Setting Up For Success

Please click on the links on the right to view information about the work we carry out on our instruments to insure comfort of playing, quality of sound and enjoyment!



When instruments are subjected to humidity changes, the pegs and their holes become oval, due to either expansion (too wet) or shrinking (too dry). As a result, the pegs will only hold their position when the two ovals are in line. It would be a rare coincidence for the string to be at the correct pitch in this situation, making the instrument virtually untunable.

This will cause a lot of frustration for the player, who will not be able to play the instrument in tune. It could also cost a few points at exams, as intonation is an important marking criteria.

Cardiff Violins reshape the pegs and holes of the instrument to allow perfect tuning

Peg Box


The nut is the piece of wood, usually ebony, that raises the strings away from the fingerboard at the "head" or "scroll" end of the instrument. If it is too high, the player will have difficulties to press the strings down against the fingerboard, and if it is too low, the strings will buzz or rattle against the fingerboard. If the nut grooves are too deep, they will damage the string windings.

If the edge of the nut is too sharp or square, it will hurt the index finger and also damage or break the strings. If the string spacing is wrong, the player will have problems with string crossing when playing.

Cardiff Violins reshape and correct all defects on the nut, or replace it.


In order to work properly and avoid buzzes and rattles, the fingerboard has to be subtly concave along its length (most factory instruments come with irregularities, or are too deeply hollowed), and of course convex across its width. Usually, only the second of these two conditions is met.

Cardiff Violins reshape or replace the fingerboard as appropriate.


Inexpensive new instruments invariably come with very poor metal strings, which sound strident and unpleasant and, when coupled with too great a string height, can feel extremely hard under the fingers, particularly if they are tender little fingers.

Cardiff Violins replace the old metal strings with good quality soft strings of a compatible nature to the instrument.

Sound Post

The sound-post is a round stick that is wedged between the back and the belly and picks up the vibrations coming from the bridge. It particularly acts on the sound of the trebble strings.

We make all the necessary adjustments to the sound-post to achieve the best possible tonal qualities and balance in the instrument.


The bridge transmits the sound through to the belly of the instrument. It has to be perfectly fitted to the table . All of its measurements are crucial for good sound transmission and ease of playing. These measurements could vary significantly from one instrument to another, depending upon other parameters such as neck angle, back and belly thickness and arching, to name but a few.

The bridges you get on an instrument you buy "off the shelf" are not properly fitted. Very often they have too flat a curve across the top, which makes bowing difficult. The string heights are normally incorrect, either too high, (extremely uncomfortable) or too low, causing unpleasant buzzes. Bridges also tend to be too thick and heavy, giving poor tone and slow sound transmission.

Cardiff Violins rebridge all new instruments before selling them.


Cardiff Violins make sure that all beginners instruments are fitted with adjustable tail-pieces. Instruments for more advanced players would normally have ordinary wooden tailpieces with an E string adjuster, as by then, players normally can tune with the pegs.