Rib Taper hypothesis #43,759


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22 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

 

1. Because that defines one-to-three of the most major string vibration endpoints, unless the upper nut is really screwed up.

2. I do. Your and my outcomes may vary.

Well, let's just say you measure from thw saddle, but at least some others don't.

If a third party comes along in a future when virtually everyone measures body length from the outer edge and this third party says 'here it appears that Burgess measure from the saddle', would this person be wrong just because the standard in the future was the outer edge??

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25 minutes ago, plasterercaster said:

you measure the length of the front excluding the lower saddle?

No. My measurements include the length from the bridge to the lower saddle. No one measurement is ideal for every instrument. There are multiple "sweet spots", some being better than others on a particular instrument.

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7 minutes ago, David Beard said:

1. Well, let's just say you measure from thw saddle, but at least some others don't.

2. If a third party comes along in a future when virtually everyone measures body length from the outer edge and this third party says 'here it appears that Burgess measure from the saddle', would this person be wrong just because the standard in the future was the outer edge??

1. That's how some of these thing go. Always have, right?

2. When measuring body length in the standard way, I take the dimensions from the outermost portion of the outline, not from the innermost part of the saddle, nor the
"break point" of the saddle. I hadn't realized that standardized taking of body measurements on violins was a mystery.

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6 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

1. That's how some of these thing go. Always have, right?

2. When measuring body length in the standard way, I take the dimensions from the outermost portion of the outline, not from the innermost part of the saddle, nor the
"break point" of the saddle. I hadn't realized that standardized taking of body measurements on violins was a mystery.

Why is there such narrow violin size and proportion "standardization" anyway?

I can't believe these small variations we see have a significant affect on acoustic or playability issues.  One plausible explanation might be that the violin case manufactures wanted to simplify their production.  Which reminds me:  Did the Old Italian makers make their own cases or did they farm it out to others?

 

 

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15 minutes ago, David Beard said:

Nice evasion.  You're smarter than that.

Yours is a modern example of 'liberty at margins'.   You work to purpose.  If it suits you, you measure one way.  If the next day the other way suits you, you do that.

Liberty at the margins.  

 

Not really. To clarify, when taking body dimensions for an appraisal, I measure from the outermost portions. And it's best to specify if this is a caliper measurement, or an over-the-arch measurement with a ruler.

When doing sound adjustments, I'll put higher priority on the "break point" of the saddle.

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19 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Why is there such narrow violin size and proportion "standardization" anyway?

Players like what they like, or what they believe they like, or what they can be convinced that they like. I've messed and experimented with that quite a bit, but not nearly as much as you have.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:
2 hours ago, plasterercaster said:

1. Why should we measure to the front (bridge side) of the upper nut?

2. wwe don't do this with the lower saddle when we measure body length,

1. Because that defines one-to-three of the most major string vibration endpoints, unless the upper nut is really screwed up.

2. I do. Your and my outcomes may vary.

 

58 minutes ago, David Burgess said:
1 hour ago, plasterercaster said:

you measure the length of the front excluding the lower saddle?

No. My measurements include the length from the bridge to the lower saddle. No one measurement is ideal for every instrument. There are multiple "sweet spots", some being better than others on a particular instrument.

you literally change your mind every 2 minutes

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12 minutes ago, plasterercaster said:

you literally change your mind every 2 minutes

No, but so what if I did? I am not yet totally ossified. Still learning all the time.  How 'bout you? ;)

See three posts back for a more detailed explanation of how I take measurements, and for what purposes. If that doesn't cover it, I'll try again. :)

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16 hours ago, Kevin Kelly said:

 

As far as I know there are only five Cremonese instruments for which we know the original neck length. Two are tenor violas, two are small violins, and one is the Lady Blunt. I say this because four of them have their original necks still attached by their makers, and the Lady Blunt has its original fingerboard definitely associated with it. The Soil is another candidate, but it would have to be clear that the board is definitely from that instrument. If anyone knows about another Cremonese instrument where the neck hasn’t been removed and replaced (like the Amati tenor in Oxford) I would be interested to know about it.

