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String Spacing

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No answers?

I'd guess that string spacing is something that depends entirely on the set up person, or, perhaps even the player may tell the set up guy that he or she prefers something irregular,.

But usually I believe that most makers or set up people, either use a string spacing gauge, which spaces the nicks evenly, or perhaps they will mark out the correct spacing for the g and the e string, and then measure the correct placement for the a and d string.

Many times the spacing isn't correct or exact simply because exacting work is labor intensive compared to simply spacing them by eye.

But I'm saying that even spacing is usual and typical. 

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This is a topic that came up a little while ago; some said they spaced the strings equally from the center of the string while others spaced them by measuring in between with calipers. There are a couple of great demonstrations of how to do the latter method on the Pasewicz shop's website. Using either method, the spacing should still look fairly even.

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This is a topic that came up a little while ago; some said they spaced the strings equally from the center of the string while others spaced them by measuring in between with calipers. There are a couple of great demonstrations of how to do the latter method on the Pasewicz shop's website. Using either method, the spacing should still look fairly even.

 

Yes, this is true, ANY answer that you or I can give, regarding violin making and set up, can and will be argued, which I knew was the case when I said "even spacing is usual and typical"...

But; either method here gives a result that is basicly the same.

An argument can and will ensue; usually about which method is more correct.

Oh well, such is the demeanor of set up advice..

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Yes, this was hacked to death within the last few months.

 

Briefly, if you simply mark equal distances on a bridge—11.5 mm, or whatever—the tops of the strings will be equally spaced, which is the important point to consider, IMO as a player, BUT the thicker strings will be closer to each other for the obvious reasons.  All this is provided we are very careful.  This can be seen if you draw it on paper and exaggerate the diameter of the strings.

 

I think the idea of any variations to make the string spacing look right to the eye is a mistake.  MO

 

In the recent discussion the term "tangent" was discussed.  The bow touches the imaginary tangent and it is the tangent of each string which should be considered not only for spacing but also for bow changes, ie., the arc of the bridge.

 

Then there was a lot of discussion about the same considerations at the nut.  IMO, it's not as important there, but there's room for argument.  And I'm waiting for it to come.   :)  

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...even spacing is usual and typical. 

 

 

...some said they spaced the strings equally from the center of the string while others spaced them by measuring in between with calipers...

 

Craig is correct.  Even spacing is usual and typical.  As The Violin Beautiful notes, some people define even spacing as equally spaced string centers, and some define it as equal spaces between the strings.  There's no need now to re-convene the debate over which is preferable.

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Sorry folks.  I tried a search first!  My real query is with the pic I linked to.  A number of these have D and A closer to each other - far more than if you'd simply measured from the middle of the string.

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On violins with very wide center bouts, I wonder if a setup person might go for a slightly wider spacing between strings (at least along the bridge) in order to place the E string closer to the treble center bout edge, and thus helping to avoid bow hair ribbon rubbing against that edge.  (The G string would thus also be placed closer to the bass edge, but I assume that's unimportant.) One might combine that placing the E string more toward the treble side with a slight rise in bridge height to compensate for the string being placed farther down the curve of the bridge.

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Melvin, I'm not in anyway questioning your observation, but since both the spacing at the top nut and the spacing on the tailpiece are narrower that that of the bridge,wouldn't that put a force on the outer strings pulling toward the  center?  I mean downhill implies a force of gravity. What accounts for this tendency you mention, do you think?  I've had this same conversation about the spacing of strings on the tailpiece, so it's not a frivolous question.

 

Where does this photo originate? Is it from the recent sale or auction (I can't remember which it was)? That collection was split up after it left Vienna.

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Can't we assume that the continual tuning and also the side to side vibrations do * open and deepen the notches over many years, and that they probably go in certain directions for some—probably logical—reasons?  I'm not into long studies but it would be interesting.

 

*Corrected.  I mistakenly wrote "don't" originally.

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I just don't see any slippage there. :wacko:

I fully agree with Melvin on this.  Looking at this bridge, from another point of view however, you can't presume that all strings were equally spaced to begin with. I've seen a notable number of bridges, brand new bridges, where the spacing never could have been correct in the first place.

 

Musicians can adjust to the most amazingly bad set-ups.

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Those are bridges from the Schrienzer Collection, originating in Vienna are they not?    

 

Where does this photo originate? Is it from the recent sale or auction (I can't remember which it was)? That collection was split up after it left Vienna.

A collection of original bridges from Austrian instruments

of the 17th to 19th Century

(including Leidolff, Stadlmann, Thir, Stauffer, Stoss, Geissenhof and others)

Courtesy of Marcel Richters, Vienna

http://www.orpheon.org/OldSite/Seiten/education/Bridges.htm

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Melvin, I'm not in anyway questioning your observation, but since both the spacing at the top nut and the spacing on the tailpiece are narrower that that of the bridge,wouldn't that put a force on the outer strings pulling toward the  center?  I mean downhill implies a force of gravity. What accounts for this tendency you mention, do you think?  I've had this same conversation about the spacing of strings on the tailpiece, so it's not a frivolous question.

 

Where does this photo originate? Is it from the recent sale or auction (I can't remember which it was)? That collection was split up after it left Vienna.

The down force is far more than the sideways force, These old bridge photos are really cool and a credit to the poster.

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No crotch arch in Vienna. I've been wanting to ask what that little hole above the crotch is for, but I didn't want to encourage Burgess... :P

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For viola, in terms of shape of the arch, I keep the G string a little higher  relative to the D string for I feel it requires more pressure on the G and to keep from touching the D.  Or my imagination.  fred

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