Noninvasive methods for quantifying sound post placement in a cello

Eric Rokni, Molly Smallcomb, Thomas E. Blanford, Micah R. Shepherd

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The position and orientation of the sound post in violin family instruments has long been known to color the sound of the instrument. Small changes in the position of the sound post relative to the top and back plates of the instrument can result in audible changes in the instrument’s tone. Quantifying the effect of the sound post’s placement on tone requires precise localization of the sound post. Luthiers have developed simple techniques to localize the post relative to the top of the instrument. Precisely localizing the post relative to the back, however, typically requires disassembly of the endpin. In this study, a noninvasive technique was developed using a force hammer to localize the sound post relative to the back of the instrument. This method was verified on a wooden box model and subsequently applied to two cellos, one with a laminate construction and the other carved. The sound post was localized well in the wooden box and laminate cello, but not as well in the carved cello.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035006
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020
Event179th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, ASA 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Dec 7 2020Dec 11 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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