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Easy Rider?


gottawonder
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I just came across a curious device - the Saddle Rider Tone Adjuster (https://saddleridermusic.com/) - and am hoping that someone here will be able to help me understand whether or not this item could be worth trying on a violin (few pictures below) on which I would like to try changing the string break angle. The angle is currently a touch over 156 deg.

I would like to try intervening at the saddle end first because:

1 - the string heights are a bit low

2 - the bridge is rather tall

3 - the neck angle is high

4 - the string afterlength is short

I will not have the violin in hand again until tomorrow afternoon to put exact numbers to those points (I did measure once, just carelessly did not record the values), but given the combination of 1 - 3 it seems to me that in order to adjust the string break angle from the nut side would entail having the neck angle changed. I would rather not go there (primarily a question of the cost relative to the value of this violin), and since I was thinking to try a shorter tailpiece to address the afterlength, installing the Saddle Rider mechanism would be a simple thing to add alongside making that change.

I'm not even sure what the acoustically / structurally relevant concerns would be here, but one thing that I did wonder about is whether or not eliminating the contact between the tailgut and the saddle would be expected to make any difference to the sound of the instrument. Tension is still transferred to the end pin in what seems to be a substantially similar way. What else should I be taking into consideration (the chinrest in the pictures is going to be changed one way or the other)?

Any and all input appreciated! 

Thanks.

 

back1_PXL_20210513_195242323.jpg

back2_PXL_20210513_195304923.jpg

front1_PXL_20210513_195209062.jpg

front2_PXL_20210513_195713088.jpg

side1_PXL_20210513_195803416.jpg

side2_PXL_20210513_195346489.jpg

tail_PXL_20210513_195515543.jpg

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Looks like an overpriced gimick to me. I agree with Strad. If I recall correctly, you're not a luthier. You should take your fiddle to someone who knows what they are doing rather than going the P. T. Barnum ("There's a sucker born every minute") route.

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1 hour ago, gottawonder said:

I just came across a curious device - the Saddle Rider Tone Adjuster........................

IMHO, it looks like a brilliantly engineered solution to a nonexistent problem.  :)

15 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

A bit much, having to subscribe to read a Burgess essay, when we are used to getting him for free, all the time:)

The Strad apparently removed the gratuitous sexual, motor vehicle, and Sawzall content that we're all used to.  Editing costs money.  :lol:  ;)

 

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50 minutes ago, FiddleDoug said:

If I recall correctly, you're not a luthier. You should take your fiddle to someone who knows what they are doing...

You recall correctly. The instrument is not with me because I have been getting prices on closing some gaps in seams and professional opinions on what else the instrument might need in order to perform at its best, however mediocre that may end up being. It will be in the hands of a professional to make the eventual adjustments. I put the question about the Saddle Rider here because this seems like the place to potentially catch any rare direct experience with such a doohickey and to get the best range of expert responses.

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1 hour ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Just fitting a higher saddle would probably be a lot cheaper?

I hadn't asked for a price on that at the shops I've taken the instrument to. One for the discussion when I determine where to have other repairs made. Thanks.

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First things first... have the violin properly set up ....by a professional. There are likely easy solutions to your problem. After all else fails then maybe look at "doohickeys"   ... Mat

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

Very cool. Accomplishes what I am interested in which is to have the opportunity to test whether or not the particular instrument would benefit from any change to the string break angle and therefore whether or not it would be of any benefit to, for example, have a new saddle made; not to have a permanent option to tweak the set up. 

Maybe this instrument is at its best with the steeper string break angle, in which case I am fine to leave well enough alone. It just seems like it would be preferable to be able to test whether or not that is the case. Could also be that the unusually steep neck angle is simply an error in the making of the instrument with consequences that it would be worth trying to mitigate.

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

A bit much, having to subscribe to read a Burgess essay, when we are used to getting him for free, all the time:)

A quicky way of experimenting with downforce/ string angle. Slide the tail adjuster up and down without needing to reduce string tension, or retune:1626212462_DSC07953reduced.jpg.cc8bf3977a65b39165e304350f71f166.jpg

 

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10 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

A quicky way of experimenting with downforce/ string angle. Slide the tail adjuster up and down without needing to reduce string tension, or retune:1626212462_DSC07953reduced.jpg.cc8bf3977a65b39165e304350f71f166.jpg

 

David, with your experimentation...have you drawn any general  tonal/ playability conclusions from changing the saddle height?

Thanks for sharing!... Mat

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26 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

A quicky way of experimenting with downforce/ string angle. Slide the tail adjuster up and down without needing to reduce string tension, or retune:1626212462_DSC07953reduced.jpg.cc8bf3977a65b39165e304350f71f166.jpg

 

If you were to discover that that angle was the optimum result, you would have a dilemma, wouldn’t you. Not to mention finding a chin rest to go with it:)

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Hi all,

I’m the inventor of the Saddle Rider Tone Adjuster.  It’s nice to see it mentioned here!  Just to clarify: I’m a professional cellist, and invented the device because I needed to be able to adjust the sound and response of my instrument when concertizing.  The changes it brings about with graduated precision are equivalent to a neck reset or higher or lower bridge.  A luthier could certainly cut multiple saddles .5 mm apart in height, glue each on, take down the tension fully on the violin and wait for the glue to dry between comparisons, and try to remember what it sounded like before — so why do we need a device that allows nearly instant AB tone and response comparisons? Is tiny enough to be invisible on stage?  :)

I have encountered a great deal of resistance from people who haven’t tried it, but most recent adopters luthier Lawrence Wilke and Berlin Philharmonic violist Matthew Hunter are pleased with theirs!

