FORUM

Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

Fiddlershop is currently looking for a 7th repair/setup/luthier technician to join our team. Send PM if you are interested.

A A A
Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Are Violin and Viola Neck Widths Standard Size?
I noticed my new cello neck is a tad narrower than my other cellos and am curious about violins and violas.
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Avatar
cid
March 18, 2019 - 4:25 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 1322
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I bought a new cello. It was not the Rudoulf Doetsch that would be the big sister to my Doetsch violin and viola. I actually did not like the Doetsch cello. That was very odd.

What I found that I loved was the Jean Pierre Lupot. I loved it. I tried it one day, the day I tried the Doetsch and others. I went in to drop off, Ada, my $50 bargain cello. I had geared pegs installed on her. While there, I played cellos. 

I fell out of love with the Doetsch. I fell in love with Jean Pierre Lupot. I bought the Lupot Saturday and brought her home. Her name is, Evie. 

I was playing Evie Saturday and Sunday. It just feels so nice in my left hand. I couldn’t figure out why it felt different than my other cellos. I looked at Evie and then Ada, on the stand right next to her. It looked like the neck of Evie is narrower. Then I looked at Belle (the one I am giving my niece). Evie looked narrower than Belle, too. There was not as much wood on the edges beyond first and fourth strings. Hmm. I got out a measuring tape. Yep, Evie has a very slightly narrower neck.

I think that slightly narrower neck is why she feels better in my left hand. It is only a slight difference, but I noticed it the first time I played her, when we dropped Ada off. Then I noticed it when I played her Saturday, when I picked Ada up. I played cellos that were more money, and none of them felt as comfortable as the Lupot. The Jay Haide was about a grand more, so was not going to happen anyway, but as nice as that sounded, even with my playing, it was not as comfortable in my hand and not as easy for me to play. 

I know a classical guitar has a wider neck than a folk or electric guitar. I did not know cellos of the same size (4/4) had different widths of necks. Does a violin or viola come in different neck widths? I was very surprised. I figured a 3/4 cello would be narrower, but I figured all 4/4 cellos were a standard size. That got me curious about violins and violas. Are their necks a standard width, or can they vary slightly?

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
March 18, 2019 - 7:00 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 530
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

They vary, and they seem to vary much more than "slightly"... I saw it mentioned on another forum that the average 4/4 violin neck width has increased over time, though the necks of new violins seem to vary greatly at any particular time too.

My 1950s German workshop violin has one of the widest violin necks I've seen, almost as wide as the neck on my viola.

Avatar
cid
March 18, 2019 - 7:14 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 1322
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

That’s interesting. When I measured my cello, it was almost 1/4”. It probably affects the curve of the backside, plus, with the end strings closer to the edge of the neck, maybe that is why it is so comfortable to me and easier for me to play. I didn’t know it was narrower when I bought it, noticed when I got home. Not complaining, I like it.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
March 19, 2019 - 3:24 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3041
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Interesting....   I only have violins ( 5 of them ) but (and no I haven't measured them) - but - of the 5, one happens to be a 3/4 size fiddle about 100 years old - a "mass produced replica thing" - I got off e-bay (initially purchased for taking apart and practicing some luthiery - but - with a little bit of TLC she was actually really playable, with her own quite unique voice - anyway I digress)  - however - it is quite clear to me that on that 3/4 mass produced, virtually worthless to anyone but myself - the neck is ( appears/feels/probably-is to me to be ) both thinner and narrower...  The "narrower" may just come down to a few mm difference between string separation on the nut, but I do notice that fingering needs to be that "little bit more precise" to avoid accidentally damping an adjacent string...

I kind of suspect that @AndrewH has said it really - they're gonna vary - unless it is constructed to some (probably non existent special-measurement-formula - OK - I know there are "specifications" - all I mean is - they are not always followed....)

That probably doesn't help the OP question @cid - just my observations as a player! 🙂

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
cid
March 19, 2019 - 6:11 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 1322
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

The violin shop I purchase my cello from called me today on a different matter. While I had cello guy on the phone, I asked him. He said that periodically they get one in with slightly narrower necks because of requests from a few customers. This is one of them.   Does not affect the sound, but it is easier for me to do the C string and the A strings. That explains the different, more comfortable feel in my hand. It was an interesting conversation. We talked about other cello stuff. It is a very customer friendly violin shop. Glad I expanded my driveable options in my search for an in person violin shop. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 424
Currently Online:
61
Guest(s)
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today Jacen_C
Upcoming Georganne, brewyet, Krootie, PaganinisGhost, ptrckmcconn, Bill97a, xTIDx, cashierjim, Bella86, cid
Top Posters:
Mad_Wed: 2849
Barry: 2673
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
DanielB: 2379
Kevin M.: 1969
damfino: 1944
cdennyb: 1814
TerryT: 1726
Ferret: 1575
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 27009
Moderators: 0
Admins: 7
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 59
Topics: 8098
Posts: 100828
Newest Members:
JudyC, Barbara J, takenca, PeaceDuke, lsm, Dafna
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 14717, KindaScratchy: 1737, coolpinkone: 4169, BillyG: 3041, MrsFiddlerman: 1, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, cid: 1322