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Publication numberUS3523479 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 11, 1970
Filing dateDec 31, 1968
Priority dateDec 31, 1968
Publication numberUS 3523479 A, US 3523479A, US-A-3523479, US3523479 A, US3523479A
InventorsLudwig Walter D
Original AssigneeLudwig Walter D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shell violin with floating sound board
US 3523479 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Walter D. Ludwig 3865 W. Lincoln Drive, Birmingham, Michigan 48010 [21] Appl. No.' 788,121 [22] Filed Dec. 31,1968 [45] Patented Aug. 11, 1970 [54] SHELL VIOLIN WlTl-l FLOATING SOUND BOARD 20 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl. 84/274, 84/275, 84/277, 84/309 [51] lnt.Cl G10d1/02, G 10d 3/02 [50] Field of Search 84/274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 309

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 129,653 7/1872 Collins 84/309 1,317,089 9/1919 Maine et a1 84/275 1,349,700 8/1920 Virzi 84/194 Primary Examiner- Richard B. Wilkinson Assistant Examiner- Lawrence R. Franklin Attorney-Donnelly, Mentag and Harrington ABSTRACT: A violin having a shell or resonating enclosure which has a traditional shape and in which is disposed an internal, axially extended substructure on which is rockably mounted an indepe'ndentand floating sound board that supports a bridge which extends through a slot in the top wall or belly of the shell. The pressure of the violin strings on the bridge maintains the bridge in position on the sound board, and when the violin strings vibrate laterally they transmit a rocking motion to the bridge and it transmits most of the motion to the sound board and to an adjustable treble bar which replaces the usual sound post and to a base bar mounted to the sound board.

Patented Aug. 11, 19 70 Sheet INVENTOR.

WALTER D. LUD WIG ww 1 1 1 mm k 1 ATTORNEYS INVENTOR.

ATTORNEYS WALTER D.LUDWIG Patehtea Aug. 11, 1970 Sheet g of 2 SHELL VIOLIN WITH FLOATING SOUND BOARD SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to musical instruments of the string family, and more particularly to a novel shell violin provided with an independent floating sound board.

It is common knowledge today that good vintage violins are vanishing as a marketable commodity. Some few remaining good vintage specimens reside in Museums, a good number are in the possession of collectors, and a few are held by the elite of the musicians. It is also an established fact that good, old instruments of lesser quality lie dormant and decaying in dealers hands for lack of enough qualified violin makers to repair or restore these instruments.

The few remaining men of professional violin making skill have little time to devote to creating new instruments. As a consequence, the present general violin market is supplied with so-called production violins of varying degrees of mediocrity. These'production violins are also subject to variation due to changing seasons and humidity in the same manner as the old hand-made instruments. These violins are production violins only in the sense that they are produced in a detailed likeness of the traditional hand made versions, duplicating every time-consuming step toward completion. Moreover, the very nature of the conventional instruments structure does not lend itself to todays concept of production.

Published scientific studies devoted to the acoustical properties of violins have been made in recent years. Application of this accumulated data combined with modern materials and methods can result in a good manufacturable instrument in thetraditional concept. The need exists not only for a durable instrument for student use but for an acceptable instrument for professional use as well.

The present invention takes into consideration all of the foregoing and embodies a new and novel design approach which at the same time retains enough of the traditional appearance to not offend the sensibilities of a discriminating musician.

It is therefore the primary object of the present invention to provide a violin that adheres reasonably to the general concept of traditional appearance, which is of predictable high quality in tone production, eliminates allskilled handwork, lends itself t o up-to-date production methods, and which is economical to manufacture.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a violin having a stable and substantially rigid internal sub-structure to support the load induced by string tension and which will not vary with the changing seasons or changes of humidity.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a violin having an independent and floating sound board mounted on an internal substructure, and a resonating enclosure which is readily assembled to or removed from the substructure, and a bridge means which extends through the top of the resonating enclosure to communicate with the internal sound board.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a violin having a treble" bar which is adjustable and removably attached to an independent sound board structure.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved means forassembling a chin rest to a violin. I

It is another object of the present invention to provide a novel violin shoulder rest which is resilient and fully adjustable to a players requirements.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a virtually indestructible high quality violin which, however, requires no particular skill to service or repair.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a novel violin comprising a resonating shell or body of traditional shape which is made from a plastic sheet material reinforced w-Ith fiberglass, a unitary cast lightweight metal neckand-scroll structure which is preferably made from magnesiurn, a rigid internal sub-structure mounted in the shell, an independent sound board, means for rockably mounting the sound board on said sub-structure, a base bar carried by the sound board, a treble bar adjustably carried by the sound board mounting means, a bridge seated on the sound board and extended through a slot in the top wall of the shell, and violin strings secured to the neck structure and a tail piece on the shell and engaging said bridge to maintain ,the bridge in position on the sound board.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the principles of the present invention may be applied to any instrument of the string family and that they are not confined to a violin alone.

