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Viola ff holes distance


tango
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Hi
I am trying to change some measurements of my 40,3 cm viola model.
The case is the distance between ff holes.
I saw in the R. Hargrave  Strad article of  1785 viola 56,2 mm between ff holes .
Is that distance some exagerated?
I want my minimun distante of C bouts a 134mm.

https://www.roger-hargrave.de/PDF/Artikel/Strad/Artikel_1998_12_Guadagnini_1785_PDF.pdf

Thanks for any coments

 

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In classical Cremona  violins and violas, the span across the upper soundhole eyes is 'the stop unit or a part less'

So, the stop unit is 1/3 the distance from the top edge of the body down to the planned bridgeline.

The span across the eyes is then any of the stop unit, or 3/4, or 7/8, or similar of the stop unit.

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I agree that the eye spacing seems wider than necessary, and I also think the C-bout width (on a small viola) makes for a very chunky-looking instrument.  You then need to have the bridge high enough so the bow clears.  My personal preference is for narrower for both items (I use 50mm for the eyes, as Manfio does), but I certainly have no reason to believe that wider would be worse for performance.

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Hi all, thanks for responses.
I remember you that 56,2 mm is the measure written in the Roger´s  article. 
I am inclined for 50 mm. This seems to me more normal but  I guess Guadagnini knew more about violin making than me.
I am taking note of all details for decide some measurements as: stop and neck lenght, middle bout , ff holes spacing and others. 

I made two violas Amati model that sounded aceptable (sold)

Regards
Tango

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That's the big one.

Every time I  cite Sacconi, somebody complains, but he pointed out that when Bergonzi got the eyes of his "f"s too far apart the sound couldn't focus.

With that in mind I never understood how old 'cellos with widely spaced f-holes could sound. but there's a lot I don't understand.

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To my experience viola bridges between 46mm and 48mm work best. For aesthetical reasons I wouldn't go for an f-hole distance which looks disproporional to the bridge.

Guadagnini produced all sorts of body sizes for viola. Either he experimented and didn't come to a perfect all round solution or he just fitted the size to the player who ordered the instrument. I tend to believe the latter.

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15 hours ago, tango said:

I am trying to change some measurements of my 40,3 cm viola model.

I want my minimun distante of C bouts a 134mm.

Hello, Tango!

I am posting some measurements taken from a viola we made for a student in 2017. It turned out to be successful so we made another one this year.

Minimum width at the CC bouts is 135 mm on our instrument. The stop line is at 220 mm, top arching height is 19 mm.

Span between upper eyes is 52 mm but --- we use a 48 mm bridge and the bassbar is positioned according to that bridge width, regardless of the upper eyes' position. For viola, we set the bassbar 1,5 mm inside the bridge foot.

Our viola is loosely based on Guadagnini's style and not an exact copy, and when it was time to make the f-hole cuts, I decided to draw f-holes freehand on the top plate and made a template out of that.

One reason why we make student instruments in our workshop is that we can make "experiments" and have a small income at the same time; then we bring all the findings into the making of better quality instruments. In this way we can still give some service to our local musician's community but we strongly depend on foreign markets for the survival of our business. I hope that in these dire times for Argentina, you can find your way to develop your style and be successful.

Cheers, Giovanni

 

viola_f.JPG

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On 9/2/2019 at 8:24 PM, tango said:

Hi
I am trying to change some measurements of my 40,3 cm viola model.
The case is the distance between ff holes.
I saw in the R. Hargrave  Strad article of  1785 viola 56,2 mm between ff holes .
Is that distance some exagerated?
I want my minimun distante of C bouts a 134mm.

https://www.roger-hargrave.de/PDF/Artikel/Strad/Artikel_1998_12_Guadagnini_1785_PDF.pdf

Thanks for any coments

 

Upper F-hole distance has influence on the longitudinal bending behavior. The distance predicts the stiffness together with the thickness graduation. Widening will produce a more rigid structure since the cross, arc=radii, increase the resistant behavior. Also, very important is the width of the F-holes at the location of the bridge. I have with 50 at the upper F-holes a width at the bridge 85. At that location the bridge produces TWO deflecting conditions. ONE is the longitudinal downward bending while the other is the flattening of the cross-arc shape. This double behavior in some extend can be controlled by making the edge of the F-hole thinner. Making the edge inward thinner allow the cross curve bending upward. Actually, this is a regulator of the dynamic behavior and acoustical result. Hope this explanation helps. All the best.

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Personally I like the look of wide set soundholes much more than those too close together.

In new making, you can place the bar as you wish, so there is no reason you can't have the eyes further apart than the bridge width.
If I was going to copy something, I'd use the measurements as they are, if you start changing things, it's not a copy any more.

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