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Three13

Bass bar question

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3 hours ago, Three13 said:

So based upon this, does it seem like the bass bar could be the issue?

Although I wouldn't say for sure without more info (and seeing/hearing/playing in person), I would guess that the bass bar might be a small part of the character, but mostly the wood/arching/graduations are defining it.

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7 hours ago, Don Noon said:

The OP has been emailing me files recorded on the phone, which I have converted to .wav files for Audacity.  From the glissando recording, to me it sounds very clear and bright, perhaps overpowering the low end.  Here's an MP3 version of it:

Home 2.mp3 138.55 kB · 1 download

The FFT of the above:

1558420342_Astringglissando.jpg.f5911e50e77f65d9683dc817b5af194d.jpg

Since this is only the A string, there is no A0 resonance peak.  Now the B1+ shows to be a more reasonable 554 Hz, and the B1- peak is 458 Hz.  These seem slightly on the high side for 357 LOB violin, but not really abnormal.  There's a $16 million Guarneri out there with MUCH higher resonances.

There are two basic factors that determine resonant frequencies... stiffness and mass.  You can have an instrument that is heavy, but extremely stiff, and it can have the same frequencies as one that is normal stiffness, but light.  Or anything inbetween.  To get a possible clue, try weighing the violin without the chinrest.  

7 hours ago, Don Noon said:

 

My personal experience is that a violin with dense, strong wood works better when it's thinner and the resonant frequencies are lower than normal, and light wood works better thicker and with higher body frequencies.  The dense wood instrument is still heavier, though.

Don ,

The Mode analysis is not something I have used or have much knowledge of but for sure I agree that soft wood should be left thicker and dense heavy wood should be thinner.

 

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8 hours ago, Three13 said:

2.5-mm south of the edge of the bridge. It's been moved around without a huge difference in tone.

Sounds like maybe the plates are pretty stiff, no?

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I was about to solve this problem for the OP when the batteries went dead in my crystal ball.

In reality, we cannot solve this problem over the internet--you have to take it to someone who has the background because there are multiple causes for this.. The easiest and most practical fix is to find another violin.

My experience is that reworked instruments never sound as good as one that was built correctly, the first time--that is the problem with taking instruments you purchased in the white and reworking them

Mike D

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24 minutes ago, Mike_Danielson said:

My experience is that reworked instruments never sound as good as one that was built correctly, the first time--that is the problem with taking instruments you purchased in the white and reworking them

If you can't choose the wood and the arching, then those two huge performance factors are gone.  And, usually, white or no-name fiddles use undesirable wood, and arching is iffy.

OTOH, several thick, screaming banshee factory/student instruments have regraduated into very decent violins.

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10 hours ago, Mike_Danielson said:

My experience is that reworked instruments never sound as good as one that was built correctly, the first time--that is the problem with taking instruments you purchased in the white and reworking them

Mike D

The Mantegazza family was famous for regraduating Cremonese instruments. It’s not a new practice and the results, although permanent, aren’t necessarily bad. I would certainly argue in favor of conserving examples in original condition for posterity if possible, but we have to accept that many of our favorite great instruments have been heavily altered from their original state.

The chances of success for the OP’s violin really depend on the luthier’s ability to diagnose the issues. As has been suggested, it’s possible there are some problems that aren’t evident without actual observation, so the fix may be more or less complicated. 

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As an update, Don suggested that I weigh the violin - set up, without a chin rest, it tips the scales at 477-grams. In his words, it’s a brick.

I guess the large-ish bass bar was not the (only) culprit...

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35 minutes ago, Three13 said:

As an update, Don suggested that I weigh the violin - set up, without a chin rest, it tips the scales at 477-grams. In his words, it’s a brick.

I guess the large-ish bass bar was not the (only) culprit...

Did the surgeon forget some steel pliers inside when he closed the patient? :D

 

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On 8/9/2019 at 4:10 AM, The Violin Beautiful said:

The Mantegazza family was famous for regraduating Cremonese instruments.

 

I can't find much info on that, but do you know if any Strads were regraduated too as Stewart Pollens claims? Did they also regraduate the DG's?

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5 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Did the surgeon forget some steel pliers inside when he closed the patient? :D

 

:lol:

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25 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Did the surgeon forget some steel pliers inside when he closed the patient? :D

 

Evidently.

It’ll be interesting to see whether I can get this fiddle sorted.

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Can you imagine how much work it would be to carve 43 grams of wood out of a violin, just to get it down to the weight of the Cannone? :o   

I suggest a Hacklinger (or modern electronic equivalent) gage to see where the weight is.  Certainly the back plate would have to be most of it, unless something very odd was done (like pliers).

