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Aug 19, 2021 - 7:03:59 AM
382 posts since 12/14/2010

Anyone know where I could find/buy a 5-string viola (CGDAE) bridge with the string slots already cut? Thanks.

Aug 19, 2021 - 7:58:53 AM

318 posts since 1/5/2009

What size Viola ?

Aug 19, 2021 - 8:01:57 AM

hayesdt

USA

382 posts since 12/14/2010

16"

Aug 19, 2021 - 8:18:56 AM
likes this

318 posts since 1/5/2009

A normal 16" viola bridge is 48mm wide. For the 5 string you will need a 52 mm wide bridge.
Fiddlershop and International Violin sell the bridge blanks. You will need to have the bridge setup for the instrument before you cut the string slots to insure the correct clearance for the strings over the fingerboard. Then the string placement is mathematically spaced. It is not that hard to do any luthier repair shop should be able to do this for you.

Aug 19, 2021 - 11:37:05 AM

570 posts since 3/1/2020

Bridges have to be fitted to each instrument, so you can’t really just buy a pre-made one and expect it to work.

First of all, the feet need to fit exactly to the top so that the sound is good, the bridge stays in place, and the top doesn’t get scarred by sharp edges. The arch varies from instrument to instrument, so each bridge has to be fitted to a specific instrument. Even machine-made factory violins are different enough that they have to be set up individually. Many of the factories cut corners by using one instrument as an example and cutting a bunch of bridges for others of a similar model. This is one of the reasons factory setups are very poor and should always be replaced.

Viola bridges come in a variety of widths. You have to choose the correct size for the particular instrument. A 5-string doesn’t need a wider bridge than a 4-string—putting too wide a bridge on distorts the setup. Getting a good string spacing and curve makes the difference.

The height of the bridge will be determined by the individual instrument. The curvature of a good bridge will follow a proper template, but the tilt of the bridge is dictated by the instrument.

The vertical orientation of the bridge will depend on the arch as well, so one bridge won’t necessarily be at the right orientation for another instrument.

There are just too many factors when cutting a bridge to be able to cut a decent one without the instrument.

Sep 2, 2021 - 1:17:52 PM

11 posts since 10/31/2019

on my recently acquired Royce Burt 5 string, the bridge width at the feet is 48mm, so size varies by instrument.

I believe this is based upon the placement of the bass-bar; the bass side bridge foot should be centered over the bar, the center of the bridge centered on the fiddle, and the soundpost placed properly in relation the the treble side bridge foot. All this, in addition to top plate arch, requires each bridge customed to each fiddle.

If money is not an issue, a luthier is the way to go.

If you wish to make your own bridges from blanks, it is doable, but there is a learning curve, one which I am embarked upon. Don't try to tweek your current bridge until you have a good understanding of how to do it. Best of luck to you.

Sep 2, 2021 - 3:41:27 PM

hayesdt

USA

382 posts since 12/14/2010

quote:
Originally posted by danieljtb

on my recently acquired Royce Burt 5 string, the bridge width at the feet is 48mm, so size varies by instrument.

I believe this is based upon the placement of the bass-bar; the bass side bridge foot should be centered over the bar, the center of the bridge centered on the fiddle, and the soundpost placed properly in relation the the treble side bridge foot. All this, in addition to top plate arch, requires each bridge customed to each fiddle.

If money is not an issue, a luthier is the way to go.

If you wish to make your own bridges from blanks, it is doable, but there is a learning curve, one which I am embarked upon. Don't try to tweek your current bridge until you have a good understanding of how to do it. Best of luck to you.

-----------------------------------

Thanks.  Just took it to my luthier this morning to him handle it with his knowledge and expertise.


Edited by - hayesdt on 09/02/2021 15:43:24

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