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sospiri

String break angle 158 degrees? Where does that come from???

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From the Lady Blunt Stradivari?

YIKES! That's not right. That neck angle is too steep. If we use 80 degrees as the angle of the strings from bridge to nut, then the neck angle is 9 degrees from horizontal and that is too much. Even 8 degrees is too much. Maybe 7 should be the maximum?

The good news is that the original fingerboard was sold along with the violin so maybe David Burgess could reset it and put right what Vuillaume did wrong?

Addendum. The perspective of the photograph makes the angle look much steeper than it is.

 

Edited by sospiri
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2 hours ago, sospiri said:

The good news is that the original fingerboard was sold along with the violin so maybe David Burgess could reset it and put right what Vuillaume did wrong?

IIRC and FWIW, you wouldn't end up where you think you need to with the original board without making some other changes that might freak you out just as much.  :)

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13 hours ago, Andres Sender said:

IIRC and FWIW, you wouldn't end up where you think you need to with the original board without making some other changes that might freak you out just as much.  :)

Why? There's enough to work with. Someone should do it.

 

Lady-Blunt-Stradivarius-Violin-of-1721-1

 

Lady-Blunt-Stradivarius-Violin-of-1721-5

Lady-Blunt-Stradivarius-Violin-of-1721-1

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The point of this thread is to illustrate that the 158 degree string break angle seems to originate from the Lady Blunt. When Vuillaume reset the neck, he made the angle much steeper than any well known maker does now.

This violin was used as an example of measurements, but it's a bad example and should be discarded.

So please, everyone, take note that when googling " violin string break angle " You may be directed to the diagram above or the 158 degree idea in other maestronet threads or on other websites.  But this is not a good example to follow. Hopefully you will find this thread, which has been inspired by other recent threads here where, despite good advice from Jerry Pasewicz, Nathan Slobodkin, David Burgess and others, the trigonometry issues I was questioning were unresolved because the example I was using was not a good model for neck set.

 Vuillaume may have been experimenting or he may have been careless about the angle, but either way it appears to be very different from how the most respected violin makers set the neck since he did that work.

 

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I fail to see your point. No one has said, or cares, where the 158 degree idea originated. All the number represents is a general pointer to what works with many violins, through experience, not from looking at any one violin, but from thousands of all kinds that do and don't work and it's a measurement that's easily taken as one parameter of neck setting. It's isn't written in stone--sometimes some other angle works better--but it's a good starting point to work from. Wandering off of it in either direction results in specific changes, and this also is handy to know.

I always completely measure a neck I am about to reset, determining from how it works what direction to go with the new neck set, and this is one of the things that can be measured and repeated or changed as necessary to make tonal corrections. That's all. I don't do something because someone 200 years ago did it: I do it because I know what the results will be when I keep or change that angle, depending on what changes are required, today, with modern players and strings.

Further, some people here have maintained this angle doesn't even matter, in which case your point is even more irrelevant, if you care what they think 

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2 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

I fail to see your point. No one has said, or cares, where the 158 degree idea originated. All the number represents is a general pointer to what works with many violins, through experience, not from looking at any one violin, and a measurement that's easily taken as one parameter of neck setting. It's isn't written in stone--sometimes some other angle works better--but it's a good starting point to work from. Wandering off of it in either direction results in specific changes, and this also is handy to know.

I always completely measure a neck I am about to reset, determining from how it works what direction to go with the new neck set, and this is one of the things that can be measured and repeated or changed as necessary to make tonal corrections. That's all. I don't do something because someone 200 years ago did it: I do it because I know what the results will be when I keep or change that angle, depending on what changes are required, today, with modern players and strings.

Further, some people here have maintained this angle doesn't even matter, in which case your point is even more irrelevant, if you care what they think  This has not been my experience, but, hey, that's their problem, right?

Michael, you know by experience what you are doing and so do others with decades of experience. But this 158 degree business is misinformation. And 9 degrees for a neck angle is way too steep. Look at the diagram and compare it to what you do.

For others who are looking for neck set advice this misinformation is just getting regurgitated and it's way off the mark.

 

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I don't understand why you keep hammering on a photograph of one violin that may or may not be accurate and which may or may not work in its present or a previous iteration, which none of us will ever hear and no one cares how it sounds? And what does that violin have to do with 158 degrees as a set-up parameter?

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I've explained my point well enough for you or anyone to understand.

I'm trying to address the issue of what is a right and wrong neck angle. Why would that annoy you?

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Perhaps because you have not stated your case clearly enough to understand?

