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Why some violins "carry" better than others

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5 hours ago, notsodeepblue said:

Reading this, it seems as if 2.5dB wouldn't be considered a big difference between two instruments - just curious, but what would be?

Loudness, which is highly subjective and is affected by other factors other than pure air pressure, roughly doubles ever 10db.

Air pressure, which is an objective measurement, doubles every 6db.

Intensity (sometimes called power), also an objective measurement, doubles every 3db.

So if Curtin was talking about actual sound power, then a difference of 2.5db is significant.

If by power he meant perceived loudness, then it is not so much a difference.

A similar problem is encountered when considering the Fritz test. Was she measuring loudness, air pressure or sound intensity? If sound intensity, then that is a useful distinction.

From Martin's excellent story about the violin test, it is not clear the difference in projection is purely a difference in loudness. There seems to be something more to it.

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44 minutes ago, ctanzio said:

Loudness, which is highly subjective and is affected by other factors other than pure air pressure, roughly doubles ever 10db.

Air pressure, which is an objective measurement, doubles every 6db.

Intensity (sometimes called power), also an objective measurement, doubles every 3db.

So if Curtin was talking about actual sound power, then a difference of 2.5db is significant.

If by power he meant perceived loudness, then it is not so much a difference.

A similar problem is encountered when considering the Fritz test. Was she measuring loudness, air pressure or sound intensity? If sound intensity, then that is a useful distinction.

From Martin's excellent story about the violin test, it is not clear the difference in projection is purely a difference in loudness. There seems to be something more to it.

These are great questions.  I'm only reiterating what Joseph Curtin has said. I'm assuming he's using some sort of microphone pickup, and software what ever. I think he was referring to the entire wide FFT spectrum.

Fan Tao who was also involved in these projection tests has said :  "if you are measuring over a wide band width, only a fraction of a dB is noticeable. If you are measuring over a narrow band a large difference in dB is necessary to be noticeable.

Joseph measures the output in several ranges:190-650, 650-1200, 1200-4200, 4200 and up.  He stresses that  good violins have fairly even levels in all these ranges and he cited the Stradivari "Titian" as an example.

He has also made the comment: "Loudness is better everywhere."

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, ctanzio said:

Loudness, which is highly subjective and is affected by other factors other than pure air pressure, roughly doubles ever 10db.

Air pressure, which is an objective measurement, doubles every 6db.

Intensity (sometimes called power), also an objective measurement, doubles every 3db.

So if Curtin was talking about actual sound power, then a difference of 2.5db is significant.

If by power he meant perceived loudness, then it is not so much a difference.

A similar problem is encountered when considering the Fritz test. Was she measuring loudness, air pressure or sound intensity? If sound intensity, then that is a useful distinction.

From Martin's excellent story about the violin test, it is not clear the difference in projection is purely a difference in loudness. There seems to be something more to it.

IMHO, given that the amount of energy transferred to the strings of any violin during bowing should be similar, comparative intensity would be a measure of the efficiency of the impedance transformation effected between the strings and the air by an individual violin.  Comparative loudness should be related.  :)

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13 hours ago, martin swan said:

Perhaps I could share a recent experience and that might help to clarify the issue and eliminate some red herrings.

I recently met with a very good soloist at the Philharmonie in Berlin, the home of the Berlin Philharmonic and probably one of the best concert halls in the world. The task at hand was to choose between two violins, both made by the same maker and both from this maker's best period, made within 2 years of each other.

Aside from the player and myself, there were two other people present, one a trusted friend and the other an excellent violinist who had the trust of the player. They were both sitting in the body of the hall, one in the middle and the other in the back row.

I brought one of these violins with me, the other had been on loan to the player for a few months, and it was throughly familiar to them. This violin had had a lot of "playing in" whereas the instrument I brought has been out of action for a long time. In fact it had been played for about 2 minutes in the last couple of years.

