Fiddle confusion!

Online Fiddle Lessons Forums Strings and Things Fiddle confusion!

Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
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  • #84951
    PhatgrassmandyPhatgrassmandy
    Participant

    So like I said in my introduction post. I inherited a German copy of a antonius stratavarius.. however you spell that.. I started looking for a new fiddle because I can’t find a luthier in my town.. after watching videos I figured out how to put sound post back up. I’m pretty sure I need a new bridge.. so I looked at some fiddles new but watched a video of a antique fiddle on fiddlerman that was the same as mine and it went for 4000$.. I just bought d Dario prelude strings and waiting on my shoulder rest.. I can tune and play the fiddle and it seems to be ok.. where should I get a new bridge and should I do that myself or ask someone who knows more about instruments then I do..after finding out that my fiddle is a pretty good fiddle to have I stopped shopping and trying to just make it perfect to me.. without a shoulder rest not very comfortable

    #84955
    Steve SraderSteve Srader
    Participant

    Sorry You do not have a Luther , I think Fiddleman can do it all for you , Call and talk to them !

    Fiddlerman Violins

    #84958
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    I think cutting a bridge takes some experience…I’d get somebody else to do that…then if you study closely what they did and read up on it, you might be comfortable trying it for yourself some other time…I don’t think I ever would though.

    #84964
    PhatgrassmandyPhatgrassmandy
    Participant

    I think your right cricket!! I’ve looked a little bit into it.. can I post a pic here of my bridge here and see what y’all think

    #84965
    PhatgrassmandyPhatgrassmandy
    Participant

    Steve.. my fiddle means so much to me.. I would be a wreck to ship it anywhere

    #84966
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    You can post photos if you use that little icon on the text box that has a picture of a moutain and the sun.  Can you find any local luthiers close by?  We don’t have much in the way of fiddle luthiers here, I did finally find one to cut me a bridge one time after I bought a fiddle from a friend who’d found it in her neighborhood garbage …lol.  My husband was able to look at it and then watch few videos and read up and he can cut a bridge for me or adjust one now, but he has to re-read it all and all that because he hardly ever does it.  Ain’t an easy job.

    #84967
    Steve SraderSteve Srader
    Participant

    There are lots of videos on how to make a new bridge , That’s how I learned to make my own ! also if you try to work on a new bridge never mess with your original always start with a new blank because if it does not work out you will need to be able to go back to your original bridge , the feet of the bridge is very important they have to fit your violin top perfect and stand up proper on there own there are lots of violin tools you can buy from international violin ! I buy about three new bridges and experiment with them until success or failure then do it again if necessary until you secede ! After I finally got what I wonted for my violin then I made a few copies of  my favorite and one of the copies was better than my favorite ! small changes make a big difference ! look for the , Bridge foot fitter , and violin deluxe setup template and violin bridge thickness gauge ! then you’ll need sand paper !

    https://www.internationalviolin.com/

    #84970
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Mandy, if you’re not sure you want to dive into this quite yet, you can try a fitted bridge and see if it works for your fiddle. Click below for a link to Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010CBIK7G/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_Wu09EbNGYEJ8C

    #85031
    fishnfiddle1fishnfiddle1
    Participant

    There is a lot more to bridge and soundpost fitting than what you describe.  Please take it to a luthier before doing your own work.  For example, the soundpost needs to be then right tension, and fit perfect to top and back.  The grain lines need to be perpendicular to the top spruce grain or it will eat thru the top.  Then the sp position has to be adjusted in relation to string length and bridge position.  Then there is the bridge blank to carve.  You remove 25 to 35 % of the wood before a bridge is complete, and in very specific places.  I have done this since 1989, do work for Shoji and other Branson show fiddlers, and several contest fiddlers, and I still find I have much to learn.  This is a lifetime of learning to do it right.  I am located in north central Arkansas if that helps.

    #85032
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Mandy, you would be amazed at how much better your fiddle will sound and play after a pro setup. There is probably a violin shop in a nearby town!

    #85033
    Steve SraderSteve Srader
    Participant

    Fishnfiddle1 You are right there is a lot about the bridge and sound post a whole book worth including how to tune the bridge , I would love to know more about tuning the bridge , If you would share with me , I would dearly love to learn , I am somewhat hearing impaired , I have a hard time hearing the tap tones of the bridge ! Could you give me some  knowledge on the subject ? I have been learning through the internet , I am on a fixed income and if I don’t help myself It just isn’t going to happen , I am fairly happy with the bridge I have made for myself out of dozens of attempts , I also live in Northwest Arkansas , I would love to learn more ! There are not enough people that have the knowledge , I would love to know more ! Especially about tuning the bridge , I would like to think there would be a electronic tuner out there , but to the best of my knowledge there isn’t . Again My question could you give me some knowledge on tuning the bridge ???

