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MikeV

Crack of Death. Move on?

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Wondering if repaired sound post cracks should be trusted or deemed acceptable.  Do these repairs eventually fail and require re-fixing?  Here we have what looks like a hairline crack that goes all the way up the back.

BackCrack.JPG.19edcf4ddb1f9cbf0be599f522eadda9.JPG

 

 

 

 

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It isn't the crack of death, it is, in most instruments, simply the end of financial rewards associated with the repair of said crack.

It can be a good player. Yes, most post cracks in the back will need to be re-repaired sooner than you would like, but for you as a player you probably won't notice much difference. I repaired a post crack in the back of a Gagliano last year. The player says that it sounds better than before the crack. Worth half what it was before the crack, sounds better (in his opinion). Go figure.

 

So, in short, value as determined by how much you can sell it for is damaged, but if you can do the repair yourself, you 'll have a good player. If you have to have it repaired by someone other than yourself, you most likely won't recoup the cost of the repair if you wanted to sell it if the fiddle is worth less than 10k before the crack.

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2 hours ago, MikeV said:

Wondering if repaired sound post cracks should be trusted or deemed acceptable.  Do these repairs eventually fail and require re-fixing?  Here we have what looks like a hairline crack that goes all the way up the back.

BackCrack.JPG.19edcf4ddb1f9cbf0be599f522eadda9.JPG

 

 

 

 

That looks open, at least in that area, but a good luthier should be able to confirm that quickly with the fiddle in their hands.  Resale is severely effected by sound post cracks in the back.  Less so for those in the top.

2 hours ago, sospiri said:

Especially on the top. How can a sound post patch repair ever get the original sound back to where it was?

By doing the repair correctly.

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21 minutes ago, sospiri said:

Move on. Especially on the top. How can a sound post patch repair ever get the original sound back to where it was?

At the risk of getting flamed, I think most get better.

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Ooooh, nice one!  Move on to the tower clamps and cleats, and stick a patch under the soundpost.  If it goes under the blocks you've got a lot of fun ahead.  What sort of violin is it?  :)

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

Ooooh, nice one!  Move on to the tower clamps and cleats, and stick a patch under the soundpost.  If it goes under the blocks you've got a lot of fun ahead.  What sort of violin is it?  :)

It's a Nicolas Aine

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7 hours ago, sospiri said:

Move on. Especially on the top. How can a sound post patch repair ever get the original sound back to where it was?

 

7 hours ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

By doing the repair correctly.

In my experience instruments do not suffer in sound from a well done soundpost patch.  In practice, most instruments improve.

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5 hours ago, MikeV said:

It's a Nicolas Aine

OK, that's well worth restoring, but you won't make a lot selling it.  Auction usally runs around $1500, in this case probably less.    As a player it should be fine.  Is the crack currently repaired at all?

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11 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

 

In my experience instruments do not suffer in sound from a well done soundpost patch.  In practice, most instruments improve.

Agreed.  Dean is safe from the flames for now. :) 

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8 hours ago, sospiri said:

Move on. Especially on the top. How can a sound post patch repair ever get the original sound back to where it was?

Do you have much experience with this?

As regards the OP violin, is it an early 19th century Didier Nicolas or a C20 simulation? There's a big difference in value ... 

The photo isn't very illuminating, but I assume it's the latter trying to look like the former?

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51 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

 

In my experience instruments do not suffer in sound from a well done soundpost patch.  In practice, most instruments improve.

Should a new instrument be made with a soundest patch to begin with or is it better to wait for a crack to develop?

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5 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Should a new instrument be made with a soundest patch to begin with or is it better to wait for a crack to develop?

I believe the sound improvement is due to the strength the glue joint adds to the plate in that area,  as well as the addition of the extra wood.   Leaving thickness in the soundpost area in a new violin should due the trick; there are many, many instruments that are just too thin in that area.

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So thin sound post areas are both weaker and sound worse than thick sound post areas?

Maybe thin areas sound better but crack more and this is just an unfortunate trade off between durability and sound quality.  I'm guessing that it is better to make the sound post area thin so it sounds good  so that it breaks more and  more people can be employed putting sound post patches in.

On the other hand if new instruments had thick sound post areas and if they sounded better then they also wouldn't crack and it would eliminate the need for future restores and that existing ones would eventually die off and become extinct.

I didn't realize that a simple thickness dimension had such a moral humanity dimension.

