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Strange neck angle


Polk
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S,

This is not a criticism of a technique, and I did not mention any technique. In fact, we have many very good and respected colleagues like Jacob that set the neck flat, and I set necks flat myself when appropriate. My point is that these colleagues don't spend their time criticizing great masters of the past in order to glorify themselves. They learn from the past first, and then with that learned experience come up with well reasoned and respectable opinions.

 

I don't get your point and I don't see where he criticized "great makers of the past". He disagrees with them and that is completely different thing. It seems you do not disagree with him and your approach is more

nuanced. But there were two other threads on this issue with lots of arguments brought forth and inherently when one now disagrees, one criticizes. You say on your site that you "worked" with Morel and Francais. Few had this opportunity and it doesn't mean I can't criticize something because I did not "work" with them. That's plain nonsense. I will show you one example :

 

you all make the fingerboard round all over with 42mm radius. I am convinced that having flatter radius towards scroll helps a great deal people with difficult hands. I found over the years, I am not the only one.

Must I have worked for Morel and Francais for my opinion to have any merit and not be taken as "criticism" ?

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I don't get your point and I don't see where he criticized "great makers of the past". He disagrees with them and that is completely different thing. It seems you do not disagree with him and your approach is more

nuanced. But there were two other threads on this issue with lots of arguments brought forth and inherently when one now disagrees, one criticizes. You say on your site that you "worked" with Morel and Francais. Few had this opportunity and it doesn't mean I can't criticize something because I did not "work" with them. That's plain nonsense. I will show you one example :

 

you all make the fingerboard round all over with 42mm radius. I am convinced that having flatter radius towards scroll helps a great deal people with difficult hands. I found over the years, I am not the only one.

Must I have worked for Morel and Francais for my opinion to have any merit and not be taken as "criticism" ?

Opinions differ, absolutely. When you read Michael's last post does it sound like he is only offering an opinion about a technique?

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I don't get your point and I don't see where he criticized "great makers of the past". He disagrees with them and that is completely different thing. It seems you do not disagree with him and your approach is more

nuanced. But there were two other threads on this issue with lots of arguments brought forth and inherently when one now disagrees, one criticizes. You say on your site that you "worked" with Morel and Francais. Few had this opportunity and it doesn't mean I can't criticize something because I did not "work" with them. That's plain nonsense.

You're missing the point. What's objected to is not a difference of opinion, but uninformed, sarcastic and pejorative statements such as,

 

"They do it the other way because makers always know what's best, despite what customers want. If you question that, you only need to read this thread to see how hard it is to drag makers away from an idea that some ancient violin back room gods (David named them for you) decided violin players needed for their own good."

 

And,

 

"Also, a quick check of Courtnall & Johnson just now seems to indicate that they set it level also, so perhaps this is just a backwater American habit that will properly disappear in time."

 

Courtnall and Johnson wrote a really really good book on violin making. Will it be sufficient alone to propel one into the higher echelons? Probably not. There is much much more to be learned.

 

Most of us who worked with the last-generation legends are extremely grateful for the experience, learned a lot, experimented a lot, kept some concepts with seemed to have proven merit, and discarded others in favor of some of our own or some from other sources. For someone to come along and trash these legends with a broad brush, inventing their personalities and methodologies without ever having known them, is offensive, if for no more than the level of assertive ignorance displayed. 

 

Weisshaar encouraged experimentation, and testing his ideas.

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I think it a little unfortunate when a conversation descends to the level of so-and-so did it like that, and who the hell are you. Weißhaar isn't the gospel, and believing him to be wrong on some points isn't blasphemy.

From a playing “ergonomics” point of view, since the E string has up to 2mm less height above the board than the G string, and because one plays 100x more often in the high positions on the E string than on the G string, there are logical arguments for the board to tilt very slightly upwards towards the E string. The practical consideration of the player being less likely to damage the edgework with the bow ferrule, or the top corner with his/her index finger are also a legitimate argument. On particularly wide instrument all the more. Tertis, for instance specified that the Überstand (US overstand) should be a half mm more on the treble side. Making the fingerboard exactly horizontal is the safe bet, and certainly not wrong, but I can't think of a single reason for making the board tilt upwards towards the G string. Playing the violin is difficult enough without making it arbitrarily even more difficult.

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From a playing “ergonomics” point of view, since the E string has up to 2mm less height above the board than the G string, and because one plays 100x more often in the high positions on the E string than on the G string, there are logical arguments for the board to tilt very slightly upwards towards the E string. The practical consideration of the player being less lightly to damage the edgework with the bow ferule, or the top corner with his/her index finger are also a legitimate argument. On particularly wide instrument all the more. Tertis, for instance specified that the Überstand (US overstand) should be a half mm more on the treble side.

On my wide model cellos, I use an overstand of 28-29 mm (versus a more conventional 22-24 or so). It can be a little dangerous to get hung up on strict rules and measurements.

 

If I should run across a player who was hacking up the treble C bout on a violin with a normal neck angle (which is extremely rare), certainly, I would suggest no transverse angle, or even tilting it the other way. There's already been plenty said in this thread about matching setup parameters to individual players, and individual violins.

