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HoGo

My "Kreisler Project"

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I decided to build a violin in foreseeable future and before I start I want to create set of drawings to follow (and I can share them with you here) and perhaps even some 3D arch models later if time permits. I prefer look of del Gesu, the middle bout is much more sexy than Strads and I happen to have the Kreisler poster so I decided to give it a go. This may take months or even years depending on detail to be included but I will post as will progress.

My sources so far are:

- Kreisler poster (scanned into computer)

- Excellent hi-res pics from LOC (with some measurements included -f holes, stop, scroll, edge thickness)

- Pics and measurements in description from Tarisio

- Addie's drawings here from Maestronet that feature mould outline, f-holes and scroll template

I gave them a brief look and found some notable differences between numbers in the poster and LOC files. I guess it is hard to measure worn scroll so tiny differences can be expected but some are more than 0.5mm off. Most concerning are the back dimensions : Tarisio says  - 355-168-112-205 but the poster (said to be accurate) is 353-167-107-203. (Perhaps the Tarisio numbers are over-the-arch?)

I'm not completely sure now if I want to make drawings with all the asymmetries of original or adjust them for a "generic" "modelled after Kreisler" model but sure enough I would like to know what is the true size of that thing so start with...

Anyone with hands on experience here to provide some reliable insight?

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This is the decision between making a bench copy (exact copy) and a cleaned up version of the original. Two different things. For mine I am doing the cleaned up version. At least that is how I am starting! No doubt asymmetry will creep in.

One thing to note about this particular guarneri. It is pretty thin in the center of the belly. Having played the instrument a few times, I can definitely state that this is no shortcoming. It is a wonderful players instrument.

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5 hours ago, scordatura said:

This is the decision between making a bench copy (exact copy) and a cleaned up version of the original. Two different things. For mine I am doing the cleaned up version. At least that is how I am starting! No doubt asymmetry will creep in.

One thing to note about this particular guarneri. It is pretty thin in the center of the belly. Having played the instrument a few times, I can definitely state that this is no shortcoming. It is a wonderful players instrument.

In addition to the options of 1) bench copy and 2) cleaned up original, may I propose 3) make a your own violin using his rules instead of trying to clone or "improve" upon  someone else's work.

 

I'd like to point out that all of these approaches are equally valid. 

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I made a replica of the Kreisler some years ago. I was working mostly from the Biddulph book because the measurements are all taken with a caliper. (If you are interested I can take a pic with my I phone and PM it to you) For surface appearance I looked at the ROC pictures. 

I wouldn't be concerned to match everything to 1mm precise (I found out that my replica was 2mm too long) . Whether you make a replica or not, it is IMO essential to get the proportions and the flow of lines right and this compromises for me slight assymmetry as well. 

You can view my interpretation of the Kreisler DG  here 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/131534770@N07/albums/72157678252504421

 

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27 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I made a replica of the Kreisler some years ago. I was working mostly from the Biddulph book because the measurements are all taken with a caliper. (If you are interested I can take a pic with my I phone and PM it to you) For surface appearance I looked at the ROC pictures. 

I wouldn't be concerned to match everything to 1mm precise (I found out that my replica was 2mm too long) . Whether you make a replica or not, it is IMO essential to get the proportions and the flow of lines right and this compromises for me slight assymmetry as well. 

You can view my interpretation of the Kreisler DG  here 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/131534770@N07/albums/72157678252504421

 

Nice work Andreas. You even got the circle on the back! Lots of textural detail in your instrument"s varnish. 

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27 minutes ago, scordatura said:

Nice work Andreas. You even got the circle on the back! Lots of textural detail in your instrument"s varnish. 

Thanks!

A replica is a replica is a replica. 

(Forgot who said it:D)

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There aren't very many clients/players who would really care about these details of how accurately the Kreisler is copied, at least in the folks I've dealt with.  The only ones who really care are the maker, and perhaps a judge at a competition.  And how the instrument ends up performance-wise is also not going to depend on these exacting details of dimension and appearance, but the skills of the maker.

I don't have anything to add about what the REAL dimensions of the original Kreisler are, but I did one time make a form off of the Kreisler poster, and I think I tried to come close to the F-hole shape.  I made no real attempt to duplicate the arching and graduations, but the result was quite good... it ended up tied for the top tone award at VMAAI 2013, but ended up second after a playoff to Alex Reza.  I might have won if I didn't have Helicore steel strings on mine.

131027.thumb.JPG.cd592f39fed4781909e17ad618642623.JPG

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5 hours ago, Don Noon said:

 

131027.thumb.JPG.cd592f39fed4781909e17ad618642623.JPG

Hmmm, at s quick glance I wouldn't recognize the Kreisler model from the f holes, rather from the shape of the upper corners. -_- 

My copy landed in the hands of a prominent Japsnese musician. (Besides I didn't replicate the arching and thicknesses either)

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2 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Hmmm, at s quick glance I wouldn't recognize the Kreisler model from the f holes, rather from the shape of the upper corners.

I may have taken some liberties in "copying" them.   Oh... and I used a different Guarneri's F-holes that I liked better. :)  That's about as close as I get to copying anything.

In any case, you are the first person who noticed.

 

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Thanks folks for the input. I think I will start with all basic outlines of original as close as possible (with given inputs, good for printing out and making templates for anyone) and then create cleaned up version so I can add my own mistakes and imprecision during making :-).

Andreas I would be interested in the measurements if you can PM me, thanks!

I'm currently working on merging the scanned files back together (I only have B/W A3 size scanner) and then resize up to correct size in Photoshop (some 700MB file to start with...)

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Just now, carl1961 said:

And further, I would think anyone that's serious about making anything remotely connected to del Gesu would want to read Hargrave's chapters on the working methods of GdG. 

