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David Beard

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  1. I don't know about the OP. If you just lightly scratch your finger nails over pieces of wood, some will report this with very clear crisp sounds reflecting the scratching. Other pieces of wood will give a more dampened report. This is a different thing than a billet having particular dimension and properties to produce a pitched natural resonance when you tap. Such resonances depend on many factors, including size and shape.
  2. Any reasonable slab back is going to be strong enough to outlive multiple generations of owners. The death of instruments is generally from not being valued. If the instrument is beautiful and loved, it will survive.
  3. I have no problem with slab cut. I do tend to avoid wood that eats sound. I like very talkative wood.
  4. I'm sure many people have opinions on this point. I like the character of the wood to be basically compatible with the spruce of the top. I also very much don't want the post to be significantly harder/stiffer/denser than the top.
  5. Less than 20 Strad violin moulds survive, but hundreds of violins do. There is no indication that he ever made two violins with exactly the same design choices in each. The point being that he got many results off of each mould, and classical makers constantly tinkered with the details of design recipes. No need to be slavish about things where they weren't!
  6. Not at all a simple question, for many reasons.
  7. That's an excellent point. An inferior quality gut string is just another bad string. And, as others have suggested, different materials have qualities that are rather intrinsic. If you're first of all looking at strings that aim to deliver 'best possible quality and reaults', then you're still going to be left with intrinsic differences between metal, synthetic, and gut. But even after that, there will be further differences between brands and styles.
  8. Think about it. Gut strings are made of living tissue. It is nano engineered down to the molecular level. The elasticity of this material evolved and perfected over literal eons of time, billions of years. It might be a long wait for a synthetic that is as truly and perfectly elastic and harmonious. Once a material is developed with the same virtues, there's a fair chance those virtues will also come along with the same weaknesses. If you like a guy sound, there are some costs. Of course, people can always claim their new material matches gut's sound. That doesn't mean hungry ears will necessarily agree.
  9. Try thinking about a simple rope or chain pegged at the center point. There you get your arc. Not difficult where there is a will. Bent splines were part of the tool kit for old arts, but so were arcs and lines and geometry. Euclid, Vitruvius, Cennini, Theophilus. We don't have to just armchair fantasize. You can crack a book and read up some.
  10. But even that last example is an 'geometry of arcs' shape, even though it draws inspiration from your curves sticks. Notice for example the soundholes, but also the whole shape.
  11. I agree that this is the conceptual origin of the shape. I don't agree that this is how the usage of such shapes evolved in Brescia/Cremona/Venice instrument making. These classical makers used an evolved and arcs and lines version. Their actual making practice used and evolved in the arcs and ratio workshop imatation of the shape you show. While you are showing an ancient origin of the shape idea, the arcs and ratio versions they actually used are subtly different. One can not get the details of their work directly from what you're showing.
  12. Following/tracing: Your system can be made to replicate the target, but only by using the target itself as the parameter. Generating: A comparatively simple collection of parameters, separable from the target, enable your system to produce the target. The methods I'm proposing were used generate the full range of Cremona shapes by making finite selections of parameters among traditionally fixed limit options. That is a profound and necessary difference for a system they might actually have used to do their work. Yes. After the shape exists, you can place circles around the work as some have shown. The fact comes as a free consequence. But, how do you select the circles and their placements ahead of time to create or generate appropriate shapes?? You don't. That system traces, rather than generates, and traces very loosely, not really giving you the final shape at all. Same issues with Marty's proposal. It traces rather than generates. And, it only gives a few parts of the shape. Where does the cBout shape come from. What about the vollute? What about the bridge line? Etc? The system I'm proposing is cute. And it isn't simpler than the actual task. But it makes sense, and it generates all the need shapes and positionings by simple means of divider and rule geometry and ratios. The parameters are all clearly observable ranges of finite limited options traditional and appropriate to each feature. 1) to set BD length: *pick a number of oncia *adjust by '1 part' of an oncia if desired ( 1/8, 1/3, 1 point, etc) * apply either to outer edge or to insets (insets are generally a point plus a part of a point if desired, working sets for mould design are often just a point (1 point = 1/12 oncia) *done 2) to set LB width: * set as ratio from BD or insets of BD as desired * Choose a ratio that results in BD to LB being '1 part stouter than 1::2' This recipe gives the ratios 2:3,3:5,4:7,5:9,6:11 as well as 5:8, 7:12, 9:16. Choose appropriate for traditions for the instrument type. Violin mostly uses just 5:9, 4:7, 6:11. Viola range adds 7:12 as a common choice. * use the width for LB outer edge or insets as desired *done Etc. Difficult to uncover and verbalize. Simple to use once known. Fits historical evidence. Stays within historically sensible workshop means. Generates the results from finite parameters.
  13. Have you ever tried working geometry constructions with straight edge and dividers/compass? If you physical work a shape, your lines aren't infinitely thin. Your alignment of points and lines and such won't be infinitely perfect. When a conceptual arc has an ideally located center, your compass point won't be exactly there. When you marked a point with a dot, or a hole in wood, whatever, that dot has breadth. It doesn't enable you to return to your original point with infinite precision. Obviously, unless you're trying to be obstinate, 'clean geometry' means physical geometry work with minimal imprecision.
  14. If you go fuzzy enough, everything seems to work. But that isn't the path to find what's actually going on in the old work. What you want is the situation where uping the resolution of a study reveals a more and more perfect fit. That doesn't happen with four circles. If you take a low resolution distant view all looks happy. But... If you clarify and increase the resolution of your four circles study, that fit to the examples evaporates.
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