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36 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

Can you imagine how much work it would be to carve 43 grams of wood out of a violin, just to get it down to the weight of the Cannone? :o   

I suggest a Hacklinger (or modern electronic equivalent) gage to see where the weight is.  Certainly the back plate would have to be most of it, unless something very odd was done (like pliers).

That’s the plan - if anyone has a recommendation for a source for a Hacklinger gauge that won’t break the bank, let me know. 

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1 hour ago, Three13 said:

That’s the plan - if anyone has a recommendation for a source for a Hacklinger gauge that won’t break the bank, let me know. 

I haven't ever seen an inexpensive equivalent.

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On 8/8/2019 at 10:10 PM, The Violin Beautiful said:

The Mantegazza family was famous for regraduating Cremonese instruments. It’s not a new practice and the results, although permanent, aren’t necessarily bad. I would certainly argue in favor of conserving examples in original condition for posterity if possible, but we have to accept that many of our favorite great instruments have been heavily altered from their original state.

The chances of success for the OP’s violin really depend on the luthier’s ability to diagnose the issues. As has been suggested, it’s possible there are some problems that aren’t evident without actual observation, so the fix may be more or less complicated. 

Maybe Mantegazze was the real master behind all this.

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16 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Maybe Mantegazze was the real master behind all this.

Maybe, but to use an admittedly crude cliche, you can’t polish a turd.

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5 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Maybe Mantegazze was the real master behind all this.

Or at least an important part of a 300 year process...

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On 8/12/2019 at 2:17 PM, Don Noon said:

Can you imagine how much work it would be to carve 43 grams of wood out of a violin, just to get it down to the weight of the Cannone? :o   

I suggest a Hacklinger (or modern electronic equivalent) gage to see where the weight is.  Certainly the back plate would have to be most of it, unless something very odd was done (like pliers).

She really needs weight watchers - 2.9 to over 4 mm on the top and 3.2 to over 5-mm on the back.

:/

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On 8/12/2019 at 9:06 PM, Three13 said:

As an update, Don suggested that I weigh the violin - set up, without a chin rest, it tips the scales at 477-grams. In his words, it’s a brick.

I guess the large-ish bass bar was not the (only) culprit...

 

20 minutes ago, Three13 said:

She really needs weight watchers - 2.9 to over 4 mm on the top and 3.2 to over 5-mm on the back.

:/

Those plate thicknesses are not going to be the culprit either, it would seem that everything must be considerably heftier than average to get up to 477 grams, or it has some very, very dense wood.

The cost of a regraduation, new bar & set-up will be substantial, but the likely improvements I suspect would be only moderate in this case.
 

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It seemed to me like 4.5-mm just above the bridge was pretty excessive, but I’m not sure that I have a valid opinion, never having graduated a violin’s top.

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Yes, but you would have an absolutely enormous pile of shavings to even get to 5 grams. Thinning those plates and reducing the bar will reduce the weight of course, but not by any large amount.

Changing the graduation will not bring about the level of weight reduction you might expect, but I feel with this violin, the weight is only one aspect of the problem.

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2 hours ago, Dave Slight said:

Yes, but you would have an absolutely enormous pile of shavings to even get to 5 grams. Thinning those plates and reducing the bar will reduce the weight of course, but not by any large amount.

Changing the graduation will not bring about the level of weight reduction you might expect, but I feel with this violin, the weight is only one aspect of the problem.

I disagree.  Those are significantly thick graduations, especially the top.  If I assume normal-ish wood density and went to my usual graduations, I estimate that the plate weights would come down by a total of ~50 grams, giving an instrument weight close to the normal range.  Yes, it would be an absolutely enormous pile of shavings.

Having regraduated some brick-like student instruments with tops over 90 g, I feel this IS THE PROBLEM as originally stated, i.e. that the low end is anemic.  Taking that much wood out, particularly from the top, gives a huge boost to the low end.  

This is one example of the before/after impact response, where the low frequencies are 6-12 dB stronger (that's a LOT):

Regrad.jpg.aa4a890463d3fe28f62300ca4b5bb7ca.jpg

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On 8/12/2019 at 2:55 PM, Three13 said:

That’s the plan - if anyone has a recommendation for a source for a Hacklinger gauge that won’t break the bank, let me know. 

google "ultrasonic thickness gauge"....they have ones as cheap as 100$....the one I looked at did metal, pvc,glass and such, I assume it work on wood too.

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