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Scoop/buzz problems


Bman92
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Hello, I am working on a violin, the player (a family member of mine )has a rather aggressive attack on the g string which is resulting in a buzz. We checked other possible causes such as fine tuners and open seams etc. but eventually realized there was a high spot where there should be a scoop in the fingerboard. I put a pretty considerable scoop in the fingerboard while maintaining the proper radius which seemed to remedy the problem. However now she has noticed that the buzz still occurs when bowing the third finger or higher on the g string aggressively. Before it could be noticed with the first finger pressed but not the open g string. I’m wondering where the scoop should start in relationship to the end of the fingerboard. Would scooping it even closer to the end help this problem?Should it be scooped to the very end like the illustration here?

47E30B96-AD2D-41F8-A3EC-8CDB60A5C8A0.jpeg

AD2DB53B-ADEB-412D-A824-CD112E752990.png

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Thank you for your reply, so I should scoop it all the way to the end (towards the bridge) but leave a high point at the very end where it measures 21 mm from the top plate. I think this will hopefully remedy the buzzing.

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Who says to run the entire length?  

Run your straight edge in line with each sting slot to see the differences in gaps/space, if any.

I'd check bridge and nut conditions too though I should mention that I'm just a hobbiest along with being just a fair player.

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18 hours ago, Bman92 said:

AD2DB53B-ADEB-412D-A824-CD112E752990.png

I would make the space like above run the entire length with the deepest part around four thru eight on the ruler and the absolute deepest around the six.

I have a book that says to use both a six inch rule and a one foot rule - still can't figure out which is a better way to measure or check for light/gaps. 

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2 hours ago, uncle duke said:

…a six inch rule and a one foot rule - still can't figure out which is a better way to measure or check for light/gaps. 

The longer one is good for getting an overall view of the end-to-end scoop.  A short one — even shorter than six inches — is good for checking a small part of the fingerboard for small humps.  You should see a gap under the short rule everywhere on the board, but this gap will be thinner than the end-to-end gap.

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Uncle duke : I will try that, what I’m really wondering about is the area between 21 and 26 on that ruler , that is where I think the buzz is coming from and needs to be scooped. If I put a cloth tightly around the fingerboard in that area, that seems to mute the buzzing. I don’t believe the nut is causing the issue because the open string does not buzz. The g string height is 4 mm to the bottom of the string at the end of the fingerboard, before scooping I tried putting a shim under the g string on the bridge but that didn’t help. I will try shimming it again to 5.5mm to see if that solves the problem in which case I will carve a new bridge.I can only submit two replies a day for some reason can anyone tell me if I can fix that?

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7 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

4mm G string is way to low, thats probably the whole problem there.

Some players especially fiddlers prefer a lower action , I have read that 4mm-5.5 mm to the bottom of the g string is acceptable. As I mentioned I had shimmed the g string up before trying to scoop the fingerboard and that didn’t help, but I will try raising the height of the g string to 5.5 with a shim to see if that helps and if it does I’ll fit a new bridge, if not I will continue to dress the fingerboard .

E1C5D3AA-C173-4C2A-8D47-EE884F174D93.jpeg

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Question for the experts. Is the scoop a section of a single (very large!) circle or slightly more curved in the center than at the ends?

I noticed the OP mentioned a high point at the end of the board which sounds bad to me although obviously there will be a point where the straight edge touches the ends of the board and nothing else.

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How much maximum scoop is allowed for the first thru fourth string positions on the e string?  Can I use a 41.5 radius at the nut instead of 42? 

After setting up that e string area it still feels like there is too much wood underneath even though I followed prescribed specs though after time the work done is playable, just wondering if things can be made better.

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12 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

4mm is going to buzz at higher volumes, thats just a fact

You were right, I put a shim under the g string to raise it up to 5.5 mm and that eliminated the buzz, so I proceeded to carve a new bridge so the strings are 5.5mm on the g string and 3.5mm on the e string. 

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15 hours ago, Bman92 said:

Some players especially fiddlers prefer a lower action , I have read that 4mm-5.5 mm to the bottom of the g string is acceptable. As I mentioned I had shimmed the g string up before trying to scoop the fingerboard and that didn’t help, but I will try raising the height of the g string to 5.5 with a shim to see if that helps and if it does I’ll fit a new bridge, if not I will continue to dress the fingerboard .

 

11 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

would guess that the amount of scoop is inversely proportional to the string tension and the longitudinal stiffness of the string's core material--a low tension nylon core G string might require more scoop than a high tension steel core G string.

Glad to hear raising the action to 5.5mm worked. Just a data point - as one of the fiddlers who prefers a lower action with steel strings I've successfully used the 2.5mm E / 4.0mm G setup from Henry Strobel's table in Bman92's post above. No buzzing with Prim and Helicore strings.

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8 hours ago, Tom_R said:

 

Glad to hear raising the action to 5.5mm worked. Just a data point - as one of the fiddlers who prefers a lower action with steel strings I've successfully used the 2.5mm E / 4.0mm G setup from Henry Strobel's table in Bman92's post above. No buzzing with Prim and Helicore strings.

I had no problem playing with this setup either . The buzzing she experienced was more of a subtle slapping that would only come out with a heavy down bow lift, she would have to really try to make the buzzing sound, but it just bothered her that it did that. Now she can really whale on it.

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For what it's worth:

Depending on the strings a player prefers and their playing style (orchestral, solo, fiddling, etc)... and taking into account the stability of the instrument and season the fiddle is set up (if there is a seasonal difference, strings will tend to be lower in the winter and higher in the summer), I have a relatively narrow set of specs I normally use.

Fingerboard: Scoop set to string diameter. This can be varied slightly if the need arrises, but for me that is a rare occurrence.

Bridge guidelines: Aggressive player: 3.8 E, 5.5 G; Less aggressive player: 3.5 E, 5.2-5.4 G; Lower string set upon request: 3.2 E, 5 G +/- a tenth or 2.

I find that when the fingerboard is correctly dressed and nut height is correct, going outside these ranges is very rarely required to accomplish comfort and satisfaction for my clients... and any concerns can be remedied by minor adjustments of a tenth or two, though I'm sure there's some player out there that will someday walk in and wish something severe, and my experience may depend on my client base (mostly pros/accomplished players).

Cheers!

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Just had an experience yesterday with an extremely accomplished player with a nice Italian violin set up with string heights of 4 and 2 3/4. He had asked to have his board planed and a post adjustment because the fiddle "didn't feel right" When I looked at the board I told him that it really didn't need planing and suggested a higher bridge. Since he had a concert in a few days he asked me to just adjust the post and he would come back later for the new bridge. After tightening the some what loose post he said the fiddle sounded much better and he said the feel under his left hand was back to normal and felt fine. This is a really good player who plays fairly aggressively although he is a fairly small man. Any way just an example of how other issues might affect a players perception of a fingerboard problem and also how even good players might like or be used to unusual set ups. I don't know if he will come back in the future to try a higher bridge but I'd be interested to find out if  more standard string heights worked as well for him.

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