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3 hours ago, Torbjörn Zethelius said:

Hi all,

Does anyone have measurements of the Medici 1716 Stradivari? I am particularly looking for arch heights and graduations. CT scans would also be great. It's for an article. Thanks in advance.

 

Height of the back is 14.5 mm and the height of the front is 13,4 mm. The other basic dimensions are to be found in the appendix of the 1987 Stradivari Exhibition Catalogue published in 1993. No graduations or CT scans in that catalogue. However, and x-ray image of the neck block area and a UV shot of the front are in the catalogue published by the Accademia in Florence where it is kept in the room adjacent to Michelangelo's David. ( La Musica e i suoi Strumenti - La Collezione Granducale del Conservatorio Cherubini - Giunti Editori 2001 and reprints ISBN 88-09-02184-3 ) . An English edition exists as well but I don't have the ISBN number available.

One of the very best Stradivari violins I have ever seen.

Bruce

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1 hour ago, Bruce Carlson said:

Height of the back is 14.5 mm and the height of the front is 13,4 mm. The other basic dimensions are to be found in the appendix of the 1987 Stradivari Exhibition Catalogue published in 1993. No graduations or CT scans in that catalogue. However, and x-ray image of the neck block area and a UV shot of the front are in the catalogue published by the Accademia in Florence where it is kept in the room adjacent to Michelangelo's David. ( La Musica e i suoi Strumenti - La Collezione Granducale del Conservatorio Cherubini - Giunti Editori 2001 and reprints ISBN 88-09-02184-3 ) . An English edition exists as well but I don't have the ISBN number available.

One of the very best Stradivari violins I have ever seen.

Bruce

the   Book       Antonio Stradivari HIS LIFE AND WORK (1644—1737)BY W. HENRY HILL    page 67  has this to say about the Medici 1716 Stradivari

Other specimens exist sufficiently
well preserved to indicate clearly the maker's intentions,
and the most appropriate for present comparison is the
Medici violin, preserved with the Tuscan tenor and
violoncello at the Musical Institute in Florence. It is of
the same year and is in remarkable preservation, though
not perfect ; yet it differs in form, dimensions, model,
sound-holes, edges, and varnish. To the casual observer
it would be taken for the " Salabue's " brother, as it
presents a close resemblance, whether as regards the
back, which is in two pieces, the wood, which is similarly
figured, or the varnish, which, though of thicker texture
and somewhat deeper colour, has the same bright,
unworn surface.

 

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11 minutes ago, Torbjörn Zethelius said:

Hi Bruce, thanks for that! I know about the 1987 Stradivari Exhibition Catalogue. I found thickness graduation maps by Jeffrey S. Loen here https://www.catgutacoustical.org/journal/nov02.htm unfortunately, there's no specific numbers, only coloration. I sent him an email.

Here is the graduated color scale to interpret the maps from the same author, appeared in the article "Thick and thin" on The Strad December 2002 issue.5964e7a06792c_DSC_2994_Scalacoloririd.jpg.15c1c4ffbbd0c5105d3d881aeab96c21.jpg

I join Bruce on the Medici 1716 appreciation, one of my favorites apart for the height of the top arching at 13.4 mm, a bit low for my taste.

Alas my appreciation does not include the sound, as I have never had the chance to hear it played.

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3 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

I join Bruce on the Medici 1716 appreciation, one of my favorites apart for the height of the top arching at 13.4 mm, a bit low for my taste.

Thanks Davide. The Messie Strad has about the same arch height at 13.8 mm. I think that at one point they were probably all like that.

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From the 87 Exhibition

Body length, back 357.5
Max Upper bouts, back 167.5
Min C-bouts, back 109.2
Max Lower bouts, back 207.5
Body Length, front 356
Max Upper bouts, front 166.8
Min C-bouts, front 109.4
Max Lower bouts, front 206.6
Rib height, end block 30.6
Rib height, upper corner block 30.1
Rib height, neck block 27.5
Arching height, back 14.5
Arching height, front 13.4

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  • 3 weeks later...

Torbjorn,

I answered your email, but since then I found the original data source.  Some years ago Cremonabooks had an excellent folio poster series produced by Bruce Carlson.  I bought all of them.  One of them gives photos and data, including thickness, for the Mediceo of 1716.  The folio is copyright 2001.  Top thickness maxes out at 3.5 mm at bridge, back is 4.6 mm just left of center.  Please keep in mind the possibility of a breast patch on the top.  The color contour map is suggestive of this.  Perhaps Bruce can elaborate.

