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Don Noon

Does anyone NOT build Strad? And if not, why?

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2 hours ago, Quadibloc said:

IIn searching on this topic, I ran across a statement that the violins of Guadagnini tend to have a somewhat darker tone - but also that they have a limitless tonal palette, thus going beyond even Stradivari and Guarneri in what I felt was more likely to be the critical characteristic of the old Italian violins - if one exists that modern makers can't do as well.

Perhaps we should start talking about the Secret of Guadagnini instead of the Secret of Stradivarius?

I can build a violin with a darker tonal palette than a Guadanini so it's not hard to do.  The last I heard Guadagnini's were still l rated as second class instruments.

Quadi, realize now that Stradivari worked for the Amati's for something like twenty years before he set foot out on his own - similar to when Mr. Burgess here worked for Mr. Holmes for some time before seeking something else.

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3 hours ago, Peter K-G said:

 

I agree with this:

I see things, archings, internal volume of the body, f hole placement, plates surface areas, weights consequently, flexibility of plates

But I don't see any correlation to outline, just different concepts, regarding the plates.

//Peter

Cute, I am glad that you managed to isolate something from my post that we can agree on.

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I wonder though what was his motivation behind his extensive search through the differences of his forms. I should probably read Concept topic to the end but I reached only site 70.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Marijan said:

Cute, I am glad that you managed to isolate something from my post that we can agree on.

sunglasses_smiley_face_sticker-rcbfefeb784ee421d8a93e5a4bd24774e_v9waf_8byvr_324.jpg.2c9dc5588e819a64a998f0d7cd589d41.jpg 

I wonder though what was his motivation behind his extensive search through the differences of his forms. I should probably read Concept topic to the end but I reached only site 70.

:)  

(BTW your web site is not working)

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6 hours ago, Quadibloc said:

I think what I remembered was a statement that some people believe a particular Guarneri violin was the best violin ever made... that may have been in connection with something the Library of Congress was doing that also involved doing a CT scan.

In searching on this topic, I ran across a statement that the violins of Guadagnini tend to have a somewhat darker tone - but also that they have a limitless tonal palette, thus going beyond even Stradivari and Guarneri in what I felt was more likely to be the critical characteristic of the old Italian violins - if one exists that modern makers can't do as well.

Perhaps we should start talking about the Secret of Guadagnini instead of the Secret of Stradivarius?

Both statements are complete nonsense.

A Guadagnini in particular, is a pretty unsophisticated violin a good modern maker wouldn't find much of a challenge to beat.  

Interesting that while having a noticeable curiosity for these violin things you asked for no assistance on how to improve your competency. Makes me wonder if you think this is an intellectual pursuit.

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On 8/6/2018 at 7:24 PM, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Attached is a spread sheet  that Anders Buen made from  Mockel's  tap tone studies.

Tap_tones_from_Mockel.pdf

Most taptones seem rather high, but as the plates are already varnished, the bare plates would have lower M5's. Would you know on average how much lower? I'm guessing about 10Hz...

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1 hour ago, Emilg said:

Most taptones seem rather high, but as the plates are already varnished, the bare plates would have lower M5's. Would you know on average how much lower? I'm guessing about 10Hz...

Hi Emilg,

if I remember right, on platetuning.org is written something like  5 - 10 Hz difference by varnish. I think, it should not be the reason for this high averaged back-M5. Often these old back-plates don´t have much varnish. My assumptions would be :

1) the old masters looked for high-tapsounds in raw maple-wedges

2) hundreds of years drying-time 

Otto Möckel assumed, that the old masters didn´t have a tuningsystem for a special top-back-relation but a taptone target FIS only for backs. They deviated only, when they were forced by wood-properties. Too weak wood resulted in quite thick backs, but somewhat (too) low taptones    -   too strong wood in quite thin backs but somewhat ( too) high taptones. 

