martin swan

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Everything posted by martin swan

  1. Is it Hungarian (word ending in gy)? It appears to be the same 2 words repeated - can't get any further than that!
  2. Anders, I hadn't realised that Orestad wrote about Savart! It's all making sense. The maker I am studying formed his own system but drew on 3 principal sources (or so I thought) - Orestad, Savart, and a very good violin which he owned himself. Now it sounds like he only knew of Savart throught the Orestad book. There's a lot I'd like to discuss with you but Maestronet isn't the place - permit me to email you? Martin
  3. Jacob, linings are let into the (rather long) blocks (nice linings by the way, neatly finished pine) and the scroll carving goes all the way ... quite a substantial blind platform at the top of the pegbox, maybe 14 mm
  4. Richard, The ribs aren't notched into the back, and there's no sign of a previous integral neck. There is a bit of new wood in the ribs either side of the heel, but I can't imagine why ..... probably just a rubbish repairer. The diabolical thing is that this restorer has removed about half of the wood from the bottom of the heel, presumably just to save the effort of doing a button graft on a broken button. To be honest I was just waiting for Jacob to tell me what this was! The only thing I could think of was Mittenwald but I really don't see that many of these "verleger" violins, and I was thrown by the scroll which seemed a bit effeminate and "artistic". According to Roland Terrier the JB Bastien label was probably Magnie circa 1900 to 1915 - quite possibly they supplied violins to Lyon and Healy amongst others. Most of the department stores and large scale suppliers had French and German models - I've had very beautiful Mirecourt violins from Rushworth & Dreaper and Thomas Craig of Aberdeen, I'm pretty sure I've seen a good Mittenwald violin with a Lyon & Healy label. I think this label is a 20th century Magnie label which one of many restorers stuck in and put a spurious date on.
  5. seems to be working! many thanks in advance for any insights .... Martin Swan Violins
  6. I wonder if anyone can help with this violin? I am pretty lost, and find myself wondering if it might be a cut & shut. The scroll is very pretty, seems rather better than the violin. None of it looks very French, and as far as I know the JB Bastien label was a trade label used in Mirecourt post 1900, so I'd assume it was put there by a repairer. There are some very nice features, not least the sound (!) - the graft is pretty diabolical at the heel but not bad at the scroll, the new neck stock is nice, hence my feeling that it might be a grafted scroll from a different violin (although the varnish matches well). Looks like the bottom rib was one-piece and has cracked around a split end-block. Various other repairs. Very flat arching, no purfling channel to speak of, ribs mitred on the c-bout side. Not great at uploading photos, they may be far too big, but here goes .... a few more photos to follow .....
  7. Couldn't agree more - it's certainly been the methodology used for a couple of sensational modern violins I have played. Though the method used to determine what adjustments should be made was to play them - a radical idea I know, and one which relies rather heavily on having great ears. Maybe that was the secret of Stradivari .. great ears!
  8. I suppose that approach might work if you're planning to play in C your entire life!
  9. Michael, I think it depends on your reasons for undoing and re-gluing. If you plan to play the instrument repeatedly and make adjustments to the thicknessing (God I hope that's what you're doing, it would be nice to know someone does this), then you need a full bond. Spot-glueing would be appropriate if you're making non-acoustical alterations, though I can't imagine why you'd want to assemble and dis-assemble repeatedly except to fine-tune the sound. Do tell ....
  10. Anders & Magnus, Thanks very much for your replies. I wonder if the Orestad book was a little like Heron-Allen in Britain in that it spawned a huge amount of amateur violin-making, very little of which turned into successful violins! Heron-Allen is largely about practical aspects of making, but it's full of slightly fruitcake ideas which many British amateur makers and enthusiasts still believe as gospel. I'm interested in this because I'm trying to get a bit more background on a particular Norwegian maker who seems to have used Orestad as one of his starting points, but he also read Savard's work for Vuillaume. Anders, when you talk about the harmonic series that your grandfather used, do you mean THE harmonic series? I don't really understand much about this - if you could explain it in an "idiot-proof" manner I'd be very grateful.
  11. I can see how you could maybe use a couple of Medio Finos as snowshoes in an emergency ....
  12. Jacob, as I understand it Gautrod were associated with Cousenon, and like Cousenon just as busy making brass instruments as violins. I can't remember who it was, but I had one French violin which came from a factory that produced "armes, bicyles et instruments de musique"! So Francois Barzoni not strictly Mirecourt atall.
