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H.R.Fisher

plate tuning specs ?

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On 12/11/2017 at 4:14 PM, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Attached is some tap tone data on old Italian violins that Anders Buen found in a 1930 Book? written by Otto Mockels.

Unfortunately the plate weights weren't recorded and there was no indication that any of the violins sounded good.

Tap_tones_from_Mockel.pdf

Has Anders been seen on the forum lately? I don't recall seeing any posts by him for awhile.

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So where is the weight coming from on the Cannone?  Does it have perhaps thicker graduations, denser wood, heavier blocks, thick ribs, massive scroll, a large model?   Or is it just a bit of 'all of the above'?

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2 minutes ago, violinsRus said:

So where is the weight coming from on the Cannone?  Does it have perhaps thicker graduations, denser wood, heavier blocks, thick ribs, massive scroll, a large model?   Or is it just a bit of 'all of the above'?

There is a very small black hole floating inside...

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16 minutes ago, violinsRus said:

So where is the weight coming from on the Cannone?  Does it have perhaps thicker graduations, denser wood, heavier blocks, thick ribs, massive scroll, a large model?   Or is it just a bit of 'all of the above'?

A lot of some of the above (although the model isn't gigantic, and I suspect the wood density isn't high).  I think most of the weight is in the exceptionally thick back and ribs.  The top is thick too... but spruce isn't very dense.

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5 hours ago, curious1 said:

Even if we say those add 10g (generous) we are still talking about a heavy violin. 

Absolutely. Sorry, it was not as much my intention correct you as it was to furnish more precise information. :unsure:

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3 hours ago, violinsRus said:

So where is the weight coming from on the Cannone?  Does it have perhaps thicker graduations, denser wood, heavier blocks, thick ribs, massive scroll, a large model?   Or is it just a bit of 'all of the above'?

It's one of the few violins that hasn't been "improved" by violinmakers with a 'pet' theory such as graduations. The blocks are quite normal for 'del Gesù', the graduations are on the thick side (see the Biddulph book on 'Del Gesù', the head is not small but deeply hollowed in the spiral, I doubt denser wood and the model is like the others with perhaps more edge overhang. The edges and edgework are still quite full. On many Guarneri violins this feature has been worn away considerably from use.

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53 minutes ago, Chris S said:

 ... but you can be sure that the outside arching contour remains the same. Therefore the argument about thicknesses and graduations assume a lesser importance? than arching or other concerns. 

I don't think you can be so sure about the arching, especially on the "thinner" violins. I've seen some violins with "camel back" arching that were not even 100 years old and well within "Stradivari style" thicknesses.

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2 hours ago, Chris S said:

And probably one more point about my earlier post is that even if the archings have changed over time due to stresses they still 

remain unaltered by anyone from reworking.

Perhaps you are not familiar with the number of times many of these instruments have been "re-arched"?

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12 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Perhaps you are not familiar with the number of times many of these instruments have been "re-arched"?

How major a job is re-arching?  How often would a 18th or 17th century violin with Stad(ish) arching and graduations need re-arching if it was someone's work horse instrument throughout it's life?  I know there are lots of factors involved, just looking for a rough estimate.

-Jim

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I "re-arch" some of my back plates to get new violins to stabilize a little bit quicker. M5 rise (~15-25 Hz) and M2 drops (~5-10Hz) as a consequence of this action, without changing the outline so it still fits the ribs.

Add to that unknown variations in humidity.

So CMH tuners; keep in mind that the same plate can have M5 variations 340-370 Hz without doing any graduation changes.

Further add varnish and you could have started with an M5 of let's say 350 Hz, open it after a couple of years and it could be ~390 Hz (in worst case)

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That "old woman" CMH suggested varnishing the outside of the plates and then letting them harden for about a year before making the final thickness changes if you're plate tuning.

Does anybody have a guess whether the old masters did this?  I always assumed the violin was always finished after it was assembled.  Joseph Curtin once mentioned opening up his own violins after several years and then regraduating  (thinning) the plates. 

Red wine is often not bottled until its aged in oak barrels for a year or two and even after bottling it is often cellar aged for several more years before opening the bottle and even after opening the bottle it is often left an hour or two before drinking which explains why beer is so popular.

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4 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

How major a job is re-arching?  How often would a 18th or 17th century violin with Stad(ish) arching and graduations need re-arching if it was someone's work horse instrument throughout it's life?  I know there are lots of factors involved, just looking for a rough estimate.

-Jim

At Oberlin, we discussed one instrument on which an abbreviated version was done every few years, but I think this would be an extreme example.

