Urban Luthier

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Everything posted by Urban Luthier

  1. Ummmm... yes to all of the above.... most classical recordings are recorded very well with the best mics (B&K and Neumann are flat but not perfectly flat). BUT In recording, microphones are not generally placed where the listener sits. They are placed above the players (Blumlein Stereo and Decca tree are popular setups for classical) Most old Decca (think Kennith Wilkinson) were done this way while many of the fantastic modern recordings (e.g. Linn Records are done with the Decca tree and + ton of spot mics (this allows for a lot of flexibility with level matching in post). Most of these setups can capture more info than we can actually hear from our listening position - and yes the mic will pick up a different frequency response than we hear in the audience. (Kind of like looking at an ultra high resolution photograph of a violin - more detail than can be seen with the naked eye) In the end, it is all an illusion and the quality of the illusion comes down to how well the engineers setup the mics and care taken in post production.
  2. Most well recording material will sound wonderful on a good hi fi system! For all the rest, the Apple HomePod works just fine! as for your comment about microphones etc - yes the whole audio recording process is flawed from the beginning. A microphone response isn't perfectly flat to begin with. Plus when you factor in The high and low frequencies from a violin played on a stage will reach a microphone at different times than our ears sitting in the audience -- Flawed from the beginning!
  3. There in lies the problem with much of the high end opinions one finds in forums and even professional reviews - most listen to what can be referred to as 'synthetic music' - think all pop / rock / electronic music. These folks want to tune hi-fi to their own 'personalized representation' of how they want their music to sound. Nothing wrong with that, but it makes it difficult for folks like us who prefer a violin to sound like a violin through audio equipment. Not something laden with harmonic distortion, frequency and timing errors. I think one of the reasons there aren't more musician audiophiles is that so much of what's called 'hi end' equipment is truly awful and it take a lot of time to cut through internet-noise to find something that is actually good (for our purposes) and reasonably priced.
  4. Ha, I'm Canadian so i feel your pain regarding the dollar. I agree, very expensive but well-priced compared to a lot of audiophile nonsense products. Especially for folks who make their living from audio engineering. Generally, the street price through a dealer will be less. Tying back to this forum... I simply mentioned this brand as a starting point for makers or musicians considering high quality audio playback equipment - a way to cut trough some of the Audiophile media noise.
  5. Yes I agree a side topic of its own, but I think good audio recording and playback equipment can help violin makers make informed decisions about making (if one is able to keep some level of control over the recording and playback chain). The headphones referred to above could be a very useful and affordable reference tool for makers who archive the sound of their instruments. If one is use to simple mass market headphones -- listening to a pair of good electrostatic headphones will be quite a shock
  6. No argument from me, as an audiophile (not audiofool) I believe fine audio equipment can, and should enhance ones enjoyment of music. @Roger Hill notes above how some audio nuts go to the ends of the earth to fine tune their audio system to their own ‘personalized representation of sound’. The very sad reality is - they are listening to distortion. Simply head over to Stereophile and look at some of the measurements of many of the high priced audio equipment. Many (not all) measure so poorly that they are little better than tone controls. Some products costing $100s easily outperform some costing 10 x that. My advice to anyone here who wants excellent quality playback in their home (I mean broadcast level quality) is to look at a pair of Harbeth speakers and an affordable 100 w solid state amp. There are alternatives of course but the Harbeths are domestically friendly, easy to set up and used by countless studios to monitor and mix television, radio and film. reason being is their mid band frequency response is flat. Too much hassle? An Apple HomePod is an excellent device for casual listening. It uses incredibly powerful dsp to deliver a relatively flat frequency response. The koss phones mentioned above are quite good as well for personal listening. Simple rule of thumb with audio gear - listen to speech. If the human voice doesn’t sound natural than nothing else will.
  7. I expect you will have one happy customer when you finally get a chance to deliver it!
  8. Yes the Amati, but i think it is now back at the RAM
  9. i went through something similar a few months ago. Given that my shop is small - I bought a 24 in box fan and taped a furnace filter to the back. Not pretty but it works.
  10. Even though this is a very old thread it is worth pointing out that Clive Morris cellos are used by many highly regarded cellists who specialize in early music. The Royal Academy of Music has several Morris cellos used by students. In addition to Susan who posted above, David Watkin played a Morris cello - you can see and hear it here (along with the actual Fleming Amati Susan's cello is based on)
  11. Veritas offers a slow adjuster for both their custom bench planes and the bevel up block / jack planes. I use them in mine and I find them very useful https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/hand-tools/planes/maintenance-and-accessories/72193-slow-norris-adjuster-for-veritas-custom-bench-planes
  12. I'm using a couple of the Sigma Select Power II stones from Lee valley and a strop. Expensive but they cut fast and should last a generation. I use the green honing compound.
  13. in addition to the Hargrave bass book, it is worth looking at the Strad Varnish book by B&G. There is a chapter on wear patterns. Plus all the life sized photos are useful also!
  14. Just had a look at your photo blog Dave, really nice!! https://slightviolins.wordpress.com/category/making/
  15. Yep I found out the hard way. I finished the inside of my cello ribs with a toothing blade set to take the finest cut.
  16. Nice looking violin Guy! if you don't mind me asking, what software did you use for the photogramatry?
  17. I do understand. I had a heck of a time with cashflow when I was a student. That said one can easily put in another 100 dollars setting up a vintage plane if it needs work and the blade needed replacing. A veritas or Lie Nielsen block plane will last a lifetime (the low angled version with a regular blade and toothing blade) One can always bevel the blade for a steeper angle if needed.
  18. The high angled version of the Veritas standard block plane is a good investment and will last a life time. Very easy to setup and fine tune. The blade and sole come dead flat. The plane has real heft to it https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/hand-tools/planes/block/47881-veritas-standard-and-low-angle-block-planes
  19. Thanks Davide and David. Lee valley sells Bahco scrapers. I'm going to try sharpening to a knife edge and rolling over the edge per your workflow David. I can get my scrapers sharp and use them effectively but it takes way longer than it should
  20. Hi David. How thick are your knife edge scrapers if you don't mind me asking?
  21. I started out using a scraper to do this but found that i used too much pressure which resulted a rather ugly curve leading into the edge crown. Kind of like a flattened curve that didn't blend with the rest of the recurve I now try to do as much as I can with a razor sharp gouge (stropping every couple of minutes). Sometime additional pressure on the tip of the gouge helps me, some times coming at an angle helps. Final clean up with a sharp scraper and light pressure. the hardest thing is getting the scraper razor sharp -- which i confess I still have trouble doing
  22. Very useful info, thank you David. The colour rendering index information in particular is net new to me. While I don't do any restoration work, I do varnish In my studio. I expect my IKEA Led bulbs are not the best solution for judging colour balance
  23. Thanks. it looks like the bulbs are 2700K - closer to halogen bulbs perhaps?