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


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26 minutes ago, Peter K-G said:

B)  It's a journey to navigate in the mine field of MN.

I made a promise to be nice a while ago (I haven't always been nice to you). Hope being nice doesn't mean that I have to be a follower in the mainstream.

What is the mainstream in MN? Violin makers are a bunch of individuals. Somebody whose name shall remain in the dark once said to me, If two violin makers agree, one of them is lying.

Edited by Torbjörn Zethelius
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48 minutes ago, Peter K-G said:

B)  It's a journey to navigate in the mine field of MN.

I made a promise to be nice a while ago (I haven't always been nice to you). Hope being nice doesn't mean that I have to be a follower in the mainstream.

Well, uhm, you were quite the "know-it-all" early on, when it was apparent to many of us that you were just beginning to scratch the surface. ;)

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2 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

 Bartolomeo did not worry too much, I do not know if in a hurry or for other reasons that we will never know, but I imagine him to say: "what the heck, let's put this scroll already made on the violin" :D

 

I think he will have a lot of fun seeing all these skilled copyists who reproduce it slavishly and in serial way.

I feel the same about this pragmatic approach , Bartolomeo surely was someone busy and who dared ...

To go a bit further in this pragmatic approach I would say I wouldn't be surprised if some ( known or unknown names) involved in the family business or in the surrounding area ( artisans ? )  spent time to sharpen and maintain in good conditions of use, the cutting tools, others would manage the raw jobs, such as measuring timber pieces, selecting and cutting wood pieces , or cooking the varnish and so on...

I presume we are certainly over-thinking things , compared to people like Bartolomeo , trying to pay attention to only the critical aspects of their craft and life...

David.

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2 hours ago, Peter K-G said:

Quadibloc, you must start to make violins otherwise you shoot too much in the dark

Of course, once I make a violin, after putting all that much hard work into it, I fear that even if it is not as good as, say, a product of Markneukirchen, I will be tempted to imagine that it sounds as good as a Stradivarius, having affection for the child of my hands! So there goes my objectivity!

I wish it could be as simple as I hoped: modern makers can make violins as good as a Klotz, because Klotz was a modern maker; Klotz was as good as Stainer since a Klotz was often mistaken for a genuine Stainer, Stainer was as good as Amati, or perhaps even better, given the long-term popularity of his instruments... and Dalla Costa proved that all you need to do is make the f-holes on an Amati oversized, and you have another way of making a violin that can be placed beside a Guadagnini.

If the "Stradivarius myth" is true, then we need to make better violins so that there are enough for the soloists out their to learn their trade.

If the "Stradivarius myth" is false, and modern makers are already his equals or near-equals (almost as good as a Guadagnini is good enough), then there are still facts out there that indicate that increasing awareness of the merits of modern makers is not a sufficient solution. The modern makers of good repute have multi-year waiting lists. So their customers, while they do give glowing testimonials, haven't felt the need to explain in detail how these instruments even have playability properties, not just  good tone and projection, that compare with the old masters.

The only organized effort I've noticed to raise awareness of the quality of work by modern makers is what is being done for the modern makers in Cremona. And the natural reaction to that is not to take it seriously: if Stradivari's art was lost, livng in the city where he once worked does not really mean anything. Otherwise, there are only isolated things, like the book written about Sam Zygmuntowicz.

Maybe when Annabelle K. Gregory takes her Don Noon to Carnegie Hall, things will change.

But were there a simpler way to make a high-quality instrument, a design that is more forgiving - Amati style with larger f-holes, the Dalla Costa pattern - so that the number of near-Stradivarius instruments made by modern luthiers were to explode, then the revolution could not be contained. That was the hope that glimmered faintly. Yes, the instruments of Pietro Antonio dalla Costa weren't revolutionary in their day; there were too few of them, and other instruments were around that were even better. But it seemed like there lay buried the seed of a revolution in our own time.

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2 hours ago, Torbjörn Zethelius said:

In violin making school we learn to finish the volute before the pegbox, because we are obsessed with decoration (due to the copying illness). But for them function and structure came first, so the pegbox was finished before the volute was carved. It's a matter of saving time and energy. If the pegbox turns out to have a flaw in the wood and deemed unusable, scrap it and go on to the next. The volute is purely decorative, so don't waste time doing it the other way. That's what we see happening in the Cannone.

Obsessed with decoration? We are in good company.....

That's a scroll !!