A workhorse instrument with Stradish graduations, exposed to a wide variety of environments due to travel? I'd take a wild guess of every 50 years, depending on how bad one is willing to let it get between corrections. Any other opinions?

2 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

That "old woman" CMH suggested varnishing the outside of the plates and then letting them harden for about a year before making the final thickness changes if you're plate tuning.

Does anybody have a guess whether the old masters did this?

They probably weren't varnished prior to assembly, since the tops appear to have been varnished with the fingerboard in place.

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3 hours ago, Peter K-G said:

I "re-arch" some of my back plates to get new violins to stabilize a little bit quicker. M5 rise (~15-25 Hz) and M2 drops (~5-10Hz) as a consequence of this action, without changing the outline so it still fits the ribs.

 

Hi Peter, what exactly is re-arching and how is this done?

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I put the "re-arching" in quote because what I do is stressing the back plate to ensure more stability, faster break in of new violin. (like the soundpost does over years on a strung up violin)

http://www.thestradsound.com/ongoing/stressingthebackplate

Don't do this if you are not absolutely sure about your center glue joint, it's a slow process and I'm not recommending this as a general solution.

 

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24 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

At Oberlin, we discussed one instrument on which an abbreviated version was done every few years, but I think this would be an extreme example.

A workhorse instrument with Stradish graduations, exposed to a wide variety of environments due to travel? I'd take a wild guess of every 50 years, depending on how bad one is willing to let it get between corrections. Any other opinions?

They probably weren't varnished prior to assembly, since the tops appear to have been varnished with the fingerboard in place.

Also it appears that they were purfled after the box was closed up, followed by varnishing.

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Sam Z, wrote a piece a while back about the differential deformation of tops and backs, depending on arching , thickness and probably other things like soundpost tension, and rib thickness, the top and back may have radically varied widths and length. arch heights will also be affected. A lot of what we do in terms of new building with classic goals ,has more to do with carefull extrapolation of possible start points from distortion,than copying what is there currently. 

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47 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

At Oberlin, we discussed one instrument on which an abbreviated version was done every few years, but I think this would be an extreme example.

A workhorse instrument with Stradish graduations, exposed to a wide variety of environments due to travel? I'd take a wild guess of every 50 years, depending on how bad one is willing to let it get between corrections. Any other opinions?

Interesting, I can see how a background in restoration can influence what you do in new construction.  Fortunately I don't know enough about either to loose sleep over the compromise between performance and structural integrity.  I loose enough sleep over much simpler problems.  :rolleyes:

-Jim

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47 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Is there any evidence that they may have done final thinning of the plates  after the box was closed up but before varnishing?

I think so , this tool fits well over the bridge.image.thumb.jpg.636ca481be21df3c15f3cf4244368158.jpgimage.thumb.jpg.c7e7dbc23dac59a3a34ba35ce3ed1b88.jpg

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Is there any evidence that they may have done final thinning of the plates  after the box was closed up but before varnishing?

If you subscribe to Roger Hargrave's descriptions of Cremonese methods (closing the box before the channel and purfling), then some amount of blending and thinning around the edges would be necessary afterwards.  

I am definitely not an expert, but my impression is that they weren't really into all that fine-tuning mumbo jumbo, and just took their best first shot and sent it out the door.  Perhaps that tool was for double-checking the edge fluting, to make sure they didn't go thru... or checking grads of other completed instruments.

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1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

If you subscribe to Roger Hargrave's descriptions of Cremonese methods (closing the box before the channel and purfling), then some amount of blending and thinning around the edges would be necessary afterwards.  

I am definitely not an expert, but my impression is that they weren't really into all that fine-tuning mumbo jumbo, and just took their best first shot and sent it out the door.  Perhaps that tool was for double-checking the edge fluting, to make sure they didn't go thru... or checking grads of other completed instruments.

I whole heartedly agree, the tool does not have the capacity for precision work nor does it have a broad scope of reach, however a wedge can be used on the outside to get a pretty good idea of what’s going on. Perhaps most intriguing is the over the bridge capacity that leave me to wonder if modifications while set up in the white might have been done, of course we would feel much better if we knew all things for certain , but the thought does seem reasonable.

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1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

If you subscribe to Roger Hargrave's descriptions of Cremonese methods (closing the box before the channel and purfling), then some amount of blending and thinning around the edges would be necessary afterwards.  

I am definitely not an expert, but my impression is that they weren't really into all that fine-tuning mumbo jumbo, and just took their best first shot and sent it out the door. 

That would be my guess, too. A buyer can be found for almost instrument, good or bad, and there is quite a wide variation between the sounds of different Strads.

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