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Andreas Preuss

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  1. Somehow I got your point. But… … do you really think this effect can be perceived at 2m distance (or more)? I would rather think this is something the player perceives while playing in a sort of different ‘feel’ if I have time tomorrow I’ll make a quick test on this.
  2. This would mean that a fingerboard set at a bigger distance to the top surface makes a different sound? (The new concept violin has at this point a neck overstand of 10mm)It would be a pretty easy experiment to tape a thick cardboard under the fingerboard to hear what happens. My guess is that nothing happens which can be heard.
  3. It is really the question why. Reminds me a bit of what a physicist friend of mine made as his PHD thesis about earthquakes. In a demonstration model he put sand in a box and put a stone in the middle. Then he applied vibrations to the box slowly increasing the frequency. At a certain frequency the sand became liquid and the stone on top just sank in and disappeared in an instant. (He could model an equation to calculate the frequency necessary to liquidify the sand) Do we really know that all stiffness properties remain the same when the violin vibrates? The thing is probably that there is no way to measure it. (Don, I see you shaking your head) I still think it is worth to look at the neck stability. The neck applies with its leverage action enormous forces to the top block area. High frequencies come from rigid structures and I see in that area a weak point. (Maybe the driving forces of plate vibrations under the fingerboard come from there?) The stiffness distribution of the whole body is what matters. And here it matters where and how the stiffness is created. But there are always different solution to increase stiffness and it is in the end not the same if stiffness of the top is created by its own thickness or just the rib garland. I am always getting back to the same principle (recipe) of making the top very thin and very light and adjust the rest to it. Maybe this is again my wrong assumption, but any vibrations of the neck in particular could be regarded as lost energy because it can’t create sound. Though it seems impossible to block entirely neck vibrations, minimizing them might be an efficient trigger for the overtone distribution in a spectrum. (Makes me wonder what would happen if we could block completely the neck vibrations)
  4. David, I would answer on this ‘Yes and no.’ i completely agree that makers in Cremona intuitively developed their art with trial and error and intelligent guesswork without modern scientific analysis bringing to the music world many of the finest instruments. The biggest question mark for me is that I don’t know what sound they had in mind using baroque construction method with a different string angle, smaller bass bar, different bridge and different strings. (We talked about this before) This raises always the question what role the modernization of those famed violins would change (improve or spoil?) ? Thats why I started to think about concepts to get a better understanding. And now I really believe that those Cremonese masters didn’t think about complicated things. So it boils down to: ‘make a thin and light top and adjust the rest to it.’ The test is ‘practice, practice, practice!’ i only know that if I work within the framework of Cremonese masters I can get their results but nothing else. There were a few makers after the golden age which were able to build violins on their own and non Cremonese concept. Guadagnini, Pressenda, Poggi , Kantuscher. I don’t see any reason why not to elaborate another concept and honestly, seeing how many years you spent on all the wonderful things you have brought to light, I don’t think this is more work than what you have done. But when thinking of concepts, there are many unexplored techniques and materials which were not available in the golden age of violin making. Stradivari was IMO one of the most progressive and inventive violin maker. Following his example means not to duplicate or revive what has been made before, but go into new territories based on what has been achieved before. Hmmm, someone who made over 30 violin models? I see this more as sound experiments in the 18th century. For the rest, all is made on the principle ‘fast and efficient’ with intelligent cheating to make things look more perfect than they were. (Filler at bee stings, blackening rib chamfers, ‘mass produced’ purfling, straight line design volutes (seen from the front) etc. etc.) Niccolò Amati had a drive for aesthetic refinement only paralleled by Pietro Guarneri Mantova (who made violins as a hobby but not for a living) and Jacob Stainer. ————— But regardless all the Cremonese stuff, what do you personally think is the most important thing we need to understand when we want to build an instrument rich in overtones?
  5. Then this means thickness of the bass bar in that area does something to high frequencies. (and as a side note, the Zaret bass bar does something by adding a lot of mass in that area. I meant, the picture you are showing from Strad 3D is only one high frequency. At a lower frequency maybe nothing is going on under the fingerboard ?
  6. What ‘scenarios’ could be interesting? Invisible nodal lines? In any case I would assume that the bass bar in that area makes the whole area vibrate in phase. Otherwise, if the violin was excited at 3000Hz does this apply for lower notes as well? My understanding is that each body resonance stands for itself.
  7. Not so precise making from the beginning and different wood shrinkage of top and back is IMO the most plausible explanation.
  8. I agree that the "singers formant" is important. But it does not work well without proper stength of the fundamentals. No objection. Just from the standpoint of making it is much more difficult to trigger high frequency range and amplitudes than doing things for the fundamentals. And, IMO, a miraculous constellation of signature modes and their amplitudes does not influence in any measurable way the high frequencies. (this was more or less my motivation to create this thread and exchange ideas and viewpoints)
  9. Yes, but I would say it is a bit audacious to think that ALL trial and error was for the purpose of sound (let alone our obsession of ‘projection’) In my view Stradivari was the one who redefined something fundamentally in this tradition which made his instruments outstanding. Any reports from musicians make the comparison between Stainer and Strad and describe Strads instruments as low arched creating a ‘powerful’ sound (whatever this meant in the 18th century) Ihave some doubts that this can be explained on a purely geometry design driven level. What I rather see is that Strad changed materials and size of linings and apparently figured out that top weight DOES matter in combination with the right material. Last not least trial and error based arch design is certainly much easier when always working with wood from the same tree.
