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Does your bridge have a patch?
sound analysis with and without
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cdennyb
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July 24, 2012 - 8:00 pm
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OK, this is technical post so anyone who doesnt understand or doesnt know about Daniel and me going into great technical discussions on the mechanics and physics of violin operation, bear with me on this...

I have been making bridges, modifying them and doing a lot of analysis of their ability to transmit the most and the right sound from the strings to the body and to your ears, and Daniel sent me a small piece of Goat Skin which was used on a drum head. Now, you'd first think of goat hide as a coarse, tough leather like your shoe, but... this particular hide was so tough, that a razor blade would barely cut it, well it mostly would score the hide and then you could tear it...but I decided to use a very sharp paper punch which cut a perfect circle about a 1/4" in dia.

Why would I want to do this? Well... most of us have seen the tiny plastic sleeves that fit over the E string nd get trapped against the top (or shoulder) of the bridge. Well, the E string is like a cheese slicer and will cut thru hard maple like chain saw! So... in the interest of asking "WHY?", I decided to address the probability that the use of a skin patch instead of a plastic sleeve would enhance the sound since it has properties suitable for sound transmission and is used in the music world anyway.

I didn't have any hide glue but considering the desire to make the joint as solid as possible, I figured a drop of super glue wouldn't violate any unwritten law of luthiership. I inverted the violin and thus the bridge with the E string removed, placed a drop up against the E string groove position and then gently but firmly placed the disk of hide against the bridge and carefully wrapped it around the bridge holding it in place for a few seconds until the glue had set.

Luckily I didn't put on too much so none was causing my fingers to be forever glued to a small maple slab. I let it sit for about 10-15 minutes before placing it back in operation. I then tensioned the E string, and proceeded with the testing.

Herein is the disk shown attached to the bridge and the resultant sound analysis trace graphic. You can see that the trace was improved (smoothed out) and the sound enhanced (a better dB level achieved) between 10,000 and 18,000 Hz and very smooth beyond with far less peaks and valleys.

I find this very interesting indeed. Thank you Daniel for sharing that valuable piece of goat hide...

 

E-patch-on-bridge.jpgImage Enlargersound-analysis-for-drum-patch.jpgImage Enlarger

"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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myguitarnow
Laguna Beach
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July 24, 2012 - 9:09 pm
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Glad you guys are technical... I'm sure not. I have a small patch on which is now my favorite fiddle so far. But, I still use the plastic sleeve on the e string and my human (poor rock star hearing ;-) cannot tell the difference. I don't have the time in a day to get so precise. I adjust by playing and playing and playing and just try to keep in tune that way. But it's very interesting to know that people really take the time to analyze in such detail.

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DanielB
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July 25, 2012 - 1:20 am
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Interesting bit of difference it makes, going from the charts, Denny.

From a player point of view, do you feel the difference in sound is noticeable?

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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cdennyb
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July 25, 2012 - 1:31 am
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Actually Daniel, I'm not good enough to "feel" much difference.

Although... (maybe wishful thinking) I thought for a brief moment that some of the notes were ringing a bit more than they did before the patch was introduced. Namely on the A and E strings.

I like the result and will not mess with it for awhile.. It is interesting to note now smooth the trace got even after it crossed the other one at the higher frequencies.

"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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Crazymotive
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July 25, 2012 - 10:48 am
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My newest violin came set up with a little patch like that between the e string and the bridge.  I don't know what the patch is made from, and I don;t know if it comes pre-attached to the bridge or, if the violin maker who set up my violin put it on there himself.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 25, 2012 - 11:37 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

I have one too. I used to only use the bone that is engraved under the E string in the bridge but it is so hard that it sometimes cuts into the E string. It shouldn't but there must be a sharp edge on there somewhere and I don't feel like trying to file it.

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

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springer
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July 28, 2012 - 11:39 am
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I must be lucky, I have never had a problem with the E string cutting the bridge. Now watch my bridge split.facepalm

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