Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Newly Published Book "The Sound of Stradivari"


pt3
 Share

Recommended Posts

How many here would buy the book IF 'so-and-so' big time player said that the violins sounded just like a Stradivari?

How many here would complain about the expense IF the book truly came through with what it promises?

How many people just getting into violin making for the first time will think that this is a 'must have' book?

"There's a sucker born every minute." - P. T. Barnum

The problem with P.T. Barnum is that he is behind the times. (1810–1891) Today things have sped-up to a rate that is just 'ever so slightly' faster. :mellow::huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, but at least Vigdorchik is a lot cheaper. If the new book was being sold for $50 I would probably buy it (not right away but eventually) and read it when I got bored enough. For $300, or whatever the price translates to, I can't even concider it.

I think the price translates to about $408.-

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This technique may confirm the terms of a well-known letter sent to Galileo from Cremona in 1638: "the violin cannot be brought to perfection without the strong heat of the sun."

Most interpret this in the context of varnish... polymerization and oxidation. But quoting without context is the fashion of our times. dry.gif

There is something to be said for the peer review system, before publication.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quoted from The Sound of Stradivari:

· The coupling frequency of the top plate determines the frequency of mode B1- and the dynamics of the violin.

· The coupling frequency of the back plate determines the frequency of mode B1+ and the power of the instrument.

There are all kinds of fancy ways to manipulate 'numbers' and data. It's Voodoo I tell ya! Coupling plate frequencies DO NOT determine resonant mode frequencies.

Jim

Has anyone ever observed what happens to the plate resonant frequencies when the plate gets attached to a rib structure and re-tested in comparison with a free plate? Or what further happens when the soundpost is exerting pressure against the plate? I don't recall ever seeing this being discussed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone ever observed what happens to the plate resonant frequencies when the plate gets attached to a rib structure and re-tested in comparison with a free plate? Or what further happens when the soundpost is exerting pressure against the plate? I don't recall ever seeing this being discussed.

I don't think anyone has observed what you are describing, because the plate modes and frequencies change completely once you glue the edges down and stick in a post. You can talk about free plate modes or modes of the assembled instrument, and some of the instrument modes sortof look like the same motion as the free plate... but they ain't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Patrick Kreit, a French violin maker, has published a book, titled "The Sound of Stradivari". It is said that the resonant frequencies and frequency spacings of an assembled violin can be tuned to desired values by using his method step by step so as to raise its tone quality to its maximum potentiality. The price of this book is 285 euro. Has anyone read this book? I want to know whether it is worth reading and buying.

Seems to me if Mr. Kreit, "a French violin maker", knew what he was talking about, the real money would be in building violins, not writing a book about them.

But maybe that's just me...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"On a good violin, the cavity volume is between 1920 and 1980 cm3." - From www.kreitpatrick.com

-------------------------------------------------

"Metrics and Volumes---

Volume, body, interior air mass

VOLUMES (cm3)

Strad-1677 Sunrise------2061.9

Strad-1679 Hellier--------2072.8

Strad-1687 Ole Bull-----2039.5

Strad-1699 Catelbarco-1938.7

Strad-1700 Ward---------1907.9

Strad-1704 Betts---------2021.3

Strad-1709 Greffuhle----2068.8" - from "The Secrets of The Stradivari String Instruments." Bruno Frohlich, Gary Sturm, Janine Hinton, and Else Frohlich

-------------------------------------------------

Okay Castelbarco you can stay, the rest of you have to go! :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think anyone has observed what you are describing, because the plate modes and frequencies change completely once you glue the edges down and stick in a post. You can talk about free plate modes or modes of the assembled instrument, and some of the instrument modes sortof look like the same motion as the free plate... but they ain't.

A while back I measured the modes of a violin body, then I separated a small portion of one of the seams and looked for changes. There were visible changes but I don't remember what they were off the top of my head. Also, there wasn't anything about it that looked wrong it was just different. I suppose if someone really wanted to try then they could slowly separate portions of a plate edge from a violin while tracking the modes to see if they slowly changed to free plate-like modes. The catch is that this would probably have to be done without a post and relating the modes of a violin with and without a post would be a tough project of its own. There would also be a point where rattling plate edges would interfere with measurements.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back in my days of youthful optimisim I thought that you could cleverly make a fixture to hold a plate the right way, and find some good match between the plate modes in the fixture and the modes in the completed instrument. I built some fixtures. Didn't work. As a demonstration, just try hanging a few spool clamps around the edges of a violin and see how completely the sound is changed. Everything matters.

And people (some very smart ones) have been trying for a very long time to get from free plate modes to the modes of the assembled instrument, with no blazing success that I've seen. At best, we can see tendencies and correlations, with a lot of noise. But you'd get that from just thicknesses, too, I'd bet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone ever observed what happens to the plate resonant frequencies when the plate gets attached to a rib structure and re-tested in comparison with a free plate? Or what further happens when the soundpost is exerting pressure against the plate? I don't recall ever seeing this being discussed.

There are an article on the subject in the latest VSA Papers. It appears to be addressed in Kreits book too, but possibly not with the soundpost in. There are at least one article on the subject in one of the CAS Journals, pics of chladni patterns in free plates and with the plates on the ribs.

I think I have mentioned my great grandpas method of adding a preliminary wooden strip across the C-bout and add a soundpost to the plate on the ribs while tuning the plates. His work has never been published, but it is from before 1940. I do not have the journal here to say how much the modes increased in frequency, but they went up, by what I can remember.

