...is what fiddle players/builders call the string length between the bridge and the tailpiece fret (point of string contact). It is the vibrating length of the string behind the bridge. Much is made of getting this length correct; conventional wisdom/centuries of building experience says it should be 1/6 of the scale length. Most fiddles are in the 330 mm range, so the afterlength should be in the neighborhood of 55 mm. Apparently it affects the instrument's overall tone.
So, on mandolins, the afterlength is often dampened to prevent unwanted vibrations with rubber grommets, leather strips or the wood nymph by Weber. I have not experimented enough to be able to hear any difference myself.
Can anyone explain why the vibration of the afterlength is desired on a bowed instrument but not on a plucked one? Do any mandolin builders worry about afterlength dimension? Thanks.