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dpappas

Treble F-hole wing lifting slightly, a concern?

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My upper wing of my treble f-hole is raised slightly from the plane of the top, maybe 0.5 mm or so, I haven't measured it yet.  It's very slight but I can certainly feel it when I run my finger over it.  The soundpost was set by the luthier from whom I purchased the instrument a few weeks ago.  I am 100% happy with the sound so I'd be inclined to leave the post where it is and not worry about it, but I also don't want to damage my instrument.  I trust that luthier and I won't be able to see him any time soon due to distance and covid.  

I could take it to my local shop but I'm not 100% confident in their soundpost settings, and like I said I really love the current sound.  Should I be worried?  I'm attaching the best photo I could snag this morning, it doesn't show the extent of the upper wing raising, but it's not severe.  

Thanks!

IMG_2374.jpeg

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Do you have an inspection mirror to check the fit of the sound post?  It may be an optical illusion from the camera angle, but the post appears to at an unusual angle.  

-Jim

 

 

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I had a new build do this after I cut the f holes... apparently some kind of stress in the wood.  The wing lifted even without the sound post installed.  It sounds good....

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Jim, the post is straight, it's a camera distortion, I've looked with a mirror and the post is flush with the plates.  I have not looked through the end pin because I don't want to unstring it.

 

Shunyata, good to know.  I am trying to balance caution with the sound I am currently getting.  If it isn't broken (and isn't a danger) then I won't fix it.

 

Dimitri

 

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It's hard to say anything for certain without knowing some other things.  If the upper treble wing is raised, it could be wood stress, super-tight soundpost, soundpost  outside of the bridge foot, or sinking bass side from a weak bar.  Or maybe other things I haven't though of.  I doubt any of these items would cause a catastrophic failure, but might lead to permanent distortion.

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What little I know about the condition:

) I've only seen it on the treble side of instruments, which argues that it's usually not spontaneous warpage,

) I've seen it on instruments both new and used, so it's commonly overlooked/ignored during initial setup, though it should be obvious,

) When the soundpost is dropped, it usually goes away, so,

) When I see it, I make a new, slightly shorter soundpost, trimmed so that it no longer causes the wing to rise.

Does anyone consider the lifted wing a normal condition which should be tolerated?  :huh:

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I had the opposite problem on my cello, after about a year I noticed that the lower treble side wing had actually fallen just a bit. I contacted the maker and he said that was normal, because he starts the instrument off with a slightly shorter sound post. When I took it back for the first maintenance, he changed the sound post. 15 years later, the wing has not moved any more. It is not entirely flush, But it’s not anything to worry about.

Edited by PhilipKT

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I would bet a fair sum of money on an overtight post - I don't think it's a good thing to leave it this way indefinitely but it's not super-urgent either.

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40 minutes ago, martin swan said:

I would bet a fair sum of money on an overtight post - I don't think it's a good thing to leave it this way indefinitely but it's not super-urgent either.

That's the only thing I've ever see that caused a raised treble wing; the other ones are just "possibilities".  Normal creep and distortion would give a depressed wing.

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55 minutes ago, sospiri said:

How much does it depend on the relative humidity when the first sound post was fitted, and subsequent changes I wonder?

Quite a bit. With enough experience, both are rather predictable. And a maker shouldn't be in a hurry to send an instrument out the door which has just been strung up, (nor should a musician buy one) since changes in sound, playability and dimensions and are to be expected.

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David,

good points.  It sounds like I need an adjustment or shorter post, but that it’s not life threatening.   Where I live it’s very dry although my humidity sensor reads 38-44% (it’s calibrated).  

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I went ahead and measured the “lift” with my digital calipers.   The offset or lift is 0.4 mm.   I attached a better picture as well.  

0CCD8C39-66A8-4121-881E-3AC9FCFB7CA0.jpeg

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11 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Quite a bit. With enough experience, both are rather predictable. And a maker shouldn't be in a hurry to send an instrument out the door which has just been strung up, (nor should a musician buy one) since changes in sound, playability and dimensions and are to be expected.

So a few moisture cycles are required before it leaves the workshop? Does this include adjustments to the post postion?

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I can see moisture playing a big part.   My post is 2.7 mm being the bridge foot and 0.9 mm from the out edge edge of the bright foot.  The post seems a little too far “east” if you catch my meaning.  

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Personally if you are satisfied with the sound, I would not worry about it. The only concern cleaning with a rag to not get snagged and inflict any damage.

 

Typically in new construction we lower that  leading edge of the wing during the carving ( à la Stradavari) so as to not have that scenerio present itself.  

ref: Secrets of Stradivari - S. F. Sacconi

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Kiln dried wood can have all kinds of internal stresses that result in these kinds of movements after the f holes are cut.   Air drying avoids this issue.  Good to find out what your wood supplier has done!

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On 10/8/2020 at 4:09 AM, dpappas said:

I can see moisture playing a big part.   My post is 2.7 mm being the bridge foot and 0.9 mm from the out edge edge of the bright foot.  The post seems a little too far “east” if you catch my meaning.  

Yes, if it is just slightly too far east, I get worried and cut a new post.

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