot unique to each violin, that'll consistently giving the best sound, given that the post fit and tension is right at that area.

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I use these made from coat hanger wire. I find the traditional post setter clunky and awkward and never had much use for it.

The one tool snugly but gently grips the post for upright positioning, and the S tool is used to pull it into place, or move the post position after it's standing. I guess it's just what I'm used to, having learned on such tools. I can stand and position a post without and fumbling around in less than a 30 seconds.post-24795-0-19461900-1293594169_thumb.jpg

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Please explain how they are used.

These are gages for determining the east/west loacation of the soundpost in relation to the bridge foot. Each gage has two legs. In use, the lower leg is inserted into the treble F hole until it is stopped by the soundpost. The upper leg remains outside on the varnished surface of the top and indicates the location of the soundpost. The different sized gages accomodate various instrument sizes and various F hole spacings. They can also be used to determine the relationship between the bass bar and the other bridge foot.

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I use a very Hi Tek tool for determining where the post is sitting - It's just a thick piece of flexible plastic with a slit cut about 3/4 down the center of it's length. With that you can measure the distance of the post from the bridge, and how far in from the edge of the F hole the post is sitting, and how it's aligned with the bridge foot.post-24795-0-77811500-1293596720_thumb.jpgpost-24795-0-17142500-1293596731_thumb.jpg

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I've always had good luck with my modified S setter, just like Jeffrey's (slimmed grip area with shrink tubing).

Using pliers-type setters, is it easy to feel the post giving resistance when it seats? I feel that the S setter always slips out when the post has found home (then again, sometimes not), and can be 'walked' around until the fit is good (or trimmed to improve). I'm sure you know what I mean.

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Finally got mine set up, 3mm behind the bridge foot, 2mm within the outer edge of the foot. Post fits flush with the top,but the bottom is slightly rounded from setting up the post. Post is vertical. I found this post much easier to adjust than the old post, as this is made of softer spruce than the old one. The old one also looks really dark, really dense, higher ring when tapped, and holds the sharpness of the cut edges much better than my new post.

The volume of the violin seems the same, more complex sounding. I wonder if the old post is of better soundpost material than the new one. After all, I bought sound post material from my violin shop for 6 dollars, but I paid 120 dollars to have the old post fitted. Don't notice a difference yet, but would be interesting to hear if there is a difference.

The new soft post is easier to wedge tho.. the old one was so hard when you wedge it it tends to skip instead of compress.

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I use these made from coat hanger wire. I find the traditional post setter clunky and awkward and never had much use for it.

The one tool snugly but gently grips the post for upright positioning, and the S tool is used to pull it into place, or move the post position after it's standing. I guess it's just what I'm used to, having learned on such tools. I can stand and position a post without and fumbling around in less than a 30 seconds.post-24795-0-19461900-1293594169_thumb.jpg

Ah, a man after my own heart. Coat hanger tools are alive and well. Here is my cello soundpost retriever. post-28965-0-43891000-1293637368_thumb.jpg

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I use a very Hi Tek tool for determining where the post is sitting - It's just a thick piece of flexible plastic with a slit cut about 3/4 down the center of it's length. With that you can measure the distance of the post from the bridge, and how far in from the edge of the F hole the post is sitting, and how it's aligned with the bridge foot.

Man, this is too high-tech for me, I'm lost! I never got past recycling old visiting cards! :lol:

Here's my post setter for narrow f-holes and undersize instruments. Long live coat hangers!!! (of course, it's not just ANY old coathanger.....) It also doubles as an extracting tool.

Bruce

post-29446-0-94043800-1293655806_thumb.jpg

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