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fitting a sound post


Mat Roop

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Dang. I'm out. rolleyes.gif

There are some brilliant posts in this topic, and I would like to thank those who made them for sharing their expertise.

+++++++++++++++

" Fitting a sound post" is "fitting a sound post" It is a simple operation. Some people can do a better job than other.

If you are not happy with your own result or you do not trust yourself doing it then have some better luthier to do

it for you. The riskof damaging the f holes is great if you keep trying.

My own observation: I have seen one professionally fitted sound post. It was so good (perfect) If I need to fit a sound post again

I would have him do it. In violin work, perfection is important. I used a dental mirror to check the work, It is perfect. Seeing is believing.

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David,

What exactly is Fi Fi's role in the setting of the soundpost?

I've often found that 2 hands aren't quite enough, so I'd be keen to know your method.

I also picked up from this thread that a French accent is helpful - maybe she just provides that, though I can't see why she'd be under the workbench. Unless you use some kind of sound reinforcement - I know some makers bombard their violins with soundwaves, perhaps you use the French at high volumes while setting the post? All that expensive audio equipment can suffer from excessive wood dust - I guess you want to keep it out of the way.

I know you're a busy man, but if you could just share this info then we could all move on .....

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Sigh :rolleyes:

Read post #79 several more times, with a focus on comprehension this time.

What I've tried to explain is that our available verbal descriptions of sound are inadequate to communicate that level of detail, and there's not good enough agreement on what the terms mean. You kind of need to be there, and try to commit the sounds to aural memory.

I agree here - it's what happens to me when I'm trying to describe morons how a Strad sounds.

You can express your dissatisfaction with this till the cows come home, but that's the reality as I see it.

No. I'll stop here.

Or I could go with plan B, and spew a bunch of authoritative-sounding junk so I sound like more of an expert. :lol:

I suspect that's what you're really looking for.

No, don't do that. You know who was doing that. I mean besides Nigogosian.

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I think I've covered that ( type of violin ).

You said that Renee Morel demoed his system of adjusting the s/p position. I believe ( wrongly it seems ) that such tinkering around standard position has small influence over some 4 octaves, being FAR outwighed by the need to have a PERFECT fit. More so, I believe a tipical violin ( like you make ) is inherently designed to receive the s/p in the standard position ( that's were you put it ). I might be wrong, of course.

I also believe that making micro adjustments of the s/p is a great marketing ploy.

But Carl, why is it necessary that a talented luthier would have some 'system'? Rene probably apprenticed when he was quite young, and developed a natural talent, just like performers with professional attainments pretty much have to do. I imagine after 20 or so years one could learn to do some things very, very well. As for listening, Rene was listening for the same things players do: overtones/color.

We all agree that perfect fit is essential; maybe if you could actually 'see' a perfect fit it would be helpful. But maybe the 'perfect fit' can, in the end, be heard. Think of dividing the post into quadrants. Are you sure that all quadrants are receiving equal tension just by looking?

As for your conceit that micro-adjustments of the s/p is a marketing ploy, probably the less said the better, except for me to point out to you that among serious professional-level players you'd risk being laughed out the door if you were to say such a thing.

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... not sure how we got from marking soundposts to waterboarding Mademoiselle Fifi? rolleyes.gif

[rant]

If I may attempt a recapitulation of the major digression...

Those who lack a well developed, critical ear scoff at micro-adjustment of soundposts, those who have a well developed critical ear advocate the importance of micro-adjustment.

I happen to have been cursed with a well developed critical ear, FWIW. dry.gif What I lack is experience in violin adjustment, hence my interest in the topic. IMHO those without the curse are happier musicians.

[/rant]

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I attended a birthday party recently, wherein some of the attendees participated in "karaoke" performances. They all had great fun, but it was painful and embarassing to watch/hear. I had to go outside, several times. Is this one of those "critical ear" experiences? :)

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I attended a birthday party recently, wherein some of the attendees participated in "karaoke" performances. They all had great fun, but it was painful and embarassing to watch/hear. I had to go outside, several times. Is this one of those "critical ear" experiences? :)

No, sorry. That's just a karaoke experience. Your ear is fine, but you lack a deep understanding of Japanese culture. And thank you for playing. tongue.giflaugh.gif

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I attended a birthday party recently, wherein some of the attendees participated in "karaoke" performances. They all had great fun, but it was painful and embarassing to watch/hear. I had to go outside, several times. Is this one of those "critical ear" experiences? :)

I just went to the high school band concert.....ouch.....My critical ears are now on strike

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Dunno....hearing a Johnny Cash song sung (as a duet, I guess you could say) to two different melodies simultaneously, neither of which had the remotest relation to the original tune, was disconcerting. Didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I left.

Guess it must be an acquired taste.

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Dunno....hearing a Johnny Cash song sung (as a duet, I guess you could say) to two different melodies simultaneously, neither of which had the remotest relation to the original tune, was disconcerting. Didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I left.

Guess it must be an acquired taste.

You obviously need some help here. Drink a pint of vodka, and try playing your violin upside down. You should be wearing a lampshade on top of your head, and your candy-cane boxers, and you should sing jingle bells in Japanese at the same time. If you don't have candy cane boxers, you are beyond help. blink.giflaugh.gif

Now back to soundposts...

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But Carl, why is it necessary that a talented luthier would have some 'system'? Rene probably apprenticed when he was quite young, and developed a natural talent, just like performers with professional attainments pretty much have to do. I imagine after 20 or so years one could learn to do some things very, very well. As for listening, Rene was listening for the same things players do: overtones/color.

We all agree that perfect fit is essential; maybe if you could actually 'see' a perfect fit it would be helpful. But maybe the 'perfect fit' can, in the end, be heard. Think of dividing the post into quadrants. Are you sure that all quadrants are receiving equal tension just by looking?