Other objects, features and advantages of this invention will be apparent from the following detailed description, appended claims, and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawingsi FIG. 1 is a top plan view, with parts removed, of a violin made in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 1, with parts in section, taken substantially along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 3 is an elevational section view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 2, taken along the line 3-3 thereof, and looking in the direction of the arrows; and,

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, end elevational view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 2, taken along the line 4-4 thereof, and looking in the direction of the arrows.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to FIGS. 1

and 2, the numeral 10 generally designates a unitary, cast neck-pegbox-scroll structure which is preferably made of magnesium or some other suitable lightweight metal. In FIG. 2, the numerals l1, l2 and 13 represent the neck, pegbox and scroll portions of the aforementioned unitary structure. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the numeral 14 generally designates the shell or body of the violin which functions as a resonating enclosure that is made essentially in the shape of a violin body. The shell 14 may be made from any suitable material, as for example, a plastic sheet material reinforced with fiberglass. The violin shell includes the top wall 15, the bottom wall 16, the front wall 17, the back wall 18, the left side wall 19, and the right side wall 20.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the cast neck portion 11 includes on its back end an integral flange 23 and a machined taper shank 24. The flange 23 and the shank 24 extend into the shell 14 through the opening 21 in the shell front wall 17. The shell front wall 17 is secured in a releasable manner to the flange 23 by the screws 25. An elongated piece of tubing 26 is disposed axially in the shell 14 with its front end reamed and mounted on the shank 24 and its back end slidably mounted on a second shank 27. The shank 27 is integrally formed on the inner side of a flange 28 which is disposed on the inside surface of the shell back wall 18. The flange 28 is secured in a releasable manner to the shell back wall 18 by the screws 29. The flanges 23 and 28 are contoured to fit the inner surfaces of the shell at the front and back ends thereof. The tubing 26, the shank 27 and the flange 28 are preferably made from magnesium or some other suitable lightweight metal.

As shown in FIG. I, the shell top wall 15 is secured in a releasable manner to the front flange 23 by the screws 32 and to the back flange 28 by the screws 33. As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the shell bottom wall 16, the shell side walls 19 and 20, and the shell front and back walls 17 and 18 are all formed together as a single integral structure. The shell top wall 15 is formed separately and is secured to the shell side walls 19 and 20 by a plurality of blocks 34 and screws 35. The blocks 34 are secured to the inside surfaces of the shell side walls 19 and 20 by any suitable adhesive and they are made from the same material as the shell side walls 19 and 20.

As shown in FIG. 2, the straight shank 27 is provided with a tapped hole 36 which registers with an elongated slot 37 in the tubing 26. A screw 38 is mounted in the tapped hole 36 for securing the tubing 26 to the shank 27 in an adjusted position to compensate for variations in length of the tubing 26, the shanks 24 and 27, and the shell 14.

As shown in FIG. 2,.a pair of circular collars 39 and 40 are slidably mounted on the tubing 26 and are adapted to be secured in desired ad justed positions by the screws 41 and 42, respectively. The collars 39 and 40 are made preferably from magnesium or other suitable lightweight metal.

The aforedescribed tubing 26 and its supporting structure form an internal sub-structure on which is rockably mounted an independent and floating sound board or plate, generally indicated by the numeral 46 in FIGS. 1 and 2. As shown in FIG. 1, the sound board 46 is provided with a plan configuration which conforms to the shape of a conventional violin top but which is reduced in size. The sound board 46 is flat and made in two symmetrical half-pieces 47 and 48 which are glued together along the violin centerline 49. The sound board 46 is made from any suitable wood, as for example pine or spruce, and it is made of a suitable thickness and grain structure conforming to a conventional violin top. The grain-structure of both pieces of the sound board 46 is disposed in the vertical direction to provide uniform and symmetrical grain structure throughout the entire sounding board.

