These are the 10 points that Fiddlerman and his luthiers focus on:
1. String height
The height of the strings is extremely important when it comes to playability and sound. The nut, fingerboard, and bridge all affect the string height and have to be crafted with precision.
2. Bridge seating
One of the more time consuming processes in setting up a string instrument- shaping and fitting the feet of the bridge by hand to perfectly match the curvature of the top. Every top has a different curvature so you can’t buy a pre-fitted bridge. A good bridge determines the tone, projection, and overall resonance of the instrument.
3. Fingerboard planing/sanding
The most time consuming part of the setup! Any indentations and/or depressions will cause unwanted spaces or buzzing from the strings as they are pressed. A specific convex shape of the fingerboard, known as scoop, is essential for proper string resonance.
4. E string parchment
Fiddlershop always puts parchments, thin pieces of dried hide leather, on the bridges to avoid the E string from cutting into it. It’s transparent and hardly noticeable. Also known as a Bridge Protector.
5. String grooves
The grooves for the strings on the nut and bridge must be evenly spaced and the depths must be cut correctly for the strings resonance.
6. Peg fitting
One of the most important features are the tuning pegs. They must be precisely shaped and shaven to match the holes of the peg box.
7. Fine tuners/tailpiece/end button
Fiddlershop will fit/adjust, install, and test the tailpiece, fine tuners and end button for functionality, length and strength.
8. Sound post
The sound post is placed inside the instrument, right under the location of the bridge foot. It must be cut at the perfect angle to match the curvature of the top and bottom of the violin. A good sound post adjustment can make the instrument easier to play, more well-rounded, and project more. The resonance is severely compromised if the sound post is not set to the correct position, length and angle.
9. Structural inspection
Coming to the end of the path is the final inspection and testing stage. Fiddlershop has developed its own bridge and string-bracing out of cardboard, to allow the violin to arrive at your doorstep in tune, or close to it. Also with the sound post in the same location as when it left our workshop.
10. Final cleaning
We use our custom polish and a cleaner to make sure your instrument will look its best!