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Guarneri F-hole placement


Don Noon
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On 3/3/2016 at 7:51 PM, Don Noon said:

I was just scanning thru some photos to get them embedded into my brain, and noticed a bit of variation.  This may be old news to most of you, but I hadn't noticed before how wildly some of these locations varied from the reliable old Strad placement (the top of the lower eye being level with the purfling curve).

 

If anyone has any clue how these placements affect performance, I'd be happy to listen.

post-25192-0-22141600-1457059824_thumb.jpg

 

Hi. I won an intermediate violin from the Fiddlershop in January. They told me it was made from a Guarneri template. One thing my Luther and I noticed was that the f hole is lined up with the back of the bridge feet. 

I took it to him to build a new bridge and move it forward because the e string was low. But got it back and the feet of the bridge are in the same position. 

On this forum I am reading that Guarneri Cannone violins were made this way. Is this true? 

The harmonic sounds coming from my violin are beautiful! 

Thanks, 20220521_203745.thumb.jpg.d0926ffe63350a4deb4ecf3086b5a058.jpg20220521_203753.thumb.jpg.633c8d5892fa0385e1f51a899cc21c9b.jpg

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Generally you'd want to have the bridge location determined by getting the free string length at the standard 328 +/-2 mm, and then the bridge height would be cut to get the desired string clearance. The notches in the F holes are just a guide (and sometimes not), and a modern Guarneri model doesn't mean that it's a copy of what Guarneri did.

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On 3/7/2016 at 5:37 PM, Wm. Johnston said:

I'm not sure what the rectangles are supposed to represent but I think it is more helpful to just draw a few lines and see how the f-holes fit onto the rest of the violin. Whether or not this is the method that was used to select their position doesn't matter to me. I'm just interested in why they work visually on these particular violins.

 

On the attached pictures I've drawn lines between the purfling miters, the widest portion of the lower bout and a point approximately at the end of a modern fingerboard. On Strad and early del Gesu violins the line between the widest points of the lower bout and the upper f-hole eyes  points to the end of a modern length fingerboard*. On a late del Gesu they tend to point more towards the line joining the purfling miters. It's interesting that the lower eyes usually also fall on these lines and that the arm connecting the two holes is approximately tangent to this connecting line. Anyways, I've found that drawing these few lines on a violin helps a lot with getting reasonable f-hole placements relative to the rest of the outline, especially where you are not producing a copy of an old violin.

 

*Of course these violins didn't have modern fingerboards when they were built but this might be a clue why the modern fingerboard looks good on an instrument that was meant to have a short one.

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post-24240-0-39752600-1457401046_thumb.jpg

That is very interesting.

 

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If I may contribute some highly anecdotal musings from a player's perspective, or at least from ONE player's perspective...and noting that in the case of long stop classical fiddles we don't know what the the length of the original necks were so we can't be sure what the overal string length was when new...longer stop (197-200mm, so a longer string length with a modern 3/5 set-up) violins I've played (Guarneri Filius, A. Gagliano, long pattern Strads, Rogerinis) tended to have a more "complex," silvery and flexible tone profile than similar violins by the same or similar makers with more "conventional" stop lengths (192-195mm). Violins with shorter stops tended to be more "focused" and give proportionally more fundamental and lower harmonics. Violins with longer f-holes (and bigger "islands") tended to sound louder under the ear (at least, possibly at distance as well) and give the player (me) more confidence. That's all highly subjective and reflect what I've experienced, so please take it with kilograms of salt!

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17 hours ago, GraciousEncourager said:

Hi. I won an intermediate violin from the Fiddlershop in January. They told me it was made from a Guarneri template. One thing my Luther and I noticed was that the f hole is lined up with the back of the bridge feet. 

I took it to him to build a new bridge and move it forward because the e string was low. But got it back and the feet of the bridge are in the same position. 

On this forum I am reading that Guarneri Cannone violins were made this way. Is this true? 

The harmonic sounds coming from my violin are beautiful! 

Thanks, 20220521_203745.thumb.jpg.d0926ffe63350a4deb4ecf3086b5a058.jpg20220521_203753.thumb.jpg.633c8d5892fa0385e1f51a899cc21c9b.jpg

Oh dear, I don't even know where to start! :(

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