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1 hour ago, Danube Fiddler said:

Hi Emilg,

if I remember right, on platetuning.org is written something like  5 - 10 Hz difference by varnish. I think, it should not be the reason for this high averaged back-M5. Often these old back-plates don´t have much varnish. My assumptions would be :

1) the old masters looked for high-tapsounds in raw maple-wedges

2) hundreds of years drying-time 

Otto Möckel assumed, that the old masters didn´t have a tuningsystem for a special top-back-relation but a taptone target FIS only for backs. They deviated only, when they were forced by wood-properties. Too weak wood resulted in quite thick backs, but somewhat (too) low taptones    -   too strong wood in quite thin backs but somewhat ( too) high taptones. 

Hi Danube,

I think the ground - protein or mineral - alone can add 5 to 10 Hz, which i saw when putting eggwhite on the inside of the backplate. I just took the top of my #4 as it has no "oomph" enough and i will make a new top for it. The varnished top was about 10 Hz higher than the bare plate when i put it on. So ground + varnish + 300 years should easily add 10 Hz i'm sure B)

Funny how many plates seem to be at approx. E, F, G etc. so probably they estimated by ear.

BTW, is there a way to determine the free back plate mode when it's glued to the ribs but the top is off?

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It matters a lot what body size you're dealing with, and there's not much information on the chart about that.  I think today on average we tend to make larger sizes than most of the old ones.  I could be wrong, though.

Same with arching height... it matters, but we don't know what's on the chart.

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24 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

It matters a lot what body size you're dealing with, and there's not much information on the chart about that.  I think today on average we tend to make larger sizes than most of the old ones.  I could be wrong, though.

Same with arching height... it matters, but we don't know what's on the chart.

Don, do you have some data from your own violins on what ground + varnish does to the free plate M5?

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48 minutes ago, Emilg said:

Hi Danube,

I think the ground - protein or mineral - alone can add 5 to 10 Hz, which i saw when putting eggwhite on the inside of the backplate. I just took the top of my #4 as it has no "oomph" enough and i will make a new top for it. The varnished top was about 10 Hz higher than the bare plate when i put it on. So ground + varnish + 300 years should easily add 10 Hz i'm sure B)

Funny how many plates seem to be at approx. E, F, G etc. so probably they estimated by ear.

BTW, is there a way to determine the free back plate mode when it's glued to the ribs but the top is off?

Hi Emilg,

I found this

http://www.platetuning.org/html/back_still_in_bouts.html

However apparently it is necessary to remove the fingerboard for this estimation of free plate M5 /M2. I doubt, if this procedure will give very exact values, because wood-properties, mass-distribution and shape of the neck should play a role.

If you consider, how many far differing M5 - frequencies the old masters used, I would not invest to much in exploring a certain M5-frequency. May be, according to O.Möckel, they had a frequency-target, but then it was a flexible target. May be, they had another target ( stiffness/ weight / sound-colour of free tapping ) and the averaged FIS-M5 was only the consequence of other things (also archings/shapes) and averaged properties of the woods, they mostly had used ( if the mostly available wood in our days would differ in averaged properties, then the FIS - target would be misleading ).

 

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14 minutes ago, Danube Fiddler said:

Hi Emilg,

I found this

http://www.platetuning.org/html/back_still_in_bouts.html

However apparently it is necessary to remove the fingerboard for this estimation of free plate M5 /M2. I doubt, if this procedure will give very exact values, because wood-properties, mass-distribution and shape of the neck should play a role.

If you consider, how many far differing M5 - frequencies the old masters used, I would not invest to much in exploring a certain M5-frequency. May be, according to O.Möckel, they had a frequency-target, but then it was a flexible target. May be, they had another target ( stiffness/ weight / sound-colour of free tapping ) and the averaged FIS-M5 was only the consequence of other things (also archings/shapes) and averaged properties of the woods, they mostly had used ( if the mostly available wood in our days would differ in averaged properties, then the FIS - target would be misleading ).

 

Thanks! I will try this method tomorrow.

