Urban Luthier

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Posts posted by Urban Luthier

  1. 19 hours ago, martin swan said:

    Uuuuum ....

    Bruel & Kjaer. Flat as a pancake. Calrec soundfield also very uncoloured. I think most classical recording is done with mikes that are as uncoloured as possible.

    If the mikes are placed where the listener would be sitting, the information will arrive at the mikes at the same time as it would arrive at the ears. And speed of sound is not frequency dependent - low frequency waveforms are less attenuated by distance, but they don't travel at a different speed.

    Most people don't sit off to one side of the middle of the concert hall by choice. If they had the chance to listen from the conductor's POV I think they would say yes.

    And of course we should factor in that everyone's hearing has a slightly different response curve - we are never hearing quite the same thing as our neighbour because of the shape of our ears, and then we all process and comprehend the information differently too.

    So there is no real or objective sound to be reproduced in the first place, just a range of different preferences.


    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. 13 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

    i think that's all true, but the overriding thing is if the audiophile doesn't have musical training, he has no idea what to listen to!  but he has to listen to something, right? 

    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. 17 hours ago, TimRobinson said:

    I've always liked good sound, but not to the audiophile level.  I just looked at the price of Harbeth speakers in Oz, they range from $3,700 to $28,000.  Quality is never cheap, but is the pricing similar in the US (remember our dollar only buys about 61 UC cents)?



    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. 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)


  8. 37 minutes ago, Mike_Danielson said:

    Nathan is correct--you want both sides to be defect-free.  From a fracture mechanics standpoint, any defects can initiate a crack during the bending or in later years when the side is subjected to a blow.  The engineering science gives a clear answer.


    Mike D

    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.

  9. 3 hours ago, Nestorvass said:

    I know they are but I am a student in university so no job and thus I can't afford them. So i have to stick with one of these two unfortunately

    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.




  10. 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