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Posts posted by scordatura

  1. On 1/3/2021 at 9:30 PM, Marty Kasprzyk said:

    I made a 17.5 inch 5 string viola last summer and I just finished one that is nearly identical but with only 4 strings.  I thought they sounded quite similar.  A student has them now and he will be making a video of him playing each of them.

    You can go the other way and take a string off of a violin or viola to see if the sound changes much on the remaining 3 strings.  You can extend this idea and take two strings off to see how the remaining two strings sound and so on. But I found that if I took off all four strings the results were disappointing.

    I would bet that playing the 5 string feels different than the 4 string in terms of the response or playability.

  2. After spending some time with Fusion 360, I have to say that I am underwhelmed with the loft capabilities of the program. For those not familiar with Fusion 360 that is what you use to create the arching surface. It seems that creating a surface for violin arching gives Fusion 360 fits. I can deal with interface and program quirks but the loft problem is a deal killer. I realize that some have had success but I am finding that I am having to compromise the modeling/design too much or having no success at all despite different approaches. OK the program is free but I am thinking of cutting my losses and using Rhino. After all my time is worth something...I think.

  3. I play a 5 string violin almost daily. It can be a bit awkward to switch between 4 and 5 string instruments. Even when well setup, the neck is wide. And as Don mentioned the string angle takes some finesse. Although it could said that playing bowed string instruments is all about fine motor skills. 

    Tonally 5 string instruments are difficult to make sound especially on the C string. Higher ribs and a larger plate area can help. I have made some improvement with using light gauge strings to reduce the load on the bridge/top. Even with that, it is more like playing a viola than a violin. It has what I call a higher impedance. Meaning you need more bow pressure/energy to get the desired sound. For the amplified crowd, the above issues are not an issue.

  4. 24 minutes ago, Three13 said:

    Who do you think I am?

    Who is the gaucho, amigo?
    Why is he standing in your spangled leather poncho
    And your elevator shoes?

    A friend of mine from music school plays with the Dan. Lucky bastard!

  5. 23 hours ago, Don Noon said:

    The second viola of the new design is getting closer to the "finish" line.  Varnish is on, soon to be assaulted to be made to look a bit more used.  While varnish was drying, thoughts were given to the next instruments.  As I have 2 commissions for my "large" 358 mm model and only had one form, I fired up the CNC and made another collapsible high-tech aerospace overkill form, with a few minor tweaks from the last one.

    I should have a more interesting post in the next few weeks when I finish the latest vioa.


    Don would you mind elaborating on the model concept you are using? Is it an expanded "Noon" violin? Rib heights? Arching? 

    Like you I think that light wood is a good idea. Requiring less effort from the player to get the instrument to sound. Granted this is coming from a violinist who plays viola...

  6. 9 hours ago, Michael_Molnar said:

    Yes. Gregg Alf (masterful production IMO) suggests that the Messiah was a shop reject because it did not meet Stradivari standards of quality with that crack.
    I speculate that the strong orange color also did not meet Stradivari’s varnish standards of that time.  During that period there was a strong visible red glaze that Messiah does not have. My theory does stand on sand because I have not examined the Messiah and its contemporary siblings in person. Nevertheless, thumb through lots of quality photos and you will see my point.

    The varnish of the Messiah is somewhat underwhelming compared to other instruments. Having seen it in person (albeit through glass in less than optimal lighting in the Ashmolean), the surface is only slightly worn (varnish is relatively thick) and not polished enough to create a coating that has the transparency of other instruments. I do believe that some Strads are orangish in color. Although as you mention that color is tempered by wear, polishing and contamination from rosin, dirt, retouch, and a possible red tint.

  7. 3 hours ago, HoGo said:

    This is interesting. The packing tape is thinner and more clear. I am wondering which product has less adhesion. I have noticed that due to the properties of packing tape, it splits when removing it. Using mineral sprits for removal might be a problem for some varnishes. The other thing that occurred to me is that some use packing tape (or some type of tape) to pull off varnish when antiquing. Granted that is done before the varnish has fully cured. 

  8. 42 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

    Certainly there are a lot of high-end instruments with plastic protection on this area, and it would seem well-tested and safe... for whatever is being used by the high-end shops.  I'd like to hear from those who know.what is being used.

    The violin for this topic didn't come in for any of this... he wanted a higher bridge.  It's antiqued, so there's no real need to restore anything.  I'd just like to protect it from further damage.  The degradation shown is from ~7 months of use, so I can't imagine what would happen over several years. Much less 300 years.


    It was confirmed by the people at Bein and Fushi. Also Erwin Hertel (worked at Wurlitzer with Sacconi) used the product. If the varnish is well cured it will come off with a little warming and some patience. The problem is protecting the edge of the top and back. The contact vinyl really only goes on the rib. I have it on my expensive bows.

  9. I am interested in the arching and F hole patterns for the Soil Strad. I have Addie's  G forma outline file. Also other G forma Strads would be interesting to compare. Of all of the Strad magazine posters, there are no G forma ones available. Why the Soil? It is allegedly one of the premier concert instruments (Perlman's instrument of choice) therefore a good place to start. 

    I should add that the 1715 "Cremonese" (G forma) is available but I have wasted money on the Herdim templates in the past. The arches and neck patterns were not even in the same galaxy of other sources. Additionally, if one wants to do arching correction, there are some choices to be made. The above pattern set includes a mold. While very interesting (visual) in design, I prefer a collapsable mold. I went to their website and their business (based in Cremona) is probably closed due to the pandemic.

  10. 19 hours ago, MikeC said:

    I would really like to have 3D printed plates.   What are some good resources to get started learning how to do that?  

    There are a few hurdles to doing the above. You have to convert CT scans to mesh files (.stl) for printing. Another obstacle is that many printers are size limited. The workaround is to do sections and then glue them together. Scrolls are more manageable to print due to the size. A better route is to CNC the plates.

  11. I encourage your efforts but wonder why you are doing this when there is already software available that can do the slices. I use Horos which is free.

    Edit - After rereading this I understand what you are after. Being able to separate the various parts from the entire image. Looking forward to your software.

  12. 12 hours ago, Don Noon said:

    I don't think beginning players would have this reaction, as they have not developed the solid frame of reference for playing one way the another, and therefore wouldn't have the dislocation of adapting to something at odds with "normal".

    Good point but beginners definitely have another form of disorientation e.g. where do I put my fingers/hands! When I have taught strings classes for music education students that have string players, I ask them to play lefty on their main instrument to give them empathy for beginners. Try it. It Is very humbling!!! 

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