Sign in to follow this  
Melvin Goldsmith

After Ruggeri

Recommended Posts

Melvin,

Thanks for the explanation. I am always trying to find patterns with setup, and cello TP position and material seems to offer makers a maddening number of options. I really like your idea of having multiple TP with guts of different length read to go, especially with the Teflon tailcords, which usually leaving me cursing like a sailor after the fifth time of try to uncinch one of the knots. I'm looking forward to the time when more ideas on TP tuning and position are more clearly studied and understood.

Again, it is a beautiful cello...well done.

Kelvin

Hi Kelvin thanks for your kind words and observations

I have a drawer full of differently dimensioned and set up tail pieces because being OCD I used to try to present new instruments to musicians with an optimized set up and a whole lot of variations I could do...All pretty silly on a freshly assembled instrument be it new or old. On serious cello set up I find the strings a problem doing serious adjustments....some of the A strings we like can go from sweet to harsh just from taken off tension once...this can really throw things out and be expensive

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what can you say about the bridge that worked well? Belgian, French etc?

Oded

Hi Oded it was kind of Belgian...I found the best blank to copy it as Stamm 88 or 90 K..once spread the legs are about 93/94mm

The old bridge itself was thinner than we would dare to go today but this bridge worked on a virtuoso cello for at least 20years.....The maple was very tight growth but no spectacular rays,,.that is the best stuff!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The old bridge itself was thinner than we would dare to go today but this bridge worked on a virtuoso cello for at least 20years.....

1) I'm reminded that the "cello god of the Midwest" (USA) carves extremely thin bridges, with a high, very open throat (at least I think that's what you guys call it) My (professionally trained & talented) luthier uses the word "extreme."

2) You are exactly right about A strings sounding harsh very quickly, and that's why it's always a good idea to change them out after a soundpost re-set. Of course, it all depends on how sensitive and demanding the client, but for $30 bucks, it's a safe and sound practise.

3) In the end, of course, it's the post that's critical to sound. Yes, the bridge is effective around the edges, but like totally useless unless the instrument is resonating to its maximum.

Anyway, very beautiful work, MG. I've played a half dozen Ruggeri cellos over the years, and even though I've never found 2 to be much alike, yours certainly captures the spirit.

I hope you find my ideas helpful. Good luck to you!

Larry

EDIT: If you look at my avatar that's the exact bridge of which I speak...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be interested in the model of the bridge aswell. On my own cello a marked improvement over the two Aubert french bridges was acheived when a lutier carved a modified belgian model for it. It has in common with yours that it is rather thin, at least a little over a millimetre thinner at the feet than the previous one was, but at the string groove end it is slightly thicker than most other bridges I know. Also the area around the heart is rather thick. I've noticed this lutier, who otherwise is not well known for his setup, carves other bridges thinner too, also french bridges, and it seems to have a good effect, generally. Since this proved to be such an improvement, I am suspecting that there might be more room for improvement and when my purse will allow for it, I will get some experimenting done. Then info like this might be useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lemaster and Baroque cello.

As you are both well aware there is no one bridge fits all solutions...A luthier can cut a French style Bridge to be more Belgian or vis-versa. Normally with a post there is one correct place, fit and tension... A good luthier should be able to assess that and fit a post without too much fuss.....of course if the right place is not known and the exact fit not done there are a million options...some will be better than others.

The original bridge I mentioned was exceptional for the strength of its wood...maybe that was why it was cut thin....probably in the hands of a master craftsman moonlighting from somewhere like Hills around about 1950 trying to augment his disgracefully low income to feed a family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The original bridge I mentioned was exceptional for the strength of its wood...maybe that was why it was cut thin....probably in the hands of a master craftsman moonlighting from somewhere like Hills around about 1950 trying to augment his disgracefully low income to feed a family.

Agreed. OTOH, if you believe (as I do) that literally everything on set-up has some aural consequence,(known or not) I'd note that the bridge & post on my instrument cost close to $1,000 five years ago, and for that price I'd have a right to expect the very best. Presumably he used some of the very best materials suitable to the task.

(I'm not complaining: I flew in, he completed the work in one day, the instrument sounded even more glorious than the day I fell in love with it, and I wrote it off on my taxes anyway.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed. OTOH, if you believe (as I do) that literally everything on set-up has some aural consequence,(known or not) I'd note that the bridge & post on my instrument cost close to $1,000 five years ago, and for that price I'd have a right to expect the very best. Presumably he used some of the very best materials suitable to the task.

(I'm not complaining: I flew in, he completed the work in one day, the instrument sounded even more glorious than the day I fell in love with it, and I wrote it off on my taxes anyway.)

That is superb!....The luthier deserves a mention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is superb!....The luthier deserves a mention.

MG, I'd love to tell you the name, but since lutherie is not my bailiwick, and each profession seems to have a "code" of some kind, I'm uncomfortable in doing so. Jeffrey Holmes knows of whom I speak, if he would like to tell you the name, I don't think any party would be offended.

(Just don't expect to receive the same treatment. He only works on cellos, and only if you can provide a suitably impressive name of a mutual professional friend. Even then I still had to beg!)

Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Melving, OCD may be a rather commom among violin makers...

I am curious if you use your tailgut "afterlenght" experiments in the violas you make too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Melving, OCD may be a rather commom among violin makers...

I am curious if you use your tailgut "afterlenght" experiments in the violas you make too.

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

Hi Luis

I have experimented a lot with these also....on the viola models I currently use I like the tailgut as short as possible and an afterlength that is a bit longer than 1/6 of string length....That might not suit other models of viola of course! but from what I see of your beautiful violas the afterlength is treated similarly if I am not mistaken?

Something I find when copying an instrument that really works well is that copying the set up generally works too because that has been optimized by very clever luthiers already!

One thing I find is that adjustments where the strings come off like tailpiece adjustments need a day or two to settle in to judge the effects and the time required for this settling increases with the size of the instrument. In the past I would spend a day or so trying to optimize a viola or cello with different tailpiece settings....generally there might be a few clues to progress but things would tend to get worse the more settings I tried. ...even going back to the original setting did not seem good like it was before...There was a reason why things were not improving...the instrument was unsettled buy being unstrung and the strings were being damaged every time they were taken to tension and released again especially the A and D....these were two variables that I now try to take into consideration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Melvin! Yes, I use an afterlenth that is longer than the traditional 1/6 of the string length.

Yes, one of the reason some old instruments sound good is that there were good luthiers working in them for the last 300 years!!! That includes million variables

in set up, string choice, bridges, posts, etc.

Today in general I will be satisfied with the first set up, it must sound good with the first set up, if I am not satisfied with the first set up most probably that's because

some disaster happened... After working a lot of time with demanding players today I hardly have to make a sound adjustment, fortunatly.

But some small things in many cases will make a big difference...

That's why every time I meet a top player or top maker I ask "what can I do better?".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.