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Stuck a coin under the fingerboard


richardz

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I've been experimenting with one of my violins that needs improvement. After I changed the tailpiece and afterlength, which improved it, I was continuing to think along the lines of vibrating massed attached to the violin, and remembered reading about people putting clay on various spots. I have no clay at the moment, so I scotch taped a quarter under the the bridge end of the fingerboard (the fingerboard is thin). The sound became more focused, not perfect but definitely an improvement.

Am I imagining things?

Is there more I can do to experiment in this direction?

Thank you for any suggestions or information.

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I've been experimenting with one of my violins that needs improvement. After I changed the tailpiece and afterlength, which improved it, I was continuing to think along the lines of vibrating massed attached to the violin, and remembered reading about people putting clay on various spots. I have no clay at the moment, so I scotch taped a quarter under the the bridge end of the fingerboard (the fingerboard is thin). The sound became more focused, not perfect but definitely an improvement.

Am I imagining things?

Is there more I can do to experiment in this direction?

Thank you for any suggestions or information.

You are not imagining things! I thin finger board can make the violin lose "focuses".

Other things you could check would be , are the bridge feet fitting perfectly to the top of the violin, and is the sound post fitted well to the top and back .

Good luck, Larry

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very cheap chinese violins can be made more valuable, by carefully glueing a one ounce gold coin under the fingerboard, however if you get hard up for cash and decide to spend the gold coin, the violin goes back to being essentially worthless

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I scotch taped a quarter under the the bridge end of the fingerboard (the fingerboard is thin). The sound became more focused, not perfect but definitely an improvement.

Am I imagining things?

Is there more I can do to experiment in this direction?

Thank you for any suggestions or information.

If you trust you ear then, whats to imagine? Better is better, and worse is worse. Trust your ear and your bow arm.

Realize that there are entire "schools of thought" and practice, that encourage the removal (or addition) of miniscule amounts of wood, in particular locations, in order to tailor the response of the violin. In fact, many people believe that this is how the big boys did it - etc. So, ask yourself what might a coin do?

Wolf note eliminators often work pretty much on the principal of what you are asking about, also. Weights applied in certain specific locations to accomplish their specific task. Sprung or not.

And, personally I've learned through building, that the fingerboard (often because it is coupled to the neck) can be way too light or way too heavy, in one live demonstration I watched, weight (intentionally way over thick neck wood) was removed from the neck of a newly strung up violin, until the violin was brought into the normal range - and sounded much better, So what effect might the FB have? etc., ad infinitum.

Anything that changes the tone for the better changes the tone for the better - I believe that all violin makers experiment with these things, as should you also. Luckily, our ears can be our most valuable asset in seeing how these things work. A "machine" cannot be anywhere near as accurate as when we play and listen or feel the response for ourselves.

Good luck.

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very cheap chinese violins can be made more valuable, by carefully glueing a one ounce gold coin under the fingerboard, however if you get hard up for cash and decide to spend the gold coin, the violin goes back to being essentially worthless

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

Who said so? A good set up you are in business. If you do not spand money on a violin, even a Strad will not do you any good.

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I've been experimenting with one of my violins that needs improvement. After I changed the tailpiece and afterlength, which improved it, I was continuing to think along the lines of vibrating massed attached to the violin, and remembered reading about people putting clay on various spots. I have no clay at the moment, so I scotch taped a quarter under the the bridge end of the fingerboard (the fingerboard is thin). The sound became more focused, not perfect but definitely an improvement.

Am I imagining things?

Is there more I can do to experiment in this direction?

Thank you for any suggestions or information.

Recently I added a chin rest to my latest violin and was shocked at the difference,a definite positive shift in almost every way. While playing around with it, I noticed that If I damped the strings, bridge and tail piece then tap the back there was much more sustain than if the FB was included in the damping....this leads me to think that the overhang of the FB creates a sort of tuning fork type arrangement, where the neck serves as one arm and the overhang serves as the other arm...I also notice the same effect CT talked of, of thinning the neck on a fully strung violin, an increase of tone,sustain.

Under the heading of "everything matters" and "more and more about less and less", how could the FB overhang NOT have an effect on tone production? The Strad 3D project clearly shows the FB vibrating at certain Freqs.

