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When moving soundpost to the east towards f-hole...


ViolinAnanda

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When moving soundpost to the east towards f-hole... how people know if the actual effect they achieve comes from changed position or maybe it's because top and bottom plate are closer so with the same soundpost length it becomes tighter. It seems no one can objectively measure and check what would be the actual effect as that would require to shorten soundpost everytime they do it so that the tightness is exactly the same as in previous position. 

So I'm reading many different opinions in internet what is the effect of moving soundpost towards f hole:

1. Some say it will amplify E and A string (but is this really due to movement or unnoticed side effect of tightness)

2. Some say it will make G string have more clarity

3. Some say it will make the sound more bright (but is this really due to movement or unnoticed side effect of tightness)

4. Some say sound will be more tense similar to distancing hands from each other when lifting weights. (and again is this really due to movement or unnoticed side effect of tightness)

 

I often don't see people mentioning that this movement towards f hole will make soundpost tighter and I don't know if they take it into consideration when explaining the effect.

What in your opinion moving soundpost to the east actually does, assuming somehow one would keep exactly the same tightness of the soundpost?

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5 minutes ago, ViolinAnanda said:

What in your opinion moving soundpost to the west actually does, assuming somehow one would keep exactly the same tightness of the soundpost?

It will do different things on different fiddles. Sorry about that.

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  • ViolinAnanda changed the title to When moving soundpost to the east towards f-hole...

Apropos of the comment I made in the current Teller bridge thread, the first thing you absolutely need to be able to do is to do the exact same thing every time. Then over very long periods of time trends will appear. After 40 years of this and numbers of posts that are some multiple of the number of violins I've worked on, there are a couple of post things I'm pretty sure of, some that I try without a lot of certainty, and a few that are still complete mysteries. I've been keeping a list of violin tonal problems in my head all of that time and every couple of years a light goes on and I get to check something off the list, but it's been frustratingly slow work. For me, anyway. You have to be willing to experiment over a large number of violins, posts, and months, usually, to learn anything at all of [more or less fragile] certainty.

Often when something pops up where there's an opinion about an effect I'll try it for a few months to see if I agree. Since you asked, the East position of the post, out past the normal 1 mm inside the bridge, is still a mystery to me--the things it's supposed to fix don't work that way for me. I have heard it said that it can firm up a floppy G string, and I've mentioned that here, always with the reservation that "some say" it,  but so far I'm not convinced. I can actively hear a post that doesn't fit, without comparisons necessary, and one that's most likely too loose, but I can't pick out one that's too far East, and I usually don't know when one's too far West without cutting a comparison post to be sure that the problem is the post, not an inherent characteristic in the violin that I don't [currently] know how to fix.

I also suspect that sometimes these things work differently for different people, related to personal mojo or aura or something. I have a similar conviction about the violins of the golden Cremonese period, that it might all just be about their honest non-cynical faith, intent, and personal psychic force, not mechanics. Putting that idea forward while thinking of Deenna Zalkind Spear, who adjusted violas remotely and then moved to adjusting your relationship with your cat over distance without meeting either you or the cat:   http://www.singing-woods.org/article_bodysoul.html. I often find myself getting the best tonal results when I'm absolutely in love with the particular instrument in hand.

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2 hours ago, Brad Dorsey said:

Yes, it’s complicated.  I don’t pretend to understand it.

This.  I end up moving it around everywhere.  Finally I find the perfect spot.  Then I move it again, to see if I can find a more perfect spot, and never find the perfect spot ever again.  I used to drive my luthier nuts, so I had to learn to move and make my own soundposts before he lost it completely.

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12 minutes ago, Aston4 said:

and never find the perfect spot ever again

This is the direct result of your lack of control in what you are doing, I would say. Pressure, location, fit, fit, and also fit. There's no guarantee that when you put it back where you thought it was that it still fits as it did before-- 0.2 mm of movement can destroy fit. Concentrate on figuring out how to KNOW fit and you'll do better. Fit can only be felt through the setter; visual fit is not enough.

If one edge of the post rises 0.01 off from contact, suddenly you are only resting on one single corner, not touching everything between. Huge tonal hit. Even leaning harder on one side that the other can sometimes be heard in some violins and I think this has to do with pressure on the edges of nodal lines for smaller high frequency areas. I think.

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1 minute ago, Michael Darnton said:

This is the direct result of your lack of control in what you are doing, I would say. Pressure, location, fit, fit, and also fit. There's no guarantee that when you put it back where you thought it was that it still fits as it did before-- 0.2 mm of movement can destroy fit, Concentrate on figuring out how to KNOW fit and you'll do better.

I'm still concentrating on not breaking the F-hole!!!  :lol:

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1 hour ago, Michael Darnton said:

This is the direct result of your lack of control in what you are doing, I would say. Pressure, location, fit, fit, and also fit. There's no guarantee that when you put it back where you thought it was that it still fits as it did before-- 0.2 mm of movement can destroy fit. Concentrate on figuring out how to KNOW fit and you'll do better. Fit can only be felt through the setter; visual fit is not enough.

If one edge of the post rises 0.01 off from contact, suddenly you are only resting on one single corner, not touching everything between. Huge tonal hit. Even leaning harder on one side that the other can sometimes be heard in some violins and I think this has to do with pressure on the edges of nodal lines for smaller high frequency areas. I think.

