Marty Kasprzyk

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About Marty Kasprzyk

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  • Birthday 06/02/1945

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    Olcott, NY, USA
  • Interests
    Wine making, gardening, dog training,

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  1. Elm wood is very tough (large deformation before it breaks) and bends nicely.
  2. For my violins and violas I'm finding that the string tension is an important variable. A light tension allows you to play closer to the bridge. You might try "light", "medium", "high" tension strings of the same make. I've never seen literature discussions about it but I also suspect that the rosin plays a role. I had viola player mention that his orchestra section did an informal test of rosin brands. They discovered (no surprise) that different players preferred different rosins. So this might be a player/instrument combination that is sensitive to the rosin brand. I wouldn't be surprise either if the bow and even the bow hair were important too because some players seem like different bows for different instruments or music passages. So I'd try a bunch of different weight and stiffness bows too. These are all reversible changes and I'd do all of this stuff before I made any physical changes to the cello. Your consonant phonetics sound is a good way of describing the beginning of the note. This the beginning transient portion of getting the string to vibrate to its eventual steady state harmonics vowel sounds (a, e, i, o, u)
  3. Basswood, beech, or birch bend beautifully for rib bouts but they look bland.
  4. I heard a concertmaster say in a presentation that it was important that an orchestra's violin section should be able to sometimes play very quietly for some music passages. You shouldn't then want to be the loudest one in the group. I've been building violins to achieve good projection but I've received criticism from some players that these were not capable of being played quietly enough. They required too much bow force which tends to produce a louder sound. I had been making my instruments with very light and stiff tops and they are inherently quite loud and bright sounding . My present thought is that it is better to use heavier plates to reduce the overall loudness and decrease the high frequency output. If a louder sound is desired then the bowing can be done closer to the bridge which also produces a louder and brighter sound. So being able to play close to the bridge is an important instrument quality.
  5. The grave yard of violin inventions is not unique. It is difficult to overcome entrenched old technology. I worked for many years in the new product groups in the research and development division of a large corporation. It was generally accepted and anticipated that only one out of nine new product ideas would eventually be profitable and that the other eight would fail somewhere along the line of invention to commercialization. Rather than having an aversion to failure, the culture encouraged risk taking because the benefit of a few successes greatly out weighed the costs of a paying a bunch delusional dreamers.
  6. I'm beginning to believe the entire rib perimeter should have many of your reinforcements to stiffen the rib assembly. This will create more of a "clamped" edge effect rather than a "hinged" edge for the plates which will raise the B1- and B1+ mode frequencies. These frequencies can be lowered back towards their original frequencies by thinning the top and back plates. The plates' lowered mass and stiffness should increase the violin's sound output.
  7. The first attempt at completely burning it failed. But there's no harm in trying it again.
  8. Sonowood is beautiful stuff. Maybe black ebony will go out of fashion. I wonder how its string wear resistance compares with ebony and other synthetic fingerboard materials.
  9. My significant other is a classical singer (soprano). Her singing voice is extremely powerful. She has been told she is not a good chorus singer because her voice is too loud so she doesn't blend in well. I believe the same thing happens for violin projection for soloist--you want to be heard above the group. Orchestra players may want something else.
  10. I was at this Acoustics Workshop and was very impressed with the "Sonowood" fingerboards. ( › sonowood
  11. Vibration textbooks( a Google search will save you some money) usually have a chapter on "Vibration Absorbers" or "Vibration Suppression" devices . They usually consist of some sort of light spring and mass assembly attached to the body and tuned to the same frequency that is the undesirable resonance vibration for the body. They suck (absorb)energy away from the vibrating body and the attached light mass vibrates widely. This diverted mechanical energy is not converted into heat its just moved from one place to another. The original large resonance peak of the body gets split into two lower amplitude peaks. Damping materials can be added to these devices. These are then often called "vibration dampers" rather than "vibration absorbers". They have the added benefit of removing unwanted vibration over a wider frequency band width. The damping materials do convert some of the mechanical energy into heat. The mathematics of all this is well understood. An example of a "vibration absorber" is when you attach a small metal weight onto the string after-length to suppress a wolf note. An example of a "vibration damper" is when you use a little blob of sticky "Bluetac" for your weight. In the case of the fingerboard, neck, and tailpiece we might want the reverse. We want our body to vibrate more not less so it can produce more sound if that is desired. This suggests that the violin plates should be light weight and the other parts should be heavy and not vibrate much.
  12. Has anybody ever done a systematic study on how different sound post materials work? Is spruce always the best or is there a different optimum material for various violins?
  13. I also have been trying to make ultra light instruments. Violists like a light weight instrument to reduce the muscle stresses of holding it but for the smaller violin the weigh is not as important. I have begun to believe from conservation of momentum and energy principles that the non sound producing parts of a violin (fingerboard, neck, pegs, and tail piece all take away vibrating energy from the top and back plates. They act as vibration absorbers commonly used in machines and in wolf note suppressors. The lighter these parts are the more energy they absorb and waste thus reducing the amount of sound produced. Someday I'll make a really light and stiff graphite fiber fingerboard and then add weights to it to see if the violin's volume increases, decreases, or stays the same.
  14. Elephant calls project further than chipmunk calls. I suspect it is because they are louder and lower pitch. Violins might be a different animals but I'll bet the same thing happens.