Have you tried tapping a Pile of quarters under the FB to try and judge a larger effect? I'd love to see Don or Anders do a plot, one with a damped FB, one with out damping. :unsure: ...More and More about Less and Less.

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You are not imagining things! I thin finger board can make the violin lose "focuses". Other things you could check would be , are the bridge feet fitting perfectly to the top of the violin, and is the sound post fitted well to the top and back . Good luck, Larry

Thanks LDL! Yes I think this is the case. The soundpost and bridge are supposedly good.

If you trust you ear then, what’s to imagine? Better is better, and worse is worse. Trust your ear and your bow arm.Realize that there are entire "schools of thought" and practice, that encourage the removal (or addition) of miniscule amounts of wood, in particular locations, in order to “tailor “the response of the violin. In fact, many people believe that this is how the big boys did it - etc. So, ask yourself what might a coin do?Wolf note eliminators often work pretty much on the principal of what you are asking about, also. Weights applied in certain specific locations to accomplish their specific task. Sprung or not. And, personally I've learned through building, that the fingerboard (often because it is coupled to the neck) can be way too light or way too heavy, in one live demonstration I watched, weight (intentionally way over thick neck wood) was removed from the neck of a newly strung up violin, until the violin was brought into the normal range - and sounded much better, So what effect might the FB have? etc., ad infinitum.Anything that changes the tone for the better changes the tone for the better - I believe that all violin makers experiment with these things, as should you also. Luckily, our ears can be our most valuable asset in seeing how these things work. A "machine" cannot be anywhere near as accurate as when we play and listen or feel the response for ourselves.Good luck.

Thanks for all you said CT: I was thinking the fingerboard in particular must have a large effect because it sticks out in the air almost like a large tuning fork. If the pitch or vibrating frequency of the FB doesn't resonate or harmonise with the corpus etc it probably creates dissonance which impedes or negates full vibration of the violin itself. In this case I think it's negating. I did further searching after posting this and did find a lot of material to get me in deeper. As always, thanks for the encouragement and wisdom. Also, unrelated, in a little while I'll PM you with a link you'll probably like.

Do you mean you taped the quarter to the top or to the fingerboard?

Brad: to the fingerboard

I have noticed differences with the after length and weight changes to tailpiece and fingerboard. You are not imagining things. Sometimes they are subtle differences and the people with less developed hearing might think differently.

Scordatura: Thank you. I think you have summed it up perfectly, particularly in your last sentence.

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Recently I added a chin rest to my latest violin and was shocked at the difference,a definite positive shift in almost every way. While playing around with it, I noticed that If I damped the strings, bridge and tail piece then tap the back there was much more sustain than if the FB was included in the damping....this leads me to think that the overhang of the FB creates a sort of tuning fork type arrangement, where the neck serves as one arm and the overhang serves as the other arm...I also notice the same effect CT talked of, of thinning the neck on a fully strung violin, an increase of tone,sustain.

Under the heading of "everything matters" and "more and more about less and less", how could the FB overhang NOT have an effect on tone production? The Strad 3D project clearly shows the FB vibrating at certain Freqs.

Have you tried tapping a Pile of quarters under the FB to try and judge a larger effect? I'd love to see Don or Anders do a plot, one with a damped FB, one with out damping. :unsure: ...More and More about Less and Less.

James:

I must have been typing as you posted then missed your post, and also picked up on your tuning fork analogy through the ether. Interesting. I guess I knew something about this but then forgot it all. I bought some modeling clay today and I'm going to experiment with more mass. It also has me thinking about the chinrest as you suggested too. When I bought this violin it was beatifully appointed with all boxwood including the chinrest. In this case, with a lighter violin the beauty may be only skin deep. I'm going to try an ebony tailpiece too. I'll post the results later. Thank you!

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I experimented with the modeling clay. Sorry, I don't have a scale so I can't be specific. The general trends seem to be:

I put a piece of clay about the weight of 3 or 4 quarters in the end of the underside scoop the furthest from the bridge.

Result: The violin had much more clarity and focus, and a little more body to the high end. I would say it changed the character of the sound significantly, and mostly in the midrange.

I progressively added 2 more smaller pieces which eventually filled the underside scoop toward the bridge.

Result: This progressively added more of the lower frequencies, and additional body to the sound.

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