martin swan

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Everything posted by martin swan

  1. Many c20 makers used this kind of quilted poplar ... but it’s a lot of money without a name.
  2. Maybe they are unpopular in Austria? In the old Ebay days I used to buy them from Germany and the former Czechoslovakia.
  3. I don’t think the coding is complicated - the issue is rotating the violin by a controlled amount. This is not a methodology that has been widely adopted, and I can’t imagine us doing so in future. With all due respect to Amati for innovation, I think it’s a bit like sound samples ie. it gives a sense that useful information is being shared without the information actually being useful.
  4. EH Roths are common in Germany and in the UK
  5. We did discuss the crack in posts 4 and 5 ...
  6. There is no de facto reason why an outside mold construction method would lead to a gap between the two bottom ribs, otherwise all Mirecourt violins would have this problem, and all modern commercial violins. Of the 150 or so instruments we commissioned and sold under our own brand, none had even the slightest gap, yet all were built on an outside mold. So if there is a problem that you see regularly, it's to do with something other than the use of an outside mold, and might just as easily beset a violin made on an inside mold but using the same finishing techniques. Reading back ove
  7. In some cases it's decorative or a kind of tradition, in some cases it's a corrective for some inadequate method, in some cases it's a repair to do with the ribs having been repositioned, but I can't think of any case where it would be trying to support the saddle. The bottom block would do all of that work, either on its own or through its reinforcing effect on the ribs.
  8. Very interesting - during which period was he making violins? This is quite accomplished work for a hobbyist - do you think it's possible he was just practising varnish/antiqueing on a trade instrument?
  9. I don't think the explanation holds water if you will forgive the pun. Theoretically a highly flamed rib should show a bit more longitudinal shrinkage than a piece of unfigured wood, but introducing moisture and then letting it evaporate back to EMC is more likely to result in a realignment of parts than in an actual change in length.
  10. I'm afraid I think that the stories you have been told about this violin are most likely just stories. I also think it's unlikely that the bridge dated 1973 belongs to the violin. I see a more recent piece of dirty antiqueing or at least a violin with relatively new varnish and faked signs of use. I can't answer your question about the purfling, though i have seen exactly this issue with a violin I knew to be a modern Hungarian/Romanian fake, but the ebony pin below the button is a non-functional piece of decoration which hopes to make the violin look a bit more Italian. The nec
  11. Since the ribs run around the violin longitudinally, I'm not so much ignoring your points as failing to understand them ...
  12. We can argue ad infinitum about whether the earth is flat or not. Either you accept that wood has certain physical properties or you don't ... you seem to be ignoring the fact that wood is made out of moisture bearing tubes arranged lengthwise. I recommend Bruce R Hoadley's excellent reference book "Understanding Wood".
  13. There is no question that occasionally the bottom centre joint becomes open to the extent that it's unsightly, but I think this is likely to be to do with tops coming off and/or bottom blocks being replaced, and the ribs not going back tight. Or to do with movement in the plates .... I'm sure that in most circumstances the purfling strip is overkill for the size of gap, but it sort of works because it can be seen elsewhere on the instrument.
  14. Longitudinal shrinkage is typically up to 0.2%, so in an unseasoned rib with a length of say 30cm you would expect shrinkage along the length of 0.06cm or 0.6mm. In poorly seasoned wood, you might see contraction of about 0.1 mm (most of the shrinkage happens early on in the seasoning process). Multiply that by 2 and longitudinal shrinkage alone might cause a gap of 0.2mm in a two piece bottom rib. This wouldn't justify a purfling strip, more like a tiny skiff of runny glue to make it almost invisible, or some varnish. It would seem that "shrinking rib syndrome" is more likely caused by o
  15. Perhaps the soul of the instrument is no more than the sum of it's owner's prejudices ...
  16. I can't disagree with any of this - my own feeling is that there are many kinds of spruce (and related coniferous wood) that could make good violins, but that each kind of "outlying" wood needs its own approach. My larger point was that wood choice today, like everything else in violin-making, has become incredibly conservative - but this maybe goes hand in hand with the fact that pretty much everyone makes Cremonese models, so they like wood which looks like Strad wood. If we look at the Neapolitan makers or the Prague School, or even the authentic Kloz family violins, all use type
  17. It's not in a very critical part of the head, but any crack/defect in the head is problematic. I think maybe 10% down from the price of the equivalent bow in excellent condition ... but I'm probably overly severe about condition issues in bows.
  18. If the bow is 40 years old and has been rehaired a number of times, how can you be sure the maker is responsible for the crack in the nose? Maybe the OP dropped it
  19. Your blistering sarcasm aside, if you study some Strnads, Testores, Gaglianos, maybe Genoese violins and consider their success as musical instruments against the choice of wood, this conclusion becomes unavoidable. You can make a great violin out of all sorts of wood - spruce can be different densities, different speed of growth, different stiffness, different regularity of grain. Maple can be flamed, not flamed, slap cut, quartersawn, half-slab, knotty, wavy - all are usable in the right hands.
  20. If you take the time to read, Jacob is saying that the essential physical properties of the wood are not as important as most people make out. Good arching and appropriate thicknessing can make a great sounding instrument out of most kinds of wood, and we find fantastic historic instruments made out of wood which all contemporary makers without exception would reject immediately. I think you make yourself look a bit stupid accusing Jacob of "blathering on" - you clearly have very little experience in this area and he has a great deal. Why not just try to understand rather than swagge
  21. He isn't in Brinser, so I would assume it's a made up name ...
  22. Looks like a very nice French varnish to me ... and beautiful wood.
  23. It didn't immediately look reduced, but given that all 8 corners are replaced I think i must have been - probably the outer purfling rings was removed and used to make a new inner ring ... Lovely job and a beautiful sounding violin - I think it went far too cheap. I was very tempted, but I fear these sorts of violins are just very difficult to sell.
  24. Put in the correct dimensions - I entered 1 kg, 30x25x5 and the price was £8.50. It's a special service designed for small packages - not fast but massively cheaper than anyone else