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Original Sound of Stradivarius


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2 minutes ago, Bruce Carlson said:

With all of the background noise we have to put up with on a daily basis our hearing is likely less sensitive than it would have been for someone living in that time.

No, the hearing improves according to a collegue running the hearing part of the HUNT study in North Trøndelag repeated every 20 years 50000 participants checked for health including hearing.  

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2 minutes ago, Anders Buen said:

There is two pictures of the original grip of the Soil Strad in Sacconis book. Not easy to draw something from it. The shapes are actually similar to hardanger fiddle necks in the root and necklength. Maybe oiriginal violin playing was in one position too? I have never looked at this in the deail, though.
There are pictures of two violin bridge templates, also missing scaling.  

 

That neck came from the 'Soil' but it too had been lengthened and re-shaped before it found its way into the Museum.

Bridges in general were somewhat narrower than today, around 39mm.

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9 hours ago, sospiri said:

Do we know what string tensions were preferedby diffrent makers at different times? 

Was it Tartini who measured string tensions in 17??

 

 

Tartini measured the string tension but gauges and strings were a lot less standardized than they are today. Then introduce the wild card of local tuning pitch.

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6 minutes ago, Bruce Carlson said:

Sometimes up to 10mm shorter.

The overall neck angle including the fingerboard was about the same. Vuillaume was modifying mostly to make the neck more comfortable for current playing technique. This meant a longer neck and more slender, especially at the heel. The longer string length is what increased the tension and not so much the angle over the bridge which was very similar. 

 

Yes, thank you Bruce.

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9 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Isn't Stewart Pollens the guy that said the Messiah was a Vuillaume? Not sure but it was someone that worked for the Smithsonian, I believe.

It seems if you're going to look at baroque violins you would look at virtually unaltered originals of which there are no Strad examples, basing a whole history of baroque violins on Strad only seems ridiculous.

There are two arguments which continually get mixed together creating no end of confusion. One affirmation that Pollens questioned was whether or not it is the Messiah from the workshop of Stradivari all the way to its final display case in the Ashmolean. The other has to do with whether or not Stradivari made the violin, and if fake who made it.

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22 minutes ago, Anders Buen said:

There is two pictures of the original grip of the Soil Strad in Sacconis book. Not easy to draw something from it. The shapes are actually similar to hardanger fiddle necks in the root and necklength. Maybe oiriginal violin playing was in one position too? I have never looked at this in the deail, though.
There are pictures of two violin bridge templates, also missing scaling.  

 

double reply

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On 5/1/2021 at 2:41 PM, David Burgess said:

How would either you or I know, unless we have solid and reliable contact with the spiritual realm, or time travel?

Most of my income has come from time-travel back to Stradivari's time, selling toilet paper. It was a hot commodity back when people mostly used their hands, their sleeves, the hems of their skirts, or an erect middle finger. ;)

OMG!  Everything was funny until you threw in the erect, middle finger.

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5 hours ago, Bruce Carlson said:

The 'Baron d'Assignies' of 1713 is heftier in the belly than many.

How hefty are we talking?
It looks like the Tuscan Strad gets up to 3.1mm in the belly. Perhaps untouched?
With gut strings that might be the closest we get to an original sounding Strad. 

I'm not sure but it may have gut on these recordings.. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, J.DiLisio said:

How hefty are we talking?
It looks like the Tuscan Strad gets up to 3.1mm in the belly. Perhaps untouched?
With gut strings that might be the closest we get to an original sounding Strad. 

Again, I think there's a huge difference between a Strad in its original condition, and what that Strad sounded like originally.  300 years of age is a biggie, and some have aged well and others poorly.  The "wet cardboard sound" Strads may have been diddled with by repairmen throughout the years, it's hard to believe that even inept workers could have made them sound like that.  And the great ones too... no matter how great the repairman, I think there's a limit to how much they can do.

The 1690 Tuscan recording sounds unlike modern or most concert-quality Strads.  I wonder if being "rescued from a fire and repaired" has anything to do with the way it sounds.  To my ear, it has the beginning of the cardboard sound, but not the full wet cardboard sound.

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32 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

The 1690 Tuscan recording sounds unlike modern or most concert-quality Strads.  I wonder if being "rescued from a fire and repaired" has anything to do with the way it sounds.  To my ear, it has the beginning of the cardboard sound, but not the full wet cardboard sound.

Really?

https://youtu.be/hBUC1EMcxOE

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11 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Of course Don Noon would tell us that his violins sound better than the Tuscan Strad.

No, I wouldn't... I would say that the Tuscan has a sound I don't like much.  Personal preference, not objectively better or worse.  However, I do think that there is something in the tone of the Tuscan that is distinctive of some very old violins, that could perhaps be objectively shown.

And, yes, I have a personal preference for the sound of my own violins (in general), as I have proven to myself in blind listening tests at VMAAI, I consistently score the tone of my own violins higher than most others do.  

I try to keep my personal preference separate from objective tone discussion, but the choice of descriptions of tone might be taken the wrong way.  "Cardboard" to me might be "baroque" to someone else... but without response plots to compare, all we have are ambiguous ajectives.

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2 hours ago, Don Noon said:

Again, I think there's a huge difference between a Strad in its original condition, and what that Strad sounded like originally.  300 years of age is a biggie, and some have aged well and others poorly.  The "wet cardboard sound" Strads may have been diddled with by repairmen throughout the years, it's hard to believe that even inept workers could have made them sound like that.  And the great ones too... no matter how great the repairman, I think there's a limit to how much they can do.

The 1690 Tuscan recording sounds unlike modern or most concert-quality Strads.  I wonder if being "rescued from a fire and repaired" has anything to do with the way it sounds.  To my ear, it has the beginning of the cardboard sound, but not the full wet cardboard sound.

I don't think cardboard is so bad and I've always thought it can be superior to solid wood.  A corrugated cardboard can have a higher stiffness/density, strength/density, and higher speed of sound/density ratio than solid spruce because the empty channels mimic the longitudinal porosity that wood has on dense cellulose but with an even greater effect.

However I don't think it is a good idea to use wet cardboard just as it isn't a good idea to use wet (or green) wood.  Of course this doesn't mater for violas. 

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