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Lots of study being done, many hours spent by one camp or another about right way, and how, maybe why.

Hedge wizards under half remembered names appear and launch forth into the proofs, but, staying on paper, it doesn't raise any interest among the onlookers who are itching just to boil a glue pot, sharpen a bit, and gear up for the next. 

Now were those proofs to develop in to a recipe, or a methodology if you prefer, the benchjockies would be ready to roll. Proving or disproving a test type is a thrill! And even though it is sad when a proto doesn't make the cut, it's still done a great service.

You all know who you are. If you've wrasling in the sandbox these last few days, get in here and let's get to work. 

 

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Restless night Jackson?

I have long been an advocate of the shut up and carve method of violin making. If you listen to people who make good violins, or better yet work for them making their version of good violins, you will learn at least one way of making good violins. After that if you make a lot of instruments you will have lots of good ones, some great ones and perhaps a few inexplicable dogs. Trying to make every instrument you make great is a fun exercise and a noble goal but in the end you will have more great instruments if you shut up and carve than if you talk about it.

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2 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Proving or disproving a test type is a thrill! And even though it is sad when a proto doesn't make the cut, it's still done a great service.

I believe that we are working in an industry in which any divergence from a traditional norm is a kind of taboo. The reason seems that too many attempts in this direction didn’t make the cut and this means that a new proto can only survive it it DOES make the cut.  (Rightfully so, and in this respect I disagree with you.) 

Many theoretic concepts explain only in different ways the same thing and what looks on paper like diametrically different ideas falls only into the brackets of possible variations. (Though some defenders are willing to start religious wars against the opposite camp)

I see today many theories as the invisible wall which prevents us to take the daring step of making what looks impossible possible. 

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14 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I believe that we are working in an industry in which any divergence from a traditional norm is a kind of taboo. The reason seems that too many attempts in this direction didn’t make the cut and this means that a new proto can only survive it it DOES make the cut.  (Rightfully so, and in this respect I disagree with you.) 

Many theoretic concepts explain only in different ways the same thing and what looks on paper like diametrically different ideas falls only into the brackets of possible variations. (Though some defenders are willing to start religious wars against the opposite camp)

I see today many theories as the invisible wall which prevents us to take the daring step of making what looks impossible possible. 

Andreas,

I agree with what I think you are saying that we should not be afraid to innovate or improve but since our definition of good remains that which was done 300 years ago I think improvements should concentrate on player comfort and trouble free longevity of the instruments.

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15 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:

If you listen to people who make good violins,

What is a good violin? I see many ‘good’ violins which sell really fast but not for the reason that they are really good. 
 

I see also makers aimlessly carving tons of instruments with no intent to strive for the better. 
 

I am pretty sure that you forgot to mention one of the most important things: Expose your work to those who use it and get their feedback. While we need to sit down shut up and carve to get things done, the opinion about our work can be the best motivation (or fuel) to get through the pain of doing it.

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1 minute ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Andreas,

I agree with what I think you are saying that we should not be afraid to innovate or improve but since our definition of good remains that which was done 300 years ago I think improvements should concentrate on player comfort and trouble free longevity of the instruments.

Absolutely!

it’s just that, especially when it comes to ‘comfort’, the definition was 300 years ago quite different. None of the makers 300 years ago could foresee the radical changes in performance techniques. This made also instruments more vulnerable requiring more often  cosmetic repairs. (I call it the Shostakovich attacks;))

And exactly this became part of motivation to at least try out some daring new things. 
 

 

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It sounds like your offering to make a violin to Dennis J and others patterns? 

3 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

@Dennis J @David Beardand anyone else who want a maker to take your concept as presented to it's absolute limit. 

I’m with The make chips fall camp … the problem as I see it , is as much as anyone might describe a “concept” there’s so much tactical information and the physical properties of the wood that rather preclude being able to accurately transfer any knowledge a maker might have . Sure the gross concepts are easy to relate… but it’s the pissy little details that grab one by the short and curlys. 

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2 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

I have long been an advocate of the shut up and carve method of violin making.

Also known as the "make chips" method... which I agree is a great method for improving workmanship, and performance as well... as long as there is good feedback about what works and doesn't... and in what way.  Otherwise, you're just playing the numbers game, hoping that somewhere in that pile of output will be some good ones.

