Fiddle and Alternative Strings Forum

General Strings => Manufacture, Repair and Setup => Topic started by: shaunfiddler on Jan 31, 2020, 10:25:46 PM

Title: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: shaunfiddler on Jan 31, 2020, 10:25:46 PM
I'm fine sending my bow off to be re-haired each year, but for some reason I don't want to depend on someone else to adjust my sound post. I've asked two luthiers for lessons (and offered to pay what ever they want) but both claim it's a very advanced skill I can't learn in a couple classes. Meanwhile, there are several youtube vids claiming it's easy. I'm sure the truth is somewhere in between.

How many of you adjust your own sound post?
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: Tinear on Feb 01, 2020, 07:09:58 PM
While I have put back fallen sound posts and adjusted a few in my time I donít recommend doing it yourself unless youíre ok with the real possibility of damaging your violin. Putting in a sound post is not that hard but you can easily damage your F holes. As the cost of a violin rises Iím more inclined to let someone else take that responsibility
Replacing a sound post is an advanced skill. More so if you not confident that the old sound post was done correctly
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: shaunfiddler on Feb 02, 2020, 02:40:39 PM
An related question-- How often do you get your adjusted? I find I need to do it every spring and fall.
Title: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: Benzflieger on Feb 02, 2020, 05:50:33 PM
I guess I could figure it out, but Iíve always elected let a luthier set the post. I try to get mine adjusted about a month after I start running either AC (~May) or the heat (~October) the house since those are where the biggest humidity swings take place in the house here in Georgia. I¬ím not always consistent though.


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Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: Joe Gerardi on Feb 02, 2020, 07:22:30 PM
I have watched both Steve Perry and my violin teacher adjust soundposts. The force with which they whack them inside the fiddle terrifies me, but they know what they're doing. The reason I don't my own is because I've seem a minute adjustment make a huge difference in the sound, and they seem to know where the movement is needed. Steve more so that Lizhou: he really has a deft touch for the adjustments.

I just let him do them when he sets up my fiddles...

Though both are VERY long overdue for setups.

..Joe
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: Titch on Feb 02, 2020, 08:27:00 PM
I have watched both Steve Perry and my violin teacher adjust soundposts. The force with which they whack them inside the fiddle terrifies me, but they know what they're doing.

Joe - do you mean fitting force or adjusting force???

I don't think posts should be forced into place... my view is that the top should be in a "Neutral position" not displaced by the force of the post before being tensioned by the strings - my reading always elicits the answer "tight enough not to fall down when changing strings"

Many violin I receive from workshops have tight posts and just knocking them down and refitting them gently makes a big positive difference.
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: Joe Gerardi on Feb 02, 2020, 09:20:54 PM
Sorry, adjusting force.

It's harder than I'd ever be willing to whack something with a soundpost tool inside my fiddle.

..Joe
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: onlyme on Feb 05, 2020, 08:54:48 AM
My luthier is really skilled when it comes to adjusting my soundposts. He knows what thickness and lenght the soundposts need for my fiddles, which can differ. He knows where to put them to get the desired tone, balance and projection. Placement differs as well when using synthetic or steel strings. He takes time to listen when (re)adjusting is needed, means Im playing while he stands away and he adjusts it over and over again until it cant get any better. That process can take up to 30 minutes. What might sound okay in your ears might sound dull or hollow in a room. Once its set and played in for a few weeks maybe still needs another adjustment. If the bridge needs a replacement after a while soundpost might need an adjustment again. But once the soundpost is set its left where its positioned no matter if winter or summer at least where I live. And therefore I cant imagine myself doing a proper soundpost adjustment.
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: onlyme on Feb 05, 2020, 09:38:49 AM
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/31ZUmqb5qGL.jpg
A violin/viola string lifter is a useful tool to avoid the soundpost falling down when cleaning the surface under the bridge. You put the lifter in front of the bridge while bringing the lifter up via the screw then you start to loosen the strings a bit, readjust the lifter until you can take away the bridge.
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: shaunfiddler on Feb 05, 2020, 03:55:56 PM
I've been playing for about 4 years now and I love it, but it just seems like such a fragile, needy instrument to me. I play several stringed instruments and keys. I've always been able to do basic set up and maintenance on everything. It just seems odd that in order to enjoy the fiddle I need to take it to a specialist twice a year.
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: onlyme on Feb 05, 2020, 05:06:37 PM
I know, strings, bowhair, maintenance, setup, time and petrol for counntless trips to the luthier, that all adds up.
Thats the reason why only millionaires can play this instrument for a longer period of time. And Im one of them (lol).
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: shaunfiddler on Feb 05, 2020, 06:09:57 PM
It's not the money that bother's me. It's that the health of my instrument is tied to another person. There is a wonderful luthier where I live... but he's in his 60's. If he retires I'll be driving a long way just so someone can move a tiny stick for me.
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: matt7738 on Feb 05, 2020, 07:39:45 PM
"I really like the way your fiddle sounds when you play it.  Could you show me how to sound like that in a couple of lessons?"

That's what you're asking your luthier.
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: shaunfiddler on Feb 05, 2020, 08:48:18 PM
fair enough
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: Titch on Feb 05, 2020, 09:26:43 PM
I've been playing for about 4 years now and I love it, but it just seems like such a fragile, needy instrument to me. I play several stringed instruments and keys. I've always been able to do basic set up and maintenance on everything. It just seems odd that in order to enjoy the fiddle I need to take it to a specialist twice a year.

Not really so, Pianos need tuning, guitars need re-stringing every few gigs, reed instruments need ... reeds, blowy things need re-padding, even drums need new skins. Soundposts do need more experience than you'll ever get just doing your own instrument and are a bit scary, but at the end of the day - it's just a stick between two plates :-)
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: Joe Gerardi on Feb 05, 2020, 11:00:41 PM
And guitars need necks adjusted, bridges adjusted, new strings every month; synths need battery backups replaced. (and I'm dating myself here) oscillators calibrated; drums need to be tuned every month or so, cymbals crack; woodwinds need actions adjusted,  brass gets dented and their valves/actions need work.

Everyone needs something except the conductor- barring him losing his grip and throwing the baton into a sousaphone bell and losing it, (and yes, I've seen that) he can use the same instrument forever.

Oh- I haven't mentioned bass players- they haven't the mental capacity to do anything to maintain their instruments.

;D

..Joe
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: onlyme on Feb 06, 2020, 08:31:05 AM
Ah, thats whats wrong with me. Ill become a bass player. Where is the forum for me?
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: bwzuk on Feb 06, 2020, 10:14:01 AM
Wow, do people really shift their soundpost twice a year? I've never met a player who touches it after it's been set up, unless there is something obviously changed with the sound.
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: Nick2 on Feb 09, 2020, 03:27:45 PM
Basses should be tunied every year - whether they need it or no!
Title: Re: Adjusting your own sound post
Post by: shaunfiddler on Feb 11, 2020, 01:08:13 AM
Wow, do people really shift their soundpost twice a year? I've never met a player who touches it after it's been set up, unless there is something obviously changed with the sound.

Mine seems to need adjustment with the seasons. Some times a little, some times a lot.