Sign in to follow this  
Landolfi

Best contemporary luthiers

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, John_London said:

'which living maker is good and, as close as humanly possible, utterly consistent?'

The one with the stockpile of same-tree (and good) wood, and the CNC :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, John_London said:

 

If I were buying again, I would start a new thread saying, not 'who is the best' but 'which living maker is good and, as close as humanly possible, utterly consistent?'

Do you really think consistency is so valuable in a maker?

I have said before and will stick by my opinion that since players play differently and hear differently consistently making instruments that most well trained players will be able to use is about all one can do. After that it comes down to personal taste and various complex psychological reasons why one individual will choose to buy a particular instrument.

From an artistic aspect having a recognizable body of work does not mean painting the same picture over and over but rather having a style which is recognizable regardless of the painting's subject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Do you really think consistency is so valuable in a maker? 

No, and as I said I bought two violins by (one of them directly from) a single maker who I have no reason to imagine is particularly consistent. I suppose consistency may affect resale value.

However, from the violinist's point of view, even where there is no financial commitment, commissioning an instrument has a cost in time and effort and nerve and natural reluctance to turn down the end product--more so where there is a long waiting list. So to make things simple for me as a buyer I would like it if Landolfi's (OP's) question had a sensible answer (which of course it does not--the point I am making indirectly) and I could identify a maker all of whose instruments are going going to be worth my time, and a reliable bet for going on a waiting list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Don Noon said:

The one with the stockpile of same-tree (and good) wood, and the CNC :)

There are a lot of "3D printed" fiddles on youtube.  With most of them you can hear some bad problems, but probably not anything peculiar to them.  One sounded pretty indistinguishable from a really nice regular fiddle,  a link is on here somewhere.  There was a time when I wouldn't have touched one, or even a CF bow, no matter how well it played.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read that there was a period after Strad died, when Guarneris were preferred over Strads because people liked their sound better in typical rooms that they played in.  These sources wrote that Viotti came along and wowed Parisians playing his Strad in large halls and elevated Strad's reputation immensely.  My guess is that the OP won't be playing in large halls. 

If I were seeking a violin to love, I'd go to a dealer and start trying his inventory.  I view this as much more likely to succeed than ordering an instrument made to order.

It could take days to try everything in even a small dealer's stock.  I recently met Patrick Heaney at his shop in Mountain View, Calif.  I was surprised that even this suburban dealer had hundreds of stock instruments and three different sized rooms to try them in.

Incidentally, I enjoyed the book Violin Dreams by Arnold Steinhardt, principle violinist of the Guarneri String Quartet.  It's his auto biography and his tale of seeking his dream violin for much of his life.  It turned out in the end to be a hacked viola.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

.  There was a time when I wouldn't have touched one, or even a CF bow, no matter how well it playe

I won’t have a CF bow. Unless they come up with a CF that is essentially artificial wood, grain and all, and even then, why bother having something that can be produced ad infinitum?

in Taylor Caldwell’s brilliant book, “Dialogues with the Devil” Hell is defined as the place where imperfection is not allowed. Everything is perfect, flawless and therefore worthless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

I won’t have a CF bow. Unless they come up with a CF that is essentially artificial wood, grain and all, and even then, why bother having something that can be produced ad infinitum?

in Taylor Caldwell’s brilliant book, “Dialogues with the Devil” Hell is defined as the place where imperfection is not allowed. Everything is perfect, flawless and therefore worthless.

Artificial wood?  Isn't wood made of carbon fibers?

Share this post


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

No.

Like!  Go easy on him, though.  Anyone who'd night jump out the "rectal door" of a 727-100 (or identify with such an individual) can't be playing with a full deck. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/22/2018 at 8:17 AM, Andreas Preuss said:

Just for your information:

The violin being demonstrated is a copy of the 1715 Alard-Baron Knoop? Since that appears to be the violin shown in parts of the video.