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I think "inspired by" always works. I do think there is a small market for exact copies,such as top player who may have a top tier instrument and would like a visual replica, but I think Don summed it up pretty well.

And for what it's worth he probably would have got away with it if it weren't for those damn Helicore kids! :D

nice violin btw

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1 hour ago, HoGo said:

I have read those, and most of RH website years ago, will read once again to refresh memory.

yes, his measurements or following the arch so it will be larger measurements , so may not be the ones to use except to check with after your carved the plates.

 

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On 11/18/2019 at 9:38 AM, Don Noon said:

There aren't very many clients/players who would really care about these details of how accurately the Kreisler is copied, at least in the folks I've dealt with.  The only ones who really care are the maker, and perhaps a judge at a competition.  And how the instrument ends up performance-wise is also not going to depend on these exacting details of dimension and appearance, but the skills of the maker.

I don't have anything to add about what the REAL dimensions of the original Kreisler are, but I did one time make a form off of the Kreisler poster, and I think I tried to come close to the F-hole shape.  I made no real attempt to duplicate the arching and graduations, but the result was quite good... it ended up tied for the top tone award at VMAAI 2013, but ended up second after a playoff to Alex Reza.  I might have won if I didn't have Helicore steel strings on mine.

131027.thumb.JPG.cd592f39fed4781909e17ad618642623.JPG

Awesome Violin, in 289 years it will most certainly be worth Lot

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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I managed to resize all the source images to full size in Photoshop for thorough comparison a nd found following:

1. The Tarisio numbers are definitely far off (tape over arch)

2. The Strad poster appears to be a tiny bit smaller than the Biddulphand after comparisons to basic four dimensions of the CT scans of back and ribs I think the Biddulph is closest but with some rounding up or down to nearest half millimeter. After repeated measuring of all dimensions and calculating their ratios I decided upon final resize of the pictures (averaged the most reliable set of ratios) and got pretty good match. The back picture from LOC matches the resized CT of back almost perfectly (even the grain lines align- see the pic below) and the poster lines up good (but generally few 10ths of mm smaller) except for the upper left (treble) corner where there is almost 0.5mm off. The rib CT mathes well though the overhangs don't appear to be as large as Biddulph writes (3.0mm) in the middle bouts (could be there was some restoration between the CT scan and Biddulphs nmeasurements?).

I will follow with top, scrolls and f holes and then start tracing the outlines for work on drawings.

 

 

CTvsPIC.jpg

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18 minutes ago, HoGo said:

I managed to resize all the source images to full size in Photoshop for thorough comparison a nd found following:

1. The Tarisio numbers are definitely far off (tape over arch)

2. The Strad poster appears to be a tiny bit smaller than the Biddulphand after comparisons to basic four dimensions of the CT scans of back and ribs I think the Biddulph is closest but with some rounding up or down to nearest half millimeter. After repeated measuring of all dimensions and calculating their ratios I decided upon final resize of the pictures (averaged the most reliable set of ratios) and got pretty good match. The back picture from LOC matches the resized CT of back almost perfectly (even the grain lines align- see the pic below) and the poster lines up good (but generally few 10ths of mm smaller) except for the upper left (treble) corner where there is almost 0.5mm off. The rib CT mathes well though the overhangs don't appear to be as large as Biddulph writes (3.0mm) in the middle bouts (could be there was some restoration between the CT scan and Biddulphs nmeasurements?).

I will follow with top, scrolls and f holes and then start tracing the outlines for work on drawings.

 

 

CTvsPIC.jpg

After having done all this work, what is the LOB that would be your best guess for the original, if you have, both caliper and over the arch values?

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I would think that unless you are making a bench copy/exact replica a slightly longer body length might not be a bad thing as many of the middle period dg violins tend to have a shorter long arch/body length. This is a matter of opinion though. Having played it, it does not suffer at all.

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Biddulph was closest of all measurements I got. The resized pictures of back measure 353.7-353.8mm depending where exactly you measure. Widths are 166.9-107.8-204.2 which round exactly to Biddulph numbers. You can see that the distortion of photograph can be minimal or not significant at all if care is taken (which I guess was in this case). I'm working on top right now and it seems to fit the Biddulph numbers best.

 

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5 hours ago, scordatura said:

I would think that unless you are making a bench copy/exact replica a slightly longer body length might not be a bad thing as many of the middle period dg violins tend to have a shorter long arch/body length. This is a matter of opinion though. Having played it, it does not suffer at all.

2 hours ago, HoGo said:

The resized pictures of back measure 353.7-353.8mm 

There is a tendency to think that bigger is better, and I admit gravitating to the 355+ sizes for most of my work.  However, I have recently had a couple of requests for smaller instruments (353 and 352 mm length), and both of them have been much better than I would have thought in the power and low-end department.  I'll have to build more of all sizes to get a better understanding of how size influences the performance.  Smaller is for sure lighter, though, all else being equal.

 

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13 hours ago, scordatura said:

For your LOC scan images are you working with this? I would like some higher res images. 

kreisler ribs and cross section.jpeg (723×854) 89.74 kB · 6 downloads

Yes, that's one of the CT pics. I manged to find also top and back CT. They are small res but the modern resize algoritms are quite good (both the one used to downsize the original and the one Photoshop is using to resize) and the resulting pic is surprisingly accurate although somewhat blurred. You can clearly see the locating pins and other fine details can be recognized - the CT pics contain both x and y axis 10cm scale that has proven great way to check the accuracy (kinda like dendrochronology - best fit of all the 11  one cm marks).

The top CT doesn't fit the picture as nicely as the back - I noticed that the top pic is likely not cut out as precisely as back and some back overhangs visible were left as they were hardly disguishable from top edges with too much light reflection.

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