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I think it a little unfortunate when a conversation descends to the level of so-and-so did it like that, and who the hell are you. Weißhaar isn't the gospel, and believing him to be wrong on some points isn't blasphemy.

From a playing “ergonomics” point of view, since the E string has up to 2mm less height above the board than the G string, and because one plays 100x more often in the high positions on the E string than on the G string, there are logical arguments for the board to tilt very slightly upwards towards the E string. The practical consideration of the player being less likely to damage the edgework with the bow ferrule, or the top corner with his/her index finger are also a legitimate argument. On particularly wide instrument all the more. Tertis, for instance specified that the Überstand (US overstand) should be a half mm more on the treble side. Making the fingerboard exactly horizontal is the safe bet, and certainly not wrong, but I can't think of a single reason for making the board tilt upwards towards the G string. Playing the violin is difficult enough without making it arbitrarily even more difficult.

 

Thanks for that JacobS.

 

Also, I think it is a general dictum to make the fingerboard slighty thinner for violins on the E-string side?

 

Anyhow, to all, let's leave the invocations/iconoclasms out of this. It does not befit some of the contributors, and does not add anything to the merits of the board.

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I think it a little unfortunate when a conversation descends to the level of so-and-so did it like that, and who the hell are you. Weißhaar isn't the gospel, and believing him to be wrong on some points isn't blasphemy.

 

I don't recall anyone here (including those who worked for them) saying that Weisshaar, Sacconi or Rene etc were never wrong about anything. Ideas which survive careful scrutiny can be carried forward. Others are superseded and replaced.

 

What's of little benefit is making stuff up about them, in the absence of real knowledge.

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Oh good, then there will be no bad blood when I say that you are wrong on the OP question then :)

It appears that you have lost track of the OP question and my responses to him. The OP asked about changing the tilt of the neck. In the next post, I asked if there was a bow clearance issue (because I'm not an advocate of unnecessary repairs). He responded that there was. In post #20, I suggested one possible and minimally invasive way of reducing the tilt.

 

As far as the rest of the debate, I don't have a personally invested stand on the neck angle deal. You can experiment with both (or not), and find your own way as you see fit.

 

If one wants to know what many of the major shops have concluded from their experience with many of the finest players, that's provided here, if one happens to be interested in that. If not, that's OK too. :)

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Experiment with both (or not)

Making the treble side of the fingerboard lower than the bass one makes it more awkward to play on the E string above ca. 5th. position, and easier to ransack the edges/corner of the belly. Next time I do something stupid, I will just tell the customer that I was “experimenting” if you don’t mind the plagurisation

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  Next time I do something stupid, I will just tell the customer that I was “experimenting” if you don’t mind the plagurisation

I would encourage you to do most of your experimenting on instruments you make or own (preferably low-value instruments), and not jump into doing things which you suspect to be stupid on customer instruments. ;)

 

Lots of people here do a good portion of their experimenting on inexpensive commercial instruments which they purchase for that purpose. And I think that's what Sam Z did with his "gluey" fiddle. Seems like a reasonable way to get the ball rolling.

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I do it also,,,,because,

It makes the angle of the e string over the bridge slightly less,,,

the g will maintain relative strength by comparison,

it just make sense to me, I am also a player,,

I'm glad to see I'm not totally off base with the Idea.

It's just one of those few percent here a few there sort of things to me.

 

and,,,,,,,,,

 

a 1mm rise in a 32mm span translates to a WHOPPING,,

2mm at the c-bouts and 19 mm at the end of a fully pulled bow.

 

Please excuse me while I go and destroy my c-bouts,

It's That Time again.

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It seems to be a matter of degree, a small amount might be useful for some of the people some of the time. Go a little too far and it can get annoying pretty quick. I don't really see anyone playing the one I have, maybe somebody would find it useful,  I'll see if I can get some pics later.

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If gaffer tape is what "floats your boat". :blink:

I'm afraid that I don't have a boat. Never mind, if I did I would probably only take on board, that you do not wish to address the concrete technical reasons I have repeated about four times, why it is daft to make the fingerboard tilt downwards towards the treble side.

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I'm afraid that I don't have a boat. Never mind, if I did I would probably only take on board, that you do not wish to address the concrete technical reasons I have repeated about four times, why it is daft to make the fingerboard tilt downwards towards the treble side.

I haven't addressed them, because they appear to be speculative and theoretical, and seldom show up in real life. So I can't see that there's much to address.

Sure, it's not recommended for players with unusually poor bow control, or for players who have a problem with their fingers slipping off the treble side of the fingerboard (should it be found that 1 degree or so difference in inclination will make much difference with fingers slipping). Nor do I do it on wide violas.

One area where it can make a big difference is with elevation of the bow hand, as Evan stated.

 

Yes, I was a pretty decent violinist before I was a maker, so I don't subscribe to methods which I haven't tested pretty thoroughly, also incorporating feedback from lots of players.

 

Here's something curious:

I have one of Roger's fiddles in the shop right now, so I checked it. The treble side of the fingerboard is lower than the bass side. Maybe it was just an accident?

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I don't understand it either...but maybe I'm just not a good enough player to see a need? :angry::ph34r:

Although my first impression would be that you don't want to cater to poor playing practices...and my second impression would be does it make enough of a difference to warrant the extra work involved?

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