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DavidS
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Hi Everyone,

I am from the Northern Beaches in Sydney, Australia and just finished making my first violin. I am very happy with the result as is my wife who is the violinist in the family.  I followed the method from makingtheviolin.com with some input from The Art of Violin Making.   Makingtheviolin.com is excellent and it's amazing that it is a free resource.

I have to say, I gleaned a lot of information from this forum that made the process so much easier.  I do really want to thank everyone for the wealth of generous advice & wisdom that is available here. 

David

   

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Here are some pics although I am not altogether happy with varnishing job.  It gave me more grief than anything else. 

As far as sound, it is way better than anything I expected and my wife, Carol who is the violinist is keen to play it in orchestra next year.   Compared to our old Strad copy by 'Anton Wolf' that belonged to my grandfather and father it is louder and possibly a little brighter.  I can't hear it but carol feels the D & G strings are not quite up to speed.   Its only been strung up for 3 weeks. I put on Pirastro Tonica's while setting it up.  Will be looking at alternative strings when it's settled in.

Hopefully our lockdown will not be long enough to build another one but I am looking for a good drawing of a Guarneri.

Thanks AgainIMG_20201230_085819.thumb.jpg.525eee7e1440dcca50b00c7d0f95fc62.jpgIMG_20201230_085552.thumb.jpg.8c7107113db1a9731c7d66c8bdbc2f6a.jpgIMG_20201230_085523.thumb.jpg.de72c81294fc2e5aa3902116bb52634f.jpg 

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Hi there!

Happy for you and congratulations! 

Have you got any particular violin or year of Guarneri on your mind? I remember Roger Hargrave once mentioned that if one wants to start making del Gesu model he'd advise to use 1734 violon du diable one as a first choice.

Although I do not have drawings of that one I do have some photos and data. Pm me if you want. :)

Regards

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Thanks, I don't think I really want to do a copy of a particular instrument as such.  Just the general vibe.   

I am considering starting with the Kreisler forma by Addie here:  Stradivari Forma By Addie - Peter Grankulla - Soloist Violins (thestradsound.com)

I think I would redraw it to be symmetric and use basic dimensions from Lord Wilton to  inform the process.  I suppose some asymmetry would creep into the build anyway.  Does that sound like a reasonable plan?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Everyone,  hoping for some advice on my setup.

My violin plays really well with a very good tone.  It is loud, bright with nice complex tone but a little bit harsh perhaps.  D & G strings are a tiny bit weaker than the E & A.  It is difficult to play softly.

Sound post is fitted about 3mm behind the bridge and about 0.5mm inside the treble foot.  It is a fairly loose fit, easily knocked over when strings are loose. 

Any suggestions for an improvement?

Thanks  

David

Edited by DavidS
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Hi George,  I have Pirastro Tonica's on it at the moment.  We usually prefer Dominants but they were out of stock.  I thought we would assess it and decide what's best after settling in.  

Edited by DavidS
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On 12/30/2020 at 12:24 AM, DavidS said:

Thanks, I don't think I really want to do a copy of a particular instrument as such.  Just the general vibe.   

I am considering starting with the Kreisler forma by Addie here:  Stradivari Forma By Addie - Peter Grankulla - Soloist Violins (thestradsound.com)

I think I would redraw it to be symmetric and use basic dimensions from Lord Wilton to  inform the process.  I suppose some asymmetry would creep into the build anyway.  Does that sound like a reasonable plan?

If you want to make a del Gesu model, I'd suggest the Plowden. There's a very nice Strad poster for this, and lots of great photos available on Jordan Hess's website.

https://www.jordanhessviolins.com/plowden

Your fiddle looks really nice - but a bit difficult to give meaningful critique without photos in a more "conventional" style.

I always check sound post fit and tightness after a new instrument has been strung up for a couple of weeks, and very often find it benefits from adjustment or replacement.

 

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This is an awesome job for your first go!!!  Be proud.

