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Stradivari's Secret


Roger Hargrave

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Oh. Since you had quoted a post mentioning Don Juan, I thought you were being tricky-clever. :lol:

 

"I don wanna hear no more."

 

It was just an accident? :(

 I was being clever, but I must give credit to la maestra Lucille. 

 

See this is what happens when you are honest about where you steal a line, better to let them think you invented it. Lesson learned. Never credit your influences.  :P

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Roger, you mean it was just media reports?  :o I've hitch hiked many times and not a single time was I murdered. I guess I was lucky.. To bad for the drivers that I took the media reports so seriously. ^_^

 

Martin, it's a good question. I haven't seen anything in support of that idea. I mean how much will some scraping on the surface do, really? But you will find all sorts of stuff on these violins if you look long enough. :rolleyes:

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Roger, you mean it was just media reports?  :o I've hitch hiked many times and not a single time was I murdered. I guess I was lucky.. To bad for the drivers that I took the media reports so seriously. ^_^

 

Well Torbjorn,

 

So did I. But that was back in the 1970's, when the word was a much younger, safer place to abide in.

I will admit to thumbing down many rides. Some clear across the country.

No longer. Even with my tiny pistola in my pocket!

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This is in response to Carl Stoss' post #342, and Rue's reply...

 

On the Jack Fry video, I think he meant 100 minutes, not seconds.  I don't know what possessed me, but I actually watched most of that video.  Watching him scrape around on the inside of a violin was weird...I assume the f-holes are a mess after he's gone to town on some poor fiddle! 

 

The best part is the big finale at the end when we have a somewhat-blind comparison between the Sanctus Seraphin and Fry's "Audrey" violin.  I think the audience is supposed to be confused over which one is the old Italian, but even through my computer speakers there is no doubt.  The audience in the hall was pretty clear about it.  The Sanctus Seraphin sounded pretty darn good, IMHO. 

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Regarding adjustments to instruments in white or inside finished instruments:

 

Lots of people have noted a flowing and unfussy aspect to the old instruments.  To paraphrase something I believe I picked up from reading Roger's stuff, there is a 'once and done' character to each step of the build.  These things would tend to argue against any process of adjusting that was overly time consuming and unique to each individual build, or that required retouching already shaped and finished parts.

 

I would quicker imagine them channeling such attention and energy into improving their build process, looking for small things to improve in the next violin, rather than fussing about overly in each current build.  In this light, I can see them identifying spots to leave extra thin, or a bit thick, or spots to scrape until an experience based degree of flexing is achieved, etc.  But only while initially carving the plate.

 

After all, the violin design gives us the bridge, post, and stringing to make final adjustments to the balance, tension, and dampening of the system.

 

Of course, this kind of conjecture is mere opinion.  I too find myself attracted to ideas of acoustically adjusting in the white, or after the build. I've tried both.  But the more I look, the more these seem like ways to 'make much' of the current build.  In that sense, these adjustments fall into the same bucket with extreme accuracy, extreme cleanliness or symmetry, tap tones, etc.  All such variants of digging in and fussing over the current build end up feeling like a very modern ethos, and ultimately at odds with the old instruments.

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Bruce and Roger,

Is there any evidence in support of the theory that Strad and others might have strung up a white violin and modified the table thicknessing from the outside prior to varnishing - for instance noticeable discrepancies in top thickness that aren't symmetrical or which appear particularly localized?

 

I think that this will be virtually impossible to establish and as I said, the first repair would have destroyed all his hard work.

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The question is whether Roger, wearing that creepy bunny suit, ever murdered a hitch hiker he picked up? 

 

:o

 

Where do you think I got the suit?

 

Torbjörn I blame the media for the death of hitchhiking. They fill us up with so much fear. Every day we are swamped with it. Everything is sensationalized. There is death around every corner. A back packer gets killed thousands of miles away and everyone ----s themselves. When I won my gold medal in Cremona my wife and I hitch hiked to Milan with the cello. I have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles on my thumb.

Some time ago my neighbour was telling me a story about a poor policeman that had been shot. Its terrible he stammered. You can't trust yourself outside any more. He was so upset I thought that it had happened in our quiet village. It turned out the policeman had been shot in Australia. We live in Germany. We know what is happening as and when it happens, but because this information comes out of a box in the corner of our living room or on our lap, we somehow we believe that what is happening is happening to us, or at least to people we know personally.

Ct I don't know what it's like where you live, but it is pretty peaceful here and far less violent than Vietnam and miners strikes and Falklands wars and all that stuff I grew up with back then.

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You don't need to string it up to adjust the modes from the outside in the white

Challenging statement!

However, setting aside whether we're dealing with modes or other aspects of playability, you would still need to make these adjustments pre-varnishing, wouldn't you?

What about the fingerboard - on or off while making adjustments?

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You can get a good idea of what the modes will be with strings if you have enough information about the difference all the added pieces make, and I can see that it's easier and faster with less in the way.

 

However, if you're going to tune, I think that playing the instrument, hearing and feeling what's going on, is far more important than just the frequencies.

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Where do you think I got the suit?