As for your conceit that micro-adjustments of the s/p is a marketing ploy, probably the less said the better, except for me to point out to you that among serious professional-level players you'd risk being laughed out the door if you were to say such a thing.

You can imagine all you want but I tend to be suspicious of "the magic touch". But that's me.

Yes, you can see a perfect fit. You need a mgnifying mirror. A proper one and an adjustable fiber optic light source.

I don't know much about "professional level players". The ones I used to know. were probably not in this exclusive category.

And please, next time when you want to put me in my place do it from a logically argued position not probabilities, maybes, beliefs and feelings. Unless, of course, you've been say, the recording engineer of some major european orchestra and spent some years with the "who's who" amongst professional level players doing some meaningful work.

Sort of a friend of mine, ( not really - he's an idiot... ), saw a couple of times that when the microphone was close to hitting the road the confidence of the s/p ajusteur was doing the same...Szeryng for example, was not always the politest of people.

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"Magic" has nothing to do with it, and I didn't imply otherwise. When Rene adjusted a post he asked you to play in an acoustically appropriate room (i.e., NOT an echo chamber) where you can actually hear overtones/color. Once you learn what to listen for, the actual moving of the post would only be a matter of experience.

And I don't care how many magnifying mirrors or fibre light sources you have, what we're talking about can't really be seen in fine degrees. You have to use your ears and hopefully with some appropriate measure of humility. Things are often not what they seem at first glance, and minute adjustments would fall into this category.

Finally, as a matter of fact, I HAVE spent many years working with the "who's who," though certainly not as an engineer of any kind. Mr. Szeryng was a remarkably polite, warm and cultured man, beloved by his students. An artist, when making a recording, has a right to be demanding of everyone in the chain, from the s/p setter to the engineer. If someone in this chain doesn't appreciate the necessity of putting out a product suitable for posterity, maybe the problem lies not with the soloist, but elsewhere.

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Hi Carl:

Your profile is rather threadbare... could you tell us a little about yourself to better help readers assess the level of experience behind some of these expressed opinions?

No. This is not a notoriety competition.

And please, next time when you want to put me in my place do it from a logically argued position not probabilities, maybes, beliefs and feelings. Unless, of course, you've been say, the recording engineer of some major european orchestra and spent some years with the "who's who" amongst professional level players doing some meaningful work.

Hmmm, now I'm confused. Do you think the background of the poster matters, or not?

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"Magic" has nothing to do with it, and I didn't imply otherwise. When Rene adjusted a post he asked you to play in an acoustically appropriate room (i.e., NOT an echo chamber) where you can actually hear overtones/color. Once you learn what to listen for, the actual moving of the post would only be a matter of experience.

Listen to WHAT exactly ? Move HOW ?

Please explain us - we're ready to learn. You were there and he told you to listen to ....WHAT ? "what" did not sound quite right and he moved the s/p HOW ?

Is this simple enough for you ?

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Listen to WHAT exactly ? Move HOW ?

Please explain us - we're ready to learn. You were there and he told you to listen to ....WHAT ? "what" did not sound quite right and he moved the s/p HOW ?

Is this simple enough for you ?

1) Listen for the absence or presence of color, and the player's assesment of it, then use your ears and your experience to move it where you think it would be better positioned.

2) No, it was *I* who asked *Rene* to listen. He adjusted the post minutely and I wrote him a check and left.

3) I repeat my theory (and it is just that...) that when the post fits, the instrument will work to its potential.

I feel we're just going around in circles that are becoming increasingly argumentative. I can't make it any more elemental than this.

In the end,

"A man convinced against his will,

is of the same opinion still."

Good day to you.

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David ! Of course it matters. But this is not a notoriety competition.

Notoriety, no... doesn't much matter to me... but with the limited time I have to carefully read posts on the board, credibility is certainly a factor in what I choose to spend time considering... can certainly be earned, even when a background is unknown, but more difficult when withholding is evident or input is argumentative rather than constructive.

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1) Listen for the absence or presence of color, and the player's assesment of it, then use your ears and your experience to move it where you think it would be better positioned.

2) No, it was *I* who asked *Rene* to listen. He adjusted the post minutely and I wrote him a check and left.

3) I repeat my theory (and it is just that...) that when the post fits, the instrument will work to its potential.

I feel we're just going around in circles that are becoming increasingly argumentative. I can't make it any more elemental than this.

In the end,

"A man convinced against his will,

is of the same opinion still."

Good day to you.

Thank you very much. In other words you simply observed Morel adjusting the post and were happy with the result. He did not make a new post, I take it, but nudged the old one in another position and this improved the instrument.

I believe this simply improved the fit. But that's ( obviously ) my personal opinion.

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I believe this simply improved the fit. But that's ( obviously ) my personal opinion.

But a perfectly reasonable one. There is obviously a certain amount of circularity in sound post fitting and placement. Nevertheless, small movements in the sound post, which would be minimal in terms of fit can have a significant impact on tone. I'm not down to David's 0.2mm yet, but I have experienced the above.

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Notoriety, no... doesn't much matter to me... but with the limited time I have to carefully read posts on the board, credibility is certainly a factor in what I choose to spend time considering... can certainly be earned, even when a background is unknown, but more difficult when withholding is evident or input is argumentative rather than constructive.

Sorry if I appeared argumentative. Basically all I wanted to find out was how s/p problems due to fit were discriminated from the ones due to position. As the work was carried at the Oberlin w/shop and was amply documented I expected something like this to have been sorted out. I do not dispute the fact that Renee Morel could improve a violin by working on the s/p. I'm sure he could.

And so can I if they're crappy enough to start with though surely that doesn't mean much.

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