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chungviolins

Unusual top graduation

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Hi Hans,

 

Long time no see.

 

Pringle's drawing is a full size engineering ANSI E (34" x 44") drawing with a copyright on it. No part can be copied. It is sold by The Ashmolean.

 

 

 

Mike

Yes, Mike, I have not been spending too much time on MN, this graduation topic just caught my eye luckily at the right moment.

 

Cheers, Hans

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Since I've wanted to give reverse graduation a try for some time, I'm going to take up the challenge and reverse graduate my next violin.  If it doesn't sound like Le Messie, I'm going to blame you guys.   BTW, how does Le Messie sound like?  :D

 

To get down to 2.0mm in the middle, I need to find a piece of ridiculous dense wood first.  Wish me luck.

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Personally, I would be hesitant to use the Messiah as a model for tone, since nobody knows if it sounds good or not.  So for archings and graduations I'd look elsewhere, such as the Titian, or some other violin that is currently played and known to sound at least reasonable.

 

When I first started, I would carve out the top plate as close to the blocks and linings as possible, with the "speaker cone" concept in mind.  It doesn't work that way, and now I do something more like Strad-ish graduations, or "reverse graduations".  I would't carry that out to the extreme of going to 2mm around the bridge, though.  From what I've seen of Strad grads, he usually didn't either... more like 2.3 or 2.4.  And of course GdG went several tenths thicker.

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Let's not forget that we do have at least a couple of opinions about the tone of "le messie" from rather competent judges:

 

Vuillaume:  "The one, of large size--of most beautiful workmanship and wood--of perfect quality--having a very powerful and even tone--bears on the label the date 1716."

 

Joseph Joachim:  "Of course the sound of the Strad that unique Messie turns up again and again in my memory, with its combined sweetness and grandeur that struck me so much on hearing it.  It is indeed justly celebrated, and I hope that I may again put my bow to it someday."

 

One can hardly say that no one knows whether it sounds good or not.

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One can hardly say that no one knows whether it sounds good or not.

 

It might sound wonderful... but I'd still rather work with models I can hear for myself, rather than go on a few statements by folks long ago.  And the low top arch is not something I'd want to try.

 That's all just me, though.  I'm sure any copy of the Messie would sound like a violin of some sort, and probably not sound like the real one anyway (they never do).

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It might sound wonderful... but I'd still rather work with models I can hear for myself, rather than go on a few statements by folks long ago.  

 

Joachim's statement is interesting - he's tried a few :) of them when they were still fresh and he knew one or two things about violins.

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Are there any copies of Le Messie?

J.B. Vuillaume made a number of copies of 'le Messie' and the name for the violin was coined by his son in law Delphin Alard. Even though Vuillaume claims on his supplementary label "Imitation précise de Stradiuarius" they really aren't when compared to the original at the Ashmolean.

 

Joseph Rocca did not really copy 'le Messie' but it was clearly the inspiration for his Stradivari model. He also used a 'del Gesù' model, later to be known as the 'Alard'. According to accounts both violins were purchased by J.B. Vuillaume upon the death of Luigi Tarisio from Tarisio's heirs. Interesting that Rocca had access to both instruments.

 

Bruce

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Let's not forget that we do have at least a couple of opinions about the tone of "le messie" from rather competent judges:

 

Vuillaume:  "The one, of large size--of most beautiful workmanship and wood--of perfect quality--having a very powerful and even tone--bears on the label the date 1716."

 

Joseph Joachim:  "Of course the sound of the Strad that unique Messie turns up again and again in my memory, with its combined sweetness and grandeur that struck me so much on hearing it.  It is indeed justly celebrated, and I hope that I may again put my bow to it someday."

 

One can hardly say that no one knows whether it sounds good or not.

Thanks for those quotes.   B)  Very cool.

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Looking at the thickness map again, I don't think it's something that I would copy exactly.  The thicknesses are all over the place.  And it's not clear what is under the fingerboard.  Anyway, my experiment will be on reverse graduation with centre down to 2.2 or so.  Ideally, I should make another top that is normally graduated but I don't think my skill is good enough to make everything else equal.

 

I wonder if the 3D Strad people can build a computer model that changes the graduation virtually and see how the violin responds.  That will be cool.

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Actually there is one guy who plays it.

 

I cannot find any reference that there is actually someone playing Le Messie.  I was only able to find that those in the museum in Cremona are played by this one lucky man.  So who is the lucky one who gets to play Le Messie and not letting anyone else in the world hear it?

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I wonder if the 3D Strad people can build a computer model that changes the graduation virtually and see how the violin responds.  That will be cool.

 

There was a computer model built of the Titian, using the Strad3D geometry data, and wood properties were tweaked to obtain the closest match to the actual signature modes.  They didn't get very close, IMHO, which bodes ill for being able to get anything useful over the wider frequency range.  I was hoping... but it doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon.

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I'm looking at Blueprints of Messiah, not sure who drew them, but they don't match the photo.  The top is thin, mostly 2.5 just about everywhere, and thicker toward the edges.  Sorry about my scratchings here and there, I've used this for 3 or 4, each time with a different result, all have been pretty good.

 

Messiahplate1.jpg

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I cannot find any reference that there is actually someone playing Le Messie.  I was only able to find that those in the museum in Cremona are played by this one lucky man.  So who is the lucky one who gets to play Le Messie and not letting anyone else in the world hear it?

I apologize, I got my Stradavari mixed up, I was thinking of the Cannone. I think it was Bruce who posted a video about it, it showed the curator playing it to keep it "warm".

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