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David tetro

Bridge size for viola mm46 / mm48 / mm52 /...?

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Hello everyone :)
So after a long time I wanted to experiment a bit , I bought
my first viola today!!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/182080573688?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT


 
In fact it is very cheap and viola but I would like to try to make it a little better , and buy a good bridge, because the seller told me that this is the most simple bridge.

I am considering purchasingAubert Viola Bridge "Deluxe " But there are lots of kinds of sizes.
Does anyone know what the height of the bridge fits my viola?
54 mm46 / mm48 / mm52 / mm?
Dimensions of the instrument: (under the link on eBay)
 
"Korpusgröße ca. 40,0cm
Gesamtgröße ca. 66,0cm
Mensur ca. 36,5cm
Zarge ca. 4,8cm "

 

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David,

 

it depends entirely on the width of the bass bar in the instrument,

 

the bridge foot edge should overhang the outside of the bass bar by approximately 1mm i think

 

if you haven't fitted a bridge before, I'd recommend taking it to a trained luthier, bridges fitted well should last many many years !

 

all the best

 

NBC

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Thanks for the comment,
I want to replace the bridge with a violin maker!
but the prices are very expensive in Israel.
  And I would like to come with the new bridge - and that expert just replace it, so I wanted to know whether it is possible to buy in advance the bridge by the outside dimensions of the instrument. And take the bridge to a violin maker

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IF your viola corpus is 40cm then a 46-48mm bridge is what you will need if the neck is still good in relation to it's correct listed projection of 30mm.  I am going off of specs I had lying around in the rubbish pile. :ph34r: 

 

Maybe repost measurements again.    

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I've shared this before on the forum.   But just to repeat.   This is from the session at the VSA convention in Ithaca 1991 where Rene Morel was speaking on "The Secrets of Viola Sound".  The notes were posted on Tobi-l by Burton Hardin in Feb. 1998.  Just FYI.

 

Quoting Mr. Morel:   "The string length is the most important thing to consider in viola making today." (emphasis added)

 

"For any choice of model (16-18 inches)* I would recommend a normal stop to the f hole of 223 mm.  I would consider a neck length of 150 millimeters, for a string length of 375 mm.  The string length will vary slightly according to the arching but not more than a couple of mm's either way.* 1"

 

"[Question about bridge.]   First of all you decide on the width of your bridge according to the size of the instrument-- and the position of the bass bar.  (implies a common method of using a width that places the bridge foot 1mm or so outside the bar and matching on the post side)*2   On the player also:  is it a strong player--strong bow arm or light bow arm?  That also has a very strong effect on the bridge I decide to make.  As a rule for viola,  I use the hardest wood I can find.  The most difficult thing to the viola is to focus the sound, so I use a hard wood; this way I can make the bridge very thin.  That amplifies the vibration and if I want to help the viola on the C side or on the A side, I will make a larger hole on one side or on the other.   I will try to put as little wood as possible near the string if I want to open the sound, and I will put more wood if I have an A string which is strident or piercing.  then I will leave more wood on the head of the bridge."

 

"[Comment made about a 7.8 mm soundpost]  "Very seldom do I use a thicker soundpost, but if there is a wolf on the A string, the best way to control it is to make a thicker soundpost." [usually 7.5 mm]

 

*1  Not directly in the given text but given elsewhere.

*2  added by J. Brown

 

--JB

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Violas are not all that canonical, I've been using 52 mm bridges in my 15.5 and 16 inche violas for many years, but that in my personal model that is

very wide, with a 50 mm upper eye distance.

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But that was the main point of the presentation that the 375 mm string length suits all the different sizes.  As for the original request,  I believe Mr. Tetro just wants to know what size bridge blank to use measured across the feet not across the upper eye distance.   It's impossible to say which works best because both sources, Mr. Morel and Manfio have (or had) excellent reputations.   I choose a bridge that places the outer edge of the foot a mm or so outside the bar and match the post as a starting position.  This is what Mr. Morel implied.   I have also been know to use just a 46mm on everything and that produces good results many times.   They are violas after all.   Just try different things and see what happens.   So many people fell bound to that one bridge they just slaved over for who knows how long and refuse to cut another.   I suggest not to hesitate cutting different bridges and exploring the differences first hand.   What Mr. Morel was saying is that, in his experience, it mattered less what size bridge blank was used as opposed to the string length.   That was his first statement.  I've used that rule for years now with great success but I also consider the foot width as well.   Just throwing out some considerations from a very dependable source.

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Yes, I've heard that in some violas a narrow bridge will work better.

I follow Renè Morel's ideas about string and neck length too. 

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Yes, this only holds for those building the instruments because neck length must be adjusted to get the 375.   But that's what makes larger violas more playable in many circumstances.     For manufactured violas you are at the mercy of the beast and often these string lengths can only be adjusted within reason.   Neck lengths are what they are.

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You do realize that bridges come as blanks, and must be fitted to the instrument? I don't think that you can get bridge blanks any cheaper than your luthier, and he/she would be in a much better position to determine size than any of us. In fitting the blank to the instrument, the feet must be fitted exactly to the top, cut to the correct height and top profile, and thinned and shaped to the proper thickness/shape. The time and cost to fit the bridge is the majority of the total cost.

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