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Carbon fibre bridge


Rue

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Have "we" ever discussed carbon fibre bridges?

This just popped up in my news feed.

interesting. Might be a good option for student instruments or for very damp environments?

The CF dust is a concern.

I wouldn't have ever thought of making a CF bridge (yes, well...no surprise there...:rolleyes:)

 

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No. It can't be easily modified or tuned. Lowering it when the pitch drops would be a bitch. Plus, the hard feet will dig into the top, as opposed to b coming one over time like you see on old bridge feet. Regardless of how well the feet are fit, they will still interact with the top fibers. You see it on old cello bridges where the bottom of the feet has an almost bandsaw-like pattern pressed in from the top plate from decades of pressure. I would imagine that this is desirable, as opposed to pressing in and completely bulldozing the fibers. That would be my theory, for what it's worth. 

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Carbon fibre is too heavy and it is impossible to adjust the thickness of such a bridge. 
 

For this reason I love my carbon reinforced wooden bridges. They will never warp, can be made ultra thin when needed and still look like a normal bridge. The carbon rod under the e string functions simultaneously as a protector. For anyone who is interested I wrote an article in the trade secret section of the STRAD magazine a few years ago. (on a cello bridge)
 

edit:

Now that I listened with good headphones to the video demonstration I would say that the chosen violin had a kind of metallic sound which was reinforced by the wooden bridge and subdued by the carbon fibre bridge. I guess it is a madder of taste, I just know that the carbon fibre bridge won’t work on my instruments. 

Edited by Andreas Preuss
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There is a huge sound difference... the wood bridge sounds good/normal to me, the CF sounds extremely muted.  I notice that the CF bridge is sculpted thinner in the waist area, but that would not lighten the upper part, which is most sensitive to mass and muting.  It would be interesting to know how much this CF bridge weighs.

To me, this is solving the problems of a wooden bridge by creating more and worse problems.  No thanks.

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Since these bridges aren’t adjustable, I don’t see any reason to use them over wood bridges. A decent wood blank is a lot cheaper for the luthier and it can be carved with the normal tools easily.  Carbon fiber is trendy because it looks  futuristic, but it doesn’t work in all applications. 

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IMHO. given all of the negatives inherently associated with a CF violin bridge compared to a wooden bridge, it can't be market-competitive, which makes it an asinine concept overall.  I can maybe see a precisely engineered variant of this idea as something that could be sold as part of a CF violin (and probably bow) package, but I suspect that there's no other niche that it fits.  :)

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2 hours ago, Violadamore said:

…but I suspect that there's no other niche that it fits.  :)

The niche it fits is the one for the people who are obsessed with tinkering. Every weird gadget on the market validates (to them) their never ending quest for that little improvement in tone accomplished by use of a device rather than working on technique.

Eddy Merckx, considered by many the greatest cyclist of all time used to say “Don’t buy ‘upgrades.’ Just ride up grades.” The comparison to the cycling world is apt because the commercial part of it is inundated with gadgets for a similar niche. 

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10 hours ago, Barry J. Griffiths said:

I looked at the video and got as far as “We just need to find a violin that fits the bridge “ and I was done. 

Watch a little further to see a "violin that fits the bridge", and it looks to my eye that there is a gap between the bridge foot edge and the top.

foot.png.3eccba70f75a06abf8cc87f4f0098da5.png

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Fitting a Carbon Fiber Bridge could be quite simple.  Cut grind the feet until you get it the correct height, gaps are fine.  Place saran wrap on the violin.  Using epoxy dyed black with a liberal amount of micro balloons, glue the bridge feet to the saran wrap covered top.  Let it cure, pop the bridge off the saran wrap, perimeter trim the feet, done perfectly gap free.

I think this carbon bridges drawback will be the inability of the bridge to withstand the cutting effect of the strings over time.  It is cut from plain weave cloth which means the bridge structure is relying entirely on the interlaminar glue bond strength of the fiber stack.  There is no transverse element positioned to assist the bond line in surviving the shear/cleaving forces of a vibrating string.  I see an ongoing decay mode where the string grooves become soft, the string settles into the groove, the instrument tunes flat, the strings are tightened and the string grooves then suffer more, This is a loop failure that I do not see a cure for with a woven cloth bridge.  IF after trimming to height we affixed a transverse element across the string notches, it may survive better, but the consistency would be quite hit and miss IMHO 

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15 hours ago, SCorrea said:

It is cut from plain weave cloth which means the bridge structure is relying entirely on the interlaminar glue bond strength of the fiber stack.  There is no transverse element positioned to assist the bond line in surviving the shear/cleaving forces of a vibrating string. 

The issues are greater than that. Carbon fiber doesn't make a good sliding bearing material. With a tiny bit of wear, it sheds highly abrasive particles which hasten further wear, creating an increasing spiral of self-destruction.

In contrast, wood, oil or grease or wax impregnated wood, and water-lubricated wood have been used successfully as bushing (sliding bearing) materials for a long time, and some are still in use today in applications as demanding as hydroelectric plant water turbines.

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12 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

In contrast, wood, oil-soaked wood, and water-lubricated wood have been used successfully as bushing (sliding bearing) materials for a long time, and some are still in use.

Funny you mention that, Lignum Vitae is actually on the US Strategic Materials list and the Government maintains a stock of a few TONS of this wood for low rpm shaft bearings (think submarines)  Another oddity on the SML is Whale Oil. It seems that is has current usage lubricating some mechanical joints on satellite solar arrays and such due to its absence of outgassing in a vacuum

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2 hours ago, SCorrea said:

Funny you mention that, Lignum Vitae is actually on the US Strategic Materials list and the Government maintains a stock of a few TONS of this wood for low rpm shaft bearings (think submarines)  Another oddity on the SML is Whale Oil. It seems that is has current usage lubricating some mechanical joints on satellite solar arrays and such due to its absence of outgassing in a vacuum

From one information-whore-nerd to another: Don't be such a nerd. ;)

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5 hours ago, SCorrea said:

Another oddity on the SML is Whale Oil. It seems that is has current usage lubricating some mechanical joints on satellite solar arrays and such due to its absence of outgassing in a vacuum

I suspect there is nobody assigned to purging the list of outdated information.  I my nearly 3 decades in space mechanisms, we only used specially engineered synthetic lubricants, and I never heard of anyone using whale oil.

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