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Andreas Preuss

Are claims that Borax treatment on spruce enhance acoustic properties correct?

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An obvious extension of nr. 1 : rig a new one up to a device that vibrates it at playing frequencies and run it for a year.

Anybody tried ?

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Not for a year... I (and those I live with) couldn't tolerate the noise for that amount of time.  But for the several-days of high-powered testing, extrapolated out to a year, equals zilch.  This is the test thread.

A better experiment would be to track the changes of a new violin that a professional violinist plays hard for a year.  I have one sample... and there does appear to be some changes to the response curve.  Whether that is related to play-in, or other environmental factors, or recording differences, it's hard to tell.

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Since the hypothesis was that playing-induced vibrations were responsible for changes, if the induced vibrations were at playing freqencies, there shoukd be a 1:1 something or other.

Keith Hill wrote of a vibrator of that sort that was quiet in operation &, in his experience, was helpful.

As an aside, back when Hans Nebel was working on other peoples' instruments, he was famous for handing them back already played back in. People marveled at this. He had a neighbor who played Broadway shows . . .

 

 

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On 7/12/2019 at 4:23 AM, GeorgeH said:

It is total pseudoscience. His experiments are poorly designed, completely uncontrolled, and non-reproducible. The origin, sampling methods, storage, and handling of the wood samples that he performs his "tests" on are not disclosed and the materials cannot be proven to be what he claims. His results have unreported and missing data, and the statistical analyses that he uses to make his extraordinary and ridiculous claims are a complete sham. It has all been reviewed in old threads on Maestronet.

B.S.

Where would you obtain multiple wood chips with original varnish from good Cremonese era instruments? Not every useful experiment relies on statistics and numerous samples, as any student of science realizes.  

 

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2 hours ago, l33tplaya said:

B.S.

Where would you obtain multiple wood chips with original varnish from good Cremonese era instruments? Not every useful experiment relies on statistics and numerous samples, as any student of science realizes.  

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Tai makes many of the former with none of the latter. It is total pseudoscience.

You can believe what ever you want.

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The extraordinary claims get all the attention, and while there is no extraordinary evidence, I found some of the measurements to be informative.  I appreciate Tai's effort to do the work, even if I disagree with the conclusions and speculations. 

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I've seen plenty of evidence of benefits from minerals and wood used in combination with each other. They can work together, sort of a symbiotic relationship.

The wood make the minerals audible and the minerals make the wood brilliant.

I have played some Extraordinary "old Fiddles",  Extraordinary enough to want to know if they did any thing to the wood.

I for one am certainly glad that Bruce is driven to do this. Things were created to work together, but they don't work together because some one else cannot comprehend what the other person is doing and why. So they have to listen to the blathering on about their motives, and how they are deceived and what they are doing is worthless, and blah, blah, blah,,,,,

Some guy is putting a motor thing on a wagon, blah, blah, blah,,

Some guy is trying to get light out of an upside down jar and some wire,, what a fool.. blah, blah blah,,,

Blah,blah,blah,,,

I would only attribute to Bruce noble motives and sincerity, and look forward to his results.

About Borax, a pinch in the morning is good for the day, I don't use it for fiddles though, my joints and neck love it.

 

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5 minutes ago, Evan Smith said:

I've seen plenty of evidence of benefits from minerals and wood used in combination with each other. They can work together, sort of a symbiotic relationship.

The wood make the minerals audible and the minerals make the wood brilliant.

I have played some Extraordinary "old Fiddles",  Extraordinary enough to want to know if they did any thing to the wood.

I for one am certainly glad that Bruce is driven to do this. Things were created to work together, but they don't work together because some one else cannot comprehend what the other person is doing and why. So they have to listen to the blathering on about their motives, and how they are deceived and what they are doing is worthless, and blah, blah, blah,,,,,

Some guy is putting a motor thing on a wagon, blah, blah, blah,,

Some guy is trying to get light out of an upside down jar and some wire,, what a fool.. blah, blah blah,,,

Blah,blah,blah,,,

I would only attribute to Bruce noble motives and sincerity, and look forward to his results.