Tell us, then, what is the right neck angle, in a way that can be used with any violin of any arching height, string length, stop and neck length. If you are saying that you can calculate it as an angle of the top of the board relative to the ribs (Is that where your 7 or 8 degrees comes from? You did not make that clear!), then no, that will not necessarily work equally well with a violin with a 14mm arch and one with a 21mm arch, unless you are changing the overstand as well, and how can you measure this angle when doing a real neck set?

And  then where does the saddle come in on all of this, because it doesn't matter if you follow the arching heigh increase and keep neck angle the same and then don't realize the effect of the saddle height as arching height changes. And in a violin with a twist or worse, a sag in the middle, as many violins do have, where do you measure it (7 or 8 degrees) from, the center where the bridge rests, the length to the saddle? But then what do you do with bridge height if the c-bout is sagging 2mm as many do; make it 2mm higher? That won't work.

Or do you just go for 7 degrees to some arbitrary point and not worry about anything else? If that's your idea, huge mistake!

My point is, some number which does not take ALL the various things going on does not lead to a definite result.

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18 hours ago, sospiri said:

From the Lady Blunt Stradivari?

YIKES! That's not right. That neck angle is too steep. If we use 80 degrees as the angle of the strings from bridge to nut, then the neck angle is 9 degrees from horizontal and that is too much. Even 8 degrees is too much. Maybe 7 should be the maximum?

The good news is that the original fingerboard was sold along with the violin so maybe David Burgess could reset it and put right what Vuillaume did wrong?

The nut position does dip way below the top rib line. Is that your issue?

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9 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

The nut position does dip way below the top rib line. Is that your issue?

I thought people made it clear in the original thread that if one is looking for a general good situation, that violin was a poor example to use, and that the poster who made the drawing didn't consider all the variables when drawing his altered baseline, so the whole statement and drawing doesn't make any sense. . . at all. But that was all covered in the original thread, which is why I'm confused as to why this regurgitation of a bad thread.

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10 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

Perhaps because you have not stated your case clearly enough to understand?

Tell us, then, what is the right neck angle, in a way that can be used with any violin of any arching height, string length, stop and neck length. If you are saying that you can calculate it as an angle of the top of the board relative to the ribs (Is that where your 7 or 8 degrees comes from? You did not make that clear!), then no, that cannot work equally well with a violin with a 14mm arch and one with a 21mm arch.

 

If the angle is too steep, regardless of the arching height then the scenario is as with the Lady Blunt, where the nut is too far below the bridge. With high arching that 9 degree angle would  put the nut higher relative to the edging, but still too steep. Just using neck projection is not enough.

So to avoid this with any arching height the neck angle has to be worked out before the neck is set. You do this by eye and experience. But there is no standard to guide us. We need a standard.

What standard measurements do we use for neck set?

Fingerboard projection 25-28 mm

Neck overstand (appui) 6 mm

Johnson and Courtnall in the Art of Violin Making suggest 5 degrees for neck angle. I think 7 should be the maximum.

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11 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

The nut position does dip way below the top rib line. Is that your issue?

Yes. To be more specific (to allow for arching height differences)  it's too far below the string slots in the bridge, i.e. much too steeply angled. I don't know if Peter KG did that drawing originally? but it's being quoted here and in other sources and is very misleading.

I have been inspired by other recent threads to make a few experiments, because no-one has been able to answer my questions. Experienced luthiers know what they are doing and assume it's obvious how it should be done, but it's not.

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I don't actually wing it. I have a gauge* which allows me to accurately predict what the string angle over the bridge will be while I am in the process of setting the neck, and adjust on the fly to achieve whatever string angle I  have decided I need, considering the bridge height, appui, and saddle height I think best for the situation. But all of this is fundamentally based on achieving a specific string angle over the bridge (which may or may not be 158 degrees, depending usually on the arching height and arching shape of the specific violin under consideration.)

So, in a sense, I have only one critical measurement, the string angle, with bridge height variable within a much smaller range than your suggestion--say from a pitch of 26.5 to 27.2mm, at the extremes.

http://www.darntonviolins.com/images2/neck-angle.jpg
A couple of things may not be clear in the photo: there's a scribe line on the plastic which indicates where the string will be, and if you look at where this ends at the bridge, the angle is between that line and the edge of the template down to the saddle. This angle is marked in degrees on the paper tag to the left (and you can't read that at all in the photo). 157 to 159 is a sufficient range to cover all possibilities, and yes, one degree does matter. Bridge height also has a separate effect. My parameters are necessarily narrow because what I'm looking for regarding tone and behavior is relatively narrow in scope, resulting in what you might call a "shop sound" based on our customer profile. We're able to hit this target quite reliably, if a violin hasn't been previously f#$%^& over by some fiddle butcher (read that as "over-regraduated"). Likewise for cellos, though the specific rules are of course different.

