Jeffrey Holmes Posted December 30, 2021 Report Share Posted December 30, 2021 1 hour ago, Michael Darnton said: FWIW, in the vein of what Jeffrey said, Philip Perret is one of my setup heroes. Yup. Philip does a wonderful setup. I've been caring for a fiddle (quite a nice one) for a mutual client (who lives closer to me and doesn't get to NY as much as he used to) for many years. He's pretty sensitive to small changes in string height and has Perret summer and winter bridges... which I am quite careful to maintain. Doubt I could do better. Philip brought a collection of bridges from a variety of makers and shops to Oberlin last time he was a guest teacher there (I think most of us have boxes of them we have come across and saved 'cause we noticed something attractive or interesting about them). While the participants were measuring and photographing them with their smart phones, he said something like (I'm paraphrasing from memory, so please feel free to correct me Philip) "The problem is that, really, the best bridge cut for the instrument may still be on it. These may not have worked as well". Conversely, about three weeks ago, I had an experience that illustrated the the danger of being too quick to make changes... A player wanted to see me as they had been having a heck of a time with the voice, response and general playability of the fiddle (a very nice Lupot) and asked me what I could do to help... I asked what had been changed and when the difficulty started. She mentioned a couple bridge changes, an alteration of the fingerboard (minor), but really little else. We discovered a very well cut Francais bridge in her case that was original to the fiddle when she purchased it from that shop many decades ago. Perfect shape, string height was fine. I suggested we put it on. Bingo. I asked her to play it for a while and see if the romance continued. If so, I suggested we return the board surface to a more normal shape later on. She emailed last week and said I was brilliant. Flattering, but in reality I was simply not so egotistical that I was able to recognize something that was really nicely made and appropriate when I saw it and had no desire to replace it with something bearing my own brand stamp. We'll do her board next month. Hope I maintain my status. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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