About Borax, a pinch in the morning is good for the day, I don't use it for fiddles though, my joints and neck love it.

 

Like your humor, Evan. :)

So to continue a bit of brain twisting blah, blah...

-_-...,, if not Borax there are certainly other interesting ingredients and procedures . The 'mineral profile' of wood from Cremonese 17th and 18th century instruments certainly suggests some treatment. (Even though my initial question was not really aiming there) Remains the question how and maybe in which order. What I find often confusing about the research is that they make practically no difference between maple and spruce and there is a good chance that craftsmen (or wood dealers?) treated spruce and maple differently.

In the meantime I have to convince my client that it is wasted time to make a whole cello from borax treated wood and hope it will bring the ultimate projection.

i might need some borax for my joints as well. My left knee is aching already for a while and needs some grease. :rolleyes:

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Andreas,

I don't think it is such a big deal,, who was there?

pond it for a while, throw it in a hot tub for a while, a hot springs,,,

put some ashes and dirt and water with the wood for a bit, switch to some vinegar and dirt,,,

leave it kicking around on the ground. Bury it in horse manure, what ever,,,,,,,,,

The wood that I have left lying around for a dozen years kicking around in the dirt will ring like a piece of steel, some of it just seems tougher some how.

I don't make fiddles out of this kind of thing but I have observed this plenty, and stuff happens,

and not being God myself, and Him not wanting to talk about it, my mind will not wander any farther on the subject, I would like to see what Bruce finds.

Do some serious research on the borax,,,

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related to "tonerite" vibration....I do not think that 1 year would be sufficient.

In a natural 300 year cycle the violin would be played as degradation happens, I do not think this is something that can be duplicated.

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2 hours ago, jezzupe said:

related to "tonerite" vibration....I do not think that 1 year would be sufficient.

In a natural 300 year cycle the violin would be played as degradation happens, I do not think this is something that can be duplicated.

I too feel that we cannot duplicate old violins unless we use similar wood. I think torrified wood is one answer.  However,I am not sold on so-called tonerite effects. 

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4 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

I too feel that we cannot duplicate old violins unless we use similar wood. I think torrified wood is one answer.  However,I am not sold on so-called tonerite effects. 

When I play a violin, I don't just bow the strings (which also exerts a shifting downward and sideways force), I exert pressure on the neck and the chinrest area.  There's evidence that in Paganini's day, the body or neck was held in varying ways we don't teach any more.  Period paintings from the 1700's show, in several cases, the chin position being on the treble side of the lower bout.  Then there's the wear from holding it when it's not being played, bouncing it around in a case during horse transport, etc.  I suspect that in the 300 years of a Strad's existence, it's been continually flexed in ways that simply making the strings oscillate won't reproduce.  :)

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5 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I might need some borax for my joints as well. My left knee is aching already for a while and needs some grease. :rolleyes:

I made up some borax/water this morning.  Yesterday while trying to step up on a 2' retaining wall, my  left knee made a loud pop (might not have been acoustically loud, but it felt loud).  That prevented me from going bowling today... the only other times that has happened was the hip replacement and the herniated disc.  Aging effects should be restricted to wooden instruments.

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44 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

I too feel that we cannot duplicate old violins unless we use similar wood. I think torrified wood is one answer.  However,I am not sold on so-called tonerite effects. 

Well I think it's the wood also, and I do think torrification is the closest thing you can get . I do feel that prolonged and repeated vibrations being driven through the material over 300 years will effect the internal structure and properties of the material on perhaps a "microscopic" level as it relates to "hinge'ing". and how this will relate to internal thermal build up as vigorous prolonged playing happens and how that may effect elasticity and or range of motion in various modes.

