Kennedy Violins’ professional luthiers hand carve and install quality, high-grade maple bridges on all our stringed instruments. Each bridge is accurately shaped, notched, and curved with feet fitting face of the violin to near perfection. Bridge height is accurately measured for the strings to be held at the correct distance above the fingerboard, which ensures comfortable playability. Because the bridge transmits the vibration of the strings to the body of the instrument, properly cut bridges are essential to produce a clear and resonant sound.
Bridges are held in place by the tension of the strings with no adhesive or glue fixing the bridge to the instrument. It is therefore imperative to cut the bridge at the correct angle to prevent the bridge from quickly warping under the pressure of the strings.
The back of the bridge (facing the tailpiece) is set perpendicular to the face of the violin at a 90° angle, while the front (facing the fingerboard) may appear to slope or lean slightly back when sighted from the side — this is because the feet of the bridge are narrower than the top arch. The back of the bridge remains straight while the front is arched and shaped to complement the acoustics of the instrument.
Establishing the 90° angle of the backside of the bridge is so important as it allows for equal, balanced downward pressure on the face of the instrument. The perpendicular back which will help prevent warping and allow for the strings to pass over the bridge at equal angles.
Establishing the 90° angle of the backside of the bridge is so important as it allows for equal, balanced downward pressure, ensuring a stable and concise pathway for the transfer of energy from the strings to the body of the instrument. The perpendicular back which will help prevent warping and allow for the strings to pass over the bridge at equal angles.
On the other hand, a bridge that leans forward shortens the string length of the instrument, leading to persistent inconsistencies with interval location and finger placement. Because a bridge’s geometry is setup to resist and stabilize tension from the pegs, a bridge that leans forward offers far less resistance and stability. A leaning bridge compromises the strength and acoustic integrity of the bridge.
You can check your bridge by placing a business card up against the back. Notice how the bridge lines up with the business card.
In addition to the curved face of the bridge, the top of bridge where the strings make contact is carved with an arch that supports the lowest sounding string (G on the violin) slightly higher from the fingerboard than the highest string (E on the violin). The proper arching of the bridge is essential to the playability of the instrument. Should the arch be too flat, the bow will easily graze two strings instead of one. Also, should the string height be too high the instrument will be uncomfortable to play as strings require more pressure to be held down and dig into the pads of the fingers. If the strings are too low the strings will often buzz.
Kennedy Violins’ takes great pride in providing proper, professional setup complementary with every instrument purchase. We offer our Lifetime Warrantee on all instruments with the goal to provide you with only the best! Please see our Instrument Setup and Violin Setup Specifications pages for more information.