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steveperry

Choosing a design for easy response sweet violin

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I REALLY hate to ask something like this of such a distinguished group, and it's probably discussed somewhere.  My understanding of various parameters and general knowledge of violinmaking is growing steadily, but it's a very complicated field.  

 

I am looking to develop a sweet sounding, consistent, easy playing, crisp responding, non-noisy violin for amateurs.  Home use.  Something that makes people smile who aren't going to be performing over a loud supporting group.  That really seems to be what most people I put violins in front of want.  A smile maker.

 

One cognizant person who hangs around here suggested 

1. Relatively high arching [something I had thought appropriate]

2.  Full arching without much recurve or channel scoop [i had been thinking broad channel]

3. Medium density wood all around (.38 - .4 top, .6-ish back)

4. Graduations not too thin, but not thick either, with perhaps slight reverse graduation on top, normal on back.

 

Simeon Chambers commented that Aspen back at .38 was very sweet.  Got me wondering about very light back and top, high arched, before the comments above arrived.  Simeon always recommends his "Generation 5" graduation, which is a bit scary thin.

 

Suggestions from experience, real proven principles, those would be useful.  Most of the work seems to be aimed at producing really high performance instruments for a big sound, but the market I have seems to like a less aggressive sound, but still brilliant and very clear.

 

Thanks so much.  This is more fun than graduate or law school (both of which were a blast).

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If you believe in free-plate tuning as described by Carleen Hutchins, you want to tune the plates mode 5 somewhat lower (like 330 Hz) with a difference between the two plates by more than a semitone.  I never know which plate should have a higher frequency. Some say back.  Some say top.  Take your pick. :)

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This is an interesting question. 

 

I believe there is another part to the equation - the selection of strings to complement the sound you want.  Probably a low tension, synthetic or composite style?

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