There is, as far as I can tell, nothing at all to tell us what the original neck length of any cello was. There are neck templates in the Museo, but those are all longer than they need to be, and there’s no mark to clearly indicate where the string ends or where the root ends.

The five instruments are

 

Stradivari tenor

A. Guarneri tenor

Lady Blunt

Bros. Piccolo

Del Gesù quarto

Add to this the Soil if you like.  This list spans about 120 years.

The violins, in spite of their different sizes, have kind of similar neck lengths, in order: 120, 118, 119*, 118 (* I don’t have a quality measurement of this neck, but it’s close to that)

The two tenors have similar neck lengths, at 156 and 158

 

If I were to look for a relationship between neck length and some other aspect of these instruments, there are two possibilities that I can see- stop length and body length.

 

If we exclude the two small violins, the ratio of neck to stop length for the list above is (to two decimal places)

0.60 Strad. Tenor

0.60 Guarn. Tenor

0.62 Lady Blunt

0.60 Soil

 

The ratio of neck length to body length is

 

0.33 Strad tenor

0.33 Guarn. Tenor

0.34 Lady Blunt

0.33 Soil ( I have 356 for a body length measurement)

 

So from this meager list it looks like either one is a possible direct relationship, but the body length maybe is a better match. It’s possible that they are both a match, because in these cases, the ratio of stop length to body length is pretty consistent also (which would have to be the case)

 

These are

0.56 Strad tenor

0.55 Guarn. Tenor

0.56 Lady blunt

0.56 Soil

 

The next issue is that the relationship of stop length to body length varies quite a bit. I have measured lengths that vary from 54.6% to 56.3% for violin, and 53.6% to 54.6% for viola and cello. Interesting that there are two ranges.

So what I notice is 1) we have a very tiny sample size, 2) that sample size is uncharacteristically consistent in the ratio of stop length to body length 3) guessing from the sample, it’s possible that the stop length, body length, or both (or none)  could be used to find the neck length 4) it’s not possible to have "both" be true for most Cremonese instruments. If the stop length or body length were used as a reference then it would have to be one or the other.

 

my own guess, for the above and for other reasons that have to do with my own bullshit, is that it’s more likely that the neck length may have been related to the body length, and not the stop length. 

my opinion is subject to revision without notice...

 

Thank you Kevin for this very constructive response, I am working on exactly the same subject at the moment. A study which also includes viols and lutes  families and I have exactly the same feeling as you ( which is why I insisted a little on having your answer :)
Yes indeed if we do not find a clear answer it is perhaps that the question must be asked in a different way ... (we come back here to the interpretation of asymmetries by RH)

PS: If you are interested in this subject, you will come across the question of the format, I means the rules behind the ratio of the length to the width.

We will certainly have the opportunity to talk about it again.

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6 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Why is there such narrow violin size and proportion "standardization" anyway?

I can't believe these small variations we see have a significant affect on acoustic or playability issues.  One plausible explanation might be that the violin case manufactures wanted to simplify their production.  Which reminds me:  Did the Old Italian makers make their own cases or did they farm it out to others?

Well, it's an unfortunate reality. When some dealers come into your shop and the first thing they do is whip out a tape measure. Anything 360 mm or over in body length is immediately discarded. I have now heard (so far just hearsay) of a JB Vuillaume violin having been cut down because some jerk with a tape measure decided it was too long. On another occasion, someone came by to have certification for their violin, perfectly authentic but a full 360 mm in length, they ended up taking the violin away. A week later they were back with the same violin for a certificate, it now measured just over 359 mm. They had carefully removed about 1/2 mm from the edge near the end button and near the button of the back!!! I pointed out that the belly was 362 mm but they replied, "That's okay, nobody measures there." 

