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Don Noon

Viola soundpost position

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I know there's a more-or-less "normal" soundpost starting position for violins, and generally I find that to work pretty well.

 

I was wondering if violas might work differently, and I don't have enough experience myself to know.

 

The reason I kinda need to find this out is because soon I'm going to have to put a soundpost reinforcement pad on the viola I'm building, and want to get it in the right spot without having to take it apart later.  The spruce is .31 density, so I think it's really necessary to put in the pad.  I'm considering bridge footpads too, for the sake of durability.

 

If it makes a difference, this specific viola is 15 3/4" (400 mm), a scaled-up version of the small daSalo viola, 50mm eye spacing,and I plan to use a 46mm bridge.  Body stop is 224 mm, to end up with 375mm string length.

post-25192-0-09108700-1460078609_thumb.jpg

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Without any better info, I was just going to go a tiny bit more than violin... say ~3 mm South, ~1 mm West.  After all, it's just a viola.

 

While I'm here... I just rough gouged out the plate to between 4.5 - 5 mm, and this 15.75"  viola plate is lighter than a Pfretzschner violin top that I took off not too long ago.  Of course, at 99.9 g (without the bar), that violin top was the heaviest I have come across... but not by much.

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Without any better info, I was just going to go a tiny bit more than violin... say ~3 mm South, ~1 mm West.  After all, it's just a viola.

 

While I'm here... I just rough gouged out the plate to between 4.5 - 5 mm, and this 15.75"  viola plate is lighter than a Pfretzschner violin top that I took off not too long ago.  Of course, at 99.9 g (without the bar), that violin top was the heaviest I have come across... but not by much.

It used to be said that one should not over-thin a violin top much beyond 3mm.   Now a lot of people are making things much thinner.   I am starting a viola now,  and I plan to keep the top a healthy 3mm in the center,   a little more at the post.

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About the same as for violin. The measurements do not extend on a continuum of scale. When I measured Charles Beare's personally owned Bros Amati viola the bridge was 49 wide and the post was 1mm inside the treble foot and 2.5mm behind it....This is the most authorative answer I can offer  :D

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A little bit further behind than that of violins. 

Bennings told me that Heifetz liked the post waaaay behind, depends on the fiddle. 

 

With all due respect to the Bennings, Heitetz had most of his adjustments done by Koodlack, through his last public performance. Nope, he wasn't a Weisshaar client either. Yes, I was actually there.

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With all due respect to the Bennings, Heitetz had most of his adjustments done by Koodlack, through his last public performance. Nope, he wasn't a Weisshaar client either. Yes, I was actually there.

 

I'll second that.  There is even a published photo somewhere of Heifetz hovering over Koodlach as he removed the top of his del Gesu.  Rene M. spoke a number of times about the relationship between the two.

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