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3 hours ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

 If you want to play with %s, so far I've seen similar %s of both... though the CF posts are a new product and the available sample size reflects this.

 

I believe, you misunderstood my question :  

The question  meant, how many percents of the instruments with wooden posts show the Bad-Fitting-Hill. 

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26 minutes ago, Danube Fiddler said:

I believe, you misunderstood my question :  

The question  meant, how many percents of the instruments with wooden posts show the Bad-Fitting-Hill. 

I haven't kept data on that, but I think it's always advisable to get a soundpost from someone who knows how to fit and adjust one really well.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I haven't kept data on that, but I think it's always advisable to get a soundpost from someone who knows how to fit and adjust one really well.

In the world of musicians there are always known very few makers/restorers for doing  the best sound-adjustments. This is, what counts for musicians - they normally have no sense of post-fitting - they want and must have the best sound, immediately ! - this could be part of the problem. At the moment in Europe Marcel Richters in Vienna seems to be the king of adjusters, concerning sound. However I am not sure, if that also means the best fitting adjustings.

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Joseph Curtin is co-director of the VSA-Oberlin Acoustics Workshop and one of this year's proposed projects he is organizing involves carbon fiber sound posts.  Curtin's website says this about the project:

 

 

"Effects of changing soundpost length

The Anima Nova carbon fiber adjustable soundpost provides the ideal tool for measuring the effects of changing soundpost length, and the manufacturer has generously offered to make a number available for this experiment. We will start with five or six violins set up with traditional posts, measure sound radiation and/or bridge admittance, then install Anima Nova posts of the same length, and measure again. The next step is to incrementally vary post length on each instrument, taking measurements after each change. Violinists will work along side makers to give subjective evaluations. Time permitting, we could also add small amounts of mass to the posts to see what difference that makes."

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Joseph Curtin is co-director of the VSA-Oberlin Acoustics Workshop and one of this year's proposed projects he is organizing involves carbon fiber sound posts.  Curtin's website says this about the project:

 

 

"Effects of changing soundpost length

The Anima Nova carbon fiber adjustable soundpost provides the ideal tool for measuring the effects of changing soundpost length, and the manufacturer has generously offered to make a number available for this experiment. We will start with five or six violins set up with traditional posts, measure sound radiation and/or bridge admittance, then install Anima Nova posts of the same length, and measure again. The next step is to incrementally vary post length on each instrument, taking measurements after each change. Violinists will work along side makers to give subjective evaluations. Time permitting, we could also add small amounts of mass to the posts to see what difference that makes."

Yes.  Pal Molnar mentioned this was to happen at the Oberlin Acoustics this year.  I'm interested to see if the testing there supports what my ears tell me.  I've asked Mr. Molnar to keep me informed... and I also plan to speak with Joe about it.

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15 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Soundpost setters don't kill violins, people do! ;)

 Sure, but would you not rather see a strict and careful vetting, training and licensing process, and back ground checks before some ham fisted boob takes delivery of a soundpost  setter?  And should not soundpost setters be regulated to designs that will cause minimal damage to violins if used abusively by an angry person who is  perhaps a wind repair specialist who has deep issues with violinists? 

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17 hours ago, Danube Fiddler said:

I believe, you misunderstood my question :  

The question  meant, how many percents of the instruments with wooden posts show the Bad-Fitting-Hill. 

I understood your question.  Asking that without comparison is meaningless.  Damage is damage.  Bad-fitting-hill, tear outs, dents, cracks, deformation, etc. Then there is comparison of damage over.... lets see... the oldest instrument I regularly work on was made in about 1580... so 438 years compared to... how long have the CF posts been commercially available??  

