Don Noon

Don Noon's bench

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3 hours ago, carl stross said:

Don, could you find out which violin she's playing here :

That is the Carl Becker, 1923 I believe, that she had on loan while she was a music major at USC.  It was a very nice sounding violin... but didn't have the raw power to cut through an orchestra, and she had to return it when she graduated this year.  She chose to use mine (while she still had the Becker) for the Sphinx competition earlier this year.  The previous year, she used the Becker in the competition... playing the same piece.  It's a good comparison of the different violin capabilities, I think:

2017 (D. Noon violin)   

2016 (Carl Becker violin)

 

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48 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

That is the Carl Becker, 1923 I believe, that she had on loan while she was a music major at USC.  It was a very nice sounding violin... but didn't have the raw power to cut through an orchestra, and she had to return it when she graduated this year.  She chose to use mine (while she still had the Becker) for the Sphinx competition earlier this year.  The previous year, she used the Becker in the competition... playing the same piece.  It's a good comparison of the different violin capabilities, I think:

2017 (D. Noon violin)   

2016 (Carl Becker violin)

 

It works  nicely for her in that piece though of course, it might not have enough power. I wasn't impressed with the 2-3 Becker violins I heard but then it seems they were by more than one maker. That style of playing definitely seemed  to suit her better - the effort of doing "big solo" is decidedly taxing and reflects in tone. 

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13 minutes ago, Luis Martins said:

But the major difference, in my opinion, is the balance in tone when played hard or soft.

The ability to play soft and loud, or dynamic range, seems to be of extreme importance for violinists, and understandably so.  Normal response plots won't capture this, although it might show up in an impedance plot (which I can't get).  This is one reason why it is so important to find a good violinist to do the test driving.  I hear much less about tone, and much more about what they can do with it.

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9 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

The ability to play soft and loud, or dynamic range, seems to be of extreme importance for violinists, and understandably so.  Normal response plots won't capture this, although it might show up in an impedance plot (which I can't get).  This is one reason why it is so important to find a good violinist to do the test driving.  I hear much less about tone, and much more about what they can do with it.

And she really has the chops for it. She is quite able to understand, and work with the instrument, by making the most of its dynamic range trough expression. That wasn't so apparent with the Becker.

Another good example I've found that really captures the spirit:

 

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2 hours ago, Don Noon said:

The ability to play soft and loud, or dynamic range, seems to be of extreme importance for violinists, and understandably so.  Normal response plots won't capture this, although it might show up in an impedance plot (which I can't get).  This is one reason why it is so important to find a good violinist to do the test driving.  I hear much less about tone, and much more about what they can do with it.

Totally agree. 

So important to get feedback from good pro players.

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Monthly shop update...

I spent a bit of time messing around with #24, the violin I had at VMAAI.  I personally didn't mind it (as a fiddler), as it was even, warm, and the bottom two strings were particularly big-sounding.  For a violin, though, I felt is was too bottom-heavy (sound-wise) and low on bow resistance.  So I decided to make this my personal fiddle, at least for a while.

First, I opened it up to get some more stiffness, particularly in the CBR mode (which was lower than usual, and the sound output from the CBR actually exceeded both B1- and B1+).  After putting in some patches, the CBR frequency went up ~5 Hz, but otherwise not a huge difference.  Then came the strip and re-varnish (I thought it was too thick and dark), lowering the bridge and nut, putting on Helicores and a fine-tuning tailpiece.  It's my kind of fiddle now, although hopefully it will open up some more with time to get more grit, growl, and punch.  Even with processed wood, there are usually changes in that direction over time.  The varnish isn't completely done yet, as I am letting it harden before the final rubdown and some more antiquing work.

5a24846a99e9c_1712031.JPG.6ee631795b5b7a6d926771a792bdb52f.JPG5a24846bbcbf4_1712032.JPG.27ffb6aeed749081f777fd4588f0c13e.JPG

For comparison, the previous varnish is shown in the first post on the previous page.  The patched wormhole isn't too obvious, I think.

For what it's worth (very little), here is an audio clip: 24 171203.mp3

The body for the next violin (a Strad P form), the body is closed (but with final detailing left to do), and the scroll is under way.

5a24855f75325_1712033.JPG.2f37a9f525717efd85c6435775c29bb6.JPG

 

 

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It looks nice Don.  Why do you want to mess with it?  Those tailpieces look HUGE though.  What's wrong with pegs?  

I've thought about pre varnishing ribs, they are a lot of bother to get right with the overhangs in the way.  Do you do that all the time?

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Right now, it's shiny with lots of zits.  It needs to be de-newed.

The tailpieces are wide and short, but I like them because they have a range of tuning that can get to open-A tuning without messing with the pegs.  There's nothing really wrong with the pegs, but with steel strings, it's like having all 4 E strings.  Too touchy, and the reason why even classical players use fine tuners on the E.  

I have been putting varnish (or some minimal glue-resistant layer) on the ribs for the last 5 instruments or so, and will continue to do so to avoid glue ghosts on the ribs.  I'm thinking of moving it up to varnish the ribs before gluing onto the ribs, but (obviously) after bending them.

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Don, did you consider using Wittner geared fine-tune pegs as an alternative to fine tuners on the tailpiece?  Just personal preference?  Using the mechanical pegs introduces string friction over the nut as a possible disadvantage (tension can be different on either side of the nut due to friction between nut and string).  The contact of the string over the nut would seem to be significantly greater than the contact area of string over the bridge.  In both cases the friction may be inconsequential for a violin.  It's a factor with electric guitars where string bending pulls some string over the nut—from between nut and tuner, that doesn't all return when the tension is released (there are electric guitar bridges that incorporate fine tuners).

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3 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

Personally, I think it is gorgeous as is. Why antique it?

I don't intend to do much more.  I do need to rub it down, and if it gets more worn-looking in the process, fine.  It also needs a little more shading (I think) with a patina around the edges and in the middle of the top.  Right now it has the bright new look to it, which the client (me) doesn't like so much.

2 hours ago, Chris Llana said:

Don, did you consider using Wittner geared fine-tune pegs as an alternative to fine tuners on the tailpiece?  

Funny you should mention that.  If I keep this fiddle, I will put in geared pegs after I get done detailing the varnish.  I HATE wooden pegs around this time of year, when the humidity swings from 60% to 10% and back every week or two.  Tune it during humid weather, and all strings will let loose in the switch.  Tune it in dry, and you need pliers to break the pegs loose next week.  If I played and tuned every day (which I don't), I could probably keep up with the weather.  I have a few sets of wood pegs cooking in the chamber now, and that should lessen the problem.

But, for proper fiddle aesthetics, it should have a fine-tuning tailpiece anyway.  And a thick coating of rosin dust.

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