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1 hour ago, Dennis J said:

Apart from the sinking just forward of the bridge common in a lot of instruments I would say that most older instruments' top profiles are probably about the same shape as they were originally made.

What is your basis or foundation for saying that? I could say that my Grandmother traveled to the planet Mars, and conquered the humanoid inhabitants with her knitting needles, but I wouldn't expect it to get much traction.

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2 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

What is your basis or foundation for saying that? I could say that my Grandmother traveled to the planet Mars, and conquered the humanoid inhabitants with her knitting needles, but I wouldn't expect it to get much traction.

There's equally no basis for your claim that the all tops significantly changed from their initial character of shape.

 

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How can computer chair want to be violin makers be so certain their observations of long arches or arching in general. I find the total dismissal of exceptionally experienced people in this field quite short sighted! Looking at pictures on the internet does not substitute for many years of diligent work in a major violin shop working on major instruments for major customers.

--Chris Pedersen 

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33 minutes ago, Christian Pedersen said:

How can computer chair want to be violin makers be so certain their observations of long arches or arching in general. I find the total dismissal of exceptionally experienced people in this field quite short sighted! Looking at pictures on the internet does not substitute for many years of diligent work in a major violin shop working on major instruments for major customers.

--Chris Pedersen 

I am not denying their actual observations that arches distort, and that under some circumstances you can start with a through curved top long arch and use bridge pressure to transform it into something more like a classical long arc shape.

I am saying that they have not demonstrated that:

>such distortions are sufficient to produce the full range of existing classical long arcs that any limited idiot like me can dig up and observe

nor

>that such distortions acting on an already classically shaped long top arch don't normally leave it still looking like a classical long arc

nor

>that classical instruments didn't start off with already classically shaped long top arches

nor

>that if we started an experiment with thousands of through curved long top arches that such distortion would reliably and consistently turn ALL of them into well formed classically shaped long top arches.

 

Yet, Burgess takes a position that requires all of these points to be true, even though only the initial point was demonstrated.

 

 

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Mr Beard, is it possible your lack of hands on experience prevents you from understanding what is obvious to people with many decades of experience in major violin shops? Mr. Burgess presented an example he happened to document from years back. His example is completely consistent with every experience I've had with long arch deformation. The difference is considerably exaggerated when an arching height on a violin is increased from 14-15 mm starting point to 18-20mm. 

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

What is your basis or foundation for saying that? I could say that my Grandmother traveled to the planet Mars, and conquered the humanoid inhabitants with her knitting needles, but I wouldn't expect it to get much traction.

I've spent a lot of time over quite a long period actually looking at examples of the long arches trying to work out what approach makers in the past might have had when either carving or making templates for them.

As far as I can see there is a standard flattened arch version that makers might have followed. How flat it is or looks depends on how long it is. If it extends well into the upper and lower bouts the changed radius of curvature needed nearing the upper and lower block is greater. 

Also the highest point of the arch for both the front and back is well forward of the bridge making the curve slightly fuller over the upper bout than in the lower bout.

The recurve of the top is always shorter than that for the back.

I've used different ways to draw this sort of curve freehand, but I've found a large french curve is ideal for the job. What sort of curve you get depends on how far forward of the bridge you select as the highest point and how long a recurve you decide on at each end. For both the top and back the curvature of radius is shortest towards the upper and lower blocks of course, so the whole is a combination of two curves.

 

 

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"I've spent a lot of time over quite a long period actually looking at examples of the long arches trying to work out what approach makers in the past might have had when either carving or making templates for them."

I'm curious if you are looking at photos of instruments or actual examples of many classic fine old Italians? The distortion and inaccuracy in photography makes conclusions from this data quite unreliable. 

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I think the profiles regularly shown in photographs of instruments on auction sites and elsewhere probably provide a good representation of possible or practical long arch shapes.

I've made plenty of long arch templates with a general idea or approximation in mind of what a lot of makers in the past have done. My preference is a slightly flattened top long arch.

But to produce any long arch drawing you need to tie down all of the parameters which influence that shape.

 

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3 hours ago, Dennis J said:

I think the profiles regularly shown in photographs of instruments on auction sites and elsewhere probably provide a good representation of possible or practical long arch shapes.

