A selection of letters The Strad receives each month from its readers around the world: September 2022 issue
The online article ‘Looking after your instrument: the secret to bridge placement’ (bit.ly/3AqVZ0p) is a good start to correcting faulty bridge placement on stringed instruments, and it is helpful to know this general rule when a knock moves the bridge out of place. But for players who want their instrument to be set up to produce its best sound in all registers, one needs to understand that the geometrically correct placement for both bridge and soundpost needs further adjustment for acoustic reasons, as influenced by conditions of seasonal temperature and humidity.
The best bridge placement will tune the front plate, while the best soundpost placement will tune the back plate, as well as improve the evenness of the entire tonal range. Luthiers do this by listening to tap tones: on the front plate for moving the bridge, and on the back plate for moving the soundpost. When tap tones above and below the bridge on the front are even, the instrument is set up for its best capabilities (for how long will depend on the instrument)…
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