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Are there any possible ways to measure the sound projection without testing an instrument in a hall?


Andreas Preuss
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4 hours ago, martin swan said:

In order to decrease the string angle and lessen the load

I ran into the same mistake. You increase the string angle to lessen the load. Or you decrease the break angle (definition of Joe Curtin) to do the same.

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4903FD6B-EC96-4173-B52F-79E7B1ABC7A0.thumb.jpeg.833f5f53e6f606261fab0c812dc33172.jpegbut this is not my point. What I don’t understand is why the nut (lower saddle has to be brought up when flattening the string angle.

In my logic, if the bridge height AND the nut (lower saddle) height remain unaltered, increasing the neck overstand will flatten the string angle and decrease the download. 

You can get any string angle with different neck overstand only if you change the bridge height, not so much with changing the lower saddle height.

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4 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

 

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In my logic, if the bridge height AND the nut (lower saddle) height remain unaltered, increasing the neck overstand will flatten the string angle and decrease the download. 

 

If the nut and saddle stay in the same place and the bridge remains the same height, the string angle is always the same. In this scenario you can't modify the string angle by changing the overstand. All you can change is the string to fingerboard clearance.

For a given bridge height (assuming the saddle doesn't move) you have to move the nut to change the string angle. The overstand is a by-product of that change.

I suppose I am assuming that sound is paramount, so the bridge height/mass and the load over the bridge are more important than the playability. Probaby a lot of players would disagree ...

It's a very interesting distinction in the mental model of a violin set-up, and I wonder if the way people talk about it depends on whether the goal is mechanics/playability or pursuit of optimal sound.

 

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The drawings of modern vs baroque necks in the Hill Strad book show something that has been confirmed by other baroque experts who have bothered to look at the data; that the position of the top of the fingerboard didn't change; that the original bridge heights haven't changed; that the position of the nut hasn't changed, only moved a couple of mm away. Regarding Golden Period Cremona, at least, this is the situation: that basically all of the change happened at the back of the neck to allow players better access to the upper positions. The first change, transitional period, thinned the neck from the back without changing much else; final changes happened somewhat later. None of this had to do with string angle, but only neck access.

At other places and times the situation was not the same as in Cremona, either, and the string angle did vary considerably in both directions There's also some indication that the early Amati model had greater stress (less angular number) and that it moved to the current position near to Stradivari, and that later pre-modern violins did regress frommodern/Strad standards back to a more aggressive neck. The Wm Monical book Shapes of the Baroque cites a Balestrieri transitional violin where the top of the nut appears to have been placed somewhere near the middle of the rib height, for instance.

This is a subtle discussion that isn't being given a fair shake here. I don't have sources because I did this geeking over 20 years ago when I designed my baroque models, but you can find a good amount of unnoticed information via a JSTOR subscription..

Something additional that I have learned from working with players using transitional instruments: the loss of the more conical neck shape essentially demands the invention of the chinrest. While it's easy to move backwards on a baroque neck, on the more parallel transitional and modern necks, once you get up there you're stuck.

No one here seems to have considered the probably-considerable effect of losing a lot of mass and stiffness from the baroque-style neck to modern. In our shop we've noticed that just slight reshaping of a neck of "normal" dimensions without changing those measurements can have a huge tonal effect on a sensitive instrument.

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6 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

No one here seems to have considered the probably-considerable effect of losing a lot of mass and stiffness from the baroque-style neck to modern.

I can see how trimming the neck would reduce mass and stiffness, and also how replacing a baroque-style veneered fingerboard with a longer one made of solid ebony, could take that back to a wash.

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"In our shop we've noticed that just slight reshaping of a neck of "normal" dimensions without changing those measurements can have a huge tonal effect on a sensitive instrument."

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I will agree that tiny changes can make huge differences, if that was the thrust of what you were trying to convey.

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3 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I can see how trimming the neck would reduce mass and stiffness, and also how replacing a baroque-style veneered fingerboard with a longer one made of solid ebony, could take that back to a wash.

My experiment with making a Fernambuk neck graft didn’t show a significant difference for the sound despite it was much heavier (+20g) and presumably much stiffer. 
 

Fingerboard weight makes slight changes in the sound. 

27967020-910E-4457-9F71-51AF4116784A.jpeg

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Lets say there is a twisting mode or so in a fingerboard neck lying close to a body mode. Slight chnges of fingerboard length or thickness may give an effect on that particular mode. I think there are examples shown in my article. Or at least shared here on MN while I conducted the change from violin to Hardangerfiddle in steps. Inlcuding steps of cutting the fingerboard.

I have bought e few custom made dragon hardanger fiddles from China. There is a dip in the B1+ mode and I tried to hollow out the somewhat large heads, and the dip was still there. I know the dip is related to the neck-fingerboard system in some form (also shared here on MN), but that operation did not make much change to the dip nor playability. It was some time between the before and after test, though.

In general I think the longer and heavier HF nack gives a lower B1+ mode frequency, although HF in general have thinner backs. Also a possible reason.

It is hard, I think, to generalize on this matter. As it is with chinrests as well, I think. It is even harder to percept the changes by playing than to measure a change using high resolution instrumentation. However, I do believe violinists can spot these changes better than a fiddler as they can and my stay longer on each note at a given frequency.  

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On 11/26/2021 at 11:26 PM, Anders Buen said:

In room acoustics and sources in it, there are nothing called «projection». There are directivity, room amplification (Strength G) and impulse responses giving the time history and energy drop including reflections arriving at different times. The sound level in a given position form a source can be measured or calculated, although the directivlty of a given violin may differ in the high frequencies, from insturment to instrument.  

The sound power of a source, like a violin is, the same in a large room and a small one. So tecnically the sound level and «projection» may me assessed in a smaller room. The difference between small and large rooms, like a concert hall, is the time between reflections and maybe the directivy play a larger role in a large room than a small.

There is a bit of masking going on for the player, I think. Less so for the right ear.

Comparing an instrument to an orchestra is not a reliable reference, as different orchestras do sound different, bacause the insturments, especially the bowed strings, are different, and the muisichians are too. I basically think that a layer can asess the insturment quality and «projection» on his own in a mid to small sized room.

Higher «projection» is simply an instrument with stronger output in all ranges, stronger fundamentals and stronger highs around the formants. The violin acoustics researchers knew this already in the 20 ties and more so in the 30ties and 40ties.      

The dynamic behavior that arises on an instrument depend on the willingness of the bout structures to change the volume of the instrument. In that condition the bout shapes are loaded with energy. Since the bout shape are different, we do not know how much each bout is loaded and thus also impossible to know how the participation of the bouts influences the breathing that arises when the instrument is in a dynamical state. Breathing through the F-holes produces projection. The air outside the instrument becomes affected. This will be different for each violin. Playing the pizzicato on the G-string we can feel the dynamic behavior holding the instrument against our body. Also, the duration tells us about the behavior. Balancing the properties of the bout shapes using equal energy is one of the most difficult things to do and understand how to do. Is there any how like to share experience on that?

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