Thursday, May 9, 2013

Glued Soundpost

Sometimes we see some interesting things. A very important part of the violin, viola, cello, and bass is a dowel of wood called the soundpost which is positioned beneath (and just behind) the bridge foot on the treble string side. This post can be adjusted to make minute (and sometimes dramatic) changes in the tone of the instrument. It is inserted through the top of the instrument through the f-hole using a special s-shaped tool called, appropriately enough, a soundpost setter. Like the bridge, the soundpost stays in place by the tension of the strings pushing down on the top. Sometimes the post is put in too tightly and will not fall down even when the strings are removed. Luckily we rarely see the post glued into place. As you can see in the picture above, the post is still standing even after the top was removed. There is never any reason to glue a soundpost, indeed it can be quite harmful to an instrument to do so. A properly fit soundpost will stay in place and will allow for the best possible tone. Once I even had a soundpost on a bass where someone had driven a finish nail through the top into the soundpost. Definitely not a good idea.