StoneDog is now in possession of the TRAVELING FIDDLE in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. :-)
@Fiddlestix: Yes, size and ceilin height do have an effect of your instrument. Basically is how much sound bounces back from the wall. When I was in college learning Chinese zither, there was a popular practice room -- because it sounds the best, no matter how bad you play:P
Even in my bed room now it sounds the best when I play in front of the mirror where the room is smaller than when i play by my bed where the room is wider.
So, when comparing two or more violins, one should play in the same room, same spot, and same bow, and even same person, same piece, (not to mention same force and same techniques) to avoid the environmental factors/variables.
Well OK. Now that I have the benefit of an educated audience I must try an experiment. I will compare 2 violins. One is my 20 mm sound post relocation and the second is a standard sound post position.
I have to explain that both violins sounded very much the same even though different instruments. I believe that both acquired their "bad" sound after being in NC for 2 years after 5 years or so in CT. But I don't want to give any more background right now.
So, here is a recording. There are 2 violins and I'm just playing the 4 open strings on each violin.
Well, I might as well reveal the facts.
I think the second violin sounds much better. It is the one with the 20 mm sound post location.
However, I'm impressed with Gail's observation because the "brighter" is true for #1 but it is not the sound I prefer in a violin and is, in fact, the reason I began moving sound posts in the first place.
The difference is really obvious in comparing "A" and "E" strings. The second violin is much more able to "speak" on those strings now.
I believe that the dramatic move of the sound post away from the treble foot has reduced the high(er) violin frequencies and given the violin a nice mellow sound.
But the move did NOT reduce the volume (which seems strange to me?)
You've obviously hit upon the ideal location for the sound post, Oliver. Congrats! If it sounds good to you, then it's Right, no matter what the Experts deem the "proper" sound post location.
Well, I know what happened here and I feel that my violin was "saved". The fact is that I bought an electric in the meantime with the intention of not even using any acoustics due to sound quality problems. Maybe I could sell them. I would rather have a root canal than deal with another luthier so that door was also closed.
I have to wonder how many others might be just tolerating their violin sound when some simple fix might be available. In all fairness, I can appreciate that the hunt for a good sound post location can be time consuming and nerve racking and a luthier might not find that very profitable.
I've heard plenty of good fiddles too so I guess they are out there and it's best to be very careful in buying any violin.
The Luthiers would prefer that mere mortals don't mess with the inside (or outside except with a dry, lint-free cloth ) because they're annoyed with fixing novice "mistakes" – I see it all the time on the forums. Bullocks, really! It ain't Rocket Science, they just want us to think it is and that's why there is precious little information out there aimed at the beginner. Be brave – a sound post can be stood back up, another bridge can be carved, any number of repairs and adjustments can be done by any player with a bit of patience and Common Sense, as you have proved to us all I do love that dancing bunny!
I agree with CatMcCall on the mystery surrounding the inside and outside. I also agree it ain't rocket science but is an acoustical science. You don't necessarily have to graduate from it in order to mess around with it to some degree and obtain the results you want, they just might take longer than you figured.
Now, Mr Oliver… I had a hand whittled soundpost of 51.17mm in length inside that old violin I restored in the previous posting of mine. I chose to make a new one from a very cylindrical, very straight grained dowel of spruce and since the original was so very tight, I chose to make it 51.13mm in length and it fit 'easier' and I was able to more easily position it where I wanted. It stays in without string tension and it sounded MUCH brighter and had a noticeable more volume for the amount of effort I put into playing it.
I suspect all of these things and more have an impact on your project as well. Just the thoughts of an acoustical beginner who has an engineering degree.
@MAD Yes, you did choose different violins but the earlier post was recorded with a lower quality microphone. The second post was closer to real life.
@cdennyb I had just about the same experience here with a shorter sound post. I did not suspect that the sound would improve (it did) but I wanted to be sure not to cause any plate cracking later on.
I also had the sound volume increase. Quite a bit.
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