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Why sound post fit matters


actonern
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Wouldn't the post act as a fulcrum point and the greater the distance between the fulcrum and the bridge foot, the more leverage? The more leverage, the greater the vertical movement of the belly? The fit of the post then influences the behavior of the fulcrum? Bad fit>>less stable fulcrum?

 Yes. :) ..my feeling being that a perfectly fitted post will be innevitably less perfectly fitting the further away from the post it is fitted

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 I have to replace a violin nut due to excessive wear and wonder if a Delrin nut might be worth a try. I saw one place that sells black Delrin rod in 1 foot lengths in different diameters. Any thoughts?

 

I haven't done much with Delrin other than the little inserts.  It doesn't work like wood, so trimming a Delrin nut might be a trying experience.  I don't know about finishing and polishing either, or how it would look.

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Aaron Rosand had the same Wurlitzer bridge on the Kochanski for at least 40 years. That may be an exception but I don't see why a bridge shouldn't last forever too except that players don't take care of them.

Actually I suspect "bridges" [plural] would be more accurate. Chances are when Mr. Rosand needed a bridge changed because of climatic conditions he walked down Broadway and had Wurlitzer do it. Then, of course, when the seasonal weather changed again, he'd reverse the process. IOW, my belief is a bridge can and will last the life of the violin if it isn't given the chance to warp or become misplaced in the first instance. It's a "dead" material not subject to change.

That being said, bridges are cut pretty thin, and it's easy for a player to forget to check its "lean" and torque every few days, esp. when a string is changed which may pull the top toward the nut.

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Actually I suspect "bridges" [plural] would be more accurate. Chances are when Mr. Rosand needed a bridge changed because of climatic conditions he walked down Broadway and had Wurlitzer do it. Then, of course, when the seasonal weather changed again, he'd reverse the process.

I would suspect otherwise. In my experience, there isn't a huge problem with a properly maintained violin bridge lasting for 40 years, with occasional corrections. And violin bridge height seasonal variations are not nearly on the scale of cello bridge seasonal variations.

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I too see bridges decades old and working perfectly.

 

I came across an odd one when I was in school. One of my classmates was given a very nice Le Jeune fiddle to repair. It sounded like it was packed full of sawdust - it literally had no sound. It belonged to a very good violinist who lived in Brazil, and was home on holidays. It had a very nice bridge from Vatelot that the owner was anxious to keep. 

 

No one could see anything wrong, so the teacher decided the bar must be worn out. So the fiddle was opened - no mean feat , as it had all been rebuilt with white glue in Brazil, and a new bar fitted. When it all went together again it sounded the same. As a last resort an old bridge that kind of fitted was tried, and the fiddle worked.

 

The old bridge looked perfect, but had simply no sound. I've never seen anything like it since. Anyone come across this before?

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I have no sense of the scale of plate excursions on fff passages, but if the post fit is good in a static position even far away from the bridge, say 8 mm away, would these vibrations be big enough to cause gaps in the fit between cycles?

 

If there was no vertical string pressure, then there might be a problem.  But there is a lot of vertical pressure.  I would think that transient gapping of the soundpost during hard playing would be about as likely as having a string jump out of the bridge notch.

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Actually I suspect "bridges" [plural] would be more accurate. Chances are when Mr. Rosand needed a bridge changed because of climatic conditions he walked down Broadway and had Wurlitzer do it. Then, of course, when the seasonal weather changed again, he'd reverse the process. IOW, my belief is a bridge can and will last the life of the violin if it isn't given the chance to warp or become misplaced in the first instance. It's a "dead" material not subject to change.

That being said, bridges are cut pretty thin, and it's easy for a player to forget to check its "lean" and torque every few days, esp. when a string is changed which may pull the top toward the nut.

Rosand has spoken in print of taking care of this original Wurlitzer bridge. I saw this violin in New York at the Metropolitan Guarneri Exhibition and it was an old Wurlitzer bridge. I saw the violin again about 15 years later and it had the same bridge.

I have a nice early 20 th century violin that has the same bridge on it for 30 years. A Gutter model bridge. The same as Wurlitzer used coincidentally.

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Cow bone is the usual material. Some factories have been known to use corian.

Agreed on the bone. Don't know about corian, but I've fitted one bone nut on a guitar. I thought I would never get it shaped and the slots filed. I would think that bone could be dyed black fairly easily but haven't tried.

 

I think I have only one customer using Evahs and haven't heard of a problem.

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Yes. :) ..my feeling being that a perfectly fitted post will be innevitably less perfectly fitting the further away from the post it is fitted

This is an interesting idea. The question is, when the post is acting as a node, how much does the top plate actually move? Enough to lose contact with part of the face of the post? If so, then perhaps a poorly fitted post partially loses contact, making for a poor tone.

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Agreed on the bone. Don't know about corian, but I've fitted one bone nut on a guitar. I thought I would never get it shaped and the slots filed. I would think that bone could be dyed black fairly easily but haven't tried.

 

I think I have only one customer using Evahs and haven't heard of a problem.

 

The rear shin bone of a cow is what I've used for nuts and saddles. The bone needs to be degreased, I buy it raw from a butcher. I cut with a bandsaw and rough into shape with a disc sander. I've tried to dye it with leather dye, it doesn't work. I would really like to find a way to "yellow" it. Hide glue works great on bone. 

 

Scott

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Rostand has spoken in print of taking care of this original Wurlitzer bridge. I saw this violin in New York at the Metropolitan Guarneri Exhibition and it was an old Wurlitzer bridge. I saw the violin again about 15 years later and it had the same bridge.

I have a nice early 20 th century violin that has the same bridge on it for 30 years. A Gutter model bridge. The same as Wurlitzer used coincidentally.

Curious

Now I'm curious. How do you know it's a Gutter bridge and how do you know that's the brand Wurlitzer used?

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Curious

Now I'm curious. How do you know it's a Gutter bridge and how do you know that's the brand Wurlitzer used?

The shop I bought the violin from had extensive dealings with Wurlitzers in the 60s and early 70s and the owner of the shop told me that was the model they used. The owner was also in the position to know a Gutter model from other models.

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The shop I bought the violin from had extensive dealings with Wurlitzers in the 60s and early 70s and the owner of the shop told me that was the model they used. The owner was also in the position to know a Gutter model from other models.

 

I still have a few of those blanks (given to me by an ex-Wurlitzer restorer) hidden away.  Nice wood.

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I would suspect otherwise. In my experience, there isn't a huge problem with a properly maintained violin bridge lasting for 40 years, with occasional corrections. And violin bridge height seasonal variations are not nearly on the scale of cello bridge seasonal variations.

As I said, there's no reason a bridge can't last 40 years if it's properly taken care of. In the case of seasonal variations, NY has pretty severe climatic changes, I'd be surprised if no one ever changes bridges, but it pro'ly depends also on the model.

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I don't have an answer yet. Maybe I'll look into whether some of the synthetic materials used for guitar nuts have better wear properties than ebony. Anybody know?

You could try graphite.  I've made a ton of guitar nuts out of this back when it was all the rage. Seems to be self lubricating. Had to charge alot for them as they killed my files fast. Would be kind of a cool look at the end of the board too. Your certainly not gonna wear it down. And just think, when you install that vibrola in between the tailpiece and bridge, the strings will slide well over the nut!! :lol:  :lol:

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