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Michael K.

Arching contours, Sacconi vs. Muratov

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If we compare the arching contours between Sacconi (The secret of Stradivari) and  Sergei Muratov (The Art of Violindesign), it is noticeable that with Muratov the contours of Violin, Viola and Cello increases faster from the edge than with Sacconi, where by both occupy almost the same height in the middle. On both, Top and Back. What is preferred? Advantages and disadvantages?

http://zhurnal.lib.ru/m/muratow_s_w/violin_design.shtml

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While I don't have anything specific to say, I would generally trust the arching of an actual instrument known to work, vs. mathematically generated squiggles.

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1 hour ago, Michael K. said:

 where by both occupy almost the same height in the middle.

On both, Top and Back. What is preferred? Advantages and disadvantages?

  The height to be used is key imo.  I use/used the Muratov contours because at the time it was an easy thing to do to get templates - just simply trace them off of the p.c. screen.  Weather or not they were meant to show what a Strad or D.G. could be is unknown to me.

  Using Muratovs suggestion along with some creativity with plane/chisel/gouge on the outer belly can yield better looking and possible tonal results - that's what I'm about - a few sound well enough using his suggestion without changing anything but they just seem to be flat plateau looking when it's all said and done hence my comment about height being key - I don't have the experience you guys have.  I'm still messing around with #15.

I don't bother with Muratovs' back plate suggestion - I use something I feel is better for what I do in regards to Muratov or Sacconi, some German contours I found useful.  I have not done nothing with Sacconi's ideas  other than to just view. 

For the beginner there is nothing wrong with the Muratov idea - they are easy to get for making a violin and not a lot of time is wasted when looking for such.  

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I would say both, since there is no ideal that can be considered as such. Moreover, it seems to me that the difference is not much, there are other archings of good ancient instruments (the Venetians for example) that deviate more from the Sacconi "ideal".

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If you want to know what to make, I would pick some particular violin that had the sound I liked  and try to understand the arching of that one, trying to replicate as closely as possible If you're doing that visually, it depends on your powers of observation and opportunity, and probably won't happen instantly. Either Sacconi or Muratov would be "correct" if you liked the violin that those different models gave, or you might like something else entirely. 

I'm generally a bit suspicious of Sacconi because he appears to have tried to blend all of the Strads he'd seen into one representative average, and in the grads that results in something that is indeed the average, but doesn't actually follow any real single Strad that I have seen. In my opinion, Muratov's method isn't related at all to Cremonese, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't like the results. Adding to that, there are Strads and del Gesus that don't work particularly well, so you might want to try to figure out why and avoid what you think is going on with them rather than trying to average them into your ideal model.

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Sacconi probably had more experience with the insides and outsides of coveted old Italian violins, than anyone on the planet.

Who the heck is Muratov, and why should his/her beliefs or opinions have any special value?

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And with so many old violins with reshaped (sandbagged) arches it's pretty hard to decide what is good. I guass experience and making a few is the way...

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David's just being polite. :-) My problem with Muratov is that you can derive his method from the violins, maybe, but you definitely can't derive the violins from his method. That is, give someone a french curve and some gross dimensions, and there's not guarantee that anything close to a Cremonese outline will result. A real method should be capable of drawing only the thing you intend it to draw, and nothing else.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

Sacconi probably had more experience with the insides and outsides of coveted old Italian violins, than anyone on the planet.

Who the heck is Muratov, and why should his beliefs or opinions have any special value?

We've been here before several times.  He appears to be the Russian variant of a type that we seem to keep meeting on this forum.  For some bizarre reason, none of them are native English speakers.  :)

http://zhurnal.lib.ru/m/muratow_s_w/violin_design.shtml

 

 

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Reading this thread I thought I'd check a test drawing of the lower corner arch against french curves. The drawing was done freehand passing through the calculated inflection point off the plan.

This is a lower corner arch. It has the longest concave recurve because of its position next to the lower bout corner.

 

DSC_0001 3.jpg

DSC_0002.jpg

DSC_0001 4.jpg

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27 minutes ago, David Beard said:

?? v ??

Neither is the real thing.  

If you could point out where that particular arching profile is wrong I might believe you.

 

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All those mathematical constructions look to me like someone working with a calculable material, either metal or plastic.