I hope you see my point.  I do know there is potential for damage with both types of posts if incorrectly installed or adjusted... and I've seen CF posts incorrectly installed and adjusted and the damage that resulted as well as wooden posts incorrectly installed and adjusted and the damage that resulted. I have not seen evidence that the CF post is safer, though the sample size is much smaller at this point.  If time shows that it actually is, great... but to claim superiority in that regard at this point is more than rash, in my opinion.  There are reasons traditions change slowly in the violin family instrument world.  One of them is that we often don't discover problems resulting from a change for many decades.  Another is that we've learned over generations to trust feedback from our tools that, with some of the new procedures and products, is not present. Other (different) feedback may be present, but there's that pesky learning curve.

Another problem I'm having is that your continuing instance on facts-not-in-evidence is that it places me, unfairly, on the negative side of this product and innovation.  If you read what I've written here, I don't think you'll find much of anything that the Molnars would believe is incorrect, unfair or disparaging. They naturally believe in their product, and I'm not suggesting they shouldn't, but you seem to be implying attributes (concerning safety) that can only be proved or disproved over time... and that I have, at this point, not observed to be true.  I think it should be plenty enough, for now, that you support their product because of the results you've experienced.  Personally, I haven't dismissed the product, but I'm not ready to endorse it either.  I will continue to test it.  Between you and I, however, it often takes me a year or more to convince myself that the latest new innovative string on the market is worth changing my setup to enhance it's character (in other words, I don't really use them commercially until I satisfy myself that there is reason to).

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There was a guy who developed a guitar saddle out of a kind of surgical aerospace composite graphite material. The way the company came at makers was with a condescending attitude, I think they even pitched a graphite violin bridge here. They price of the saddle was prohibitive and none were offered as learning samples. The product was kept as a proprietary secret and users were encouraged to ship the instrument to the maker for installation and paid $100.00 US for the saddle. 

Eventually no one liked the idea and it evaporated for now. It was really a problem in search of a solution. I'm always skeptical of these 'genius improvements', but these folks seem to be, by how they are being described, as genuine. I'm going to follow the progress of the product through the testing that has been proposed. 

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I saw these at the last VSA (or at least ones that looked just like them).  I would actually love to have one for educational/experimental reasons.  Measuring the torque for tightening the post would be rather easy with a 0-10 inch pound torque wrench and an extension.  Then a simple torque wrench extension equation.  A jig for converting the torque to pressure the post puts on the plates would also be rather easy.   I'd love to use this to further understand how position and tightness affects tone and playability.  Also how tightness changes over time with new instruments and with changes in RH.  Getting answers to silly things that keep me up at night like how much force is required to move the upper f-hole wing,  How this pressure varies with arch height, wood density, wood species, and plate thickness.  Stuff like that which I would record and make comparisons with each new build.  I think the real beauty of this is that post pressure can be measured and compared by different people from wherever and the data can be compared when using the same protocol.  Sorry I let my inner research geek out.  :)  I kept a 3 ft. distance from the table at the VSA because I had a very strong suspicion that if they put one of these in my hands I would lose my self control and spend money that had been set aside for other things.  Do I think it will help a pro with proper setup and sound adjustments? No.  Will it help my personal education? certainly.

-Jim

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I accept Danube fiddler's general point, that moving one end of the post sideways (probably the bottom) without recutting it could induce a very localized stress in the top, of the kind that would encourage splitting. 

This is why I have always been concerned about the whole concept of bashing at the post with the strings under tension, however successful the immediate result. In fact I am generally concerned about any moves away from a perfect fit that don't involve re-cutting/re-shaping.

I do accept that a cf post could be used with a similar degree of wanton-ness, and that damage could be done by both the incompetent and the highly competent. In a way, the phenomenon that bothers me the most - the constant tightening of posts resulting in highly deformed backs - is more likely to happen with a cf post. Not that it isn't extremely common with wooden posts ...

But I am 100% with Jeffrey. I have been tutored in the use of these posts and I have heard significant improvements in some instruments and not in others. I have yet to hear any essential degradation of tonal quality, though like Jeffrey I sense/suspect a difference in sound that I can't really say is positive or negative. In terms of the safety of the instrument they have advantages and disadvantages at every level of competence.