I agree there's a large range of M5's of the oldies, but at least it gives you some idea about the stifnesses and weights of the structure. It would nice to know the names / sound of the violins, but unfortunately only the years are listed,

And as the average Strad has roughly M5 back = M5 top it couldn't hurt to follow that rule :)

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12 hours ago, Emilg said:

Thanks! I will try this method tomorrow.

I agree there's a large range of M5's of the oldies, but at least it gives you some idea about the stifnesses and weights of the structure. It would nice to know the names / sound of the violins, but unfortunately only the years are listed,

And as the average Strad has roughly M5 back = M5 top it couldn't hurt to follow that rule :)

Just recognized another thing in the extracts of Anders Buen

while the backs of Stradivari seem to have similar wood-properties as the old-italian average - the tops show something different : an apparently higher sound-speed ( averaged top-graduations of Stradivari are about 8% thinner, while the M5-taptones are even a little bit higher ).

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6 minutes ago, Danube Fiddler said:

Just recognized another thing in the extracts of Anders Buen

while the backs of Stradivari seem to have similar wood-properties as the old-italian average - the tops show something different : an apparently higher sound-speed ( averaged top-graduations of Stradivari are about 8% thinner, while the M5-taptones are even a little bit higher ).

That is indeed quite interesting! So his tops did have a higher stiffness to weight ratio, so he must have either selected wood with high RR, treated the wood (as some have stated) or had a special ground / varnish (probably ground as the varnish is gone).

The story about regraduation of Strads in the 19th century is not very clear to me: were all Strads except a few regraduated? Same for DG's? And were other old cremonese violins also regraduated?

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33 minutes ago, Danube Fiddler said:

 

while the backs of Stradivari seem to have similar wood-properties as the old-italian average - the tops show something different : an apparently higher sound-speed ( averaged top-graduations of Stradivari are about 8% thinner, while the M5-taptones are even a little bit higher ).

That might happen with age alone. Don would know more about that.

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44 minutes ago, Emilg said:

That is indeed quite interesting! So his tops did have a higher stiffness to weight ratio, so he must have either selected wood with high RR, treated the wood (as some have stated) or had a special ground / varnish (probably ground as the varnish is gone).

The story about regraduation of Strads in the 19th century is not very clear to me: were all Strads except a few regraduated? Same for DG's? And were other old cremonese violins also regraduated?

If there was a special procedure, Stradivari used, then it possibly only was applied on tops.

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28 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

That might happen with age alone. Don would know more about that.

I can imagine, that sound-speed increases by drying in centuries. But why is there a difference only between Strad-tops and other old-italian tops - but no difference between Strad backs and other old-italian backs ? 

Two ideas :

- Stradivari looked for high taptones in raw-wedges only in spruce but not in maple

- Stradivari did an application only on tops, which was not used by other old-italian makers

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1 hour ago, Emilg said:

That is indeed quite interesting! So his tops did have a higher stiffness to weight ratio, so he must have either selected wood with high RR, treated the wood (as some have stated) or had a special ground / varnish (probably ground as the varnish is gone).

The story about regraduation of Strads in the 19th century is not very clear to me: were all Strads except a few regraduated? Same for DG's? And were other old cremonese violins also regraduated?

It might be a mistake to assume a high radiation ratio RR wood was used or that the varnish, or that age caused the high mode 5 frequencies because the plates were thin.

If you carefully thin some of the outside perimeter of a free plate its mode 5 frequency will increase. If you thin the center area the M5 frequency will decrease.

If you alternate thinning both areas you can make the plate thinner and thinner and while still keeping the same high M5 frequency.  

Attached is a graph showing how I was able to reduce the weight (by thinning) of a back plate while keeping the same M5 frequency.  The top plates can show the same thing except for the f hole cutting steps and the bass bar addition steps.

So you can't make any conclusions about the wood RR from the M5 frequency with just a few thickness measurements.

