Experience with Luthier – Soundpost

The violin is titled as the queen of musical instruments.

The violin is the leading instrument in ensembles. Under its elegant appearance, violins may have vastly different acoustics depending on its configuration and design, such as the tailpiece, the soundpost, the peg and strings. Even for the same violin, its acoustics could be enhanced simply by reassembling. Indeed, the violin’s acoustics could be adjusted by some simple adjustment techniques. The luthier would shift the soundpost and peg to improve a violin’s acoustics. There is a sophisticated relationship between the soundpost and peg. We are taking a look at the soul of a string instrument, soundpost.

The soundpost is made from spruce wood. An ideal soundpost shall have around five annual rings. Its dryness, thickness, position, elasticity, hardness, etc would make a significant difference in how the violin sounds.

The soundpost is being placed inside the body. Its upper and lower end has to fit closely with violin’s top plate and back plate respectively. Without the installation of strings, the soundpost shall be in an upright position. If the violin sounds dry and muffled, a longer soundpost could be used, which could shape a brighter sound. On the other hand, If the violin sounds too bright and harsh, the tension between the soundpost and the plates of the violin shall be reduced, which creates a softer sound. The thickness of the soundpost could adjust the acoustics of the violin too. In general, the diameter of soundposts is between 5.5mm to 6.5mm, depending on the violin’s soundhole. Thicker soundposts restrict vibration and create a firmer sound, but there might be a lack of resonance. Whereas thinner soundposts enforce vibration, yet the acoustics might not sound sophisticated. The desired acoustics shall be adjusted case by case.

The position of the soundpost is usually at the right bottom corner of the bridge. If there is a buzzing noise, it could be shifted slightly downwards or shortened to move it further away from the end of the bridge. For improved muffled acoustics, the soundposts could be shifted upwards to be closer to the bridge, which helps with projection. That being said, the position of the soundpost shall not be adjusted frequently when it has been adjusted accordingly. There are other factors which contribute to how the violin sounds, such as its bridge and other parts of the violin, and they will be further discussed in other passages.


Maintenance and Repair services are available in DCM. Contact us at 26678173.


Ben Law

Chief Luthier @DCM

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