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Scale length blues..


lambert
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I have a nice fiddle that i've been wanting to do a overhaul on setup wise. The problem with is that the nut to f hole nick length is 338 mm. This fiddle has a grafted scroll and I imagine the replacement neck is the culprit as the f hole placement seems correct. Ive been considering fitting a bridge/ soundpost at 330 mm, but that is so far up on the body of the fiddle that i imagine bowing would be awkward. What do you folks do when the scale length is all wonky?

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Yes, more measurements are needed. I personally like all of my instruments set with the same stop length/neck length ratio, and let the vibrating string length vary. I can adjust to a different scale easier than adjusting to a different feel of the neck to body. This is particularly important when you like to play different size violas, but there are also slight differences in violins. I have an oversize violin with a long stop, the neck has been lengthened accordingly. Other people may not like this, some people would rather have the same exact scale length on all their fiddles.

 

In your case it sounds like your vibrating string length is particularly long, you may end up with tension problems (can be fixed with light gauge strings). Aside from tweeking the bridge forward (I hate this), you can make a fatter nut to shorten things, if your stop is normal it sounds like your neck is long and the latter might help.

 

More details on your instrument are needed.

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Hi Addie, 

Attempting quantification :)

 

The fiddle is a long one: 361mm 

 

The neck stop length is 136mm

 

the inner nick on the f hole is 203mm from the upper edge of the top plate

 

the fingerboard is 269mm

 

Let me know if you need any other numbers

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If you shorten the neck to achieve a 330 scale, you will have a really weird feel going up to the high positions. If you lengthen the neck to achieve a 2:3 ratio, you will have a really long scale, maybe not even workable with many strings. Maybe this instrument was meant to be a small viola?

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Isn't this achieving the 2:3 mensur currently?  It's 6mm more in neck, and 8mm more in body stop.  Ideally for the mensur, it is only 1mm short on the body.  If you make the neck correct (130), then the body would be horribly out of mensur proportion. Am I seeing this wrong?   So the answer isn't really shortening then neck, is it?  I've posted before about trying to understand what is more important, the mensur proportion, or the neck stop.  I would think the proportion (I'm the worst player on MN, so this is why I'm asking)is more important.  jeff

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You have a big violin .... I don't think there's anything you can really do about it that makes sense. 

But that depends on whether you're looking to play it or sell it or keep it as part of a collection .....

The body stop is very long for the back length - I'm assuming that this isn't anything valuable, since the f-holes are placed so eccentrically?

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  • 1 month later...

I didn't get to see the last three posts on this subject before it climbed down into obscurity, but thank you guys for responding. 

 

I dont know much about the ratio theories so thanks for getting me started in understanding those.

 

Martin, I don't think this instrument is valuable. I posted about it when i was first starting to think about building and pictures can be seen here:

 

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/323446-an-old-violin-identification-and-varnish-question/

 

In fact, in rereading the posts, you figured it was a "good quality German trade violin circa 1880-1890, Dresden or Berlin" :)

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