2030623140_DSC_3984Hellierdxrit.thumb.jpg.20ac7ab79ec27f12cfc782caa7a5954b.jpg

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5 minutes ago, Quadibloc said:

Of course, once I make a violin, after putting all that much hard work into it, I fear that even if it is not as good as, say, a product of Markneukirchen, I will be tempted to imagine that it sounds as good as a Stradivarius, having affection for the child of my hands! So there goes my objectivity!

...

I am still curious as to why, given your level of interest, you don't:

1. Take some lessons. That way you will learn heaps about functionality and appreciate certain functional difficulties from the players perspective.

You may even enjoy playing.

2. Buy a violin kit and put it together. That way you will learn heaps about functionality from the maker's perspective...etc.

Living where we do - the Great Canadian Wasteland of Historically Relevant Stringed Instruments  - we just don't have hands-on access to enough/any instruments to learn anything.

There is a HUGE difference between seeing a picture of an elephant and actually riding an elephant. 

 

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Quadibloc, honestly - what is this with Dalla Costa?

They are not so rare and there are dozens of Italian makers who surpassed him for sound. Why don’t you look at Johannes Tononi, Gennaro Gagliano, Santo Serafin, Gofriller, Camilli, Grancino etc etc ...

And what about all the great copyists of the 19th century, Lupot, Nemessanyi, John Lott ...

And all the superb early C20 makers? 

 

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On 8/2/2018 at 5:28 PM, uncle duke said:

 1.   The one I'm working on now could be best described as a "Bagatelaviottouvrueneriheron-alleniuncdukuviottouvridukius".  That's me describing my recent work left to right from the tailpin to the scroll.

 2.  This last belly I took the Viotti Strad and raised the belly arching up to 16.8 just to try to capture the Peter Mantuan look.  Probably a failure and just a one off, oh well.

1.  Here's a better explaination:

Bagatella math method for a real close DG clone.  Bagatella lower corner regions were wider than I wanted so I narrowed the distance crossways.    C-bout is more or less his design.

Used 1709 Strad arches mostly and supposed neck heel and handle.

Ouvry ff holes - they just seem to place rightly on wood and good for sound.

Heron-Allen fingerboard dimensions and neck handle shape.

Ouvry and myself, along with Viotti for pegbox design and Viotti for peg placement.

Finally, my own scroll design which starts out as Viotti but after I'm through I can't say it ends with Viotti.  I'll just settle for some sort of Iberian influence for the time being. using tools made in ................Wichita. 

2.  Well, not a failure, better than I expected- it's only been five days.   I'm talking about the raising of the Viotti central belly area higher.  On paper I went the cantenary route for a new arch height but the effort wasn't easy because I had to search for the radius I thought would look the best but not necessarily the radius which would work the best.  It took a few attempts for something that would blend in with the other four Viotti arching templates without changing them.

So I'm at a crossroads now.  Next project was going to be a scaled down Tertis model.  I don't want to lose what I think I gained knowledgewise with this last fiddle so not sure which way to go now - maybe just flip a coin and the winner will be first.  

 

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

Quadibloc, honestly - what is this with Dalla Costa?

They are not so rare and there are dozens of Italian makers who surpassed him for sound. Why don’t you look at Johannes Tononi, Gennaro Gagliano, Santo Serafin, Gofriller, Camilli, Grancino etc etc ...

I did check into Gagliano, along with Guadagnini, for another reason: the possibility that there was some continuity of knowledge in those families extending from the glory days of Cremona to the present. But the facts I found led to disappointment.

So far, what little I know about Sanctus Serafino indicates him as simply another Amatese maker, although one with a very good reputation.

With Dalla Costa, it was just that some information about him suggested a possible route to better violin performance more simply.

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2 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

Obsessed with decoration? We are in good company.....

That's a scroll !!

2030623140_DSC_3984Hellierdxrit.thumb.jpg.20ac7ab79ec27f12cfc782caa7a5954b.jpg

 

47 minutes ago, Torbjörn Zethelius said:

I've never denied that the scroll is decorative. On the contrary, that was my point! You either don't understand, or you don't want to understand. But fine, you do as you learned. I'm not your teacher. :rolleyes:

I'm sorry, but I just needed to re-make up my eyes, after being forced to re-examine all those scrolls of Del Gesù. ;)

No need to take it badly, neither I do want to be your teacher, but it seems to me that there is not much to understand when we start from assumptions that are only personal ideas without any verifiable real evidence (pegbox first).