I highly recommend the Cremonabooks folios btw.

Jeff Loen

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On 7/11/2017 at 8:04 AM, Davide Sora said:

I join Bruce on the Medici 1716 appreciation, one of my favorites apart for the height of the top arching at 13.4 mm, a bit low for my taste.

My last arching experiment at 13.5mm I find pleasantly playable, but too bottom-biased for a serious violin.  The B1+ frequency is very low, and getting too close to the B1- frequency.  In my 8.5mm arch experiment, the B1- and B1+ frequencies merged into one big peak... not good.  So my taste too is for a minimum arch >14 mm, although perhaps there is some combination (very low density, thick graduations, strong bass bar) that could improve the lower arch.

On 7/11/2017 at 11:29 AM, Torbjörn Zethelius said:

The Messie Strad has about the same arch height at 13.8 mm. I think that at one point they were probably all like that.

Unless spruce stretches like rubber, there's no way that the ex-Jackson 1714 started out with arching that low.  My guess is that it started out around 17mm before distortion.

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8 hours ago, Don Noon said:

My last arching experiment at 13.5mm I find pleasantly playable, but too bottom-biased for a serious violin.  The B1+ frequency is very low, and getting too close to the B1- frequency.  In my 8.5mm arch experiment, the B1- and B1+ frequencies merged into one big peak... not good.  So my taste too is for a minimum arch >14 mm, although perhaps there is some combination (very low density, thick graduations, strong bass bar) that could improve the lower arch.

Interesting observations, thanks for sharing .

I had also noticed this trend with the B1 modes relative to the arching height, but I had never fallen so low.....:).....(I mean 8.5 mm. of course.....)
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17 hours ago, Luigi said:

Torbjorn,

I answered your email, but since then I found the original data source.  Some years ago Cremonabooks had an excellent folio poster series produced by Bruce Carlson.  I bought all of them.  One of them gives photos and data, including thickness, for the Mediceo of 1716.  The folio is copyright 2001.  Top thickness maxes out at 3.5 mm at bridge, back is 4.6 mm just left of center.  Please keep in mind the possibility of a breast patch on the top.  The color contour map is suggestive of this.  Perhaps Bruce can elaborate.

I highly recommend the Cremonabooks folios btw.

Jeff Loen

Thank you, Jeff! So, we will never know the original thickness in that area. Sad. However, Stradivari had fairly consistent graduations and used even thickness in the bellies. Do you know the surrounding thicknesses around that supposed breast patch? It will go down as speculation but I'm curious anyway. The Hill book on Stradivari lists a violin of 1716 with a back thickness of 11/64" (4.37mm) in the centre and belly 6/64" (2.38 mm) 'all over'. They don't tell which violin it is. 

11 hours ago, Don Noon said:

My last arching experiment at 13.5mm I find pleasantly playable, but too bottom-biased for a serious violin.  The B1+ frequency is very low, and getting too close to the B1- frequency.  In my 8.5mm arch experiment, the B1- and B1+ frequencies merged into one big peak... not good.  So my taste too is for a minimum arch >14 mm, although perhaps there is some combination (very low density, thick graduations, strong bass bar) that could improve the lower arch.

Unless spruce stretches like rubber, there's no way that the ex-Jackson 1714 started out with arching that low.  My guess is that it started out around 17mm before distortion.

My latest violin has a belly arch height of about 14 mm and sounds great. The one I'm working on will have an arch height of about 13.25 mm. I don't think that the arch height is a make it or brake it factor. But of course, there must be a minimum arch height that just doesn't work. 

Stradivari, like everyone experimented and occasionally might even screw up. Surely there are exceptions, but I think in his Golden period the trend was low archings. 

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13 hours ago, Don Noon said:

In my 8.5mm arch experiment, the B1- and B1+ frequencies merged into one big peak... not good.  So my taste too is for a minimum arch >14 mm, although perhaps there is some combination (very low density, thick graduations, strong bass bar) that could improve the lower arch.

The older brain synapses took a while to fire back up, but now I recall my old "Snakefiddle" experiment (violin #0) with dead-flat top and back, which had B1- and B1+ mode frequencies and amplitudes absolutely indistinguishable from good, normal violins (the rest of the spectrum was different, and therefore it didn't sound like a normal violin).  The plates were thicker than usual to compensate for lack of arch.

So it looks like you CAN diddle with wood properties and thickness, and/or match top/back arching, to adjust B modes... but I think other areas of the spectrum, particularly the "transition hill" middle frequencies, are not so adjustable.

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