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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    Carlsbad, CA
  • Interests
    Violin construction
    Old-time fiddling

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  1. Getting them to split consistently like that (assuming it's NOT due to the tailpiece, fingerboard, or other non-radiator) seems like a desirable thing to do, in order to get a more even response.
  2. Yes, I forgot about the A1 possibility. I have never seen it show up on an impact response, and the frequency separation on my instruments has been at least 30 Hz between A1 and B1- so they would not bother each other too much. But I haven't seen everything.
  3. I do not feel trashed (at least, from any posts in this thread). In the last VMAAI competition, I sat and scored all 29 violins on tone as they were played by Cristian Fatu. It was a blind test, yet my top 10 picks matched 8 out of 10 of the picks by the judges. I leave it for others to work out the statistics, but I think it's pretty good objective evidence. Another curious result: I scored 2 violins higher than all the rest. They were ones I made (I didn't know they were mine when I scored them). They were not the top picks of the judges (but still in the top 10).
  4. I have not personally seen a fingerboard resonance do anything other than make a miniscule dent around the A0, but have never seen it do anything at all to the B modes. Not that I have seen everything, but IMO it ain't the fingerboard. There aren't very many resonances in these frequency ranges. The tailpiece/tailgut is one that I have seen. Chinrest maybe. I have often seen a split or irregularly shaped B1+ resonance, which I haven't chased down, but I think there is a body resonance in the area that can show up in addition to the "normal" B1+. For the B1-, I haven't seen anything like that.
  5. Mine definitely was an experiment, and there was no tonal "reason" other than to check out what would happen. It isn't in an instrument because it is a weird-looking thing... not because it didn't work. It worked fine, but since it wasn't better than a regular post, there was no reason to use it. Perhaps at a higher level, someone could detect a difference.
  6. I agree that the violin can be considered a multiple-emitter array at the higher frequencies, and although it isn't an isotropic radiator, I prefer to think of it as a chaotic radiator. For most conditions, I don't think that beaming is that big of a deal. For example, if you have ever switched speaker leads around to get them in phase, it's just the low frequencies that really stand out... the middle and upper frequencies sound about the same (to me, anyway) even though the phases are different and the beaming is all different... but it's too chaotic and with room reflections, it's not that significant. The one case I mentioned before... in the mid-frequency ranges... I think that the antinode separation and frequency can line up to beam to the player, which CAN be significant, and make annoying "hot" notes that are not heard at other listening positions.
  7. Taken to the extreme, there is the anorexic post, 3mm middle.
  8. Radiation ratio only includes longitudinal stiffness and density. There are many more wood properties that can be (and I think ARE) also important, like crossgrain stiffness and damping. Arching, graduations, varnish, and all those other details matter too. At one time (not too long ago) I thought radiation ratio was a very important factor (even though the math couldn't show a significant dB advantage), as there was not much else to objectively hang on to. Now I see that the math is right, and that all those other factors are far more important.
  9. "Cheap" does not have a universal definition. My inventory of cheap violins (for experimental purposes) consists of under $100 junk off eBay. Relative to professional violin makers, the ones I make are "cheap", and in my biased opinion are well-made and loud. Yes, a player does have variability. But if you have ever sat through one of these competitions, you'd hear differences in the instruments that are definitely not the player alone.
  10. I have never played a cheap but well made instrument. The cheap ones I have are all poorly made, and not loud. Sure the player matters a lot... but having attended many VMAAI competitions, listening to a single player play the same piece on a slew of violins, it is abundantly clear that violins can vary significantly as well.
  11. I am not so much referring to my own violins, but several cheapo VSO's that I accumulated for various tests and experiments.
  12. Some of them are hanging on the wall of my shop.
  13. An adjustable post is going to be heavier than a spruce post... so I would guess that it would act similar to a back plate that has a little more mass in the soundpost area... which seems like it might help in some cases, and not in others.
  14. I have been ignoring this thread ever since the first page, since I couldn't imagine anything in here that would be beneficial to me... but after skimming the posts (the written ones), I have a few comments. Adjustable thingies: reminds me of my neighbor who played guitar. He had cranked on his adjustable neck to where it crushed the neck wood and the fingerboard separated. Spruce vs. other materials: for violins at least, the post itself doesn't do a whole lot, but by its position it can affect the admittance from the bridge and change the mode shapes of the plates slightly. I have tried maple and bamboo as tests, and there was no observable difference. For cellos, I could imagine that the mass difference might be more important. Pivoty things: movements of the plates aren't all that huge, and the vertical force is significant. It's just my engineering judgement, but I think the friction of a ball/socket joint would render it effectively rigid. To really get more flex, you likely need a flexure... which I have tried, also with no observable difference. I'm not one of the pros with many decades of high-level experience, nor do I have some fanaticism about tradition, but the I can see no reason to abandon the old standard spruce post, and plenty of reasons NOT to.
  15. I shape the linings first, then taper the ends of the reinforcements to fit the linings.