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   Most of the instruments  lean toward the dark,hollow or as my title indicates "boomer" type of tone. Even if I follow the arching specs of the specific model it seems the result is always toward that end of the spectrum. What are the contributing factors to this end and what can be done to bring out a  brighter tone?

                                                                                                        As always, Thanks in advance for your response.    Henry

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If this is in regard to the instruments that you are making, perhaps consider different wood and graduations. Softer spruce combined with softer American Maple can give you that. Also, if your arches are low, consider taller arches. Perhaps thicker grads, stronger bar, and if you aren't really good at set-up, consider taking your instrument(s) to a professional for set-up and discuss said concerns.

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20 hours ago, H.R.Fisher said:

 Even if I follow the arching specs of the specific model it seems the result is always toward that end of the spectrum.

What "specific models" have you used?  If you have been faithfully following a Strad model (including the extremely thin graduations), using fresh wood, that would explain the problem.

To be more specific about what you should do differently, it would be helpful to know more specifics about what you have done.  If you have records (and you should) of the wood densities and types you have used, plate weights, taptones, etc., that might help.

Varnish too might be a factor, as a thick oil varnish could kill off the higher frequency response.

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5 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

What "specific models" have you used?  If you have been faithfully following a Strad model (including the extremely thin graduations), using fresh wood, that would explain the problem.

To be more specific about what you should do differently, it would be helpful to know more specifics about what you have done.  If you have records (and you should) of the wood densities and types you have used, plate weights, taptones, etc., that might help.

Varnish too might be a factor, as a thick oil varnish could kill off the higher frequency response.

Don,

Could you explain why oil varnish would kill the high end? Are you assuming the oil varnish would be softer?

Thanks

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28 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Don,

Could you explain why oil varnish would kill the high end? Are you assuming the oil varnish would be softer?

Thanks

In general, oil varnish adds damping, and in general, I think that would attenuate high frequencies more than the low ones.  However, it's more complicated (my trademarked disclaimer).  If the "bridge/body hill" is the result of an underdamped lowpass filter behavior of the body structure, then adding damping would flatten the hill, which would actually increase the response at the very high (harsh, undesirable) frequencies while killing off the "good" ones.

But who knows.  I'm just trying to make educated guesses.

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21 hours ago, H.R.Fisher said:

   Most of the instruments  lean toward the dark,hollow or as my title indicates "boomer" type of tone. Even if I follow the arching specs of the specific model it seems the result is always toward that end of the spectrum. What are the contributing factors to this end and what can be done to bring out a  brighter tone?

                                                                                                        As always, Thanks in advance for your response.    Henry

You could simply make the plates thicker. maybe the top first. Do you use slabcut backs? Try normal cut backs. And/or try harder woods, higher densties.

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2 hours ago, Don Noon said:

What "specific models" have you used?  If you have been faithfully following a Strad model (including the extremely thin graduations), using fresh wood, that would explain the problem.

To be more specific about what you should do differently, it would be helpful to know more specifics about what you have done.  If you have records (and you should) of the wood densities and types you have used, plate weights, taptones, etc., that might help.

Varnish too might be a factor, as a thick oil varnish could kill off the higher frequency response.

The tops are usually between 35 and 42 sg . Free plate [ before BB or FF]mode 5- 330 to 350,Thickness varies according to wood density for a finish wt. w/ BB and FF around 70g.  Back wt.100 to 110 g.  Arching hgt  back and top 15mm.  Rib hgt 30 mm

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3 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Don,

Could you explain why oil varnish would kill the high end? Are you assuming the oil varnish would be softer?

Thanks

I think it's a mistake to try to stereotype oil and spirit varnishes, as if they represented two distinct sets of dried film characteristics. One can make an oil varnish which is hard and brittle, and a spirit varnish which stays soft an gooey for decades or centuries, and vice-versa.

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1 hour ago, H.R.Fisher said:

Arching hgt  back and top 15mm.

The top arch looks low, if you're trying to de-boom.  I'd go 16-17 for the top, if I was trying to clean up the tone.

1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I think it's a mistake to try to stereotype oil and spirit varnishes, as if they represented two distinct sets of dried film characteristics. One can make an oil varnish which is hard and brittle, and a spirit varnish which stays soft an gooey for decades or centuries, and vice-versa.

OK... say "soft and and gooey" then, instead of "oil varnish" in my previous post.  I have never used a gooey spirit varnish... or any spirit varnish, if you discount resin/solvent ground and sometimes a shellac polish.  And I also have never used super-lean oil varnish.  So sometimes I forget that there are other things out there.

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It's understandable that everybody wants to help and give advice. But the fact is that it's all speculative without having seen/tried the violins.

Can't say anything about what to do, but I think the most prominent factor is the shape of arching.

 

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15 hours ago, H.R.Fisher said:

The tops are usually between 35 and 42 sg . Free plate [ before BB or FF]mode 5- 330 to 350,Thickness varies according to wood density for a finish wt. w/ BB and FF around 70g.  Back wt.100 to 110 g.  Arching hgt  back and top 15mm.  Rib hgt 30 mm

Are you using European woods, or something else?

13 hours ago, Peter K-G said:

It's understandable that everybody wants to help and give advice. But the fact is that it's all speculative without having seen/tried the violins.

Can't say anything about what to do, but I think the most prominent factor is the shape of arching.

 

And using something like a strad poster to make an arching soon runs into trouble, because there is such limited information. If one uses their five classic points, the arching produced will be nothing like the real thing anyway.
I know this from having done it myself, and then seeing the real instrument in person :(

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On 4/11/2021 at 1:14 PM, H.R.Fisher said:

   Most of the instruments  lean toward the dark,hollow or as my title indicates "boomer" type of tone. Even if I follow the arching specs of the specific model it seems the result is always toward that end of the spectrum. What are the contributing factors to this end and what can be done to bring out a  brighter tone?

                                                                                                        As always, Thanks in advance for your response.    Henry

The area between the f holes could be too thin especially the area between the two upper f hole eyes.  This "island area" is known to produce a lot of a violin's high frequency output which may be lacking in your violins.

This might be a good place to try Sam Zygmuntowicz's "gluey" stiffening experiments where thin strips of wood are temporarily attached to the outside plate surface with melted rosin.  If this helps the top could be taken off and wood strips could be permanently glued on the inside surface.

The bridge design also has a big effect on the high frequency output.  A heavy bridge might be acting as a mute.   I suggest trying a bridge with a wide waist and thin top. 

 

For making new violins I suggest you follow Oded Kishhony's method of thinning the plates of the assembled violin with its strings on to monitor how the violin's sound character changes as you thin the plates. This will prevent you from making the plates too thin.  Varnishing the instrument will change its sound and with experience you should be able to adjust your thinning to compensate for the varnishing effects.

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