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Bass bar wha...?


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I personally wouldn't try what he did with the bassbar but after listening to his test drive players I'm thinking if they can keep a hand on the neck and actually play music then it's probably good enough as a violin - they weren't that much of a better violin player than myself, which is why I'm reasoning this way.  Question is does he sell them?  There's no merit in a rack of violins just setting around.      

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I have come across makers who produce consistently excellent sounding violins, but who are doomed to obscurity either through circumstance or personality or lack of refinement in their woodworking skills.

 

Agreed.  I can think of one at least.  

 

I should also admit that some of the most outlandish tuning methods can still produce an excellent sounding instrument.  For example, you could tune tap tune the endpin, soudpost, pegs, bow, or whatever, and if you have good wood, arching, and graduations, all that tapping won't hurt anything.  The inventors of the methods usually don't bother to prove that the methods are actually responsible for good results, as opposed to the boring normal stuff.

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Agreed.  I can think of one at least.  

 

I should also admit that some of the most outlandish tuning methods can still produce an excellent sounding instrument.  For example, you could tune tap tune the endpin, soudpost, pegs, bow, or whatever, and if you have good wood, arching, and graduations, all that tapping won't hurt anything.  The inventors of the methods usually don't bother to prove that the methods are actually responsible for good results, as opposed to the boring normal stuff.

I wonder how many fittings have been rejected because the tap tone doesn't make the grade? Would the instrument tone degrade in a significant manner if new pegs or endpin are fitted sometime after it leaves the makers hands?

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I wonder how many fittings have been rejected because the tap tone doesn't make the grade? Would the instrument tone degrade in a significant manner if new pegs or endpin are fitted sometime after it leaves the makers hands?

Amongst the hugely talented restorers I've run into, who are largely responsible for putting or keeping big-name antique violins on the stage in the hands of major performers, I have not yet run across one who "tunes" pegs or endbuttons.

 

I'll suggest that sometimes, it's possible to dig oneself into a hole so deep, based on some pet violin belief system, that it's nearly impossible to climb out of it. And I think there would be major benefit to greater acknowledgement  of this as an occupational hazard.

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In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

The process of making a fantastic sounding violin is one that everyone is struggling to understand, let alone control. So someone who appears to have a system and really believes in it can be a kind of guru ...

Personally I find the sight of this guy tapping his bits here and there rather like watching someone casting chicken bones in the mud and prophesying.

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David, maybe your bits just aren't acoustically pleasing ... perhaps all this violin-making is just compensation.

You could be right, so perhaps I'll experiment with stationing a wind-bit chime on the front porch, and see how passers-by think it sounds (if it doesn't get too cold to have my bits in the breeze).

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I take it this is a cruel joke ... and that you know my wife used to be a regular at the Beltane Fire Festival. She was a Red Man, and there's footage of her cavorting naked in the flames. However, out of respect for David's condition ( sheep3-smiley.gif?1292867671 ) I think best not to post that here.

I admit I'm a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to New-Age stuff... elder-smiley.gif?1292867588  magik-smiley.gif?1292867634

 

Now if you want to talk about Carmina Gadelica, Campbell of Islay, or Kuno Meyer, I'm all ears.  Love this stuff:

 

http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/50544/1

 

 

But then Cù Chulainn and Fionn were part of my childhood.  

 

hexer-smiley.gif?1292867615

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I take it this is a cruel joke ... and that you know my wife used to be a regular at the Beltane Fire Festival. She was a Red Man, and there's footage of her cavorting naked in the flames. However, out of respect for David's condition I think best not to post that here.

It's an Edinburgh thing...

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/beltanefs

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Amongst the hugely talented restorers I've run into, who are largely responsible for putting or keeping big-name antique violins on the stage in the hands of major performers, I have not yet run across one who "tunes" pegs or endbuttons.

 

I'll suggest that sometimes, it's possible to dig oneself into a hole so deep, based on some pet violin belief system, that it's nearly impossible to climb out of it. And I think there would be major benefit to greater acknowledgement  of this as an occupational hazard.

Tap tuning strings: The New Frontier.

 

I wonder if the tools used for making these instruments and fittings are tap tuned too? May as well carry the process all the way up the line...

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It's an Edinburgh thing...

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/beltanefs

Actually, I had no idea you participated...

In terms of art, dance, and something to look forward to during the long winter months, it must be a lot of fun. Just don't forget to roll a bannock down a hill. :)

P.S. The bannock is a stand-in for a cart wheel, which represents the sun.

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Most of what makes a good - and even a great - violin is out there, in the form of standard practices and measurements. If you deviate from this and put in four bass bars, tune the endpin, whatever, the best you can hope for IMHO is to do no harm.

