Sign in to follow this  
Lukebow

The influence of different material tailpieces and chinrests on violin Sound

Recommended Posts

IMO the weight and how it is adjusted are infinitely more important than the material itself.  However, you probably aren't going to get a metal tailpiece to weigh the same as a boxwood one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to Mary Jane Kwan's presentation at The VSA in Dallas, the Oberlin Acoustics Workshop did some testing of alternative materials fingerboards this summer.  I'll see her today and will try to remember to ask her if she would like to share a copy of her presentation here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience, trying different chinrests was very interesting.  A luthier saw my center-mounted chinrest, and he suggested a side-mounted, taller profile chinrest with titanium hardware.  The chinrest switch was like taking a mute off.  It was weird, and the effect wasn't just under my chin but clearly audible to folks in the room. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

According to Mary Jane Kwan's presentation at The VSA in Dallas, the Oberlin Acoustics Workshop did some testing of alternative materials fingerboards this summer.  I'll see her today and will try to remember to ask her if she would like to share a copy of her presentation here.

MJ Kwan has presented some really valuable stuff in the past, so I would look forward to that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, palousian said:

In my experience, trying different chinrests was very interesting.  A luthier saw my center-mounted chinrest, and he suggested a side-mounted, taller profile chinrest with titanium hardware.  The chinrest switch was like taking a mute off.  It was weird, and the effect wasn't just under my chin but clearly audible to folks in the room. 

The placement though, is probably what caused that. My chinrest is the SAS thing that many of us with taller necks need, and simply moving that around has massive changes in the sound. I was taking an audition, the violin was sounding great, and the chinrest fell off... Hadn't been tightened down enough (or maybe I was tense and gripping everything too tightly). I put it back on, probably 8mm away from where it was, to try. It felt much better, the violin sounded dead. I finished the audition like that, and days later moved it back. The violin sounded really good again.

If I had to bet, I'd say the glue right under the chinrest was failing, and the chinrest was/is holding it together. Alas, I only get to visit a shop every year or 2, so it will be that much time before I can get open seams glued. All that to say, it's impossible to say if your new chinrest made a difference because of the material, or where it clamped down on the violin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Porteroso said:

The placement though, is probably what caused that. My chinrest is the SAS thing that many of us with taller necks need, and simply moving that around has massive changes in the sound. I was taking an audition, the violin was sounding great, and the chinrest fell off... Hadn't been tightened down enough (or maybe I was tense and gripping everything too tightly). I put it back on, probably 8mm away from where it was, to try. It felt much better, the violin sounded dead. I finished the audition like that, and days later moved it back. The violin sounded really good again.

If I had to bet, I'd say the glue right under the chinrest was failing, and the chinrest was/is holding it together. Alas, I only get to visit a shop every year or 2, so it will be that much time before I can get open seams glued. All that to say, it's impossible to say if your new chinrest made a difference because of the material, or where it clamped down on the violin.

Valuable insights. Chinrest positioning can make large differences in sound and response, even when no open seams are involeved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/13/2019 at 12:58 PM, David Burgess said:

Valuable insights. Chinrest positioning can make large differences in sound and response, even when no open seams are involved.

Not that I expect you to share the secrets to your bread and butter, but have you observed any trends in placement?

For me, it seems that the closer to center, the worse the sound and response, though that's really where I think I want it. I'm sure there are tons of variables, but just curious about general trends. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Porteroso said:

Not that I expect you to share the secrets to your bread and butter, but have you observed any trends in placement?

 

Can't say that I have, because it varies so much instrument-to-instrument and by personal taste in sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/13/2019 at 8:20 AM, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

According to Mary Jane Kwan's presentation at The VSA in Dallas, the Oberlin Acoustics Workshop did some testing of alternative materials fingerboards this summer.  I'll see her today and will try to remember to ask her if she would like to share a copy of her presentation here.

I was at this Acoustics Workshop and was very impressed with the "Sonowood" fingerboards.  (https://swisswoodsolutions.ch › sonowood

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Porteroso said:

For me, it seems that the closer to center, the worse the sound and response, though that's really where I think I want it. I'm sure there are tons of variables, but just curious about general trends. 

I usually find that side-mount chinrests work best for what I want.

