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About go_oa

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  1. go_oa

    who needs graphite when wood is as strong as steel

    New Materials: My favorite new wood product is made be the company Ecovative. It is not ready for prime time yet. Starting with straw. Let mushrooms grow in the straw for a while. Then take the partially 'eaten' straw, squash it to the shape and density you want and bake it to make a final material. The current process creates insulation and packing materials that are compostable. With careful interventions at the every stage of production I can see useful molded violin parts as a possibility.
  2. go_oa

    who needs graphite when wood is as strong as steel

    Carbon fiber Cellos have been successful. Carbon fiber Violins, not so much. The fact that wood is a foam, means that it can be thicker/stiffer for the same weight. That seems to be important, at least for the violin pitch range. Squeezing the air out may work for cellos and basses, not for violins.
  3. The body length of violins is 14 inches, 35.5 mm. If the body is 15" it is a viola, no question. One suspects that 14" came from the strength of Italian sheep gut. No one could make an e string strong enough to work with a 15" body. Now we have much stronger materials for strings. Has anyone tried a 15" violin with modern string materials. Did it work?...
  4. As theoretical person who plays and thinks about violins, the question of what wood is led to this peculiar formulation. It appears to me that damping is a very important part of the wood properties. And included porosity in wood is only discussed implicitly as density. Thinking of wood as a foam has helped me when thinking about violin graduations. So: Wood is a lignin foam with cellulose fiber reinfocement, and hemicellulose filler. And the fact that it is a foam containing a lot of air is important to understanding how it works in violins. The nothing is as important as the something!
  5. go_oa

    Best contemporary luthiers

    Each violin is an individual.. If a violin has a sibling, It may be different! Given two violins I can choose the one I like better, or declaire them the same. To choose a violin - pick two violins - play duets to select one. Discard one, try another. Play duets -- soon you come to an end - either buy the winner or take it to compare at another shop. Do not look at the label. Stop when the price gets too high. Talk to the luthier as you do this. It might help! After a year or two, you might do it again!
  6. go_oa

    Thru-the-top soundpost

    My super cheep viola ($70 in 1963, but hey that included a case! - was coming unglued, so, as long as it was open, why not carve a little. After reassembling, about 100% better. Then later I heard about 'Hole in the Heart'. Drilled a hole and cut a chopstick as an extension - About 100% improvement. So you have a VSO. Are you willing to value it at $0.00 and trust yourself to do something. Whatever happens - you will learn things about yourself and violins!
  7. What you need FIRST is a quick, easy, cheap method for identifying EVERY VIOLIN Plate. Think fingerprint. Think 100 million violins.For each identity, there would be an attached file to contain history, transactions, pictures, etc. The identifying datum needs to be more than 30 bits in length. Something not easily changed. Probably a function of the grain somewhere well defined and easily accessed. The database needs to be internationaly accessible, and secure. The information needs to be in a standard format yet with freedom to cover unusual cases and easily updateable. And extendable to violas, cellos, basses, guitars, etc. An interesting technical problem. There may be some Austrian Banks interested in looking at the problem.
  8. go_oa

    Researching information on super light violins

    The energy E that a moving body has is equal to one half the product of its mass m and the square of its velocity V: E = 1/2 m V^2 etc.. 1) The problem is that the VAST majority of energy put into a musical instrument is immediatley converted to heat, NOT SOUND. A musical instrument converting 1% of its input energy to sound energy would be LOUD. Improving the conversion of Bow Energy to Sound Energy would Greatly improve the power of an instument! 2) The aerospace industry has worked the strength/weight problem HARD for many years. The solutions so far replace material with air. A light strong panel has Thin Strong Skin and a center that is mostly air but connects the upper skin to the lower skin. Translation in Autos - Balsa wood core (Grain-Vertical) with a fiberglass skin (Horizontal). 3 mm too thin for core ... Foamed Fiberglass -- Not the current thin carbon fiber -- Foamed plastic connective-- Strong fiber skin -- How do you keep a thin layer of fibers separated from another thin layer of fibers with a plastic foam between, and the whole business 3 mm thick. My simple ignorant mind has not solved a way to manage this. Foamed fiberglass is far left field! Note that natural wood structure is long oriented cellulose fibers stuck togeather with lignen and contaminated with badly structured cellulose called starch, pecten or hemi-cellulose. (Sugar polymer) ...
  9. go_oa

    How to judge violin sound ?

    Martin Swan said: When it comes to comparison tests, we should accept that if you give any listener a choice between violin A and violin B, they will generally express a preference. This may be a genuine preference or just a random choice because they are being asked to make one, or most likely of all it's a preference which doesn't take into account the quality of the performance. I helping customers choose I have found that after the initial trying of 10 instruments, when there are only 2 or 3 candidates, playing duets with the small set of instruments often leads to a quick decision. This has MANY practical advantages. Of course there are many questions left open - If we change rooms, bows, duets, listeners, strings, etc. would we get different results. As a practical matter the customers tend to be very happy, the shop owner is happy! This can be reduced to a rigorous method, but it takes a lot of time and energy to do say 10 instruments. 240 pairs for each initial condition! ie - for each player in room A: 240 trials. But at the end, you can see differences in players, rooms, set-ups etc.
  10. go_oa

    5 String small Widhalm viola

    I suspect that the driving factor is the strength of E string material. You need good steel to get an e string for a viola!
  11. go_oa

    Handles on Styrofoam cases

    A new case arrived at the shop today. The handle fell off. Repair? A nice repair was to remove the latch hardware, slip a thinish bit of polyethylene plastic between the canvas cover and the styrofoam, then run the screws through the inserted plastic to hold the handle (and latch) in place. The plastic (or thin metal) supplies something for the screws to grab. The screws go into the foam to establish a location. The canvas cover is held tightly to the handle. Seems stronger than the original manufactured bit, and saves a case for more use. And it is quick and requires little skill. So simple that my luthier permits me to do it!!
  12. You do not 'Sell' 1/8 size violins. You rent them with the promise to up-size to 1/4 if they continue to feed the child! At 1/8 the price is $15 / month. It is only required that the pegs will hold and there is some sound!
  13. go_oa

    Gasparo 'da Salò' violas

    For viola sound, Size Matters! Consider the Hutchins Alto violin: Using the same simple scaling to smaller sizes - 4/4 Alto Violin <> 21" Viola 53 cm 3/4 Alto Violin <> 19.5" Viola 49 cm 1/2 Alto Violin <> 18" Viola 46 cm 1/4 Alto Violin <> 16.5" Viola 42 cm 1/8 Alto Violin <> 15" Viola 38 cm Does it make sense to compare a 1/2 size instrument to a 1/4 size instrument ?? But ofcourse very few 1/4 violins have been carefully graduated and set up well! A am attaching a short sample of my 18" viola - #211 from Fritz Reuter and Sons - Marneukirchen / Sachsen ca. 1925. This has been my preferred instrument for about 20 years. It is the one in my picture. Body length 17 3/4" (45 cm) scale length 43 cm. HonkerFiddleSample-02.mp3
  14. go_oa

    Washing linseed oil

    If you really want fresh squeezed oil : http://www.oilpress.co/ https://www.ifsbulk.com/search?Q=flax+seed&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxKbagrWH1gIVF7XACh0I2QTOEAAYASAAEgJ33fD_BwE $10,000 foe the press. less than a dollar/Pound for seeds. Squeeze your own and control the refining!!