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Don Noon

A few old violins compared

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I don't know how, but I absolutely stumbled over this video, that I had never seen, while searching for a local bluegrass band.  Audio isn't great, but at least it's something... and interesting that the B1+ resonance of the long-pattern Strad is at B, which makes sense for it being so long.

 

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20 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

I don't know how, but I absolutely stumbled over this video, that I had never seen, while searching for a local bluegrass band.  Audio isn't great, but at least it's something... and interesting that the B1+ resonance of the long-pattern Strad is at B, which makes sense for it being so long.

 

yes i've seen it a couple of times, nice demo's :)

how do you measure the B's, or do you hear them?

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That was a nice treat Don.  Just personal taste I was thinking I liked the Amati and the long strad the best and then they did a side by side with those two.  Great fun listening to all of them.

-Jim 

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1 hour ago, Emilg said:

how do you measure the B's, or do you hear them?

For the long Strad, he was locating the wolf on the high G string, and was asked if it was at C, and he said it was at B.  You can often hear and feel them when playing, although I find it more precise and easier to document by bridge impact and FFT.

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Was particularly impressed by the obvious "objectivity" of the "gallery" who quite clearly had no bias based on $$$$ and status, and the "clear, enthusiastic and effusive" comments and critiques by the musician...... [deer in the headlights anyone?]

Suppose that these instruments regardless of their qualities will always be surrounded by posh twaats.

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8 hours ago, Michael Jennings said:

Was particularly impressed by the obvious "objectivity" of the "gallery" who quite clearly had no bias based on $$$$ and status, and the "clear, enthusiastic and effusive" comments and critiques by the musician...... [deer in the headlights anyone?]

Suppose that these instruments regardless of their qualities will always be surrounded by posh twaats.

I'm not well attuned to the class signifiers in American accents, but what in particular shows these people up as posh twats?

It's very hard to make any kind of sensible judgment on sound recorded from any device which has automatic gain control. But for what it's worth I thought the Amati was terrific but a bit over-sugared. The standouts for me were the Abergavenny (very neutral but clean and always fine) and the Guadagnini, which the player didn't seem to like but which had a very brilliant and crisp tone.

Vuillaume was very boxy in the midrange, the long Strad sounded a bit sludgy.

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38 minutes ago, martin swan said:

I'm not well attuned to the class signifiers in American accents, but what in particular shows these people up as posh twats?

It's very hard to make any kind of sensible judgment on sound recorded from any device which has automatic gain control. But for what it's worth I thought the Amati was terrific but a bit over-sugared. The standouts for me were the Abergavenny (very neutral but clean and always fine) and the Guadagnini, which the player didn't seem to like but which had a very brilliant and crisp tone.

Vuillaume was very boxy in the midrange, the long Strad sounded a bit sludgy.

The owners home (I assume), violin collection, and the general ability of the guests to hold a conversation, point to a reasonably privileged environment? As far as I am concerned it is all relative--plenty of Gipsy or folk fiddlers would regard someone who could blow thousands of dollars or pounds on a master-made violin as a 'posh twaat'. Anyone who has any connection with fine violins, be they brand new, or antiques with silly price tags, enjoys privilege, in my book.

For me there is slight shrillness in the 1724 which does not please me. I like the 1695 and the Amati. However, a lot of what I don't like in the 1724 could be changed with different strings, not to mention more technical things like choice of bow, bowing technique (not meaning to criticize Mr Cole), and setup. All of them nice fiddles. Never really been convinced by the sound of a Vuillaume, though they must have something going for them, given that believers in the superiority of famous antique violins seem the view them as a affordable alternatives to Strads.

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

I'm not well attuned to the class signifiers in American accents, but what in particular shows these people up as posh twats?

It's very hard to make any kind of sensible judgment on sound recorded from any device which has automatic gain control. But for what it's worth I thought the Amati was terrific but a bit over-sugared. The standouts for me were the Abergavenny (very neutral but clean and always fine) and the Guadagnini, which the player didn't seem to like but which had a very brilliant and crisp tone.

Vuillaume was very boxy in the midrange, the long Strad sounded a bit sludgy.

Nice critique.  I agree with the "boxy" sound of the Vuillaume.  I like watching the player to see how at ease or not he is getting the sound he is looking for.

Wish we would spend more time talking about the violins instead of the people.  I occasionally buy and sell violins, and build violins.  I have no interest doing those things with people.  Although building a prosthetic might be fun, but definitely not a whole person. :)

-Jim

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An interesting and enjoyable video and I liked the Guadagnini instrument best. I would like to have seen a modern makers fiddle such as one by Don Noon thrown into the mix for comparison sake.

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2 hours ago, martin swan said:

"privileged" is not quite the same as "posh twaat" :lol:

But I'm probably both!

I'm having a hard time staying current with UK slang. Has "twaat" replaced "twit", or do they have different meanings?

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Apologies to all..... Grumpy Moment yesterday.....

David I believe the "t" words are fairly synonymous .