Yes, they need to stand the test of time. To dismiss them because they haven't stood the test of time is a real dog-chasing-tail kind of complaint.

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33 minutes ago, martin swan said:

I accept Danube fiddler's general point, that moving one end of the post sideways (probably the bottom) without recutting it could induce a very localized stress in the top, of the kind that would encourage splitting. 

This is why I have always been concerned about the whole concept of bashing at the post with the strings under tension, however successful the immediate result. In fact I am generally concerned about any moves away from a perfect fit that don't involve re-cutting/re-shaping.

I do accept that a cf post could be used with a similar degree of wanton-ness, and that damage could be done by both the incompetent and the highly competent. In a way, the phenomenon that bothers me the most - the constant tightening of posts resulting in highly deformed backs - is more likely to happen with a cf post. Not that it isn't extremely common with wooden posts ...

But I am 100% with Jeffrey. I have been tutored in the use of these posts and I have heard significant improvements in some instruments and not in others. I have yet to hear any essential degradation of tonal quality, though like Jeffrey I sense/suspect a difference in sound that I can't really say is positive or negative. In terms of the safety of the instrument they have advantages and disadvantages at every level of competence.

Yes, they need to stand the test of time. To dismiss them because they haven't stood the test of time is a real dog-chasing-tail kind of complaint.

A very direct analogy would be carbon fiber bows, except carbon fiber bows have never cracked a cello top to my knowledge.  

Knowing the concept, hearing the results, and knowing of the damage that has already occurred is hardly chasing one’s tail; I see it more as evidence.

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I used to think sound post fitting was needlessly difficult due to the plate arches so I made my top and back plates perfectly flat and parallel.  Simple square end cuts of the sound post would fit perfectly and I could move the sound post all around and still have it fit without making any length or cut angle adjustments.

Although this worked well I couldn't get the sound post adjustments to correct some sound quality problems.

 

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54 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

A very direct analogy would be carbon fiber bows, except carbon fiber bows have never cracked a cello top to my knowledge.  

Knowing the concept, hearing the results, and knowing of the damage that has already occurred is hardly chasing one’s tail; I see it more as evidence.

Ok we have very different experiences ... but if someone cracked a cello top with an Anima Nova post all I can say is what a wally! I sat on a violin when I was 12 - I think I learnt my lesson. The boy who put it on my chair when I stood up to sing a hymn definitely learnt his ...

I should say, although i imagine they are all rather similar, I have only had direct experience with the post developed by Chi Mei specifically for conservatorial purposes. I haven't tried the Hamberger or Anima Nova.

I can't see any analogy with carbon fibre bows, except that they are carbon fibre and not traditional - same would apply to violin cases, fishing rods, and a thousand other everyday items. Split cane fly rods have become the last preserve of elitist fuddy-duddies - it didn't take long for cf to take over, though they were initially greeted with a good deal of luddite grumbling.

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11 hours ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

Another problem I'm having is that your continuing instance on facts-not-in-evidence is that it places me, unfairly, on the negative side of this product and innovation. 

I see that- naturally. And it is the same vice versa.

 

11 hours ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

 the oldest instrument I regularly work on was made in about 1580... so 438 years compared to... how long have the CF posts been commercially available??  

That´s absolutely not the point.  We don´t need centuries, arching deformations, many accidents, restorations and so on for the occurence of a Bad-Fitting-Hill, we need only some minutes while giving a completely new violin its first wooden post and do some sound-adjustments - and all that done by an experienced maker - that´s the point. And this first occurence of a BF-Hill probably immediatly produces damages. If you want to see this damage better, just reopen the violin and immediately see the imprint.

 

11 hours ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

and I've seen CF posts incorrectly installed and adjusted and the damage that resulted as well as wooden posts incorrectly installed and adjusted and the damage that resulted.

May I ask, to tell me the exact type of damage, which was produced with a cf-post and if it was produced by an experienced maker ? I am absolutely not interested in names but the type of damage and misuse to avoid by myself ! 