I've made plenty of long arch templates with a general idea or approximation in mind of what a lot of makers in the past have done. My preference is a slightly flattened top long arch.

But to produce any long arch drawing you need to tie down all of the parameters which influence that shape.

 

Correctly photographing a long arch is rather difficult, it would take two separate photos for the top and for the back to obtain a correct alignment with the centerline, without counting the intrinsic deformations related to the quality of the lens and the perspective distortion due to focal length of the lens, which is almost never known.

Surely looking at photos it is useful to get an idea, but I don't think it is enough to draw accurate geometric conclusions.

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51 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Correctly photographing a long arch is rather difficult, it would take two separate photos for the top and for the back to obtain a correct alignment with the centerline, without counting the intrinsic deformations related to the quality of the lens and the perspective distortion due to focal length of the lens, which is almost never known.

Surely looking at photos it is useful to get an idea, but I don't think it is enough to draw accurate geometric conclusions.

I would agree. I think people like photos because they are easy to get now, and are often good quality.

But, it doesn't take a lot of distortion on a picture to give a false representation, so it's not a great place to start from, especially for arching, but I understand it might be all some people have access to.

 

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9 hours ago, David Beard said:

I am saying that they have not demonstrated that:

>such distortions are sufficient to produce the full range of existing classical long arcs that any limited idiot like me can dig up and observe

nor

>that such distortions acting on an already classically shaped long top arch don't normally leave it still looking like a classical long arch

nor

>that classical instruments didn't start off with already classically shaped long top arches

nor

>that if we started an experiment with thousands of through curved long top arches that such distortion would reliably and consistently turn ALL of them into well formed classically shaped long top arches.

It's impossible to argue about that without knowing what IS "classical arch". We can only guess how it originally started by seeing today's shape. I would say that all classical instrument started with classical arches (that's how I would defina classical arch) that evolved into what we see today but no one living was there to report what it exactly looked like. We cannot call current shapes classical or we could consider the "camelback" in one of the examples above or any weird arch of multiply patched Strad a classical arch.

Re. turning "thousands of through curved long top arches" into clasically shaped ... without knowing what you do consider clasically shaped  it is impossible to tell... and noone said anything like that before.

Again without straight and clear definition of "classical arch" your words are pretty empty.

One thing to note is that cremnese folks were quite sticking to the design with body shapes and proportions and one could ask why, today, the arches are all over the place (thinking of the general curvature, not height) from smooth curve to camelbacks of various degree. There are two possibilities - they all started all over the place and more or less stayed there, or they all started with similar general geometry and slowly evolved into all the ()sometimes weird) shapes we see today. I think the second has more support.

 

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So now people are saying that every photo shows the flattish v through curve difference from back to top, but it's just a random photographic illusion, even though we get the same sort of illusion across hundreds of examples?

 

Are you so afraid to use your eyes to see what's obviously true?

 

Have we been gaslighted so much these recent years that people can no longer look and see with their own eyes?

 

 

 

 

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How many of you can't think back and remember picking up, holding, maybe touching, and certainly marveling at an old extreme Venetian or Tyrolean example where the height of the top is wild and extends crazy far toward the blocks, and with thar height extending very full and wide across the upper and lower bouts.

Are you really going to be told those shapes weren't carved that way?  That the extreme ends and widths of those outer bout areas were lifted high and pushed out full by comparatively many times smaller movements at the bridge?

 

Why not just believe your eyes, evidence, your memories and experiences?

These shapes were carved substantially similar to the way we see them now.

Distortions happen, but they play only a comparatively minor secondary role.

Why deny your eyes and senses and the obvious.

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3 hours ago, David Beard said:

1. So now people are saying that every photo shows the flattish v through curve difference from back to top, but it's just a random photographic illusion, even though we get the same sort of illusion across hundreds of examples?

2. Are you so afraid to use your eyes to see what's obviously true?

3. Have we been gaslighted so much these recent years that people can no longer look and see with their own eyes?

1. Nope. The main argument has been that the flattish area either is, or could be, an artifact of typical distortion.

2. Nope, again.

3. How have you determined that it is not you who is gaslighting yourself? These things happen, ya know. ;)

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This is the first time you have clearly limited your claim: "either is, or could be, an artifact of typical distortion".

