Fiddle Jameson: Acoustics, what sound features make a good sounding violin?

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Fiddle Jameson: Acoustics, what sound features make a good sounding violin? Ask three violin makers and get four opinions… Actually thanks to some great work done by Carleen Hutchins, Joseph Curtin and the Oberlin acoustics workshop luthiers we have a fairly good idea of What acoustically represents a “good” sounding violin. The video shows Chladni sound patterns forming as a signal generator excites the plates at ascending frequencies. You can also identify the frequencies where these patterns occur with a spectrum analyzer, looking for peak energy for specific frequencies. We use the frequencies to calculate the plate stiffness and impedance. Calculating the stiffness is better than twisting the plate and hearing a crack when you press too hard… done that a few times, Ouch Impedance determines how much bow pressure a violinist needs on a string to start and maintain a tone. Too much pressure and the instrument is hard to play having limited dynamics. Too little pressure and the tone is mushy having little projection. Like Goldie Locks in the fairy tale we are looking for the acoustics that are just right:-). We take lots of measurements and compare the results over and over and over. #violin #viola #fiddle #5stringfiddle #violinJameson #fiddlejamesen #violinmaker #luthier #cnc #cncviolinmaker #orchestra #fernandinabeach #ameliaisland #brunswickga #staugustine #stmarys #jacksonville #jaxsymphony #unfmusic #jumusic #luthier #whatsonmybench #violinist #symphony #florida #northflorida #Georgia #luthier #whatsonmybench #chambermusic #5string #firstcoast #acoustics

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Fiddle Jameson: Graduation

Fiddle Jameson: The purfling corners are all glued in, the arching or the outside curvature of the plates is almost finished all except the finalizing of the edges.

Fiddle Jameson: Setting and gluing the purfling.

Fiddle Jameson: Cutting and trimming the purfling groove

Fiddle Jameson: Trimming the margins.

New York Times article review on applying technology to Craftsmanship

I found this article last week in the New York Times August 28th Edition. The article was title , “Packing Technology into the Timeless Barrel” ( The article discussed how barrel making has not essentially changed for the past several hundred years, much like violin making. However the industry and competitive forces have changed, and companies are applying technology to optimize the barrel making process. The end result is higher-quality barrels tailor made for specific uses. Over the past year-plus I have been applying CNC technology to the beginning phases of the violin making process. The CNC machine can accurately replicate the beginning rough-out processes for the violin body and neck. The machine cannot do the intimate and labor-intensive plate tuning, fitting, finishing and varnishing; that must be done by hand. A CNC machine is a way to compete with cheaper labor, but only where technology is applied appropriate. Let there be no misunderstanding, a quality violin has to be done by hand for the majority of the work. Violins are made from wood, a natural material, the source material varies by nature and the violin maker must account for these variances. The New York Times article mentioned this raw material variance aspect related to barrel making as well. The New York Times article closed with this Quote, “Skilled Craftsmen still build a barrel by hand. …You can't just computerize it…you can use automation but in the end every barrel is going to be a little different”.. Likewise with the violin, we can use computerized technology and advanced acoustical analysis. But, in the end each violin will ultimately be crafted by hand and will be a unique violin representative of the individual maker’s skill. #violinmaker #violin #cnc #jacksonville #brunswick#savannah #saintaugustine #NorthFlorida #Florida #Georgia

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