Hidden inside the top, the bass bar is one of the elegantly sculpted parts of the violin.
This funky thing showed up in my shop last week with a visitor. The violin is Chinese, about ten years old. The owner said it doesn’t sound horrible. I don’t think I need to say much, so I won’t.
Maybe you’ve heard violin makers talk about violins with “integral” bassbars (cut from the top, not separate) and carving straight from the gouge. This is one of those. It doesn’t get much worse than this. Usually they might smooth a bit around where the post would go, but not this time! A violin like this …
This is one of those things that I’ve always wondered about: how fast does wood darken, and how? The central stripe here, with three grains of wood, is a bass bar in a violin made in 1941.