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Recently purchased violin with different sound post location
Sound post location questions.
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DrHax
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February 8, 2016 - 11:32 pm
Member Since: February 8, 2016
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Hello. I have recently purchased an antique, unbranded (most likely) trade fiddle (has a chin rest with a patent date of 1883) with those dastardly mechanical tuners that everybody hates. (Probably why I was able to get it for 100$) Now upon inspection the violin was at one point repaired, and the soundpost is in a really odd location.

It is directly parallel to the bottom of the F-holes almost  directly below the tailpiece! I do have the tool to remove and set sound posts. I have done it before (Sound post fell down in my fiancee's cheap Chinese violin. Tasked myself with getting it right in place using the fiddlerman's video as a guide) Now my question.. Why would somebody stick the sound post so far back? Is there a specific reason? The bridge was cut by a luthier. It  has the date  4.14.08 (I presume thats 2008, not 1908!) drawn in pencil on it.

So I am wondering if me leaving the sound post where it is has any risk to the top of the violin? If there isn't I will gladly string it up and see how it sounds since somebody had to have had a reason to do it like this. Or if this is wrong I do have a sound post stick and any advice and trimming/fitting a sound post would be nice. (Except for take it to a luthier...there are none where I live, and I want to do this myself.)

Any help or advice on the subject would be welcomed!

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fiddlerfanman
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February 9, 2016 - 12:31 am
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That doesn't sound right. It's supposed to be just behind the foot. My cheap fiddle's post was too far away from the foot and it defiantly sound better since I moved it closer. There's a lot of force from the strings in that location, and the foot I would think should be supported by the post. The top is only like 3mm thick and personally I would move it.

Location: Massachusetts

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DrHax
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February 9, 2016 - 1:49 am
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That is what I thought. I know when I replaced the sound post on my fiancee's fiddle it ended up slightly behind the foot. Which really improved the tone of her fiddle. I have no idea why the sound post is so far back on this one.  I imagine it was quite difficult to get it back there too. I wonder if I am going to need to make a new sound post with how out of whack that one is. 

Now I just need to see where my sound post setter went to.

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fiddlerfanman
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February 9, 2016 - 2:01 am
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It's either that or you have an ultra-rare violin made by Amadeus Flugebucket. He fell off his bicycle and when he came out of his coma it was discovered he had an uncanny ability to build violins. He pioneered the use of two sound posts. Finding one with the original two posts will get you on Antiques Roadshow. An unmolested Flugebucket is worth a million. Tuvalu yuan, not dollars.

Location: Massachusetts

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DrHax
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February 9, 2016 - 2:12 am
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fiddlerfanman said
It's either that or you have an ultra-rare violin made by Amadeus Flugebucket. He fell off his bicycle and when he came out of his coma it was discovered he had an uncanny ability to build violins. He pioneered the use of two sound posts. Finding one with the original two posts will get you on Antiques Roadshow. An unmolested Flugebucket is worth a million. Tuvalu yuan, not dollars.

roflol That made my night.

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DrHax
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February 10, 2016 - 1:19 am
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I found my sound post setter and the two sound posts it came with. I popped out the old one.. Found it was cut to purposely be placed all the way back where it was. Really odd since where it was would be an area where I would assume would be dangerous to the top of the violin. Upon digging around for the sound post after it fell I noticed the bassbar isn't carved, and there seems to be actual corner blocks in from what I can tell. (I purchased a busted ornate trade fiddle awhile back for its case, and the everlasting dream of "fixing it up" with has fake corner blocks. The blocks in this one look different.)

I used the fiddlerman's tutorial as a guide for cutting it. I did not have an utility blade handy but there was a random hacksaw blade and a very fine file available.  I cut up the sound post stuck it in there and on the first try it went in. I may need to adjust it, but after all of the work and juggling being ill I am quite pleased with what happened. Violin sounds fine even with the who knows how old strings that are on it. I am going to be tuning it up properly tomorrow. Tonight  has been a very hectic night for me.

Nothing beats the pressure of having your fiancee pear over at you as you try to roll the dang post to a position in which you can grab it. "Maybe you shouldn't have messed with it." was the overhanging statement. Glad I did mess with it. I can at least feel a little bit better knowing the top won't cave in when I tune it up.

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Fiddlerman
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February 24, 2016 - 1:04 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Your question about the risk to the top is exactly why you don't want to keep it there. The 50 pounds of pressure from the bridge are concentrated first and most at the bridges feet. The G string side has less of that pressure and is supported by the bass bar located under and across the whole instrument. The E string side has the most pressure and the sound-post is serving several purposes. One of them is to support the top. Without that support it's most likely just a matter of time before the top cracks.

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

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