Friday, August 8, 2014

Eternal Arches

Musings from the Bench
Stability and Striking Sound
by Christopher Jacoby

Your instrument is a changing creature, as everyone knows. The thing that makes the violin the soaring, projecting superhero of sound it is, is the same thing that wears it down: Pressure.

The violin is a masterwork of arches, shaped to allow enormous amounts of pressure to be put onto a delicate little corpus. A violin with full setup weighs around a pound and a half, yet withstands about 36 pounds of pressure when the strings are tuned up to pitch. How? Arches.

The Roman aqueducts stand to this day, as modern roads and works crumble and are replaced by the decay around them. The masonry arches built into their structure are perfection in engineering, and your instrument benefits from the same simple technology. A violin maker's choice of stable wood, carved into strong, flexible arches, will ensure an instrument that can better withstand the pressure of strings and the changing seasons.

Take a look at your instrument. Have the strings suddenly become much too high above the fingerboard, making it difficult to press them down above first position? Is your bridge leaning at an awkward angle? Put bow to string. Does the sound respond instantaneously to your playing?

It's inevitable that pressure causes ill effects in a violin, especially in these days of wild and wooly weather, shifting quickly between blazing hot and humid and then rainy cool spells. Sound posts fall over, seams open, necks fall, bridges warp, and saddles lift up, all from pressure.

Our workshop staff here at A. Cavallo Violins are trained and ready to assess and address any detrimental changes that your stringed buddy has suffered. Like changing the oil in your car, regular upkeep and attention will save you from needing larger, more intrusive repairs further down the line.

"The pressure that a violin or cello is under is going to change how it sounds," Dirk Henry, our shop foreman says, resting at his bench. "If you find the sound you love has gone away, it's time to come in for a setup adjustment. A checkup, if you will!"

Stability may be fleeting, but good sound need not be. Bring your instrument by the shop; we can't wait to see you.


All Intermediate Instruments are on Sale!
Violins $1,500 - 4,500,
now $1,125 - 3,375
Violas $1,800 - 5,000,
now $1350 - 3,750
Cellos $3500 - 8,000,  
now $2625 - 6000

This offer is available from August 8 to August 16, 2014
only non-consignment instruments are eligible
Payment must be cash, credit card or check

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