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I recently tripped while holding my viola, and the bridge moved a little. I thought I was all good, because my teacher fixed it. Then I looked inside my instrument and realized that the sound post looked like it had cracked, I didn't know if it had always been like that. I saw my teacher look inside and start to say something but stopped herself. So I have some questions: Is it possible for a sound post to crack? If so, is it something I need to get fixed, or is it no big deal? I would love an answer before I go to the repair shop and realize that it was no big deal and embarrass myself. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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  • Cue the snarky joke routines... Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 12:33
  • It's never embarassing to go to a repair shop and have them tell you everything's OK. That's what they are there for. Even if the post's not cracked, it may well have moved, and would need to be repositioned. Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 12:35

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If in doubt, get it checked. If it collapses while the strings are on the instrument, it could cause serious damage. Assuming the "repair shop" actually does minor repairs and adjustments itself (rather than just providing a courier service to somewhere else!) they shouldn't make you feel like you are wasting their time checking something that could be a serious problem. Replacing the post or re-setting it in the correct position isn't a complicated or long-winded procedure.

The "traditional" method of inserting or removing the sound post involved spiking a sharp metal tool into the side of the post, to manipulate it inside the instrument working through one of the f-holes, so what you think is a "crack" could simply be the mark that the tool made on the post when it was fitted.

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  • Having set probably hundreds of soundposts, I can corroborate this. I've seen some pretty messed up soundposts, but I've never seen one that was split any more than just the slot made by the soundpost setter. The more usual problem is that a badly fitted soundpost, and/or an accident, has caused the soundpost to make a crack in the belly or back of the instrument. Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 17:15

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