    #85061
    rodgerrodger
    Participant

    Mandy, sounds like you could have a great old fiddle, so just be careful with it.  If you string it up without the sound post the top can crack, and things like that.  See if you can get some good help with it.  There’s a good chance the plate seams will have come very slightly unglued in spots after all the years, which can be easy to fix.  You are right, in that it might be best to get it sounding good and you won’t have to buy a new fiddle.  Whoever works on it, just try to make sure they have the experience needed to do it.  Fiddles can be shipped by courier safely if they are packaged correctly.  That would give you the option to make sure it’s set up correctly, and the cost of shipping would be less than a trip somewhere.   The big fiddle stores ship them out by thousands every year.  The set up work is essential to a good sounding fiddle.  A million dollar fiddle will sound terrible without proper set up, and many very cheap fiddles sound awesome with a really good setup.  Also, you are more likely to love playing it, and do much better if it sounds great.

    A careful, skilful setup is very often neglected on new fiddles because of the time & skill it takes.  Even when you buy a new violin, it is common to have to take it to a good luthier to get it set up proper for the best sound.

    #85184
    PhatgrassmandyPhatgrassmandy
    Participant

    ok so now I’m very nervous about my fiddle.. my dad was a very experienced bluegrass musician and could play any stringed instrument he picked up.. I know things are probably off with the fiddle because of my lack of experience but when the bridge and soundpost fell.. there was a mark with a pencil that Made it easier for me to put back.. the bridge not so much.. I did post pics of the bridge in my introduction post.. also 2 of my dads band mates have played this fiddle and said they think it’s good to go.. but the sound post and bridge thing happened after that.. I did look for a luthier around my area but I was unable to find one.. the local music store that’s been around for all my lifetime who also knew my dad well had a look and said it looks just fine.. but the problem is where I lack confidence in their opinion is that they are not experienced with the fiddle.. not like a luther.. I’m working on 1 income home with 5 kids.. one isn’t mine. Especially with covid things are even tighter budgeted.. but I’m willing to do what it takes to have it at its best.. plus there are some scratches and dings I would like repaired because of its age.. 

    well very soon I will be posting in the lions den!! Then you all can hear my fiddle and let me know what you think as well.

    thank you for all the input and appreciate and value all the info

    #85185
    PhatgrassmandyPhatgrassmandy
    Participant

    I live in state that my friends in California didn’t even know existed… so yeah.. even though Iam in the capitol of Maine.. which is Augusta.. I had no such luck of finding a professional Luther 

    #85201
    cricketcricket
    Participant

    Have you checked around for Luthiers in Canada?  Maybe that’s not possible to do, but I know there’s lots of fiddlers up there.

    The scratches and dings might be ok left alone.  If it’s playable right now, maybe it’ll be ok.  soundposts and bridges are kinda iffy on fiddles and just sorta each one depending on the other, so…maybe even ask at the music store if there’s just a fiddler around they know of who knows how to fix those things.  I’m thinking it shouldn’t be more than 50 bucks or so for a real luthier to cut a bridge.  I wouldn’t let a guitar luthier touch it though…some of the guitar people in music stores might be able to work on guitars, but they don’t get fiddles…fiddles are different.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by cricketcricket.
    #85205
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Hi Mandy, we have some experienced luthiers here on the forum. Why don’t you post some photos of your setup for others to view? You may get some very helpful suggestions!

    #85210
    AvatarJoe
    Participant

    Well Mandy,  not really naming anyone specifically but {Larry}  fishnfiddle1 is pretty darn good luither.

    #85212
    Avatarfthronson
    Participant

    Mandy, enjoy your fiddle.  German violins are great.  I have one that dates early 1800s around 1810 or so.  Love it.  For a shoulder rest you can use a large sponge.  If you dont have access to a lutheir to fit your bridge, you can take a pencil lay it across your finger board and draw a outline on the new bridge. I saw someone do that on youtube and it was a great tip. Just be careful not to take off all your strings at once, if the sound post falls inside the fiddle this is a problem.  Good luck with your playing.

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