After more than 30 years playing experince, I know how important a good “set-up” is to any instrument.
Set up is basically the “mise en place” of all the add on’s to an instrument i.e tailpiece, nut, pegs, bridge, sound post etc. The sound of an instrument is greatly influenced by its set up. I place a great deal of importance on the correct fitting of the bridge on an Instrument..
The overall best possible sound obtained by a good set up and bridge fitting can change greatly depending on measurements and materials used. A well seasoned deluxe French Bridge can cost easily up to 30 or 40€, but the quality of that bridge is worth every cent! (providing your instrument merits such a bridge*) Another important aspect of set up is comfort-ability and play-ability, more for some than others, but for a serious player who spends up to nine hours a day holding their instrument, it should be as comfortable as possible without compromising on sound. It is for this reason I like to do any required adjustments while the player is with me in my workshop. It can be quite amazing the difrence small adjustments can make to the sound of an Instrument
I enjoy working regularly on the instruments and bows of many of the Great Fiddlers around this County such as Padraíg Creedon, Brendan O Sullivan, Paddy Jones, Donal Cullinane, to mention but a few!
Every thing matters when it comes to sound! Some days your violin sounds great and other days not so great. This can be because the violin is extremely susceptible to changes in atmosphere, moisture levels in the air can greatly influence the sound of your instrument. There are a number of precautions that can be taken to limit and even eliminate this particular problem.