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zhiyi_zhang617

The best sounding violins

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19 hours ago, zhiyi_zhang617 said:

However, I would be keen to remind that OP is mainly referring to the best sounding in each price bucket.

I thought that YOU were the "OP."  I am confused.

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2 hours ago, Porteroso said:

I am surprised that this got so many serious responses, but will continue reading in case anyone posts of the strad beater in every "category." 

To find a "Strad beater" in any category, one will need to try many many violins, including Strads. And conclusions next week may not be the same as  conclusions ten years down the road.

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7 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

To find a "Strad beater" in any category, one will need to try many many violins, including Strads. And conclusions next week may not be the same as  conclusions ten years down the road.

Not to mention that the conclusions will also depend on who's playing, who's listening, room acoustics, and weather.  And even with the exact same everything, I'd bet the results would still vary.

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11 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

To find a "Strad beater" in any category, one will need to try many many violins, including Strads. And conclusions next week may not be the same as  conclusions ten years down the road.

 

1 minute ago, Don Noon said:

Not to mention that the conclusions will also depend on who's playing, who's listening, room acoustics, and weather.  And even with the exact same everything, I'd bet the results would still vary.

All of which misses the point anyway, that he was a super industrious superb craftsman for 7 decades.

But dumbing it all down into hyperbole is how conventional wisdom works.

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1 hour ago, sospiri said:

 

All of which misses the point anyway, that he was a super industrious superb craftsman for 7 decades.

But dumbing it all down into hyperbole is how conventional wisdom works.

I not seeing how either Don or I did anything remotely close to "dumbing it all down". 

Perhaps I misinterpreted your post? Would you care to explain further?

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3 hours ago, David Burgess said:

And conclusions next week may not be the same as  conclusions ten years down the road.

And conclusions may not be the same as conclusions ten minutes down the road. Or after a change of strings. Or after a soundpost adjustment. Or after a new bridge. Or after a new tailgut. Or...

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11 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

And conclusions may not be the same as conclusions ten minutes down the road. Or after a change of strings. Or after a soundpost adjustment. Or after a new bridge. Or after a new tailgut. Or...

Yup!

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Thank you all for such enthusiasm in participating the discussion, which is indeed beyond my expectation.

Maybe, please let me elaborate a little more as a response to several questions:

I am an amateur hobbyist thus have a very small collection mainly fallen within student to pro (orchestral) level. Thus, I, given the modest budget, am not looking for another one just to increase the size of my collection, but the one, and possibly the final one. Therefore, I need to gain info and knowledge of sound as much as possible, particularly the good options in levels of pro (orchestral) and maybe pro (performing) before I resume the action. If there is not really such a "that one", I may never resume the action. I have tested quite a few in my local shops. So far, have not seen one markedly better then what I already have in the pro (orchestral) price point. Just to be somewhat tangible, the following picture shows a typical one of what I have. I doubt I am lack of the handsome-looking and probably the nice-sounding, including what I acquired from a well-known auction house. However, I am not so sure I have a great sounding instrument. At the end of the day, the sound is what I really appreciate and enjoy from a perspective of a player, even a technically poor player.

a_fussen_ca_1800.jpg

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On 11/3/2019 at 5:14 PM, zhiyi_zhang617 said:

Which were the four instruments with preference scores ≥0.5. All of them appear to be reasonably affordable (≤25K).

These could be variable data, although the expansive ones were too few to be used for correlation thus generalization (just one at $250K and another at near $50K).

The attachment I gave identifies the instruments.

The second best instrument's price was only $2,000 and the group of players scored it better than the $250,000 Gagliano.

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15 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

The attachment I gave identifies the instruments.

The second best instrument's price was only $2,000 and the group of players scored it better than the $250,000 Gagliano.

Thank you.

This is informative, interesting, and indeed scaring, a typical student could be potentially better sounding than a Gagliano that is known for among the best for acoustics. If this doesn't occur that infrequently in blind test, one would be really confused for the price point for the best sounding instrument. wouldn't (s)he?

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1 hour ago, zhiyi_zhang617 said:

However, I am not so sure I have great sounding instrument. At the end of the day, the sound is what I really appreciate and enjoy from a perspective of a player, even a technically poor player.

 

IMHO, the question of how good one's instrument is perturbs and frightens not just beginners, but a great many players.  You can embark on a perpetual quest for "the perfect violin" that amounts to chasing the rainbow.  At some point you have to decide, "It is sufficient", and concentrate on improving your sound through practice and technique.  BTW, the only gold standard I've found for either how acoustically good my fiddle is or how well I play it, is a combination of comments from my peers, how I feel about my sound on recordings, and audience response.  :)

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29 minutes ago, zhiyi_zhang617 said:

If this doesn't occur that infrequently in blind test, one would be really confused for the price point for the best sounding instrument. wouldn't (s)he?

