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baroquecello

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  1. What kind of bending iron is it and where did you get it?
  2. Philipp, I'll try to make it understandable. This is however not a scientific explanation, as I lack the background for such an explanation. Assuming a uniform string material (say bare gut) and a stable pitch, (like with bowing) there are three main important parametres that can be manipulated: tension, diametre and string length. One can manipulate these three parametres to get to the desired pitch, but (like with bowing: speed, weight and contact point) altering one will inescapably require you to alter the others, and any change will affect the sound produced. Keeping the same pitch: Increasing diametre (thicker string) will lead to a higher tension (if the string length remains the same) or will require a shorter string length (if the tension is to remain the same). On the cello, unlike on a piano, for instance, the string length is the same for all four strings. This means that, given a uniform material for all strings, only the diametre and the tension are the factors that can be manipulated. However, a string needs a certain amount of tension in order to be playable with a bow and produce good sound. I've read that for steel strings, they sound best if they are strung at a tension that is almost their breaking point. This is the reason that one should not tune metal strings too sharp. The main parametre left that can be manipulated is the diametre. If I therefore want a lower pitch, at roughly the same tension, then I need a thicker string, so that it will vibrate at a lower frequency, as more material will lead to a lower frequency (I'm assuming this has to do with inertia/kinetic energy). Here is where modern string makers start tweaking with different materials. They use heavier materials for the lower strings (for instance on cellos: tungsten winding for lower strings vs aluminium winding for a strings), so that the weight increases more relatively to the diametre than it would using a uniform material. When compared to the higher strings, in other words, the lower strings can be made thinner than they would need to be if they were made from the same material as the higher strings. Bare gut g and c strings are massive. A drawback of thick strings, apart from for the left hand, is that they respond slower to the bow, so there is also that reason to make sure the lower strings are as thin as possible. What you can also observe in practically all string sets, is that the lower strings progressively produce less tension at their desired pitch compared to higher strings, which is another reason why lower strings are not as thick as they "should" be. In cello string making, thinner seems to be regarded as better, even for the a string. I've never understood this, as I'm a thicker string guy myself, playing on gut, but that is how it is. Nowadays it should not be that hard to make a thicker a string, using a light and strong synthetic core material, and an aluminium winding, for instance. But I don't think any modern string brand has this as an ideal. Instead they focus on trying to limit the string diametre of the lower strings, without losing too much tension. Maybe @Bohdan Warchal wants to try this out once? I'd love an a string as thick as a d string (or even thicker, if you ask me).
  3. @Andreas Preuss may we see a pic of your costum designed bridge?
  4. Many (most?) old violins have faked labels or labels with wrong information. Therefore practically nothing can be said about the violin based on your description. If you want to get any useful info, you should post good pictures of the violin.
  5. Hm, I'm very curious, but I have to sign in with google or Facebook, because it wants to collect info on my contacts... (it says so explicitly) Is there another way to get the download?
  6. Regarding the allemanic school: I suspect music making wasn't thought highly of in Switzerland, as the lack of excelling composers from there in the 17th and 18th century seems to indicate. The lack of acoustically succesful instruments would only be another symptom of that. And yes, I would call them farmers instruments. Rich farmers, but farmers nonetheless. You have a great number of fantastic organs in the rural north of the netherland and north west of germany, due to the wealth of farmers in the 17th and 18th century, and their desire for pomp, but not for musical taste has assured that those instruments remained unscathed by later fashions and are largely intact in original disposition. I'd say the decorated violins from the allemanic school can be viewed in the same light. But I defer to anyone with actual knowledge of Swiss musical life of those days. I have none.
  7. @jacobsaunders yes, I would agree with your summary. I must say that I am very excited about seeing these two instruments (the Fichtl and the Leydolff) right next to each other and, especially the leydolff, in close to original condition. This should be a treasure trove of information for makers and musicians alike, that are interested in historical performance practise. It would certainly be great to have drawings and measurements from these instruments for replicating. But also, in the light of the Quanz quote, I think to own the two as a combination should be highly interesting to prominent early music players. Or maybe the instruments would deserve preservation in a museams collection? Personally, I've not seen two different instruments from different makers but within such a short timeframe and from the same Kulturkreis together, corroborating so well the main written source that we have for exactly this time frame (albeit in Berlin circles). Very exciting somehow! And I very much enjoy looking at the scroll and peg box of this cello.
  8. @jacobsaunders what I find very interesting on your instrument is the relatively high neck overstand, and the fact that it has no wedge shaped fingerboard. If it is indeed the original neck, then I am very surprised at these features on such an early instrument. It does seem as if projection was increased at the button and root (is that the correct term?) of the neck, where a small wedge seems to have been added. I'm very curious as to what you'll find regarding the neck construction and its possible authenticity t the instrument, when you open the cello. I also have a quaestion regarding the varnish. It is so shiny: has it been french polished or is this a characteristic of this kind of varnishing?
  9. Ok here comes the Quanz Quote: "Wer auf dem Violoncell nicht nur accompagniret, sondern auch Solo spielet, thut sehr wohl, wenn er zwey besondere Instrumente hat; eines zum Solo, das andere zum Ripienspielen, bey große Musiken. Das letztere muß größer, und mit dickern Saiten bezogen seyn, als das erstere. Wollte man mit einem kleinen und schwach bezogenen Instrumente beydes verrichten; so würde das accompagnement in einer zahlreichen Musik gar keine Wirkung thun. Der zum Ripienspielen bestimmte Bogen, muß auch stärker, und mit schwarzen Haaren als von welchen die Seyten schärfer, als von den weißen angegriffen werden, bezogen seyn." Kap. XVII, Abschn. IV, §1.
  10. If you mean that the reflection shows that the f hole wing doesn't follow the arch; I think that likely the f hole wing was fluted and therefore catches the light at a different angle.
  11. I'm thinking you could propose some built in led lights in the sound box, so the lit f holes stand out against the black plate. But seriously, what about making a varnish like you see sometimes on old austrian fiddles, the kind that blackens deeply? You could even attempt a copy of such a violin!
  12. I believe there are no rules like "if it sounds like this, do that", violins are too individual for that. If you are interested, you should probably just contact Dirk Jacob Hamoen, via the site of de nederlandse vioolbouwschool. There is a very superficial article about why he thinks the old cremonese might have done something similar published here. Personally, I find it rather risky to state that you may have found a working method of the old cremonese. It is not something new to make changes to strung up violins in the white. It is just that the process with the magnets makes it easy and reliable. In any case, like I said before, this is not a method that makes a silk purse out of a sows ear, only to get the best out of what you have.
  13. Well, I was very sceptical beforehand. I believe the ideal violin sound of Dirk Jacob Hamoen differed somewhat from that of the violinist present, but he nonetheless changed the violins sound in the direction she preferred. The simplicity of the whole concept is laughable, considering everything that has been done and tried. Also, I have no clue what will happen to the instrument when it is varnished, or to what extent the changes are pertinent when the sound post stands elsewhere than when the changes were made, so I'll have to take other peoples word for it that the changes largely remain. But to my perception the changes to that particular instrument were very real, predictable and at times rather dramatic. As I will likely keep attending the school for quite a while, I'm sure I'll have other opportunities to get a clearer picture of it and make up my mind. If it is indeed snake oil, it will die a silent death, and I will not mourn for it. If it has a core of truth, the method will spread. Time will tell.
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