The player was centre stage, and at first I was sitting on the side of the stage. I had previously sold a bow to this player, and I knew them to be rigorous and methodical - we had gone through a similar process, though with the bows the whole thing was done blind.

From the side of the stage, the difference between violin A and violin B was very striking . Violin A was lovely, absolutely nothing wrong with it, but violin B had significantly better articulacy, audibility, what I would call "presence". Having some skin in the game, and doubting my ears and my objectivity, I thought I should go and sit in the middle of the hall. The player worked methodically between the two instruments, playing the same excerpts in the same way with the same bow, saying nothing, just taking it in. 

From the middle of the hall the effect was even more striking. The violins sounded remarkably similar, but with violin B I felt the sound was between my eyes, pin-sharp and with every nuance audible. 

At some point the other violinist came and played, and the player went and sat at the back of the hall.

We did this for about an hour and a half without any discussion, and then everyone got together to discuss.

The verdict was unanimous - violin B had "more",  and for all of us the feeling was the same. From any seat in the hall it felt like we were close to it whereas violin A was out of focus. Our relationship with the music was completely different, and as soon as violin B was played, we were involved in all the nuances - the playing just felt more involving, more dynamic, more expressive.

So from this little anecdote we can eliminate the effects of the hall, the player, and the bow. It was undeniable that even amongst the greatest and most revered violins in the world, some project better than others, even dramatically so.

We could also discount the notion of great violins necessarily needing years of habituation or playing in. The violin that had been in cold storage was immediately more responsive and awake than the violin that the player had been using regularly on a concert stage.

If you ask me what the elements of great projection are, I believe that you need 3 things. The first is volume, just good old dBs. The second is some ability to radiate that volume in all directions - not sure how that works, but the second player noted that this violin didn't resonate much under the chin. Very little energy seemed to go into making one's chin vibrate! The third element is high frequency content - not the bridge hill stuff around 3kHz which makes violins sound nasty, but the frequencies we tweak to make instruments poke out of a stereo image - probably 7-9kHz. 

I was in the very back of Wells Cathedral for the Messiah last weekend - the sound was abysmal, a distant mush. But one thing arrived instantly and with great clarity - sibilance. Every "s" was in my face, everything else was mud.

I think it's a mistake to think of projection as one thing - obviously players can project to varying degrees, but there are also several components in the instrument.

FInal point, for a soloist, this is pretty much the only thing that matters, the confidence that someone far away from you in a concert hall has the greatest possible chance of becoming emotionally involved in the performance which you have put so much effort and study into delivering ...

I agreed with what you've said so far, and I know my post gonna get some eyes rolled as well just because the example I gave happened to be Strad versus the rest. A good violin is a good violin is a good violin. 

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I too believe that the resulting sound is a mix of violin, bow, and player, but we are neglecting the degree to which the equipment actually influences the player. Some players are fundamentally a better match for some equipment. Different players will respond differently to the feedback coming out of the instrument, as  well.

Equipment that offers more expressive possibilities will draw more expressive playing out of the player. Plus we all react to the sound we hear under our ears with unconscious adjustments. I recently tried a lovely D. Peccatte bow and found that I had automatically, instinctively changed my sounding point to be much closer to the bridge (with resulting change in projection) because the bow drew a beautiful and clean sound there (without any of the close-to-the-bridge harshness that can sometimes occur). The violinist who was showing off the bow had to draw my attention to what I was doing before I realized it.

Having  used different (well-made, contemporary as well as antique) violins in concertos with orchestra, I am absolutely a believer that there are meaningful differences in how well they project.

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18 hours ago, Carl Stross said:

1. No, he did not. Are you confusing me with Danube Fidler ??? ( Or something like that...) . And some categories of violins are priced according to their tone. 

2. I believe you. I don't understand what is the exact point we are all missing. You'll remember you promised me a recording of one of your  linseed oil treated violins. Still waiting and I am pretty sure you got that microphone by now.

3. You need to change fantastic into good. Lots and lots of luthiers make perfectly usable, good instruments. Some make excellent instruments. I haven't heard a fantastic one yet.

