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Plate tuning


Crimson0087
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42 minutes ago, James M. Jones said:

1. Judging by the general content of your post …You don’t seem worried about the keyboard , I mean really… I’m asking for whatever you care to share . If you don’t want to share the experience that’s ok . Sounds interesting…. 

2. ..............but in a violin making forum , it does add some credence to what people have to say…, 

 

1. There is nothing I "care to share" . If there is anything you might have an interest in just ask and if I can, I'll answer. The bloke I was talking about was a former worker in a ( large ) violin factory who, late into his retirement, started making violins again. 

2. That's of no interest to myself. 

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18 minutes ago, Carl Stross said:

1. There is nothing I "care to share" . If there is anything you might have an interest in just ask and if I can, I'll answer. The bloke I was talking about was a former worker in a ( large ) violin factory who, late into his retirement, started making violins again. 

2. That's of no interest to myself. 

1 . A.And that’s Ok….

B. Thanks for sharing ! I do love a good story. 
 

2. curious 

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9 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Increasing artificially the top arching by adding an arch to the rib garland did make a clear change.

I have done this on two violins.  I shaped the top of the garland by sanding it in a radius dish.   I think it looks really nice. I have not made enough violins to really be able to identify what difference it makes to the tone, they are all different anyway.  Both instruments played very well from the start.  I am interested in exploring what "clear change" Andreas is referring to. 

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2 hours ago, James M. Jones said:

How many have you made?

 

2 hours ago, Carl Stross said:

Why are you asking ? Are you under the impression that making violins makes you by necessity competent in how they work or as a tool ???  That is absolutely not the case or the '60s workers in some East European factory would be better than Stradivarius. 

Carl, have you considered that there might be something like a "bell curve", in which makers who prioritize quantity of production, as well as makers who have made few or none, might be at each lower end of the curve?

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Just now, David Stiles said:

I am interested in exploring what "clear change" Andreas is referring to. 

I usually measured the sound on two levels.. One was just by playing and then I made also an audacity graph before and after changes were made.

important was the perception of the played instrument. Often alterations in the structure would lead to situations where I would say ‘maybe somewhere on a played scale something changed in yhe sound.  but cant say for sure’ in all those cases the overall pattern of the sound graph did not change. Often this looked like talking myself to see a change in the sound. 
 

The clearly audible changes were in most cases either an improvement in loudness or richness in overtones (crispier sound which stings in your ears) interesting enough each time there was a change in the overall pattern of the sound graph, 

—————

Besides, it’s always nice to hear that other makers have similar experience with some constructional experiments. 

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3 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I failed to mention that this is a complicated problem.  I have to decide whether to use flat head or round head screws, phillips head or slotted head, brass or stainless steel etc. what diameter and length and so on.  

:lol:

I was once thinking about fixing the entire top only with micro screws. 
 

Anyway, if the top is only supported on the blocks, the openings between top plate and ribs makes a big change for the air resonance. The experiment by Carleen Hutchins with the ,Swiss cheese ribs’ demonstrated that this is another method to destroy the sound. So even if you loosen the plates from the ribs it must be airtight. 

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A couple of times a year I run into an instrument that's in for seam gluing where when I tug on the plate a large length of seam will easily open. When this happens I'll get more aggressive around the whole thing, and find that quite a bit of top or back are glued on but barely. In those cases I go around and open a lot or most of the seams and reglue them in sequence, one section at a time so that the instrument doesn't distort, necessitating a new bridge or post. 

Occasionally I'll get an instrument for some small problem (one nice example was a del Gesu you'd all recognize where the upper block was coming loose from the ribs) and the top nearly jumped off, it was so nearly (but not quite) unglued.

A couple of years ago I fixe a viola that had been to a lot of shops to fix a decline in sound from when it was new, and everyone had failed. With the above type of incident in mind, I started prying and soon had the top half off, bare handedly right in front of the customer.

In every case after I'd glued things down properly the owners declared a HUGE gain in sound--in some cases better than ever in the past. It was very similar to what I mentioned in the adjustable necks thread about regluing loose conventional necks. You can hardly lose gluing down things that are supposed to be glued down.

I'm a big fan of instruments being glued together the way they were originally intended to be.

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13 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

I'm a big fan of instruments being glued together the way they were originally intended to be.

Ditto.

I too have never found that an open seam improved anything.  It stands to reason that if such a thing DID improve the sound, then the size, shape, F-holes, etc. of the original design are the best, and could be improved by changing them to duplicate the effect of the open seam.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

 

Carl, have you considered that there might be something like a "bell curve", in which makers who prioritize quantity of production, as well as makers who have made few or none, might be at each lower end of the curve?

