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Don Noon

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Everything posted by Don Noon

  1. The stuff extracted from the chamber is a mostly clear liquid... mostly water, and probably some acid products from hemicellulose breakdown. I don't like the smell of it, and doubt it would be much good for anything.
  2. ... with the exception of torrefied wood, where the color is not just on the surface.
  3. Quiet! You're giving away the secret to Cremonese varnish! But I agree.
  4. I wouldn't give that one up... or the thickness caliper.
  5. According to a wood density chart, aspen is about as dense as spruce, at .42. I suspect it might be OK for backs in larger instruments, assuming the strength and stiffness isn't too low.
  6. Completed... my income data will surely discourage others from taking up this occupation.
  7. The wood grain directions are matched up, so there wouldn't be differential expasion to stress the joint as much as an engrain-to-sidegrain glue joint. But even end-to-side grain joint, if the glue remains stronger than the lignin, the sidegrain wood should fail first. Totally ignoring glue creep, of course.
  8. Testing out ideas is good... after a few instruments are made conservatively, to establish some kind of baseline of results. Acoustic theory can only address a few of the simpler aspects of violin. A curved shell of anisotropic wood vibrating across a wide range of frequencies is infinitely complex, and the lack of objective goals makes the whole thing less likely to be "solved" by analysis or prescriptions.
  9. Presumably it's for folks trying to make a living. My input would severely warp the results.
  10. Spruce is very stiff along the grain, and not porous across the grain. I haven't noticed warpage with joining spruce. Maple is different, mostly in how much glue it absorbs, and therefore warps (particularly true for off-quarter figured maple). I always glue size maple first, and re-flatten the joining surface.
  11. If we made wooden spacecraft, this is the guy to hire. Superbly done video. However, I never really thought about endgrain joints in absolute strength terms, only in relation to wood without a glue joint... and that is the important point for me: you can't glue endgrain and make it as strong as the wood without the glue joint (by far).
  12. "In that area" I think is the wrong idea. Resonances are a much larger pattern, so spot weighting or thinning isn't normally going to do much to a frequency (with the exception of very localized resonances, such as F-hole wing flapping). Adding mass and removing mass are very different things when it comes to local amplitudes. I have messed around enough trying to spot-fix problem resonances, and my experience also tells me this won't work.
  13. I haven't used this version of the StradPet fine tuner, but the problems mentioned look extremely annoying. I have used a Hill-style Stradpet fine tuner, which was OK... except that the adjusting screw was waaaay too long for my sensibilities, and I had to cut (grind) it down.
  14. If I had to choose a side, I'd go with Jacob. My engineering spidey senses are tingling.
  15. At least 11 of my first 14 violins I have opened up to try "improving", some of them multiple times. Sometimes I have been dissatisfied with the in-the-white performance, but most often I varnish them and let them settle in for a while. 1) Most often it is a balance issue between the highs and lows. 2) If the lows are too weak, thinning the plates helps. By "lows", I mean the fundamental of the low strings, not the overall power of the low strings, which is far more sensitive to overtones. Too bassy is harder to fix. One violin I had to patch in more wood on the back plate. Fortunately, with experience, these kinds of modifications are required less frequently now... probably in part because I'm not trying to push the limits in material properties as much. Yeah, I think that was a major problem on my first violin. Not knowing any better, I "tuned" to taptones. I still record taptones, because it's not much bother... and it gives me data to prove that taptones are mostly a distraction.
  16. In violin work, I think real intelligence is more useful than the artificial type. And experience is even more useful.
  17. The great contribution to sound due to Strad's varnish is the fact that almost all of it has been worn off.
  18. I bought a #7 jointer plane several years ago at a swap meet, with the idea of using it for joining plates. It's so warped and twisted that it could never cut a good joint, and I got other tools instead of trying to flatten the warped one. The plane needs to be precisely flat, blade straight and freshly sharpened, and take light cuts. I agree with the others that the joint needs to be precise, with no light showing through. I don't think any plane could be "too large" as long as it's flat. My 12" power jointer is pretty big. At some point, it's better to move the wood rather than the plane.
  19. Dunnwald attempted that decades ago, and as far as I know that (or a similar power band scheme) is about all that is used to try to objectively evaluate tone. I kindof agree with the general buckets and relations, but I think too much is lost in trying to boil things down too far. In the end, you run into the problem that EVERYTHING is personal preference, and can not be objectified very well.
  20. I noticed that all VSA tone awards (as far as I know) go to experienced craftsman, not analytical geeks. Until these researchers start blowing away the competition, I'll go with learning from the pros and some trial-and-error testing of ideas. I consider myself a bit of a technical geek... but whatever tonal success I have I'd say is 90% those other things.
  21. In the "slip" phase of bow dynamics, there's still some friction and therefore some non-harmonic noise going into the string (and therefore the body). If it is anything like white noise, then you would get a sound response from the body something like a response plot. I suspect the noise would be mostly higher frequency content, so the "bridge hill" would be where the noise input gets converted into sound. The original topic was an unusual instrument with an unusual response plot; I would be interested to hear if my armchair analysis (given earlier) in any way matches the instrument characteristics... or if it's possible to get a sound clip.
  22. The study needs to be expanded to look at the emotional response to the name Stradivari and what it does to one's perception of sound. Or forget the whole thing. I certainly agree that studying parts, like free plates, doesn't get anywhere near describing how the whole instrument behaves, but I'm not seeing from here what a neural net is going to do in helping understand how to construct better instruments (I'm single-minded that way... not very interested in academic exercises). We have had modal analysis and spectrum response information for years now, with no fantastic revelations leading to fantastic instruments that I can see. Maybe I'm just in a foul mood... but trigger words like "special" "Stradivari" and a fancy new high-tech method of investigation... they tend to set me off. I should get back to the shop now. Edit: I wrote the above before reading the article. I didn't get back to the shop, but read the article. I suppose if you're a big fan of matching signature mode frequencies, this might help a bit. Maybe after 30 years and a billion dollars, you could say something about the higher frequencies.
  23. I heard my explanation first from Jim Woodhouse, and it appears to be verified by my measurements. You got anything more than one word and Andreas' arm-waving?
  24. I haven't heard the results, but wonder if the equalizer can follow all of the extremely narrow peaks and dips in the higher frequencies... and if it matters that much to our sense of what we hear. Certainly this only involves the sound, and has nothing at all to do with what the player senses from the bow/body interactions. Although I'm skeptical, I wouldn't call it "rubbish" until I hear the results. But then, I'm not a troll.
  25. I have noticed that as well... some violins "clunk" and others "click". I haven't had the opportunity to study the clunkers, but I suspect it has something to do with lower frequency modes that get excited and ring longer. Just a guess.
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