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finger

What are the odds ???

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A new violin will often need a new post in the first 6 - 12 months, and may be short enough to simply fall over if humidity has gone up.  It is fairly common on instruments that haven't been through a shop in a few years.

On instruments that are well maintained and are kept in reasonable humidity conditions it isn't all that common.  As a general precaution, though, I tend to give a post a tap with string tension partially reduced in order to assess that risk if I'm doing an assessment.  I don't want a post to go down during an assessment before anything has been authorized.
 

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Do not, I repeat, do not squeeze the C-bouts with thumb and forefinger.  People tend to do this when re-inserting the end pin.

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55 minutes ago, MaestronetLurker said:

A new violin will often need a new post in the first 6 - 12 months, and may be short enough to simply fall over if humidity has gone up.  It is fairly common on instruments that haven't been through a shop in a few years.


 

did you mean when humidity has gone down?

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2 hours ago, finger said:

What are the odds of the sound post falling off when the strings are loosened and the bridge removed???...

Around 5 to 10 per cent in my experience.  Not terribly high, but high enough that I always warn customers of the possibility of the post falling if they loosen all the strings at once; i.e., they should replace strings one at a time.  And high enough that I always take note of the SP position on customers' instruments if I'm going to loosen all the strings.

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3 hours ago, finger said:

did you mean when humidity has gone down?

No.  If the post was fit when humidity was low it may be loose in highly humid conditions when the wood expands and the arches raise.  Ideally the post should not fall from typical seasonal swings, but in some areas the typical swing is between 10% humidity and 70% and that's a big change if you don't control it adequately.  There are some reasons why a luthier may fit a post a little looser than normal, but that leaves less room for seasonal changes.


 

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I have a slightly different take on this. If I am ever taking all the strings off an instrument I always place it on its treble side or pinch belly and back together. It's very common for posts to be loose enough to fall down with no strings, particularly if you accidentally squeeze the structure.

Sometimes I fit a shorter post because it sounds better - as long as it is tight under string tension without distorting the arching, I am happy.

 

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51 minutes ago, finger said:

that is what my next question will be.

 

Will a slightly longer sound post have a detrimental effect to the sound???

Slightly longer sound post would have a detrimental effect to the top of the violin.

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On 2/4/2017 at 6:45 PM, finger said:

did you mean when humidity has gone down?

Lurker may need a refresher coarse.  I agree with you.  I used to hear bass soundposts fall during several episodes of low humidity weather during school days.    

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MaestronetLurker is correct. The change in the length of the post with humidity change is negligible, .At high humidity, the top and back expand, increasing the arching height, and increasing the distance between them.

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On 2/4/2017 at 7:45 PM, finger said:

did you mean when humidity has gone down?

 

On 2/4/2017 at 6:50 PM, MaestronetLurker said:

A new violin will often need a new post in the first 6 - 12 months, and may be short enough to simply fall over if humidity has gone up.  It is fairly common on instruments that haven't been through a shop in a few years.

On instruments that are well maintained and are kept in reasonable humidity conditions it isn't all that common.  As a general precaution, though, I tend to give a post a tap with string tension partially reduced in order to assess that risk if I'm doing an assessment.  I don't want a post to go down during an assessment before anything has been authorized.
 

 

59 minutes ago, uncle duke said:

Lurker may need a refresher coarse.  I agree with you.  I used to hear bass soundposts fall during several episodes of low humidity weather during school days.    

David beat me to it... but here's a refresher course for uncle duke: http://cauer.com/Violin-Care/the-soundpost

There may be a number of reasons a post might be too tight or too loose.  It could have been fit that way, the back of the instrument may have stretched a bit, it was moved inward or outward during an adjustment while string tension was "up", etc... but low humidity does cause the plates to shrink (which may result in a tight post) and high humidity causes the plates to expand (which may result in a loose post). The post length change due to humidity or lack of it is negligible. 

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4 hours ago, finger said:

that is what my next question will be.

 

Will a slightly longer sound post have a detrimental effect to the sound???

Of course it depends on what you mean by "slightly".  The post should never be loose enough to fall without string tension, and in my experience the most common problem with a post is that it is too short.  

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On 2/4/2017 at 6:04 PM, finger said:

What are the odds of the sound post falling off when the strings are loosened and the bridge removed???

 

Thank you

Pretty good with new Chinese, if you mean "falling over".  Fixing that with a new soundpost is just part of the set up.  If it fell off, you had it too close to the edge of the bench, while you had it out messing with it.  :lol::)

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