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Bridge selection outer foot width & inner foot spread


Rustle
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Here are a couple photos showing some measurements.  44mm between upper f-hole eyes. 20220504_094809.thumb.jpg.47e8c2707da049878dd42c153134987e.jpgLocation of base bar shown in photo.20220504_094712.thumb.jpg.aaf0ddbad0fb220dd4839d06bdef569e.jpg 42mm wide bridge currently on it. 

The base bar seems to not be under the bridge foot...measuring exactly is difficult due to slant of measuring device through f-hole. Used thin card stock, less slant than metal ruler. 

It looks like I need a 44mm bridge. I ordered one and it should arrive tomorrow.  The measurement between the feet on this wide blank will be quite a bit wider than the various bridges I have for this instrument.  How does that affect tone and balance? Will that make the D and A strings more open? Can bridge thickness compensate for that if needed?20220504_094809.thumb.jpg.47e8c2707da049878dd42c153134987e.jpg

With a 44mm bridge,  should I increase the string spacing?

With the wider bridge,  I'll need a shorter post so I can move it out further. 

Considering these photos,  would you select a 44mm bridge blank?

I could also try a 43mm, but might have to shift it toward the base bar a tad. 

Didn't mean to insert that photo again but couldn't figure out how to delete it. 

 

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If your photo of the ruler shows where the outside of the bar is, then yeah, go ahead and cut a 44 mm bridge.

I would not widen the string widths. 33-33.5 all day.

You can use thin brass stock to make a two-arm bar checker that is bent to follow the arc of the inner top!

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14 minutes ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

If your photo of the ruler shows where the outside of the bar is, then yeah, go ahead and cut a 44 mm bridge.

I would not widen the string widths. 33-33.5 all day.

You can use thin brass stock to make a two-arm bar checker that is bent to follow the arc of the inner top!

Oh, I hadn't thought about measuring on the curve.

I just experimented spacing out the G  and D strings on this bridge to 12mm spacing.  It did change the sound. Those strings sounded more broad, less constricted. When I get home I'll do the same on the A and E. I'm wanting a more broad tone on the A string.  I'll let you know if it works ;)

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20 minutes ago, Rustle said:

Oh, I hadn't thought about measuring on the curve.

I just experimented spacing out the G  and D strings on this bridge to 12mm spacing.  It did change the sound. Those strings sounded more broad, less constricted. When I get home I'll do the same on the A and E. I'm wanting a more broad tone on the A string.  I'll let you know if it works ;)t

That may work for you but most violinists are pretty picky about string spacing I use 34 center to center of the outer strings. I see Jacoby uses somewhat smaller and would be interested to know how much variation exists between makers. I also wonder if the placement of the  ankles of the bridge might be a better way to distribute weight rather than changing the string spacing.

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13 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:

That may work for you but most violinists are pretty picky about string spacing I use 34 center to center of the outer strings. I see Jacoby uses somewhat smaller and would be interested to know how much variation exists between makers. I also wonder if the placement of the  ankles of the bridge might be a better way to distribute weight rather than changing the string spacing.

On a 44mm bridge the ankles would be further out than on a 42mm. You can't really move the ankles, just narrowing them from one side or the other. Is that what your meant?I did read somewhere that a wider bridge needs wider spacing. Since optimizing my violins tone is my own project and this violin is not typical,  it's worth experimenting. 

BTW, I ordered a Despiau 3 tree. It seems this brand fans out toward the top more than Aubert.  This may or may not be beneficial.  

 

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5 hours ago, Rustle said:

The base bar seems to not be under the bridge foot...measuring exactly is difficult due to slant of measuring device through f-hole. Used thin card stock, less slant than metal ruler. 

But still too much slant to accurately know where the bass bar is.

4 hours ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

If your photo of the ruler shows where the outside of the bar is, then yeah, go ahead and cut a 44 mm bridge.

I would not widen the string widths. 33-33.5 all day.

You can use thin brass stock to make a two-arm bar checker that is bent to follow the arc of the inner top!

