martin swan

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Everything posted by martin swan

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. That's a wierd idea. Who sold you that pup?
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. love the concept of an "apparent fact" by the way!
  9. Michael, I'm not holding my breath ... though i was experimenting with that today and I'm up to about 60 seconds ......
  10. OK sorry, we're clearly not interested in the same thing and are talking at cross-purposes!
  11. The fundamental misunderstanding which scientists and pseudo-scientists bring to this debate is that the "sound" of the violin is what's important. What's important is the quality of music a particular player can make with a particular instrument - most of that seems to defy science or any kind of broad agreement, and it's far from being simply about tone. It's not susceptible to measurement and can't be repeated according to a formula.
  12. My implication is that if you haven't played an Amati you can't comment on their playing qualities .... If you haven't compared a narrow-waisted one with a wide-waisted one then any claim of nasality is unfounded. Lots of things about violin tone appear to make sense on paper but simply aren't borne out by experience ....
  13. lyndon, well spotted .... another "very powerful" violin I wonder if the violins behind him are in Tennessee or Kentucky? talking of which, here's another great use of a backdrop .... mysticviolins I notice these people have about 8 violins in stock, one of which is this vastly overpriced and mis-labelled mis-attributed "derazey", so whose shop did they film the video in? of course it all serves to illustrate that YouTube "soundfiles" are a joke (a bad joke)
  14. Thanks for the reference - read through all of that, nothing completely relevant to my question, which is about the width (and by extension the elasticity) of a soundpost and how this might affect tone and response.
  15. Hi Mr. Murphy, How many Amatis have you played? I've only played one, but it wasn't nasal! So to my certain knowledge 100% of Amatis are not nasal. Mr. Swan
  16. Hard to judge anything from a YouTube clip but I think the seller obviously likes it and I'd believe his assessment that it's "powerful". Given the back length I'd say definitely German, the neck graft a repair .... don't think you missed anything! These long Maggini copies can be very loud but in my experience a bit lacking in pliability/playability and hard to get a singing tone out of. $4000 very steep price indeed, we may yet see it re-listed! I would be a bit shocked if a shop over here sold it for over £1500 given the repairs to the front. Raises an interesting moral issue - the seller seems honourable and the selling method is transparent, yet this violin has sold for a lot more than it's worth in anyone's book. Could raise problems for the seller when the buyer (presumably at a distance) goes to get an appraisal .....
  17. Michael I think increasing the diameter by a millimetre probably increases the stiffness more than any treatment would. If you've tried breaking kindling with your foot you'll know just what a direct relationship there is between diameter and stiffness!!
  18. I don't think so ... I think it's a buyer getting carried away by a neck graft, might think it's a Rogeri! Derazey made some Maggini copies but they don't look much like this. The photos are sexy, nice light. I did have a very similar Maggini copy a year or two ago - definitely superior to the usual tradey ones with the long backs and the extra turn to the scroll. But I came to the conclusion it was just a better German tradey violin, probably 1860 or so. The scroll on mine was better - this one seems to end up with some rather hurried cuts around the eye, and the general line is a bit wonky. I'll see if I can find pictures of the one I had - I'll be sick as a dog if it was anything decent.
  19. Ryan, Yours is an interesting train of thought! I agree that there are many more obvious things to tweak, but post size is one of these things that everyone seems to take as read, and I only started wondering about it when confronted with the (surmountable) problem of narrow f-holes. I do know a restorer who uses different hardnesses of post as part of his box of tricks, and feels that less grain lines will give a softer sound, probably because of increased flex in the post itself. But is it true? Possibly not ...... I think of the post as a coupler mainly, but would a piece of beech do as well as a nice straight-grained piece of spruce? Someone must have tried all this stuff ... it seems wierd that there are reams and reams of science and pseudo-science about bridges, but not about posts. I think it would be fascinating to fit a rather oversize post, and then to remove a lot of mass with the post still in place and see if the sound or response change. Tricky operation, but it would overcome the whole issue of sound changing due to released and re-applied string tension. How could one carve away a lot of the wood with the post still in place?
  20. I can't see any theoretical problem with an elliptical soundpost provided the longer diameter sits at right angles to the table grain (less chance of dunting the table that way). With old instruments it's not an option to enlarge the nicks - with new builds I feel that narrow nicks are much more attractive. Undercutting the inner edge allows a tiny bit more width in the soundpost and looks nice, but actually I've decided to overcome my inherent laziness and adopt Melvin's method for picking up a soundpost dropped through the lower eye. I have been struck by how often narrow f-holes (too narrow for a 6mm soundpost to fit by the standard method) are found on violins which also have excellent playing qualities - of course the reverse is also true, which leads me to believe that f-hole width is not much of a factor. Placement of an f-hole of a given width may be very important, but then we're back to looking for needles in haystacks! So Terry Borman uses soundposts up to 6.8mm in his violins - has anyone else found an advantage in big soundposts?
  21. Do you have the expired listing number?
  22. Aha, great tip Melvin thanks - I've always tried to pick the post up as it's rolling around horizontally ..... I'll try that. I also take your point about diameter and surface area, Pi r squared etc - instinctively I feel that a large contact area is good, but maybe a 7mm post would sound even better? I assume that the standard soundpost diameter has evolved as a function of the average f-hole, rather than through tonal evaluation. Or has f-hole width evolved in response to an ideal soundpost diameter? Ben, width & length = result!
  23. Has anyone done any experimentation with different widths of soundpost, or indeed different cross-sections deviating from round? I ask the question because I come across quite a few good violins with f-holes too narrow for a 6.3 or even 6mm soundpost. It drives me crazy dropping a full width soundpost through an eye and trying to pick it up with the setter, and even crazier trying to fish it out with a loop of fishing line if the fit isn't right. So I tend to shave the sides of the soundpost down to allow for normal setting. Is this really bad? It seems a better solution than using a generally thin soundpost, but perhaps I'm wrong in this assumption. Or must I bite the bullet and get better at picking up soundposts from inside? It seems to me that the actual cross-section is probably less important than the overall amount of contact ..... Alternatively, if I put a 5mm soundpost in a fullsize violin, will it sound different to a 6mm soundpost ...? I'd be grateful for any thoughts.