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La Folia

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  1. OK, time for a public service announcement. Don't ever put anything on the roof or the trunk. If you must put it on the car, put it on the hood. If it slides off the hood, get a new car, I guess.
  2. I listened to the first few bands of the Bein & Fushi recording. I noticed immediately that the Strads and Guarneris had different vowel sounds (maybe it was on the open G string -- I don't recall). It was not a subtle difference, and it required no skill whatsoever. I thought it odd that no one else seemed to have noticed. But I don't know if it is a typical characteristic, or just characteristic of that fiddle collection or that group of recordings. As for that famous experiment, the group as a whole managed fairly well to separate new violins from old violins, and they proved to be fairly consistent in their choices. They could not tell which violins were new and which ones were old, but they could tell the difference with reasonable consistency. This result is sometimes forgotten. Unfortunately, they mostly preferred new violins. One can argue about the significance of their preference(s) (please don't), but they did notice differences fairly systematically.
  3. Well, since this comes up repeatedly, I note that harpsichords are strung with metal strings. Does that damage harpsichords?
  4. I would say Oil-Dri is the conservative approach. It's amazing for spills. The oil is wicked into the clay, and is absorbed chemically by the clay structure. Since the clay is composed of extremely tiny particles, it should draw oil out of even the tiniest pores. I have no idea how it will do with wood, but I can't imagine any downside. Sometimes data safety sheets are amusing and confusing, and very possibly written by lawyers. Remember, it's sold for cleaning up spills, so it is certainly suitable for the purpose. With large spills I can imagine it possibly creating a little heat, or maybe enough heat to be hazardous, but with the minute amount in a small piece of wood, I'm sure it's completely innocuous. I guess there's only one way to be sure. Try it and see if the fiddle falls apart. Or maybe you can do a test gluing with a scrap piece of wood.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. You know, with all these crazy experiments, I would worry a lot about breaking. Even straight maple bridges can break. I've seen it.
  9. My gosh, that's a Stradivarius Stroh. The ones I have heard are really nasty and shrill.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Anders, I'm telling you, the best violin makers make really good pegs. And they stay that way until they eventually wear.
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