The only people who would be confused are those who think that tone has anything to do with setting the price of a violin.

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9 hours ago, David Burgess said:

To find a "Strad beater" in any category, one will need to try many many violins, including Strads. And conclusions next week may not be the same as  conclusions ten years down the road.

I am not exactly holding my breath, just watching the thread with interest. 

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14 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I not seeing how either Don or I did anything remotely close to "dumbing it all down". 

Perhaps I misinterpreted your post? Would you care to explain further?

You and Don aren't dumbing anything down. I was railing against the conventional wisdom of how Stradivari is perceived rather than the reality of his incredible output.

13 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

And conclusions may not be the same as conclusions ten minutes down the road. Or after a change of strings. Or after a soundpost adjustment. Or after a new bridge. Or after a new tailgut. Or...

yup

10 hours ago, zhiyi_zhang617 said:

 If there is not really such a "that one", I may never resume the action. I have tested quite a few in my local shops. So far, have not seen one markedly better then what I already have in the pro (orchestral) price point.

Every violin sounds different because of subtle differences in the wood and construction. There isn't a violin with perfect tone and projection, it's just a silly idea we are expected to believe. A good luthier or bowmaker or restorer can help you in so many ways because there are so many things that can go wrong or be tweaked to near perfection. The rest is up to you because there is no limit to how well you can play.

 

8 hours ago, Violadamore said:

IMHO, the question of how good one's instrument is perturbs and frightens not just beginners, but a great many players.  You can embark on a perpetual quest for "the perfect violin" that amounts to chasing the rainbow.  At some point you have to decide, "It is sufficient", and concentrate on improving your sound through practice and technique.  BTW, the only gold standard I've found for either how acoustically good my fiddle is or how well I play it, is a combination of comments from my peers, how I feel about my sound on recordings, and audience response.  :)

Go on, give us a sample

 

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5 hours ago, sospiri said:

There isn't a violin with perfect tone and projection, it's just a silly idea we are expected to believe.

 

4 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

My main violin has both. :D:ph34r:

 

4 hours ago, sospiri said:

Haha, mine too.

This little exchange plainly illustrates the basic difficulty with violin performance assessment:  no actual standard exists.  Until such a standard (probably a document as thick as an unabridged dictionary, devoted to the minute analysis of around an hour's worth of examples on digitized audio) is produced and adopted by a general consensus of the global violin community, nothing can be proven, only argued about.  Because the existence of such a standard would provide a solid foundation for legal remedies against dealers and manufacturers who fail to deliver, I don't see it happening.   :lol:

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16 hours ago, zhiyi_zhang617 said:

I am an amateur hobbyist thus have a very small collection mainly fallen within student to pro (orchestral) level. Thus, I, given the modest budget, am not looking for another one just to increase the size of my collection, but the one, and possibly the final one. Therefore, I need to gain info and knowledge of sound as much as possible, particularly the good options in levels of pro (orchestral) and maybe pro (performing) before I resume the action.

At the end of the day, the sound is what I really appreciate and enjoy from a perspective of a player, even a technically poor player.

 

With respect  : you only make yourself confused with this kind of questions. Best is to borrow violins from people and play them for 2-3 weeks. Then you can get the idea how well they sound. It also counts a lot how much you play on every day. That makes a big difference in how you here the violin. Your hearing and playing will tune to violin if you are musicaly inclined and practice/play enough. Best is to buy good german violin from about 100 or more years ago because they are made from good wood and they will not keep changing the sound. Then take it to a good violin repair man and have it put in proper order and with good strings. Strings make big difference at how YOU hear the violin. This is only in my opinion.

 

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7 hours ago, A. Strelnikov-Resch said:

With respect  : you only make yourself confused with this kind of questions. Best is to borrow violins from people and play them for 2-3 weeks. Then you can get the idea how well they sound. It also counts a lot how much you play on every day. That makes a big difference in how you here the violin. Your hearing and playing will tune to violin if you are musicaly inclined and practice/play enough. Best is to buy good german violin from about 100 or more years ago because they are made from good wood and they will not keep changing the sound. Then take it to a good violin repair man and have it put in proper order and with good strings. Strings make big difference at how YOU hear the violin. This is only in my opinion.

 

Thank you for the recommendation.

I am afraid that I have passed that stage. I believe you probably know what I meant if you saw the photo I attached.

Once again, I just try to nail down the very last but great sounding one, then I am done for good for such a rainbow-chasing game. 

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20 hours ago, zhiyi_zhang617 said:

 

I am afraid that I have passed that stage. I believe you probably know what I meant if you saw the photo I attached.

Once again, I just try to nail down the very last but great sounding one, then I am done for good for such a rainbow-chasing game. 

Your photo may be a little frightening,  if that is your impression of a desirable violin. I'll leave it at that, and will not go further.

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