Don Noon

Don Noon's bench

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I too like the third the best. I am impressed at the bass response on all of them. Usually what are considered "fine violins" by many have weak , lifeless low ends on them.

 

"fine violins" tend to be used in large halls where too much bass becomes greatly exaggerated. "bass" carries well. Treble doesn't. Here, Don might be too close to the microphone and the microphone might be the wrong kind.

But these are very nice violins, no doubt. 2nd is more open, clear and gutsy to my ear and my computer speakers.

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FYI I was using a TASCAM DR-07mkII portable digital recorder, ~2m distance, in a narrow but high hallway.

 

If #2 sounds more open and clear, it might be due to age.  It's almost a year old, and the high end has increased measurably over that time (which seems to be normal).  Just as a reminder...  that the last one was varnished within the week, and strung up for ~2 hours before I made the recording.

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Just out of curiosity, I tried moving the mike closer, to ~.25m.  Same order (but with an extra one at the end, the modified Chinese fiddle in post #34 that has been taken way over the hill to Tubbyville).

Close miked 14 12 15 VSO.mp3

 

To my ear, the first one has the most clarity, but I still like the overall tone of the third one best (this is only today's opinion).

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I think they all sound better in the first recording (post #47) vs the close mike recording.  And I also like 3 best - smoother, more complex tone

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Don, I'm not going to comment the soundclips, but your work is really great!

You have developed the craftmanship (Art ;)) for every violin.

 

post-37356-0-79099600-1388925302_thumb.jpg

post-37356-0-64012000-1388925315_thumb.jpg

post-37356-0-68171700-1388925326_thumb.jpg

 

(Where is #13?)

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How do you attach mp3 files?

 

I just hit "more reply options", then the "choose files" and then just browse for the MP3 to attach.

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post-25192-0-85983500-1388978095_thumb.jpg

 

Wood for (what's intended to be) my VSA violin, on the bench for motivation.  I still have to make the mold, though.  This will be a sortof normal inside mold, with some of my own ideas added on.  The modified outside mold I used for the last 2 fiddles was OK, but not magical.  Corners were still a problem area.

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Overbaked, I don't think so.  The top and neck of my previous one were far darker (see post #33; even though it doesn't look too dark there), and after varnish the effect is even less obvious (post #47).  There is also some darkening on the outermost surface of the wood, and inside it's a bit lighter.

 

Aesthetically, I think it will come out fine.  How much effort is put into trying to make new wood look darker, with chemical treatments, stains, and colored varnish?  If the wood starts out a bit darker, I think the task is much easier, and I personally think there is a look that is hard to duplicate by other means.  But there is such a thing as too dark, and although the overbaked wood doesn't look too bad (Chris Germain said so), I have been working at lightening up... and this batch is much lighter than before. 

 

Acoustically, I have been getting excellent results with my extra-dark, overbaked wood... if you believe VMAAI tone judges.  I have been tweaking the processing parameters to try to get the wood properties of the dark stuff, yet not look as dark.  This wood, my latest processing, hopefully meets that goal.

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I would love to see high-magnification photomicrographs of before/after pieces of wood and for comparison woods that have achieved that colour through age.

 

Local lab nearby?

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I wouldn't mind seeing photomicrographs, but if the macro properties are good, I'm happy enough.  I can send samples to anyone who wants to do the work.

 

Onward...

Finished the new 3-layer, collapsable center section mold, with a few crackpot ideas thrown in to see how it works.  The most obvious one is the pre-shaped endblocks, inspired by the neck block of the Willemotte.  They are held to the mold by a screw; the lower screwhole will become the endpin hole.  It might be useful to re-attach the garland rigidly to the mold later in the process for some operations... I'll see.

 

One thing I'll have to change next time is to delay thermal processing of the ribs until after they are bent.  Although I managed to get the job done this time without total breakage, it wasn't easy.  Processed maple is definitely stiff and brittle, and doesn't seem to pay much attention to heat or steam.