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15 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

I thought people made it clear in the original thread that if one is looking for a general good situation, that violin was a poor example to use, and that the poster who made the drawing didn't consider all the variables when drawing his altered baseline, so the whole statement and drawing doesn't make any sense. . . at all. But that was all covered in the original thread, which is why I'm confused as to why this regurgitation of a bad thread.

Understood. I was trying to understand sospori's point with this pointless example. ;)

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12 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

Understood. I was trying to understand sospori's point with this pointless example. ;)

Directed at Sospiri, not you.  I should have been clearer.

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1 minute ago, Michael_Molnar said:

Understood. I was trying to understand sospori's point with this pointless example. ;)

I hope you are joking? The point is pretty obvious but I will say it again.

This 158 degree string break angle is misleading and that was not made clear in Peter K-G's thread. That whole thread is as clear as mud and anyone googling it will be confused.

I can't say what the correct angle should be, just that the neck angle should not be more than 7 degrees, which gives a nut to bridge string angle of 8 degrees or 82 in the above diagram. With a 5 degree angle (as per the Newark School teaching) it is 84 degrees, very different from Peter's diagram based on the Lady Blunt.

 

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9 minutes ago, sospiri said:

I hope you are joking? The point is pretty obvious but I will say it again.

This 158 degree string break angle is misleading and that was not made clear in Peter K-G's thread. That whole thread is as clear as mud and anyone googling it will be confused.

I can't say what the correct angle should be, just that the neck angle should not be more than 7 degrees, which gives a nut to bridge string angle of 8 degrees or 82 in the above diagram. With a 5 degree angle (as per the Newark School teaching) it is 84 degrees, very different from Peter's diagram based on the Lady Blunt.

 

Take a look at Micheal's gauge again. If the portions on either side of the hinge were parallel, that would be 180 degrees (or zero, if you prefer).

I'm not sure what your angle measurements are referring to, so it's hard to comment on that.

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1 minute ago, David Burgess said:

Take a look at Micheal's gauge again. If the portions on either side of the hinge were parallel, that would be 180 degrees (or zero, if you prefer).

I'm not sure what your angle measurements are referring to, so it's hard to comment on that.

 What I'm saying is really very simple but y'all are making it confusing.

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Just now, Michael Darnton said:

I believe that what you are saying is really too simple to be useful, in that it does not nearly cover all of the variables involved.

Why don't you read carefully? You're missing the point.

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Sospiri, we hashed this out in gory detail a while back, but I think pretty much everyone involved in this professionally would say that a good starting point for set-ups on "regular" violins would be a string angle of 158 over the bridge and a bridge height of around 34mm. If you aim for these, then all other measurements (overstand, fingerboard projection etc) must fall into place depending on the height of your arching etc.

Mostly it's a good idea to start from this safe centre ground and then gradually start experimenting over many hundreds of violins until you arrive at your own personal, well reasoned path. With time you may find yourself observing a very similar geometry while somehow arguing that string angle doesn't matter!

The Lady Blunt is a very odd example to choose as one of the few remaining Stradivaris with its original neck, and much more of a museum piece than a player's instrument.

I would also suggest that anyone who thinks to master violin set-up by googling is heading up a major blind alley.

 

 

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1 hour ago, sospiri said:

I can't say what the correct angle should be, just that the neck angle should not be more than 7 degrees, which gives a nut to bridge string angle of 8 degrees or 82 in the above diagram. With a 5 degree angle (as per the Newark School teaching) it is 84 degrees, very different from Peter's diagram based on the Lady Blunt.

I don't understand the 5 degree, the number 82 or 8 degrees as well as the 84 degrees.  What are each of these numbers for?  

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53 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Sospiri, we hashed this out in gory detail a while back, but I think pretty much everyone involved in this professionally would say that a good starting point for set-ups on "regular" violins would be a string angle of 158 over the bridge and a bridge height of around 34mm. If you aim for these, then all other measurements (overstand, fingerboard projection etc) must fall into place depending on the height of your arching etc.

Mostly it's a good idea to start from this safe centre ground and then gradually start experimenting over many hundreds of violins until you arrive at your own personal, well reasoned path. With time you may find yourself observing a very similar geometry while somehow arguing that string angle doesn't matter!

The Lady Blunt is a very odd example to choose as one of the few remaining Stradivaris with its original neck, and much more of a museum piece than a player's instrument.

I would also suggest that anyone who thinks to master violin set-up by googling is heading up a major blind alley.

 

 

Read my posts. All of you. You're missing the point.

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