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Andreas Preuss

Stradivari's secret was a concept?

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14 hours ago, David Beard said:

My point is that there are simple methods behind the work that actually are present throughout the span of classicsl Crrmona work. These are the things I'm calling ^execution methods'.  This methods limited the building to certain limited and orderly ranges of traditional choices.  These choices provide enough flexiblity to embrace the wide range of Cremona instruments, even while the structure of each bit of the design is significantly circumscribed by these traditional and limited ranges of choice.

Agreed !!

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35 minutes ago, D. Piolle said:

 

Concerning your picture, I was suspecting someone close to the Amati circle, but not exactly Nicolo though. I am very  fond of instruments by Nicolo and the brothers Amati , and also their ( let's say ) heirs...

Dave.

 

I know what you want to say and you know why I can't  say it. :-)

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On 7/25/2018 at 6:42 AM, Andreas Preuss said:

Here is one of the reasons why I think that Stradivari abandoned some aspects of the ratio related construction system handed down from the Amati family.

Picture 1 shows what I call the Amati system for placing the f-holes. The circle line running through the corners is centered exactly in the middle of the body length.

The smaller cirlcle running through the center of the f-points has its center on the golden section of the body length. Its diameter is the golden section of the bigger circle.

image.jpeg

PIcture 2: This system can be observed on even the wildest Guarneris, however working precision is, as expected, not at the same level as Amati.

image.jpeg

For Stradivari I see an interesting development. In his early period he used the Amati system, however already in an slightly assymetric way. The Tullaye made in c.1670 shows that the Amati system matches on the treble side but not on the bass side. (no picture because it didn't upload)

It is interesting too that we can still see the Amati system on long pattern Strads (picture 3: Harrison Strad 1698) which makes me believe the long pattern was created with the goal to increase the stop length. And maybe because the long pattern Strads were rejected by violinists, he abandoned around this time the Amati system to make normal size instruments with a slightly longer stop length.

image.jpeg

Picture 4 shows the f-holes Baron Knoop. Made in the same year as the Harrison, the Amati system clearly doesn't fit any more (picure 5) Thereafter basically the majority of his violins doesn't follow the Amati system any more.

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

I see the reasons in handling this differently in being able to place f-holes more freely to adopt to the slight assymetry of the outline and therefore he replaced the Amati system which constructs the f-hole placement from the inside with a system which works from the outside. The advantage is that slight assymetries are not so visible any more at the placement of the f-holes, because this is best visible at the short distances between f-hole outline and purfling line. In this sense I would call Stradivari a genius in cheating.

NOTE: The fact that sometimes the circles are not placed perfectly on a photo can have different reasons: The original layout was done on an arched surface so it is almost unavoidable that it looks a little bit distorted on a flat photo. Then working with it,it causes problems on a spruce top to place a circle on a hard grain and therefore it slides in one or the other direction. If the divider was made of wood it might flex slightly when drawing a line.

Andreas,

This is very interesting !

Dave.

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7 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

I know what you want to say and you know why I can't  say it. :-)

:-)

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3 hours ago, D. Piolle said:

Michael ,

What do you mean by Nicolo messing around with the f-holes ? Do you mean for example the narrow space ( approx 36mm ) between the upper holes ?

Dave.

The original A Amati fholes were upright, but far apart. The maker I tag as H-one tilted them and made them more elegant, giving a modern eye spread. Someone else in the Bros A shop (Antonio? Battle of the Brothers?) continued to make the upright form, both types appearing contemporaneously for some time. 

Nicolo's "innovation" kept the form of the stems of the holes vertical, but recognized that H-one's tilted stem had brought the eyes closer and that this was perhaps tonally desirable, so he threw the upper holes inward from his upright stems,  and maybe also brought the stems a bit closer creating an aesthetic problem at the top and bottom which forced the wings to be bent more to follow the new eye layout. The whole f had to be revamped into something of minimal grace to accommodate both the upright stems and the close-together eyes. Awkward to the max, the whole "solution".

 

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4 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I hope I didn't stop learning. Next challenges are ahead.

Besides how does it look like for GBG? Just from my memory his archings were often quite full.

There are many types of Guad, depending info  the place. The last Turin ones are full, yes. I doubt cycloids would fit those.

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9 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

The way I see the template, you're not even close. That's a very German arch you have going there!  Here's the Bros Amati violin I have used for some of my templates:

Enlarge the photo and you'll see that the low point of the scoop is well inside the purfling, and that the scoop remains concave up the arch for about a thumb's width.

For contrast, here's the pinnacle of German style, a middle-period Carl Becker, with an arch that's conceptually very similar to yours; narrow scoop centered on the purfling and balanced in width equal on either side of the purfling, made with quite a tight gouge, then immediately, when rising, straight or even convex all around the instrument. That's essentially what you learned in school, right? One of the things I've noticed is that makers tend to pick up mannerisms early, from their first training, then have a hard time shaking them off, even with contrary examples flowing by in front of them.