You need to be a bit  more specific : what is the bell curve representing ?  "Tonal goodness" ?? 

A vast number of professionals can not build nor, in many cases, use or test what they research or design and a vast number of inventions came from complete outsiders with many being plain accidents. 

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56 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

:lol:

I was once thinking about fixing the entire top only with micro screws. 
 

Anyway, if the top is only supported on the blocks, the openings between top plate and ribs makes a big change for the air resonance. The experiment by Carleen Hutchins with the ,Swiss cheese ribs’ demonstrated that this is another method to destroy the sound. So even if you loosen the plates from the ribs it must be airtight. 

One of the problems with cracks and open seams is that the interfacing surfaces rattle around making a not so good sound.  So it is important to have a large enough gap between the plate and the rib that they never touch during the plate's vibrations.  

Another problem is that the gap has to have an optimum sized or else you change the A0 frequency and amplitude to something you don't want as you mentioned.  Attached are two papers by the same research group describing the experiments with using free plate edges on a kantele (a stringed Finish folk instrument) which traditionally has the top plate glue around its entire perimeter.  

Apparently finite element modeling and actual physical experiments show that free edges vibrate more than clamped edges and can therefore produce more sound.  

Kantele-Tahvanainen2013.pdf Design_and_Analysis_of_a_Modified_Kantele_with_Inc.pdf

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12 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

One of the problems with cracks and open seams is that the interfacing surfaces rattle around making a not so good sound.  So it is important to have a large enough gap between the plate and the rib that they never touch during the plate's vibrations.  

Another problem is that the gap has to have an optimum sized or else you change the A0 frequency and amplitude to something you don't want as you mentioned.  Attached are two papers by the same research group describing the experiments with using free plate edges on a kantele (a stringed Finish folk instrument) which traditionally has the top plate glue around its entire perimeter.  

Apparently finite element modeling and actual physical experiments show that free edges vibrate more than clamped edges and can therefore produce more sound.  

Kantele-Tahvanainen2013.pdf 1.39 MB · 0 downloads Design_and_Analysis_of_a_Modified_Kantele_with_Inc.pdf 568.17 kB · 0 downloads

Thank you for the two pdf's. Very interesting.

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37 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

therefore produce more sound.  

The kantele is a plucked instrument and has no f holes which make in my view a big difference from the beginning. I don’t know if this can be transferred to a bowed instrument with an arched top plate and f holes.
 

For some rather psychological reasons I would not consider it a good idea to make a violin without f-holes and have instead the openings on the ribs. It might work but I don’t think performers of classical music are ready to step out on a stage with such a visibly different instrument. 

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Just now, Andreas Preuss said:

The kantele is a plucked instrument and has no f holes which make in my view a big difference from the beginning. I don’t know if this can be transferred to a bowed instrument with an arched top plate and f holes.
 

For some rather psychological reasons I would not consider it a good idea to make a violin without f-holes and have instead the openings on the ribs. It might work but I don’t think performers of classical music are ready to step out on a stage with such a visibly different instrument. 

 cutting the ffs really allows the plates to flex a lot more than without, much more than a simple psychological effect. 

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58 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

 Apparently finite element modeling and actual physical experiments show that free edges vibrate more than clamped edges and can therefore produce more sound.  

Um... I think it's rather obvious that free edges can vibrate more than clamped ones... but the question is WHAT vibrations they produce.  In the case of rigid box-type folk instruments that have semi-infinite sustain, reducing stiffness and lowering mode frequencies might be judged as better... by some listeners.  I don't see that this translates well to violins, where there is a more global history of development for a particular set of performance goals.  Many have tried to make radical "improvements", without much in the way of obvious success.

But have fun anyway messing with it.

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

One of the problems with cracks and open seams is that the interfacing surfaces rattle around making a not so good sound.  So it is important to have a large enough gap between the plate and the rib that they never touch during the plate's vibrations.  

Another problem is that the gap has to have an optimum sized or else you change the A0 frequency and amplitude to something you don't want as you mentioned.  Attached are two papers by the same research group describing the experiments with using free plate edges on a kantele (a stringed Finish folk instrument) which traditionally has the top plate glue around its entire perimeter.  

Apparently finite element modeling and actual physical experiments show that free edges vibrate more than clamped edges and can therefore produce more sound.  