 

Torbjörn I blame the media for the death of hitchhiking. They fill us up with so much fear. Every day we are swamped with it. Everything is sensationalized. There is death around every corner. A back packer gets killed thousands of miles away and everyone ----s themselves. When I won my gold medal in Cremona my wife and I hitch hiked to Milan with the cello. I have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles on my thumb.

Some time ago my neighbour was telling me a story about a poor policeman that had been shot. Its terrible he stammered. You can't trust yourself outside any more. He was so upset I thought that it had happened in our quiet village. It turned out the policeman had been shot in Australia. We live in Germany. We know what is happening as and when it happens, but because this information comes out of a box in the corner of our living room or on our lap, we somehow we believe that what is happening is happening to us, or at least to people we know personally.

Ct I don't know what it's like where you live, but it is pretty peaceful here and far less violent than Vietnam and miners strikes and Falklands wars and all that stuff I grew up with back then.

I think many people base their choices not on the likely hood of something bad happening but on the consequences if something bad happened. I make my kids wear bike helmets not because they are likely to run into a tree and whack their heads but because if they do the effects of a concussion last a long time.

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Where do you think I got the suit?

 

Torbjörn I blame the media for the death of hitchhiking. They fill us up with so much fear. Every day we are swamped with it. Everything is sensationalized. There is death around every corner. A back packer gets killed thousands of miles away and everyone ----s themselves. When I won my gold medal in Cremona my wife and I hitch hiked to Milan with the cello. I have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles on my thumb.

Some time ago my neighbour was telling me a story about a poor policeman that had been shot. Its terrible he stammered. You can't trust yourself outside any more. He was so upset I thought that it had happened in our quiet village. It turned out the policeman had been shot in Australia. We live in Germany. We know what is happening as and when it happens, but because this information comes out of a box in the corner of our living room or on our lap, we somehow we believe that what is happening is happening to us, or at least to people we know personally.

Ct I don't know what it's like where you live, but it is pretty peaceful here and far less violent than Vietnam and miners strikes and Falklands wars and all that stuff I grew up with back then.

Ya, and all the fear mongering media ruined unprotected sex too!

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You see ...

"Stradivari" + "secret" = 20 pages no bother!

The eighteenth-century Italian violin makers could very well have inlaid the purfling on the free plates, as do most modern makers who use an inside form (mold). But, on the contrary, they chose to set them into the closed sounding box, because hollowing the purfling channel and blending it towards the center lowers the frequency of the back and top plates and permits adjustment of the body frequencies (with or without a sound post) by tap-tuning.

Like any good luthier, they must also have finalized frequency tuning on the violin set up in the white, for sometimes, the back plate becomes deformed towards the exterior under pressure from the strings, raising the back plate’s frequency by as many as 15 Hz. This can be heard when the violin is played: the medium register is lost, the sound is cavernous and strident.

By sanding on the extrados of the back plate in the white, it is possible to retune this frequency. Some modern makers do this very well. It is what must be done in order to obtain a proper violin sound, but it requires a good ear or software.

What we are seeking today, is to reproduce what the Italian violin makers did best. To do so, we must use the means available in our modern times, for we will never be able to reproduce what they did with the methods and means they had in the 18th century.

 

www.kreitpatrick.com

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"What we are seeking today, is to reproduce what the Italian violin makers did best. To do so, we must use the means available in our modern times, for we will never be able to reproduce what they did with the methods and means they had in the 18th century."

 

Do you say this because modern luthiers really haven't a clue as to the design principles / working methods of string family bowed instrument makers spawned by the Rennaissance?

If this is so, and well made contemporary instruments are actually as good as the pundits claim (the equal of, or superior to Amatis Strads & GDGs) then why all the hoopla over which old Italian school maker did this or that better than another, or not?

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 [W]e must use the means available in our modern times, for we will never be able to reproduce what they did with the methods and means they had in the 18th century.

 

Right, us moderns are a hopelessly decadent lot, besides being blind from squinting into screens and deaf from using headphones :rolleyes:  ...[Everyone back away carefully, and don't do anything to excite him, sometimes these sorts of fits are violent ]     :lol:

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Where do you think I got the suit?

 

Torbjörn I blame the media for the death of hitchhiking. They fill us up with so much fear. Every day we are swamped with it. Everything is sensationalized. There is death around every corner. A back packer gets killed thousands of miles away and everyone ----s themselves. When I won my gold medal in Cremona my wife and I hitch hiked to Milan with the cello. I have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles on my thumb.

Some time ago my neighbour was telling me a story about a poor policeman that had been shot. Its terrible he stammered. You can't trust yourself outside any more. He was so upset I thought that it had happened in our quiet village. It turned out the policeman had been shot in Australia. We live in Germany. We know what is happening as and when it happens, but because this information comes out of a box in the corner of our living room or on our lap, we somehow we believe that what is happening is happening to us, or at least to people we know personally.

Ct I don't know what it's like where you live, but it is pretty peaceful here and far less violent than Vietnam and miners strikes and Falklands wars and all that stuff I grew up with back then.

Roger I completely agree. But such is the human nature. We love to worry about bad things that might happen, and we love to read about it. Or so the media seem to think.

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