Professional set ups
All of our new instruments are set up onsite in our workshop. We can also provide professional set ups to optimise the sound and playability. A set up involves many parts of the violin:
Fingerboard: The fingerboard is checked as to whether it points in the right direction. It shouldn’t be too high or too low and it should not be off centre. The fingerboard is also checked for unsuitable humps and dips. The fingerboard is planed to remove any imperfections and then the ebony is polished.
Fitting the pegs: This may involve reshaping the pegs to obtain the correct taper. To ensure that the end of each peg is flush with the pegbox, the peg holes might be reamed. Polishing the end of the pegs is optional. Peg paste is applied to the pegs so that they do not slip or stick during tuning. For planetary pegs, we supply Perfection Planetary pegs. However, you can also bring in other types of planetary pegs to be fitted.
Adjusting the nut: The spacing between the grooves where the strings run needs to be even. The depth and width of each groove is checked. The width depends on the thickness of each string. A nut that needs raising can result in buzzing of the string/s against the fingerboard. A nut that is too high makes the instrument harder to play due to the greater distance between the fingerboard and the strings. The grooves in the nut are lubricated with graphite before the strings are fitted.
Fitting the bridge: The feet need to be adjusted to make sure it fits the belly correctly. When the feet are carved correctly, the tailpiece side of the bridge will be at 90 degrees to the belly. The bridge will then be carved to the right height and curvature to suit the fingerboard. The thickness will also be considered. The bridge is then fine carved. Notches for the strings are made and these are lubricated with graphite before the strings are fitted.
Tailpiece: We recommend carbon fiber tailpieces with integrated fine tuners. These improve the vibrating string length and their lighter weight impacts positively on the sound of the instrument. During a set up the tailgut is adjusted to the appropriate length, and the integrated fine tuners are lubricated.
Sound posts: Selecting, cutting and fitting a sound post has a huge impact on how an instrument will sound. The sound post can affect the quality of sound and also how well the sound is projected. The decision on how to approach the right sound post will often be made once other repairs have been completed.
Finally once the strings have been fitted the position of the bridge is checked or adjusted to ensure that it is central and that the back of the bridge is straight.