Share this post


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

Artificial wood?  Isn't wood made of carbon fibers?

The only time wood would be made nearly only of the element carbon would be after it has been in a fire, but then it wouldn't be in fibers. The main structural component of wood is the substance cellulose, the structural formula of which is available on Wikipedia - it includes hydrogen and oxygen also. But the fibers are composed of cells, and so wood is much more complex than carbon fiber.

While wood isn't as strong as metal, it has a combination of characteristics that are hard to match with ordinary materials like metal, plastic, let alone cloth or porcelain, that we use for making things out of. Carbon fiber, being an exotic material with very high tensile strength, at least was worth a try; Titanium having a high strength to weight ratio, has also been used to make a violin, which came as a surprise to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/23/2018 at 6:37 AM, jacobsaunders said:

Speaking as someone who regularly appraises instruments/bows for a living, I could point out that I always decline to appraise the work of a living maker. I always say that the person who is asking me should go and ask the maker himself. This is partly a question of politeness, but also a strategy to avoid making people furious, or receiving threatening letters from peoples solicitors

Appraisal of dollar value is one thing. As to assessing the quality of a violin as a musical instrument, I suppose it only matters if one is competent to assess it: by being a good violin player. Or, if one is getting better, but then one would ask one's teacher for help.

It is precisely because violin players would seem like the people who should know that I've assumed there was some validity to the Stradivarius myth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

I won’t have a CF bow. Unless they come up with a CF that is essentially artificial wood, grain and all, and even then, why bother having something that can be produced ad infinitum?

in Taylor Caldwell’s brilliant book, “Dialogues with the Devil” Hell is defined as the place where imperfection is not allowed. Everything is perfect, flawless and therefore worthless.

From the chapter "Aladdin's Lamp" in Arthur C. Clarke's Profiles of the Future:
 

Quote

 

At first sight, it might seem that nothing could be of any real value in this utopia of infinite riches - this world beyond the wildest dreams of Alladin. This is a superficial reaction, such as might be expected from a tehth century monk if you told him that one day every man could possess all the books he could possibly read. The invention of the printing press has not made books less valuable, or less appreciated, because they are now among the commonest instead of the rarest of objects. Nor has music lost its charms, now that any amount can be obtained at the turn of a switch.

When material objects are all intrinsically worthless, perhaps only then will a real sense of values arise. Works of art would be cherished because they were beautiful, not because they were rare. Nothing - no "things" - would be as priceless as craftsmanship, personal skills, professional services.

 

Thus, if one could pop a Stradivarius out of a replicator, while you couldn't sell it for a million dollars, if you can play the violin, you could still make beautiful music with it.

When it comes to violin bows, it should also be noted that pernambucco wood, the ideal natural material for making a bow, has been kept off the CITES list thanks to carefully managing harvesting - and so supplies are very limited. Fortunately, unlike the body of a violin (thankfully made of very common woods) I doubt the bow material is so critical to sound that one couldn't get away with making bows of, say, some kind of steel, thus not needing expensive materials like carbon fiber or Titanium.

Edited by Quadibloc
Added note on pernambucco wood

Share this post


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

No.

Wikipedia says this about that:

The chemical composition of wood varies from species to species, but is approximately 50% carbon, 42% oxygen, 6% hydrogen, 1% nitrogen, and 1% other elements.

 

3 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Like!  Go easy on him, though.  Anyone who'd night jump out the "rectal door" of a 727-100 (or identify with such an individual) can't be playing with a full deck. ;)

I've been had!!

 

1 hour ago, Quadibloc said:

The only time wood would be made nearly only of the element carbon would be after it has been in a fire, but then it wouldn't be in fibers. The main structural component of wood is the substance cellulose, the structural formula of which is available on Wikipedia - it includes hydrogen and oxygen also. But the fibers are composed of cells, and so wood is much more complex than carbon fiber.

