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  • Writer's picturemarcoosioliutaio

The Importance of the Soundpost in Violin Making

Directly from Cremona, the city of the world's most famous stringed instruments, let's talk about the soundpost, the true pulsating heart of these timeless instruments. Its name (which in Italian is translated as “soul”) evokes a feeling of mystery and power, because it is thanks to the soundpost that the instrument comes to life, emitting a unique and inimitable sound.

Although almost invisible to the eyes, the soundpost is a vital part of the stringed instrument, located inside the soundbox, just below the bridge. It does not simply transmit the vibrations from the bridge and the top plate to the back plate, but plays an even more important role. The soundpost must be accurately positioned and shaped on the side of the higher strings just below the bridge to ensure that the string vibrations are transmitted in the right direction and evenly on the top plate. If it is placed too close to the bridge, the sound becomes too loud and aggressive, while if it is too far away, the sound becomes weak and dull.

However, it is not just the position of the soundpost that influences the voice of stringed instruments. The material used for its construction is equally important.

For my violin making, I prefer to personally cut and prepare the wood for the soundpost, using split spruce that perfectly transmits the vibrations. I believe that the wood for the soundpost should have the same properties as that used for the top plate, so whenever possible (unless I am using a wide-grained spruce for the top plate), I prepare the soundpost with the same wood as the top plate in order to obtain an even more uniform and coherent sound. Only in this way do I believe it is possible to achieve the superior sound quality that characterizes high-end stringed instruments.

The soundpost is a fundamental element that contributes to creating the inimitable voice of stringed instruments. Accurate construction, combined with the right material and positioning, is essential to ensure a superior sound.

When it comes to violin making, every detail counts, but the soundpost is one of the most important details. Only when the soundpost is in its place can the essence of music flow through the instrument and touch the heart of the listener.



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