The sound board 46 is glued to the top of two longitudinally spaced saddle members 50 and 51 which have half-circles (FIG. 3) formed on their bottom sides for seating on the tubing 26. The saddle members 50 and 51 are made preferably from pine or spruce. The collars 39 and 40 are disposed against the saddle members 50 and 51 (FIG. 2) to retain the i sound board 46 in the desired position in the shell 14. The saddle members 50 and SI are affixed centrally to the underside I of the sound board 46 and positioned at the intersection of the nodal lines of the vibrating sound board. The sound board 46 rests freely on top of the tubing 26, and it is obvious that the sound board 46 is free to rotate about the axis of the tubing 26 to seek a normal balanced position due to the resultant forces of string tension which converge on approximately the axis of the tubing 26.

As shown in FIGS. l and 2, the top of the sound board 46 is reinforced by a pair of criss-crossing ribs 52 and 53 adjacent its front end, and by a pair of criss-crossing ribs 54 and 55 adjacent its back end. The sound board 46 is also reinforced by an axially extended central rib 56 on the top thereof. The reinforcing ribs are all glued to the sound board 46, at positions to follow substantially the nodal lines of the sound board so as not to inhibit vibration of the sound board. The reinforcing ribs are made preferably from pine or spruce. The sound board 46 is provided with a protective band 57 which is affixed around the periphery thereof by any suitable adhesive to protect the edge grain of the wood sound board. The band 57 maybe made from any suitable material, as for example a suitable wood or plastic.

As shown in FIGS. l, 2 and 3, the soundboard 46 is provided witha conventional base bar generally indicated by the numeral 60. The base bar 60 is made preferably from pine or spruce and it is glued to the underside of the sound board 46 on the left half-piece 47. The base bar 60 transmits the lower tones of the violin throughout the sound board.

The sound board 46 is provided on the right side thereof with a tapered treble bar generally indicated by the numeral 61. As shown in FIG. 3, the front saddle member 50 is notched out on its right side to provide a ledge ,62 on which is supported the long or front end of the treble bar 61. The short or back end of the treble bar 61 is also supported by a similar ledge 63 (FIG. I) formed on the back saddle member 51. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the treble bar 61 is provided with an upwardly extended projection 64 which engages the underside I of the sound board 46 so as to support the right foot 65 of the .61 is spaced from the sound board 46 except at the projection 64. The treble bar 61 is sprung into place by inserting the back end on the ledge 62 and then springing the front long end into place on the ledge 62 so that there is a tension on the treble bar 61 and a pressure applied on the sound board 46 at the proper point behind the bridge 66 in alignment with the bridge right foot 65. The treble bar 61 is made from pine or spruce. The treble bar 61 functions in the same manner as a conventional sound post and it can be adjusted forwardly and backwardly by sliding it in a direction to provide the desired violin sound and to control the same.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the bridge 66 rests on and extends upwardly from the sound board 46 through the slot 67 formed through the shell top wall 15. The bridge 66 is of a special design compared to conventional bridges. It is higher and wider at the base than conventional bridges.

The violin of the present invention is strung in the conventional manner. As shown in FIGS. land 2, the strings 68 extend over the fingerboard 69 and their front ends are operatively attached to the usual pegs 70. The fingerboard 69 is glued or cemented in place on the cast neck portion 11. A conventional tailpiece 73 retains the back ends of the strings 68 in the usual manner. The tailpiece 73 has affixed to the rear end thereof a loop of nylon cord 74 which has one end looped around the grooved head of a screw 75 which is threadably secured to the cast rear end flange 28. A conventional chin rest 76 is secured by the screws 33 to the rear end flange 28.

The numeral 77 generally designates a shoulder rest comprising a vertical bar 78 which is provided with a longitudinal slot 79 at its upper end. The slot 79 is adapted to receive the screw 29 which also serves to attach the rear flange 28 to the shell rear wall 18. The slot 79 permits the bar 78 to be adjusted upwardly and downwardly. A second bar 80 is integrally attached to the lower end of the bar 78. The bar 80 slopes downwardly under the shell 14 to form an L-shaped attachment member. The shoulder rest includes a third bar 81 which has one end attached by the screw 82 to the bar 80 and the other end covered by a resilient tubing 83 for engagement with the shoulder of the violinist. The screw 82 locks the bar 81 in a desired adjusted position.

As shown in FIG. 1, the shell top wall 15 is provided with a pair of usual f" openings formed by the hole positions 84 and 85, and by the hole positions 86 and 87. The shell top wall 15 may also be provided with additional auxiliary openings as 84a, 84b, 84c, 85a, 85b, 85c, 86a, 86b, 86c, 87a, 87b, and 87c. The auxiliary openings are projections of the basic f" openings.

