Don Noon

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About Don Noon

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    It ain't rocket science... it's more complicated
  • Birthday 03/20/1952

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  • Location
    Carlsbad, CA
  • Interests
    Violin construction
    Old-time fiddling

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  1. Don Noon

    Top plate dilemma

    That would be the safest route. I have experimented with some high-density wood, and haven't had M5 come out exceptionally low. I see the M2 is quite high, so there's some stiffness to the plate. My opinion is that the weight matters more than the M5, so I'd go lighter. But that's me.
  2. Don Noon

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    In theory, yes. But getting power in the lower frequencies doesn't help much, and the things you need to do to a violin to get low-frequency power are detrimental to other frequency ranges and (probably most importantly) limit the options for the player regarding bow force and speed. I believe this is why most high-powered soloist instruments tend to be on the higher side of stiffness.
  3. Don Noon

    Cooking Varnish in a Melting Pot?

    There are two things that might not be too good about that: 1) When you're done cooking, you have to pour the varnish into something else to filter it or otherwise store it. The melting pots I see are unitized, so you have to lift the whole thing, and they are not made for pouring stuff out. Could get very messy, and being messy with hot oil is not a good thing. 2) Cleaning it. There might also be a concern about what you do if the unexpected happens... something foams and boils over, or catches on fire. It's much easier to deal with a small pot with a handle on it. I have used the hotplate/pot as well as a small deep fryer, and I like the former better.
  4. Don Noon

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    To me, "loudness under the ear" and hearing the violin over an orchestra are not necessarily the same thing, and involves what frequencies are strong (or not), and where on the body of the instrument those frequencies are generated. In my experience, instruments that have high amplitude around 1 kHz sound loud under the ear, and those are the frequencies predominantly generated in the lower bout of the top and back, closest to the player's ear. It also happens to be the range where in my observations (as well as Buen and Dunnwald) the "Old Italian Sound" tends to be relatively weak. In frequencies above that, the upper bout is the predominant generator, farther away from the player's ear, and thus relatively less loud to the player for the same amplitude in the far field. Being able to "hear" over an orchestra I don't think is so much a function of raw amplitude, but rather a measure of how full the frequency response is. Each note is a huge number of overtones, and if some of those overtones are weak or missing, there is less ability to distinguish the violinist's notes vs. the noise of the orchestra. Having some overtones extra-loud might not compensate for it. Taking this all together, the Dunnwald "factory violins", strong around 1 kHz and weak above that, would sound loud under the ear, and the old Italians, weaker around 1 kHz but very full response above that, wouldn't sound so loud under the ear, yet be clearly audible. In general. On average. With plenty of opportunity for anecdotes to the contrary.
  5. Don Noon

    Making boiled linseed oil for use in varnish making

    Unless you're cooking in your resins at 100C or less, I'm just not seeing the point of this low-temperature cook. I cook my varnish at 200 C or more. Using the rule-of-thumb about reaction rates vs. temperature, 5 hours at 95C would be about equivalent to 15 seconds at 200C... so whatever happens during the long cool cook is going to happen anyway during my varnish making cook, unless there's something special about warming up oil by itself that doesn't happen when there's resins mixed in. I use refined oil, so removing the break and other junk isn't a concern. The low-temperature cook isn't going to do anything about the break if you use raw oil.
  6. Don Noon

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Tried that. Apparently not the answer. Your results may differ. Good luck with that.
  7. Don Noon

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    For the first time in my 10 years on MN, I have used the "ignore" setting. It greatly saves on the effort to scroll past acres of irrelevant words, and removes the temptation to reply to such blather.
  8. Don Noon

    Will L

    His most recent post was only last month, and seemed OK:
  9. Don Noon

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    The violin response varies all over with frequency, so some ranges can be strong and others not so much, and I think it would be difficult to settle on nomenclature for different varieties of loudness. The varieties are infinite. However, I do think that there are some tradeoffs that exist on whether you want to make the lower and middle frequency louder, vs the higher frequency range. Wood choice, model, and arching come to mind. Making all ranges louder, without tradeoffs, would the ideal, but even in that ideal case (assuming it can be done), I think there are tradeoffs that have to be balanced to maintain the desired tone and feel.
  10. Don Noon

    Don Noon's bench

    It's not; only the lighting and shadows make it look that way. My current habit:
  11. If the "industry" had a lot of empowered police to investigate and enforce their system... maybe. Wherever there is money to be made more easily, there will be those who go there, regardless of ethics. As was and ever shall be. And the energy and creativity of the quick-buck crowd make it extremely difficult to stop. Money makes the unethical practices go. Where does the money come from to make it stop?
  12. Don Noon

    Method for determining arching height?

    Things can get unclear when you consider that the top is often slightly bent to glue down to a short top block, and then there's distortion as the whole body is bent over time from string tension. Then there isn't a well-defined surface to measure to. Strad posters occasionally will list arching height as measured across the arch (referred to the C-bout rib surface) and along the arch (referred to the endblock surface), and can differ by 1 mm or more. I generally prefer the cross arch dimension, as it seems less likely to undergo as large a distortion as the long arch. In new making, assuming you start with a flat surface, it's easy to define arching height after the external arch is carved. After the inside is hollowed out, and glued to the body, and varnished... it can move around to something different.
  13. Don Noon

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

  14. Don Noon

    Chinrest style
  15. Don Noon

    Chinrest style

    I don't know anyone that leans their cheek against the instrument (I don't), but for them a Guarneri style with the big offset cup might be good. I've had some issues with the cantilevered mass causing unwanted vibrations, so I don't like it. The Tempel model looks much more reasonable to me, with a nice round bump at the bottom to clamp with your chin. The only problem is possible interference with the tailpiece, depending on tailpiece style, saddle height, and arching height. I have gotten a few "Ergona" chinrests in from WBO (India) that I like, although I have had to do some significant modifications to clear the tailpiece: