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catnip

5-String nut spacing

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I am just finishing another 5 String and I was wondering how close to the edge of the nut to place the outside strings ( C and E strings).  The nut is 25 mm and I am thinking of using 3 mm distance for the E string and a bit less maybe 2 mm for the C string.  This leaves 20 mm for the 5 slots with a bit more bias on the bass side because of string width.

 

P.S. Ernie, thanks for starting this thread last year and speedy recovery

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Catnip, 

 

I have been working on those 5 string set ups quite a lot recently. 

 

My nut spacing is 19.5mm C to E, nut width 24.75 ( just a pinch under 25mm), had them tried by a couple of players with very different hands and they both had nothing to say about the string spacing. They just played away happily. 

 

J

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Thanks John. My nut is 26mm and the string spacing is 5.5 with 2mm at the E and C. I used a wider fingerboard and bridge too.

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I've been thinking of a five string, and I was thinking of using the wider approach like Ernie shows.  A viola bridge has plenty of room.  The strings on Ernies set up remind me of the Strad guitar in Steven Faulks post; right up to the edge.  Now to me it sounds like a good idea, but how much room do players really need?  I would rather have space between the strings for my fat fingertips.

post-53723-0-00766200-1432050734_thumb.jpg

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I tried a viola bridge and it was just too big IMO. I did use a viola fingerboard however and the extra width helped with the setup. 

 

I used a 44mm violin bridge but it was more difficult to locate one (I like Despiau).    Next one I'll probably use a 43mm bridge.

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 I would rather have space between the strings for my fat fingertips.

 

 

And I would rather have space between the strings for my skinny fingertips.  The above guitar may be able to be rewound at the bridge for more room.  A narrow playing area for the e string will cause the player to teach himself to dance along the edge.  The only advantage would be when they get back to normal tolerances.  I'm sure I may be fumble fingers if I ever try a 5 string violin.  I can't knock it til' I try it.

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I've been offering 5-strings at several price points and styles for about six years now.  I pay a lot of attention to players' responses.

 

My standard setup is a 25mm nut, with the E 3mm from the edge, and the C 2mm in, leaving the C to G 20mm on center. When players stop the E string, they tend to pull it toward the edge of the board, while when they stop the C, they tend to pull it into the board. The way I set it up, players feel more comfortable with the E.  I also don't round off the edges of the board as much as most people do a 4-string. 

 

I also offer some models with a wide neck option, a 28mm nut, which allows 5.5mm between strings, and 3.5 - 2.5mm on the edges. 

 

About 80% of people like the standard setup, but those who like the wide setup won't take anything else.

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I've been offering 5-strings at several price points and styles for about six years now.  I pay a lot of attention to players' responses.

 

My standard setup is a 25mm nut, with the E 3mm from the edge, and the C 2mm in, leaving the C to G 20mm on center. When players stop the E string, they tend to pull it toward the edge of the board, while when they stop the C, they tend to pull it into the board. The way I set it up, players feel more comfortable with the E.  I also don't round off the edges of the board as much as most people do a 4-string. 

 

I also offer some models with a wide neck option, a 28mm nut, which allows 5.5mm between strings, and 3.5 - 2.5mm on the edges. 

 

About 80% of people like the standard setup, but those who like the wide setup won't take anything else.

Nice to see you posting again Micheal. I agree that it is nice to offer "options" in that some players are ok with tight spacing, and others want the wider neck/nut.

 

I made one for a girl and she insisted she wanted a narrow nut so the neck would feel not that different width wise to a standard violin, yet once owning it for awhile, she came to the conclusion that the wider nut, for wider spacing was better, so I did a "fun" modification to widen the neck and put a larger spaced nut.

 

I think you will see more and more 5 strings out there as more and more players and makers deviate from "tradition"

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Jezzupe beat me to it. Michael like Joe Thrift build and offer two models based on the players  personal preference. If you build a 5 string and a player doesn't like how it feels don't fret because another one will...:)

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In order to make an OK five-string fiddle, you can't be bound by "knowing" anything. We kinda broke a lot of rules on ours, and so, apparently, have other makers who  have produced good results.

 

I certainly hope we see more out there!  I'm just starting to get the hang of this, and I have to make a living for quite a while, yet.

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Thanks Michael

    I followed you advice about C and E spacing.  I also measured the string diameters  C = .88 mm, G = .69 mm, D = .58 mm,  A =.52 mm and E = .25 mm so I offset the distances between strings so the in the final setup the distances between the strings were approximately equal. 

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I certainly hope we see more out there! 

 

It's definitely on my agenda, but there are a few things higher on the list.  Sometime in 2016, or late this year if I really start cranking (yeah, right).

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My first 5 string fiddle is being varnished, now, and drying very slowly with all of the high humidity and rain that we have had.  Sun is non-existant, so having to rely on the dryer box.

 

My nut is about 27mm wide.  Pegbox is wider to accomodate the wider nut.  I want the spacing between the strings at the nut to be very close to that of a 4 string, and the margins at the outside of the E and the C to be about the same, too.  So, I used a viola fingerboard, and I will fit a viola bridge to it.  If I can get the varnish to dry, I should have it playing in a week or so.  

Nelson

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Thanks Michael

    I followed you advice about C and E spacing.  I also measured the string diameters  C = .88 mm, G = .69 mm, D = .58 mm,  A =.52 mm and E = .25 mm so I offset the distances between strings so the in the final setup the distances between the strings were approximately equal. 

 

You're welcome, but what's the point in trying to make the distance between the sides of the strings equal?  As a player I push on the centers of the strings, not between the strings (unless I'm playing 5ths, and even then it's the space between centers that matters). Besides, can you actually control the final string spacing by .004" (0.1mm)?  I'm not that good.

 

Apart from that, that extra mm on the E side does seem to make a noticeable difference to many players.

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Center to center spacing at the nut for a 5-String leaves the C and  G string a bit crowded ( I don't think it matters much on a regular violin).  Since this instrument is for me I made ever so slight adjustments to give more balance.  Yes were are talking 0.1 or 0.2 mm adjustments which can be done by how you tilt your file.  I can't read Japenese but I have a No 4, 100 mm rhomboidal file with 'teeth' only on one side.   I did center to center (more or less) at the bridge

 

There was a lenghty discussion here awhile back (9 pages) and a poll taken : center to center, edge to edge, other

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/331765-setup-question/

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