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Original Sound of Stradivarius


GerardM
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17 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Well I would judge a sound system in how accurately it reproduces the sound of the same instruments live, in this respect early attempts in sound were not really that good. As to violins, I am impressed by richness and pleasant complexity of sound, something that takes your breath away and you can just say, wow, that sounds incredible, I have plenty of less than incredible violins, so I think I know the difference.

Fair enough. Thank you.

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3 hours ago, Arbos said:

If you want to listen to A Gregory in her full glory she has a very good record on Spotify, playing Russian music. If she is playing Don’s violin I think it would be a more faithful test of the instrument.

Yes, she is playing my violin.  BTW, it is not my tonal favorite either, but it is very powerful and projecting.  I'm still aiming for a tone like Rachel Barton Pine's Guarneri, although I have heard several other violins, including one made in England, that I like as well.

1 hour ago, MANFIO said:

"Sound is subjective". If so, how to explain Strad, Del Gesùs, Amatis reputation?

1 hour ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Because the tend to have subjectively very good tone. Not to mention mostly being very well made and beautiful

SOME of them have a tone that is generally preferred, and they are so valuable even as art objects that putting lots of money into repairs and adjustments by top experts is warranted. The subjectively bad sounding ones beyond help (and there definitely are some) aren't played in public.

 

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1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

SOME of them have a tone that is generally preferred, and they are so valuable even as art objects that putting lots of money into repairs and adjustments by top experts is warranted. The subjectively bad sounding ones beyond help (and there definitely are some) aren't played in public.

Obviously, those have suffered the ravages of time and repairmen. They were all Glorious when fresh out of His Workshop.

In all probability.

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4 hours ago, Don Noon said:

I'm still aiming for a tone like Rachel Barton Pine's Guarneri

You just need the right wood. What other explanation is viable?

Without the lucky wood, no treatment or tweaking will make it so. With the lucky wood, What's to stop you?

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On 5/6/2021 at 12:22 PM, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Yes i think the people that are saying anything negative about the Tuscan Strad are commenting more on the limitations of their sound system than the violin itself.

I think it sounds wonderful on my headphones, pretty much my ideal for a violin.

However, I was replaying it, trying to find something on the G string.  I could only find one note.  If you're demonstrating a violin, please at least play on all the strings.  :D

The other thing is that room would make a Suzuki violin sound great.  The only way I can know for sure is to get that violin in my hands.  :D

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There was one time when a maker posted a Youtube recording of his violin, and I thought it sounded fantastic.  That same violin was entered at a VMAAI competition, and it was godawful (my blind scoring, which was in line with what the other judges scored).  So, yeah... recordings can be all over the place and misleading.

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On 5/6/2021 at 11:50 PM, Strad O Various Jr. said:

All I can say is on my tube amp and $5000 speakers the Tuscan recording sounds absolutely glorious, I don't see how any real musician hearing what I hear could say that is not a really good sounding violin. When a respected experimenter like Don claims it sounds like cardboard, I can only assume that its his substandard sound system that sounds like cardboard, not the violin. Don's recording sounds OK, but the sound quality etc is so much less than professional, its hard to make any real conclusions about his instruments, this goes for those that have tried to comment on the tone in this thread. The Tuscan is recorded professionally, probably using microphones that cost more than my whole stereo, add to that a very live room with lots of echo, that is cheating a bit, but the tone of the Tuscan does not sound new to me but rather antique, which I would classify as having a higher amount of positive sounding overtones than most newer violins.

Your $5000 tube amp is processing digital information, so it is still a digital output is it not? Or at least a square tooth waveform with slightly rounded edges?

I'm not looking for excuses not to spend more money, I'm just not an audiophile. But I am interested.

And how do you explain how the Tuscan has an antique sound? That's just another illusion. 

My own illusions were shattered when I played a 300 year old instrument by a lesser know Italian Master. I expected an 'antique' sound, but it sounded no different to an average modern instrument. 

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Does anyone still think that 'le Messie' the Messiah is an actual Strad?  Having read Nicholas Sackman's research https://themessiahviolin.uk/book.html it seems possible/probable that this was Vuillaume's greatest forgery - he found some old tone wood and tried to see if he could fool the experts. Perhaps he was not only a great fabricator/innovator but also a good fabulator. For me the dot under the bridge and the mis-reference to the mould, as well as the suspicious activity of finding an immaculate Strad and then immediately taking the top off, scribbling on it, changing the angle of the neck, new pegs etc. before showing it to anybody else are a bit of a giveaway.

Edited by Samuel Detached
typo
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1 hour ago, Samuel Detached said:

Does anyone still think that 'le Messie' the Messiah is an actual Strad?  Having read Nicholas Sackman's research https://themessiahviolin.uk/book.html it seems possible/probable that this was Vuillaume's greatest forgery - he found some old tone wood and tried to see if he could fool the experts. Perhaps he was not only a great fabricator/innovator but also a good fabulator. For me the dot under the bridge and the mis-reference to the mould, as well as the suspicious activity of finding an immaculate Strad and then immediately taking the top off, scribbling on it, changing the angle of the neck, new pegs etc. before showing it to anybody else are a bit of a giveaway.

