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Strange neck angle


Polk
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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?

It is really no more work, it is a matter of deciding what is best and then setting the neck to the numbers.

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Jacob,

If you "can't think of a single reason" or see it as "pointless", don't do it.

Arguing with David is the pointless part. I have already said several times why tilting the fingerboard down towards the treble side is disadvantageous, and would like to gain knowledge of a SINGLE reason for doing this, and am not interested who did so in the past.

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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?

 

It makes a big deal of a difference when you are high up on the last 4-5 cm of fingerboard and have to hold notes on A too, eventually while trilling on E. ALL core concertos have these "climax"

points and those are exactly the places where one want every bit of help. FLAT would be pretty nice there because those are exactly the moments where one does not want to bugger it.

There is a second reason which is even more important but I won't discuss that because I realized it has been perfectly explained by Michael Darnton in previous threads.

To give you one single example, in one big concerto, to play RIGHT and fire the trills at max speed, one changes positions NINE times over the last 5 cm of f/b while the bow pressure

is at full power and 2-3 mm from the bridge. And that, within 2 bars.

 

Of course, if one's a "distinguished amateur" or makes/fixes violins for teenagers, one never meets the problem. Nothing wrong with that.

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Arguing with David is the pointless part. I have already said several times why tilting the fingerboard down towards the treble side is disadvantageous, and would like to gain knowledge of a SINGLE reason for doing this, and am not interested who did so in the past.

Evan gave a good reason in post 41. I also have had players with upper back/ neck problems that this has helped.

Because of the graduated tensions in strings, this will also allow you to lessen the distance between the kidneys of the bridge.

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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?

You've got part of it already. When you don't have to cater to poor playing practices, like poor bow control, more options open up.

As Jerry mentioned, no extra work is involved. It's generally incorporated into the construction of a new instrument, or done when a neck graft or neck reset is going to be done anyway.

 

Arguing with David is the pointless part. I have already said several times why tilting the fingerboard down towards the treble side is disadvantageous, and would like to gain knowledge of a SINGLE reason for doing this, and am not interested who did so in the past.

Try reading the thread again. The main reasons have already been mentioned here, and also in another thread which I linked to. If you will allow, I'd like to avoid being tiresomely repetitious. ;)

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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,,

 

 

 

Evan gave a good reason in post 41. I also have had players with upper back/ neck problems that this has helped.

Because of the graduated tensions in strings, this will also allow you to lessen the distance between the kidneys of the bridge.

 

Jerry, with all due respect, that ( E angle "less" ) is a VERY BAD idea on an instrument used by pro, i.e. lose core right where you need it most. Of course, that's in my completely incompetent opinion.

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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?

So besides 'experimenting' on fiddles, you're also implying any customer who doesn't buy-in to a fingerboard canted towards the treble side must be lousy players.

I think Darnton's prior response on this thread has you 'pegged' rather well.

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Jerry, with all due respect, that ( E angle "less" ) is a VERY BAD idea on an instrument used by pro, i.e. lose core right where you need it most. Of course, that's in my completely incompetent opinion.

I believe Evan was referring to the angle of the e as less in comparison to the g. I prefer to think of more angle on the g rather than less on the e, and it is the core of the g that is more likely to be a problem.

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I believe Evan was referring to the angle of the e as less in comparison to the g. I prefer to think of more angle on the g rather than less on the e, and it is the core of the g that is more likely to be a problem.

 

Could be. In the end, I'm sure you'll agree, this is a matter of taste and to some extent fashion. Both fashion and tastes evolve and myself am not good in either.

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So besides 'experimenting' on fiddles, you're also implying any customer who doesn't buy-in to a fingerboard canted towards the treble side must be lousy players.

I think Darnton's prior response on this thread has you 'pegged' rather well.

Anyone who has been on this forum for a few years probably isn't any stranger to Darntonphiles. Probably best if I leave it at that.

I'm a lot more comfortable with Hargravephiles, Holmesphiles, Brucephiles, Jerryphiles, Melvinphiles, Curious1philes, etc. I'm not going to explain that either. You get it or you don't.

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Anyone who has been on this forum for a while probably isn't any stranger to Darntonphiles. Probably best if I leave it at that.

 

I'm much more comfortable with Hargravephiles, Holmesphiles, etc.

Nope, I'm not going to go into detail explaining it. Figure it out. If you can't, I happen to think that it's better not to pursue being a professional in the fiddle business.

Let's temporarily forget who said/did what for a moment. I'm much more interested in ideas that can stand on their own merits, without appeals to authority.

Blaming customers for experiments that don't pan out isn't exactly a viable 'professional' strategy, is it?

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Let's temporarily forget who said/did what for a moment. I'm much more interested in ideas that can stand on their own merits, without appeals to authority.

Blaming customers for experiments that don't pan out isn't exactly a viable 'professional' strategy, is it?

This is hardly an experiment, and it is an idea that has stood on it's own merit for many decades.
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Let's temporarily forget who said/did what for a moment. I'm much more interested in ideas that can stand on their own merits, without appeals to authority.