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10 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

So thin sound post areas are both weaker and sound worse than thick sound post areas?

Maybe thin areas sound better but crack more and this is just an unfortunate trade off between durability and sound quality.  I'm guessing that it is better to make the sound post area thin so it sounds good  so that it breaks more and  more people can be employed putting sound post patches in.

On the other hand if new instruments had thick sound post areas and if they sounded better then they also wouldn't crack and it would eliminate the need for future restores and that existing ones would eventually die off and become extinct.

I didn't realize that a simple thickness dimension had such a moral humanity dimension.

Thin soundpost areas do not sound better, and often sound horrible. 

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

Do you have much experience with this?

As regards the OP violin, is it an early 19th century Didier Nicolas or a C20 simulation? There's a big difference in value ... 

The photo isn't very illuminating, but I assume it's the latter trying to look like the former?

Don't know....

image.png.92ee2635407b58e0e976a486c48245af.png

 

image.thumb.png.c9a82e331132e7181c45bc6a725ef074.png

 

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, MikeV said:

Don't know....

image.png.92ee2635407b58e0e976a486c48245af.png

 

image.thumb.png.c9a82e331132e7181c45bc6a725ef074.png

 

 

 

 

OK, do you already own this instrument, or are you considering buying it?  If the latter, and $500 or more is involved, I'd say "no".

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16 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

OK, do you already own this instrument, or are you considering buying it?  If the latter, and $500 or more is involved, I'd say "no".

I guess I was considering it...How much would the sound post crack repair cost approx.?

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36 minutes ago, MikeV said:

I guess I was considering it...How much would the sound post crack repair cost approx.?

Can't really say without seeing it. It would start out around 2.5k, in my shop, and go up, and that is for the back repair, sans any set-up or other things found in the process.

 

P.S. There are plenty of new makers who put post patches in the tops of their instruments.  I once asked a well-known bow maker, who is a friend, why they don't just go ahead and spline the heads of new bows when they make them. That got me a look.

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2 hours ago, MikeV said:

I guess I was considering it...How much would the sound post crack repair cost approx.?

Far more than it's worth, one feels.  I'm not as established as Duane, by any means, but I'd estimate several hundred dollars at the very least, just from the photos.  I'd bet the top and bottom blocks will have to be removed and put back to get all the crack closed, and that probably means a neck job, too.  You're looking at serious money here, no matter who you take it to.

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2 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Far more than it's worth, one feels.  I'm not as established as Duane, by any means, but I'd estimate several hundred dollars at the very least, just from the photos.  I'd bet the top and bottom blocks will have to be removed and put back to get all the crack closed, and that probably means a neck job, too.  You're looking at serious money here, no matter who you take it to.

I would remove the back, make a cast, and go from there. One could not do this repair for several hundred dollars and pay the bills. You should charge more, Vda! Hurricane damage. It ain't cheap to rebuild!

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4 minutes ago, duane88 said:

I would remove the back, make a cast, and go from there. One could not do this repair for several hundred dollars and pay the bills. You should charge more, Vda! Hurricane damage. It ain't cheap to rebuild!

I'm retired, resurrecting and setting up (mostly "rubbish") violins as a sideline, as well as doing cheap setups and repairs for friends, but if people start bringing me grief like this, I may take your advice.  :lol:

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19 hours ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

That looks open, at least in that area, but a good luthier should be able to confirm that quickly with the fiddle in their hands.  Resale is severely effected by sound post cracks in the back.  Less so for those in the top.

By doing the repair correctly.

I want to hear it before I believe it.

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9 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

So thin sound post areas are both weaker and sound worse than thick sound post areas?

Maybe thin areas sound better but crack more and this is just an unfortunate trade off between durability and sound quality.  I'm guessing that it is better to make the sound post area thin so it sounds good  so that it breaks more and  more people can be employed putting sound post patches in.

On the other hand if new instruments had thick sound post areas and if they sounded better then they also wouldn't crack and it would eliminate the need for future restores and that existing ones would eventually die off and become extinct.

I didn't realize that a simple thickness dimension had such a moral humanity dimension.

Three problems I think are applicable are

1, Sound post pushed in too tight. This is a pet hate of mine on old violins where successive bodgers have pushed em in over the years lifting the top.

2,  Maybe the instrument gets dropped and lands on the bridge?

3, A  sound post patch repair uses denser wood and glue which both make the E string squawk demonically.

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