I recently picked up a 3/4 fiddle for 40$ and that's pretty much what it's worth. I play a 4/4 fiddle but I thought it would be a fun instrument to experiment with and maybe take apart or paint for art but I'm starting to get other ideas. I'm wondering if it would be possible to move the bridge and soundpost back to match the nut/bridge distance (and therefore the finger spacing) of a 4/4 violin and make it playable. If I remember correctly there is only a 20mm difference in the distance between the nut and bridge between a 4/4 and a 3/4 and there is enough room to move the bridge back to fit the 4/4 measurements. I am curious to know if anyone else has done this and what the results are. I would be more concerned with the finger spacing being correct than how well the instrument would sound afterward (probably not super great). I imagine I might need a new bridge to make it happen in order to get the string height correct. Any thoughts or ideas?
There's no harm in trying it. You might need a shorter tailpiece. You might not need a new bridge, but probably you would.
One of my fiddles is 3/4 size ...I re-spaced the nut to 4/4 spacing and the bridge also. I play it like that.. Just for fun I HAVE tried (but have not Kept) moving the bridge back to meet 4/4 specs and the instrument is playable but not amazing..
There might be enough room to place the bridge at 328 mm, but that isn’t a good place for the sound and playability of the instrument. The vibrating string length is only one part of the equation, and even if you move the sound post, several important measurements will be quite out of place. The soundpost will not fit properly when moved that much. Changing a couple measurements isn’t really enough to make a smaller violin feel like a full size one.
If you’re comfortable with risking damage to the instrument, you can move things around to see how they affect the instrument.
Edited by - The Violin Beautiful on 05/14/2020 18:15:04
Why do need to move the bridge? Unless you got very fat fingers the spacings shouldn't be too small.
well if it is a disposable instrument go ahead, but 20mm is a lot and might sound worse, if possible , but if its for practice or you want to electrify it ... there are a lot of chinese throw aways out there you probably could get for that price sounding just as bad but already somehwere around a proper set up .
Update on the project. I got the bridge and soundpost moved for 4/4 spec and it worked perfectly! I shortened the tailpiece as much as I could using the adjusters so that it's barely not touching the instrument. It sounds much better than I expected and I like the sound of it. (I'm not very picky). I did the measurements and the spacing of the strings at the bridge and nut were the same as 4/4. Not sure if that is standard or not on 3/4 instruments but I didn't have to do anything there. Now I'm just waiting on new strings for it to replace the old! This will be the perfect instrument for playing around the campfire. *note that all the carvings were from the previous owner*
Edited by - trsquirrel on 05/15/2020 13:12:27
'5-strings' 11 hrs
'Squeaks and scratches' 2 days
'Pre WW2 Fiddle' 2 days
'Flash jams?' 2 days