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Don Noon's bench


Don Noon

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I found the answer in an earlier post of the thread. Did the added back plate wood in no 16 make the sound less hollow? What happened to the signature modes?

 

The signature modes went up a little.  In the impact response, the difference wasn't all that obvious, but in the bowed response, you can see the overpowering bottom end that has been cut back, and there's some gain on the high end.  So, yes, the changes reduced the hollowness.

post-25192-0-09044200-1437492696_thumb.jpgpost-25192-0-13901200-1437492695_thumb.jpg

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The signature modes went up a little.  In the impact response, the difference wasn't all that obvious, but in the bowed response, you can see the overpowering bottom end that has been cut back, and there's some gain on the high end.  So, yes, the changes reduced the hollowness.

attachicon.gif16 impact.jpgattachicon.gif16 bowed.jpg

 

Which note do you bow for the bow response?  Open G?

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post-25192-0-40308800-1437779496_thumb.jpg

 

This is a first for me... two fiddles setup in the white at the same time.  I'm big on comparisons, so it's fun to play them and hear the differences.

Rather than use impact response, I think the low-resolution bowed response points out what I hear playing them.

post-25192-0-73845200-1437779493_thumb.jpg

 

The Strad model actually has lower signature mode frequencies (-5, -9, and -15 Hz for A0, B1-, and B1+ modes), but the Guarneri has higher amplitude A0 and B1-, therefore shows up stronger on the plot at the low end.  However, the Strad is stronger in the middle frequencies... with the net effect that the G and D strings end up more powerful on the Strad, due to the strength of the overtones.

 

The Guarneri model has more strength above 2kHz, so that's probably why its E string has more to it.  There are a couple of high peaks, one at 3700 and one at 4600 Hz, which I surmise is the source of a slight jangling noise that is most apparent on the lower strings.

 

Some of these differences are likely due to setup, or lack of it.  The bridges were whatever I had in my box that fit, and the Strad ended up with a heavy-ish bridge, and the Guarneri got a very light one.  I didn't adjust soundposts, either.  

 

I'm quite pleased with both of them, as they both have decent low end, nothing too overbearing in the midrange, and decent highs. 

 

Now for the varnish...  I think I have figured out what I'm going to do, but that might change after I start.  Oh... but first there's a ton of detail work to do.  Some of the edgework I leave with the idea that there could be a ding or two during setting the neck, but mostly I think it's impatience to find out what they sound like.

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When I started recording and listening to the recording, I realized that the Strad model was really getting hurt by the poor setup (parts bin soundpost and bridge, closest fit but not good).  Too much middle frequencies, and weak highs.

 

So I cut a new soundpost and took .15g off the top of the bridge (it was heavy).  In the impact response, the peaks are all about at the same frequencies, but the envelope is different.  That fairly well matches the bowed response now, which gained high end and lost some of the lower midrange (600 - 1000 Hz), which seems like a much better balance.  It's hard to tell that it's the same instrument, although by the impact spectrum you could probably make a better guess.

post-25192-0-22832900-1437843832_thumb.jpg

 

Here's a recording of 4 fiddles:  the two white fiddles, and the two that Tim Yip played in the earlier videos.  The Strad model has the new setup.  I won't tell you what order they're played in, to let you guess (I like blind testing).

2 new 2 older.mp3

 

Anders,

I know the strings are a hodgepodge of whatever I could fish out of the used string box.  I don't want to put too much effort into messing around with unvarnished fiddles, just enough to see if there's something I really need to fix, and to get an idea of how the varnish changes things.  I do try to put the same strings, bridge, etc. back on after varnishing to reduce the variables and see only what effect the varnish has.

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Very interesting !  I  like 2 and 3 the most and I hear a similarity between 1 and 4. But what's really neat is that they all sound very similar and I could easily say it's the same violin with different strings, better sound post / bridge etc. There is definitely a household tone there.

 

2 is very nice !

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3 >2 >1 >> 4

 

Don't like bottom strings of 4.  May not be reparable by change of set-up.

 

Moved 2 below 3 because of E string tone - ? set-up.

 

These are the kind of comments that help the most.

#4 setup was indeed not very good... junkbin leftovers.  I cut a new post and it is definitely improved.

#2 also had some setup issues... heavy bridge and post in need of adjustment.  After I took care of that, it is a world of difference.

,

The fiddles were:

1 - #10, helicore strings, same as played by Tim Yip in the earlier video

2 - #16 VSA instrument, also as played by Tim Yip

3 - Unvarnished Strad model, setup recently reworked

4 - Unvarnished Guarneri model, not-so-hot setup

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You guys are not listening attentively. :)  2 is more focused than 3 which becomes too diffused. Diffused might be "interesting" but it's no good.

 

I don't disagree. I liked the 3 lower strings for 2, but the E was a significant let-down.

 

Now that I know 3 is unvarnished, I understand where some of the 'zingy-ness' is coming from.

 

The lower strings in 4 have a 'woody' tone I did not care for.  It wasn't lots of high freq stuff that could be filtered out by varnishing.

 

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

Ps. My ears are not Temples of Reference.

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The unvarnished fiddles seem to have a common "woody" quality, which I think makes them a bit fuzzy or unfocused on the lower strings .  That will hopefully get tamed and sound a little more varnishy when I'm done with them.

 

This little exercise really points out to me how important bridge and soundpost adjustments can be, and how important it is to have good ears to evaluate things.  My ears are still learning.

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The unvarnished fiddles seem to have a common "woody" quality, which I think makes them a bit fuzzy or unfocused on the lower strings .  That will hopefully get tamed and sound a little more varnishy when I'm done with them.

 

This little exercise really points out to me how important bridge and soundpost adjustments can be, and how important it is to have good ears to evaluate things.  My ears are still learning.

 

What I find interesting is that all four have a certain commonality. Only you can figure out if this is really the case and if it is, where does it come from. Otherwise, your ears are excellent but I wish you'd change the "test tune" to something having more E string in it.

 

I just listened again and am still on my original order and still think that it could be the same violin with different strings / setups. I'm sure you know this perfectly well but steel strings will gravely falsify the tone of a violin. They work nicely on some, make some planks to seem better than they are and kill others. The better ones are very responsive, too. I'd stick with Dominants or some other similar and maybe cheaper brand.

 

Anyway, both 2 and 3 are very very nice and I'd guess the others need only a good adjustment. Very impressive !

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