The most instructive lessons I learned from arching shapes were when I made the plates really wet during the making at different stages and see how the plates would deform and draw my own conclusions from there. This means as a whole that I never can duplicate precisely an arching I laid out on a plan.

Sacconi with his book 'I segreti di Stradivari' was on a quest to kill the myth of the one and only secret. So to understand what he has written, he strictly supports the idea that the 'secret' as a whole was based on down to earth principles and guidelines which were built one on the other to construct instruments of superior sound quality. In this context the arching represents only one stone of the puzzle based on his observations. He certainly knew that there were variations to what he observed but didn't go further trying to explain it. In his book he took the risk trying to find a hypothetical approach. On deeper examination many of his suggested procedures would later proof to be incorrect. However, at least he tried to get away from nonsense theories. 

On the bottom line he opened a whole new view on violin making from a historical standpoint instead of going into self made voodoo theories in finding the one and only secret. So without his ignition later research in the construction principles of the old Cremonese masters wouldn't have started. And more and more it becomes clear today that everything was pretty simple and  based on knowledge available in the 18th century.

This means too, that we are trying to unravel things with the wrong tools leading to certain misconceptions. Without having studied Muratov in depth, just the fact that he puts everything on a design priinciple is good enough reason in my personal view to put it in the category of Max Moeckels 'golden section theory'. This means blantly 'Did the violins of Max Moeckel or Muratov proove to be sought after by the best violinists?' The answer is 'No.'

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2 hours ago, Dennis J said:

If you could point out where that particular arching profile is wrong I might believe you.

 

Sacconi I found very interesting.  Certainly he took large steps in helping us understand the old methods.  He also inspired Hargrave.  And Hargrave took very large steps in helping us understqnd and respect the old making.

Muratov was entertaining to read.  But, like many, he has only shown a way to approximately trace the shapes of classical making.  But his work does nothing to enable you to create classical shapes from scratch.  You have to already know where your going to put his spirals in the right shape.

If you want to know the state of my research as of a few years ago, you can check out my 'David of Santa Barbara' blogs. 

However, the research has continued and extended, and in places corrected since then.  Also, the results has moved forward from an observational persective, to a how are these results practically achieved in the workshop perspective.

Over the coming year, I will be putting out a thorough presentation of the full results.

This research has focused understanding how compass geometry and simple proportions interacted with the making in old Cremona, from A Amati thru Del Gesu.  And it has explore both the principle that held consistently across the generations and families, but also on the variations the allow thw diversity we see in the historic instruments.

 

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It's simply a matter of how far the inflection point is from the edge of the plate. The further away it is the larger the concave part of the arching figure is, so it rises out of the purfling channel more gradually. If Muratov's spirals do not apply to arching shapes what other possible curves do?

 

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8 hours ago, Dennis J said:

It's simply a matter of how far the inflection point is from the edge of the plate. The further away it is the larger the concave part of the arching figure is, so it rises out of the purfling channel more gradually.

  For an experiment you could try different edge heights with your method to see if the inflection point moves one way or another or doesn't move at all.  Don't change the arch height you have now. 

    Some people use, just for example, 3.2mm edge heights sometimes and others use 4.4 mm edge heights.  

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16 hours ago, Dennis J said:

It's simply a matter of how far the inflection point is from the edge of the plate. The further away it is the larger the concave part of the arching figure is, so it rises out of the purfling channel more gradually. If Muratov's spirals do not apply to arching shapes what other possible curves do?

 

A more correct reference point is the bottom of the channel.

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On 9/21/2020 at 1:24 PM, Michael Darnton said:

In my opinion, Muratov's method isn't related at all to Cremonese, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't like the results. 

Muratov had 1703 Strad arching templates for use where one could put a piece of paper against  a p.c. screen and simply trace the outline - at the time a simple thing to do for a beginner like myself.

So, after reading to what your opinion is I made another set of templates using the low point to low point system.  After that I compared what I had just made to what I traced off the screen six or seven years ago. 

The arching contours are the same excepting the low point to edge and low point going upwards - that may be my fault because of what I did yesterday which was to start with maximum width {207mm}, subtract edge overhang and subtract rib width.  My low point used for new templates was 5mm inwards from the inner purfling line - again, maybe my fault for starting to far inside thus the difference of his vs my new ones.

  

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