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How do you align a bridge if f-holes are not symmetric?


torious

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I was told that the bridge should be placed at the little dashes of the f-holes and 55mm from the tailpiece. But on one of my violins the right f is cut out slightly higher than the left f. Should I angle the bridge a little (like 1 degree) to make sure the bridge lines up with the f-hole dashes or is it better to prioritize keeping the bridge exactly perpendicular to the fretboard?

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1 hour ago, torious said:

I was told that the bridge should be placed at the little dashes of the f-holes and 55mm from the tailpiece.

You were told wrong.
There are, however, some situations in which proper bridge placement will coincide with the ff notches, the distance from the tailpiece, or both.

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I usually measure the vibrating string length to have consistent setup intonation wise. it may not always be 100% correct for the sound if you have a violin with odd construction, so it depends of the player and violin quality. so I like this approach for beginners with mass produced instruments

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3 hours ago, torious said:

I was told that the bridge should be placed at the little dashes of the f-holes and 55mm from the tailpiece. But on one of my violins the right f is cut out slightly higher than the left f. Should I angle the bridge a little (like 1 degree) to make sure the bridge lines up with the f-hole dashes or is it better to prioritize keeping the bridge exactly perpendicular to the fretboard?

I think the answer is to find a luthier to adjust it for you. 

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4 hours ago, torious said:

I was told that the bridge should be placed at the little dashes of the f-holes and 55mm from the tailpiece. But on one of my violins the right f is cut out slightly higher than the left f. Should I angle the bridge a little (like 1 degree) to make sure the bridge lines up with the f-hole dashes or is it better to prioritize keeping the bridge exactly perpendicular to the fretboard?

 perpendicular is better

if not, you might also have issue with string lenght

it is common to see the bridge a few mm above notches , on fingerboad side, to reduce the string length to a more suitable one.

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That’s not an option for everyone. My closest luthier is more than an hour away. I adjust my violins all the time since I was a kid. I will start prioritizing playing length and keeping the bridge perpendicular, thanks!

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Your first most basic step is to set the bridge so it's square to the centerline, one way or another--at this point nicks don't matter. That's about fingering positions and nuances of tonality.

Second is to check the string length and see if 328mm will put one of the nicks somewhere within the thickness of the bridge feet. If so, you can do that if you want. That's about positions and finger spacing falling on a "norm". Lots of violins aren't "normal" and players can easily learn to deal with that. For it to be completely normal the neck length needs to be "normal", but you can't change that.

You don't have to do any of that if you like the way it sounds now, and if squaring it up or changing the string length makes it worse, move it back where it was.

Don't make a big deal about it. The nicks are guides, not rules. All of this is about nuances of tone and playability. If you aren't unhappy, don't mess with it. If you don't hear a difference, then there isn't one for you. If something is askew the violin police will not come and knock your door down and the violin won't self-destruct.

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10 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

This has been discussed. F holes of two different length don’t make 2 Helmholtz frequencies. 

Yes.

No more than opening more or fewer holes on an ocarina gives simultaneous different notes. 

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On 5/11/2024 at 3:58 AM, David Burgess said:

You were told wrong.
There are, however, some situations in which proper bridge placement will coincide with the ff notches, the distance from the tailpiece, or both.

For the vast majority of non-high-end-pro players with a standardish fiddle, between the notches is close enough.  I just don't see every player going to their luthier for measurements and adjustments after every ten tunings.

Y'all can dream though.   Good try anyway :lol:

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On 5/11/2024 at 12:52 PM, Michael Darnton said:

Your first most basic step is to set the bridge so it's square to the centerline, one way or another--at this point nicks don't matter. That's about fingering positions and nuances of tonality.

Second is to check the string length and see if 328mm will put one of the nicks somewhere within the thickness of the bridge feet. If so, you can do that if you want. That's about positions and finger spacing falling on a "norm". Lots of violins aren't "normal" and players can easily learn to deal with that. For it to be completely normal the neck length needs to be "normal", but you can't change that.

You don't have to do any of that if you like the way it sounds now, and if squaring it up or changing the string length makes it worse, move it back where it was.

Don't make a big deal about it. The nicks are guides, not rules. All of this is about nuances of tone and playability. If you aren't unhappy, don't mess with it. If you don't hear a difference, then there isn't one for you. If something is askew the violin police will not come and knock your door down and the violin won't self-destruct.

I agree with this. 

 

To me, as long as the bridge feet are situated centered on the body, and the foot overhangs the bass bar well, and consequently the post as well, then the exact north/south position isn't the most critical thing as a rule. It's all about the individual player and their needs and goals. 

328mm seems to work for most people. Some folks can handle 330mm, which I think sounds better personally, but I still try to aim for 328mm, with the bridge sitting on the centerline of the body and the appropriate width for the bass bar. 

But it all depends and there are no laws. 

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15 hours ago, iNeedAnswers said:

Right, absolutely makes sense. Didn't think it through at that moment. 

 

To be fair fiddles aren't spherical or rigid and the so-called Helmholtz mode is a bit of a stretched concept but you only get the one A0 pitch. 

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