Cello neck is slightly crooked


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I noticed a while back that the neck of my cello is slightly crooked. If I sight down the fingerboard from the scroll, the strings and bridge do not line up with the fingerboard when the bridge is centered between the f-holes. The bridge needs to be about 5mm towards the A string side in order to line up. I'd  been playing for several years before I even noticed this. I read also that this can be fixed by removing some wood from the bottom of one bridge foot, giving the bridge a "tilt" in whatever direction it needs to go, but I'm not sure which is preferable: a tilted bridge or one that's slightly off the optimum position. The cello seems to play well and sound good. Should I worry?

 

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Assuming that it is  an inexpensive cello and not worth a neck reset.....fudging a bit here and there can help.    Normally, the differential bridge foot heights are done during bridge installation - there may not be enough wood now on the feet to tilt the bridge with this method.   The other trick is to offset the string slots on the bridge so the strings are closer to the center of the board and the feet can stay closer to the optimum position.    Of course, the best advice is to get it to a luthier and get his advice

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7 hours ago, Royce J. said:

I noticed a while back that the neck of my cello is slightly crooked. If I sight down the fingerboard from the scroll, the strings and bridge do not line up with the fingerboard when the bridge is centered between the f-holes. The bridge needs to be about 5cm towards the A string side in order to line up. I'd  been playing for several years before I even noticed this. I read also that this can be fixed by removing some wood from the bottom of one bridge foot, giving the bridge a "tilt" in whatever direction it needs to go, but I'm not sure which is preferable: a tilted bridge or one that's slightly off the optimum position. The cello seems to play well and sound good. Should I worry?

 

Do you really mean 5 cm, or is it 5 mm? 5 cm (2") would seem rather more than slightly crooked!

How have you established the true centre of the instrument?
Are the soundholes set at equal distances from the edge of the instrument?
Are the soundholes equal distances from the geometric centre?
How have you calculated the actual bass bar position?

If you have played this cello for years, and never noticed until now, I would not worry too much.

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Sorry, of course I meant 5mm. After looking at it some more, I think it's probably less, more like 2mm.  Bass bar and soundpost appear to be positioned pretty much where they should be, so I'm going to leave it alone. The next time I have it worked on, I'll ask my luthier about it. Thanks for the replies!

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I'm just a cellist, not a maker, but, I've played on quite a few older instruments that have such slight offsets. If everything otherwise is well made and in good condiction, and there is enough bow clearance, the offset in itself is no reason to worry. Optically it can be handled the was you describe (you do not say if it is towards the treble of bass side), and can also be hidden by shaving off some of the fingerboard on the side which protrudes more. If you combine the methods (bridge slightly off centre, slightly tilted, fingerboard slightly shaved off), then all of them need to be done only moderately to make it practically disappear. As long as the bridge foot sits over the bass bar properly, and the sound post is adjusted accordingly, I'd not expect any negative playing characteristics. Anyway, if it is  2 MM, I'd just leave it.

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