  10. Experimental results showed that this is exactly the opposite. I started the new concept violin with .2 thick ribs and tiny linings. Corner blocks were reduced to the bare minimum and made of balsa wood. The result was an extremely dull sounding instrument. Nothing I would ever consider to repeat or re-examine. Thickness of plates was initially rather thick and slightly heavier than normal. No reduction could bring the sound close to ‘acceptable’. The first step in this direction was to make solid linings on the top side.
  11. Which area do you mean precisely? The tightest curve of the arching is in area where you can see it, just above the ff. (red) if you are thinking more of the area marked in green the arching can be pretty flat already depending of how much arch height reduction you allow from the highest point. if it is the latter you can almost think of arch deformation as a cause(so in the end it is related to forces and stress) which deform a perfect circle segment line length arch into a an arched flattened under the bridge and bulging up under the fingerboard and tailpiece. But no matter what you do with wood, I think that all receipes based on some sort of calculations are short of the optimum. I am rather looking for something where (exaggeratedly saying) the string force can deform the entire structure to its best sounding properties. Repeated wetting is nothing I am trying to avoid.
  12. I ignore facts which claim things I can’t verify in experiments in an audible way. I always need to hear something. So on the other hand, even if I get a completely different graph and don’t hear anything it’s just telling me don’t go further. In the end I only need recipes which work. I leave the explanation to those who have the knowledge. Somehow technically the idea that, for what reason ever, the body is getting stabilized lengthwise with the string tension works in my intuitive good-guess approach. Seems to be in scientific terms the wrong explanation for something else.
  13. While this absolutely correct, there are violins which have a better ‘pre condition’ than others. Or, they are more ticklish to the bow arm of a skilled player. Here I am not sure at all. If the tripled linings on the top changed anything to an audible degree it was ‘overtones’. So without trying to figure out why, it is on my ‘recipe list’. Instead of plates I would say the behavior of the top plate is the main key. I can say also that measuring a top plate in terms of tap tones, reveals almost nothing. In contrary it seems to be a goal to kill the ring of tap tones. My experimental bent plate is now down to 47g without bar and has literally no tap tones, only a vague blurry ‘blob’ which I can’t even measure. The last graphs in this condition are essentially not ‘bad’ and the violin has not any more major problems. Your description of the behavior of high frequencies looks to me like the holograms when the exciting frequency was in the 2 - 4khz range. I don’t know if this can be seen like this when a lower note is played and you see in holograms larger surface areas vibrating, but still overtones are audible. The bridge hill resonance which lies exactly in this area is certainly of major interest. So you have something rigid enough to resonate in this frequency range. My unscientific guess is that the total of this resistance comes from the combined length and cross stiffness of the body (a sort of multiplication of both) The weakest element in this structure is the top and we know that equally thinning down the entire surface of the top lowers the cross stiffness much faster than the length stiffness. Additionally I think (despite Dons contrary arguments) that the top can stiffen itself lengthwise with the help of the string tension. Cross grain this is impossible. I am working right now on an enlarged x shaped bass bar which in theory should be able to increase the cross stiffness. At the same time I am implanting an entire edge doubling with 0.8mm plywood. If this doesn’t work I need to find better material for the top.
  14. No matter how I look on the whole problem, the key to a projecting sound is the ‘singer Formant’ region of the sound spectrum. (The other day I read a paper which examined the ‘sound power’ of Swedish tenor Jussi Bjorling. And well, his peak sound output was at 2800Hz and his voice trained to add to each sung note high frequencies in that region) In this context I was wondering if it would help to filter in a recording setup all frequencies which are not thought to be important . On the other hand, if I look on the spectrum of one played note I should be able to see somewhere which overtones are strongest? In terms of instrument making it seems that this is all in the strength and width of the bridge hill resonance. While some adjustments apparently can be made on the bridge itself, the cross stiffness of the top is of major interest. Did anyone ever try to increase the top cross stiffness with additional bars to see how the spectrum changes? My unscientific guess is that this would work best at the narrowest part of the plate between the c bouts.
  15. I think Groucho Marx gives the best answer on this: ’You know my grandmother came from Germany, actually she was born in the capital of Germany, Salzburg.’ Stradivari was born in a country which belonged to Spain and died as a sort of Austrian citizen, but maybe his ancestors came from Stratford (upon Avon?) in which country was this again ?? And the immigration officer couldn’t pronounce Stratford and quickly decided to correct it to Stradivari. (who can pronounce Gfriller?)
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