I do agree with Martin's observations regarding the qualities of the Amati and the others......

 

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I pretty much agree with Martin's opinions.  

As yet, I haven't heard any Villaumes that I though sounded much better than OK.  I think if you put on a heavy bridge to kill off the E string, the long Strad would make a nice bluegrass fiddle.

Apparently I am not considered an upperclass twit, as I was not invited to the event (I would have gone, tho).

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8 hours ago, martin swan said:

I'm not well attuned to the class signifiers in American accents, but what in particular shows these people up as posh twats?

There's no posh accent over here; the place is too large and varied for that.  But there is educated and uneducated word choice and syntax.   The more educated someone is the morelthey tend to not have any accent (as we would hear it), like typical TV performers, but not always.  Clothing choices is a class signifier though. Or indicator of wealth or of envying wealth.  Same as cars.

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Here's some more of Nathan that I like.  Very nice orchestra-like sound.  I think it's an Antoniazzi and I think M. Darnton did some work on it, but I could be misremembering.

 

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6 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I'm having a hard time staying current with UK slang. Has "twaat" replaced "twit", or do they have different meanings?

Different meanings defintely!  I can't wait to hear Martin's definitions

Oh, and having met him briefly I would have said he was cultured but unpretentious.

 

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2 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

There's no posh accent over here; the place is too large and varied for that.  But there is educated and uneducated word choice and syntax.   The more educated someone is the morelthey tend to not have any accent (as we would hear it), like typical TV performers, but not always.  Clothing choices is a class signifier though. Or indicator of wealth or of envying wealth.  Same as cars.

I'll disagree with all your points, somewhat. I was raised to speak "correct" English, but found that my effectiveness of communication increased when I learned how to use various colloquial dialects.

Yes, there is a mainstream "educated" accent and sentence structure in the US, which is distinct mostly by its differences with Southern or former slave accents and sentence structures, but I don't think many people place much importance on that any more.

Don't be fooled. Some of those "good ol' boy" Southerners choosing to use heavy accents may be a lot smarter than you or I. ;)

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Thank you.  I listened through a couple of times, considered my abilities and the people who tend to talk to me, and pulled out my Guadagnini poster for inspection.  Sounded friendly and comfortable, in comparison!

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I have been in two shootout situations where a Guadagnini has wiped the floor with a Strad ...

But Guadagninis all sound very different, as do Strads, which makes a bit of a mockery of most "secret of Stradivari" lines of enquiry.

That particular Guadagnini is the only violin I have ever offered knowing that it would win out in any scenario on tonal grounds, that I can just take it into the room, hand it over and relax, even have a little snooze ....

However, playing quality and sound turn out not to be the most important consideration in most high level purchases. Any dealer will admit that (in an unguarded moment). Which also makes a mockery of most "secrets of Stradivari" lines of enquiry.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I'll disagree with all your points, somewhat. I was raised to speak "correct" English, but found that my effectiveness of communication increased when I learned how to use various colloquial dialects.

Yes, there is a mainstream "educated" accent and sentence structure in the US, which is distinct mostly by its differences with Southern or former slave accents and sentence structures, but I don't think many people place much importance on that any more.

Don't be fooled. Some of those "good ol' boy" Southerners choosing to use heavy accents may be a lot smarter than you or I. ;)

You're falling into the stereotype your own self :) It is not only Southern, but Brooklyn,  most of Boston, Valley Girl, and a host of other accents that the "educated" differs from.  The Southern is the stereotype though.  The North still subtly hates the South.  Personally I avoid everything that portrays stereotypes.  I guess it was the Challenger investigation on the radio and there were these genius engineers, all graduates of U. of Alabama, I guess they worked at Huntsville, and they all sounded like hillbillies and it was very refreshing!  I'm falling into a bit of a stereotype too when I say accent disappears with education.  Maybe most often with a broad education or a liberal arts education.

Regarding adjusting your dialect for an audience, there's a famous former candidate who was known for that famously :)

 

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23 minutes ago, martin swan said:

However, playing quality and sound turn out not to be the most important consideration in most high level purchases. Any dealer will admit that (in an unguarded moment). Which also makes a mockery of most "secrets of Stradivari" lines of enquiry.

Yes. What some dealers share with their buddies, can be quite different from what they profess to their clients. Same thing with some makers and players too, so this shouldn't be taken as singling out dealers.

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44 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

  The North still subtly hates the South. 

 

While I've always lived in the North (aside from when I lived in Southern California), one of my daughters lives very close to the Kentucky border in Ohio,  and both my wife and I have been charmed by the culture and friendliness "down there". In other words, neither my wife or I (and she is much more Northern than I), have ever hated the South, even subtley.

Our other daughter lives in Hawaii, which is a much harder culture to "pigeon hole".  An interesting mix of Polynesian, Japanese, and American ethics and culture. The culture on "the Big Island" is so trusting, that we have concerns about what might happen if our grandkids should move to the mainland at some point. We have college accounts set up in Michigan, but I struggle with this being the best thing to do.

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