David Beard

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Everything posted by David Beard

  1. Indeed! Likely not a proveable thing. But, I'd love to hear evidence that contradicts the idea. Then I could let the suspicion go.
  2. My suspicion is that Vuillaume, under Chanot's influence, might have introduced or at least made popular the outside mold. Examples of both inside and outside Vuillaume molds exist. But both use the very similar centered on the corner blocks. Is it not possible that both sorts of molds played a role in later Mirecourt making? If you're aim is to produce squared up factory style work, can't either mold type give that sort of result? Is it neccesarily so clear which was used when very squared up work is the aim?
  3. And, is there any evidence of using outside molds before Vuillaume's friend Chanot who wrote some sort of treatise about modernizing French making?
  4. When is the first evidence of an outside mold?? Doesn't Mirecourt making have a history before the outside mold?
  5. Like everything in a violin, each detail actually touches many out comes in complicated ways. We just don't get to move one variable without many things changing. This is way I'm placing my bets and effort on returning to old ways. Their community learning was highly collective and continous over generations of development. Our modern efforts to learn and improve are by comparison very disjunct and isolated. We might explore an idea across tens of iterations. But our units of change are usual too big and radical. So they exist in separate little islands. The classica
  6. My take is that the specific frequency doesn't matter, much. And that the more specific you make the frequency the worse. The greater or lessor the air mass (proportional to air volume) the more or less energy can fall into this resonance, and later potentially radiate out from it. And this connects to the depth of tone of instrument. If you want more of the playing energy to fall into the lower tones, then more air mass to soak in more low energy. If you want a brighter instrument, then less air mass so less energy can store here. But what is truly not looked at enoug
  7. That seems an over reaction? It's already everwhere, or at least anywhere there is muck and gently moving water. Animals already have abundant opportunity to eat the stuff. And, as long as conditions aren't muck like damp, it won't be that aggressive. Here in Southern California it's a frequently used as a decorative plant, and doesn't seem to spread beyond where people put it.
  8. It's not so easy to sort out by eye. There is a color veil layer of red that has worn off most of the instrument. If you look and think, you can realize this layer is above the yellowness. But then there is red in the figures of the wood? Is this part of the red veil layer and just hasn't worn off as completely?? Or is it actually something that is also 'before' the worn color veil. Is this color in thw figure before or after the yellowness? Are there clear between any or all of these?
  9. It sounds plausible, but doesn't square with history. I think we got lucky in the sense that the original demand wasn't for something with a real particular colorization to it, but for a 'vocal like', flexible, and mostly neutral sound. The violin has proven adaptable above all. It's rolled with the changing styles in classical playing, and even been adopted into regional music styles all around the world. It even has major roles in Indian and Arab music now. The key thing about the best violins, including the original famous Old Cremona instruments, is astounding expresive ve
  10. To me, that lack is what matters. A good instrument needs to allow musical playing. That isn't possible if you're stuck in one end of the color palette. If an instrument offers range, but excels more at one end, that's fine. But if it excels at one end and lacks range, that is entirely unbalanced and bad. The setup should be reworked for better balance.
  11. You are not taking my meaning. We agree that these are both positive, and mean much the same. My point is that I won't use positive adjectives unless an instrument does a fair job of producing the opposite end of the spectrum. If an instrument had a lovely warm capacity, but couldn't also produce a reasonable brilliance when called, then I would use only negative adjectives like dull, muted, etc.
  12. I prefer to think about an instrument having or lacking a capacity for this or that. And many of these descriptors lay at opposite ends of a spectrum. So, warm to dark is a spectrum. So in regard to a spectrum like that, there are basically two interesting things about a particular instrument in its current set up. 1) How well can I access all parts of that spectrum? And, 2) where is the instrument naturally entering that spectrum? So, our descriptors tend to include both negative and positive versions of describing the ends of the main spectrums. I.e. Bright v Harsh, or
  13. The main difficulty though is that instruments really don't have a specific sound. Changes in setup change the sound significantly. And changes in playing change the sound significantly. To be meaningful, we need instead to talk about the palette of sounds an instrument offers, and how the playing experience differs.
