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violin setup: neck vibration

Al Cramer

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I'm trying to learn how to do a proper violin setup. Thanks to the many wonderful postings on this site, I've progressed in the last 6 months from "horrible" to " bad". I have a little question that I'd like to ask -- it's probably really stupid, but here goes...

I'm working on what I think is a c. 1900 German factory copy of a Maggini. It's the big Maggini -- body is 3/8" longer & a wee bit wider than standard. The instrument is light (not much heavier than my Amati) and very alive acoustically: when our Border Collie barks, all the strings ring out in sympathy. The sound is very rich and nicely dark, but the volume is a bit low, so I'm experimenting with different bridges and soundposts and strings to see if I can make its voice a bit bigger .

In working with soundpost placement, I've found that when the post is  positioned to favor the G/D strings, I feel a strong vibration in the neck when I play. When I move the post to favor the E string, the vibration diminishes strongly. My question is: does anybody use the information provided by neck vibration to help determine optimal soundpost height & position?

Many thanks!




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Thanks JacksonMaberry, you were very kind to respond. I slacked the strings down to 0 tension & tried to wiggle the neck and couldn't sense anything. 

Then I made a new soundpost, positioned so its leading edge was 4mm back of the rear edge of the bridge; and its center was 2-3mm west (towards the bass bar) of the center of the A/E foot of the bridge.  These measurements seem really extreme according to what I've read, but the results were fantastic. G/D are much stronger,  but also A/E, which surprised me because  I thought the move towards the bass bar would weaken their response.

Re the neck vibration: can still feel it when I play G or D string. Not if I play of A or  E alone; but it's present if I play  double stops on both.

I am amazed at how much better this fiddle sounds after 3 days of experimentation  with soundposts!



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