  13. Anders, I was very interested to read about your background. Apart from being fascinated by Hardangers (I have an instrument by Sveinung Gyovland) I'm also gradually becoming aware of Norwegian violin makers and the tap tone methods developed in your part of the world. Was your grandfather influenced by the work of Ivar Orestad or Gunnar Sanborn? I've heard of these books in another context, but as far as I know they haven't been translated, and I just have the most basic sense of them. I'd love to know more about these writers - I have a feeling their work would be worth revisiting .... Martin Swan Violins
  14. ebay Barzoni Hi Lyndon This would appear to be one of the German models! The scroll inking would make one think at first glance that it was but there's no FB brand, and everything else about the violin looks pretty German. The label isn't right either. This seller violiniada seems to specialize in this type of thing - I guess at least you get a set of Evah Parazzis! I've handled a couple of Barzonis and seen several at auction, superior Mirecourt work for sure, but I haven't actually come across one that sounded particularly good! Jacob, according to Roland Terrier they were made by Gautrod at Chateuathierry ..... Martin Swan Violins
  15. Since the latest "cremonese secrets" thread turned into one about very high frequency content, here are a few further thoughts. I can't personally hear a pure tone (like a sine wave) above about 12 kHz, and I suppose with age this will get worse, but I know from experience as an audio engineer that this frequency range (all the way up to about 18kHz) is crucial to sound perception, particularly with complex sources. To prove the point, all you need to do is take a recording that has a lot of stereo information and preferably some percussive content and use a digital low pass filter to take out everything above 15kHz. There's been a bit of discussion about whether digital filters are specific enough - I'm only really familiar with filters used in professional audio recording software like ProTools and Cubase, but they show exactly how much the filter is dragging lower frequencies along with it. It's true that emulators of analogue filters aren't neutral enough for this experiment, and some actually boost frequencies just below the low pass frequency - a complete roll-off is what's needed here! My conclusion is that I can't hear such a high tone in itself, but when I remove that information wholesale from the audio picture, I lose a lot. I think an analysis of why one violin works better than another (primarily to a player but also to an audience) has to involve these frequencies, even if they aren't "audible" in medical terms!
  16. sorry I'll continue - hit the wrong key. Can't hear a tonal change but I can hear a big difference in the music overall, particularly differentiation between instruments, the nature of the ambience etc and the force/apparent volume of transients. I don't completely understand a lot of the language being used here (lack of scientific background) but I do know that very high frequency information is extremely useful in locating sounds, and that issues of phasing are more noticeable in these areas. I think that the directional component is less important to an audience than a player. Over distance the higher frequency information tails off, but its directionality remains. So being able to home in on a violin playing a concerto with an orchestra is probably not just about the upper mid "projection" band, but also about having a distinctive sound with lots of >15kHz attached to it. is this relevant? basically I'm saying that frequencies above easy hearing range are still detected and used by the brain, just differently from lower frequencies. Minor timing issues detectable by good ears (10-20 milliseconds) are very hard to detect without that very high frequency content.
  17. I do a lot of mastering of CDs, in other words overall eq modifications and sound treatment for a final master. I have found that the range 15kHz to 20kHz is crucial to the sense of detail and the stereo image, although I can't personally hear an eq component at that freq
  18. no the guy in the clip said "at least 250 years old" - are you calling him a liar? it even says so on the eBay listing
  19. as you say, crazy thought! the main rule seems to be if the maker's name ends in i that's the most expensive, other vowels are worth a bit, names ending in consonants, generally not worth much - names readily pronounced by English speakers, forget it
  20. That's a wierd idea. Who sold you that pup?
  21. I also think it's a bit of a waste of time to worry about the sound heard from a violin at a distance. If the player likes the violin the music will sound good at a distance! I recently had the experience of hearing about 30 violins being played in a hall, and then I played them myself in the same hall. I made notes on each instrument before playing it myself and after playing it. The differences perceived at a distance were very small, and I had to concentrate very hard to articulate these differences in such a way as to describe them on paper. Mainly I was aware of the other player (who was very good) - in the end I resorted to my old "points out of three" system. When I played the instruments myself the differences were immense and immediate, easy to describe, and had a fundamental influence on my playing and my ability to make music. There were a few other people in the hall, and a couple of the violins made me feel very confident and competent, although they weren't great tonally from an abstract viewpoint. That about sums up my current thoughts on violins and the role of acoustic scientists in their development.
  22. Thanks for that - I definitely plan to experiment a bit along those lines, but I'm wondering if an elliptical post (with support across the grain of the table but less overall mass and stiffness) wouldn't be quite a good idea tonally..... When I have fitted posts like that I've simply shaved the sides down parallel to the grain - I've always been rather pleased with the result but felt it was a bit sinful!
  23. love the concept of an "apparent fact" by the way!
  24. Michael, I'm not holding my breath ... though i was experimenting with that today and I'm up to about 60 seconds ......