Sign in to follow this  
Melvin Goldsmith

Echard on Video ( Strad varnish)

Recommended Posts

Good question, Anders.

Yes. The shape [geometry] of those old good instruments takes precedence.

Jim

I've left you alone for a while Jim, but you're still harping about shape and geometry and critical dimensions, and some relationship to string tuning.

Your proof or evidence for any of these notions?

Send me a nicely working fiddle. If it cuts the mustard, I'll sing your praises (and I'll check with other people too, so it won't just be my opinion). In the meantime.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing that strikes me from these clips is that presumably the violin studied is either the Tua or the Davidoff from the Paris museum, or Daugareil's own Strad. All these instruments are much redder in real life than the clips would suggest (at least on my monitor).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Last projects, tung oil and the very last, egg white + tung oil. The instruments were almost dripping wet, I turned them for a few days to get the oil evenly distributed. I do not know how far it penetrates. But I know the change of reponse before any sealer, and after the oil was dry, was very small, if any. Almost all of it penetrates, I suppose. I am not concerned about it.

Thanks, that is interesting to say the least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing that strikes me from these clips is that presumably the violin studied is either the Tua or the Davidoff from the Paris museum, or Daugareil's own Strad. All these instruments are much redder in real life than the clips would suggest (at least on my monitor).

Same here. I think the clips didn't do the instruments any favours!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... but you're still harping about shape and geometry and critical dimensions, and some relationship to string tuning. Your proof or evidence for any of these notions?

Send me a nicely working fiddle. If it cuts the mustard, I'll sing your praises (and I'll check with other people too, so it won't just be my opinion). In the meantime.....

Thanks very much for the offer, David. And yes, in the meantime since Amati, Stradivari and Del Gesu left us there's been

much discussion about acoustics. :)

Other than a listening test on both perfect Violin and Viola Models, what do you suggest as proof the Acoustic Code has been decoded ?

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anders says that varnish doesn't affect the tone then he uses egg white and tung oil, go figure, realistically the main job of the varnish is to mask the high harmonics of the white violin which tend to be out of tune with the fundamental, secondly a good oil varnish seems to accentuate the low harmonics which are in tune and add to the quality of the sound, i don't see a burgeoning market out there for white violins, let alone tung oiled ones, zulu out :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Other than a listening test on both perfect Violin and Viola Models, what do you suggest as proof the Acoustic Code has been decoded ?

Jim

These would be playing and listening tests, by people who have played and done sound adjustments on a lot of instruments, including some which are considered at the top of the heap. This wouldn't be proof, but evidence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anders says that varnish doesn't affect the tone then he uses egg white and tung oil, go figure, realistically the main job of the varnish is to mask the high harmonics of the white violin which tend to be out of tune with the fundamental, secondly a good oil varnish seems to accentuate the low harmonics which are in tune and add to the quality of the sound, i don't see a burgeoning market out there for white violins, let alone tung oiled ones, zulu out :)

I think the main task of the varnish is to protect the wood and to make the instruments look good. Some early measurements on the effect of varnish on damping support what you say above that the highs are damped more by a soft varnish. But that is not the end of the story. The nice thing, or the problem if you like, is that that effect is drowning in the damping effects from holding the instrument for playing, the shoulder, chin fingers and possibly the bow.

I do not think that a varnish can accentuate anything. It may move some modes a bit up or maybe even down, as it adds mass and some stiffness. The effect may be slightly different in different regions of the plate. The general trend is that varnish tends to make the response slightly weaker and that the resonances become a little wider, that is increased damping. That latter effect may depend on how soft the varnish is. But as said that damping is minuscle in comparison to the fixure losses due to holding for playing.

I think the main variable for accentuating the lows and attenuating the highs, when the wood has been chosen and the arching is set, is the thickness of the plates. I think a thinner plate would work like what you describe. Thinning the plate will definitively accentuate the lows, the story in the highs is probaly more coplex though. I think a thin plate will make the "body hill region" less pronounced, that is: somewhat weaker.

When it comes to the protection of the wood from e.g. humidity variations, I am not quite sure how that works. I wonder if the varnish might let water molecules through while water drops would not, somewhat like "tech textiles" for allweather clothing. Some told me that water gas molecules penetrate pretty much anything, or at least varnish. Some seal the inside of the instruments. Does that help for humidity variations?

How well does e.g. tung or linseed oil protect against humidity changes? The dried tung oil seems somewhat porous when working with it, e.g. taking colour after drying and sanding it a bit. I need a surface I can make ink drawings on with no bleeding of the ink along the fibres.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
....

I think the main variable for accentuating the lows and attenuating the highs, when the wood has been chosen and the arching is set, is the thickness of the plates. I think a thinner plate would work like what you describe. Thinning the plate will definitively accentuate the lows, the story in the highs is probaly more coplex though. I think a thin plate will make the "body hill region" less pronounced, that is: somewhat weaker.

...

I believe so, the fundamentals are set during wood selection, arching, graduation, etc, but when varnish is applied, it is an other violin with different settings no matter how good it was when white.

I think varnish, is the biggest challenge.

In my experience, varnish mutes higher end, mineral ground is not enough to recover all, it is cutting off lower end.

I wish I did know what the third or fourth layer would be to recover the loss from the previous one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
These would be playing and listening tests, by people who have played and done sound adjustments on a lot of instruments, including some which are considered at the top of the heap. This wouldn't be proof, but evidence.

Okay, I'm interested.

Perhaps we can arrange something later for this Summer.

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This video link was sent to me by a very respected friend, luthier John B Harte. It shows some shots of Echard at work evaluating varnish and has some nice coincidental footage of 'chattoyance' and some microscope pics...I thought it was worth 2 minutes 16 seconds to view and hope it might be of interest.

Yes, absolutely wonderful shots of the Strad and the varnish.

I wish there were more of this type of video around. For some reason, videos like this give (me) a whole different understanding or perspective of the varnish, than still photographs do - which, (make no mistake about what I'm saying here) have a great value also, for people like me, who can only fanaticize about studying instruments like this in person...

Really nice clip - thanks for sharing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I find amazing to read linseed or walnut oil as ground (?)…

This has been discussed in the past, how linseed oil in particular, on the bare wood, has some really nice optical effects, but also has some problems as a base coat - particularly with regard to drying and adhesion if I recall correctly.

Perhaps (more like, almost certainly) they had an entirely different way of preparing the oils?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.