OK, I read Daniels post about making a new bridge for his electric violin and I got to thinking that there's already been a few things written and posted about bridge construction but I figured what the hey… I'll post the one I made for a friend of mine.
I sent it off to him via e-mail and he followed it and made a perfect second bridge. So… here it is for all to read and comment on if necessary. Although it probably applies to all instruments, E and A type, I figured and wrote it up only for the acoustic version.
Great article, cdennyb!
When I had to cut my blank to be able to play my e-violin, I ended up doing close to the steps you list here. 42mm radius and all. Having no real idea what the string spacing should be, I just looked at some close-ups of violin bridges and cut the string dips by eyeball. It came out close enough though.
But considering how many violins (both E and A) in the inexpensive price range come with no instructions and just a bridge blank, this sort of article is great.
Playing around with the width after it's been thinned to a min of 2mm has little effect on the trace. The biggest effect comes from the stock 3-4mm width being reduced to 1.5 – 2mm.
I've noticed a dramatic change in the upper frequencies when the E and A strings are allowed to embed themselves beyond that magic 1/2 diameter of the string into the maple. It almost dampens the higher freqs beyond 12K to 20K.
The bridges with a piece of bone or ebony embedded in the top surface for the E string to ride on are worth every penny of their additional cost.
The Soundpost position is a whole 'nother ballgame. It's position is so varied from instrument to instrument that there's really no set spot that works. It's a real 'trial & error' practice session. I have found that majority of the bridge to post relationships are placing the bridge at or next to the post on the tangent side closest to the treble or E string side and no more than 2-3mm forward of the post (toward the fingerboard) My 90 yr old German violin likes it about 4.5mm forward of the post. Maybe that tells me the post is in the wrong spot, I don't know yet. That's where I get the best trace.
Denny, you always crack me up and amaze me all at the same time, lmao!
This is such a terrific instruction that you've put together; I just wish I felt more comfortable tinkering with one of my "children".
From the analysis you did on my most recent violin, I'm sure the sound post needs adjusting (I had asked this question of the forum several months ago, "should a sound post be positioned at a slight angle?").
Anyway, great piece, thanks for sharing it.
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