A new one on me. Just got done reading “String Repair for Band Instrument Repair Technicians” by Richard Ervin. On page 33, he advocates adding 1/32 inch to the bridge top arc to a rental instrument if set up in the summer so that it will provide proper string height when played in the fall and winter. He wants the tech to provide a sold instrument with two seasonal bridges to allow for seasonal expansion and contraction due to moisture gain and loss.
New to me. Does anyone do this?
Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing. —Werner von Braun
Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. —Frank Zappa
Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.
Depending on day or night, it's 5 - 15° colder here than the last time my sound post was adjusted.
I hadn't given the seasonal sound post adjustment concept much thought until I tried a few bow strokes on an American contemporary, bench made violin at rehearsal last night. My Sima Traian (usually no sloucher) sounded a bit congested by comparison.
My hunch was that the colder temperature was slightly stiffening the top and bottom plates of the violin. I decided to try and get less pressure on the sound post and checked out Fiddlerman's sound post Youtube (I already had the tool on deck:)
I gave the SP a little nudge towards the G string where the plates are further apart due to their arching, the impression of tight sound is gone, and my sound post is still standing! So, so far, so good.
Couple of additional comments:
- My SP was already professionally positioned slightly off to the G string side to enhance mellowness. Moving it further may have alleviated the cold weather tension... but the SP is now more towards the G string than optimal.
- The remedy would be a shorter sound post in a more traditional spot... DYI for another day... or a SP session with Felix at Fiddlershop... or both, in that order 🙂
- I would be more hesitant about a DIY sound post adjustment in the other direction. Too tight and ... crack.
Thanks for the kind offer, Pierre.
"Winter" is a real relative term down here so the idea of a seasonal sound post switch doesn't really make sense like it would in a climate with longer warm and cold seasons.
I just couldn't resist trying out that tool again. I will remind myself not to mess around with it on the weekend when I can't just pop down to Fiddlershop for a rescue 🙂