francoisdenis

Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

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If you think the superiority of Cremonese instruments is due to finishing the outside edge/channel last then any of them that have been regraduated (a very significant number) would have lost that superior element.

I don’t see any magic bullet working the outside versus working the inside. If you feel the arch is too strong work the outside. If you feel the graduations are too strong work the inside.

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1 hour ago, Conor Russell said:

I fully expect that many of my instruments will need thinning a bit in years to come. 

I worry that a violin, made to the minimum working thickness when new, might be limited by that as it matures.

I don't quite follow the logic here... if it's made thin, and stiffens up over time, it would seem to age into perfection (and I use that term loosely).  I suppose if it's made waaaay too thin, then it would still be too thin later as well.

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2 hours ago, edi malinaric said:

... AND?

Back to what it was after a year, more or less. Darker and easy to play again.

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21 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

I don't quite follow the logic here... if it's made thin, and stiffens up over time, it would seem to age into perfection (and I use that term loosely).  I suppose if it's made waaaay too thin, then it would still be too thin later as well.

I take your point!!

However, I think, rightly or wrongly, that a violin benefits from a little extra wood, as long as it's not smothered, that can be selectively thinned later. I've come across new violins that I did think were too thin to begin with. Often there's lots of volume but a lack of colour available to the player. I think they might have been much better a bit thicker, and thinned later if needed.

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3 hours ago, Peter K-G said:

Back to what it was after a year, more or less. Darker and easy to play again.

Thank You Peter K-G.

cheers edi

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7 hours ago, curious1 said:

If you think the superiority of Cremonese instruments is due to finishing the outside edge/channel last then any of them that have been regraduated (a very significant number) would have lost that superior element.

I don’t see any magic bullet working the outside versus working the inside. If you feel the arch is too strong work the outside. If you feel the graduations are too strong work the inside.

If there is any superiority to the old Cremonese instruments, it would almost have to from gradations, and I would be highly dubious of one that was regraduated. But if it wasn't done from scratch, the restorer might have missed changing the wrong thing.

But I think you've missed the point about graduating from the outside. The magic is that after shaving off a little wood, you can test the effect by playing a few notes with the bow. That has to be a lot better than listening to tap tones.

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1 hour ago, Quadibloc said:

If there is any superiority to the old Cremonese instruments, it would almost have to from gradations, and I would be highly dubious of one that was regraduated. But if it wasn't done from scratch, the restorer might have missed changing the wrong thing.

But I think you've missed the point about graduating from the outside. The magic is that after shaving off a little wood, you can test the effect by playing a few notes with the bow. That has to be a lot better than listening to tap tones.

Graduations will not correct poorly executed arching.

If there is any superiory to Cremonese work it probably arises from a rigorous and systematic methodology applied at each stage of construction. A funnel shaped decision process of ever diminishing possibilities to significantly modify the outcome. 

Wood selection > arching shape > graduation > varnish > setup.

 

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14 minutes ago, curious1 said:

Graduations will not correct poorly executed arching.

No, they certainly won't. But what has that to do with anything?

Arching is clearly visible on the outside of the instrument. So there is no excuse for not getting it right, as it is hardly a "lost Cremonese secret"!

Presumably, though, to make a great instrument, one has to get the graduations right as well as the arching. And it would be easier to do that if one could hear what one was doing.

Now, I agree that there are flaws in the idea of graduating on the outside. I think it wasn't done in practice because it would injure the looks of the instrument. If you're objecting because it will wreck the arching, I'm not trying to say you are wrong.

That wasn't my point. It was that hearing a violin played, even without varnish, beats tap tones. That makes graduating on the outside a seductive idea. It could still be wrong.

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9 hours ago, Quadibloc said:

If there is any superiority to the old Cremonese instruments, it would almost have to from gradations, and I would be highly dubious of one that was regraduated. 

 

7 hours ago, curious1 said:

Graduations will not correct poorly executed arching.

 

7 hours ago, Quadibloc said:

No, they certainly won't. But what has that got to do with anything.

I give up. You tell me.

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As I posted in the "STrad method" thread I do final tuning from outside. I build F style mandolins, not violins but to some extent they are similar.  I don't measure the thicknesses at this point but play the instrument and judge the changes in tone. I spent years playing as many instruments (hundreds) as I could and always noticed how thick the plates are (I always had measuring device with me) and the shape of arching etc and compared it to the tone  of the instrument so I pretty much know how instrument that is overly thin sounds and how a thick one sounds.

With this experience I can hear in the sound when I'm reqaching the right spot. I think I could get good sound by just blindly working to numbers from my experience but with this last step of leaving tiny bit of extra wood and scraping from outside I managed to get them closer to their full potential, especially when I started using wood from different batch. The change is not all that sudden so it's not easy to just make too thin instrument (especially with all modern measuring devices). As folks pointed it takes 1g of wood to get clearly noticeable change. I do it in much finer steps.

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22 hours ago, curious1 said:

(a very significant number)

Proof?

And even if?

proof for significant sound changes?

could be hard to find because we don't know where how much wood was removed.

I would suggest to say:

maybe the number of cremonese instruments which has undergone afterwards thickness alterations is bigger than what we want believe. Sound changes from those operations are likely but neither improvement nor disimprovement can be verified.

Besides that we know ALL got a new neck set , bass bar sound post and bridge, enough factors to alter sound quality and playability. 

