David Beard

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    : Santa Barbara, California

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  1. I believe a fair number of violinists today acknowledge the voice as the ideal for our instrument. I would not at all be surprised if the early makers favored such a sound. And didn't the d'Este letter from the time just before the violin emerged talk about a 'choir of strings' as an ideal to aim for? I have no basis for this, but have thought before that the elongated flat area of the top might be connected with this kind of sound. And of course, Strad and DG made a lower and stiffer shape version, so higher and therefore more feminine.
  2. Bassoons can be very human like also, but more the other end of things instead of the voice. Rackets are even better.
  3. Or at least they favored continuing to do what gave a result they liked.
  4. David Beard

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    I say this because for years now i've been studying the use of geometry and proportion in classical works. And these are things that can be tested across as many examples as you want to check. What is seen consistently through the generations is that they constantly tinker in small ways by making slightly different combinations of choices of ratios, but staying within traditional ranges. And slightly different applications of the geometry, but stick with the traditional constructions. The moments when an actually different construction is introduced are rare and few. An example is the switch from the Andrea Amati soundhole construction to the later style. But all the many varieties of soundholes from then until late DG just tinker with variations in applying an identical geometry construction. Then in late DG he eventually wants the curves above the upper eyes to extend further than possible with the old construction. So he introduces one additional arc. But consistent with tradition, this is the most minimal change possible to achieve his aim.
  5. David Beard

    Cloth linings on cello ribs

    That shrink of hide glue is very powerful. I've read that in some craft traditions it's use to put bend into archery bows, and to break and texture the surface of glass.
  6. Couple points: * Not sure, but don't think anyone is resisting the idea that the neck plays some role. But lots of resistance to going the several steps further to saying the neck is the main driver from the strings, and that the bridge isn't. *The neck can only be a 'lever' for forces perpendicular to its length. But you appear to focused on forces parallel to the length. *lmpedance difference is important in how waves behave at boundaries. When impedances are near equal, the energy and motion transmit through the boundary. When impedance are highly different, a portion of the wave reflects back. A very big difference impedance (closely related to stiffness) will produce near complete reflection. Trumpet and bell shapes help bridge stiffness differences and reduce reflection. The big difference in stiffness between the string and the nut, or the string and a fingerstop leads to most of the energy reflecting back. And despite the trumpet shaped physical connection of the neck to the body, there is a reasonably large impedance difference here, so a good portion of energy reaching this point will reflect back. The somewhat less stiff stop at the bridge lets somewhat more energy pass to the afterlength and into the bridge. But still the majority of energy will reflect back at bridge (but less than at the nut). The nearest impedance matching in all of this will be between bridge feet and body. So most of the energy reaching the feet will pass to the body.
  7. Not everything posted on MN reflects a logical, or sometimes even a thought out position.
  8. David Beard

    why does workmanship matter?

    To bad this position isn't much more wide spread.
  9. David Beard

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    I suggest looking for Strad to be inventive within the existing tool kit. Being inventive by reinventing the tool kit is much more a modern mind set.
  10. Yes. Analogy to other instruments is another way to realize the obviou, primart admittance as at the bridge. How does the neck perform such a role in a piano, a koto, et al? These don't even really have necks. But in common with all string driven instruments they do have soundboards. And in all stringed instruments the soundboard is driven by the strings either directly (harp, tub bass, etc) or through a bridge which directly sits on the soundboard. Necks are only present when the soundboard is shorter than the string lengths. And other solutions to that exist, like a lire. Consider further, if neck length is acting as a lever arm for power as hypothesized, why isn't power double or quadupled for the strings in say a Theorbo that have neck length multiples longer than other strings on the same instrument.
  11. David Beard

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    Unless you go down that road of working up thw shapes directly with arcs and ratios. Then there is a bit more to remember. But still entirely managable. Each step in itself is simple and solid.
  12. David Beard

    Is there arising a crisis in the antique violins market ?

    Are the players that really matter questioning their own evaluations based on a recent round of tests that made a good news story? I very much doubt it. People who form there opinion by reading about it and conjecturing are much more likely to have been influenced by these recent tests and similarly news items. But it's the people that form their opinions from direct playing experience, and from needing very demanding things from a fiddle, it's their opinions that really matter. On the other hand, the tests have probably changed and softened an stigma about playing a modern instrument if you wish. And made it much more accepted that at least some recent instrument are worthy to consider. And that is a big deal. But I really don't think the highly competitive demand for the historic instruments is going away or even softening anytime soon.
  13. David Beard

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    There are time lag elements in violin behavior. For example, you can take your finger off a harmonic, and through a flowing bow action, you can cause the harmonic to continue speaking a little while after your finger leaves. This also functions to a lessor degree with regular stopped tones. It also takes some time for a new tone to start fully sparking. The times involved in closing the prior note and opening the next are exploited for example in covering shifts and string crossings. Part of this also is mostly we don't hear the drive from the strings directly. We mostly hear radiant components from the differents modes of motion and standing waves that are induced. Again there time lags in both starting and stopping these. Because of these aspects, there may indeed be aspects of some instruments that favor staying in continuous and harmonious patterns of excitation. Which might be experienced as the instrument 'prefering' or 'encourage' good intonation. Regardless of the possible mechanism it's certainly a phenomena I've felt with some instruments but not most.
  14. David Beard

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    Now that story makes sense.