Kantele-Tahvanainen2013.pdf 1.39 MB · 4 downloads Design_and_Analysis_of_a_Modified_Kantele_with_Inc.pdf 568.17 kB · 6 downloads

A brief scan of the PDF show that there were Three major modifications , larger surface area of the plate , an extra string an increase in tension , string gauge and the loose edge , kind of hard to know exactly what is responsible for the increase in loudness, also noted that the loudness of individual frequency was not uniform, the changes were primarily in the lower frequencies. I’d be concerned about the overtone content…. Also a Concern would be that the constant input force of the bow vs the plucked string input , I think the constant input of the bow requires a certain damping otherwise a sort of feedback loop and a sort of muddy tone could evolve, in guitars we see arch top guitars with quick decay more suited to high speed note content jazz type music vs flat top long sustained tones more suitable to strumming and chordal type music . 

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1 hour ago, James M. Jones said:

 cutting the ffs really allows the plates to flex a lot more than without, much more than a simple psychological effect. 

I agree.

However there is always the possibility that a completely different concept in making an instrument may result in whatever improvement you are seeking. It is thinkable to get the flexibility in a plate without f-holes by making the entire flanks at the C bouts extremely thin. (Maybe 1mm or less, if you dare)

Its just my personal conviction to stay as close as possible to traditional forms. In my thread on the new concept violin you can see how far I am willing to stretch shape deformations. (And that's already too much for conservative makers and performers.)

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25 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I agree.

However there is always the possibility that a completely different concept in making an instrument may result in whatever improvement you are seeking. It is thinkable to get the flexibility in a plate without f-holes by making the entire flanks at the C bouts extremely thin. (Maybe 1mm or less, if you dare)

Its just my personal conviction to stay as close as possible to traditional forms. In my thread on the new concept violin you can see how far I am willing to stretch shape deformations. (And that's already too much for conservative makers and performers.)

Yes , Fully agree, My experience is not near as comprehensive as yours , obviously, but as a more or less “ traditionalist “ it seems clear to me that a Violin falls within a fairly Narrow scope of definition… beyond it becomes a viola or other sort of thing , perhaps equally “good” or better even depending on the goals … a trumpet is very good at projecting but hardly as “good” as a violin  for conveying emotion. So goals need to be considered in methods of making. 

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5 minutes ago, James M. Jones said:

a Violin falls within a fairly Narrow scope of definition

To me, the intriguing question is how narrow the definition must be. There are clearly elements in the making process which came for practical and aesthetical reasons rather than any considerations regarding sound. I mean when the first lute makers started to build violins 400 years ago.

This became the ignition to make an asymmetric model. It made me really wonder why this has never been explored in depth before, especially because no one can argue that the structure of the violin with bass bar and soundpost must be assymetric. There is not even a good reason to make the back the same surface as the top. There is no reason to make both f holes the same length. 

 

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3 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

To me, the intriguing question is how narrow the definition must be. There are clearly elements in the making process which came for practical and aesthetical reasons rather than any considerations regarding sound. I mean when the first lute makers started to build violins 400 years ago.

This became the ignition to make an asymmetric model. It made me really wonder why this has never been explored in depth before, especially because no one can argue that the structure of the violin with bass bar and soundpost must be assymetric. There is not even a good reason to make the back the same surface as the top. There is no reason to make both f holes the same length. 

 

Interesting perspectives .thank you for sharing that.  One of the first sort of lessons learned on this journey was to learn that while the sound- tone playability aspect is a (or the )sort of crucial necessity in this field , perhaps that is shared with other aspects of what a violin is, Because violins and all instruments are essentially a social endeavor, created as much by individuals as society as a whole . So then also is the need for an aesthetic balance that can first be appreciated from fourty feet and rather pulls the individual into a relationship with the instrument before the hands touch it the eyes must enjoy it , then the hand touch it and again it must please , only then does the sound matter. . A violin that makes your eyes bleed and hands hurt will never share the same prestige and social value no matter how qualified the tone , existing as an oddity, from a human aesthetic standpoint the classic understanding seems to be that to much symmetry is a bit unrelated to us and so creates a tension however to little symmetry can appear grotesque and without balance. Of course not all aesthetics are based in any idea of symmetry, but the sense of equity and balance always seems to be present. 

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On 2/8/2022 at 6:06 PM, James M. Jones said:

it seems the only thing we really know for sure … is that “ plate tuning “by itself , isolated from model and wood density eat, means absolutely nothing. Vorcheck was wrong 

If you don't wish to dabble in plate tuning, then don't. Simple as...

 "Vorcheck"

Who? If you intend to dismiss someone's life long work and research, at least show a modicum of decency and get the guy's name right.

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1 hour ago, Quentin Clark Jr said:

If you don't wish to dabble in plate tuning, then don't. Simple as...

 "Vorcheck"

Who? If you intend to dismiss someone's life long work and research, at least show a modicum of decency and get the guy's name right.

No, there's no safe space for disinformation.

I believe some crazy stuff, but I have the sense to keep my head down about it. :-)

 

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