Blaming customers for experiments that don't pan out isn't exactly a viable 'professional' strategy, is it?

I'm very much about ideas which can stand on their own merit. In our business, that will obviously involve customers, unless we want to base a career on buying all of our own fiddles. :lol:

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I just want to read something into the record here, in case any actual violinist wanders on this thread: I have been setting the board level for over 25 years, multiple hundreds of times. Every  time it's on a customer's violin, I have explained carefully what the benefits of both systems are and not one player has elected to have the board tilted. One, however, asked me if I could make it so the top end would be tilted into his hand, and flat at the bridge end. As someone at the start of the thread said, these days with such fancy shoulder rests players can set the angle of the upper part of the neck any way they want. One thing they cannot do with a shoulder rest is change the board's relationship with the top. If the far end, already hard to reach, is lower, if it's tilted farther in the wrong way than it needs to be, these things do not help performers play better and easier. Players will tell you this, if you bother to ask them rather than trying to sell them your own idea.

 

These were not children, and the violins were not trash: these were good professional players, recording artists, and teachers. No one had asked them what they wanted in the past. If they'd been informed of the tilt, they'd always been told it was for their own good. Many, many times on getting their instruments back from me with flat boards they've asked "This is so much better, WHY do they do it the other way?" 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. 

 

Don't despair: I see level boards all of the time, from good shops, so if you want your violin set right, to please you rather than some know-it-all shop guy, there are lots of good, genuinely-innovative people out there doing it. Also you'll see flat -set boards in violins that the gods of the 1950s and 1960s and their passionate disciples never got their hands on, which are perhaps  the majority of instruments in circulation. 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.

I would like to comment on Michael Darnton’s post #17, not because I disagree with him, quite on the contrary, I wish he would post more often, since I find his contributions invariably really worth reading. I do not know Michael personally, and thus not in suspicion of being a “Darntonophile”. Since I am not American, and have never been to America in my whole life (and have no intention of doing so), I have never understood nor were particularly interested, why he seems to be a red rag to some. Rather I would just like to add a couple of real life observations to his remarks.

The Konzertmeisterin of the Radio Symphony Orch. came to me with her Guadagnini with edge work and corner (incl. purfling) missing. I spent ages making an as near perfect job as I could manage of unnoticeable new edge and corner. Within two weeks, she had bashed the corner off again and dented the C bout edge, although it took her almost 6 months to pluck up the courage to come and own up. I told her that it wasn't really her fault, because of the neck tilt, which the previous owner, Barilly (for many years principal of the V: Phil) had had done, by Trostler (successor to Jaura). I think the solution to the problem must be fairly obvious. A player such as her can be expected to spend quite a bit of her time right at the top of the E string, and should one make the fingerboard closer to the belly there, she will have the body of the violin in the way of her left hand, quite apart from bow clearance problems. That this was helping any back problem she might have had seems to me to be squarely in the realms of fairy tales.

Cello is famously played “the other way round” from a bowing point of view, but even there, a solo cellist from one of the other orchestras was there with her Gabrielli 1764 cello, complaining bitterly how awkward it was to change into thumb position, since her wrist (thank “tilt”) always collided with the belly edge. Similar solution, not to mention a queue of Cellists wanting theirs “done too”

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Jacob,

What was the projection on the Guad, how much was the neck tilted, how did you measure the neck tilt, what was the over stand/appui, was the neck on center, was the body twisted, in which direction, and how much?

It sounds like an inappropriate neck set, no one suggested tilting the neck to the point that the player will destroy the edge up to the purfling!

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Cello is famously played “the other way round” from a bowing point of view, but even there, a solo cellist from one of the other orchestras was there with her Gabrielli 1764 cello, complaining bitterly how awkward it was to change into thumb position, since her wrist (thank “tilt”) always collided with the belly edge.

Perhaps you're a little confused about the recommended tilt on a violin, the recommended opposite tilt on a cello, and your experience with the wrist colliding with the belly edge when the treble side on a cello was lower. No one in this thread has recommended that the treble side be lower on a cello. Opposite tilt on a cello improves the situation when it comes to the fingering arm colliding with the belly edge, and also doesn't require that the bow arm be as high.

Might want to read the entire thread once more, a little more carefully.

 

Regarding your experience with "The Konzertmeisterin", I've lost track of how many times it's already been said in this thread, but setup parameters need to be chosen with the player in mind. Can't always go by a set of standard specs.

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Polk, just curious, what do you mean by "neck job". What exactly are you going to do. I do suspect that yours is one of the wackier ones that needs to be fixed to be playable by anyone. I think these guys are arguing over much more subtle neck tilts.

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So if nobody minds, I'll get back to the original post. I've decided to do a neck job and get things back to original. I'll let everyone know how it goes.

"Thank you, Mr. Original Poster"  ;)  :)

 

My guess is that you have a factory screwup probably compounded by later necksets.

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