However, you are still claiming more than your experiment earns.

You have only demonstrated that under some conditions it is sometimes possible to change a modern through curved top arch shape into something that looks a bit more like a classicsl top long arch.

As I enumerated in an earlier post, you have not demonstrated the further points that would allow claiming that the classical long arches didn't start off carved in with the basic character of arching we see universally in classical examples today.

Yet, during this thread, and in many previous occasions, you have emotionally, and with the underlined authority of your experience, and while impugning the voice of anyone saying different, you have presented your experiment as if it settled all phases of this issue and swept away all alternatives to your suggestion that those long arches did not start off with the basic character we see today.

 

 

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When I worked out a way to make arching templates I was mainly concerned about cross arch geometry. When I had made progress there I looked at what might be the best approach concerning the long arch.

The conclusion I finally came to there was that its shape was dictated by function alone. For the top the main measurement was height and where that high point existed along its length, which I decided was well forward of bridge position.

Once that was fixed the curvature of the upper and lower bout sections resolved itself. Recurve at the upper and lower bout blocks was/is at edge height when using a flattened curve.

The back with its more circular profile requires quite long recurves particularly towards the upper block. So the inflection points for both the upper and lower sections are above edge height.

That long recurve above edge height at the upper bout can lead to a situation where extra plate thickness can be extended into the button area which I think might be evident on some early instruments.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, David Beard said:

This is the first time you have clearly limited your claim: "either is, or could be, an artifact of typical distortion".

Nope. Wrong. Earlier in this very thread, back on 2/19/2021,  I wrote:

"No, I am not claiming that this totally explains the flatter section on the top of every instrument. There are makers today who either believe the old instrument were made that way, or believe that even if this is a result of distortion, that it is one of the reasons older instrument are reputed to sound superior, so they make their instruments that way. Can't rule out that some older makers might have had similar notions, or that others might have started with a rounder long-arching on the top than on the back, anticipating this distortion, resulting in a "flat" section (or even a reverse curve) being less evident today.

Without having seen these instruments when they were first made, we simply don't know for sure. Nobody does, not even you!"

Now why do you suppose that I have recommended, twice already, that you read the thread again? :lol:

Geez, get a grip, dude! :blink::rolleyes:

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Read the second sentence.  You limit this to modern makers erroneously immitating what they thought old makers did.

Then ultimately conceed that neither you nor I actually positively know currently.  That's good if you sruck with it.

Remember, you are the one claiming that what we see in thousands of examples isn't to be believe.  You have the burden to justify such a claim.  You are making the more conjectural claim that 'what we see, basically wasn't.'  I am making the more neutral claim that 'what we see basically was'.

But, I happily acknowledge that we both are hypothesizing.  Neither of us has presented sufficient evidence to conclusively resolve the issue.

But even if in 1 out 20 times, when hard pressed, you acknowledge you aren't certain, that's a long way from your usual posture.  Mostly you act as if anyone thinking or considering a different view is just a fool.

That fact remains, and still really haven't acknowledged it.

It is entirely possible that every old Cremona master, everytime, or virtually everytime, deliberately carved basical the same long top arch shape we see today in every every example.

There is no reason to conclude that wasn't exactly how it was.    You don't believe it was that.  Fair enough.  But you don't know it wasn't that way.

 

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Most obvious answer is the old masters copied old fiddles that were distorted, just like people do today.  Sometimes it's very obvious that they made new templates from "design" when the shape is a near perfect or modified catenary, but when it looks like they copied a distortion, then that's probably what they did.

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9 minutes ago, David Beard said:

Read the second sentence.  You limit this to modern makers erroneously immitating what they thought old makers did.

Nope. Wrong yet again!  In the very next sentence I wrote:

"Can't rule out that some older makers might have had similar notions, or that others might have started with a rounder long-arching on the top than on the back, anticipating this distortion, resulting in a "flat" section (or even a reverse curve) being less evident today."

If you are going to see what you want to see, rather than what I have actually written, what's the point of further discussion? Does this scotoma carry over into your observations of fiddles, as I suspect?

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