In use, the violin of the present invention is played in the usual manner. The pressure of the strings 68 is transmitted through the bridge 66 to the sound board 46 which assumes a normal level position. The sound board 46 is allowed to vibrate freely in response to the energy induced by the vibrating strings 68. In the violin structure of the present invention a proper pitch relationship is provided between the vibrating board 46 and the air resonance for this particular structure.

Consistency is maintained in repetitive assemblies of violins' due to the ease of duplicating the contours of the sound board I 46 and outer shell 14. An instrument made in accordance with the principles of the present invention has a sensitive response the instrument. The instrument is also stable in structure and is not affected by changes in seasons or humidity.

While it will be apparent that the preferred embodiment of i the invention herein disclosed is well c'alculatedto fulfill the objects above stated, it will be appreciated that the invention is susceptible to modification, variation and change.

I claim:

1. In a stringed musical instrument of the violin famiI yQthe' combination comprising:

(a) a resonating enclosure including a top wall, a front end wall, a back end wall, a bottom wall, a left side wall and a right side wall;

(b) an independent sound board in said enclosure;

(c) means in said enclosure for operatively supporting said independent sound board; and,

(d) a string bridge having a left foot and a right foot resting on said sound board, and having the upper end thereof extended through a slot in the top wall of said resonating enclosure.

2. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 1, wherein:

(a) said independent sound board is rockably mounted on said supporting means. 3. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 2, wherein:

(a) said supporting means includes an axially extended tubing; and,

(b) said independent sound board is provided on the lower side thereof with means for rockably mounting the sound board on said tubing.

4. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 1, wherein:

(a) said independent sound board is provided with a base bar and with an adjustable treble bar.

5. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 1, wherein:

(a) said independent sound board includes two symmetrical portions joined along the centerline of the resonating enclosure.

6. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 1, wherein:

(a) said independent sound board has a plan configuration conforming to the plan shape of the resonating enclosure.

7. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 1, wherein:

(a) said independent sound board comprises a flat wood board with the grain disposed vertically with the flat surface of the board and running parallel with the length of the board.

8. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in I Claim 7, wherein:

(a) said independent sound board is provided with a protective band around the periphery thereof. 9. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 1, wherein:

(a) said independent sound board is provided with a plurality of reinforcing ribs on the top side thereof. 10. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 1, wherein:

(a) said resonating enclosure is formed from sheet plastic reinforced with fiberglass.

11. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 1, wherein:

(a) said resonating enclosure top wall is provided with a pair of f openings.

12. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 11, wherein:

(a) said resonating enclosure top wall is also provided with a plurality of auxiliary openings.

13. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 1, wherein: Y

(a) said means for supporting said independent sound board includes a rigid internal sub-structure detachably mounted in said resonating enclosure.

14. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 13, including:

(a) a tailpiece secured to said rigid internal sub-structure by a cord attached to a retaining member fixed to said sub-structure.

15. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 13, including:

(a) a resilien ad ustable shoulder rest secured to said sub-structure and being adjustable to a players requirements. 16. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 1, wherein:

(a) said resonating enclosure comprises a shell having a violin shape. 17. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 13, wherein said internal sub-structure comprises:

(a) a front end flange secured to the resonating enclosure; (b) a back end flange secured to the resonating enclosure; and, (c) an elongated member mounted between said flanges for supporting said sound board. 18. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in I Claim 17, wherein:

(a) said flanges and elongated member are formed from a lightweight metal. 19. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 13, wherein:

(a) said instrument includes a unitary neck-pegbox-scroll structure connected to said rigid internal sub-structure. 20. The stringed musical instrument structure as defined in Claim 19, wherein:

(a) said neck-pegbox-scroll structure is formed from a lightweight metal and is integral with a portion of said internal sub-structure.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3678794 *May 15, 1969Jul 25, 1972Tansky MichaelResonator for stringed instrument
US4218951 *Jun 1, 1979Aug 26, 1980Willard TresselStringed instrument
US5289751 *Jan 27, 1992Mar 1, 1994Light Herbert MHumidifier for wooden musical instruments
US5339718 *May 29, 1992Aug 23, 1994Christophe LeducMusical instruments having bowed or plucked strings
US7507885Feb 23, 2007Mar 24, 2009Coke David AStructure for musical instrument body
DE102004007613B3 *Feb 17, 2004Nov 17, 2005Stegmüller, WolfgangTimbre improvement system for string instrument of violin, viola, cello and double base family involves outward-sloping side walls so that front plate is larger than back
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/274, 984/112, 84/277, 84/309, 84/275
International ClassificationG10D3/00, G10D3/02
Cooperative ClassificationG10D3/02
European ClassificationG10D3/02