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CF Violins: MezzoForte, Luis&Clark, Gayford, Glasser, Elena


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4 hours ago, Stephen Fine said:

 

The double-blind test is a great idea.  Let us know how it goes.

But, really, $5,000 gets you a really nice sounding wooden violin...  

Yes; and I would probably borrow a $1K, $3K, $5K violin from the local store to add to the blind test as well!  (If I can)  I would love throw the teacher's $80K violin in the mix...

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Keep in mind that once you reach a certain quality level you begin to pay for "other"  attributes; such as "brand", provenance, collectability, etc.

The teacher's $80K violin won't necessarily sound 4 x better than a $20K violin...

Unless of course, you want it to. ^_^

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On 2/28/2021 at 9:03 AM, 2blink said:

... physically the violin itself changes; and so to say those changes don't effect sound is ridiculous. 

...But I adjusted the bridge the other day and the sound changed drastically..  to the point I got a flashlight and took a peek at the sound post to see if my moving of the bridge had loosened so much pressure that sound post moved a little...

Ridiculous? Okay.

And yes, of course set-up changes sound. That change also remains difficult to quantify.

You are now lumping together 3 different factors; effect of age, set-up and auditory ability/interpretation.

Maybe add environmental factors as well, and have 4 factors.

The result is a miriad of combinations and permutations that can't be readily summed up as a semi-specific generalization.

As far as age affecting sound all you can conclude is "I think I hear a difference"...

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Part of being a violinist (string player) is learning how to maintain and keep your instrument safe.  That being said, unless you are a studio recording artist, outside performer, microphoned performer, or otherwise don't need the organic sound qualities of a traditional wooden violin, get whatever.  

Personally, I could not see sacrificing sound for whatever things that make a cf instrument attracting---and yes, IMO, no cf violin is going to sound as good as a good quality wooden violin.

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On 2/27/2021 at 9:55 PM, 2blink said:

On another thread; someone tried to argue with me that CF's sounds never improve... which is BS.  I OWN one; and so I can tell the sound has changed drastically just like any other instrument. 

So, no joke, do you think that it's microfracturing, delaminating, or both?   If its properties are changing, wouldn't that argue for a limited service life, just like a CF control surface or skin panel flexing under airflow, engine vibration, etc.?  How do you change out skin panels according to a projected failure table, on a CF violin?  :huh:

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15 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

If its properties are changing, wouldn't that argue for a limited service life, just like a CF control surface or skin panel flexing under airflow, engine vibration, etc.? 

Apparently, the OP make the argument that these changes some-how improve the sound.

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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

Apparently, the OP make the argument that these changes some-how improve the sound.

Doesn't matter.  CF isn't wood, with multiply redundant microstructures, which have molecular linkages at the nano- level.  CF is macro, compared to wood, and has interwoven visible filaments bound together by a resin matrix.  Both components will accumulate tiny fractures under flexure until, sooner or later, they fail.  You can make an analogy with metal fatigue.  

I hadn't really considered this in the CF violin case (figured the loadings were too low), until the OP said she was observing audible changes, which implies a really rapid shift in structural properties in a comparatively rigid and brittle material.  I know about it in airframes. :rolleyes:

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Yeah! What she said! :)

...heads off to water the lonely chicken while muttering 'resin matrix, flexure fractures, metal fatigue'...

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55 minutes ago, Rue said:

Yeah! What she said! :)

...heads off to water the lonely chicken while muttering 'resin matrix, flexure fractures, metal fatigue'...

Don't forget to do something nice for the tortoise, too.  :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

So...  the violin teacher said that most "Chamber Music" groups of her current students will NOT allow a CF violin... I have no idea why the CF-ism bias; but she did give some advice on how much I should spend (she thinks a $2K violin that she's tried will last until the end of their high school years, and then beyond that; see if they still want to learn and play or not).  

From some of y'all anti-CF'ers; if "sound" is all that should matter (and as musicians; that is a GREAT ARGUMENT, of which I can stand behind)  Then a BLIND sound test is the only criteria that matters.

But the world is not perfect; and I have tried some violins that play easily (for me) and some that sounded great but for some reason I can't articulate; just was difficult to play or took a lot of effort to coax a tone out of.  So the intangibles are difficult to describe.

 

My daughter comes home with horror instrument stories all the time; and so a broken wooden violin will probably not sound as good as a intact CF violin...

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Sound isn't  "all" that matters.

Conformity matters too, especially when you are playing in an ensemble. The musicians are supposed to blend in, not stand out.

Could be that for the same reason students aren't allowed purple violins or electric violins, CF violins are a no-no as well.

Just like football players have to wear identical uniforms, ensemble players also are expected to conform to a dress code.

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2 hours ago, Spelman said:

I think that a player should be able play whatever fiddle they want to.

Yes and no.

For the sake of argument, assume you've been told you have to buy a brown, wooden violin.  You have 543 kazillion brown wooden violins to choose from.  

Why would you insist on playing a violin made from a different material or of a different colour?

If you insist on playing that 'different' violin, then of course you can!  But you might have to consider playing as a solo violin player (example: electric guitar player in a band).

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1 hour ago, Spelman said:

What if the violin I want/already own isn't brown?

Three options:

1. Get a brown one. Recall that there are 543 kazillion available. One is sure to be a good match (price/playability)!

2. Don't play with the group that wants you to use a brown violin.

3. Start your own ensemble and establish your own criteria! :)

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Nah...can't see that happening! :P

Seriously though, I don't understand why one would want to join a club, and then not play by the club rules and/or insist the club must accomodate them and their individual preferences.

...keeping in mind that all of this is "voluntary". No one has to join an ensemble...

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22 hours ago, 2blink said:

So...  the violin teacher said that most "Chamber Music" groups of her current students will NOT allow a CF violin... I have no idea why the CF-ism bias; but she did give some advice on how much I should spend (she thinks a $2K violin that she's tried will last until the end of their high school years, and then beyond that; see if they still want to learn and play or not).  

From some of y'all anti-CF'ers; if "sound" is all that should matter (and as musicians; that is a GREAT ARGUMENT, of which I can stand behind)  Then a BLIND sound test is the only criteria that matters.

But the world is not perfect; and I have tried some violins that play easily (for me) and some that sounded great but for some reason I can't articulate; just was difficult to play or took a lot of effort to coax a tone out of.  So the intangibles are difficult to describe.

 

My daughter comes home with horror instrument stories all the time; and so a broken wooden violin will probably not sound as good as a intact CF violin...

And that is why Joseph Curtin made his cf topped viola with a wood veneer on the outside, and why certain cf bows are molded to look like they have wood grain, and certain cf bows have a cf core with a wood veneer wrapped around the cf core, appearing as if they are wood.

That said, you want to joint the ensemble, you have to follow the ensemble rules, unless, of course, you start your own CF Ensemble. No wood allowed.

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13 hours ago, duane88 said:

why certain cf bows are molded to look like they have wood grain, and certain cf bows have a cf core with a wood veneer wrapped around the cf core, appearing as if they are wood.

Is that why?  I was fed a sonic explanation.  CF bows certainly don't sound as good as wooden bows yet.

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I have seen at least one string quartet where everyone plays CF. It was not a pleasant sight, but I got used to it. I was trying to judge the sound,  but it was a recording of a video, so I couldn’t really tell anything.

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55 minutes ago, Stephen Fine said:

CF bows certainly don't sound as good as wooden bows yet.

That is an over-generalization. It depends on the specific bow-violin combination, and the wooden bows you're comparing with the CF bows. 

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