MEETING [7] (July 6th, 2013)

Prototype II has been finished and taken by Doll to be tested, recorded and photographed.22



The construction of Prototype II was basically the same as the construction of  Prototype I. However, based on the knowledge gained from testing Prototype I, Prototype II was set up with a slightly narrower tailpiece without adjusters since fine-tune pegs were installed right from the beginning. Also, similarly to Prototype I, the length of the strings was adjusted in order to favor the E- and A-string.  Another difference is the shape and size of the bridge:  Prototype II is equipped with a French-style bridge, while Prototype I features a Belgian-style bridge.23


Picture 14: P Prototype II 



Bridge measurements   Tailpiece measurements
                      Body width:     Distance between feet:  
           Width of head:
Prototype I:             74mm  
Prototype II:            84mm                  92mm                    70mm
Four string:              70mm                  92mm                    60mm


   The instrument is still equipped with the strings it came with (C-string and G-string: Helicore; D-string and A-string: Jargar.) in order to be able to compare its sound to the sound in its original four-stringed form. As the E-string this time a Jargar string was used.


Picture 15: The French bridge of PROTOTYPE II. The yellow seals at the bridge’s feet are Ueda’s reminders of the bridge’s optimal positioning. The adjusting of tailpieces and the changing of strings requires frequent removing and re-equipping of the bridge and t is very important that the bridge is replaced at the exact same place. For that reason easily removable seals that leave no tracks on the lacquer are used.



TEST RESULTS [7].  (Featuring PROTOTYPE II (7/8 size), equipped with French bridge, fine-tune pegs, narrow tail piece and  E-, A-, D- strings made by Jargar and G-, D-strings made by Helicore.)




–   E-string’s volume is quite strong. However, quality still is gamba-like.

–   D- and G-string have a muted, muffled sound-quality in positions above third.

–   Wolf-notes around the E/F areas – more or less present on all strings.

–   Overall the instrument seems to have lost some of its overtones and volume, especially in the lower registers.

22A digital SLR camera was purchased for easier and more precise documentation. (Until now Doll’s and Ueda’s private point-and-shoot cameras were used.) The camera is equipped with a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and greatly facilitates the taking and uploading of sharp pictures and close-ups of static objects in confined spaces

23Belgian bridges have long legs, a slight body and produce a strong and bright sound color. French bridges have shorter legs, a bigger body and produce a gentler and warmer sound color.