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Fallen sound post
a sad endeavor with help needed to any and all who have advice
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rockinglr33
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January 20, 2015 - 11:42 am
Member Since: September 21, 2013
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Soooooo,

As many of you possibly know i got brand new strings for my violin....well my stupid self wasn't paying attention to the bridge as i was tightening the strings and THAWCK there goes the bridge and tail piece slamming down on to my violin. It could have been worse right! I pick up my violin and go to reset the bridge when suddenly i hear rolling around inside...NO it couldn't be!!! 

*hangs head* yup it is....the sound post has fallen. *sniffles*  now I'm in a conundrum. I bust out string and tie it to both ends and try desperately to get it where it needs to go....with no success...i find a seam ripper and bend it, using the already cut notch and try to place it....no success...its just to small to be any help....So i have come to the wise forum of Fiddlerman to ask for help.

I am currently going to buy the sound post tools, but it takes at least 10 days for my mail to get here and of course I'm in the one european country that seems to hate the violin and shun anything to do with it so i have no luthiers on this darn island

. Does anyone know of a way of setting this blasted sound post? without the tools FM uses in his videos? Will my violin be alright without a soundpost for little while if i loosen the strings? I love my violin and its killing me not knowing what to do.

Hopefully this sad tale has a happy ending in the near future! And thanks in advance for any and all help!

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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January 20, 2015 - 11:55 am
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I believe that the sound-post's main function is to transfer energy from the vibrating strings, via bridge (and already vibrating top plate) to the lower surface / back plate... 

I do NOT believe ( but ready to stand corrected ) that it is in any way a "structural" component - meaning - that without it - even with full string tension which of course normally DOES try to compress the top-plate - I don't believe you would harm the instrument.  It just won't "sound right" - but it should be playable.

Now - please - do not take my word alone, on this - do await other input that may confirm, correct or contradict my feelings about this - but I suspect that it would be fine to go ahead, tighten the strings, and play.

Bill

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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rockinglr33
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January 20, 2015 - 12:00 pm
Member Since: September 21, 2013
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Thanks Bill! i'm pretty sure i read somewhere that playing a violin without a soundest can cause potential cracks to form on the top plate, not sure if thats the case but i don't wanna find out the hard way! haha.

I will be back in the US sometime next month but was hopeing i didn't have to wait that long to get my violin fixed. I have one other violin i can play a bit until i leave here. its just not my good violin :D hahaha. 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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January 20, 2015 - 12:11 pm
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Ahh - well that's interesting....  I hadn't heard/read about that - and if it happens to me, I'll now take that on board until either confirmed or not!   LOL  

Interesting....  I was looking at the issue from a "practical/physics" point of view - with the top plate/belly being convex it would be like "the standing on an egg trick" (well, sure, there is a limit before it will eventually break!)...  in that case, I would err on the side of caution.  You could also consider, as you mentioned, loosening the strings and maybe setting them a couple of semitones lower...  But - if you are uncertain (and you have now made me uncertain about this!!!) maybe best to leave it...

Grrrr !!!

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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coolpinkone
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January 20, 2015 - 2:31 pm
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@cdennyb ... do you have any tips for getting the soundpost in place without tools?

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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MrYikes
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January 20, 2015 - 2:47 pm
Member Since: February 11, 2014
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I just put a loop of thread through a four inch piece of drinking straw about 2/3 up on the sound post, insert through the f hole to where you want the bottom to be.  Then I use a piece of wire (piece of coat hanger) bent on the end to hold the bottom in position and then pull the string to bring the top where you want it.

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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January 20, 2015 - 3:50 pm
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Aha - I was about to fall asleep here and was thinking about what I wrote earlier.  On a rough scale, the total tension on a fully tuned instrument could well be in in the region of 20kg, with (very roughly) 50% of that force being transmitted vertically through the bridge to the body - that's about 10kg acting on the top plate.  But, it is not evenly distributed, is it?  No it's not - the E has the highest tension of the four strings.  Any attempt to play without the sound-post would, or could, over a period of time, lead to warping to the top plate, if not even to weakening or fracturing it.  

This would not be a particularly good idea.

I retract my earlier words in post #2 above !    

Do not play it until the sound post is re-fitted !

Aye.   Now go back to sleep, Bill

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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January 20, 2015 - 5:39 pm
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@rockinglr33: Just put the thing away until you can get the post back into position properly. Use your other violin.

Playing with no sound post doesn't produce a very nice sound, (barely audible) you wouldn't like what sound does come out and can cause damage.

The sound post is cut at angles that fit the top and bottom plate of your instrument. If it's not fitted properly the sound will be distorted and not produce a good sound.

The sound of a "Stradivarius" can be changed by just twisting the sound post a fraction.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 20, 2015 - 5:43 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

There are ways of setting the sound post back up without fancy tools but without experience it's best you wait. I would recommend that you do not put tension on the bridge without the post. You could potentially damage the top.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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rockinglr33
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January 20, 2015 - 8:39 pm
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alright thanks everyone! i'll wait until it can be put back in properly before doing anything :)  

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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rockinglr33
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February 16, 2015 - 1:56 pm
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*whew* so i finally got my sound post put back in properly. I ordered some tools, sadly they didn't get to my destination before i had to leave. but i found an amazing violin shop here that sells every stringed instrument and has an amazing luthier who put it all back together correctly. now i'm super rusty with having almost 3 weeks off so i'm excited for lots and lots of practicing!!! happy days!!!  I'm just glad my violin got his voice back

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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