Michael Darnton

Members
  • Content Count

    10086
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    5

2 Followers

About Michael Darnton

  • Rank
    Enthusiast

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://darntonviolins.com
  • ICQ
    0

Profile Information

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

Recent Profile Visitors

17037 profile views
  1. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    I read that when it came out. Unfortunately, he only saw one way. It's like putting a shirt on upside down and then declaring that it doesn't fit. A lot of people approach this like an acquaintance of mine approached statistics. What statisticians came up with didn't agree with his own personal views on the world, so he declared that the whole thing was bunk. I offered to explain how it worked (statistics were my favorite college class) and he responded that it was bunk, and he didn't need to understand it because it was bunk. Dissonance solved. Maybe Mr Beard will explain how scoop is precisely described in his system without resort to indefinite methods so that I don't continue to believe that it's bunk (and Tjorborn is welcome to do the same, for the same reason.) Signing out here. Too much Bunk. Someday maybe we can talk about the pernicious effect of the Germans (to be fair, only because they have the schools and the traditionb other makers do the same thing) on f-hole cutting by modern makers and just as with arching, how hard it is to use one's eye when one already has an erroneous belief firmly in place. I'd love to rub some noses in that! :-P
  2. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Saying that, it's obvious, then, that you do not understand how they are used or generated.
  3. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Could have, would have, isn't. P-)
  4. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Sorry, I'll stand by that statement that done precisely that way is not a characteristic Cremonese habit of the historic period. It might happen in isolated instances of course, anything can happen, and you will see something close to it more later than earlier, but it's just not a primary characteristic of the old Cremonese arch. It appears in a lot of modern making, sure, and I see it coming out of the German-based schools. You take it as a diss if you want to--that's your choice. I'm just stating what I see in the majority of the cases I see. Purfling on the uphill, and usually agood amount of rising scoop inside, is about as good of a rule as you are going to get for this, and that holds for a lot of Italy in that time, too: Rogeri: 1732 del Gesu: Late Bergonzi: Can't find the Roth at the moment. You're certainly welcome to show me an old Cremonese violins that looks like the Becker, but you won't find one. I can tell you that we are going to have a lot of disagreement when it comes to talking about f-holes, too.
  5. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    There are many types of Guad, depending info the place. The last Turin ones are full, yes. I doubt cycloids would fit those.
  6. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    The original A Amati fholes were upright, but far apart. The maker I tag as H-one tilted them and made them more elegant, giving a modern eye spread. Someone else in the Bros A shop (Antonio? Battle of the Brothers?) continued to make the upright form, both types appearing contemporaneously for some time. Nicolo's "innovation" kept the form of the stems of the holes vertical, but recognized that H-one's tilted stem had brought the eyes closer and that this was perhaps tonally desirable, so he threw the upper holes inward from his upright stems, and maybe also brought the stems a bit closer creating an aesthetic problem at the top and bottom which forced the wings to be bent more to follow the new eye layout. The whole f had to be revamped into something of minimal grace to accommodate both the upright stems and the close-together eyes. Awkward to the max, the whole "solution".
  7. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    I know what you want to say and you know why I can't say it. :-)
  8. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    As cycloids morph through the varying widths and heights of a violin they handle this problem automatically for you and do it well! The curtate cycloid formula describes every violin arch shape from convex hump to straight line with the input of only two parameters. Your method (I can't call it a system because it's not) might work for copying but it won't for originating from a blind start. BrosAmati-back-arch.pdf
  9. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Even on the templates it can be hard to find the exact inflection point. The shapes on either side sort of French curves gently through that area. But del Gesu, at certain points in his work, doesn't do that, and leaves a discontinuity--almost as if he were afraid of scraping that area into a parabola. As I have said before, to arrive at something like Andres did requires only two or three lengthwise passes with a scraper through that area, and the cycloid is turned into a parabola by the flat edge of the scraper. Been there, done that, believe me. We tolerate the parabola because it's modern, and our eyes find that dashing, but it's not part of the Baroque eye, so they would have viewed it as a defect.
