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Violin Q & A: Cello Bridge Change for Projection

Violin Q & A: Cello Bridge Change for Projection

by George Manno

Originally published in American Lutherie #10, 1987 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000


I have a good French cello that I just can’t get the sound to project from. The tone has a very fine quality, but it all seems to be locked up inside of the instrument. I have cut a new bridge and soundpost, but still it’s not anywhere near what it should be. Do you have any suggestions?

Without seeing or hearing the instrument, I’m not sure what you mean when you say that the sound is “locked-up.” I’m only guessing, but it could be the strings, or the placement of the soundpost, or even the bridge. Did you spread the feet far enough when you fit it? I will tell you this, when I’m working on a cello that has a good strong tone but doesn’t project well, I’ll use a Belgian-style bridge. The higher arching of the feet always works for me. Try this and let me know.