Don Noon

Don Noon's bench

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I have noticed that the lighter the instrument is, B1 modes tend to fall more with chin rest, especially B1-, even if the endblock and thicknesses is ok in the lower regions. 

Sounds like the tail wagging the dog. LOL 

 

Actually, I could believe that this is true. You just added a fairly massive component for the weight of the violin.

 

Have you tried different styled chinrests? Their location should affect things too, I would imagine.

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Have you tried different styled chinrests? Their location should affect things too, I would imagine.

 

Yup.  I just blew the entire morning testing out 5 different chinrests on 4 violins and measuring 6 modes on each one.  Not a terribly well-spent morning.

Mass makes the mode frequencies go down.

Sidemount affects CBR more

But the bottom line is that you still need to try out different chinrests on each instrument to judge what works best.  No universal rule, other than that.

 

For all instruments, without a chinrest, in playing them, they are awful, with weak low end and lacking punch in the bow attacks.  I don't have quantitative data to back that up, but it was very clear to me.

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post-25192-0-99102000-1397518571_thumb.jpg

 

By limiting my time getting involved in the flaming threads raging in the pegbox, I managed to start the varnish process.

 

This is in-process, with just the ground coats.  Almost all the color is the wood itself; there's only a tiny shade to the ground.  I won't be posting full photos until after VSA, or until I decide not to enter this one.  I'm liking the look of this one very much, but the sound is really the only factor in deciding which one to enter. 

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attachicon.gif140414 ground.JPG

 

By limiting my time getting involved in the flaming threads raging in the pegbox, I managed to start the varnish process.

 

This is in-process, with just the ground coats.  Almost all the color is the wood itself; there's only a tiny shade to the ground.  I won't be posting full photos until after VSA, or until I decide not to enter this one.  I'm liking the look of this one very much, but the sound is really the only factor in deciding which one to enter.

Looking very nice Don.

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Funny I just posted photo's too. I couldn't resist putting a seal coat on the plates. I can't wait to varnish it.

Can't wait to see yours finished. Is it really that yellow? Thanks for posting the photo.

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 Is it really that yellow?

Probably not.  That was under incandescent light, and I didn't adjust anything.

This adjusted color version might be more realistic... but it depends on the lighting.  In diffuse light, it looks dark, in direct light, it glows.

post-25192-0-16595600-1397530179_thumb.jpg

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The last varnish coat is on #16.  Straight varnish, just a very light reddish tint on the maple, and a little more on the spruce.  I didn't want to have much in the way of the wood.  The maple glows:

post-25192-0-09079800-1397876618_thumb.jpg

It looks shaded, but it's not.

 

And at least I got one corner to come out nearly the way I wanted it:

post-25192-0-53891300-1397876616_thumb.jpg

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Varnish is done.  I managed to keep the soundpost in position throughout the process, and put back on the same bridge, strings, etc. that I had on during the unvarnished testing.  So the before/after varnish effect comparison is about as good as I can get.

post-25192-0-78175000-1398269738_thumb.jpg

This is about what I have seen before:  ~10 Hz or so increase in the B modes, with some moderation in the peaks/dips, especially in the range above 1kHz.  A little tighter, a little more controlled, but otherwise still the same instrument.  No radical changes.

 

Present data, for the numbers fans:

372g w/o chinrest (ebony pegs, wittner composite tailpiece w/4 fine tuners)

A0 = 273

B1- = 447

B1+ = 557

 

Interestingly, these are all very close to my previous instrument... within a few grams and a few Hz.  However, they play VERY differently.  This one is like a pillow, big and soft, with no hard edges.  The previous one (#15) is much edgier and has more punch.  Then there's the one before that, with about the same weight, slightly lower B frequencies, yet much more hard-edged than you'd ever want.  I'm not sure those characteristics can be extracted from the spectra, and for sure it does not follow from the B mode frequencies.

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Interestingly, these are all very close to my previous instrument... within a few grams and a few Hz.  However, they play VERY differently.  This one is like a pillow, big and soft, with no hard edges.  The previous one (#15) is much edgier and has more punch.  Then there's the one before that, with about the same weight, slightly lower B frequencies, yet much more hard-edged than you'd ever want.  I'm not sure those characteristics can be extracted from the spectra, and for sure it does not follow from the B mode frequencies.

This begs the question: What conclusion or hypothesis can be drawn from this? It says to me that there is something more important than just B modes. I have nothing to suggest other than to say "back to the drawing board." What are we ignoring?  :unsure:

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This begs the question: What conclusion or hypothesis can be drawn from this? It says to me that there is something more important than just B modes.

 

My conclusion, quite obviously, is that there are a LOT of things more important than B mode frequencies.  In fact, almost everything.  Especially the balance of it all.

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Don,

 

Do you have an established maker looking at your work? I think one can only learn so much by looking and listening. You need someone who knows the judging game. David Burgess did not win three times in a row by accident. He worked in a very established shop. They look for what they look for. Not necessarily what you look for. Your aesthetic might not agree with theirs.

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Regarding balance, Is it logical that a strong resonance anywhere would shut down that magic sound we are all seeking?

 

A strong resonance shouldn't negatively affect the rest of the sound, but it certainly would be a distraction... kinda like:

post-25192-0-38662400-1398444527_thumb.jpg 

Everything else is fine, but...

 

Don,

 

Do you have an established maker looking at your work?

 

Whenever I can, for sure.  Similarly with players to get feedback on tone.  Burgess has had a couple of them to review, and Chris Germain has been a good source at the VMAAI competitions for the last 3 years, as well as VSA (and all the other judges and great makers there). 

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New soundpost and bridge installed in #16, with modest improvement in the high end and slight reduction in the overabundant low end.  Thanks to John Harte for some advice on the brige; hopefully I will eventually get enough skill to make the cuts more accurately. 

 

Interestingly, I think this fiddle sounds much closer to the Jackson Strad than my "copy" of the Jackson Strad.  I the top density, being a closer match, probably has a lot to do with it (this=.35, Strad=.34, mycopy=.41).  The final instrument weights were all within one or two grams of each other.  The Strad still has the edge on the high overtones and more modest midrange, as shouldn't be terribly surprising in comparing a fresh-off-the-bench instrument with a Golden Period Strad.  Check back in 300 years and see how they compare.  I know from previous measurements (and my ears) that the high end improves the most with age... at least, over the year or two that I have been able to make measurements.  So this fiddle should improve to a better balance over time.

 

Here's what it sounds like now, with the usual lame tune...

16 tune.mp3

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Sounds like your pretty happy with it. Have you decided which one you're going to enter?..15 0r 16? The last double stop sounds terrific.

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Personally, I like 16 best, mostly for the G and D strings, which have endless power.  The high end has been improving with time and adjustments, and I expect further overtone improvement in the next few months, which is normal for a new instrument.  It is now slightly over a week old, since first stringup after varnishing, so I doubt it has fully settled in.

 

The final decision doesn't have to be made now, and I want to get some input from good violinists.  Perhaps I'll also post some comparison clips later to let MN'ers vote on it.

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