Maybe you should poke around on Maestronet a little for discussions concerning this... and just a note; the last person to perform a Dendro analysis on the Messiah is a member here.

Personally, I mentally write this "controversy" off as a conspiracy theory, but you can come to your own conclusion once you reach beyond Sackman's theories.

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2 hours ago, Samuel Detached said:

Does anyone still think that 'le Messie' the Messiah is an actual Strad?  Having read Nicholas Sackman's research https://themessiahviolin.uk/book.html it seems possible/probable that this was Vuillaume's greatest forgery - he found some old tone wood and tried to see if he could fool the experts. Perhaps he was not only a great fabricator/innovator but also a good fabulator. For me the dot under the bridge and the mis-reference to the mould, as well as the suspicious activity of finding an immaculate Strad and then immediately taking the top off, scribbling on it, changing the angle of the neck, new pegs etc. before showing it to anybody else are a bit of a giveaway.

It's one thing to question the airtight provenance of an instrument from Stradivari workshop in Cremona in 1716 to the violin display case where it is currently kept in the Ashmolean Museum.

Only a handful of instruments have a flawless line of provenance from the time they left the workshop til today and even then, without photographs and totally unequivocal documentation, even they can be doubted.

It's quite another to question whether or not the violin is an authentic work by Stradivari. Many details of the Cremonese working method were unknown to Vuillaume and if all you need to differentiate a Vuillaume from a Stradivari is the presence or not of a pencil point we are approaching the ludicrous.

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4 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Almost all the 200 yr old instruments  I have had sounded different from newer instruments

Same here... and those I have been able to measure response spectra, that was  almost always identifiably different as well.  Some I liked, some I didn't... it depends on the listener/player's personal preference.

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3 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

Same here... and those I have been able to measure response spectra, that was  almost always identifiably different as well.  Some I liked, some I didn't... it depends on the listener/player's personal preference.

Thank you, I must admit I have a marked preference for the older type sound, but in the instruments I deal with its often not the loudest.

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1 hour ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

I must admit I have a marked preference for the older type sound, but in the instruments I deal with its often not the loudest.

I believe one distinctive feature of the "older type of sound" is less amplitude in the middle frequencies... less power, but many prefer that tonal balance.  I also think that attenuated power band is especially obvious to the player, thus the "quiet under the ear, clear at a distance" impression.

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1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

I believe one distinctive feature of the "older type of sound" is less amplitude in the middle frequencies... less power, but many prefer that tonal balance.  I also think that attenuated power band is especially obvious to the player, thus the "quiet under the ear, clear at a distance" impression.

That's a very interesting observation Don!  Thanks for sharing it.

 

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6 hours ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

Maybe you should poke around on Maestronet a little for discussions concerning this... and just a note; the last person to perform a Dendro analysis on the Messiah is a member here...

Great reminder of how lucky we are to have a such an great community here at MN

My question(s) for those who continue question the authenticity of the Messiah is always: 1) have you been to the Ashmolean? and Have you seen a Vuillaume strad copy?  

Perhaps it's time for a 'locked' Messiah sticky with links to credible scholarship (much of which is referred to here and in other threads) - might be easier to point folks to a reference than having interesting conversations derailed.

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8 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Almost all the 200 yr old instruments  I have had sounded different from newer instruments

All instruments sound different anyway don't they?

 

4 hours ago, Don Noon said:

Same here... and those I have been able to measure response spectra, that was  almost always identifiably different as well.  Some I liked, some I didn't... it depends on the listener/player's personal preference.

 

4 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Thank you, I must admit I have a marked preference for the older type sound, but in the instruments I deal with its often not the loudest.

 

2 hours ago, Don Noon said:

I believe one distinctive feature of the "older type of sound" is less amplitude in the middle frequencies... less power, but many prefer that tonal balance.  I also think that attenuated power band is especially obvious to the player, thus the "quiet under the ear, clear at a distance" impression.

Do you notice a difference in blind tests?

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2 minutes ago, Urban Luthier said:

Great reminder of how lucky we are to have a such an great community here at MN

My question(s) for those who continue question the authenticity of the Messiah is always: 1) have you been to the Ashmolean? and Have you seen a Vuillaume strad copy?  

Perhaps it's time for a 'locked' Messiah sticky with links to credible scholarship (much of which is referred to here and in other threads) - might be easier to point folks to a reference than having interesting conversations derailed.

I would rather hear what it sounds like.

Do you think they might let someone play it if they asked nicely? 

Or is it considered too precious to be played?

Or has it always sounded dreadful and that's why it's in such good condition?

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1 hour ago, sospiri said:

All instruments sound different anyway don't they?

 

 

 

Do you notice a difference in blind tests?

I don't need blind tests because I'm not deaf! Abd yes, if you'd been paying attention, Don Noon has done scientific studies of the frequency outputs of antiques vs moderns, but I'm sure that's not good enough for you because Don Noon isn't blind!

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1 hour ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

I don't need blind tests because I'm not deaf! Abd yes, if you'd been paying attention, Don Noon has done scientific studies of the frequency outputs of antiques vs moderns, but I'm sure that's not good enough for you because Don Noon isn't blind!

So do you trust your ears enough not to need 'scientific studies'?

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