 

No. 4 back.jpg

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1 hour ago, Danube Fiddler said:

I can imagine, that sound-speed increases by drying in centuries. But why is there a difference only between Strad-tops and other old-italian tops - but no difference between Strad backs and other old-italian backs ? 

Two ideas :

- Stradivari looked for high taptones in raw-wedges only in spruce but not in maple

- Stradivari did an application only on tops, which was not used by other old-italian makers

Or it might be because surface-applied stiffeners tend the have a greater effect on softer woods, than on harder woods.

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4 hours ago, Danube Fiddler said:

while the backs of Stradivari seem to have similar wood-properties as the old-italian average - the tops show something different : an apparently higher sound-speed ( averaged top-graduations of Stradivari are about 8% thinner, while the M5-taptones are even a little bit higher ).

2 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

If you thin the center area the M5 frequency will decrease.

So you can't make any conclusions about the wood RR from the M5 frequency with just a few thickness masurements.

I have found the opposite... thin in the middle gives higher M5*.  If you'll notice, Strad top grads are thinnest in the center, while the other old guys' tops were thickest in the center.  And then since these are apparently with a bass bar, you have to ask, whose bass bar is it?  Was it made stiffer to compensate for the thinner top?

The M5 difference isn't that huge, anyway... and as Marty  says, you can't come to any conclusions from this.  There is a tendency to read into it whatever pet theory you might have, but it's like seeing what's in your mind when looking at an ink blot.

*Edit:  When I wrote that, I was thinking B1+ of an old fiddle many years ago where I took a lot of wood out of the island and the B1+ frequency shocked me by going up quite a bit.  So just now I took an old plate (with bass bar) that I had sitting in the shop, reduced the island are from 2.7 to 2.2 mm (~.5g reduction), and the M5 stayed exactly the same at 343 Hz.

 

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3 minutes ago, Torbjörn Zethelius said:

I'm still waiting for proof that mode matching has a positive effect. It's been going on for decades. Somebody must have proof. 

If there was proof, somebody would have shown it by now. :)

Taptones I think are best at giving a clue about the wood properties you're using... which only  works by comparing to other plates of exactly the same dimensions.  Not so hot comparing plates of different makers, different arching, outline, graduations, etc.

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16 minutes ago, Torbjörn Zethelius said:

I'm still waiting for proof that mode matching has a positive effect. It's been going on for decades. Somebody must have proof. 

Anders Buen's table of Mockel's tap tones shows that the Strad's mode 5 top/back ratio is 0.98 which I think is pretty close to a 1.00 match.

I think this is remarkable because Strad had to rely on hearing to determine the tap tone pitch if he was actually doing it.  Perhaps Strad might have gotten an even better top and back match if he had our modern electronic tuners.

On the other hand maybe those Strad violins Mockel tested weren't any good so matching might actually be detrimental.

 

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53 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

So you can't make any conclusions about the wood RR from the M5 frequency with just a few thickness measurements.

 

I understand, but it's interesting enough to examine this a bit. :)

I think Don mentioned somewhere that graduating to manipulate M5 is nog good practise anyway. We can assume then this was not done by Strad himself and M5 could have been just a "by-product".

But if mode matching means back M5 = top M5, and many Strads are like this, would this not be some sort of proof that this works well?

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17 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Anders Buen's table of Mockel's tap tones shows that the Strad's mode 5 top/back ratio is 0.98 which I think is pretty close to a 1.00 match.

I think this is remarkable because Strad had to rely on hearing to determine the tap tone pitch if he was actually doing it.  Perhaps Strad might have gotten an even better top and back match if he had our modern electronic tuners.

Even more remarkable, Strad was able to do this tuning, accounting in advance for the effects of varnish, purfling, and finishing up the channel after the body was closed, and knowing what bass bar would eventually end up in it.  Not to mention other repairs, patches, regraduations, and the effects of age on the wood properties.

... or, whoever was putting in the new bass bars was trying to match the taptone.  Or it's just coincidence.

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