Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

How light is a super light viola? My lightest viola so far weighted 515g and has a 405mm body length Albani model.

Oh, I really don't know. I haven't tried many violas and almost none that are quality instruments. All I know is that playing without a shoulder rest and having to support it with the hand can become slightly tiresome with my viola, whereas violins, in comparison, feel feather-light. I suppose, however, that it's not just about the weight, but also the balance; perhaps if the centre of weight is closer to the end pin then the scroll is easier to lift.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 297
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I don't know anyone who has tried one of these, but I hope to get up there at some point to try one myself. By the way, the necks are removable, which could be a real boon for touring or even occasionally traveling musicians, if the case could be made small enough to evade the attentions of the gate agents and flight attendants. 

<https://josephcurtinstudios.com/instruments/ultralight/>

Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a quick calculation on the weight for the ribs:

0.5mm thick, c.1000mm long and 30mm height makes 15000 cube mm or 15 cube cm. of the material weights 0.55g per cube cm this comes down to 8.25g.

Paper reinforcement should be possible at  (including the weight of the glue)                                                                                                                                         4g,

Balsa corner blocks at 2g each would make it                                                                                                                                                                                                 8g

Linings approximately the same weight as the ribs                                                                                                                                                                                        8g

top and a minimal lower block from a light wood like willow (top block 50mm x 12mm x 30mm = 18000 cube mm, lower block (20mm x 30mm x 20mm = 12000

total 30 cube cm and if the wood weights 0.35g per cube cm this makes                                                                                                                                                 10.5g

TOTAL RIB WEIGHT                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               38.75g 

 

Lets see what is coming out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If it was my choice, I'd make the ribs thicker and leave out the paper/glue reinforcements.  Should be stiffer that way.

I worry that the ribs would be too wimpy, and give an excessively low resistance to the bow.  Unfortunately, I don't know how critical rib thickness is to overall body stiffness.  I should do an experiment on that some day.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

If it was my choice, I'd make the ribs thicker and leave out the paper/glue reinforcements.  Should be stiffer that way.

I worry that the ribs would be too wimpy, and give an excessively low resistance to the bow.  Unfortunately, I don't know how critical rib thickness is to overall body stiffness.  I should do an experiment on that some day.

Don, 

thanks for your thoughts. 

It is all experimental so I go for the 'new' idea with reinforced ribs. However I was thinking of structural strength. I think vertically (along the string direction) the ribs must be ridged in order to resist string tension . Horizontally I think the ribs can be weak. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

To save a few grams of weight, you could make the back of poplar - didn’t Stradivarius use that when he couldn’t afford maple? Also I wonder if the corners are really necessary, the «Gussetto» form seems to work well enough. Steam bending one continuous rib is not as difficult now as it was a few centuries ago...

 

Another thought just crossed my mind: Make the bottom thick enough that you don’t need a chin rest? That would also give more volume to a short body, but I may well be completely wrong. If you think that this won’t work, let me know and I will at least carve you a chin rest from flamed poplar. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Felefar said:

To save a few grams of weight, you could make the back of poplar - didn’t Stradivarius use that when he couldn’t afford maple? Also I wonder if the corners are really necessary, the «Gussetto» form seems to work well enough. Steam bending one continuous rib is not as difficult now as it was a few centuries ago...

 

Another thought just crossed my mind: Make the bottom thick enough that you don’t need a chin rest? That would also give more volume to a short body, but I may well be completely wrong. If you think that this won’t work, let me know and I will at least carve you a chin rest from flamed poplar. :)

Felefar,

you have a creative mind!

I was thinking of a cornerless violin but in the end I told myself, if a really major soloist should use it, it should at least look 'normal' seen from the front row. Therefore it needs corners and a normal height at the bottom.

For the wood of the back, well, you can even use balsa with reinforcements, if you want to. While I think light wood works on low voice instruments, I am convinced that maple somehow belongs to the voice of the violin and rather not fumble around with it. I am trying to be very cautious, because sound in the end DOES matter to me. And I work on this project somehow to re-think every single functional aspect of the violin.

(Besides: To my knowledge Strad never used poplar for violin backs, only for one viola, the 'mahler' and maybe a few cellos in his younger years. If he used cheap wood for violins there were knots in it. The 'Tullaye' made c. 1670 is a perfect example.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Bold, Andreas! More of the same, I hope. I applaud you.

Thanks, Jackson!

Initially I wanted to beat the weight of those carbon things with the thought that a true craftsman can show technology guys what violin making is about.

Now, partly through the discussion here on MN, I changed my direction a little bit. It seems that the violin needs some mass somewhere and I am thinking now to have some spots where I can put some lead weights to see how this will trigger the sound.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

It seems that the violin needs some mass somewhere and I am thinking now to have some spots where I can put some lead weights to see how this will trigger the sound.

For experimental purposes, a pair of small magnets works well for this, or a glob of bluetac.  After you find where you want to add mass, then you can open it up and go with lead and glue.