During a prolonged playing session where perhaps a "warm up and the performance" is done the violin will be going through a prolonged period of gymnastics as all the various notes that are being played excite all the various modes of excitation. Keeping in mind an increased and steady amount of heat is being introduced from not only the string energy/vibration but much more from the players body and hot breath which is being blown into the ff's turning it into a low heat betty crocker oven.

So, going back to internal grain structure of new{in full dimension prior to carving} untreated wood, it has lots of fresh "stuff" in bewteen the cells and tubular structure, lets call it the pithy stuff in between. Thats the stuff that holds lots of the non water soluble fluids like oils, saps, acids and what not, that's the stuff that ends up in the bottom of Don's thermal pan, Don's brown sweaty wood juice :o:lol: . now the removal or extraction of that stuff is just one thing that's going on with the process, but I feel that Plato processing material somewhat mimics or alters in a similar way as does prolonged degradation, it alters the stuff in between the tubes and cells, crushes bound water packets.

So, either through time or pressure and heat the internal wood structure becomes more lattice like, less pithy stuff and all that was in there with it .

So, when the heat is introduced long enough to completely bring it up to "max" temp the lattice like material will be more prone to elasticity via heat. 

Looking at either modal analysis or even chladni patterns we see areas in various modes of excitation based off various pitches, areas where the range of motions will be larger, we see the more nodal areas less prone to motion.

It is these areas where the range of motion is larger that the heat energy builds up. 1. because they are generally in the thinner areas of the lungs 2. because of that, the range of motion {energy consumption} in those areas is larger 3. therefore those areas get warmer, warmer means more elasticity, more elastic means more potential range of motion in those specific areas.

I feel these areas after 300 years of vibration have developed a "grain" {similar to muscle} memory like attribute that makes the wood extremely susceptible to localized {soft/hot} spots that somehow I feel translates to us saying "wow" that thing sounds great"

  

 

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It is delusional to believe that 300 year-old violins sound better now than when they were new. It is self-aggrandizing lunacy to believe that one has discovered the "secret" as to why.

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1 hour ago, David Beard said:

Tonerite does not equal playing in.

"Playing in" gets the player used to the instrument so the player-instrument system sounds better.    Tonerite doesn't do this.

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1 minute ago, GeorgeH said:

It is delusional to believe that 300 year-old violins sound better now than when they were new. It is self-aggrandizing lunacy to believe that one has discovered the "secret" as to why.

Well I personally do think that certain ones do sound better, mostly because they had been modernized and we can put dominants on them. I don't think most of us would recognize them as we do now when if we heard them in their original state and strings.

to the best of my knowledge there is no secret 

 

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8 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

Well I think it's the wood also, and I do think torrification is the closest thing you can get . I do feel that prolonged and repeated vibrations being driven through the material over 300 years will effect the internal structure and properties of the material on perhaps a "microscopic" level as it relates to "hinge'ing". and how this will relate to internal thermal build up as vigorous prolonged playing happens and how that may effect elasticity and or range of motion in various modes.

During a prolonged playing session where perhaps a "warm up and the performance" is done the violin will be going through a prolonged period of gymnastics as all the various notes that are being played excite all the various modes of excitation. Keeping in mind an increased and steady amount of heat is being introduced from not only the string energy/vibration but much more from the players body and hot breath which is being blown into the ff's turning it into a low heat betty crocker oven.

So, going back to internal grain structure of new{in full dimension prior to carving} untreated wood, it has lots of fresh "stuff" in bewteen the cells and tubular structure, lets call it the pithy stuff in between. Thats the stuff that holds lots of the non water soluble fluids like oils, saps, acids and what not, that's the stuff that ends up in the bottom of Don's thermal pan, Don's brown sweaty wood juice :o:lol: . now the removal or extraction of that stuff is just one thing that's going on with the process, but I feel that Plato processing material somewhat mimics or alters in a similar way as does prolonged degradation, it alters the stuff in between the tubes and cells, crushes bound water packets.