Very interesting.   I have not been concentrating enough on fit.  Looks like I need to go back and reexamine a few messes I made.

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10 hours ago, ViolinAnanda said:

When moving soundpost to the east towards f-hole... how people know if the actual effect they achieve comes from changed position or maybe it's because top and bottom plate are closer so with the same soundpost length it becomes tighter. It seems no one can objectively measure and check what would be the actual effect as that would require to shorten soundpost everytime they do it so that the tightness is exactly the same as in previous position. 

So I'm reading many different opinions in internet what is the effect of moving soundpost towards f hole:

1. Some say it will amplify E and A string (but is this really due to movement or unnoticed side effect of tightness)

2. Some say it will make G string have more clarity

3. Some say it will make the sound more bright (but is this really due to movement or unnoticed side effect of tightness)

4. Some say sound will be more tense similar to distancing hands from each other when lifting weights. (and again is this really due to movement or unnoticed side effect of tightness)

 

I often don't see people mentioning that this movement towards f hole will make soundpost tighter and I don't know if they take it into consideration when explaining the effect.

What in your opinion moving soundpost to the east actually does, assuming somehow one would keep exactly the same tightness of the soundpost?

How do you want to measure the tightness? You would presumably need a Hamberger  soundpost. The problem here is that he stopped producing them. 

For the effect. It is too minimal for any precise predictions. Sometimes the sound gets smoothened out somewhere sometimes not.
 

Mostly I do any soundpost adjustments with the thought of aiming at better playability or a better feel under the bow. This depends largely on the bowing technique of the user. And then I use pressure change as a mean of adjustment rather than trying to avoid it.

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5 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

How do you want to measure the tightness? You would presumably need a Hamberger  soundpost. The problem here is that he stopped producing them. 

For the effect. It is too minimal for any precise predictions. Sometimes the sound gets smoothened out somewhere sometimes not.
 

Mostly I do any soundpost adjustments with the thought of aiming at better playability or a better feel under the bow. This depends largely on the bowing technique of the user. And then I use pressure change as a mean of adjustment rather than trying to avoid it.

One big issue I have had with soundpost making and adjustment, that makes me crazy, is that sometimes I get the sound of the fiddle to be "OH THIS IS FANTASTISCH" only to figure out, in a minute, that the responsiveness is gone.  By this I mean that the time for a note to sound, after I start moving the bow, is much longer.  So then I am sad, because responsiveness is more important than sound, and the post must move again to where it does not sound as nice, to get the responsiveness back.

 

I think the Hamberger soundpost idea is brilliant.

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17 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

This is the direct result of your lack of control in what you are doing, I would say. Pressure, location, fit, fit, and also fit. There's no guarantee that when you put it back where you thought it was that it still fits as it did before-- 0.2 mm of movement can destroy fit. Concentrate on figuring out how to KNOW fit and you'll do better. Fit can only be felt through the setter; visual fit is not enough.

If one edge of the post rises 0.01 off from contact, suddenly you are only resting on one single corner, not touching everything between. Huge tonal hit. Even leaning harder on one side that the other can sometimes be heard in some violins and I think this has to do with pressure on the edges of nodal lines for smaller high frequency areas. I think.

Further to this: even if you get it back in exactly the same spot, just the mere fact that you disturbed the equilibrium that the instrument settled into over time, doesn't guarantee that it will go back to sounding the same as it did before moving things around. At least not immediately; the violin is a sensitive instrument to change of any sort.

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18 minutes ago, ViolinAnanda said:

Thank you all for the responses! I wish in 21 century someone would come up with even better and cheaper solutions than hamberger soundposts. Wish there were also some innovative tools to move it around with precision of 0.01mm

By the time you get really comfortable and practiced with the typical tools, you'll easily be able to get the results you're wanting. 

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On 4/1/2024 at 9:41 AM, Aston4 said:

This.  I end up moving it around everywhere.  Finally I find the perfect spot.  Then I move it again, to see if I can find a more perfect spot, and never find the perfect spot ever again.  I used to drive my luthier nuts, so I had to learn to move and make my own soundposts before he lost it completely.

Reminds me of every music student who came in the day before an exam, convinced that their post needed moving. Because I also have special  powers sometimes I only had to touch it with the setter a bit or massage the soundboard and it did the trick.  

Edited by LCF
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3 hours ago, ViolinAnanda said:

Thank you all for the responses! I wish in 21 century someone would come up with even better and cheaper solutions than hamberger soundposts. Wish there were also some innovative tools to move it around with precision of 0.01mm

In a previous thread we came up with an idea of a trap door of one of the ribs.  Just unlatch it and reach in.  Sort of a joke, but...

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6 hours ago, Aston4 said:

I still don't know why soundposts are round.  Seems like a square or rectangular post would work as well and easier to make on the bench.

Sharp corners are dangerous, the circle distributes stress better than a square.

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1 hour ago, Davide Sora said:

Sharp corners are dangerous, the circle distributes stress better than a square.

Oh!!!!!  Makes sense.  

 

I watched your video on soundpost making and fitting, it was beautiful, especially the way you could see from the pressure marks the last little extra bits in the wood that needed removal for full and perfect contact.   I will never be so good, but I am having fun experimenting anyway.  

 

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