While wood isn't as strong as metal, it has a combination of characteristics that are hard to match with ordinary materials like metal, plastic, let alone cloth or porcelain, that we use for making things out of. Carbon fiber, being an exotic material with very high tensile strength, at least was worth a try; Titanium having a high strength to weight ratio, has also been used to make a violin, which came as a surprise to me.

And Wikipedia says this of cellulose:

Cellulose contains 44.44% carbon , 6.17% hydrogen, and 49.39% oxygen.

 

So, if wood is comprised mainly of cellulose fibers, and cellulose fibers are primarily carbon, wood is an arrangement of cellulose fibers comprised primarily of carbon.  No?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lignin is another major polymer found in wood, it contributes to the strength of wood. Much different structure than cellulose but still mostly carbon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, DBCooper said:

Wikipedia says this about that:

The chemical composition of wood varies from species to species, but is approximately 50% carbon, 42% oxygen, 6% hydrogen, 1% nitrogen, and 1% other elements.

 

I've been had!!

 

And Wikipedia says this of cellulose:

Cellulose contains 44.44% carbon , 6.17% hydrogen, and 49.39% oxygen.

 

So, if wood is comprised mainly of cellulose fibers, and cellulose fibers are primarily carbon, wood is an arrangement of cellulose fibers comprised primarily of carbon.  No?

 

4 minutes ago, deans said:

Lignin is another major polymer found in wood, it contributes to the strength of wood. Much different structure than cellulose but still mostly carbon.

The atomic weight of carbon is much higher than hydrogen.

Son on a weight percentage basis carbon is a big portion . But if the percentage in the molecule is done on an atom count basis then molecule hydrogen is a big portion.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, DBCooper said:

And Wikipedia says this of cellulose:

Cellulose contains 44.44% carbon , 6.17% hydrogen, and 49.39% oxygen.

So, if wood is comprised mainly of cellulose fibers, and cellulose fibers are primarily carbon, wood is an arrangement of cellulose fibers comprised primarily of carbon.  No?

Well, yes... but so what?

There's a material that's close to cellulose in composition:  40% carbon, 6.6% hydrogen, and 53% oxygen.  It's acetic acid.  Just because something has carbon in it, that doesn't mean its properties will be anything like carbon or other carbon-containing materials.

Share this post


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

From the chapter "Aladdin's Lamp" in Arthur C. Clarke's Profiles of the Future:
 

Thus, if one could pop a Stradivarius out of a replicator, while you couldn't sell it for a million dollars, if you can play the violin, you could still make beautiful music with it.

When it comes to violin bows, it should also be noted that pernambucco wood, the ideal natural material for making a bow, has been kept off the CITES list thanks to carefully managing harvesting - and so supplies are very limited. Fortunately, unlike the body of a violin (thankfully made of very common woods) I doubt the bow material is so critical to sound that one couldn't get away with making bows of, say, some kind of steel, thus not needing expensive materials like carbon fiber or Titanium.

That’s valid but different. Countless books is not a bad thing because they are different. The printing press allowed for infinite variety.

the comparison would only be accurate if the printing press only created infinite copies of the same book.

if I can get infinite copies of A great widget, then an individual example of that widget would be worthless, Because I could get as many replacements as I chose, and therefore they would all be worthless because none is more desirable than any other.

What we strive for is individuality.  Even when we buy a car  that is one of 1 million just like it, we strive to make it uniquely our own.

As much as I like Arthur C Clarke, I think that he is incorrect here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...to emphasize that the orchestra itself is an entity.

Each orchestra is unique...^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Each violin is an individual..  If a violin has a sibling, It may be different!

Given two violins I can choose the one I like better, or declaire them the same.

To choose a violin - pick two violins - play duets  to select one. Discard one,

try another.  Play duets --  soon you come to an end  -  either buy the winner or take it to compare at another shop.  Do not look at the  label.  Stop when the price gets too high.  

Talk to the luthier as you do this.  It might help!

After a year or two, you might do it again!

 

Share this post


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...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.