Harsh tone may be the result of too much thickness in the plates.  I didn't get this worked out until I started weighing plates to better learn what I was aiming for.

Pushing the sound post a little east, close to the outside edge of the bridge foot will give a bit more body to the G and D strings, especially if the top is a little thick.  Similarly you might want to go a mm south of the top is thicker.

The bridge looks too tall in the photo.  This can result in unpleasant ringiness in the sound.  The G string should be about 5.5mm above the fingerboard end, and the E string about 3.5mm.  (I have also seen 6mm and 4mm suggested, but the lower heights work fine if there is a little scoop in the fingerboard, and I prefer the lower action.)

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I use a scrap of rib wood with graduated markings on it as a feeler guage to exactly measure soundpost location: the north-south and east-west gaps between the sound post and the f hole notch. 

 

This way you can know where the post is and how much you are moving it.  You can measure another violin to get a good starting point.

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Thanks everyone for your comments.  I'll take them onboard.  Fingerboard extension & string height are pretty much standard: 27mm, 5.5mm/3.5mm.  I'll tweak the sound post some more.  I remember reading somewhere that a slightly longer sound post is often required after settling in.  

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

 

Hi, Just an update, I have finished my second violin.   I ended up drawing my own outline; Del Gesu Inspired.  I'm very happy with the sound so far but it's only been strung-up for a day.  I am not happy with my varnishing though; need to work on that.

Here are some pictures:

IMG_20210407_155207.thumb.jpg.2920e23434544c9f56c3b8032bd928de.jpg

IMG_20210407_155247.thumb.jpg.40bec450f523de4d5b170362e483bc82.jpg

IMG_20210407_155233.thumb.jpg.e508bf4d1a0bdbc29f671c414e46f336.jpg  IMG_20210407_160304.thumb.jpg.ddae155bfe1e192cafb3a900be8d3723.jpg

   

 

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  • 2 months later...

I am hoping for some setup advice. 

This, my second violin has been finished for about three months now.  My wife has played it regularly and used it for a recent series of orchestra rehearsals and concert.    She is quite happy with it but feels that the D string is not as strong as the others & does not resonate as freely.  I understand that it is not uncommon for the D to be the weakest. 

I would welcome any suggestions on what may improve this.  

David 

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I am a hobbiest like yourself so be forewarned.

The following are suggestions to try for an enhanced D string.

1.  Lower the bass side bridge foot - if you can't go any lower wait.

2.  Raise/ remove wood from the top of heart hole D/G string side.

3.  Chamfer the bass side arms a bit more.

4.  Bass side eye wing hole - enlarge hole outwards only.  Not upwards, not inwards and not lower - outwards only.

5.  D & G string thin bottom half of bridge to 4.2mm minimum.

These were some suggestions from D. Lashof violin maker while he was offering advice while at the AllExperts blog that isn't around anymore.  Some of the above is my wording for easier typing..

So there were close to fifteen different things to do to a violin bridge - so for myself thinking using all fifteen suggestion per bridge I'll be honest I don't know what i was really getting by trying such.  

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  • 1 month later...

Just some fundamental acoustics on why the D string is often weaker than the others...

This is an impact response plot of a violin that won a top tone award at a VMAAI competition.  The red bands at the top show the first postion fundamental and two overtone frequency bands.  The fundamental band lies in the response dip between the A0 and B1- resonances.  The 1st overtone lies between the B1+ resonance and the "transition hill", and the next overtone lies in the dip between the transiton hill and the "bridge/body" hill.

The fundamental can be helped out by a strong CBR response (around F), which for some reason doesn't show up on impact response plots as well as on bowed response.  As for how to make that happen... I'm not totally sure, other than making things thinner, which can have undesirable effects elsewhere.

Of course, extremely solid, strong response in the upper frequencies will bring out the higher overtones and increase the power on the D... but that is often a weakness in newly constructed violins, and will "open up" over time.

1434139992_Dfirstposition.jpg.82de87b83f8790dec6cdbabdf572fbfa.jpg

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