 

30 odd years ago I decided all established bass bar knowledge was flawed. The bass bar needed to be slanted in from the normal practice of being at right angles to the plate. The acoustic rationale was that by virtue of the soundpost foot of the bridge being very nearly stationary and dealing with HF - small movement to give amplitude - and the bass bar side making comparatively large movements to reproduce the bass, the bass side of the bridge needed a bar under it which followed the arc made by a stationary soundpost side bridge foot and a swinging bass side foot. No worse hooey than on many violinmakers websites, I hope Maestroneters will agree, and indeed more plausible than most.

 

Two violins made using this rationale. Fabulous g string. Disappointing d. Which knowing what I do now I might have expected.

 

In a craft tradition stretching back four centuries plus, most of this stuff has been tried. The stuff that works retained and absorbed into the lore and into the body of orthodox measurements, and has come down to us. The advantage we have over craftsmen of the past is not our technology - Fourier transform, Lucci meters, animations of pulsating violin bodies, whatever - it is communication. Thirty years ago I knew only a handful of other violin makers - if I was contemplating a such departure from orthodoxy now, I'd post it on here and someone might very well have tried it, or seen and played an instrument using it. And gently talk me out of it....

 

Plenty of tips, tricks and genuine progress are shared on here, and probably more freely than in the Cremona Guild of Violin Makers AGM. (Not to say I wouldn't have liked to be a fly on the wall there too, though!)

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... the bass side of the bridge needed a bar under it which followed the arc made by a stationary soundpost side bridge foot and a swinging bass side foot. 

 

Even though the plate moves a lot more for the bass frequencies than the highs, it's all still extremely small displacements, and for all practical purposes it's not swinging through an arc... just varying amounts of nearly-linear movement, depending on distance from the nodal line.

 

So, although it might seem like a good idea to align the bass bar with the direction of movement, I don't think it matters in any significant way if it's a few degrees off one way or another.  If you do think it's better, exactly how does it do that?  Lighter weight bar?  Less damping?  Magic?

 

.No worse hooey than on many violinmakers websites, I hope Maestroneters will agree, and indeed more plausible than most.

 

I agree it's no worse that a lot of other unsupported claims that are out there.  More plausible than most, but still falls short of being established fact.

 

At least it shouldn't do any harm.   :)

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Even though the plate moves a lot more for the bass frequencies than the highs, it's all still extremely small displacements, and for all practical purposes it's not swinging through an arc... just varying amounts of nearly-linear movement, depending on distance from the nodal line.

 

So, although it might seem like a good idea to align the bass bar with the direction of movement, I don't think it matters in any significant way if it's a few degrees off one way or another.  If you do think it's better, exactly how does it do that?  Lighter weight bar?  Less damping?  Magic?

 

 

I agree it's no worse that a lot of other unsupported claims that are out there.  More plausible than most, but still falls short of being established fact.

 

At least it shouldn't do any harm.   :)

 

I don't think you read my post. I'm not advocating the practice, I'm disparaging it. That is to say, I tried this twice 30 odd years ago, found the downsides outweighed the upsides, and ceased fitting bars so aligned at that time. My point was that the violinmaking orthodoxy and lore has already been arrived at by such unsuccessful experiments as mine was, and departure from those tenets is inadvisable.

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The problem is there isn't any complete documentation of all the historical experiments done in the name of improvement, so it's becomes difficult to absolutely dismiss all possible ideas that people come up with, unless one has complete faith in the infallibility of the present accepted construction.

 

I'm a skeptic, but I like to remain open minded that there is always a slim possibility that something can be improved on.

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We need some definition of what a violin "improvement" is.

 

I used to think that an improvement was something that reduced a problem so improvements should be desirable.  But I was wrong.

 

A well known university level violin teacher once told me that it took him seven years of playing his Strad violin before he began to like playing it because it had so many problems he had to overcome.  I asked him why he stuck with it so long--he said it was a great challenge and he thought it made him a much better player by making him trying so hard.

 

I should have told him that if his goal was to become a better player then he should use one of my violins.

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Hi Marty- I can't believe you made one that looks like a violin- To add to your story, Gregor Piatagorsky's  nephew, a professional touring cellist, gave a concert in Falmouth Ma and he stated for years the Strad cello he inherited from his uncle was put away because he simply could not play it. He played it that night and it was soul melting. We all should have that problem. Hope all is well.   fred

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The problem is there isn't any complete documentation of all the historical experiments done in the name of improvement, so it's becomes difficult to absolutely dismiss all possible ideas that people come up with, unless one has complete faith in the infallibility of the present accepted construction.

 

I'm a skeptic, but I like to remain open minded that there is always a slim possibility that something can be improved on.

Well, we all hope there are still improvements to be found! Some of these individual experiments were documented, the problem is their relatives, executors, whatever just threw it all away after their death.

 

At the moment I'm happy with the results I'm getting, but If I were to want to further experiment with bass bars, I'd be trying the Beare's/non Hill type bar described by Roger Hargrave. Or a Degani style one, which is a different approach but one capable of excellent results, at least in Deganis :) .

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