4. Comrade Stross does not deny it. But you should drop the "wonderfully made". They're good, some might be even excellent. That's about it. I've seen some superb Chinese instruments which were made in the 50s though. 

1. You are the MN King of violin sound judgementalism. I just enjoy different sounding violins and the player's technique without such prejudice.

2. Point being: we don't know how violin is going to sound based on the price and the reputation of the maker or workshop.

3. if you say so

4. So, can I substitute superb for fantastic?

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19 hours ago, martin swan said:

That was me being less reductive in my arguments. But I'm not surprised to find you sneering ... it seems you don't have much tolerance for the world in which these things matter.

I find the endless comparisons tedious and rather pointless. And this hyperbole about 'Superior Violins'.....please, they are all different.

I have a nasty looking BOB that I love the sound of. It seems loud, bright and dark and I have no idea why it is all three? Lucky wood? Perfect thicknesses in the belly, back and ribs? I am not going to do invasive surgery in an attempt to locate the mystery. It cost me £150 and I thought I paid too much based on looks. I only bought it because the label said Made in Austria. An Austrian BOB??? Maybe I was bored?

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3 hours ago, sospiri said:

I find the endless comparisons tedious and rather pointless. And this hyperbole about 'Superior Violins'.....please, they are all different.

Once you have done enough endless and tedious comparisons, you may find that some patterns begin to emerge. ;)

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22 hours ago, Carl Stross said:

I see you miss me.

1. My posts must be approved by the moderator - that means it can take up to two days to show and then they're buried somewhere on the previous pages. Makes posting a waste of time. I chat by email with people I am interested in discussing things with, anyway.

2. The Pegbox seems to be mostly about what sort of violin is this instead of how violins work. I have no interest in the first one.

3. Martin Swan complained my posts are too long. I was explaining why violin necks break off at the block - a very non-trivial thing and my long post irritated some. I apologized and deleted it.

FREE CARL STROSS !!!

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3 hours ago, sospiri said:

And this hyperbole about 'Superior Violins'.....please, they are all different.

39 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Once you have done enough endless and tedious comparisons, you may find that some patterns begin to emerge. ;)

Yes, they are all different.  Some have more power and projection than others.  For those players who desire power and projection, then those instruments would be "superior" for them.  For other players, those instruments would just be "different".   A lot of players like power and projection, though...

 

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4 hours ago, sospiri said:

I find the endless comparisons tedious and rather pointless. And this hyperbole about 'Superior Violins'.....please, they are all different.

I have a nasty looking BOB that I love the sound of. It seems loud, bright and dark and I have no idea why it is all three? Lucky wood? Perfect thicknesses in the belly, back and ribs? I am not going to do invasive surgery in an attempt to locate the mystery. It cost me £150 and I thought I paid too much based on looks. I only bought it because the label said Made in Austria. An Austrian BOB??? Maybe I was bored?

"I find the endless comparisons tedious and rather pointless. "

I think that is probably based on the fact that you do not make your living selling violins in the 5 to 7 figure price range.

It seems you are uncomfortable with the price differences in violins or not liking the fact that "this" violin cost "that" much and that "that" violin cost "that" much and based on what I have read I'm not sure there is much of anything one could say to change this level of discomfort, other than to say at a certain point "violin" becomes more than how it plays and sounds and much more about financials and investment.

Just like a Rolex and a Timex both tell time,but only one of them can you sell for 3k over the retail price where as the other you probably can't even sell, no one wants to buy a used 20 dollar watch.

We don't have to like it, but we do have to accept the fact that the people with the money are the ones who dictate these realities, drive market forces and create demand, regardless of whether or not "we" agree with it.

Hell you just had some idiot pay 120k for a banana duct taped to a wall.  At least with our art, you get something out of it and you can compare apples to apples, and some apples are way better than others.

I duct taped a banana to a cheap violin and tried to get 500k, no one bought it, I wonder why? 

