|'); } // End -->|
In Reply to: Re: I just visited a violinmaker posted by Soundmind on October 30, 2006 at 09:00:01:
We have no way to know because nobody who heard them when they were young is still around to remember and tell us but the betting is no, they do change over time""
That was my point. We don't know what they sounded like when they were made, just what they sound like now. Current product, the opposite. So, is it the current goal to make something that sounds like it's 300 years old, or make one that sounded like new..
....in 300 years? I'll try to stick around and report back to you when the time comes. ""
That is also my goal..so far, so good.
"So, is it the current goal to make something that sounds like it's 300 years old, or make one that sounded like new.."
If I could make a bottle of wine today which tastes, smells, has the texture of, and for all practical intents and purposes IS 1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild, do you think I'd be sitting here wasting my time talking to you? We want it all and we want it all NOW!
A colleague of mine has one and loves it. In all these things it's a matter of price range, and given that the excellent older violas have risen astronomically in price, the carbon fiber viola simply wastes anything near it in cost.
She loves it, and to me (husband of violinist) it sounds lovely indeed.
BTW, she says the black sounds better than the brown. ;-)
My ex would have sneered at this thought but then she was playing on some of the best instruments (a Strad, a Guarneri and some other old Italian instruments...violins not violas). The sound is really that much better as loath as I am to admit it given their price (a couple of them were priced in the millions). No self-respecting violinist in Europe would be caught playing one (at least I have never seen one in the hands of a concert violinist or orchestral member here).
On the other hand i have heard that some good new violins can be had for sane money. Not the level of the best old ones but better than lesser examples. For the price of a new car or perhaps a bit less.
Did your ex experiment with different bows also? A friend who plays professionally says often it is the bow that can make a crucial difference in sound, and that you have to match the bow with the instrument and the personality: just like a stereo system, right!?
I do recall in the past, Yamaha had borrowed several well known instruments, and x-rayed and measured them to the best of their capability, in an attempt to recreate the sound.
Yes she did. She had on loan a Sartori (I don't know if that is exactly the right name or spelling) bow that was pretty damn expensive for a stick of wood. She owned two other bows that she used for different occasions. For example one was lighter and stiffer and she liked it for playing technical music like Paganini Caprices. The other bow gave a richer sound (amazing but it was very obvious to hear) and she preferred it for things like Brahms or Bartok to put more emotion into the sound.
Also, "little" things like moving the sound peg a couple of mm could shift the harmonic balance quite noticably or changing the bridge could have a profound effect on the sound. Now the instrument never stopped sounding like its basic self but the accent changed, if you know what I mean.
All in all, it was a most fascinating education for me on many levels, appreciation of music, appreciation of talent, understanding of instruments and what separates a good one from a bad one, understanding the profound DIFFERENCE having a good instrument makes in the ability of an aritst to get the music across, etc. etc. My ex I think lived in fear that one day she might end up stuck with a merely good.
for scientific analysis of all instruments and is slowly atarting to dominate the world. An acquaintance who is first or second call at the Met on Tuba once told me that their instruments play well, play in tune and will make any decent player sound respectable. WWhen he purchased his custom German horn, he told me it tookyears to master the instrument, but it had more of that 'soul' than the Yamaha he had. As for other instruments, for a while the entire Phily oboe section was using Yamaha oboes.....
Similarly, a local trumpet player had a custom horn built by Yamaha for his friend and the friend had Yamaha build a second horn for my friend. We had a long discussion as to what made the trumpet tick, and since my friend has access to a lathe he has done extensive experimentation with his various horns in order to achieve a certain sound quality. Many of the results are directly applicable to speaker cone designs.
A local piano tuner who also sells Bosendorfers, sent his son to Yamaha to be trained as a tuner because he said they get the math and the basic technique correct. He tunes a bit different, but he says that after you learn the Yamaha way it is much easier to teach his way (he once was flown to Iceland to tune Ashkenazy's instrument).
I find the fine tuning of a real instrument very instructional for my stereo gear. Many of the lessons learned from a real instrument can be directly transfered to stereo gear.
YMMV, of course,
I also agree that the sound of an outstanding instrument is amazing, and virtually impossible to duplicate or even understand the underlying mechanism. When I was married to a violinist about 30 years ago, we attended a concert where a very special Strad. was played. I just about fell out of my seat when I heard it played. I whispered to my wife what special violin that was and she told me: "That's your first 'Strad', John" No is wasn't my first, nor my last, but WOW! Back stage, after the performance, I must have bored the guy to death, raving about his Strad to him.
Many physicists and engineers have tried for generations to figure out exactly what makes the Strad sound. A physics professor, Dr. Fry, and I spent some time discussing the subtle points of Strad design. His hypothesis at the time was the mass to stiffness ratio of the wood. I don't know what came of this hypothesis, but once in a while, someone comes up with another idea as to why and how this happens. It should humble engineers to realize that not everything that we hear is easily measured or even understood.
Yamaha once tried to make a cost effective classic guitar. It looked good, played in tune, did everything right, but I just gave it away as it had no 'soul'. Apparently, they have done better with pianos, or have they?
I will say this, you should be able to learn the instrument on just about anything. ;-) I started guitar with a Sears model. Later, I got better guitars.
Think about the 8th grade, and what viola you want your kid to take to and from school, etc.
When I was at IHEM (a grad school for classical musicians) back in 1974, a young lady who was 'sponsoring' our get-together, put her special violin (in its case) under her bed. Too many people apparently sat on the bed, and it was broken beyond repair. This is with people in their late teens and early twenties. Think about younger kids. We have to make a 'usable' cheap and rugged version of these instruments, just to keep them whole! ;-)
Never heard of a carbon fiber viola. What would they call a double bass made out of it, Big Bertha II? It's only been a couple of years since I actually saw an electric violin. BTW, for students, we've found Southwest Strings has excellent values in factory made instruments. They also have a nice variety of strings, cases, and other items at reasonable prices. Don't know if they ship to Switzerland though.
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: