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"Nannerl", my latest viola


MANFIO
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Grazie Guy! As usual, I made some modifications, some of them influenced by Frank Ravatin's excellent article on the "Journal of the VSA". Althought the article is about cello making I found that some of his ideas could be applied to viola making, but I may just be mad.

Most of the modifications were intended to get a more focused sound:

- I reduced the upper eyes distance from 52 or 53 to 50 mm;

- I'm not using "vernice bianca" on the inside anymore, I'm leaving the inside without any treatment at all;

- I lowered the archings a bit, they are about 19 mm or less high;

- I increased the neck projection over the belly to about 8 mm, I'll make the next one with 10 milimeters, as suggested by a NY dealer;

- the archings are a bit less scooped;

- ribs are not too high.

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most excellent as always....you seem to be picking up the pace a bit...perhaps less litigation?....it is very hard to find the time and energy sometimes, but the wood always calls....i love everything about the instrument....the only slight criticism i have, and i belive it to be a "personal thing" is that the pegs are left a wee bit long for my taste...really its nothing....very stout yet delicate looking....and the scroll has a difinitive feminine look to it...bravo!

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Grazie Guy! As usual, I made some modifications, some of them influenced by Frank Ravatin's excellent article on the "Journal of the VSA". Althought the article is about cello making I found that some of his ideas could be applied to viola making, but I may just be mad.

Most of the modifications were intended to get a more focused sound:

- I reduced the upper eyes distance from 52 or 53 to 50 mm;

- I'm not using "vernice bianca" on the inside anymore, I'm leaving the inside without any treatment at all;

- I lowered the archings a bit, they are about 19 mm or less high;

- I increased the neck projection over the belly to about 8 mm, I'll make the next one with 10 milimeters, as suggested by a NY dealer;

- the archings are a bit less scooped;

- ribs are not too high.

So, did all the changes influence the sound the way you hoped they would? Did the closer ff's make it more focused or brighter? I remember you were asking about this on another thread. You're building them so fast, I wonder if you've got time to observe the effects of your alterations before you're turning out the next masterpiece. The problem with making so many changes at once is you're never quite sure which was the change you wanted!

Great work by the way. Again with the beautiful varnish and color! Thank you for sharing your wonderful artwork with us.

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Outstanding, MANFIO!!!!

When seen from the front, the scroll apears a bit more Strad-like than usual, the volutes being rather straight than curved. I think you used to follow th Guarneri/Amati-approach with the volutes curving slightly inwards...

Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge and presenting your wonderful instruments. I've been reading along for some time without posting. This forum is incredible, one learns so much. I'm just building my first violin and your scroll carving post will be a great help!

I'd be interested to hear about the effects of your changes, too.

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Thank you all!

Jezzupe: yes, pegs a bit too long, I noticed that only seeing the photos, when the instrument is seen in person they don't appear so long, photos are unmercifull, they will unveil everything!!!

I'm making 6 instruments a year, the same model with small modifications, so that I don't need to think too much while making them. And I work fast, when I enter my workshop I have to work quickly. I work a bit everyday, from Monday to Monday.

krugwaffle: the modifications were small, but the effects can be noticed, I'm a player and my friend violist/photographer plays the instruments and takes them to the orchestra so that we can get a good sound comparison and evaluation. Being able to link and control changes in the model with sound changes is vital, I think.

This is the third 418 mm viola. The first one was good but lacked some focus and I tried to correct that. Demanding players will not be satisfied just with "good", in general they want much more than good, and detail in sound is everything. My idea now is making instruments that are easier to play (requiring less attention of the player in relation to bow contact) but that still have some edge when needed, it's not easy, but I think I'm getting it. Curiously, these small violas are sounding darker than my big ones.

Andrès Lepage asked me to make this one with European maple, he find that it gives more focus to the sound than red maple, I don't know if he is wright or wrong, anyway my making started getting much better when I started listening to what great players and makers say about my instruments. I find that my varnish appears much better with Red Maple, but sound is the most important factor to me. I'll make the next one with European maple.

Yes Magnus, Ravatin's article is on the last VSA Journal.

Thank you Selim! My viola scroll is based on the PRIMROSE Andrea Guarneri Viola and I make some modifications (with the aid of French curve) on the pegbox to make it "senza ganasce", that is, without shoulders, many violists don't like shoulders on the pegbox, they complain it plays havoc with their left hand. I don't want to risk with antiquated varnish, it would take me lots of time with experiments... althought this varnish is not antiquated it does not appear completely "new".

John Cee: yes, the prize goes to you!!!

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Luis, What is the body length of this one?

Somehow it feels more compact than the earlier larger versions,

even than your more recent smaller ones.

I'm trying to take in the corrections you mention.

I also like the look of the higher projection of the fingerboard.

This should give a little fuller sound, right?

I love the name too.

Here is a coupling of Nannerl and Madalena

1qps0gn9cc87f-full.jpg

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Thank you all!

Kubasa, I'll try to get a sound sample of this one. I posted some sound samples of other instruments here in the past, my preferred one is that one with Harold in Italy.

Ciao Omobo! The size is 41.8 cms (at least I've made it to have this length, but I haven't measured it yet). The eye can be deceived by the colur and the type of flames. My test driver player preferred the Nannerl.

I'm making the projection of the neck over the table (on the neck joint) bigger, following and advice given by Christopher Landon. It make the instrument easier to play, I will use more one milimeter in the next one.

Hi MikeS: I stoped using vernice bianca to experiment, since the instrument sounded good, I stoped using it.

2561173176_b10e9f6c9e.jpg

2561175046_ee9d200d5c.jpg

2560353273_a7ff695554.jpg

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I'm making the projection of the neck over the table (on the neck joint) bigger, following and advice given by Christopher Landon. It make the instrument easier to play, I will use more one milimeter in the next one.

I have one viola set that way with a higher projection over the table for the simple reason the bow would not clear the edges of a wide center bout on the A and C strings without such an adjustment. It had the bonus effect of adding something to the volume of sound. Interesting the Christophe Landon should also suggest that about playability.

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Thank you Melving!

Yes, I leave the neck root this way for playability, but I'm inserting the neck in the dovetail a bit more than it's usually done in general.

I'll increase the neck projection just one or two milimeters more.... do you think I should leave it thicker or pine the neck root to reinforce it?

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Manfio, as ususal your instrument looks like it was done by an old master, yet it is still regognizable as yours. Just found out lately that you do this "on the side", and that makes your work even more impressive. I noticed the neck angle is rather steep. My violins have a lower angle, and it's still hard to get the string angle flat enough. Does the higher angle neck, higher neck step, taller bridge and smaller string angle all work together to make it sound more like a viola than a violin? Any of those things things you find more important?

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