One has to start with the boundaries you're working within.  Personally, I'm limiting my product (but not my experiments) to stay within very traditional-looking violins.  Andreas is willing to go beyond those limits, and Marty seems compelled to go as far as possible.

I personally don't believe there is any recipe, method, or formula that will automatically produce greatness.  Like cooking, so much depends on a cook who knows what they're doing.  Unlike cooking, I think some prototypes can be made to test the effects of various ingredients:  arching height, inflection points, outline, wood properties, etc.  

The goal for me has been to understand these various knobs and sliders on the mixing board that a maker has available, and be able to shape the result in a desired direction... which can be radically different depending on whether the instrument is to be a solo violin or a bluegrass fiddle.  And try to get the understanding with the least possible investment of time.  Technology and science, when appropriately applied, I think can help a bit... or waste more time if applied inappropriately.

 

 

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5 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

@Dennis J @David Beardand anyone else who want a maker to take your concept as presented to it's absolute limit. 

Make the flattish area long to taste, bend curve of arch down toward channel.   

That's the recipe for practical use.

Prefer a long flat for top, minimal fpr back.

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24 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

The big issue is getting timely feedback and advice from a knowledge maker.

Perhaps even more important is player input and audience input …. In the end they are the deciding factor in what “good” is.

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2 hours ago, Michael_Molnar said:

The big issue is getting timely feedback and advice from a knowledge maker.

The feed back is simple for those who make a living at it. If your instruments sell to decent players or shops then you are doing things right if you can’t pay your rent you are doing things wrong. Since the great majority of my instruments were sold by a variety of other people I can safely say they were sold on their own merits rather than hype or snake oil.

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2 hours ago, Michael_Molnar said:

The big issue is getting timely feedback and advice from a knowledge maker.

2 hours ago, James M. Jones said:

Perhaps even more important is player input and audience input …. In the end they are the deciding factor in what “good” is.

23 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:

The feed back is simple for those who make a living at it. 

Other makers are best for workmanship feedback, players for performance.

If you can "make a living at it", that kinda means you are good enough at making (or salesmanship) to sell.  I'm sure there are maker wannabees who make stuff that nobody wants to buy, and can't make a living at it.  Starting out cold with no connections seems like a difficult way to make a living, even if you make decent instruments... at least at the beginning.

There is certainly a tremendous advantage to working in a high-level shop where there is a flow of good musicians and good instruments to learn from.  The rest of us have to make do with what we can get, with competitions being one avenue.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Peter K-G said:

To OP 

You can't expect to give you my technique to be your instruments

This is specifically offered to people who, unlike you, are theorists but not makers. Zuger, DennisJ, etc. 

You have shown a lot of your work, so we get the picture already. And don't worry, I'm not interested in stealing your technique. It's all yours! 

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3 hours ago, David Beard said:

Make the flattish area long to taste, bend curve of arch down toward channel.   

That's the recipe for practical use.

Prefer a long flat for top, minimal fpr back.

Actually tagged you by accident. I've been using a lot of your methodology, with some of my own tweaks, for a while now. Thanks again!

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18 minutes ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

 

16 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

My thoughts exactly! 

Yeah, well some secrets are not that easy to give for free.

I have only done that once.

This to one of the best violin maker in Finland!

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55 minutes ago, Peter K-G said:

 

Yeah, well some secrets are not that easy to give for free.

I have only done that once.

This to one of the best violin maker in Finland!

Is Finland some kind of hotbed of "best" violin makers? ;)

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11 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Is Finland some kind of hotbed of "best" violin makers? ;)

I dunno, but didn't they have that game show " your wife, my technique" ?  or was that Sweden

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27 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

I dunno, but didn't they have that game show " your wife, my technique" ?  or was that Sweden

Yeah, Sweden I think. Couldn't get it syndicated over here for some reason.

 

 

Flexing and preening aside, my hope with this thread was to bring in the dreamers who might need help putting their musings into a full, concrete form that could then be played alongside typical working violins. Then they could see and sound how their ideas on paper work in practice. 

offer stands if someone wants me to help them turn a concept into an object. 

for the rest of us - if we ridicule them without seeing how it sounds and works, we gain nothing. If we bring it to life and then listen we can give genuine feedback, positive and more critical where warranted. I think the whole thing sounds extremely educational.

 

 

 

 

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