Agree with all Chris said, except that all my metal soundpost position checkers have come from used shipping pallet steel banding straps, which makes them somewhat superior in planet-friendliness to using new brass sheet stock. ;)

Players expect strings to be where they expect them to be, so increasing the distance between the strings because a wider-than-normal bridge is used will typically produce sub-optimal levels of love and enthusiasm, unless the player has specifically requested something outside the standard range. If the string spacing looks too narrow for a wider bridge, some material can be planed off the top of the bridge sides.

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1 hour ago, Rustle said:

On a 44mm bridge the ankles would be further out than on a 42mm. You can't really move the ankles, just narrowing them from one side or the other. Is that what your meant?I did read somewhere that a wider bridge needs wider spacing. Since optimizing my violins tone is my own project and this violin is not typical,  it's worth experimenting. 

BTW, I ordered a Despiau 3 tree. It seems this brand fans out toward the top more than Aubert.  This may or may not be beneficial.  

 

By thinning the ankles more from one side or the other you effectively “move” them. This is especially true of cellos and I would be interested in talking about that but will start another thread rather than hijack yours.

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3 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

But still too much slant to accurately know where the bass bar is.

Agree with all Chris said, except that all my metal soundpost position checkers have come from used shipping pallet steel banding straps, which makes them somewhat superior in planet-friendliness to using new brass sheet stock. ;)

Players expect strings to be where they expect them to be, so increasing the distance between the strings because a wider-than-normal bridge is used will typically produce sub-optimal levels of love and enthusiasm, unless the player has specifically requested something outside the standard range. If the string spacing looks too narrow for a wider bridge, some material can be planed off the top of the bridge sides.

David what is your preferred string spacing of the outer strings?

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11 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

But still too much slant to accurately know where the bass bar is.

Agree with all Chris said, except that all my metal soundpost position checkers have come from used shipping pallet steel banding straps, which makes them somewhat superior in planet-friendliness to using new brass sheet stock. ;)

Players expect strings to be where they expect them to be, so increasing the distance between the strings because a wider-than-normal bridge is used will typically produce sub-optimal levels of love and enthusiasm, unless the player has specifically requested something outside the standard range. If the string spacing looks too narrow for a wider bridge, some material can be planed off the top of the bridge sides.

I guess I need to make a better base bar measuring device.  I used card stock but I  suppose it's not totally accurate either. 

I experimented putting the center of the strings 12mm apart. To me the sound and feel improved.  That's with in the norm, right? Could probably do 11.75 and it still sound better than 11.5mm. 

Anyhow it was a good  experiment  :P

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33 minutes ago, Rustle said:

Yes, something like that. Did you make it?

Yes, I don't think you can find it for sale, but it's very simple with a little bit of testing to get it right. Mine is made with 0.5mm thick copper sheet, but any thin, bendable metal will do. I copied it from Weisshaar's book, lots of useful gadgets on that book. Shipping pallet steel banding straps David B. suggested also works well, but copper looks better in photos and is easier to shape.:P

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23 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

You need one like this:

1726874303_Bassbarandsoundpostgauge.thumb.JPG.8021f49623907edc20268d126e576887.JPG

Mine is a little different, designed with the intent of keeping the two ends parallel, no matter what the distance between them.

I'm not completely sure if I was using this in the Weisshaar shop, or if it was an idea I had after I left the shop. But based on the light blue paint dot, I'm thinking that I used it when I was there. (people there marked their tools with various colored paint dots, to identify who the tool belonged to. In a large shop, tools can move around a bit and be shared and lent between various users, so it's nice to have a simple method for eventually putting them back in their proper place).

 

image.thumb.png.ae80eae4275330b2e20ab2ce2a751935.png

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27 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

I'm not completely sure if I was using this in the Weisshaar shop, or if it developed after I left the shop.

These are what you were using when I arrived at "the firm" and I never saw you use anything else.  If I remember correctly, you had left Weishaar that spring.

