Curtin Ultralight Viola


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Funny thing is my son who is an engineer atTesla Motors has bought a new Model Y performance .  It is fully one second faster 0 to 60 than my Corvette!  It can smoke most real super cars in the quarter, and it's an SUV! The boy makes good stuff.  He is one of the lead designers of the rear power unit onthe III, Y,and the new Roadster.

Them things are fast!

DLB

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The car engine horsepower analogy with misses the point with light stringed instruments where the power input is limited and fixed by the player/ bow/hair/rosin/string system.   The only way of making the instrument louder is to increase its admittance and increase its efficiency.  So so some better car analogies are to improve the aerodynamics, reduce weight, improve the suspension etc.

Another one might be the brakes on race cars and the damping of instruments.

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

The car engine horsepower analogy with misses the point with light stringed instruments where the power input is limited and fixed by the player/ bow/hair/rosin/string system.   The only way of making the instrument louder is to increase its admittance and increase its efficiency.  So so some better car analogies are to improve the aerodynamics, reduce weight, improve the suspension etc.

Another one might be the brakes on race cars and the damping of instruments.

I don't see where anyone made that analogy, though if I squint I can see that one might see it as implicit.

To bring things back toward the topic..., the car that Joe drives isn't very interesting sounding.

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2 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

So so some better car analogies are to improve the aerodynamics, reduce weight, improve the suspension etc.

The one car analogy that I think fits is that for a given player, it's like having an engine with a given torque and horsepower.  Impedance is like having a transmission with one gear... a low impedance instrument is like a transmission with a high ratio:  great acceleration off the line, but limited top end.  An engine with higher torque (strong bow arm) would do better with taller (lower ratio) gearing (higher impedance).

These analogies are very limited, and a lot of the acoustic stuff gets too complicated for simple mechanical models.

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Sorry to interrupt the topic.  I once saw another experimental instrument in Curtin's shop.  It also had un-antiqued varnish, which was really stunning.  Sadly, he refused to consider using that finish on his conventional instruments.  If he did, I'd be all over it.

 

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Curtin has been trying to increase projection for over twenty years.  Attached are the pages of his 1999 Catgut Acoustical Society article in which he gives an easy to understand explanation of the physics involved and he anticipates the problems that might show up.

Hopefully he's entering into his "golden period".

Curtin's_page_18.png

Curtin's_page_19.png

Curtin's_page_20.png

Curtin's_page_21.png

Curtin's page 22.png

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  • 2 months later...
On 8/24/2020 at 1:44 PM, Wood Butcher said:

I wonder how it would compare to one of Marty Kasprzyk’s violas?

This youtube video was recently made by three students using my instruments at the Crane School of Music in Postdam NY.  

My large 5 string viola that I just finished making is being played as a violin by the player on the right.

 

https://youtu.be/pdPWWI-4gBo

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Just for the sake of argument (?) I have this week commissioned a 16" ultra light Viola from Maestro Curtin.  It is a bit of a leap of faith but ultimately my instruments will not be just for me, but those that come after.  I will let you all know what it's like in about a year or so.  I am quite looking forward to it.

DLB

Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

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6 minutes ago, Dwight Brown said:

Just for the sake of argument (?) I have this week commissioned a 16" ultra light Viola from Maestro Curtin.  It is a bit of a leap of faith but ultimately my instruments will not be just for me, but those that come after.  I will let you all know what it's like in about a year or so.  I am quite looking forward to it.

DLB

Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

Sweet, report back.

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1 hour ago, Dwight Brown said:

Just for the sake of argument (?) I have this week commissioned a 16" ultra light Viola from Maestro Curtin.  It is a bit of a leap of faith but ultimately my instruments will not be just for me, but those that come after.  I will let you all know what it's like in about a year or so.  I am quite looking forward to it.

DLB

I have heard and played a number of ultra-light instruments, and while some did well in a hall, the "player experience" was always lacking.

Are you able to get all of your money back, easily and quickly, without needing to jump through hoops, if the instrument doesn't meet your expectations?

 

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I have heard and played a number of ultra-light instruments, and while some did well in a hall, the "player experience" was always lacking.

Are you able to get all of your money back, easily and quickly, without needing to jump through hoops, if the instrument doesn't meet your expectations?

 

Yes, 100% refund.60 day trial.

DLB

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On 11/16/2020 at 7:37 AM, Marty Kasprzyk said:

This youtube video was recently made by three students using my instruments at the Crane School of Music in Postdam NY.  

 

Nice piece and a good performance.  Thank you, Marty.

And congratulations, Dwight!

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4 hours ago, Dwight Brown said:

Just for the sake of argument (?) I have this week commissioned a 16" ultra light Viola from Maestro Curtin.  It is a bit of a leap of faith but ultimately my instruments will not be just for me, but those that come after.  I will let you all know what it's like in about a year or so.  I am quite looking forward to it.

DLB

Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

Just one year? I'm astonished that Curtin has such a short waiting list. In any case your preference for commissioning instruments from modern luthiers does you much credit. Thank you on behalf of the category:P

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27 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Just one year? I'm astonished that Curtin has such a short waiting list. In any case your preference for commissioning instruments from modern luthiers does you much credit. Thank you on behalf of the category:P

This way you can be pretty sure who made it! :-) It is a collection that will be given to my school when I go to the great violin shop in the sky, or sooner.  I am thinking my 70th birthday is about ten years off and it would be nice to see the sudents enjoy them.

DLB

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41 minutes ago, Dwight Brown said:

This way you can be pretty sure who made it! :-) It is a collection that will be given to my school when I go to the great violin shop in the sky, or sooner.  I am thinking my 70th birthday is about ten years off and it would be nice to see the sudents enjoy them.

DLB

This is a really nice thought, hats off!:)

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2 hours ago, J-G said:

Nice piece and a good performance.  Thank you, Marty.

 

Thanks for the comment.

Nothing about these ultra light violins and violas is conventional and for many years I've been totally unsuccessful in making them sound like normal instruments as witnessed in VSA competitions and Oberlin player and listening tests. In retrospect this was a foolish effort if you follow the physics.

But one of the Crane students said "These instruments are great--they don't sound like all the others!"

Understanding physics is easier than understanding people.

 

 

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On 12/18/2020 at 10:40 AM, Dwight Brown said:

Just for the sake of argument (?) I have this week commissioned a 16" ultra light Viola from Maestro Curtin.  It is a bit of a leap of faith but ultimately my instruments will not be just for me, but those that come after.  I will let you all know what it's like in about a year or so.  I am quite looking forward to it.

DLB

Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

 :D

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