  10. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    I'd argue that it doesn't match any cycloid--it's a parabola. At the scoop, the template is still fitting maybe 1.5mm high. If he were to slide the template down to where it was in his scoop, the upward scoop part of the template would be held up as a lump resting on the flat part of the his arch just above the scoop. Were he to cut the arch down to where the scoop rested on the scoop, he'd be forced to put in the concave cycloid component that is now missing. He'd see the other end of the template flying up in the air, propped by the rising recurve that he failed to cut--which is right now just a straight line. All he's done is fit the arch above that concave part--the convex part of the arch, only. There's no cycloid in that arch at all "right" or wrong--it's simply wrong. I haven't seen every new violin in the world yet, but so far I have seen no evidence that this can be accurately accomplished by eye. I wouldn't be too fast to accept the word of people who don't realize that they don't see it when they say that they are doing it! :-)
  11. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    What I do is to build the final arch high, rising from the purfling platform I make that's at final edge thickness, but no scoop. Then I cut the scoop, which leaves the whole arch that I've already done about 1mm high, and finally finish the arch down to that scoop, bringing it down all at once, all together. That enables me to make the arch high first, see where I'm going wrong, and have room to refine things I'm not happy with as I gradually push the whole arch, as a unit downward to the channel.
  12. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    The way I see the template, you're not even close. That's a very German arch you have going there! Here's the Bros Amati violin I have used for some of my templates: Enlarge the photo and you'll see that the low point of the scoop is well inside the purfling, and that the scoop remains concave up the arch for about a thumb's width. For contrast, here's the pinnacle of German style, a middle-period Carl Becker, with an arch that's conceptually very similar to yours; narrow scoop centered on the purfling and balanced in width equal on either side of the purfling, made with quite a tight gouge, then immediately, when rising, straight or even convex all around the instrument. That's essentially what you learned in school, right? One of the things I've noticed is that makers tend to pick up mannerisms early, from their first training, then have a hard time shaking them off, even with contrary examples flowing by in front of them.
  13. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    The cool thing to me is that when Stradivari finally started pulling it all together, after wandering in the bushes following Nicolo, it was the Brothers that he looked back to in many, many ways. A big 1680s Strad isn't all that different from a grand pattern Bros Amati, except that he hadn't yet exorcised the memory of that terrible Nicolo f-hole by then. But someone in the Strad shop did, eventually. ;-)
  14. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Part of the problem with Strad f-holes is that they were laid out on the inside, but photos are all the outside, which messes with precise measuring. Additionally, any drawings that referenced both the outline and the center were initially executed on flat paper, so it's inevitable that you won't get perfect measurements on real violins. You're right--the 32mm for the lower hole only works in special circumstances, since it depends on a particular setting for the corners. That's why I called the design a prototype. When the corners spread, either the 32mm or the 128 has to be let go of, for instance. I think the original idea held the f-holes in a net like a spider web, with relationships to both the center and the edges, but that had to be dropped for practical use in a constantly varying outline. Notice the 64mm center to lower hole center. That's an interesting relationship, too. Very few of these relationships can remain fixed in a workshop method for a violin that is different each time it's made, however, which explains the quite different extant drawing for locating f-holes, with more simple reference points. As I have implied, if not outright said, my main interest is about the original design--what they were thinking, how they laid things out. Removed from that are drawings, then molds, then violins. By the time you get that far from the original idea, problems wander in, if you are looking for precision. Probably I should be seeing how this all works on flat paper. . . . By the way, as you note, Amatis are often 63mm based. That's why I usually say ~32mm, not exactly 32mm--the Strad arcs are all over the place in dimension, too. 127, 128, 129--some arc somewhere would allow for any of these, so don't get too carried away by a precise 32mm.
  15. Michael Darnton

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    I'm not aware that the laws of the physical world had a thing to do with creating the violin. They only try to explain it, and not too skillfully, by the way, so far.