Center-mount chinrests usually have a large cantilevered part, and its vibration can get into the playing range and cause some disturbance.  However, if you keep your chin clamped on it, that should eliminate the effect.  I don't "clamp" with my chin (being a fiddler), so that might be part of my preference for sidemount rests.

10 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I was at this Acoustics Workshop and was very impressed with the "Sonowood" fingerboards.  (https://swisswoodsolutions.ch › sonowood

Cool.  I was wondering when someone would get around to commercially squishing out all the air from wood for the musical instrument field.  I think they should have a dyed product to look like ebony, though.

I don't see any price list (probably 'cuz it's expensive)... anyone know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite often a middle mounted chinrest "kills" B1-, both in amplitude and frequency, sometimes lowered by ~20 hz. Sometimes B1- is not even a clear peak when mic is on the front side and a normal tap to the bridge. It doesn't help much on such violin to change to another middle mounted one. The only option is to change to a side mounted, to get the violin to live up

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When referring to "middle mounted", are we talking specifically about ones that the cup of.the chinrest is directly over the tailpiece, or just that the rest is seated and clamped on either side of the tailpiece on the sides of the end block, regardless of whether the cup is above or off to the bass side? Or center as opposed to one that is totally mounted to the left.of the tailpice?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And then there's the option of using no chinrest at all! Worked for Paganini...

Don, the Sonowood Walnut products are quite dark, but certainly not ebony black. Yes, it's expensive. Comparable to the corene boards - also Swiss. Makes you wonder what's in the water there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Yes, it's expensive. Comparable to the corene boards - also Swiss. Makes you wonder what's in the water there.

The motors on the first 3 Mars rovers were also from Switzerland.  I visited the factory a couple of times... gorgeous place at the side of a lake, surrounded by open fields with grazing cows.  And they were building an expensive multi-story parking structure on a small patch of land, as there were barriers to just purchasing and paving over a pasture.  A different set of priorities for sure, but I can't argue against the result.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd imagine that when someone talks about a center mount chinrest, mostly they are talking about the kind that clamps on both sides of the tailpiece. I'd imagine that tends to be a problem because you're restricting the flexibility of the plates much more than if just 1 spot is clamped down. Not that I know anything, but that's got to be why side mounted is better. You're not restricting the movement of the plates quite as much, and you're clamping on the side of the bassbar, which tends to not move as much anyways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

Centre mounted chinrest is clamped directly over the endblock

I think this is the main reason for the success of this type of chinrest, a solid point where clamp pressure does not involve too many risks, even if inadequately strong.  Too many violins has wavy or cracked ribs due to the pressure of the side mount chinrest, especially if inappropriately tight clamped for long time. I think that a reinforcement inside the rib would be essential to avoid as much as possible the problem from inappropriate clamping force from these kind of chinrest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

I think that a reinforcement inside the rib would be essential to avoid as much as possible the problem from inappropriate clamping force from these kind of chinrest (sidemount) .

My thought too, which is why I reinforce the rib on the bass side of the lower block.717957015_sidemountreinforcement.jpg.6a886fb79805140db618d6b70fc4164a.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

11 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

My thought too, which is why I reinforce the rib on the bass side of the lower block.717957015_sidemountreinforcement.jpg.6a886fb79805140db618d6b70fc4164a.jpg

B) Out of curiosity, do you round off the linings and then adapt the reinforcements or are the reinforcements continuous and in contact with the rib along the entire height and the linings interrupted?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Don Noon said:

My thought too, which is why I reinforce the rib on the bass side of the lower block.717957015_sidemountreinforcement.jpg.6a886fb79805140db618d6b70fc4164a.jpg

I'm beginning to believe the entire rib perimeter should have many of your reinforcements to stiffen the rib assembly.  This will create more of a "clamped" edge effect rather than a "hinged"  edge for the plates which will raise the B1- and B1+ mode frequencies.  These frequencies can be lowered back towards their original frequencies by thinning the top and back plates.  The plates' lowered mass and stiffness should increase the violin's sound output.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what about the people who use no chinrest? I have been doing that lately, and I can put my chin on the body, and take it off and hear no discernible difference, and a better violin may make a difference, but I do see some good players not use one. 

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...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.