Stiffness would be my concern, as it is extremely difficult to add stiffness in a clean, efficient way.  But, in any case, this will be a very interesting experiment.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

For experimental purposes, a pair of small magnets works well for this, or a glob of bluetac.  After you find where you want to add mass, then you can open it up and go with lead and glue.

Stiffness would be my concern, as it is extremely difficult to add stiffness in a clean, efficient way.  But, in any case, this will be a very interesting experiment.

Thanks for the advice, but what is 'glob of bluetac'? 

Yes, and additionally I will make two tops. One bent one carved.

Yesterday I finally found an idea how to bend a top in a more convincing way than Fulton or Michetschlager.

Stay tuned!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Thanks for the advice, but what is 'glob of bluetac'? 

Yes, and additionally I will make two tops. One bent one carved.

Yesterday I finally found an idea how to bend a top in a more convincing way than Fulton or Michetschlager.

Stay tuned!

 

Andreas, please share your idea about bending. It is a concept that is fascinating to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Thanks for the advice, but what is 'glob of bluetac'? 

I guess it's more commonly spelled "blue tack"... or poster putty, poster tack, or a gazillion different names.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2018/4/4 at 1:52 AM, Michael Szyper said:

Dear Andreas, very interesting to follow your project. Did you already make decisions about wood densities? (Especially the top and back wood?)

Dear Michael, Sorry for the late reply here. Wood density is a kind of tricky thing, because I believe all very wide grained and light material has not the same strength as denser material. However, because it is in the end only a sort of interesting experiment, I took the wood density into the calculation and chose the lightest piece of maple in my workshop which is on a rough caculation .58g/cm3.

For the top I didn't really find a piece as light as 0.35g/cm3 so I have no other choice to go with my 0.4g-ish piece of spruce. But I am going to make 2 tops, one carved one bent to see what type works better on such an instument.

However, Ididn't want to go as far as choosing wood lighter than maple, such as Willow or poplar, because I believe it is essential for the violin soprano sound.

Another thing I am considering is to work rather in the direction optimal weight -  stiffness balance. After my success to reduce the weight of the ribs more than I expected, I can afford to go a little heavier on top and back anyway. If he finished violin is at any number below 333g I have achieved my personal goal. If in addition it is judged by players as something for good violinistic use, even better.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2018/4/21 at 10:38 PM, christian bayon said:

Nice experience! I´m curious to see how the violin work with wolf-notes.

Wolf notes might be actually the achilles' heel of the whole thing. We'll see.

(If there are too many wolves howling, I'll ask a composer to write a piece for violin and wolf note interruptions.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rib structure rigidity test

Today I made some rigidity tests with the ribs of the super light violin compared to Strad type ribs I made. In total the ribs of the new concept violin seem to be a little weaker. This was obvious just by 'feel' twisting the ribs in the hands in different directions.

I found it most interesting to see the deformation when making the ribs stand on the lower block on a table and putting a weight of 760 on the top block. Both were sinking in c. 12mm under the weight, but the deformation was different. The Strad ribs expanded at the c bouts pretty visibly, the ribs of the super light violin only slightly.

The weakest point of the ribs of the super light violin was the torque movement. Pushing one c bout down while pulling the other up one could deform the ribs much easier than the Strad ribs.

When holding the ribs a the upper and lower block making an opposite screw movement, the super light ribs were as well more bendable.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

 

On 3.4.2018 at 6:52 PM, Michael Szyper said:

Dear Andreas, very interesting to follow your project. Did you already make decisions about wood densities? (Especially the top and back wood?)

Dear Michael, Sorry for the late reply here. Wood density is a kind of tricky thing, because I believe all very wide grained and light material has not the same strength as denser material. However, because it is in the end only a sort of interesting experiment, I took the wood density into the calculation and chose the lightest piece of maple in my workshop which is on a rough caculation .58g/cm3.

For the top I didn't really find a piece as light as 0.35g/cm3 so I have no other choice to go with my 0.4g-ish piece of spruce. But I am going to make 2 tops, one carved one bent to see what type works better on such an instument.

 

 

Andreas,

if you would like to try I could provide you spruce up to .31 density and maple with .49 density. All of them not wide-grained. Since you would like to donate the violin, I also wouldn‘t charge for the wood. I don’t know if you come back to Germany sometimes, then shipping wouldn’t be a big deal...

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

For everyone following this thread:  @christian bayon @Don Noon@Evan Smith@Michael Szyper@JacksonMaberry@Felefar@Ethan Ford Heath@Emilg

At this point I think it would make sense to sacrifice a few grams to reinforce the ribs to bring them closer to the twisting properties of Strad ribs.

I’ve been thinking about this. Would lining the ribs with linen as you would sometimes do with cello ribs make sense?  You should be able to add strips incrementally to achieve just enough support to minimize the additional weight added. 

-Jim

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...