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Oded Kishony

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    Central Virginia, USA

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  1. Here’s some moldy curdled milk, you try it first and if you don’t die I’ll give it a shot.
  2. The main obstacles that I see with violin ‘acoustical’ work: the difficulty in establishing causality. Because violins are so responsive and delicate (the good ones anyway) any changes in the bridge position post tension or lag in time between changes pretty much nullifies the ‘cause and effect’ impressions. IMHO the academic approach to studying violins just hasn’t proven to be appropriate as can be witnessed by the dearth of practical results or even novel acoustic techniques resulting from this work. Violin sound needs to be approached holistically, understanding that the bow/string/player generates many multiple modes simultaneously and that they change during each bow stroke. It’s what makes the violin so enthralling. I also believe that not enough attention has been given to psychoacoustic effects, both objective and subjective. Oded
  3. First thing I would check are all the seams. If the crack is still closed then it’s very unlikely it’s the cause of the wolf.
  4. I find that identifying the colors and ground of the old masters much more problematic than the actual varnish. oded
  5. Transparency in pigments is tricky. You can think of pigment colors as musical chords comprised of multiple notes, when in harmony are transparent and when discordant opaque. This is just a useful metaphor. If you smear out a pigment you can see the variety of colors. As you mix different pigments the likelihood of achieving a harmonious chord diminishes and the result is more likely to be opaque. The best way to determine the transparency of a pigment is to draw a dark black line on a card and paint your color or combination of colors over the line, it is then apparent how transparent it is. Dye colors are inherently transparent even when mixed. The painting technique you are using is called ‘glazing’ in the art world. An excellent, though possibly outdated book on color theory is “Blue end yellow don’t make green”. Oded
  6. Yes!!! I agree, you can’t change a poorly made violin into a good one, certainly not with simple external changes. oded
  7. Well, Don and I have done this dance quit a few times now. Ultimately the only way for you to know is to try it yourself. I have found it quite useful and there are a number of professional makers who utilize some version of fine tuning the instrument in the white. A few caveats: the thicker/heavier the instrument the less effect changes to the arching/graduations. When you scrape from the outside you are also making a subtle change in arching. This is very intuitive. thinking about individual frequencies/modes is not very useful because every spot on the violin affects many multiple modes/frequencies. much has been made about the question of what happens after you varnish. Certainly the varnish changes the sound but you should know (or find out) what acoustical effect your varnish has. Also keep in mind that the same is true for whatever system you use, the varnish will always change the sound somewhat. But in my experience if a fiddle sounds good in the white, it will sound good after it's varnished. randomly scraping the surface is mostly futile. You need to be able to predict what changes will occur from any given spot. I use a couple of variations based on the simple principle of reciprocity ie vibrations going from the string to the corpus (body) equal vibrations going from the corpus to the string. This means that if you scratch or tap the white (unvarnished) instrument with your finger nail you will hear different strings and harmonics start to ring out (on a tuned instrument) It is my belief (religion) that the great makers of Cremona utilized some form of this technique. It has been noted that they finished the instrument from the outside (see Roger Hargrave see below page 3) you can also use a spectrum analyzer to observe this, set the analyzer to 'continuous' with 'peak hold' and you can watch as different frequencies increase in amplitude (get louder) as you change locations. Oded Kishony 1477066518_Chap_06_Labels_PRN1.pdf
  8. The changes in the sound were unmistakable and the nature of the changes generally agreed upon. One reason these strips had an effect is because the violin is quite thin. The notes, as I recall, were brief and noted the most obvious and agreed upon changes. All the participants were very experienced violinmakers. It’s much easier to be objective if you don’t have any stake in the outcome.
  9. It’s a very ordinary Chinese violin that’s been regraduated very thin. Surface is sealed with shellac. The stffening strips are a variety of dimensions and coated on one side with rosin. To apply a strip it is placed on the surface and a heated spoon applied to the strip, melting the rosin and adhering the strip. It made for a fascinating test platform. in one experiment careful notes were made on tonal changes as strips were applied but as the strips were removed in reverse order the tonal changes did not match the original impressions. Intriguing!
  10. You know....... violin color ;-) ”Golden “ brown ok
  11. There is an historic sealer that consists of hide glue and alum. Whatever it is it was applied as a paste. I’ve seen photos of drip marks inside the ‘Il Cannone’ but they are very different, a highly colored liquid that penetrated the wood. Oded
  12. Greetings: recently saw a photo of the interior of the Messiah (Strad), it showed a thick, crustaceous, white residue, all around the F hole. one has to believe it is original.
  13. I use a baby bottle warmer with adjustable temp. They automatically shut off if they run out of water and a recycling feature that returns the bath water to the pot so it doesn’t evaporate too fast. Keep it on warm then crank it up when you need it. you can often pick these up at yard sales etc.
  14. I would not bother with the sticlac color but make the varnish with the pernambuco (and madder and other color sources like rosewood and perhaps walnut hulls) and lay down many layers of ‘water thin’ varnish. Place the dry ingredients in a silk screen bag or a womans’ Stocking foot. Use it like a teabag in the alcohol. The wax in the shellac can be helpful in improving the brush ability of the varnish but removing some of it will help clarity. I varnished half a dozen instruments this way in 1987 and the ones I’ve seen, have stood up very well. this type of varnish is pretty soft and takes a while to fully harden. It will take a while for the instrument to sound good, the soft varnish can mute the sound for a while.
  15. Good job Don, you’ve managed to slander Stradivarius’ name with your snide, fact free, sneering innuendos. Congratulations
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