 

post-25192-0-71690100-1390093136_thumb.jpg

 

Yikes... the third day of a heatwave here, hotter than any days in June or July of last year.  No, I'm not in Australia. B)

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The back is nearly done... I think.

The weight is down to about what is medium-low for me, but the M5 taptone is far higher than anything else I've done (see the red dot on the plot).  Since I believe it is the height of silliness to modify graduations specifically to raise or lower free-plate taptones, my best guess is to take off another few grams but leave the taptone high.  The density isn't exceptionally low, at .56; a lot of my other ones used back wood closer to .50.  Anyway, this looks like another investigation of the extremes of something.  Hopefully it's a good thing.

 

Another interesting point, at least for me:  the unprocessed maple examples tend to be higher weight and/or lower taptone, as shown by the green points on the plot.  One other processed back is in the same region:  that's the first back I ever processed, very short time at low temperature compared to the others.

 

post-25192-0-81603900-1391957564_thumb.jpg

attachicon.gif16 back.jpg

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What you predict for M5 if you have made the same back in bakerlite or fibreglass or unprocessed sugar/hard maple?

 

I think #16 maple is an interesting piece of wood - I would make the violin as is!

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Even though maple isn't the ultimate wood, it is much better in stiffness/weight than bakelite or fiberglass.  So I'd expect high mass or low taptone.  Hard maple I don't know; best guess is slightly heavy/low taptone.  But then, the connection between instrument tone and the back weight and taptones is not clear.

 

Yes, I have picked out extremely interesting wood for #16, what I thought would make for the most powerful sound.  I don't plan to do much more carving on the back, just clean-up scraping and edgework, probably not much more than 2 or 3 grams.

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Done scraping and most of the edgework. 

 

It is now my lightest back so far at 93.7g, AND the highest M5 taptone at 392 Hz.  Might be interesting. 

 

I also take some absolute stiffness measurements, where it is just a little stiffer than average. 

 

Arching is 15.6mm

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Done scraping and most of the edgework. 

 

It is now my lightest back so far at 93.7g, AND the highest M5 taptone at 392 Hz.  Might be interesting. 

 

I also take some absolute stiffness measurements, where it is just a little stiffer than average. 

 

Arching is 15.6mm

Don,

 

Ok, humor me. My yet untested hypothesis says your stiffness for the back is 1.44. Now pair that with a stiff top, in which ktop is 0.86 to 0.96 and you at least have a violin with its sound in the "below 600 Hz" range that will be acceptable. (ktop is mtop*((M5top)^2)

Like I said, humor me. I expect to have more data soon. I will either shut up or crow louder.

 

John

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John,

 

I don't use stiffness numbers for targets, but I do have the data to calculate it.  Generally I go pretty light on the top, with correspondingly lower stiffness numbers.  The few that I have made with tops at .9 seemed too stiff, and I regraduated them.  I have some at .72, and that seems a bit soft.  I expect this top will calculate out to a stiffness number close to .82... but all my "tuning" is without the bass bar, and once the bar goes on, it is whatever it is.

 

By the way, my last one (#15) shows a top at .80 and back at 1.43, and I believe it is the best so far.

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John,

 

I don't use stiffness numbers for targets, but I do have the data to calculate it.  Generally I go pretty light on the top, with correspondingly lower stiffness numbers.  The few that I have made with tops at .9 seemed too stiff, and I regraduated them.  I have some at .72, and that seems a bit soft.  I expect this top will calculate out to a stiffness number close to .82... but all my "tuning" is without the bass bar, and once the bar goes on, it is whatever it is.

 

By the way, my last one (#15) shows a top at .80 and back at 1.43, and I believe it is the best so far.

Don,

 

I would apprecate knowng the top freq. and mass or stffness number. (my "eye" key has stopped workng)

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#15

Top (with bar) 62.4g, 359Hz      58.3g/313Hz without bar

Back 99.9g, 379Hz

Don,

 

Thanks,  BTW, the humidity changes M5 and mass, as I am sure you know. You probably don't have wild changes in your locale, but here, the difference between Summer and Winter readings is large.

 

John

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