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Ida Haendel Strad problem (wolf note??) and solution in video?


Tommy
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Please check out this clip from a documentary about Ida Haendel. At the end she goes to see a luthier to resolve some kind of sound issue in her 1690s Strad. The luthier does some helmholz and resonance experimentation and then adds some mass....I may not be summarizing the actual treatment accurately. It appears to work. My question is: would anyone be so kind as to demystify what kind of analysis was done and the prescribed remedy? Thank you. Tom

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7pQGuSL7uo

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Please check out this clip from a documentary about Ida Haendel. At the end she goes to see a luthier to resolve some kind of sound issue in her 1690s Strad. The luthier does some helmholz and resonance experimentation and then adds some mass....I may not be summarizing the actual treatment accurately. It appears to work. My question is: would anyone be so kind as to demystify what kind of analysis was done and the prescribed remedy? Thank you. Tom

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7pQGuSL7uo

I hate the situation where the violin maker tell a musician what is going on in a violin and pose their theories on them. But it seems like he might have solved the problem. There is a wolf at A, it is likely to be a strong B1- resonance. He adds some mass to the underisde of the fingerboard. That may move the B1- resonance the needed few herts down, and necessary small amount away from the played problem note.

These modes move due to humidity changes, so the problem might return if the instrument is entereing a drier environment and the B1- moves upward again. I think she is correct that a different string also can deal with the problem. Lighter strings will reduce the problem, but she will then loose some power also from other notes played on that string.

Interesting to listen to her playing, the melancholy, the intense vibrato. But she obviolusly is a great player. It is not an easy thing to become old.. I wish she was my neighbour.

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Please check out this clip from a documentary about Ida Haendel. At the end she goes to see a luthier to resolve some kind of sound issue in her 1690s Strad. The luthier does some helmholz and resonance experimentation and then adds some mass....I may not be summarizing the actual treatment accurately. It appears to work. My question is: would anyone be so kind as to demystify what kind of analysis was done and the prescribed remedy? Thank you. Tom

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7pQGuSL7uo

Interesting and lovely movie.:)

What could be an analogy for wholf note with out pouring tons of scientific definitions, descriptions etc..?

I think, the complain of a sprinter who is carrying some weight in one leg while the other leg is free, may help to describe the issue.

Personally, I prefer to remove the weight, and it is simpler when the violin is white. But after varnish, in finished violins, especially if it is a Strad, attaching similar weight on the other leg or similar position is the best solution.

Adding weight may be expensive, since some performance loss is the price there.

Well, if it is a super runner, like Strad, I think, It may be fine. The luthier is doing an other good job, when choosing fingerboard, for mass attachment, becuase it is a secondarily effective component, so it may help to minimize performance losses.

My two cents.

I loved this movie.:)

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That looks like Seth Truby in the video. The funny note is a 587ish hz D natural. Hard to tell what he's up to. The body mode is already below the air mode, so the intent wouldn't have been to match them. Adding weight would have taken them farther apart.

The video doesn't make it clear whether an improvement came from adding mass to the fingerboard, or from something else. It also shows some work being done on the upper nut, and the conversation suggests that the string might also have been changed.

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That looks like Seth Truby in the video. The funny note is a 587ish hz D natural. Hard to tell what he's up to. The body mode is already below the air mode, so the intent wouldn't have been to match them. Adding weight would have taken them farther apart.

The video doesn't make it clear whether an improvement came from adding mass to the fingerboard, or from something else. It also shows some work being done on the upper nut, and the conversation suggests that the string might also have been changed.

David maybe he was going for a fourth which a smoother interval

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The clearest analogy describing a wolf is of two people turning a jump rope, then one of the turners starts to randomly and violently shake the string, that's the bridge shaking at the wolf frequency. The jumper then trips up on the chaotic jumprope. On a violin the wolf frequency shakes the bridge which disrupts the string vibrations which interrupts the stick slip rhythm of the bow.

Oded

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I have no idea but can't help but rejoice and thank God he put people like her on this earth! If you are a good luthier and can help someone like her, either by making a great new instrument, or fixing a Strad (or clunker) , then I thank God for you too.

I just finished a Double bass and strung it up in the white. I found a very strong wolf on the open A and fixed it quickly with a brass weight on the afterlength. So Thank God for me too.

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What is the theory of adding mass to the underside of the fingerboard? What is the fingerboard suppose to be tuned to and how does that affect the wolf note?

Oded

Isn't this AO BO matching? It is confusing to me also because I usually associate this with strengthening the power of the AO region. By the way, try not to get too much BO, it keeps the friends away.

