Allan Speers

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Everything posted by Allan Speers

  1. in 2 weeks time there is a book launch in Cremona of the first comprehensive monography about Nikolai Kittel.

    Written by the experts on Kittel: Grünke, Gabriel and Chins. 30 Kittel bows in it. And some photos of documents contributed by kenway.

    There will be a lot of your questions and answers in it.



  2. "If a hypothetical "shrink ray" were able to shrink the building and the person inside to scale, say to the size of a violin, and then the person shouted [with scaled lungs to meet the small person, as well as I assume scaled volume} would the same laws of acoustics apply? would the little tiny man inside of the little tiny auditorium hear reverb and echo" No, he wouldn't. Although there would still be nodal resonances, above perhaps 300 hz, their Rt would be short enough to be completely disguised by the Haas effect. The brain would not PERCEIVE them as anything but part of the original sound.
  3. For classical & smooth / rich pop music, new age, etc, I'm totally hooked on the "Heifetz" setup: Wound gut G, Unwound heavyish-gauge gut D & A, and a gold-steel E. For country, I'm still searching, but those bloody Helicores really do work. I'd like to find a string with the bite & crunch of the Helicore, but just a little more warmth & richness. Haven't found it yet, but I can no longer afford to experiment wildly. Someday.....
  4. Possibly. I actually used a piece of masking tape once, when I had nothing else. I intended to replace it later, but it lasted for years. It's still on that fiddle. It might be the glue (hence people using JUST superglue, or it could simply be that maple end grain is exceptionally susceptible to that type of abrasion. -but if nothing else, parchment, Ivory, & other solutions present a nicer aesthetic.
  5. Maybe it was impregnated with wax or oil after the printing, to make it last longer? Try soaking a piece of it in acetone for a day. That might remove any wax & oil, & even the print. I think it's easier to just use an old head from a drum, banjo, or tambourine, and sand or scrape it thinner. - Of course, those could ALSO have wax on them. Hmm, never thought of that before.
  6. -Good info, but I'm not discussing tailpiece MASS. I'm discussing movement of the strings behind the bridge, and tension (both vertical & horizontal) on the bridge. Do you have any thoughts re my original query?
  7. That's not an absolute, David. For arguments, sake, one could say this is the simplistic approach of "more is better." The violin as currently developed might be specifically "balanced" for a specific amount of energy directed through the bridge. MORE energy might be a bad thing, no one really knows, do they? The trade-off might be sustain, or that "singing" quality we all love. - Or maybe something else. Perhaps too much energy could even "overload" the top plate, or change its spectral distribution. Who knows?
  8. I can't comment on the tailpiece. That's still a mystery to most folks, and there is a lot more going on there than just weight. After-length, damping, flexibility of the cord, whew... I can tell you that its weight DOES rather drastically affect tone, but it's probably not the first adjustment to make, and te other changes will affect what the ideal weight is. PEGS: It is well-established with guitar that more mass in the head-area increases sustain and harmonics. However, this is mostly because a guitar neck is relatively thin & flexible, so the extra head-mass (like adding a brass plate) has a stiffening effect. Since a violin's neck is already quite stiff, I would think the effect of heavier pegs would be extremely small. Chinrest: My strong opinion is that the difference between them, & even going without, is sonically insignificant, to the audience. I stand firmly behind this statement, though I am interested in what Michael says, above. I did a LOT of double-blind testing on this, via recordings of many violins & MANY chinrests, and was quite surprised at the results. However, different chinrests do seem to make quite a noticeable difference to the PLAYER. I assume this is because they affect the audible transmission into the jaw bone. This is not insignificant, of course, since what you hear affects how you play.
  9. I have an old bridge with a real ivory insert. It looks cool & sounds fine, but I couldn't tell you how it compares to Ebony, parchment, and / or superglue. Has such a test ever been done? The results would be dependent upon the particular fiddle, the strings used, and yadda yadda yadda.... but would still be useful. My gut feeling is that the brightest sounding result would be the one passing the most harmonics. Thus, the others would be slightly limiting the violin's expressive potential. It might be best to go with the brightest, and then make other adjustments (string choice, SP adjustment, bridge tuning, etc) if the violin is then too bright. I'm just guessing, of course.
  10. I can't believe no one mentioned the bit about a fiddle being simply an inexpensive violin with a red neck. -Some jokes stand the test of time. (g)
  11. Has this been discussed here, yet? Very interesting. note something written part-way down: "The molecular structure of the thermo-treated wood is comparable with a 350-year old wood." Hmmm. Stability, resonance This stuff could be a huge boon to instrument makers, though standard dimensions might have to be modified as the modulus ratio likely changes. Also, I have a feeling that Spruce is not high up on the company's priority list, though. Maple yes, but probably not figured Maple and certainly not Bosnian. Still, they evidently take special orders, if you send them 10 - 12' beams. I bet it's really hard to work with hand tools, though.
