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Marty Kasprzyk

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Everything posted by Marty Kasprzyk

  1. Hey I'm maker (pretended), just out of curiosity, what exactly does a good "response" mean to violin players? Is it getting a lot of sound output by using a slow bow speed, and/ or low bow pressure? Is it a quickness or ease of getting a note started? Is it the ability to "mold the sound" by changing the bowing (speed, pressure, distance from the bridge)? My ex-wife said I didn't respond well to her requests.
  2. Your question about getting more response seems to be getting more response.
  3. The traditional method of flexing the plates by hand is a good way of sensing plate stiffness and with a lot of experience one can get a "feel" for shaping his plates and making their instruments sound good. One issue with this technique is that it is difficult to transfer this proper "feel" to others far away. This is either good or bad depending upon your view point. If you are an established maker trying to protect your business it's good that your experience can't be easily passed on to competitors. So when you die your knowledge also dies. Later on, another maker can with lot of trial and error experience can develop the same skill and feel and the cycle is repeated. This is called a "saw tooth" learning curve where the same ability is slowly gained and then suddenly lost over and over again. So the advice of "Make a few hundred violins and you'll get a feel for it" follows this old tradition. This good for young beginning makers but at my age I don't have much time left for this approach.
  4. So why aren't beer cans made out of wood?
  5. Thin sheets of aluminum with ribs should be much better than wood with if you want a high radiation ratio c/p and low damping.
  6. It's often frowned upon but you might try putting the little plastic sleeves over the A and E strings at the bridge. The soft plastic should remove some of the high frequency stuff and might make it mellower sounding. The hard ebony and bone materials are the opposite--they probably make the sound brighter.
  7. What kind of strings are you using? Nylon or gut core strings have a lot of stretch and feel easy to push down to the fingerboard. Steel and some of the new synthetic polymer core strings have much less stretch and feel harder to push down. This amount of "stretchiness" is different from the string's tension. '
  8. I suspect Strad gave up on his long pattern violins when he couldn't get the case makers to make non standard cases for him--it had nothing to do with acoustics or aesthetics.
  9. Has anybody offered a reason why longer violins are harder to sell?
  10. Do you have a favorite string length?
  11. I very much agree. Strad made lots of violins (1000?) and some of them were great and some were not so great. Even he couldn't even duplicate his best every time. 100, 200, and 300 years later and now other very serious makers have tried to duplicate Strad's best (ok, ok lets include DG) and some are really great and some aren't. What do all these erratic results mean? In manufacturing terms it means the design is not very "robust". It is "finicky" and the results are left to chance with too many variables uncontrolled (Don would say "it's complicated"). My opinion is that there is no sense in beating a dead horse.
  12. You might like the book "Leonardo da Vinci as a Musician" by Emanuel Winternitz, Yale University Press, 1982. Lots of references in the book to the lira de brachio which he played.
  13. I get confused easily so please humor me. Is the top arch height measurement the distance from the gluing bottom surface of the plate edge to the highest top plate surface? So if I make my plate perfectly flat with a thickness of 3mm. Is the arch height 3mm?
  14. Paper wasn't invented yet either so the compass drawing of the wheel must have been made in mud or sand.
  15. I wasn't there at the time but I suspect the wheel was invented before the compass and that a drawing wasn't needed.
  16. Of course they studied classic Greek and Roman geometry. Notice how the waggon's top edge shape is made with five or six compass circle arcs.
  17. My then new Haliday and Resnick physics textbooks were copyrighted in 1960. Sort of sobering.
  18. One method of seeing the location of high stresses in a part is to varnish the part with a brittle coating (Stresscoat and others, US patent US3801340A is an example) which would crack and craze at the high stressed areas. Sometimes those areas would be made thicker to reduce the stress while the untracked low stress areas were made thinner to reduce the part's weight. This might help to improve violin designs. Sometimes these coatings were made from zinc and or calcium roseate which are apparently quite brittle and they a mixed with small amounts of plasticizers to adjust the amount of deformation they had before they cracked. I'm guessing that the original violin varnishes used natural rosins that were too brittle in their pure state and that various oils were added in larger amounts to prevent any cracking.
  19. Am I watching a sun set or an earth rise?
  20. For shallow curves all these mathematical shapes look nearly identical as you've shown in your plots. About 30 or 40 years ago Fred Nitchy suggested that a bent stick (spline) was used to generate the classic arch shapes and I've attached his old drawing. I bent a stick and held it in shape with Gorrila tape and placed it along side your plot to show that it also generates a very similar shape. But I doubt the Old Italian makers used this very simple bent stick method to generate their arch shapes because Gorilla tape is a recent invention.
  21. Are those Aloe plants in the background? I just read that Aloe gel is a good wood treatment for preventing termite damage. Dried aloe gel may also have some viscoelastic properties that give high damping at high frequencies which might reduce the harshness of your A and E string notes.
  22. I agree. I put the inflection point line right over the sound post position for my bent saw shape back on the violin I'm making. The original idea was to get rid rinky-dink shoulder rests but there might be some acoustical advantages too.
  23. Is there enough clearance between the chin rest and the tailpiece? It looks like the tailpiece is pushed over to the right and not centered over the end pin. The tail chord is also off center. Maybe the grooves in the saddle aren't centered either.
  24. What's a "geometric center line" ? Is this the line that connects the center point of the upper bout, the center point of the middle bout, and the center point of the lower bout? What happens if this is not a straight line when the violin is bent all over the place when taking it off its inside mold. Is it the line that connects the center of the finger board at the nut, and at the bottom plug.? I didn't realize that the center joint line the two top plate halves wasn't really the straight center line of the instrument.
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