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The Heifetz David -- a pancake???


Tommy

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The rib heights, according to book commemorating 'del Gesù' of the exhibition held at the Metropolitan in New York in 1994, they go from a maximum in the lower bouts of 31.25mm to a minimum of 29.0mm near the neck block.

Bruce is correct; lower block to neck block... though there is one spot in the upper bout the height dips very slightly below 29.

The center of the top on that particular fiddle is rather flat... which may lend visually to the effect.

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Not much I or anybody else can do about that, sorry!

Hi Anders,

We can't blame anyone for the quality of a video on YouTube. They are what they are and it is already such a gift that we have a similar resource.

The comment wasn't so much a criticism as a question. From the visual standpoint what can be learned about the instrument when the video quality is so poor? The audio quality isn't much better but at least you can glean some information here.

Part of what made Heifetz great was his ability to create tension and mood in his musical interpretations. If you ignore the speed and listen to the music it is clear that he put a lot of thought into every piece he played. The agressiveness is there, when needed, but always with plenty of expression, variety and nuance.

Bruce

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But the picture appears to show just the reverse--higher near the block.

The image leaves a lot to be desired...... :)

Have you read what has already been written in this thread about the image quality? It might be worthwhile to look at the video on YouTube and you can see for yourself how the image dimensions jump around due to the low quality.

Bruce

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Well, OK, until now I had not looked at the video, and the quality is indeed poor. But I noticed that the distortion of the plate appears to hold regardless of what part of the image it appears in, and that appears to uphold the observation. The closest it comes to appearing normal is at 2:55 and 7:43. However, I concede that the evidence is weak, and besides, who cares?

The image has certainly been through some format changes, and may have been videotaped from a curved TV screen. Either that or through a truly rotten lens, or both. It also appears that the film was not held very well in the film plane during the video conversion.

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Well, OK, until now I had not looked at the video, and the quality is indeed poor. But I noticed that the distortion of the plate appears to hold regardless of what part of the image it appears in, and that appears to uphold the observation. The closest it comes to appearing normal is at 2:55 and 7:43. However, I concede that the evidence is weak, and besides, who cares?

The image has certainly been through some format changes, and may have been videotaped from a curved TV screen. Either that or through a truly rotten lens, or both. It also appears that the film was not held very well in the film plane during the video conversion.

Sorry, La Folia, it wasn't my intention to squash the discussion but it seems that this sort of video creates problems that otherwise wouldn't be there. To me it's important that we can all put up our ideas and questions without worrying about it too much and get some good feedback.

Bruce

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I know the old Heifetz-joke, but on its own, does The Heifetz David [Violin] have the "smooth" clear Old Cremona sound

[what some people call "dead"] ?

Jim

Ummm... Not sure I really follow... I don't think it sounds dead... Really quite a nice sounding fiddle I think.

Well, OK, until now I had not looked at the video, and the quality is indeed poor. But I noticed that the distortion of the plate appears to hold regardless of what part of the image it appears in, and that appears to uphold the observation. The closest it comes to appearing normal is at 2:55 and 7:43. However, I concede that the evidence is weak, and besides, who cares?

The image has certainly been through some format changes, and may have been videotaped from a curved TV screen. Either that or through a truly rotten lens, or both. It also appears that the film was not held very well in the film plane during the video conversion.

Not sure if the appearance is due to video translation problems, lenses or aliens... the fiddle's rib heights don't look that way in person. :)

Cheers!

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Not sure I really follow... I don't think it sounds dead... Really quite a nice sounding fiddle I think.
Jim, the "dead" sound doesn't apply to all Cremonese. Just some. :)

Others have a lot of punch.

Hmmm, in Anders' recent listening test Threads, I thought "dead" was used to describe a lack of dissonance. What others

called "dead", I thought sounded "pure".

I was thinkin' along the lines of Heifetz preferring a smooth pure harmonic response [with no stray transient frequencies

produced by the instrument itself] so that everything else was generated by his finger/bow work [and that alone].

It would seem an instrument that generates its own stray transients would drive a Perfectionist crazy.

Jim

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Hmmm, in Anders' recent listening test Threads, I thought "dead" was used to describe a lack of dissonance. What others

called "dead", I thought sounded "pure"...

It would seem an instrument that generates its own stray transients would drive a Perfectionist crazy.

Jim

I used the word "dead", so I'll attempt to define it.

To me, it has nothing to do with "lack of dissonance". And I don't really understand what you mean by "stray transients". Transients are important in perception of sound. If they aren't there, information is lacking. What is a stray one?

To me, the best instruments have a good transient "crunch". Otherwise, it's all vowels, lacking diction.

I'm pretty sure you're some kind of a tech guy, so try this:

Generate a sine wave at a certain pitch. Then change it to a square wave, or a sawtooth wave at the same fundamental frequency. Do they have more "life" than the sine wave? That's what I mean when using the term.

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Sorry, La Folia, it wasn't my intention to squash the discussion.... To me it's important that we can all put up our ideas and questions without worrying about it too much and get some good feedback.

??? I don't detect any squashed discussion. I looked but I couldn't even find any mangled syntax lying around. :)

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And I don't really understand what you mean by "stray transients". Transients are important in perception of sound. If they aren't there, information is lacking. What is a stray one?

To me, the best instruments have a good transient "crunch". Otherwise, it's all vowels, lacking diction.

Yes indeed, the terms "transient", "transients", "attack", and "decay" as they relate specifically to acoustic phenomena, have become such general catch phrases lately, that I often wonder what radically different phenomena people associate with the terms.

There are really pretty strict parameters governing what the words refer to acoustically, but the field is generating its own popular definitions for these terms, in accordance with, what I believe, are popular misconceptions about them.

I HATE when the conversation gets to the point where semantic differences have to be mucked through in order for a mutual, technically correct understanding to occur, because that's generally where tempers will start to become a bit frayed.

You’d think that we would be able to sort this stuff, dealing with nomenclature, out fairly easily, but that doesn't usually seem to be the case.

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I HATE when the conversation gets to the point where semantic differences have to be mucked through in order for a mutual, technically correct understanding to occur, because that's generally where tempers will start to become a bit frayed.

Well, not really HATE, per se, it is an interesting study in and of itself, how these things work.

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... I don't really understand what you mean by "stray transients". Transients are important in perception of sound. If they aren't there, information is lacking. What is a stray one?

Hi David,

By "stray transients" I simply mean the sound just isn't smooth & clean. [i know ... more adjectives :)]

I'm just wonderin' if The Heifetz David sounded very much like the Del Gesu in Ander's recent listening test, or does it put out

some "extra" peaks here & there [like the other two test fiddles].

I don't disagree with your above statement about perception of sound.

Jim

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