Nor can I imagine how removing 1/2 mm from the protruding edge of a violin could possibly make a difference in acoustic performance or playability, and yet... At some point there evolved a rule that has now fossilized in the heads of dealers, violinmakers and musicians that good violins must be less than 360 mm in body length. Tell it to Kyung-wha Chung who played on a violin that was 362 mm, I think Gil Shaham for some time played another long pattern Stradivari as well. Hopefully the world won't discover that some Guarneri 'del Gesù' violins are too short!!!

Amongst the Stradivari artifacts in the Museo del Violino in Cremona there are drawings for locks and hinges and some tool perhaps used for working leather. If they were not made there then I'm sure Stradivari took an active part in their design.

 

 

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14 hours ago, David Beard said:

Was this new standard invented in Vuillaume's time?  Was this longer neck choice established earlier, in the time of the Mantegazza, and then just codified in new language later?

Hi David,  In his book W L Monical 's neck original measurements for the violin family are from 120 to 130 mm. 

May be the question is : Are these variations a result of natural empirical drifts (compared to standards that are already nearly two centuries old!) or are they different measurement procedures and traditions?

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14 minutes ago, Bruce Carlson said:

Andrea Guarneri tenor is given at 15.55 cm

Hi Bruce, A wedge (3 mm) has been placed later between le rib and the neck so the original length was to be 152,5 mm

note that the body length of the tenor braccio (viola) is ...482 mm and a Cremones braccio lenght is 482/3 mm 

 

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1 hour ago, francoisdenis said:

Hi David,  In his book W L Monical 's neck original measurements for the violin family are from 120 to 130 mm. 

May be the question is : Are these variations a result of natural empirical drifts (compared to standards that are already nearly two centuries old!) or are they different measurement procedures and traditions?

I think mixing all the various european schools doesn't help clarify the situation. It only demonstrates that there was not a consensus all over Europe. I was trying to limit the conversation to Cremona. It appears that the "school of Cremona" which was already active for more than 100 years before Stradivari started producing instruments likely transferred this knowledge to the next generation of makers.

I saw the wedge on the Guarneri Tenor so you may be correct in assuming that the neck was in origin slightly shorter. On the Stradivari tenor there is a wedge on the neck underneath the fingerboard. On the contralto viola in Modena with the Brothers Amati label of 1620 there appears to be a small wedge, a lot smaller than the one on the Andrea Guarneri.

Edited by Bruce Carlson
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if one want to take account of the way ancient craftmen habits.

-the neck lenght is connected to another dimension - it is an unavoidable rule 

it can be the string length - the stop - the body length etc...

It true that, as David is saying the way we take the measurement can change the result 

for the neck ,  where is the "correct" place? the wooden form the block the ribs the edge?

Here I will say that  the guideline is the making tradition 

PS: for the tenor the table mensure being 265mm the neck length 152,5  152,5/265=0,584=7/12 

(7:12 is a commun  ratio  connected to the square)

 

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4 minutes ago, Bruce Carlson said:

I rather like when it remains a discussion although we've wandered off from the original topic of rib taper. Apologies to Sospiri for this.

I enjoy reading your posts Bruce, always a lot to learn from someone who has been hands-on with many of the best instruments in the world.
Gives quite a different perspective than the armchair experts version :)

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32 minutes ago, Bruce Carlson said:

I think mixing all the various european schools doesn't help clarify the situation. It only demonstrates that there was not a consensus all over Europe. I was trying to limit the conversation to Cremona. It appears that the "school of Cremona" which was already active for more than 100 years before Stradivari started producing instruments likely transferred this knowledge to the next generation of makers.

I saw the wedge on the Guarneri Tenor so you may be correct in assuming that the neck was in origin slightly shorter. On the Stradivari tenor there is a wedge on the neck underneath the fingerboard. On the contralto viola in Modena with the Brothers Amati label of 1620 there appears to be a small wedge, a lot smaller than the one on the Andrea Guarneri.

Sorry but my post was nothing controversial... I just wanted to draw attention to the fact that these two tenors actually have the same neck length (but two different body lengths 483mm for Guarneri and 476mm for Strad)

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