Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

Now you can impress your session cronies with the awe-inspiring tone of your new fungus-treated violin… they won’t be able to tell the difference between it and the multi-million dollar Strad you don’t bring to sessions anymore - not since the box player spilled his pint on it the last time you brought it… http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914111418.htm

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Re: Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

It’s been proved time and again that even the experts can’t tell the difference between golden age instruments and good modern ones. So where does the fungus come into it?

Personally I think this is just another screwball luthier trying to make an excuse for the fact that his wood stock has dry-rot.

Re: Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

Everyone knows it’s the glue.

Re: Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

Except the screwball luthiers.

Re: Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

Where can I get me some ‘o dat fungus? Sounds like a publicity stunt for
the luthier.

Re: Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

Who is Gus?
But I’ll have some fun if’n he’s handing it out
Chortle

Re: Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

I have heard two other explanations for the great sound of a Strad; one is that the local woodworm were so proficient that Strad boiled his wood in salt water before working on it, to try to stop the bugs; the other is that a local volcanic eruption ( producing this Little Ice Age mentioned in the article ) had filled the varnish with minute grains of volcanic dust, which improved the tone.
Perhaps it was all just down to the luthier ?

Re: Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

I once had the opportunity to play an actual Stradivarius (The Echstein). Knocked out Connaughtman’s Rambles under the watchful eyes of the owner. Nice fiddle.

Re: Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

I’ll bet Vivaldi, Mozart and Beethoven never sounded quite the same on it afterwards!

Re: Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

I think the explanation of the Stradivari sound is multi-factorial - which is a nice cop-out because no-one is likely to pin down a particular mix of factors that solve the problem in every case. For instance, another factor that is often over-looked in forum discussions is that the top luthiers of the period would personally chose the trees for the wood they required, and would cut the wood from the south-facing side (I think I’ve got that right). The timber would then be seasoned for a considerable time before use. My old guitar teacher, himself a guitar luthier, told me that the best luthiers in Spain use timber that was laid down by their fathers and grandfathers.

Re: Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

I’d buy that. Old timber makes for good instruments. Takes planning and care to do it right, though.

Re: Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

Yet – if I understand correctly – there are green-wood advocates who prefer to harvest wood in the winter (when the tree is dormant and the sap is mostly in the roots) and then almost immediately start to work on the instrument. Of course, who can say if instruments made that way will be around in 300 years?

Re: Attention fiddlers: Stradavarii for everyone

I thought the preferred wood was from a tree on a North-facing slope, which side of the trunk was immaterial, and that the luthier would take the whole trunk up to the first branches, saw it down to the lengths he required, and then split the wood with wedges into wedge-shaped sections, which would then be left to season in the open air under cover. Apparently the larger the arc of radius you have in a piece of seasoning wood the more likely it is to split due to the relative differences in shrinkedge/shrinkidge ?sp?