 

13 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Joseph Curtin is co-director of the VSA-Oberlin Acoustics Workshop and one of this year's proposed projects he is organizing involves carbon fiber sound posts.  Curtin's website says this about the project:

Very good ! After this we´ll know much more about sound qualities of cf-posts.

 

Finally I want to state here , that I am not a relative or friend of the Molnars. I want to state also, that I am not ( yet) convinced of the general superiority of cf-post in sound concerns ( I have one violin sounding better with A.N. and another one a very little bit less good sounding in comparison with the wooden post before ). I am totally open for any more experiences and research-results with A.N. in each direction !

The bigger safety, claimed by me, anyway will not play that important roll in the future of A.N. As I said before, musicians ( they finally decide and pay ) are nearly totally and exclusive interested in sound concerns. Time will tell, if A.N. can bring advantages in this field, at least in a significant proportion of instruments. 

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14 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Ok we have very different experiences ... but if someone cracked a cello top with an Anima Nova post all I can say is what a wally! I sat on a violin when I was 12 - I think I learnt my lesson. The boy who put it on my chair when I stood up to sing a hymn definitely learnt his ...

I should say, although i imagine they are all rather similar, I have only had direct experience with the post developed by Chi Mei specifically for conservatorial purposes. I haven't tried the Hamberger or Anima Nova.

I can't see any analogy with carbon fibre bows, except that they are carbon fibre and not traditional - same would apply to violin cases, fishing rods, and a thousand other everyday items. Split cane fly rods have become the last preserve of elitist fuddy-duddies - it didn't take long for cf to take over, though they were initially greeted with a good deal of luddite grumbling.

The soundpost on the cracked cello was installed by a professional.  There is not the feedback with the CF post like there is from real soundposts to gauge how tight it is...that is a problem.  

 

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29 minutes ago, Danube Fiddler said:

That´s absolutely not the point.  We don´t need centuries, arching deformations, many accidents, restorations and so on for the occurence of a Bad-Fitting-Hill, we need only some minutes while giving a completely new violin its first wooden post and do some sound-adjustments - and all that done by an experienced maker - that´s the point. And this first occurence of a BF-Hill probably immediatly produces damages. If you want to see this damage better, just reopen the violin and immediately see the imprint.

You have a pretty basic misunderstanding of the causes, prevalence, and severity of arching deformations and what you are calling a "Bad-Fitting-hill" ... exactly the reason why I do not discuss critiques of Tchaikovsky as mentioned earlier.

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6 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

You have a pretty basic misunderstanding of the causes, prevalence, and severity of arching deformations and what you are calling a "Bad-Fitting-hill" ... exactly the reason why I do not discuss critiques of Tchaikovsky as mentioned earlier.

I am ready to learn ! Which were my misunderstandings exactly ? 

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37 minutes ago, Danube Fiddler said:

I am ready to learn ! Which were my misunderstandings exactly ? 

Arching deformations happen to ALL instruments, and on both the bassbar and soundpost sides.  Blaming any given post is a non-starter.

What you are calling a "Bad-Fitting-Hill" can be caused by a post that is too short, too loose, or also a top that is too thin...for the kind of deformation you are talking about to show through a 3.0 mm -3.5 mm top the post would have to be unbelievably poor fitting and unbelievably too long.  If that is the case, there are bigger problems than the soundpost material.  Lets not blame poor art on the brushes.

 

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4 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

What you are calling a "Bad-Fitting-Hill" can be caused by a post that is too short, too loose 

Would you describe such post as "fitting" ?

7 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

or also a top that is too thin.

May be, that some tops are to thin. One of my violins has 2,6 mm at the post area - no BF-Hill with anima nova. I admit, if a violin is really to thin, then we also can see a top-to-thin-hill. Should most violins fall into this category ? I have seen several violins with coming and going BF-Hills without graduation changing, but post -adjustings/ changings.