Sincerely,

John Haines-Eitzen, cellist

Senior Lecturer and Artist in Residence

Cornell University Department of Music

Member of The Philadelphia Orchestra from 1995 to 2005

 

 

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

If you were to discover that that angle was the optimum result, you would have a dilemma, wouldn’t you. Not to mention finding a chin rest to go with it:)

You don't need one, you just drill a hole in your chin and insert the bolt:lol:

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

If you were to discover that that angle was the optimum result, you would have a dilemma, wouldn’t you. Not to mention finding a chin rest to go with it:)

Not really. Didn't I already say that it is a way of experimenting with string angle? After one determines what angle is best for a particular fiddle, the next step would be determining how to accomplish that. Possibilities would include a higher or lower saddle, a higher or lower bridge, higher or lower tension strings, or a change in neck angle accomplished by higher or lower outset, a neck reset, or a neck graft.

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23 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

You don't need one, you just drill a hole in your chin and insert the bolt:lol:

I've already had a few holes drilled in my chin, to secure replacements for teeth lost in bar fights. :lol:

But really, wouldn't a threaded fastener installed in a jaw be more secure than a conventional chinrest? :)

(In conformation with "The Truth In Posting Act", I am required to reveal that I have not yet run the various musical instrument stabilization methods  past my prosthedontist, nor my proctologist.) ;)

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25 minutes ago, JohnHE said:

Hi all,

I’m the inventor of the Saddle Rider Tone Adjuster.  It’s nice to see it mentioned here!  Just to clarify: I’m a professional cellist, and invented the device because I needed to be able to adjust the sound and response of my instrument when concertizing.  The changes it brings about with graduated precision are equivalent to a neck reset or higher or lower bridge.  A luthier could certainly cut multiple saddles .5 mm apart in height, glue each on, take down the tension fully on the violin and wait for the glue to dry between comparisons, and try to remember what it sounded like before — so why do we need a device that allows nearly instant AB tone and response comparisons? Is tiny enough to be invisible on stage?  :)

I have encountered a great deal of resistance from people who haven’t tried it, but most recent adopters luthier Lawrence Wilke and Berlin Philharmonic violist Matthew Hunter are pleased with theirs!

Sincerely,

John Haines-Eitzen, cellist

Senior Lecturer and Artist in Residence

Cornell University Department of Music

Member of The Philadelphia Orchestra from 1995 to 2005

 

 

Welcome to MN!

I can see immediately how it varies the total string deflection angle over the bridge (and therefore the afterlength, as well as the static force on the bridge).  With particular regard to the violin, however, how can it be "equivalent to a neck reset or higher or lower bridge" when it does nothing to vary the height of the strings over the fingerboard, which is possibly the most important result of a neck reset (or a bridge height change), for a violinist?  :)

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55 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

I can only answer this in cello-related terms, which I believe are the same for violin. (David Burgess, Could you please help me out here? :) 

In a properly adjusted and set up instrument, the height of the strings over the fingerboard, assuming they’re not too high to be pressed down comfortably, or too low and rattle against the fingerboard, won’t affect the sound (other than very slightly based on a player’s fingertip contact “feel,” and the resulting fingertip damping changing very slightly depending on string height.)

You are correct that this device doesn’t change the string height, but it *does* change the tonal and response attributes that drive most players’ or luthiers’ desire to reset a neck.  If it’s just higher strings they want, they’ll simply put on a higher bridge (a far cheaper option than resetting a neck!)

Tonal and response changes may *feel* related to height of strings over the fingerboard, but are actually changing because of variation of downward force of strings on the bridge.  With minor variations, this downward force is changed by changes in bridge height, neck angle, or saddle height.  To a significant extent, these 3 variables can all accomplish similar results (not identical, granted, but similar.)

 

 

 

 

Edited by JohnHE
Minor spelling and clarity changes
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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

If you were to discover that that angle was the optimum result, you would have a dilemma, wouldn’t you. Not to mention finding a chin rest to go with it:)

Why not have an all in one chin rest angle adjuster? An eccentric cam that raises and lowers both?

But I want 50% commission.

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1 minute ago, sospiri said:

Why not have an all in one chin rest angle adjuster? An eccentric cam that raises and lowers both?

But I want 50% commission.

Because violinists don’t want those variables to be linked.  But I like your creative idea! :)

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2 minutes ago, sospiri said:

But I want 50% commission.

A disclaimer I might have included from the first had I realized how creative and entrepreneurial responses would get - I have no commercial interest in product or service mentioned in my posts!

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