Recommended Posts

I'm thinking of a viola model based on the CV as my next instrument.  I remember seeing an old post suggesting that it should be made a little wider than pictured in the Strad drawings.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how much "wider" to make the body or should I make in as pictured in the drawings.  Also does anyone have any comments on the actual accuracy of the drawings.  Any and all other suggestions would be very welcome.

 

Thank you

Steven

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If memory serves the Conte Vitale outline is broader in the middle than the normal Cremonese contralto violas (strad and Amati). I think this extra width comes from a bending error that resulted in an asymmetrical outline when the ribs were taken off the form (one side is offset quite a bit more than the other). 

You could always draw one up on yourself based on Francois Denis's method.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/12/2019 at 7:03 PM, Urban Luthier said:

If memory serves the Conte Vitale outline is broader in the middle than the normal Cremonese contralto violas (strad and Amati). I think this extra width comes from a bending error that resulted in an asymmetrical outline when the ribs were taken off the form (one side is offset quite a bit more than the other). 

You could always draw one up on yourself based on Francois Denis's method.

 

Is there a reason that the Denis book is 200 pages too long lol? I guess it's more for people wanting to learn about the history of the geometry and it's development. 

Share this post


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

How wide are the bouts? And what is the length?

I'll have to get home and measure this one. It's an A. Amati alto viola. I used the measurements from the Denis book. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All,

 

Thank you for all the comments so far, I will have to check out the Denis material.  There is also a site called digital Amati that looks promising for instrument design. It's an online version of the Denis geometry. All I have to do is learn the fundamentals of the Scheme programming language.

 

One quick semantics question though, if I redesign the instrument from the Denis geometry, pretty much the only thing remaining that would be authentic CV would be the length since all the other numbers are based off of that.  This being the case, can I actually call it a CV model?

 

Numbers my digitization of the poster and those given in the poster it self are as follows  (actual numbers from the poster are parenthetical)

 

Length                 418                      (418)

upper bout         200.4                    (196.5)

c bout                 139                       (136)

lower bout          247.2                   (240.5)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My original intent was to leave the left-right asymmetry in design.  Some makers (not necessarily Guarneri) worked without a form and I have no good intuition as to whether the asymmetry effects the character of the sound in a positive way or in a way that defines that particular instruments voice.  But I intended to remove the asymmetry from the crosswise arching as this is likely due to soundpost and bass bar effects over the years.

 

Steven

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently completed a Conte Vitale model viola, using the back photo on the poster as the body outline.  Like you, I wanted to keep the interesting left-right asymmetry of the original.  My finished instrument measurements are between those in your two columns.  It looks and sounds fine.   While shaping the arch, it was a challenge for me to make the big wide sweeping channel.  So my arching ended up a a little fuller than the poster in the transitions into the channel. 

I did not go to the scary-thin channel thicknesses shown on the poster.  3.0 mm was my thinnest target thickness in the deepest part of the channel.

A bigger challenge than the body in making a Conte Vitale model is deciding what to do with the cheeks on the pegbox.  Many modern violists are not fans of cheeks.  I ended up reworking the pegbox shape to eliminate the cheeks. 

By the way, should this thread be in the Pegbox, instead of the Luthier exchange?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I use 25.5 for the lower bouts. Good luck! Bear in mind the problems of viola sound: weak C string, too narrow dynamic range (you change your bowing and almost nothing happens in terms of volume and sound colour), slow respons, lack of clarity (notes will mix in quick passages) and wolves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/12/2019 at 7:03 PM, Urban Luthier said:

If memory serves the Conte Vitale outline is broader in the middle than the normal Cremonese contralto violas (strad and Amati). I think this extra width comes from a bending error that resulted in an asymmetrical outline when the ribs were taken off the form (one side is offset quite a bit more than the other). 

You could always draw one up on yourself based on Francois Denis's method.

 

There is a major flaw with this video. The lower and upper bouts, left and right flanks, are not drawn with proper scotias. 

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...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.