Davide Sora

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About Davide Sora

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  • Birthday 01/07/1964

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    Cremona, Italy
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    Violin making

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  1. 61% humidity is a bit high, so your M5 frequency might go up a few Hz with less humidity. The frequency is currently still in the ballpark, but given the high weight I wouldn't worry too much about lowering it any further. So I would say it would be okay to lower the center to 2.5, then I would install the bassbar to evaluate what will happen. Looking back at my data, I noticed that one of the heaviest top plates I ever made was 88g (!!!) with bassbar, it had the same density as yours (0.48) but slightly stronger thicknesses (around 3mm constant) so it's hard to compare. I kept it that way because I wanted to try to keep the M5 high in G (top finished with M5 at G/392Hz, M2 at F#/183Hz and M1 at F#93Hz) which is quite stiff. Actually the violin didn't sound bad at all but as far as I remember it had a lot of resistance to the bow, and was appreciated only by experienced musicians who knew how to handle it, while by musicians with a delicate touch or by inexperienced students it was not appreciated at all. However, this violin had snatched a seventh place in the Triennale competition of 2000, I would say not bad since that year marked by a particularly severe jury who had decided to exhibit only about 70 instruments out of more than 300 participants, I was one of the rare cremonese high in the Ranking. Today I much prefer less stiff plates and lower densities (but not very low), but I believe that you can make violins that work well (perhaps not for everyone) even with woods with different properties and different modes tuning, it mainly depends on what goal you have in mind.
  2. I am with you, and I really appreciate what you point out about the significance of manual work vs machine "aided". However, to avoid that you will be disappointed when you come here in Cremona and you will find out for yourself after stay for some time in the luthier community, I warn you that not everyone here works as you think, the "machines" have infiltrated the work of some even if almost nobody admits it publicly, which is the worst thing. Here there are too many luthiers to be all "pure makers": even if they remain the majority, in the pile there is everything from best to worst. I respect everyone's freedom to work as they please, I have no prejudices and I particularly appreciate those who honestly do it without feeling the need to hide their working systems from their potential customers, enabling them to make their informed choices for what they like, be it the added value of manual labor or the efficiency of machine-aided work. So, although I may disagree, hats off to those on this forum who openly discuss their traditionally "unconventional" working system, it is by no means a foregone "intellectual honesty" here in Cremona and in Italy in general.
  3. I once tried with iron acetate, made by dissolving some steel wool in vinegar and diluting a lot with distilled water. The effect was too gray for my taste (I prefer yellow/gray), but it wasn't bad. If the gray of old and dirty necks is what you are looking for, it may be worth a try. Always try on scraps first.
  4. Basically I believe that absolutes cannot be established, both types of finish (smooth or textured, shiny or less shiny) have their supporters and detractors among musicians, so I believe there is room for both finishes in both modern looking violins (which I would call authentic) than for those with an antiqued look, and copies.
  5. The problem is that defining the amount of concavity or perfect flatness is rather difficult because it is not measurable (not with the tools available to me and being above all wood), so what I define as very light concavity could also be interpreted as almost dead flat by many. The problem of residual stress is only there if you leave a consistent gap (but how do you interpret consistency?) and this is the risk when clamps are used putting too much pressure to close a too consistent gap. This risk does not exist with rub joints, but the risk caused by the twist remains. To check for twists you could use the long straightedge diagonally on opposite corners, but I think the best and most accurate way is to check the two pieces against each other and try to perceive if they "rock". It is necessary to develop a certain sensitivity to perceive even the smallest rocking motion, and also to correctly perceive the sensation of "firmness" of the two pieces when the twist is absent.
  6. Now I can see the photos, thanks. I think rub joint can work for maple too, but I don't think it can work with a perfectly straight joint and no light passing through at all. The result will probably be 9 times out of 10 what happened to you, caused by the deformation (bending) of the pieces due to the moisture absorbed. Things will probably go better with the glue sizing, but in my opinion it may not be enough. I think there must be a very very slight concavity in the two pieces, with very very little visible light passing through, so that it becomes straight with moisture absorption without causing the ends to rise. It is impossible to quantify these things, but with a little practice it could be done. In any case, I prefer to use clamps, because if you can compensate for the longitudinal deformation you can not do anything for a possible helical deformation (twist), which not too rarely occur with very flamed woods, and I don't like surprises. PS All this assuming a perfectly planed joint, if there are slight bumps just before the ends (or in other places) it is sure they will open and even the clamps could not solve the problem. To be sure that there are no bumps, you need to check with a short straightedge (10 cm or less) the entire length of both pieces.
  7. Yes, I look at how the humidity was in the period immediately before having to do the pegs (not a momentary change in humidity, but at least two or three days) and adjust accordingly by staying more close or far from the pegbox. It's not an exact science, but useful to try to avoid blunders.
  8. Am I the only one who can't see the photos of the first post? I see all white with no entry signs in the center.
  9. The next factor you will need to add to the equation is humidity. Even if everything were perfect, things could drastically change with a drop in ambient humidity (or increase). Another thing to take into serious consideration when fitting pegs.
  10. I agree. Checking the humidity level is the first thing to do. Then, given the high density of wood (0.48 is really very high), I would seriously consider the possibility of making very thin thicknesses. So, first of all I would cut the Fs, then I would thin the center bringing it to the same thickness as the upper and lower bouts, then I would glue the bassbar putting some tension, and eventually I would consider whether to go even thinner. I would also thin at the edges, to reduce the weight as much as possible. Obviously, this is only theory, but without having the plate in your hands you can not help but theorize, leaving all the risks involved to the maker of the violin...
  11. It seems so. As a Cremonese I am used to being involved in negative generalizations of this kind, I don't pay much attention to them anymore...
  12. A bit, but I do better with Brescian☺️
  13. So you are from eastern Lombardy...
  14. I did not know we were countrymen. Careful, you are revealing your identity In any case I have never heard that way of saying of eastern Lombardy, what the heck, I'm not from those areas, I'm from Cremona and it's well known we don't have good relations with neighbors... However, I doubt the accuracy of your translation : Felice Gimondi : italian cycling champion, professional from 1965 to 1979 Campagnolo nuovo record : a renowned brand of bike gearbox, a specific model in this case (nuovo record) Brevettata : Patented, referring to the gearbox above Maybe you need to improve your Italian...or your english