Your Amati example is rather on one extreme of the varied ways things could be done in Cremona. The Carl Becker arching is by no means unlike that of some Cremonese instruments.

“German” seems to have been one of your standard dismissals of the work of other contemporary makers. I'd be a bit more careful about that.

Andreas Preuss has done some very impressive work, sufficiently so, that another judge and I at the Moscow competition devoted a lot of time to trying to figure out how he got there. Still, he seems to be very open to continuing learning.

 

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Sorry, I'll stand by that statement that done precisely that way is not a characteristic Cremonese habit of the historic period. It might happen in isolated instances of course, anything can happen, and you will see something close to it more later than earlier, but it's just not a primary characteristic of the old Cremonese arch. It appears in a lot of modern making, sure, and I see it coming out of the German-based schools. You take it as a diss if you want to--that's your choice. I'm just stating what I see in the majority of the cases I see.

Purfling on the uphill, and usually agood amount of rising scoop inside, is about as good of a rule as you are going to get for this, and that holds for a lot of Italy in that time, too:

Rogeri:Rogeri.jpg.e38520a56bd50f00e8c9d0e6f74884d0.jpg

 

1732 del Gesu:

1732DelGesu.thumb.jpg.97f31737c97138aa335eaccdb8875998.jpg

 

Late Bergonzi:

LateBergonzi.thumb.jpg.ff23a7ba33ebb28fefc1d0171734e170.jpg

 

Can't find the Roth at the moment. You're certainly welcome to show me an old Cremonese violins that looks like the Becker, but you won't find one.

I can tell you that we are going to have a lot of disagreement when it comes to talking about f-holes, too.

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If your straight edge had been oriented to the angle of the plate gluing surface, the purfling area could very well be the lowest point, on two of your examples. ;)

I use that method a lot, because I've found that it allows better distinction of arching subtleties near the perimeter.

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2 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

Purfling on the uphill, and usually agood amount of rising scoop inside, is about as good of a rule as you are going to get for this, and that holds for a lot of Italy in that time, too:

It looks like the ex-Strauss Strad is a typical example as well

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRTI-VYdA9Y

 

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21 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

I'm not aware that the laws of the physical world had a thing to do with creating the violin. They only try to explain it, and not too skillfully, by the way, so far.

It certainly is true that what physical scientists have done to study and analyze how violins make sound, and how to make a violin that has a certain sound, has been clumsy and limited.

And it is also true that Stradivari, for example, did not make use of a background in acoustical science to design and make his violins.

So I cannot quarrel with what you have written here, as far as it goes. Yet, it is also true that the sound any violin makes, when you put the bow to it and play, is determined, utterly, strictly, and absolutely, by the laws of the physical world.

That just doesn't mean a violin is simple enough that the reductionistic approach will be the right one.

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*Choose a channel boundary and bottom (taken by simple ratios at the major bout widths). Run these consistently through each major bout area. Join smoothly through corner areas. Perhaps choose different boundaries at top or bottom block, transition smoothly (set dividers and trace from outline holding parallel to center line is an easy transition method).

*Choose you're plate height and long arc

*Work your central cross arcs using '1/2 fall in 2/3 run'. Take your 'run' from center to channel boundary. Or, if you want a little wider 'near flat' at top' start your 'run' somewhat out from center line.

*smoothly join central arch work to channel work at liberty

 

These few rules control the work enough to insure characteristic arching. And flexible enough to embrace the full range of what is seen in classical examples*.   

 

*(Still requires working violin outline, edges, fall of long arc, and curves of channel characteristically to get proper results.)

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5 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Your Amati example is rather on one extreme of the varied ways things could be done in Cremona. The Carl Becker arching is by no means unlike that of some Cremonese instruments.

The Vieuxtemps Guarneri would seem to be an opposite extreme to the Amati; I wonder how CC's would fit on that.  The top center arch of the Messiah also looks a lot like something that is not a CC.

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The CCs give smoothly joined concave and convex curves. But I believe that their actual fit to classical work ends with that one feature.

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43 minutes ago, David Beard said:

*Choose a channel boundary and bottom (taken by simple ratios at the major bout widths). Run these consistently through each major bout area. Join smoothly through corner areas. Perhaps choose different boundaries at top or bottom block, transition smoothly (set dividers and trace from outline holding parallel to center line is an easy transition method).

*Choose you're plate height and long arc

*Work your central cross arcs using '1/2 fall in 2/3 run'. Take your 'run' from center to channel boundary. Or, if you want a little wider 'near flat' at top' start your 'run' somewhat out from center line.

*smoothly join central arch work to channel work at liberty

 

These few rules control the work enough to insure characteristic arching. And flexible enough to embrace the full range of what is seen in classical examples*.   

 

*(Still requires working violin outline, edges, fall of long arc, and curves of channel characteristically to get proper results.)

I have been doing this on my last several and have liked the results. I haven't studied enough Cremonese instruments in person to feel sure, but it's better than what I was doing. 