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In point of fact good soloists don't have to go out and buy a violin with their own money.

In my little (or overlong) anecdote, both violins were potentially available on loan from foundations. The player in question has the pick of pretty much any violin in the world, and is also pragmatic enough to want to play something which really works in a large concert hall, irrespective of value. 

For someone like that the process of comparison is very matter of fact and not ultimately to do with price range - good tone is of course essential, but most important is the ability to reach the listener in every seat in the house. Some classical Cremonese instruments seem to be particularly good at this, though not all by any means. Guadagninis also tend to do very well in this sort of critical application.

The prices of course are absurd, but the order of "valuableness" is pretty much in line with the playing quality of the best examples. Del Gesu & Strad, Carlo Bergonzi, GB Guadagnini and down.

In many thousands and thousands of A/B comparisons they have risen to the top.

Of course it would be interesting to throw a few Chinese VSOs  into the mix, or even the odd really good EH Roth, but that just doesn't happen, not even in Fritz/Curtin tests, and this is a reasonable thing to complain about - that there are some truly great violins in lower price brackets that never get entered in the race because of this or that reason.

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31 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Of course it would be interesting to throw a few Chinese VSOs  into the mix, or even the odd really good EH Roth, but that just doesn't happen, not even in Fritz/Curtin tests, and this is a reasonable thing to complain about - that there are some truly great violins in lower price brackets that never get entered in the race because of this or that reason.

Yup.  Anecdotally, I see indications that, given the use of traditional measurements as a target by manufacturers, every few thousand hand finished fiddles you grind out, one as good as Old Cremonese pops up.  Then there's the various makers alleged to have purposely produced violins equivalent to Cremonese. Until somebody goes through the different species of less pretentious fiddles thoroughly in published comparisons, it'll remain an open question.   :)

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33 minutes ago, martin swan said:

...

In many thousands and thousands of A/B comparisons they have risen to the top.

Of course it would be interesting to throw a few Chinese VSOs  into the mix, or even the odd really good EH Roth, but that just doesn't happen, not even in Fritz/Curtin tests, and this is a reasonable thing to complain about - that there are some truly great violins in lower price brackets that never get entered in the race because of this or that reason.

I'd also like to see that.

I have no issue with comparing the Big Names to each other...but that's all we seem to do.

Let's throw some 'mid-priced' and 'low-priced' instruments into the mix.  Doesn't have to be VSOs...but of comparable quality (ie. good workmanship, good tone wood, etc.).

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45 minutes ago, martin swan said:

In point of fact good soloists don't have to go out and buy a violin with their own money.

In my little (or overlong) anecdote, both violins were potentially available on loan from foundations. The player in question has the pick of pretty much any violin in the world, and is also pragmatic enough to want to play something which really works in a large concert hall, irrespective of value. 

For someone like that the process of comparison is very matter of fact and not ultimately to do with price range - good tone is of course essential, but most important is the ability to reach the listener in every seat in the house. Some classical Cremonese instruments seem to be particularly good at this, though not all by any means. Guadagninis also tend to do very well in this sort of critical application.

The prices of course are absurd, but the order of "valuableness" is pretty much in line with the playing quality of the best examples. Del Gesu & Strad, Carlo Bergonzi, GB Guadagnini and down.

In many thousands and thousands of A/B comparisons they have risen to the top.

Of course it would be interesting to throw a few Chinese VSOs  into the mix, or even the odd really good EH Roth, but that just doesn't happen, not even in Fritz/Curtin tests, and this is a reasonable thing to complain about - that there are some truly great violins in lower price brackets that never get entered in the race because of this or that reason.

"this or that reason" ie. negativity effect the prices of expensive instruments if they were to somehow consistently "prove themselves" against way more expensive instruments., of course this based on the fact that the entirety of the expensive or un-obtainable  priced instruments are based on scarcity of both the providence as well as the "tone" .