Having the upper (outside) leg being straight and flat gives one a pretty good reference for positioning them and consequently for where whatever it's touching on the inside is.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

Mine is a little different, designed with the intent of keeping the two ends parallel, no matter what the distance between them.

I'm not completely sure if I was using this in the Weisshaar shop, or if it was an idea I had after I left the shop. But based on the light blue paint dot, I'm thinking that I used it when I was there. (people there marked their tools with various colored paint dots, to identify who the tool belonged to. In a large shop, tools can move around a bit and be shared and lent between various users, so it's nice to have a simple method for eventually putting them back in their proper place).

 

image.thumb.png.ae80eae4275330b2e20ab2ce2a751935.png

In my wanderings to fine-tune this gadget, I had also thought of a solution similar to yours. but then I settle with the one with the two prongs bent with a similar profile. I find it more useful to keep as a reference the outside prong resting on the arching, but in fact, if you are dealing with arching with very different curves as in the ancient instruments of different authors, a solution like yours is certainly more versatile.

However, yours also looks copper and looks good, not like vulgar "shipping pallet steel straps":lol:

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6 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Mine is a little different, designed with the intent of keeping the two ends parallel, no matter what the distance between them.

I'm not completely sure if I was using this in the Weisshaar shop, or if it was an idea I had after I left the shop. But based on the light blue paint dot, I'm thinking that I used it when I was there. (people there marked their tools with various colored paint dots, to identify who the tool belonged to. In a large shop, tools can move around a bit and be shared and lent between various users, so it's nice to have a simple method for eventually putting them back in their proper place).

 

image.thumb.png.ae80eae4275330b2e20ab2ce2a751935.png

Wow, that's a really nice tool. :)

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The 44mm bridge blank arrived today. I had to fit a new post because with this bridge,  the post needs to be shorter so it can be out further. Looking forward to seeing/hearing what changes this set up may make. :)

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9 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

However, yours also looks copper and looks good, not like vulgar "shipping pallet steel straps":lol:

But... but... but it is made from shipping pallet steel strapping. The color is seriously off in my quick phone camera photo. The background was a sheet of white printer paper. :lol:

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2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

But... but... but it is made from shipping pallet steel strapping. The color is seriously off in my quick phone camera photo. The background was a sheet of white printer paper. :lol:

:DWe could open a new topic on the color of soundpost gauges, it could exceed 15 pages like the "long arch drawing" thread, with contents of the same usefulness:lol::lol:

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On 5/5/2022 at 9:50 PM, dpappas said:

Please do share. I’m following with interest 

Thanks for letting me know that you are interested.  Otherwise I probably wouldn't have posted an update.  

This 44mm bridge experiment has been a success.  Although I don't have the nice tool for accurately measuring the base bar location,  I got a pretty good idea using the card stock and also looking through the end button hole, seeing how far the BB is from the center. I could see that my post was quite a bit closer to the center than the base bar. I couldn't have it spaced out like the BB, using any of my bridges 41.5 and 42mm.  The post would have been not under the foot at all. 

So, I fit a new post ..shorter, and set it similar to the BB. Fit the 44mm Despiau 3 tree bridge.. very slowly, because I don't have another 44mm blank. I bought the last one. I spent a whole day on it, testing it over and over. I left the feet thicker and did minimal carving. Just a little off the thighs, tiny bit off the waist, and a little bit off the kidneys. I left some fullness above the heart.  Took a little off the sides so it didn't fan out quite so far. The Despiau bridges fan out more than Aubert and the 44mm did a lot, so I took it in a little,  but not the feet.. String spacing at 12mm center to center.  I used a viola curve template which is slightly more curved. But ended up lowering the D and A strings a hair. 

The sound is more full now. The A string,  which was what was really bothering me, is much better.  It was edgy and thin. Up in 7th position it was really thin and harsh. Now the A string has some body up in 7th position.  All the strings are balanced. And it projects even more. I still have the steel strings on it. Next I'll try out various sets of synthetic strings. It should be even better.  

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