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7 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

The original A Amati fholes were upright, but far apart. The maker I tag as H-one tilted them and made them more elegant, giving a modern eye spread. Someone else in the Bros A shop (Antonio? Battle of the Brothers?) continued to make the upright form, both types appearing contemporaneously for some time. 

Nicolo's "innovation" kept the form of the stems of the holes vertical, but recognized that H-one's tilted stem had brought the eyes closer and that this was perhaps tonally desirable, so he threw the upper holes inward from his upright stems,  and maybe also brought the stems a bit closer creating an aesthetic problem at the top and bottom which forced the wings to be bent more to follow the new eye layout. The whole f had to be revamped into something of minimal grace to accommodate both the upright stems and the close-together eyes. Awkward to the max, the whole "solution".

 

Destructing the image of Niccolo Amati.

:lol:

Aesthetics are very relative and are not so important in the end. I am sure that there still many people who regard Niccolo Amati as one of the major exponents of well balanced aesthetics.

To me the truly outstanding makers 1. create their own model 2. have their own handwriting and 3. make it work for musicians. Would you call a Pressenda model well balanced with the slim longish f-holes sitting in a broad model? But he made his name for those reasons.

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5 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Your Amati example is rather on one extreme of the varied ways things could be done in Cremona. The Carl Becker arching is by no means unlike that of some Cremonese instruments.

“German” seems to have been one of your standard dismissals of the work of other contemporary makers. I'd be a bit more careful about that.

Andreas Preuss has done some very impressive work, sufficiently so, that another judge and I at the Moscow competition devoted a lot of time to trying to figure out how he got there. Still, he seems to be very open to continuing learning.

 

Indeed, I am still trying to learn, otherwise I wouldn't plunge in a discussion here to De-germanyfy my image. (Wir sind doch nicht im Zoo, oder? - end of german rant)

Arching patterns are IMHO one of the most unexplored things in violin making and what I am reading here form posts of other members in this thread and elsewhere there seems to be concensus that arching patterns can influence the sound more than height or maybe even thickness distrubutions.

Concerning my Grancino copy in the Moscow comptetion I can't remember how I made the arching. (No joke!) I can only say that I worked from the inside first. and in general when doing so (and that's what I teach all the time people who are learning from me) I never leave a sharp edge at the line where the linings touch the surface of the back.I am always looking for a smooth transition.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, David Beard said:

*Choose a channel boundary and bottom (taken by simple ratios at the major bout widths). Run these consistently through each major bout area. Join smoothly through corner areas. Perhaps choose different boundaries at top or bottom block, transition smoothly (set dividers and trace from outline holding parallel to center line is an easy transition method).

*Choose you're plate height and long arc

*Work your central cross arcs using '1/2 fall in 2/3 run'. Take your 'run' from center to channel boundary. Or, if you want a little wider 'near flat' at top' start your 'run' somewhat out from center line.

*smoothly join central arch work to channel work at liberty

 

These few rules control the work enough to insure characteristic arching. And flexible enough to embrace the full range of what is seen in classical examples*.   

 

*(Still requires working violin outline, edges, fall of long arc, and curves of channel characteristically to get proper results.)

There we go, no templates necessary for this. I suppose you cross checked it with original examples?

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5 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

Sorry, I'll stand by that statement that done precisely that way is not a characteristic Cremonese habit of the historic period. It might happen in isolated instances of course, anything can happen, and you will see something close to it more later than earlier, but it's just not a primary characteristic of the old Cremonese arch. It appears in a lot of modern making, sure, and I see it coming out of the German-based schools. You take it as a diss if you want to--that's your choice. I'm just stating what I see in the majority of the cases I see.

Purfling on the uphill, and usually agood amount of rising scoop inside, is about as good of a rule as you are going to get for this, and that holds for a lot of Italy in that time, too:

Rogeri:Rogeri.jpg.e38520a56bd50f00e8c9d0e6f74884d0.jpg

 

1732 del Gesu:

1732DelGesu.thumb.jpg.97f31737c97138aa335eaccdb8875998.jpg

 

Late Bergonzi:

LateBergonzi.thumb.jpg.ff23a7ba33ebb28fefc1d0171734e170.jpg

 

Can't find the Roth at the moment. You're certainly welcome to show me an old Cremonese violins that looks like the Becker, but you won't find one.

I can tell you that we are going to have a lot of disagreement when it comes to talking about f-holes, too.

I would say a 20th century Roth is not THE example for German work to compare with 18th century Cremonese makers.

What about other 18th century German makers who didn't follow the Stainer pattern. Sebastian Klotz, Johann Hasert (often mistaken for Italian work!), David Gabriel Buchstetter,  Sympertus Niggel just to name a few.

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6 hours ago, Nick Allen said:

WOO 100 PAGES FINALLY!!!

Concept is the keyword.

It seems to stimulate the minds of people. When I first formed the idea of concept in my brain my view on violin making changed completely. Apparently members of MN are very interested in this.

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