So a modern or inexpensive violin will not have the ability to be scarce like a Strad {in this age}, but it could sound good, I feel it is very important to violinworld to conflate providence scarcity with tone scarcity 

And so I feel the simple fact that if less expensive violins were allowed to be compared on blind tests regularly and with great numbers of representation, not just one or two, that the mere thought that they, or some, could be picked over way more expensive violins is just not something violinworld is ready to do to itself and or certainly those that own violins from 10,000 to 10,000,000 are not really into proving that a 125.00 Dorelli sounds the best in the group, particularly of for some reason it happened regularly, not that I think it would.

Fwiw somehow I think that violins that are known for projection also are worth a lot of money, I suppose the question is; are they worth more because they project better, or do they project better because they are worth more?

 

 

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19 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

 

Fwiw somehow I think that violins that are known for projection also are worth a lot of money, I suppose the question is; are they worth more because they project better, or do they project better because they are worth more?

 

 

I don't know.

My recent experience was with 2 violins both made within 2 years of each other by the same maker. One projected more but it was worth the same ....

;)

But I really don't think anyone who has invested in Strads or del Gesus is worried about the price falling because a modern maker or a Paul Kaul performs better in objective testing scenarios. The value is to do with their history, not just their age but also the chain of ownership, generally including some legendary players. 

Similarly modern makers should not be in the least concerned about the price differential because it doesn't necessarily reflect any more than that fact.

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3 minutes ago, martin swan said:

I don't know.

My recent experience was with 2 violins both made within 2 years of each other by the same maker. One projected more but it was worth the same ....

;)

But I really don't think anyone who has invested in Strads or del Gesus is worried about the price falling because a modern maker or a Paul Kaul performs better in objective testing scenarios. The value is to do with their history, not just their age but also the chain of ownership, generally including some legendary players. 

Similarly modern makers should not be in the least concerned about the price differential because it doesn't necessarily reflect any more than that fact.

Clearly they need to adjust the price :lol:,... I suppose the people such a test would negatively effect the most would be modern makers vs modern factory violins, but I'm pretty sure in that case there's still not much to worry about.

believe me, at this point, I'm the last guy in the world to expect anything to change in violinlandia or really think that it needs to

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3 hours ago, jezzupe said:

Hell you just had some idiot pay 120k for a banana duct taped to a wall.  At least with our art, you get something out of it and you can compare apples to apples, and some apples are way better than others.

I duct taped a banana to a cheap violin and tried to get 500k, no one bought it, I wonder why? 

https://www.boredpanda.com/brands-art-basel-banana-taped-to-wall/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic    :lol:

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On 12/12/2019 at 8:44 AM, martin swan said:

 ( ... )

I brought one of these violins with me, the other had been on loan to the player for a few months, and it was throughly familiar to them. This violin had had a lot of "playing in" whereas the instrument I brought has been out of action for a long time. In fact it had been played for about 2 minutes in the last couple of years.

 ( ... )

So from this little anecdote we can eliminate the effects of the hall, the player, and the bow. It was undeniable that even amongst the greatest and most revered violins in the world, some project better than others, even dramatically so.

We could also discount the notion of great violins necessarily needing years of habituation or playing in. The violin that had been in cold storage was immediately more responsive and awake than the violin that the player had been using regularly on a concert stage.

If you ask me what the elements of great projection are, I believe that you need 3 things. The first is volume, just good old dBs. The second is some ability to radiate that volume in all directions - not sure how that works, but the second player noted that this violin didn't resonate much under the chin. Very little energy seemed to go into making one's chin vibrate! The third element is high frequency content - not the bridge hill stuff around 3kHz which makes violins sound nasty, but the frequencies we tweak to make instruments poke out of a stereo image - probably 7-9kHz. 

 ( ... )

Thank you Mr Swan. This write up was great. I wanted to reply on this thread earlier but trying to catch up on sleep - not thinking very well...

I have a few questions with no answers one way or another. Violin B, which had not been played for 2 years, was kept at pitch during storage?

