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Asymmetries in violin pegbox walls


Al Cramer
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Does anyone have any insights into asymmetries in  pegbox wall thickness? I have 2 fiddles, both of which I think are turn-of-the-century German factory instruments. The Amati is my good fiddle and the Maggini is my beach fiddle. In both cases the pegbox wall on the treble side becomes thinner as it approaches the nut. Have also seen this on some low-quality thru-the-neck instruments I set up for friends.

Recently I bought an unused 2006 Yitamusic violin to see what it had to offer (quite a lot! Really big sound though not as nice as my other axes). Here the wall-thicknesses are the same on both sides.

So I was wondering: what's the deal? At first I thought: less good instruments are symmetrical re width of treble and bass side, better ones aren't; but then I think a I remember watching a Davide Sora video in which the two sides had the same thickness (though I'm not sure at which stage the video was shot).

Thanks!

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There is always a thinning of the walls as they approach the nut, due to the difference in width between the pegbox and the neck. This "asymmetry" (but I would not call it that because it is in fact symmetrical on both sides) is more pronounced on narrow pegboxes and serves to maintain a sufficient inside width to accommodate the strings, preventing them from leaning against the walls or forming an angle on the nut. In the Amati, this widening of the inside towards the nut is typical and rather accentuated, in Stradivari and del Gesù it is less evident because they make their pegboxes wider, even if to a certain extent it is inevitable unless you make cello-like jaws.

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9 hours ago, Al Cramer said:

Does anyone have any insights into asymmetries in  pegbox wall thickness? I have 2 fiddles, both of which I think are turn-of-the-century German factory instruments…

Instruments of this type sometimes have quite asymmetrical pegbox wall thicknesses, so I wouldn’t draw any conclusions or make any generalizations based on them.

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Many thanks to the people who posted, esp. Davide Sora: really interesting to learn  about Amati pegboxes vs later instruments, it totally accords with what I see in my German copy of the Amati pattern, maybe that baby is more accurate than I thought.

Davide, I also wanted to thank you for the wonderful videos you're posting. They are really great re. content and beautifully produced.

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7 hours ago, Al Cramer said:

Many thanks to the people who posted, esp. Davide Sora: really interesting to learn  about Amati pegboxes vs later instruments, it totally accords with what I see in my German copy of the Amati pattern, maybe that baby is more accurate than I thought.

Davide, I also wanted to thank you for the wonderful videos you're posting. They are really great re. content and beautifully produced.

Of course, this detail of the pegbox may have undergone changes because so many scrolls are grafted and wear may also have played a role. Here is an example of Amati pegbox with original neck (scroll not grafted) which shows quite well the divergence of the inside walls of the pegbox towards the nut.

675176771_DSC_3439RidNicoloAmatiAlard1649.thumb.jpg.3e92682854a8e31d2ae2ab01c931abba.jpg

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