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Don Noon's bench


Don Noon

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It would have been much better if I just remembered not to jam the patch in too hard.  The glue joint repair should be as strong as the wood, and it's not in a place of high stress, so I don't think it's a big concern.

 

 

My two top plates are done, ready to close the body.  The tops came out far closer than I would have thought, and I wasn't really trying to get them to be the same... I just thinned them out to an approximate weight/taptone zone, and that's the way they ended up.

 

Without bass bar:

 

#19  60.2g  Frequencies for M1, M2, M5:  80  133  316

#20  60.3g                                                 82  132  315
 
With bass bar,
 
#19  64.2g  Frequencies for M1, M2, M5:  89  149  352
#20  63.9g                                                 91  148  352
 
The bass bars are from the top wood offcut edges, slab orientation.  I shape the bars completely before gluing them in, with no subsequent tuning.
 
Previous violins that had "very close" weights and taptones ended up sounding about as different from each other as any other violin from my work, so it will be interesting to hear how these two end up.
 
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These are perfect figures if the top's thicknesses also are adjusted to their density

 

The densities were very close, so the thicknesses were also very close.  I'll be sure to mention to a potential buyer that the figures are perfect, and therefore they should buy it even if it sounds like crap  :) .

 

 

post-25192-0-34100300-1433729462_thumb.jpg

 

Bodies closed up, and at this point #20 (Guarneri model) has B1- 5Hz lower than the Strad, and B1+ is 18Hz higher.  For the moment, I'll attribute that difference to the back wood, which is quite different between the two, with the Guarneri having very low longitudinal stiffness and high crossgrain stiffness.  They both are in a reasonable range, so there's nothing that needs to be done about anything.

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There is no difference in longitudinal bending stiffness (I checked).

The radial direction of spruce is stiffer than tangential, therefore "slab" bars might be more resistant to local depression at the bridge foot.

Tangential direction is most prone to shrinkage and cracking, so standard bars should be more prone to height changes and cracks in the sides.

And the offcuts from the edges of the plates are too thin for normal bars.  I don't always want to slice wood off the thick part of the wedge before joining.

 

I don't think any of these are overpowering reasons to go slab, so I'll use either orientation.  Normal bars work fine, too, and are a bit easier to fit.

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  • 3 weeks later...

#20 (the whacky-wood Guarneri model) is strung up, unvarnished, as per my usual can't-wait-to-hear-it procedure.  Impact spectrum looks like this:

post-25192-0-08223200-1435948422_thumb.jpg

 

I don't have a clue why, but a couple of weeks ago my impact spectra all started coming out ~6dB higher than they have for the last several years.  Everything is exactly the same with the equipment and settings.  Presumably I can just scale things if I want to make comparisons with older measurements; the shapes look about normal, anyway.

 

As I noticed earlier before the neck was attached, this fiddle appeared to have a relatively wide frequency difference between B1- and B1+ resonances, and that continued through to this point, too.  This fact is of absolutely no functional importance to a player, as far as I can tell.  

 

Not visible on the response spectrum is the CBR resonance, which is up at 404 Hz, higher than anything else I've made.  That is intentional, as I made the ribs a little thicker than usual, and kept the plate edges on the thick side too.  The reasoning is that as long as this resonance doesn't produce a lot of sound, I would try to avoid having it absorb bow energy.  Perhaps it would improve transient response.  I don't have any measurements to prove it, but I think the added stiffness does help in that regard.

 

I usually find unvarnished violins to be rough and wild, with tendency toward uneven response and wolf notes (not just at the normal places, but up on the E string too).  This one seems to be much more even and wolf-free.  At this point, there is nothing that I can see that needs adjustment... it just needs varnish and a bit of aging.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is number 16 the set you got from me, or is this the unprocessed fiddle? I have more of that wood and have a Titian copy planned for it. What model did you make with it? I like the balanced sound. Good player too. Must have been a fun day for both of you.

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Is number 16 the set you got from me, or is this the unprocessed fiddle? I have more of that wood and have a Titian copy planned for it. What model did you make with it? I like the balanced sound. Good player too. Must have been a fun day for both of you.

 

Yes, #16 is your wood.  Both the fiddles in the posted videos are of processed wood. The unprocessed fiddle I thought sounded just fine when he played it, but we both agreed it wasn't quite as lively as the others, lacking just a bit of top end.  It makes a nice fiddle now, and I'll probably hang onto it for a while until it opens up.

 

Having a good player play your instruments is a lot of fun from the standpoint of hearing what they can really do, but also valuable from a maker's standpoint of evaluating what you have.  Realistic evaluation I feel is a critical part of making progress, and it's so hard to come by for isolated non-professional makers.

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Having a good player play your instruments is a lot of fun from the standpoint of hearing what they can really do, but also valuable from a maker's standpoint of evaluating what you have.  Realistic evaluation I feel is a critical part of making progress, and it's so hard to come by for isolated non-professional makers.

So true...Congrats!

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This doesn't happen often enough... a good player playing some of my fiddles.  Just an Ipod recording; you can hear our pet dove cooing in the background.

#10 is strung with Helicores, #16 has Evah Pirazzis.

 

 

What version of Ipod did you use and what was the distance from the player.

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Don

Can you tell me what the densities were again on #16...and what the overall length of the instrument is? I checked my low stash and I think I have one more set of that wood. Thanks

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The ipod is version 6.1.6, about 8 feet away from the player.

 

The top wood on #16 was Tonewood of Switzerland log 8983, started at .38 density, processed to .36 density.  Speed of sound went from 5500 to 5900 m/s, and Q went from 159 to 185.  Body length is 357.

I have 2 more sets of that log, unprocessed at the moment.  I think it would have been better if I had made the back heavier; as it was, I had to open it up and add wood, which I hate doing.

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The ipod is version 6.1.6, about 8 feet away from the player.

 

The top wood on #16 was Tonewood of Switzerland log 8983, started at .38 density, processed to .36 density.  Speed of sound went from 5500 to 5900 m/s, and Q went from 159 to 185.  Body length is 357.

I have 2 more sets of that log, unprocessed at the moment.  I think it would have been better if I had made the back heavier; as it was, I had to open it up and add wood, which I hate doing.

What was density of the maple on #16? Where on the plate did you add wood? Center? Thanks for the info.
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Carl,

The violinist is a string teacher from San Jose.  More info:  http://timyipviolin.com/

 

Ernie,

The back was .56 density (.60 before processing) and other details of the original build are here: http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/329145-don-noons-bench/?p=617069

I added wood to the upper and lower bouts, primarily the bass side lower bout.  I didn't want to try fitting huge plates, so I used a lot of narrow braces.  I hate adding wood.

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