So, either through time or pressure and heat the internal wood structure becomes more lattice like, less pithy stuff and all that was in there with it .

So, when the heat is introduced long enough to completely bring it up to "max" temp the lattice like material will be more prone to elasticity via heat. 

Looking at either modal analysis or even chladni patterns we see areas in various modes of excitation based off various pitches, areas where the range of motions will be larger, we see the more nodal areas less prone to motion.

It is these areas where the range of motion is larger that the heat energy builds up. 1. because they are generally in the thinner areas of the lungs 2. because of that, the range of motion {energy consumption} in those areas is larger 3. therefore those areas get warmer, warmer means more elasticity, more elastic means more potential range of motion in those specific areas.

I feel these areas after 300 years of vibration have developed a "grain" {similar to muscle} memory like attribute that makes the wood extremely susceptible to localized {soft/hot} spots that somehow I feel translates to us saying "wow" that thing sounds great"

  

 

I would not know how to test your theory; therefore, it is out of the realm of science and in the area of faith.

I had a Tonerite and concluded it did nothing. I gave it away and that person agreed with me.

I also feel that torrified wood is a. major enhancement to tone. I have tested this and accept it as a major enhancement.  I plan to use more of it.

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10 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

I would not know how to test your theory; therefore, it is out of the realm of science and in the area of faith.

I had a Tonerite and concluded it did nothing. I gave it away and that person agreed with me.

I also feel that torrified wood is a. major enhancement to tone. I have tested this and accept it as a major enhancement.  I plan to use more of it.

Just to be clear, I would call this "the tonrite effect" which has nothing to do with a "tonerite", I do not buy into "the tonerite" thing itself....

I just use the term "the tonerite effect" to describe " 300 years of playing vibrations" which your not going to get with a joy buzzer

also, yes these are just speculation , things I think might be going on, thats why I always phrase things as "I feel" 

and yes there is no way to test any of this, which in itself speaks to there being some probability of it being correct. In all these "theories" "we" toss out, we must recognize and or categorize things that there is no way to prove....and that just because they have been put into a category of "the unprovavble" does not mean that they are not in fact correct. :D improbable as they may be or not

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4 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

It is delusional to believe that 300 year-old violins sound better now than when they were new. It is self-aggrandizing lunacy to believe that one has discovered the "secret" as to why.

Why they emotional resistance?

I tend also to believe that think both believing old violins became good by aging and believing new violins will become good by aging are cop outs.  And I don't find that aging arguments explain why instruments highly teasured now are the same ones treasured then.

But I have no resistance to the idea that the wood and instruments change somehow with times.  It just seems to me that the evidence shows those aging issues can't be top-of-pile important in what makes instruments good or bad. I think the evidence suggests aging certainly isn't bad, and likely is a minor positive.

And again, I agree that simplistic 'magic bullet' discovery that claims that suggest the whole thing boils down to some one dimensional trick are tiresome.

But still, warts and all, I've got nothing against people that take efforts to collect some data and share it with the world.  I'll also forgive that anyone who wants larger scale awareness and discussion of violin work is inevitably pulled to romanticize and aggrandize. Our foolish world insists on such nonsense.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

"Playing in" gets the player used to the instrument so the player-instrument system sounds better.    Tonerite doesn't do this.

As I said, not equal.

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4 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

Just to be clear, I would call this "the tonrite effect" which has nothing to do with a "tonerite", I do not buy into "the tonerite" thing itself....

I just use the term "the tonerite effect" to describe " 300 years of playing vibrations" which your not going to get with a joy buzzer

Good. But how do we test your theory?

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2 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

Good. But how do we test your theory?

Ask 100 experienced players.   But yes, outside of scientific confirmation.

If a tree falls outside the range of your scientific instruments, does that prove it didn't fall? 

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4 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

Good. But how do we test your theory?

Easy peasy, a time machine! I'm on it! :lol:....see my edit in that post

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