In any case, even I finish the pegbox first, but I do not just dig it inside,  and it seems to me sufficient to see if there are any defects such as to have to discard the head before waste time in carving the scroll (this worked perfectly until now).

Where is the difference?

 

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14 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

 

I'm sorry, but I just needed to re-make up my eyes, after being forced to re-examine all those scrolls of Del Gesù. ;)

No need to take it badly, neither I do want to be your teacher, but it seems to me that there is not much to understand when we start from assumptions that are only personal ideas without any verifiable real evidence (pegbox first).

In any case, even I finish the pegbox first, but I do not just dig it inside,  and it seems to me sufficient to see if there are any defects such as to have to discard the head before waste time in carving the scroll.

Where is the difference?

  

The difference is that you only see an ugly scroll in the Cannon, which I do too by the way. But in realising that it wasn't completed the way it was intended it becomes much more interesting as a study object.

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2 minutes ago, Quadibloc said:

I did check into Gagliano, along with Guadagnini, for another reason: the possibility that there was some continuity of knowledge in those families extending from the glory days of Cremona to the present. But the facts I found led to disappointment.

So far, what little I know about Sanctus Serafino indicates him as simply another Amatese maker, although one with a very good reputation.

With Dalla Costa, it was just that some information about him suggested a possible route to better violin performance more simply.

There's a general frustration with your obtuseness, and your repeated mention of 'facts' about makers, and schools of making. You seem to get frustrated with the esoteric nature of others' disagreements with you. Its because you don't have any roots to be talking about the blossoms. Dalla Costa did not just enlarge the effholes. He did everything from wood treatment through arch planning for that wood to varnish to work in concert with a larger effhole. You have to build a few dozen instruments to not be going "oh, so it turned out to sound like That this time?" and to have some intent with the steps followed.

Major malfunction: THE LEGEND OF UNBEATABLE GOLDEN AGE ITALIAN IS NOT BEING ADDRESSED SO THERE CAN BE NO MOVEMENT FORWARD.

But most modern makers without a nest egg beneath them are busy working. moving forward. Not sticking Phoenix feathers up our asses and asking players if they can hear how we have beaten the Stradivari standard when we make bird sounds. You say oh, if I actually built ONE, and it wasn't Quite good enough.... Build thirty that will get someone else's label before you build your one. This isn't intellectual badminton about soaring ideals. It's hard, dusty work that breaks your self-worth down over an over again.

You obviously have run across a Dalla Costa or two you really dig, or someone who raves about them. They're not stunners, and are pricey for how they perform in the hall. Your thoughts on the modern Cremonese consortium and such are also thin-- folks that are having their instruments used in the place of old Italian work don't need to band together and create a manifesto. That is nothing against those makers, or their work-- its an angle. Its a mistake in your misunderstanding of our modern industry to think the romance and legend of Golden Age needs to be addressed head-on and challenged constantly. Many a waiting list sits warm in the pocket of makers providing power and reliability without. Players and dealers and makers using their senses instead of their prejudices have no trouble discerning, and I see instruments every day that illustrate the fantastic skill and finesse of living makers. 

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1 hour ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

There's a general frustration with your obtuseness, and your repeated mention of 'facts' about makers, and schools of making. You seem to get frustrated with the esoteric nature of others' disagreements with you. Its because you don't have any roots to be talking about the blossoms. Dalla Costa did not just enlarge the effholes. He did everything from wood treatment through arch planning for that wood to varnish to work in concert with a larger effhole. You have to build a few dozen instruments to not be going "oh, so it turned out to sound like That this time?" and to have some intent with the steps followed.

Major malfunction: THE LEGEND OF UNBEATABLE GOLDEN AGE ITALIAN IS NOT BEING ADDRESSED SO THERE CAN BE NO MOVEMENT FORWARD.

But most modern makers without a nest egg beneath them are busy working. moving forward. Not sticking Phoenix feathers up our asses and asking players if they can hear how we have beaten the Stradivari standard when we make bird sounds. You say oh, if I actually built ONE, and it wasn't Quite good enough.... Build thirty that will get someone else's label before you build your one. This isn't intellectual badminton about soaring ideals. It's hard, dusty work that breaks your self-worth down over an over again.