  14. All of those words can be apt for describing some particular sound. The problem is that in skilled hands a violin doesn't and shouldn't have just one static sound. I violin that can only do bright or dark but can't do both is useless for an artist. A violin that can only make a pure clean sound or a thick husky sound but can't do both is again useless. Again, a violin that can do harmonics and flautando but not also biting scratchy playing is limiting and useless. Who wants a paint palette of one color, or a violin with a tone that is specific for you to pin down and d
  15. Interesting experiment. I would have expected the string switch to manifest more differences. If you try lifting the bridge feet, obviously the E string side is held down tighter. But, on the scale of tone vibrations, perhaps that has little relevance. The bridge afterall has a waist, and vibrations from all the strings are to some extent centralized by this. We are used to perceiving big differences in the behavior of the treble and bass bridge feet. But perhaps this has all most nothing to do with the arrangement of the strings on the top arc of the bridge, and almost every
  16. Historicaly and culturally, alum was an important and valued material during that time, associated with the use of colorants and many other aspects of the arts and industry. In later times, it's also the way a magician could a plant or flowers stiff and brittle. It's affects on stiffness and material behavior can be significant. Especially with organic materials that wick up water.
  17. We can guess that they sounded a lot like a good baroque violin. But the OP questions are a touch whacky. Obviously we aren't time travelers, so can't actually experience how they sounded back then. No, there weren't any records for us to hear. No, centuries old violins aren't unaged or unchanged. There is no violin today that we can assume sounds exactly as it did then. Take a Strad or other and put in good baroque setup. That's the best estimate we can make. But we can know that Strad violins were successful in his lifetime. It didn't take huge amounts of aging for the y
  18. You might have noted in a recent thread the some wooden Chinese traditional string have working lives exceeding 2 millennia. Something to consider. I think the survival of instruments has much more to do with how cherished and desired they continue to be, rather than with the wood getting too old.
  19. I believe this is a great part of what goes on. Amazing playing is voodoo. No player ever knows how much more they might be capable of. And how much a player gets from an instrument is also voodoo. And how much a setup luthier gets from an instrument is voodoo. If a player picks up a famous instrument, the thought they have found the limit of the instrument will be farther from their mind. And their voodoo will be all the stronger for it. Likewise, when we doubt an instrument, that doubt can be significantly self fulfilling.
  20. Why did Howard Hughes make the Spruce Goose out of spruce? It's actually a very special material. It's tough and strong for its weight, and it's highly elastic. It returns a high portion of energy spent mechanically flexing it. Whatever the technical details, multiple cultures independently have indarrived at preferring spruce as the primary sound radiating wood for many traditional instruments. Cedar and a few other woods are distantly in thw running, but far behind spruce. Such traditonal cultural preferences reflect generations, or even millenia, of collective learning. Bu
  21. It's not so much that alternative materials are necessarily unsuitable, but they are contrary to tradition. If you want to make a violin with a Scots Pine, Titebond, metal strings, and a Teak back, then make it. Perhaps you will deem it the best violin you've seen? But it won't be traditional. Maybe you don't want traditional. I do. But maybe you don't. So skip the Italian Spruce and Balkan Maple. Leave the hide glue on the shelf. The guitar world doesn't seem to miss the older traditions.
  22. YES!!!!! It doesn't need to be improved on. Not for violin work.
  23. For the two surfaces to make a perfectly straight approach to edge, so for actual sharpening, the coarser work is the most important. Your coarse sharpening should be perfect. As the grits get finer, the more it's about smooth the surface rather than perfecting the shape and approach to the edge. And the greater the chance that your work will round the edge rather than perfect a straight clean approach. I always sharpen to over 1000, and usual to 2000 or 3000. Then I strope. I agree that 1000 can be quite serviceable and durable.
  24. Does anyone know if the Giralamo II Amati cello Bonjour is uncut? 1690 739mm