Jansson also did put in a soundpost in his holographic recordings of modes from the early 1970ties. The pics are published in Cremers book, I think. He glued the back on the ribs to an heavy plate with a hole in it and took holograms of the resonances with and without the soundpost in. Theree are also holograms for resonances from the different working stages of the top on that rig. Photographic holography need a very stable setup, so that may be the reason for glueing the ribs to that heavy stiff block.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back in my days of youthful optimism ...

Don, back in my days of youthful optimism, I thought many things too. These have been refined over the years. You seem to have a better ability to cut to the chase than I had in my early years. For both of us, advancing age offers the incentive of time urgency, doesn't it? :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think anyone has observed what you are describing, because the plate modes and frequencies change completely once you glue the edges down and stick in a post. You can talk about free plate modes or modes of the assembled instrument, and some of the instrument modes sortof look like the same motion as the free plate... but they ain't.

Here is an example of mode 5 in a back plate on the ribs. Looks pretty similar to a free back plate mode 5. And it resembles the back plate movements of B1- and possibly the C4. Not exactly the same, but similarities.

I add the "mother picture" for the modal analysis set too, so you see how the maple is hung in rubber bands. There is a band hanging from the end button outside the picture too. [Edited]

post-25136-0-11856900-1303262816_thumb.jpg

post-25136-0-76390700-1303263600_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And people (some very smart ones) have been trying for a very long time to get from free plate modes to the modes of the assembled instrument, with no blazing success that I've seen. At best, we can see tendencies and correlations, with a lot of noise. But you'd get that from just thicknesses, too, I'd bet.

One part of the problem is just what is defined as blazing success? A blazing success to one person is another person's ear piecing and lacking in complexity. I don't think this is really a problem of being able to achieve a certain goal but one of trying to figure out what the goal really is. Since people are the final judge there is no clear goal except that the same violin but louder will be judged as better. You could set Strad or Guarneri as an ideal but then you have to decide which one, not everyone will agree on the same one. At a certain point you just have to decide what you want to build. If you want to build the ideal violin, whatever that is, you will fail because there isn't such a thing. If you want to build your idea of a good violin then that is an obtainable goal, as the large number of 'secret finding' books have shown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One part of the problem is just what is defined as blazing success?

Blazing success:

Characteristic "A" of the free plates will result in characteristic "B" of the assembled instrument... and here's the objective evidence. Yes, I know there are correlations that show some trend between plate taptones and body modes, but the scatter plots look more like a shotgun blast. And that's the BEST we have.

On the positive side, at least my experience, taptones can vary all over the map and the body modes of the assembled instrument still come out pretty much in the same place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't get this discussion. I hesitate to jump in as an onlooker who knows nothing, beyond the fact that I tried a Strad once and it was a fantastic instrument. But I will jump in, in case someone can explain what is really going on in this discussion.

As far as I can see, either it is true that the best Starivari violins are way better than modern violins, in a different league. In which case anyone who searhes for the reasons should be praised, that is better than being an experiened but jaded violin maker who have given up the search for perfection. OR Stardivari are fine violins which are not radically different in sound and playability from what can be achieved with good materials, hard work and skill today.

If Strads are not in a different league than the best modern instruments, this kind of research is barking up the wrong tree, and violin design should look for refinement and innovation without idolizing Starivari. However, no one has come out and said that, though I know the discussion is repeated from time to time. I am guessing that this second view is behind scepticism about this new book.

There is a third explanation for the scepticism which occurs to me: when engineers and physicists finally work out what makes a great violin, fiddlex of Stradivari quality and better robustnesss will be made from synthetic materials, putting traditional violin makers in the position traditional watchmakers have in the age of digital watches: restorers of antiques which rarely work as well as something mass produced from plastic. Therefore best call of the search for how to engineer a Strad, because one day it will surely succeed.

Just being provocative to see why there is less support for the effort (even if it fails) to work out what it was that Stradivari 'knew' which modern makers are failing to match.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't get this discussion. I hesitate to jump in as an onlooker who knows nothing, beyond the fact that I tried a Strad once and it was a fantastic instrument. But I will jump in, in case someone can explain what is really going on in this discussion.

Just being provocative to see why there is less support for the effort (even if it fails) to work out what it was that Stradivari 'knew' which modern makers are failing to match.

What's really going on?

In what respect?

It's not a difficult discussion to follow. I believe that you can take this discussion at face value. We discuss such things as this, because they are germane to our chosen profession.

I would suggest that you attempt to place yourself in the shoes of someone who has chosen to make/repair/restore/sell or even play the violin.

In another context, such a discussion as this might not seem to have much relevance, but here, that is the context.

Though, even as a player, seeking to find out why things are as they are in the world of the violin, why the million dollar prices, why the hullabaloo surrounding certain makers, why the seemingly unquenchable thirst for authentic old Italian instruments in the upper levels of performance... , I imagine that this conversation would, at the very least, prove to be interesting reading..., and the reasons for having it should be self-explanatory.

We have discussions like this one, because this is what we choose to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone ever observed what happens to the plate resonant frequencies when the plate gets attached to a rib structure and re-tested in comparison with a free plate? Or what further happens when the soundpost is exerting pressure against the plate? I don't recall ever seeing this being discussed.

Under simple paraemetrs of mechanics of a standing wave,

-length

-mass

-tension

I think, even in assembled, glued plates, without surface tension, the work would not be complete.

Soundpost tension is an other deep question, partitioning the surface tension between plates.

That would be great discussion,

Agree..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...