These, and you, are seasoned players. And good listeners. These impressions and observations are valuable.

 

To breakaway a bit and to return to your post...

I have this hypothesis/ thesis that instruments that are close to "equilibrium," and this is my choice of words, work pretty well as performance instruments. The thickness of the instrument does not matter so much as it can be overcome with extra energy. Added weight is impedence as VDV had alluded to in another form of the box's function. Input more closely equals output. This takes care of the sound pressure levels. And though we describe sound in frequency of cycles and hertz, these instruments do throw about less directional sound, of compressions of air molecules. say compared to a trumpet or an oboe... so the less directional aspect of the instrument is both inefficient but capable of using hard limits like walls and floors, somewhat taking on the character of the space if enough energy is introduced it.

Then there are timbres of the instruments where certain frequencies do perk up the ears and brain. My students hate my food and cuisine comparisons but certainly it opens up the discussion if not mudding it up. Food should be respected and enjoyed, i am told. So, certain sound characteristics are like sauces. They "enhance" the main materials that are being described and served. Teriyaki sauce is an example of how different materials of sweet, salty and the now popular term "savory," blend and create something that many ( not all ) enjoy. Ketchup, is sweet, salty and acidic. Mustards can be salty, complex, bitter and spicy. Tabasco is Spicy, Salty Vinegary with a pinch of sweet. When properly blended, a little sweet and a little salt go a long way to improve taste. 

Halls are strange. Certainly empty halls are different, compared to ones filled with living, sweaty, breathing people and before the air circulating system comes on. Halls do have an "A0" but in the form of a composite resonances of the vents, portals and their locations. Audiences behave differently in different countries. I would argue the Europeans are quieter than American audiences. Also the purposes of the spaces vary. The Helsinki Music Center is great for the size. BostonSH is great for it's shape. Chartes is great for its history, ChicagoSH is great for its Brass players  and Colburn is great for the use of the floor as it's boundry. 

Back to Mr Swan's observations. Fresh Dominant Strings tend to have peaks in the kHz range depending on how the instruments reinforce those frequencies stated. Nearby, they can sound harsh-ish, some describes as metallic... i work with various raw metal but do not necessarily hear a specific quality that can be described as "metallic" but would love if anyone could describe it as? Aluminum is dull, Titanium kind-of-dull and Bell Brass and Sterling Silver being the more chimy-est. For that matter, Composites can be tuned... I hate to isolate Dominants but they have been around the longest, i believe. Tonicas ( Pirastro ) have a similar timbre but without the ( necessary ) edge. Recently, the Pirazzi ( also Pirastro ) quality have been inconsistent. Is it possible there was a bad production run? Savarez Alliance series is not as prominent in the kHz range, but maintains those frequencies that exist for a longer period of time. I have not taken the necessary time to study the Peter Infeld sets ( though so many youngsters play them, ) but others have posted about the Vision ( Thomastik ) elsewhere on MN.

Maestro Conover had replied about the impact of modern strings to our current bowed instrument sound. I am still trying to compose a reply worthy of a discussion of Tertis-styled instruments and borrowed a Richardson model but have not come up with the words. Anyway, modern strings do change the way we play and without discussing how it might have an effect on phrasing and chord voicings, they exist. Certainly, the soloist sound and orchestral sound is changing. My love is for the independence and the artistic freedom of chamber music so projection is not as much an issue, but better ( sonic stability ) behaviour at louder volumes and physical abuse are necessary.  

Also, is VSO becoming a pejorative description?

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23 minutes ago, GoPractice said:

Also, is VSO becoming a pejorative description?

Nope.  It's always been pejorative.  :)

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1 hour ago, jezzupe said:

 ( ... )

believe me, at this point, I'm the last guy in the world to expect anything to change in violinlandia or really think that it needs to

Pricing is one thing, but from my view the number of players is declining.

