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How $$ Could a Violin Bridge Possibly Cost?

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#1 454



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Posted 21 July 2000 - 05:12 PM

When my school orchestra teacher told me that my bridge was warped, I went to the local music store to get a new one. The reply was that they didn't have any in stock but could send it down to another store to get it "cut and fitted" for my violin. Now I regret not asking for the price, but at that time I was thinking: How expensive could a small piece of wood be? A phone call later and it turns out that it's 45 bucks - with free shipping. "Want me to clean your rosin ($17.50) for you? I can also put some strings on if you want..." No thanks. I'd purchased a new bridge from another city before but it was too long ago to remember. One thing I know is that I would rather play on my warped bridge and use $45 for something else. Are they usually so pricey, or was I ripped off, like I highly suspect? I will appreciate any info or advice from those who are greatly experienced than I.

- Thanks

#2 Pierluigi Ratcliff Canal

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Posted 21 July 2000 - 05:28 PM

Fitting a bridge is a very skilled and specialised job if you want to get it done properly. Sure you can buy a blank for a few bucks and put it under your strings, but it will not be the same as having the thing cut, tuned and regulated individually for your instrument. First the feet have to fit exactly the curve of the arching, and the height of the bridge has to be adjusted to the correct measurements, not forgetting checking the fingerboard for adequate clearance of the strings, thicknessing the bridge, removing excess wood, finishing off, set up and regulate.....not forgetting the price of a good blank($10 or more). How long do you work for $45?

#3 mlbouquet



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Posted 21 July 2000 - 05:33 PM

Not replacing a warped bridge is penny-wise and pound foolish. That bridge could break or collapse, doing more expensive damage to your instrument.

#4 Mairead



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Posted 21 July 2000 - 05:40 PM

US$45 sounds about right, from whatever I've read and experienced. Some really posh luthiers (I know one of them) bill ca. $100, so you didn't come away as badly as you might have done.

#5 Journey



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Posted 21 July 2000 - 06:35 PM

I got a new bridge put on my violin for $20. So, to me, it does sound a little too much. Journey

#6 Lydia Leong

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Posted 21 July 2000 - 06:57 PM

All prices are affected by the cost of living wherever you are, as well as any competition in the local area.

#7 soccerviolin



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Posted 21 July 2000 - 07:11 PM

i pay about 80 for a professional grade brdge. The luthier i go to has several grades, 20,40,60,80. 20 is the precut ones, 40 student cut, 60 treated cut, 80 deluxe.


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Posted 21 July 2000 - 09:02 PM

hi.. recently, my friend bought an aubert deluxe bridge blank which cost him $45 ....

if u want good stuff, i guess u just have to pay the price...


#9 DigiMark


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Posted 21 July 2000 - 09:36 PM

It's sad really. Seems a lot to me too but heck, I thought an $800 violin would be good through High School. What do I know? Even minor nuances of the violin (like your problem) can really thin out your wallet. Music is like any other hobby. If you want to be good and you want the job done right, $$ is inevitable.

But why am I complaining, my parents till take care of that for me.


#10 Mr.Scratchy


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Posted 22 July 2000 - 12:13 AM

You didn't get ripped off. Cutting and fitting a bridge is exacting and time consuming work. I'm currently learning the craft as a luthier's apprentice - finally doing bridges now - and that's a pretty average price. What kind of bridge is it? Like onewl said, an Aubert De Luxe bridge blank (unfitted) costs what you paid to have one fit. A good bridge makes a tremendous difference. And it takes quite a bit of work to fit one properly. You begin with a blank, sharpen your knife, and start cutting the feet so that they conform to the arch of your violin - with no gaps on leaning at all and so that the outside of the feet are about 1mm thick. Then you have to correctly cut the top so that your string height will be correct over the fingerboard and so that the curve relates with your fingerboard as well. Then slots cut to space the strings correctly. Then you sharpen your plane. Then you plane down the bridge so that the feet are about 4.5mm wide and that the top edge is about 1mm wide. Then you use a pencil's graphite to lubricate the string slots. You could stop there but on better bridges, parchment is glued on to protect the wood from the sharp e string and further carving is done to remove excess wood. In other words, it is a lot of work but it is worth it! I'd rather have a lesser quality violin that was set up properly than a good violin with a bad bridge or pegs or nut or....Your new bridge was necessary and the price was not out of line. If you had ever cut one yourself under the watchful eye of a good luthier I swear you'd want to get at least $100 for your work.

#11 Christopher Reuning

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Posted 22 July 2000 - 10:02 AM

A properly cut bridge can greatly affect the acoustic properties of your violin. I wouldn't give two cents for 90% of the bridges I see. My suggestion is to spend the extra $ and have a highly skilled pro cut your bridge. It will last much longer with proper maintenence (won't warp) and will make your instrument sound much better.
Christopher Reuning, Boston, MA

#12 tememotec


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Posted 22 July 2000 - 10:22 AM

I watched at italian TV some years ago UTO UGHI setting his Strad and his Guarnieri del Gesù along with his personal luthier.

At first both of them had a horrible sound (I thought to myself: ...and that is a Strad?!?).But just moving a little the bridge and the post and filing the bridge a little...both of them suddenly changed showing at the fullest their rich and powerfull sound.

45$ can be a lot or nothing...depends on the results...

#13 454



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Posted 22 July 2000 - 10:47 AM

Thank you very much, everyone who posted a response! I'm learning more and more with each question I read or post.

#14 AnneS


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Posted 22 July 2000 - 10:58 AM

Music is like any other hobby

How right you are! And once I made up my mind to see it that way, it turns out that it has actually been a fairly INEXPENSIVE hobby!(I am thinking of all the Nascar collectables in my closet that belong to hubby! )

#15 LBlake


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Posted 22 July 2000 - 11:48 AM

'twas $45 for mine, too. And, I agree - a properly cut, fit, in-shape bridge, of proper wood.... can make a really big difference. It's a huge part of the physics of a violin.

Just be glad you don't play cello.

When we are just learning, considering how many stringed instruments we see around, it really can be shocking just how expensive some parts can be. It's always a surprise how important each detail is. Easy to take things for granted.

What's more fun, still, is actually having the change, and experiencing the differences! So, how's your new bridge???

#16 454



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Posted 22 July 2000 - 06:49 PM

For an update, I just got my violin plus receipt back today, and turns out the BAUSCH bridge he put on was $5, and the other $40 was for labor. I don't know that much about the different names and qualities of bridges, can anyone possibly educate me? I would really appreciate it.

Thanks again!

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