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Bridge Curve on my Mendini 300
Is the curve of my bridge the issue?
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cid
April 23, 2019 - 9:33 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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I have a Mendini 300 violin, my first violin. It actually has a neat sound that I like when I do fiddle songs. It has Pirastro Tonica Strings on it, not what came on it. 

My issue is the bridge. I think the bridge is not the same curve as the bridge on my Rudoulf. When I am going from string to string, it is difficult to just hit one string. Would that be a bridge curve issue? It seems like the top two strings (D and A) are really hard to separate, but all the strings have issues with their neighboring strings. 

I was thinking of putting a different bridge in it. From what I have been reading, there are different bridges. Is it the curve that is different? Would that issue indicate that I need a bridge with more of a curve? I can’t tell the difference when looking at them. I don’t like to mess around with the bridge much when looking at them because I do not want to “pop” them. I know I would not get Rudoulf’s bridge back in right if I popped it trying to compare its curve to the Mendini bridge. I like where the luthier set it up when I bought her.

I also have a Windsor, same quality violin as the Mendini, but slightly different sound than the Mendini with the same strings, and it has the same exact issue. Its different sound is neat, so I do play that, also, when I am willing to be frustrated by the string/bridge issue. 

The Mendini and Windsor are great for fiddle type. Rudoulf is great for the other.

How do you order a bridge and be sure the bridge is like a normal violin bridge curve? So frustrating. I do not have the issue on Rudoulf.

Thanks.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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April 23, 2019 - 10:18 am
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I think your intuition is correct, Cid, that the difference between the curves of your different bridges is throwing you for a loop.

I don't think you exactly "order" a bridge unless you're prepared to do a bit of amateur luthier work, though.

When I got a back-up fiddle, I brought it and my main violin to my local shop (which just happens to be Fiddlershop :-}) I asked them to match the string height and bridge curve to the extent possible. Mission accomplished. 

There are other noticable differences between my two violins. Sound, for starters, feel of the nut against my left index finger, weight, etc. but the string crossings and finger pressure feel pretty much identical thanks to the TLC in emulating my original bridge curve and action.

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Mark
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April 23, 2019 - 10:26 am
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Cid, 

The standard curvature of a bridge is

41.5 mm,

it should roughly follow the curvature of the fingerboard for positioning of the arc.

Could make a template and see how they look.

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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HP
Trondheim, Norway
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April 23, 2019 - 10:47 am
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The height and curve of the bridge depends on the angle of the fingerboard and nut, so different bridges can have different heights and curves on various fiddles, but still have the right parameters between the fingerboard, tailpiece and nut. It's a overall evaluation that needs to be done, and not just the bridge itself. Changing a bridge are relatively easy and inexpensive, but it's a lot harder and extensive to replace and fix the whole setup. But from what you describe it sounds like a curve issue, although its hard to tell if it's just the bridge or if the bridge is set that way because of the whole setup. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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cid
April 23, 2019 - 11:54 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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That’s the problem. Not sure I want to put money into paying for the bridge to be reolace at the luthier. It was a $50-$60 violin, Windsor was the same. One was around $50 and the other around $60. They are not super quality, but Imloke the sound they produce. Thought I could just get a new bridge and just swap it out and line it up. Didn’t think I would have the luthier expense. Not interested in getting another violin. Have enough instruments. I think there us just not enough curve. 

Will just work with what I have, I guess.

Thanks. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Irv
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April 23, 2019 - 5:17 pm
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@cid .  A couple of pictures of the bridge on the violin would be useful.  I find that some Mendini violins are well curved (although generally thick) and some are almost as flat as an aircraft carrier deck.  If you practice daily on the latter type, it takes you two months of frustration to correct the muscle memory.

I have been able to recut a curve in a factory “flat” bridge and it is not all that difficult.  Particularly when they give you a spare in the case.

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

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 25, 2019 - 10:17 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Which set up do you prefer? If the Rudoulf feels better you should try to emulate that set up. Not just the curve but the height over the fingerboard. Perhaps the Mending bridge is too high which would make the fix much easier. You can draw the radius on the Mendini bridge and use a file to bring it down. Then you can make the slightest indentation where the strings will be seated using a needle file. Just don't make those grooves too deep. It's better that over time they seat naturally from downward pressure.

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

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cid
April 25, 2019 - 6:31 pm
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Thanks, everyone. Will try to get it adjusted asap. May be inexpensive, but if it gives a sound I like, what does it matter?

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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HP
Trondheim, Norway
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April 26, 2019 - 6:47 am
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@cid If you like it there's nothing wrong with doing so. After all, a properly setup bridge that brings out the best of a violin is a investment that will serve you well for years to come. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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cid
April 26, 2019 - 7:57 am
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HP said
@cid If you like it there's nothing wrong with doing so. After all, a properly setup bridge that brings out the best of a violin is a investment that will serve you well for years to come.   

Thanks @HP and others. I have come to the realization that that is exactly right. My Mendini and Windsor could be my diamonds in the rough. When the strings are bowed properly, pretty much only slow because of the fine line for not hitting the adjacent string, they each have a wonderfully different sound that is very resonant and very well suited for different songs. Neither is warm like my Rudoulf. I don’t think it is the strings. I believe it is the wood and build, mostly. That said, the distinctly less full sound is different in each of those two inexpensive test violins. 

The main issue on both is the E and A string, and the D and A string. The D and A strings on both are almost parallel. Big problem. It does look like the curve from the top to the E string is different on those compared to Rudoulf. I am going to look at the nut height later. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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