It is regarded that Japan and Italy have a declining population. Apart from the Geo-phyical a la volcanic difficulties that these two countries encounter, i would certainly be happy to live in either. The food is amazing. Kidding aside, i see that there are certain arts that will be in decline, either in quantity or quality.

Ballet has always been a noble and elite discipline, but ballet specific orchestras, solo ballet violin and solo ballet cello must be in decline. Rehearsals often use recordings or metronomic devices, not live pianists, so the elasticity or dynamics of the composers works are not as expressed. Certainly there are plenty of children's performances of the Nutcracker this time of year, but large cities are choosing to not support a Ballet school and its company. I hope Ballet will not have to resort to touring like a production of Cats or Sound of Music but it is a pragmatic way to deliver the arts to more remote areas. But once a community loses it ties to a particular art or cultural phenomenon, it tends towards losing interest. Here in the US, origin country dances and activities are celebrated once a year in an ethnic or a sect - based church or temple within metro areas, but those identities are often reduced to foods. I do not celebrate my birthday but to lose out on a culture even if it was falling apart when you left it?

There are more performances of classical music now. Utube and the internet is an equalizer for kids but more parents are performing now. And the quality is different. In some instances, academic orchestras can sound better than a local professional orchestra, so it is not necessarily about good or bad. Kids sounding better than the parents is expected if the resources are flowing towards the kids. Parents are more likely to make an expensive purchase based on a recommendation from a famous teacher than they would for themselves.... until this generation, now. We will see. 

           

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7 hours ago, GoPractice said:

Pricing is one thing, but from my view the number of players is declining.

It is regarded that Japan and Italy have a declining population. Apart from the Geo-phyical a la volcanic difficulties that these two countries encounter, i would certainly be happy to live in either. The food is amazing. Kidding aside, i see that there are certain arts that will be in decline, either in quantity or quality.

Ballet has always been a noble and elite discipline, but ballet specific orchestras, solo ballet violin and solo ballet cello must be in decline. Rehearsals often use recordings or metronomic devices, not live pianists, so the elasticity or dynamics of the composers works are not as expressed. Certainly there are plenty of children's performances of the Nutcracker this time of year, but large cities are choosing to not support a Ballet school and its company. I hope Ballet will not have to resort to touring like a production of Cats or Sound of Music but it is a pragmatic way to deliver the arts to more remote areas. But once a community loses it ties to a particular art or cultural phenomenon, it tends towards losing interest. Here in the US, origin country dances and activities are celebrated once a year in an ethnic or a sect - based church or temple within metro areas, but those identities are often reduced to foods. I do not celebrate my birthday but to lose out on a culture even if it was falling apart when you left it?

There are more performances of classical music now. Utube and the internet is an equalizer for kids but more parents are performing now. And the quality is different. In some instances, academic orchestras can sound better than a local professional orchestra, so it is not necessarily about good or bad. Kids sounding better than the parents is expected if the resources are flowing towards the kids. Parents are more likely to make an expensive purchase based on a recommendation from a famous teacher than they would for themselves.... until this generation, now. We will see. 

           

I think there is reason for concern.

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18 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Once you have done enough endless and tedious comparisons, you may find that some patterns begin to emerge. ;)

I do them all the time, but they are short and sweet. I couldn't sit for hours listening to others doing this.

17 hours ago, jezzupe said:

FREE CARL STROSS !!!

He only has to ask Jeffery nicely.

17 hours ago, Don Noon said:

Yes, they are all different.  Some have more power and projection than others.  For those players who desire power and projection, then those instruments would be "superior" for them.  For other players, those instruments would just be "different".   A lot of players like power and projection, though...

 

I'm all ears. Why does my VSO lookalike perform the way it does? It must be lucky wood? I'm sure it's nicely planed inside, with a separate bass bar, but it has something else.

So for power and projection we want low density and high speed of sound, but what about the maple? It has a much lower speed of sound, I guess due to the figure. I wonder if the belly and back have to be matched in some way for certain characteristics to be enhanced?

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