Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Michael Darnton

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won



Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
  • Interests
    Check out my photos: http://flickr.com/photos/mdarnton

Recent Profile Visitors

23008 profile views

Michael Darnton's Achievements


Enthusiast (5/5)

  1. @Mark Norfleet Indeed it is.
  2. That looks nice. I'm glad you left it alone.
  3. What Mark is suggesting is the way real appraisers do it. As long as he's alive, the maker is the one determining his prices. The market has to move around that number somehow.
  4. An easy trap that all of us have gotten into, I think, is to fail to realize that as we get better at something the results get better, and this might not have to do with the changes we *think* we made. I'm always going back and testing old fixed ideas against my new skill set to see if they still hold. For Dennis, I'm saying that you might feel like as you changed your arching your violins got better and better, but it might not be about the arching, or for that matter, that you haven't achieved nearly the results you'd get by letting go of some ideas you hold dear. I'm assuming that you're making actual violins. We never can quite tell about people with theories. . .
  5. @Blank face Regarding that last sentence, I have often wondered if part of the problem of keeping bridges straight might be related to not only the relative angles over the top before and after the bridge but also the extra squeeze from the back that a compressed-width tailpiece gives. And then there is the tonal issue. There are a few strategies that could have been taken: 1/ Make the angle the same in front as in back. That is, that the string spacing 55 mm in front of the bridge is matched in the tailpiece spacing 2/ Make the strings come out the back of the bridge parallel to each other 3/ Make the strings come out the back without changing the angle (which would need a very wide tailpiece 4/ anywhere between, but intentionally 5/ and this seems to be the most common: Ignore the problem completely and make the angle whatever. There's the problem of how the spacing would tend to lock down the vibration of the tailpiece by triangulation. If we could have the strings coming out at right angles (straight right and left, which is not possible, obviously, or maybe making the E, G, and tailpiece centerline be at 120 degrees relative to each other) you'd have one extreme. The other extreme is having the afterlengths all point back to the back saddle tail hanger hinge point. I don't see any way that these and the above alternatives would not have tonal effects. Most of the setup solutions I've examined have a definite logic behind them, but I haven't seen one in tailpieces, perhaps because we are forced to buy them as the company makes them. I do know that William Lewis & Co had their tailpieces made for them to their design, but I don't know the inception of that idea, and I believe that one current shop also does the same, specifically regarding string spacing, but I don't know their logic either. At the other end, with the tailgut, I'm well familiar with the differences that spacings over the saddle have, but experimenting at the other end is difficult. I know that some people will insist on viewing this problem as a tuning problem, but in adjusting it's obviously got a lot to do with the stability of the tailpiece system and what you don't let the tailpiece sap off vs what you force to happen in the bridge's movement. With the excepton of violas, I almost always come in on the side of locking the tailpiece down as much as possible and forcing that movement up into the bridge instead of letting the tailpiece wag around stealing from the sound. And I just realized that one traditional viol method of tailpiece attachment, a square peg in a square hole in the tailpiece, offers an extreme in this regard! Also, baroque violins sometimes used a stiff heavy gauge wire as a tail "gut"--the same idea, perhaps. https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55da07a8e4b0838dce52237b/1620219371056-U95QPE7UCNQ0V3CTQ28K/Viola+da+gamba+front?format=1000w
  6. If a cello wolfer on the afterlength is an example of this, again, I disagree. Perhaps you could specify. I adjust a lot of these and find that players often come close enough--within a full note--to subdue the wolf but not eliminate it, but I've never seen a wolf get worse with ANY type of wolfer that's in common use.
  7. Is that theoretical? Because that is certainly not my experience.
  8. Standards are basically a trickle-down thing, I think. A few shops have done things that lesser shops copy and that becomes a standard, like the 33.5mm string spacing at the bridge. People who aren't in those lines or don't pay attention, or think they have a better idea, or something, do something else, but for the most part I think that most shops hang around 33.5mm. You have to have something to set up unsold violins to that most players will find normal. Spacing is perhaps most important on the E string where if spacing is too wide the player can fall off the side of the board, which is why I asked if those wider spacings went with wider boards. But generally most players are fine with 33.5. The place where there's a lot of potential variation is in the curve of the top, which determines the bow angle between strings. For a violin it comes in at 15 degrees, which is probably intentional, but I have seen variations for different players. The most common is for folk fiddlers who sometimes like something flatter along with lower strings, and sometimes kid's instruments have a little more bow clearance so they can play more easily. There are probably tonal implications, but I don't know anyone who's looked at this. Surely someone has.
  9. One aspect is reminiscent of the hollow end buttons that have been popular from time to time. Secondly, I remember a long ago report of an attempt at Oberlin to limit wolves by placing a piece of wire with a weight through the endpin with the idea that moving the wire in and out perhaps it could be tuned to the wolf and act like a wolfer. . . and the subsequent report that the end block turned out to be so mobile from the pull of the tailpiece vibrations that the pendulized weight ended up slapping the inside of the violin. And players do often have a preference for side vs end mounted chinrests for their specific violin. So something is going on there. But if you made the pendulized wire a stiff tube instead, maybe that would have the desired effect of sapping the wolf. And then if you tuned the tube length to the general neighborhood of the wolf it would work better. And then if you punched holes in the side it would allow the same immediate air flow as the shorter hollow endpin . . .And then if you made it out of fancy materials you could charge $700 for it. So while it sounds whacky, it's not crazier than plate tuning, magical varnish and wood treatments, remote incantations, various titanium doodads, and a lot of other things people try. I suspect it does have an effect. The question is whether we would all agree that the effect is good. For instance, most people like the wolfer's effect on the wolf, but a certain percentage can't live with what the wolfer does to all of the surrounding notes, and elect to do without.
  10. Have never understood why makers want to maximize the uneveness of their instruments by building in strong peaks. Especially since the limited available evidence from great violins seems to point in the opposite direction.
  11. The "as high as possible" idea was passed on to me as a Becker idea, so I do give it consideration with certain violas.
  12. @jacobsaunders I am already immortal, but thanks. We occasionally use the Thomastik tailpiece on cellos. It has its use in some situations.
  • Create New...