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switch soundpost and bass bar


Dr. Leo Kadehjian
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Just wondering why the bass bar is on the bass side and the soundpost on the treble side of the bridge.  What acoustic reason is there for this arrangement given that the top and bottom plates are effectively symmetrical across the bouts.  Only difference is where the upper and lower strings lie, and tension (force on the bridge should be effectively the same on both sides).  Has anyone ever tried switching them while leaving the string arrangement as usual (as opposed to making an instrument for left-handed bowing, with upper string on left, lower string on right, and switching the bass bar and sound post positions accordingly, or rather leaving the sound post and bass bar as normal but simply changing the string arrangement)?

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Here’s a guess, based on my science background. The soundpost has less mass, and probably a higher resonant frequency, which would work better with higher frequency from the treble bridge foot. The bass bar, along with the front plate (glued together as a unit) would have a lower frequency, would be better coupled to the bass bridge foot. Does that make any sense?

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my guess is that the back is of relatively high density wood, making it more conducive for producing higher frequency vibrations... hence the soundpost under the treble side of the bridge will transmit the treble vibrations to the back.  Conversely, the top is of lower density conducive to producing lower frequency vibrations and  so the bass side of the bridge needs to transmit the bass frequencies to the top via the bass bar, and not to the back.... my 2 simplistic cents:)

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20 hours ago, David Burgess said:

We had decent results on a violin we switched over to lefty playing, by leaving the bass bar and soundpost in the "righty" position.

I had to fit a sound post on the “wrong” side for a left-hander once. Fitting the post on the wrong side is dead awkward, you feel like a cripple doing it

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

I had to fit a sound post on the “wrong” side for a left-hander once. Fitting the post on the wrong side is dead awkward, you feel like a cripple doing it

Yes, it's kind of comical how hard it is to do ... also fitting a bridge the wrong way round.

The worst is trying to play a violin strung left-handed. I can sort of manage Three Blind Mice with 10 minutes' practice, but am then incapable of playing a conventional violin for hours afterwards ...

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6 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

I had to fit a sound post on the “wrong” side for a left-hander once. Fitting the post on the wrong side is dead awkward, you feel like a cripple doing it

 

2 hours ago, martin swan said:

Yes, it's kind of comical how hard it is to do ... also fitting a bridge the wrong way round...

I found the several occasions that I set up violins left-handed to be profoundly disorienting experiences.  It seemed like some circuits in my brain got reversed, with the effect lasting for an hour or so.  I drove somewhere after doing one and I felt like I was driving on the wrong side of the road.

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