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La Folia

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  1. I believe what Michael Darnton is referring to about vibrato is caused by closely spaced, narrow modes, so a slight change in pitch can cause a considerable change in sound. David Burgess also referred to this as "some frequencies in the harmonic series popping in and out..., which a wider vibrato can incorporate". I believe damping has a bearing on this. If damping is high, the resonances are broad, and the effect is suppressed.
  2. I have bought "denatured alcohol" that was about 50% methanol. And I wanted to use it for furniture stripping. Yeah, right. The name "denatured alcohol" is not well regulated, and as I recall they don't have to label it properly either. I had get the materials safety sheet to find out what I had bought. California is absolutely right to ban the stuff. Years ago it used to be just denatured. Now it's pure poison.
  3. Hi, Dave. The first links come through fine. Not bad! Those may well be a good solution for the understrings. Some people use planetary gears, but they may take a little extra skill to change wiry understrings. Personally, I'm resigned to just living with the devil wooden pegs I know. Mine are not great, but they're manageable.
  4. You know, with all these crazy experiments, I would worry a lot about breaking. Even straight maple bridges can break. I've seen it.
  5. My gosh, that's a Stradivarius Stroh. The ones I have heard are really nasty and shrill.
  6. That's a darned nice looking violin. I think I played a Nemessanyi once. That was before I knew anything about it, but it was very nice.
  7. Automatic white balance in the camera? That will do it. Somewhere I have a print of someone in a green shirt, and of course the photolab turned the face green.
  8. I think it sounds wonderful on my headphones, pretty much my ideal for a violin. However, I was replaying it, trying to find something on the G string. I could only find one note. If you're demonstrating a violin, please at least play on all the strings. The other thing is that room would make a Suzuki violin sound great. The only way I can know for sure is to get that violin in my hands.
  9. Bruce Tai, I don't understand some of your arguments. You have rightfully pointed out that auditory memory is short, and you claim that players or listeners therefore lack the ability to judge or discriminate between instruments in Fritz's work. But yet, they clearly did discriminate, and the successfully distinguished between old and new instruments. (They got "new" versus "old" backwards, but they did discriminate successfully.) Moreover, you point to anecdotal evidence of people choosing instruments after very short playing periods. For example, Perlman is supposed to have chosen his violin after three notes. I had the same experience with my violin. Although I would have a difficult time making sound adjustments on a violin because of the short-term sound memory problem, I'm quite certain that both Perlman and I were comparing violins against memories of other violins. So you have used the short-term memory problem to argue against Fritz's results. How can you then claim that they have the memory to be so sure that old Cremonese instruments are so superior? Conversely, if you argue that they have memory to judge the quality of old instruments, surely they must have the memory to judge new instruments as well.
  10. Your remark is shockingly unprofessional. Bruce Tai has shown you a small sample of his data, and only that. To think that you could judge his work from about 1 square inch of the paper is astonishing. It's a shame that we can't see the paper yet, and I frankly have no idea what it shows. But neither do you. As I recall, you have used the word "pseudoscientific" very liberally when describing anything Bruce Tai has ever written. He is a well-qualified researcher. Whether or not he is correct, he has done a lot of work on this difficult subject. As far as I know, you have published no knowledge at all on this subject. Informed scientific opinions sometimes differ, but there are rules and careful forums for those opinions. You claim that Tai's published papers are all nonsense. Since you are disputing statistics, you have ample opportunity to publish a valid response in the same journals that published his papers. It's telling that you claim to have published "numerous" scientific papers, but apparently have never published a response to one of Tai's papers. That's how it works. I'm sure you will supply the references if you actually have. Valid scientific criticism does not come from internet trolling.
  11. Anders, I'm telling you, the best violin makers make really good pegs. And they stay that way until they eventually wear.
  12. Obviously ezh is right that it's hard to tune the understrings with pegs. I would just like to point out the experience I've had with pegs. Pegs fitted by Carl Becker always worked absolutely perfectly, and mine stayed that way for years. They didn't snap and jerk when they were turned, and they didn't require skill to set them in position. They were an absolute joy to use. I think his may be the only shop I have ever seen in which all the pegs on all violins were in that condition. It's sad that his shop was an exception. In the Hardanger fiddle world I have seen a lot of pegs that were completely inadequate. I saw one nice fiddle that had just been prepared for sale by a Hardanger fiddle maker. The E peg fitted so poorly that someone broke the peg box trying to get the peg to hold. I saw another fiddle from a very good, well-known maker, with pegs in only slightly better condition. I can't comment on the practices of HF dealers, because they are few and far between, and I have not seen many fiddles that had recently been in a shop. What I can say is that I don't remember ever seeing a Hardanger fiddle with good pegs. Maybe that's not the fault of the shops, but rather because it's hard to find someone to maintain HFs. Nevertheless, wouldn't it be wonderful if all pegs worked like Carl Becker's pegs?
  13. Yes, it is impossible, but somehow we do it. It sometimes helps to pull the peg out a little, and we keep trying until we get it by accident. If that fails, we tug on the string a little. Actually, 1/100 turn is 3.6 degrees, which is not so impossible. It would be easier if the pegs were fitted by makers with peg shapers and reamers instead of by beavers, but I've never seen that happen on Hardanger fiddles.
  14. Without an attached picture, how do you connect a certificate to a particular instrument? There's just not very much identifying information on a certificate. Let's see, I have a Strad with a certificate, and a Strad copy. I can try to use the certificate on the copy, especially if the copy is a pretty good one.
  15. Those would be the new ones. Many of the old ones are just pieces of paper. Length 45 barleycorns, spruce top with medium grain, bookmarked maple with medium flame, shaded orange varnish, etc. -- a description which must fit half of all violins. N'est ce pas?
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