You obviously have run across a Dalla Costa or two you really dig, or someone who raves about them. They're not stunners, and are pricey for how they perform in the hall. Your thoughts on the modern Cremonese consortium and such are also thin-- folks that are having their instruments used in the place of old Italian work don't need to band together and create a manifesto. That is nothing against those makers, or their work-- its an angle. Its a mistake in your misunderstanding of our modern industry to think the romance and legend of Golden Age needs to be addressed head-on and challenged constantly. Many a waiting list sits warm in the pocket of makers providing power and reliability without. Players and dealers and makers using their senses instead of their prejudices have no trouble discerning, and I see instruments every day that illustrate the fantastic skill and finesse of living makers. 

Quadibloc, Jacoby is a very warm and patient guy. If you have finally managed to piss him off, you have gone remarkably "off the rails".

Please don't follow with paragraphs of argument and justification (your usual?),  just quietly learn from people like him.

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6 hours ago, Torbjörn Zethelius said:

What is the mainstream in MN? Violin makers are a bunch of individuals. Somebody whose name shall remain in the dark once said to me, If two violin makers agree, one of them is lying.

I totally disagree with you, does this make me a real violin maker :)

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4 hours ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

There's a general frustration with your obtuseness, and your repeated mention of 'facts' about makers, and schools of making. You seem to get frustrated with the esoteric nature of others' disagreements with you. Its because you don't have any roots to be talking about the blossoms. Dalla Costa did not just enlarge the effholes. He did everything from wood treatment through arch planning for that wood to varnish to work in concert with a larger effhole. You have to build a few dozen instruments to not be going "oh, so it turned out to sound like That this time?" and to have some intent with the steps followed.

Major malfunction: THE LEGEND OF UNBEATABLE GOLDEN AGE ITALIAN IS NOT BEING ADDRESSED SO THERE CAN BE NO MOVEMENT FORWARD.

But most modern makers without a nest egg beneath them are busy working. moving forward. Not sticking Phoenix feathers up our asses and asking players if they can hear how we have beaten the Stradivari standard when we make bird sounds. You say oh, if I actually built ONE, and it wasn't Quite good enough.... Build thirty that will get someone else's label before you build your one. This isn't intellectual badminton about soaring ideals. It's hard, dusty work that breaks your self-worth down over an over again.

You obviously have run across a Dalla Costa or two you really dig, or someone who raves about them. They're not stunners, and are pricey for how they perform in the hall. Your thoughts on the modern Cremonese consortium and such are also thin-- folks that are having their instruments used in the place of old Italian work don't need to band together and create a manifesto. That is nothing against those makers, or their work-- its an angle. Its a mistake in your misunderstanding of our modern industry to think the romance and legend of Golden Age needs to be addressed head-on and challenged constantly. Many a waiting list sits warm in the pocket of makers providing power and reliability without. Players and dealers and makers using their senses instead of their prejudices have no trouble discerning, and I see instruments every day that illustrate the fantastic skill and finesse of living makers. 

Amen!

many many great makers, dead and alive - it’s not just Stradivari or Sam Z.

it reminds me of tourist season in a butchers shop in Tiree in the Hebrides. “Gigots gigots, everybody’s wanting gigots” the exasperated butcher cried. “You would think there was nothing on a sheep but gigots.”

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4 hours ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

Major malfunction: THE LEGEND OF UNBEATABLE GOLDEN AGE ITALIAN IS NOT BEING ADDRESSED SO THERE CAN BE NO MOVEMENT FORWARD.

Well, I did learn that the Dünnwald graphs, which seemingly proved that golden age Italian sounded different, if not better, were misleading: the supposed distinguishing characteristic being the "Bridge Hill", which modern makers can and do achieve.

At the moment, therefore, I admit I don't know if that legend is true or false.

To progress further than that, I have to do more than read what other people have to say, since both opinions have been expressed by many people. The Victorians who said that the superiority of the old violins was a myth that I have been encountered were rather easy to dismiss as cranks, but at the moment I'm suspecting that lutherie did catch up with Stradivarius sometime after 1970.

It is obvious, though, that the violins by modern makers project as well, and are as beautiful in tone, as anything by Stradivari or Guarneri. If the Stradivarius myth holds any water at all, therefore, it would be in the qualities of the violin as percieved by the player - responsiveness, palette of tone, and, especially the accessibility of the palette of tone, because even the first two are, I suspect, unlikely to evade a good luthier of the present day.

Right now, it seems to me that the people who can know this stuff - the people who can play the violin very well - aren't talking. At least not where I can hear them.

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