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Carbon Fiber Cello bridge


twcellist

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15 hours ago, GoPractice said:

I am not sure this stressed enough. Who do we blame?

This comment is important as the bridge has withstood a lifetime. If it is possible to stress checklists, bending bridges being one, then we ( thank you, Mr Victor ) might discuss educating the players.

In an ideal world string instrument players would learn how to keep the bridge in a position to stay straight and also how to correct the position each time it is out of the zero position. But unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world. (Nothing new)
 

Legendary violinist Aaron Rosand apparently never changed the bridge on his Guarneri. 
 

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One of my instruments has the bridge from 1910-1920 still on it and it has been played professionally up until I bought it five years ago and still gets a few hours of playing time each week. 

My contemporary has its original bridge from 2002 on it, which has been played roughly 10 to 15 hours per week since then, really not that hard to keep them alive, I'd say. Only thing I needed to replace was the protection piece for the e string. 

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On 4/18/2024 at 8:17 AM, Mark Norfleet said:

For a long time I've provided customers with a gauge that, if used, can provide the player with a very accurate way to position the top of their bridges.  For those who use it properly..., warping stops.  

I think it might have been Norfleet who originally came up with the term "idiot sticks" for these. I will sometimes use that term with customers to whom I furnish them, and sometimes not... depending on how much of a sense of humor I think they have. :)

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7 minutes ago, iNeedAnswers said:

Does this gauge also help to position the feed correctly?

I am not yet sure where fiddle-feed should be positioned,  nor whether it should be corn, insect, or cat protein based. Presuming that "you are what you eat", I suppose I'd rather have one of my instrument sound like a cat, than an insect or corn.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I think it might have been Norfleet who originally came up with the term "idiot sticks" for these. I will sometimes use that term with customers to whom I furnish them, and sometimes not... depending on how much of a sense of humor I think they have. :)

Yes.  It's in homage to the automotive industry and how people here (or maybe just my father…) used to refer to dash indicator lights that meant you had a problem.  I'm the same as David in how I speak about them with customers.  I've often thought about making a giant one from foam rubber so I can beat players with it who don't use the gauge sticks I provide to keep their bridges straight.

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1 hour ago, iNeedAnswers said:

Does this gauge also help to position the feed correctly?

No.  It's just as I wrote.  Usually if the feet of a bridge get displaced the player is concerned enough about what happened that they're bringing it back to me anyway.  I'm not sure how I'd make a reference tool that can help position the feet of a bridge as accurately as one can with the tool I provide for the top of each bridge I work on.  It's not perfect of course as what I'm using as a reference (the end of the fingerboard) can change a bit with rosin build up or changes in humidity, but I think resolution of 1/10th of a mm or better can easily be achieved. 
That said, I know that @Jerry Lynn makes something that can at least get someone pretty close with foot position AND desired angle.

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Thanks for telling again (I missed it the first time). I do consider my violins being of the more sensitive nature, but it seems to me that 0.1 mm is more accurate than needed already, at least I cannot find much differences there. There was a time where I tuned the note of the strings between bridge and tailpiece. Even there 0.1 mm did not change the world, and today I think, that I wasted a lot of time with that tuning. I feel like the bridge feet moving is not that uncommon, looking at how the varnish at the feet (yay, with t this time) of many violins looks. 

I guess, different violinists go to the luthier at different times, but I am actually surprised that bridge positioning would be a reason to go for someone that is not a self taught beginner. 

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I occasionally provide this stick with the violin, to keep the bridge top in the correct position. However, this assumes that the feet must be in the proper position, for which I leave two white microdots in the corner of the feet, the only way I thought of, but they won't last forever. Then some violinists play with micro-adjustments to the feet of the bridge, to complicate things...:)

1_Referencesticklogo.thumb.jpg.53dbfa6c19f976ad383fed913ad4f6e9.jpg

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5 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

I occasionally provide this stick with the violin, to keep the bridge top in the correct position. However, this assumes that the feet must be in the proper position, for which I leave two white microdots in the corner of the feet, the only way I thought of, but they won't last forever. Then some violinists play with micro-adjustments to the feet of the bridge, to complicate things...:)

1_Referencesticklogo.thumb.jpg.53dbfa6c19f976ad383fed913ad4f6e9.jpg

Right.  Now just glue it in place.  Problem solved.  :D

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4 hours ago, iNeedAnswers said:

I have seen people using small dents in the wood to mark the position, almost like tiny holes.

I prefer micro holes filled with white chalk in the varnish, not in the wood. They will be less permanent, but less invasive. I know many people don't like putting holes in the varnish and I don't recommend it on all violins, I only do it on mine.

https://youtu.be/aBveIsR8SjA?si=gfBBDA79qJuGMCBc&t=423

 

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3 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

I prefer micro holes filled with white chalk in the varnish, not in the wood. They will be less permanent, but less invasive.

For a straight varnished violin, this makes sense.  For antiqued violins, a couple of tiny dots into the wood and filled with black chalk I don't think is too objectionable, and it's permanent-ish until the bridge feet wear thru.

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18 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

I occasionally provide this stick with the violin, to keep the bridge top in the correct position. However, this assumes that the feet must be in the proper position, for which I leave two white microdots in the corner of the feet, the only way I thought of, but they won't last forever. Then some violinists play with micro-adjustments to the feet of the bridge, to complicate things...:)

1_Referencesticklogo.thumb.jpg.53dbfa6c19f976ad383fed913ad4f6e9.jpg

You almost got it right Davide! ;) 

This is what I’ve been doing for many years.  I also provide written instructions and a diagram, but a lot of people still need to be shown how to use it.  Not to mention how to move -just- the top of the bridge…

This one is for a cello.

 

IMG_6429.jpeg

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6 hours ago, David Burgess said:

That doesn't look like "tonewood". :angry:

 

5 hours ago, Mark Norfleet said:

Perhaps not, but their use can significantly improve the sound of an instrument.  Even yours! ;) 

 

My stick is made from leftover willow linings. Definitely more Cremonese...:lol:

And of course it follows practical demonstrations, instructions, and precautions when straightening the bridge. I also try to convince customers to train their eyes to make using the stick redundant, because I know that sooner or later they will lose it, or they won't remember where the hell they put it. ;)

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On 4/20/2024 at 1:59 PM, Mark Norfleet said:


That said, I know that @Jerry Lynn makes something that can at least get someone pretty close with foot position AND desired angle.

I don't know how smart it actually is, Mark.  Basically, i fit a wedge between the board and face of the bridge.  If it doesn't make it comfortably to the top, there's a problem.  Likewise, if it's got too much room, there's a problem.   Bottom pic is what I send to clients whom I'm shipping the instrument to, and can't demonstrate it in person.  I've also thought of making something that allows the customer to check the side to side placement... not sure if that's as much of an issue though. 

I put these in a little envelope marked with what it is, and another little envelope with the old bridge and post.  Depending on the person, I'll stamp a little diagram where the old set up used to live on the bridge/post envelope.  

IMG_0345.jpeg.67779ce39b8bf41b3234f095f1522981.jpeg

 

DipticExportSaveLocation.jpeg.abb667be6e071ea8328f22161251fbef.jpeg 

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  • 1 month later...

There's nothing wrong with your bridge. Straighten it by putting it in a steamer for half an hour, then lay it on its back on rigid cardboard with a gentle weight on top over night.

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