16 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

.for the kind of deformation you are talking about to show through 3.0 mm -3.5 mm top the post would have to be unbelievably poor fitting and unbelievably too long.

to this point some more later, excuse me.

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2 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

The soundpost on the cracked cello was installed by a professional.  There is not the feedback with the CF post like there is from real soundposts to gauge how tight it is...that is a problem.  

 

I think it's probably just a case of practising on cheap instruments till you are blue in the face, just as we all did with wooden posts - I accept that most serious pros won't have the time or the inclination to do this..

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3 hours ago, Danube Fiddler said:

1) That´s absolutely not the point.  We don´t need centuries, arching deformations, many accidents, restorations and so on for the occurence of a Bad-Fitting-Hill, we need only some minutes while giving a completely new violin its first wooden post and do some sound-adjustments - and all that done by an experienced maker - that´s the point. And this first occurence of a BF-Hill probably immediatly produces damages. If you want to see this damage better, just reopen the violin and immediately see the imprint.

 

2) May I ask, to tell me the exact type of damage, which was produced with a cf-post and if it was produced by an experienced maker ? I am absolutely not interested in names but the type of damage and misuse to avoid by myself ! 

 

2 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

The soundpost on the cracked cello was installed by a professional.  There is not the feedback with the CF post like there is from real soundposts to gauge how tight it is...that is a problem.  

 

1) It kinda' is the point, as explained by Jerry Pasewicz. We have centuries of experience with wood posts... and I believe you will most likely not find your "hill" in a new, well made instrument with a properly fit and adjusted post. 

2) Jerry is correct.  

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7 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

for the kind of deformation you are talking about to show through a 3.0 mm -3.5 mm top the post would have to be unbelievably poor fitting and unbelievably too long. 

1) depends much on wood properties as well as grain/vascular ray - course on contact-area.

2) This range is a little bit thick for an averaged Late-Cremonese top center-graduation-pattern. However I assume,  possibly more than 50 % of all existing master-violins could fall into this range. Not fitting posts easily show through this thickness !  Believe is not needed. One can measure (thicknesses) and feel ( BF-Hill) it.

7 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

Arching deformations happen to ALL instruments, and on both the bassbar and soundpost sides.  

Did I ever claim something different ?

7 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

What you are calling a "Bad-Fitting-Hill" can be caused by [ ..] also a top that is too thin.

Yes that´s true. However such a hill, caused by a "to thin top"  has another shape than a Bad Fitting - Hill. It is a more even one, while the BF-Hill is a laterally accentuated hill, because there is more stress on only this edge of the post-contactplane, where it cuts into the inner top surface. But you can also have both kinds of hills at the same time, if 1) the top is "to thin" and additional 2) the post doesn´t fit ( as often). This is particularly dangerous for the violin.

 

5 hours ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

and I believe you will most likely not find your "hill" in a new, well made instrument with a properly fit and adjusted post. 

Yes, that is logical : if the instrument should be properly fittet and adjusted, then there will not be any BF-Hill - believe again not needed. However the point is, that it will not be.

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3 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

Well, it sounds like you have had a whole bunch of really bad adjustments and posts.  So your answer is to give the people that are clueless about soundpost fitting a carbon fiber screw jack and a wrench?  Good plan.

I want to state, that I do not regard the observed adjustments as "really bad" and I do not want to accuse the concerned makers - not at all. I regard these adjustments as normally good, some probably have been even exceptionally good. One can´t use and fit conventional wooden posts in a much better way without loosing any economical proportionality. I think, theoretically one could do it better even with wooden posts- but which client would like to pay for the real costs and bring the patience into your workshop to do this possibly many hours lasting process, including several failings and new cuttings of further posts, all in presence of the client ? 

No criticism on your capabilities, I am pretty sure, that these are exceptionally good - that´s not my point. I had written in an earlier post, that I admire very much the art of conventional post-adjusting, makers learnt and did for centuries! However I would even more admire these makers, who also can admit the limitations of this art as well as admitting the possibility of an eventual advantage of a new invention.

 

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