William "Jack" Fry
I just found out about the work of William "Jack" Fry in trying to understand scientifically the sound of great violins. I compared it to what I've previously read and came to the conclusion that only Fry has an actually mechanical theory of violin sound production. Other work in the field seems to take the approach of "measure everything that can be measured and make every correlation that can be made". Do the violin makers here find Fry especially useful in their work?
I'm not a violin maker, just a mere '
Start at 20:15 on the video to see Fry. I'll be interested in reading your report, Fox!
I made the mistake of starting from the beginning - that violin sounds terrible! I'll try to hear "Jack" out, but I wasn't encouraged by his particle physics background. Does he know anything of psycho-acoustics? I'll persevere with the video and try not to prejudge
I watched the video most of the way through. I'm asking myself, and you too, if you'd hand your own violin over to him so he could adjust it with those "scrapers." There's not a snowball in Hell's chance that I would. I guess that'll tell you what I think about his theories.
Jeffrey, Mr. Fry's concepts have not been embraced much by professional makers. One issue is that the thickness concepts which he thought to be typical of Stradivari violins, are not.
Is that it - few seconds with a scraper? I notice he instructed his demonstrator (and the audience) in what way the scraping was supposed to alter the sound, but I wouldn't dream of suggesting that had any effect on the way she played.
Thanks, David. I'm curious--When making a new violin, 1) Do you symmetrically graduate your plates or do you put in asymmetric troughs such as the "tongue" and the "Stradivari Holes" that Fry describes? 2) Once the violin is assembled, do you adjust plate thickness in certain areas to improve the sound? 3) How often do you have to take a newly-assembled violin apart to make adjustments that affect the sound?
His improvements on a mediochre fiddle are perfectly audible on my sound-card.