David Burgess

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About David Burgess

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    Ann Arbor, Michigan

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  1. David Burgess

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    With what I understand from people who worked with Sacconi, this wasn't any sort of "advocacy" for any kind of strict or inviolable graduation system. It was much more a summation or averaging of what he had found, from having had many Strads apart.
  2. David Burgess

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    I went back and added a winky at the end of that post. Does that help? I does seem a little odd though that Quadibloc puts so much emphasis (or obsession ?) on old research by Dunnwald, but appears to largely ignore the mountains of other research. I think it was Martin Swan who mentioned that he has fooled around a lot with applying various graphic equalizer settings to violin recordings. I have too, along with various sorts of "notch filters" (basically, I can take it down as fine as boosting or diminishing a single frequency), and I agree with him that what Dunnwald proposed is not the answer. Which is not to claim that differences in the various broad bands, or even a single frequency, make no difference in perceived sound.
  3. David Burgess

    reivew of 'Gone' by Min Kym, book about stolen Strad

    Not at all. Makers and researchers have been working to attain the sound of Stradivaris for years and years. But a couple of major problems started to emerge from that approach: As the level of experience and sample size increased, it started to become abundantly clear that Strads can sound wildly different from each other, and that there is hardly something like a generic Strad sound or set of playing characteristics. Strads weren't always preferred, by either the players or listeners, when they didn't know the maker of the fiddle in advance. These are a couple of reasons why emphasis has shifted (like in the Fritz et all studies), to taking a fresh look at what good sound and good playing characteristics really are. Assuming that some Strad would be a mimic-worthy example of a superior instrument just wasn't cutting it.
  4. David Burgess

    reivew of 'Gone' by Min Kym, book about stolen Strad

    Rue, some are very very easy to play. Quadibloc, the "bridge hill" is a feature which is more common to violins, than uncommon. Maybe some older and really heavy factory violins are lacking it... I haven't checked. Maybe someone like Don Noon has FFT information on a much broader spectrum of instruments, and can comment.
  5. David Burgess

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Have you considered the possibility that you might be suffering from something akin to the "Patty Hearst Syndrome", where after being repeatedly raped, she started to sympathize with the views of her captors? There's another loosely similar phenomenon, commonly called "The Stockholm Syndrome". Britanica defines this as a "psychological response wherein a captive begins to identify closely with his or her captors, as well as with their agenda".
  6. David Burgess

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    I don't think that Nathan does. I might, but most of my clients do lots of comparisons before buying, so I don't feel bad about charging more than "the next guy", or the extra work involved.
  7. David Burgess

    A few old violins compared

    Bruce and I came from rather different backgrounds. I was a "preacher's kid", raised as if being a consummate classical musician was one of the ultimate things to aspire to. Both my parents had Master's degrees or better. Bruce was raised in more of a factory environment near Flint Michigan, and actually served some time working in the auto plants in Flint, as well as serving some time in the US Navy. While I"m not regretful of my background, I am also slightly envious of his background, but more particularly, what he managed to do with it. I landed in the Weisshaar shop just out of high school. Bruce landed there after having worked in the auto factories, having served in the Navy, and having attended the Cremona violinmaking school. I will never quibble with him being smarter than I am. I hardly had to try, since high-level success was about all I had been exposed to. Bruce's dedication and learning curve are much more remarkable.
  8. David Burgess

    A few old violins compared

    Because regional accents are things which most Americans can notice right away, just like most UK people will notice regional accents right away, even if you and I can't. "Valley Girl" was a Frank Zappa song, "sung" by his daughter, Moon Unit One. It got a lot of exposure when it first came out, but faded as dialects morphed, and consequently became harder to relate to and interpret. As odd as it may seem, Bruce Carlson was about the first person who got me to take a serious listen to Frank Zappa. It's one of so many things I am grateful to him for.
  9. David Burgess

    A few old violins compared

    While I've always lived in the North (aside from when I lived in Southern California), one of my daughters lives very close to the Kentucky border in Ohio, and both my wife and I have been charmed by the culture and friendliness "down there". In other words, neither my wife or I (and she is much more Northern than I), have ever hated the South, even subtley. Our other daughter lives in Hawaii, which is a much harder culture to "pigeon hole". An interesting mix of Polynesian, Japanese, and American ethics and culture. The culture on "the Big Island" is so trusting, that we have concerns about what might happen if our grandkids should move to the mainland at some point. We have college accounts set up in Michigan, but I struggle with this being the best thing to do.
  10. David Burgess

    A few old violins compared

    Yes. What some dealers share with their buddies, can be quite different from what they profess to their clients. Same thing with some makers and players too, so this shouldn't be taken as singling out dealers.
  11. David Burgess

    A few old violins compared

    I'll disagree with all your points, somewhat. I was raised to speak "correct" English, but found that my effectiveness of communication increased when I learned how to use various colloquial dialects. Yes, there is a mainstream "educated" accent and sentence structure in the US, which is distinct mostly by its differences with Southern or former slave accents and sentence structures, but I don't think many people place much importance on that any more. Don't be fooled. Some of those "good ol' boy" Southerners choosing to use heavy accents may be a lot smarter than you or I.
  12. David Burgess

    A few old violins compared

    I'm having a hard time staying current with UK slang. Has "twaat" replaced "twit", or do they have different meanings?
  13. David Burgess

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    While some makers may be OK with doing that (as well as lots of other things), that's not the kind of person I want to be. I've had numerous situations in which I could have given priority to a noteworthy player, and consulted my wife about it. She has always spoken out strongly against it. She owns a number of guitars, and would have completely lost respect for any guitar maker who did that. While it's a little painful for me each time, I always end up eventually agreeing with her, because I think that view represents the higher path, ethically..
  14. David Burgess

    reivew of 'Gone' by Min Kym, book about stolen Strad

    Is it your assertion that scientists are immune to lore, and other psychological influences? Hasn't it already been suggested, by more than one rather well-informed person, that you might be over-valuing Dunnwald's conclusions? Are you sure that science and psychology are entirely separable, when humans are performing the experiments? If science and psychology were indistinct in your own mind, would you recognize it?
  15. David Burgess

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    More important than the three you have mentioned, is option 4: Modern violins have less myth and snob appeal.