  12. Thanks, Anders. That Bois off-center end pin is pure genius! Such a simple solution... Not enough change for me, but I can surely make my own, with a wider diameter. That should get me close. Reese, I'm with Don Noon on the skepticism. Like Don, I believe such a thing WILL make a difference, but it can't have anything to do with audible harmonics. Besides Don's point, and my own actual FFT tests on after-length, there is also the issue of string type. Every string type has its own specific set of modes. If your explanation were correct, then this TP could not work for both steel strings and unwound gut. The more I think on it, the more I believe it has to do with tension on the bridge. (flexibility behind the bridge.) That jibes with the common belief that TP weight and tailcord composition also have a pronounced effect. It kind of hurts the brain to think about it. The size of the body is dictated by the frequency range of the instrument, but the length of the strings / length of the TP may have simply been an ergonomic convenience. Do we even NEED a tailpiece?
  13. Woah. Reese, somehow I overlooked your post before. That's interesting, but I don't read / speak the language. Does anyone know more about this? Just for cello? Is it a gimmick, or do they have some science behind it? - And how would you set the after-length? (I guess they already have that worked out, yes?)
  14. ACTUALLY, BEN, SEVERAL TOP MANUFACTURERS WARN TO NEVER DO THIS !!!! A string breaks-in when the winding opens up little, and really good strings are designed for this. If you purposely tune high, the windings can open up a little too much, and the string will then never sound as it was intended. Ask the techs at Thomastik or Infield, they're tho ones who told me.
  15. I have 2 bench-made Carlisles. One is a bit of a dog, but the other is a delight. Definitely more Strad than GDG, it really sings. Luscious varnish, also. (though not the famous "sunshine varnish) I will NEVER sell it.
  16. I'm thinking that since the total length of the string changes, so will the tension. - Probably very minor, but SOMETHING sure does make a difference to the tone. (& maybe to the sustain) I refuse to believe that it's comb filtering from the audible pitches of the after-length. (besides, my limited tests showed this NOT to be so) More likely something mechanical.
  17. Cheapest option I know for ultimate image quality, unlimited perspective 'looks' and the luxury of proper darkroom work, is to get an old 4x5 monorail or similar. $400 should do it. What, shoot FILM ????? Be serious! That would be like... like .... like making an instrument completely with hand tools!
  18. ^ That sounds like a great idea for a thread.
  19. That's what folks say. Also, there is supposed to be less chatter, I guess because the blade is more hoizontal. Never tried one, myself, but they're basically just large block planes, no? I keep always keep one block plane on-hand with an extra-steep angle just for little touch ups on curly maple. Works fine, though you can't pull it.
  20. - But they CAN see it. They just don't recognize it for what it is. As you say, tllt gives a different perspective, which I personally prefer for this type of shot, especially the macro-type shots of bridges, f-holes, and such. Also, you can then open the lens up a little, so you don't need as much light, which can give a different look to the finish & also minimize reflection problems. And heck, any excuse for buying a new toy....
  21. Another thought, just for kicks: How about laminating a thin sheet of balsa wood to the underside of the CF? That would add some damping, and maybe some nice resonance, while the outside would still be "bulletproof." - and with minimal added weight.
  22. At last, a fiddle designed for those late-night roadhouse gigs! You might have a serious marketing gimmick there. Stuart, this is most impressive, creating your own material & all. Alternative materials are certainly the future, and we need all the experimentation we can get. A thought: have you tried various pickups & piezo bridges on this? E-violins tend to be thin & strident, so a "tubby" acoustic might morph into a fine electric. Also, try recording it fairly close. (much closer than one would normally mic a fiddle) Many times, an instrument that sounds bad "out front" records like a dream. (and vice-versa) As you experiment with design & materials, you might stumble upon a fine specialty-instrument.
  23. I second those recommendations. John Griffen is extremely knowledgeable, and a real straight-shooter. Between him & Barry Dudley, you should get your answers. As far as guitars go, for a big booming dreadnought there is nothing better than Red Spruce. That what was on all the great pre-war Martins. It is loud & clear, with very little compression. My gut feeling is that it would not make a good classical violin, as it does not have enough damping, but maybe an adjustment of other factors would compensate, and you might end up with some extra dynamic range. for country & bluegrass, and/ or for an electric-acoustic, it could be very promising. I'm DYING to hear Barry D's latest walnut-red spruce fiddle, but he has no sound file yet. It was very scarce (in aesthetically pleasing form) for a long time, but now the "new" growth is coming into maturity, and there's a decent supply again.
  24. So no real answer to my original query. Well, not surprising as it's pretty out there. How about this: My FB angle is a little low. I have been trying to decide whether to raise it, or just lower the bridge. Normally I would not lower the bridge, but- An alterted after-length's main effect may be to change pressure on the bridge, by way of changing the vector (angle of the string-break) If that is so (a strong possibility) then maybe I should just keep the A-L short and lower the bridge? Otherwise, I have to raise the FB, replace the Tp, add perfection pegs, and then there's no beans left for dinner. Thoughts?
  25. ^ Wow! Nice. I'd love to have a Bronica. What's a lens baby T/S? A new lens from them, or an adapter? I personally wouldn't trust their optics, but an adapter alternative to Zork would be wonderful. Anyway, since you have a 645, DEFINITELY find a good 120/4 macro. It's one of the best lenses they ever made, and you can pick them up cheap, being MF and all.