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keyboardclass

Can I consider this crack a 3rd f hole?

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and just leave it?  It's a newly bought viola of mine that sounds great.  Should I get something done?  You can get a business card through the crack.  Thanks very much folks!

nhcrack.JPG

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Maybe a little. But you don't want it to get worse, do you? If it does, it eill be a serious problem, right now it seems like it will be easy to fix. Consider going to another lutier. Unless there is more than meets the eye, this is a relatively simple thing to repair. 

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42 minutes ago, keyboardclass said:

  I suppose I'm asking does it affect the sound much, if any?

It certainly could. If you like the sound with the open crack, it may get better or worse with the crack repaired. I don't think anyone has a sure way of knowing.

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Reminds me of Willie Nelson's guiter (Trigger), which has great big holes and cracks, and he won't let his luthier do any more than the bare minimum necessary to keep it from falling apart. 

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1 hour ago, glebert said:

Reminds me of Willie Nelson's guiter (Trigger), which has great big holes and cracks, and he won't let his luthier do any more than the bare minimum necessary to keep it from falling apart. 

They've done some pretty intense/creative work to keep the top from collapsing on that - I think Dan Erlewine wrote an article or two about the things they did to shore it up without impacting its somewhat unusual aesthetic.

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I think Jacob is right it's not a crack but a parting of the ways - harder to fix I'd think.  The bigger picture attached.  The 'parting is only the bottom 4 inches or so.  And thanks for all the comments!

nhcrack2.JPG

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19 minutes ago, MeyerFittings said:

I should probably know, but what is all that hardware in front of the tailpiece?

 

That's a "Sihon" mute.

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19 hours ago, David Burgess said:

It certainly could. If you like the sound with the open crack, it may get better or worse with the crack repaired. I don't think anyone has a sure way of knowing.

I guess if you could make a blind test with crack open vs. closed it would be almost impossible to tell the difference.

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44 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I guess if you could make a blind test with crack open vs. closed it would be almost impossible to tell the difference.

An experiment was done at the Oberlin Acoustics Workshop about eight years ago where north and south narrow cuts were made from the f hole upper and lower eyes in 1 cm increments.  This was done on an inexpensive factory violin and it was discovered that the sound quality actually improved up until the cuts were quite long.

Later at home I repeated a similar experiment on one of my own violas and found the same thing. When the cuts were made  too long the slots were filled with glue to shorten them to the optimum length.

Subsequent experiments on enlarging the f hole areas showed that surprisingly large area increases were needed to give noticeable changes (mostly A0 frequency increases). 

This led me to believe that it was the length of the f holes rather than their areas that was the important f hole variable.  Apparently the amount of movement of the plate island between the f holes has a large influence on the sound character.

It wouldn't surprise me if some cracks were actually beneficial as long as they are wide enough not to buzz.

 

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2 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

An experiment was done at the Oberlin Acoustics Workshop about eight years ago where north and south narrow cuts were made from the f hole upper and lower eyes in 1 cm increments.  This was done on an inexpensive factory violin and it was discovered that the sound quality actually improved up until the cuts were quite long.

Later at home I repeated a similar experiment on one of my own violas and found the same thing. When the cuts were made  too long the slots were filled with glue to shorten them to the optimum length.

Subsequent experiments on enlarging the f hole areas showed that surprisingly large area increases were needed to give noticeable changes (mostly A0 frequency increases). 

This led me to believe that it was the length of the f holes rather than their areas that was the important f hole variable.  Apparently the amount of movement of the plate island between the f holes has a large influence on the sound character.

It wouldn't surprise me if some cracks were actually beneficial as long as they are wide enough not to buzz.

 

!!!?

Would be thinning down the cut in areas have the same effect?

So this would mean the violin must be stiff lengthwise but at the same time have no hindrance to flex? (Don't know if my 'description' is understandable)

(Be careful, Marty:ph34r:. Some people might get the wrong idea...)

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

An experiment was done at the Oberlin Acoustics Workshop about eight years ago where north and south narrow cuts were made from the f hole upper and lower eyes in 1 cm increments.  This was done on an inexpensive factory violin and it was discovered that the sound quality actually improved up until the cuts were quite long.

Later at home I repeated a similar experiment on one of my own violas and found the same thing. When the cuts were made  too long the slots were filled with glue to shorten them to the optimum length.

I was not present for either of these experiments, but consider the outcomes to be quite plausible.

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2 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

!!!?

Would be thinning down the cut in areas have the same effect?

So this would mean the violin must be stiff lengthwise but at the same time have no hindrance to flex? (Don't know if my 'description' is understandable)

(Be careful, Marty:ph34r:. Some people might get the wrong idea...)

 Attached is a reference where the top plate is deliberately split lengthwise to make its vibration mode shapes nonsymmetrical.

We always take great care to have a good glued center joint.  Maybe it would be be better not to glue them together.

 

split plate, ISMA2010_Besnainou.pdf

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