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I had a wolf, the first-position E on the A string. My luthier (John Waddle) moved the soundpost, which helped. Then I changed to a plain gut A string (from Daniel Larsen at Gamut Strings), and this helped a lot. Also, the plain gut A has a sizzle and cut that the wound gut A did not. So, soundpost aside, the trend was as follows:

Larsen A (not the Tzigane variety) - wolf note (this was my starting point)

Passione A - less wolf (also tried Eudoxa A, also less wolf)

Soundpost adjustment - less still

Plain gut A - nearly gone, with much more sizzle and cut across the whole of the string, and a much more sweet sound in the higher positions

Also, curiously, when playing a mute (concert or practice mute), the wolf was less pronounced. It was as though all the other notes were attenuated more than the wolf note, so overall the wolf was more balanced with the rest, which ties in with what Oded had to say regarding wolf notes:

"On a violin the wolf frequency shakes the bridge which disrupts the string vibrations which interrupts the stick slip rhythm of the bow."

This makes sense in light of my direct experience (even though it is an isolated case).

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Years ago when I worked in NYC an old lady came to the shop and I noticed that she had a bare gut A string. I commented to my boss who said that this was common practice as people were emulating Heifetz who played with an bare gut A string.

As far as I know the A zero / B zero matching does not have an effect on the wolf note unless the wolf is on the A zero (not usually the case)

Oded

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That looks like Seth Truby in the video. The funny note is a 587ish hz D natural. Hard to tell what he's up to. The body mode is already below the air mode, so the intent wouldn't have been to match them. Adding weight would have taken them farther apart.

The video doesn't make it clear whether an improvement came from adding mass to the fingerboard, or from something else. It also shows some work being done on the upper nut, and the conversation suggests that the string might also have been changed.

Yes its the D, 580Hz or so, so it must be the B1+, a very high one. The D played on the A.

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Years ago when I worked in NYC an old lady came to the shop and I noticed that she had a bare gut A string. I commented to my boss who said that this was common practice as people were emulating Heifetz who played with an bare gut A string.

As far as I know the A zero / B zero matching does not have an effect on the wolf note unless the wolf is on the A zero (not usually the case)

Oded

This is a little off topic, but gut seems to be making a come-back, not for the sake of emulation, but because of the quality of sound (there is an element of emulation, but in an indirect sense as the reason gut continued to be used by some in the past is the same reason others have taken to it now, the quality of sound). But, you've got to be willing to try some options with gut, to find what works best for your instrument, bow, etc. As for me, a plain A (medium +) is very definitely the answer, alongside a Passione or Oliv G and D. I have tried a plain D (which was what Heifetz used), but it choked on my violin, sounding muddy. However, the wound gut G and D are so rich, and so powerful. They do not hurt your ears like an Evah might, but man do they carry.

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The clearest analogy describing a wolf is of two people turning a jump rope, then one of the turners starts to randomly and violently shake the string, that's the bridge shaking at the wolf frequency. The jumper then trips up on the chaotic jumprope. On a violin the wolf frequency shakes the bridge which disrupts the string vibrations which interrupts the stick slip rhythm of the bow.

Oded

Oded,

Lets put the sequence of events, and if there is invalid step, catch it at the beginning.

**Bow transfers energy to the string, then it is passes to the violin body via bridge,,,so bow+string+bridge+body.

**Body vibrates and amplifies the original pulse from string and transfers energy to air molecules then they hit ear drum.

**We hear the sound and decide if it is wolf tone or not

What I understand from the analogy you made, which is a good one except the interpretation I think, I get the impression that the wolf note shakes the bridge, then bridge disturbs the string vibration so eventually ending up in wolf tone.

How can the ear avoid to hear the bridge shaking wolf, I think it is already heard. Some how the initial wolf, which is the bridge shaking, is not leaving the violin body, but just shaking the bridge, so that the bow slips and creates the wolf we hear.

The sound, whether it is wolf or clear tone is coming from after body amplification with its harmonics == sub frequencies besides the principal note. I believe a wolf note is just a miscomunication between one of these sub frequencies and the principal note.

In short we have a rebel sub frequency that is trying to be heard as much as the principal one.

By sub frequency group I refer to all, good ones or bad ones, which determine good sound bad sound eventually. The one in wolf tone is definetely not good one, not a harmonics but destroys the the principal note.

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No Selim, you are over complicating the picture.

The wolf frequency is one where the area under the bridge (usually the bass side) has an excess of movement, this excess of movement disrupts the regular motion of the string.

The string skips a stick slip cycle and the missed cycle travels to the nut or bridge causing a kind of hiccup in the sound.

Once the string has dissipated the excess energy the bow picks up the string in the usual stick slip cycle, until the whole thing repeats itself.

This is why a lighter string is less prone to wolfiness, the string stores less energy, the bow dominates more easily etc.

Oded

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