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12 hours ago, curious1 said:

Graduations will not correct poorly executed arching.

If there is any superiory to Cremonese work it probably arises from a rigorous and systematic methodology applied at each stage of construction. A funnel shaped decision process of ever diminishing possibilities to significantly modify the outcome. 

Wood selection > arching shape > graduation > varnish > setup.

 

This thought goes exactly in the direction of what I am trying to find our in my thread  Stradivaris secret was a concept?

I would see the chain of operations like this

Wood treatment>wood selection and matching top and back>Arching shape of back>assembly of rib neck and back>matching top arching to the assembled rib-neck-back structure>graduation of top from outside>ground varnish top>graduation of back>Ground varnish in back and other maple parts>color varnish>set up

 

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On May 7, 30 Heisei at 10:37 PM, Torbjörn Zethelius said:

My latest violin was made without tapping at all, just to prove to myself that it's possible. It is probably my best violin so far.

BTW I've never been a 'plate tuner'. I don't even record the modes on the finished plates. Only, with this violin I went to the extreme.

Glad to hear this from someone. Tomorrow there will be the official funeral for the matching tap tone theory in my shop. RIP

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3 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

This thought goes exactly in the direction of what I am trying to find our in my thread  Stradivaris secret was a concept?

I would see the chain of operations like this

Wood treatment>wood selection and matching top and back>Arching shape of back>assembly of rib neck and back>matching top arching to the assembled rib-neck-back structure>graduation of top from outside>ground varnish top>graduation of back>Ground varnish in back and other maple parts>color varnish>set up

 

I don’t see how Stradivari is a concept. An abstract idea.

I see it as a method. A set of procedures with concrete techniques and criteria for success.

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50 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Proof?

And even if?

proof for significant sound changes?

could be hard to find because we don't know where how much wood was removed.

I would suggest to say:

maybe the number of cremonese instruments which has undergone afterwards thickness alterations is bigger than what we want believe. Sound changes from those operations are likely but neither improvement nor disimprovement can be verified.

Besides that we know ALL got a new neck set , bass bar sound post and bridge, enough factors to alter sound quality and playability. 

I know of no Stradivari that has not been altered in some way. Perhaps you can provide examples that are untouched?

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1 minute ago, curious1 said:

I know of no Stradivari that has not been altered in some way. Perhaps you can provide examples that are untouched?

Maybe only the Medici Strad. 

 

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30 minutes ago, curious1 said:

I know of no Stradivari that has not been altered in some way. Perhaps you can provide examples that are untouched?

Maybe the Tuscan 1690, from CT scans it seems almost intact. No patches at all, but it's hard to know if a scraper of different hands has ever touched it.

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38 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

 Tomorrow there will be the official funeral for the matching tap tone theory in my shop. RIP

Better late than never.:D

Does this mean that up to now you have tuned top and back on a specific matching tap tone target?

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8 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:
 

Better late than never.:D

 
Does this mean that up to now you have tuned top and back on a specific matching tap tone target?

I am not crazy.  :D

But I kept records.:unsure:

i think the only tap tone which has any significance is cross grain stiffness. If this drops too low the violin will have a funeral. 

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56 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Glad to hear this from someone. Tomorrow there will be the official funeral for the matching tap tone theory in my shop. RIP

No need for a funeral; its clones, brothers, and many descendants will live on forever in other shops.

It was never in my shop, as it has never made any sense from a technical/theoretical viewpoint, and I haven't seen any empirical evidence that it results in anything superior, other than telling a newbie the difference between a log, violin plate, and sheet of paper.

3 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I am not crazy.  :D

But I kept records.:unsure:

i think the only tap tone which has any significance is cross grain stiffness. If this drops too low the violin will have a funeral. 

I too keep records.  Although my database is not very extensive, I too have the impression that crossgrain stiffness needs to be at least reasonable.  Very low longitudinal stiffness is also not good, but that's more intuitively true.  My preference is to stock wood with known good properties, and not work up a plate to get a taptone and then find out if it's good or not.

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36 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I am not crazy.  :D

But I kept records.:unsure:

i think the only tap tone which has any significance is cross grain stiffness. If this drops too low the violin will have a funeral. 

 

I also keep records, you never know, they can always be useful:P

About crossgrain stiffness (that I tend to associate with the M2) what do you mean by too low?

I try not to keep it too high for the table, although I can not explain scientifically why, it comes from a trial and error on my violins and from the consequent results. (E to F# too high, lower than C too low, with bassbar). For backs is different, here higher stiffness ratio among M5 and M2 is preferable and I'm inclined to think that a too low M2 frequency contributes to excessive darkening of the tone.
 
Only to increase the volume of my maybe unnecessary records, but if you do not want to provide the data, you can take as an unassailable  excuse that they have nothing to do with this topic:D

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1 hour ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Maybe only the Medici Strad. 

 

The Medici Stradivari 1716 has a neck graft and I would assume a new bass bar that went along with the graft.

Messiah: neck graft, bass bar

Lady Blunt: neck graft, bass bar

1 hour ago, Davide Sora said:

Maybe the Tuscan 1690, from CT scans it seems almost intact. No patches at all, but it's hard to know if a scraper of different hands has ever touched it.

I haven’t seen the CT scans of it but it does have a wedge added to the neck and extensive repairs to woodworm damage in the lower bout of the back.

 

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