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I'm in SO much Trouble!! Help! (bridge, body damage)
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EJ-Kisz
Midwest, US
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July 15, 2015 - 6:11 pm
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Okay, I'm losing it.  I'm completely shaking right now.  

I got a FM Soloist earlier this year, which I love dearly, and I've had some major issues as of late. 

The past few months, I've been battling the bridge from warping and thought I was winning when all of a sudden, it completely flexed & collapsed while tuning, causing damage to the top of my violin.  ......I'm completely beside myself right now & in complete panic mode! 

I had some early issues with varnish chipping when I first got it, but those stopped after about a month.  Then recently, the bridge became "soft" and flexible, wanting to warp every time I tuned it.  I had to correct it every time.  

What am I doing wrong?!?!?  I've never experienced these problems with my other violins, but they're also MUCH cheaper. I always let it acclimate to the different places I play, including outdoor events.  I never let it sit in heat and always keep the humidity just right.  I even loosen strings when it travels.  I always bring my cheap violins to "bad" weather events instead.  

I don't know why it keeps chipping and the bridge keeps flexing!! I'm so lost.  I don't even know where to begin to repair it. beg 🙁 ;-(

Please help!!!

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“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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July 15, 2015 - 6:45 pm
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Well,, Eric, from the looks of the marks on the violin it appears you've had the bridge set to far forward. It's not centered with the nitches in the f holes.

In the area of the bridge and sound post, the plate thickness should be about 3mm. If you are going outside (in front) of that area it's possible that the bridge could be sitting on an area of about 2.6mm - 2.8mm and causing the bridge to tip forward.

I'm not saying that's the problem, but it's definitely a possibility. Looks like you're gonna need some touch up stain and a fine pencil (art) brush to touch up those areas.

Reset your bridge in line with the f hole nitches. You may have to straighten your bridge as well.

Good luck with it, I hope you get it resolved.

Ken.

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Taper123
Texas
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July 15, 2015 - 6:48 pm
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I'd call the Fiddlershop and ask them about it.  I've never had a problem with mine, but the few times I called with questions, they seem very willing and able to assist.  

 

I'm only a beginner, so my guess might be way off...   but I'm wondering if since you travel with it, maybe the sound post has shifted out of position?

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EJ-Kisz
Midwest, US
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July 15, 2015 - 6:52 pm
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I just stood it back up for the pic.  It usually is right on the money.  In the picture, the strings are actually really loose and the bridge is almost sponge-like in flexibility.  I know there's a curve carved into it, but it bends really easy.  

I had another violinist look at it and she said that the varnish may not have cured right on mine, hence why it so easily chips.  ....I'm not sure though.  

It was so weird.  After the bridge collapsed, I had one scrape.  When I reset the bridge, another piece flaked off, much like the other small spots did when I first got it.  

I wish I had a local luthier to take it to.  The closest one to me is over 2 hours away and I can't drive in a car that long with my back injury.  

.....I can't even look at it right now!!

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 15, 2015 - 7:16 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Don't worry Eric. We can fit a new bridge for you free of charge. We'll also touch up the marks. Thin, soft varnish is great for sound but not so good for hits, scraps, scratches. Perhaps the bridge was too soft. We usually put 3 star Despiau bridges on those violins.

Just ship it to us and we'll take care of it.

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

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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July 15, 2015 - 10:38 pm
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Hooray, Fiddlershop.  thumbs-up

Classy and I like the new FS logo.     best_violin2.jpg

 

Ken.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 16, 2015 - 8:57 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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LOL, thanks Ken

BTW, Eric, give us a call. Our shipping costs are way less than yours.

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

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EJ-Kisz
Midwest, US
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July 16, 2015 - 9:01 am
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Fiddlerman said
Don't worry Eric. We can fit a new bridge for you free of charge. We'll also touch up the marks. Thin, soft varnish is great for sound but not so good for hits, scraps, scratches. Perhaps the bridge was too soft. We usually put 3 star Despiau bridges on those violins.

Just ship it to us and we'll take care of it.

@Fiddlerman You don't have to do that. I would feel terrible after everything you've guys have done for me in helping me, providing awesome service & giving me advice when others believed that my disability would hinder me from playing.

 I'll call your shop & see what options I can afford to have it repaired. 

I'm still not sure what I'm doing wrong in caring for it. I've gently corrected the bridge every time, I used pencil to fill in the grooves, I gently wipe it down after every use, I even let it adjust slowly to each environment I play in. 

What am I missing?

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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Barry
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July 16, 2015 - 12:01 pm
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could be you just got a weak bridge

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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ElisaDalViolin
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July 16, 2015 - 1:59 pm
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I'm sorry to hear that. It's quite a scare when it happens.

If you have to correct the bridge every time and still keeps warping, it's better replace it. Like Barry said maybe it was weak and due to weather got worse. 

Do you have problems turning your pegs? This happened to me a few weeks ago moments before a performance. I thought it was the bridge because it has been a bit soft too but further inspection lead me to the pegs (only in the left side for some reason). Something changed in my violin after that day due to the hot weather that it continued to happen until I change those two pegs.

I think this is not your case but if the new bridge doesn't work maybe you should see if the pegs are affecting it too.

 
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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 16, 2015 - 3:17 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I'll be curious to see that bridge again. Wondering if you got a special soloist or the regular one. The specials had a weaker 2 star bridge. It's still a fantastic bridge way up on the scale and should withstand a lot but you may have had bad luck and gotten a weak one. Wood is a living substance and as well as they are sorted, they are only as good as the selection and the person making the selection.

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

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cdennyb
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July 26, 2015 - 3:50 pm
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Keep in mind also, loosing the varnish "under the bridge feet" is NOT necessarily a bad thing. Some luthiers have a school of thought that intimate contact, meaning wood against wood, is the preferred method of sound frequency transmission from string to bridge to body.

Some builders even go to great lengths to scrap smoothly all the varnish from the area under the bridge to insure such "intimate contact".

Other luthiers come from the school of thought that leaving the varnish under the bridge protects the wood but in many instances when a new violin is created, the varnish is not cured enough when the bridge is set and the varnish will pull off if the bridge is moved or removed completely. To prevent this from happening, they will use various things, like chalk dust, Vaseline, graphite, even silicone to prevent anything from sticking to the feet of the bridge. It has a lot of force pushing it down on that violin top.

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 29, 2015 - 1:21 pm
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Very true Dennis. The wood to wood contact is in many ways better.

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

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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July 29, 2015 - 8:44 pm
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Yeah, there's a bald spot where my bridge sets too and it doesn't hurt a thing.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 30, 2015 - 6:27 am
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Our luthier has been going through a lot of violins this week and it's rare that the better violins aren't missing a little varnish under the bridge.

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

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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August 23, 2015 - 10:17 pm
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To my eye it looks like the feet of the bridge are causing it to lean thus bending the bridge. Some say to have the bridge lean slightly back but I prefer to have it sit perpendicular to the body.

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