Re the breaking in of violins

July 25, 2013 at 04:55 PM · this can be such an exasperating forum sometimes.

Problem: does breaking in even really happen? if so what is it? vibration of the timber. What does it happen to change - tone, response, quality of sound? How to we measure it? Instruments dons't seem as good as the human ear, but ears forget over time, and things change. So many problems.

SO HERE'S AN EXPERIMENT WITH TWO APPARENTLY GOOD VIOLINS

made by the same maker, listened to by a bunch of violinish droogs all in the room at the same time, listening. One violin had been played in, one was new. and what did they find?

(thankyou to the other responders who tried to list this on the previous thread, with NO RESPONSE, because anyone who did respond was just bitchin between themselves!)

Oh, and there was also no answer to my question about why a played in violin would 'forget' that it had been played in if it was layed to rest for a while (how long does it take to forget) (under what conditions); And if it is about the vibrations, why can't the vibrations from playing regularly in part of the string work? I would like to know these things. I also notice that Joseph, OP from last thread retreated to a safe place.

Replies (100)

July 25, 2013 at 05:06 PM · I don't think there's one iota of additional information to be added. And after 101 posts...

Just get a new fiddle and form your own opinion.

July 25, 2013 at 05:15 PM · Maybe no-one mentioned the "Powerhouse twins" experiment beacuse no-one knew about it, so thanks for letting us know.

I felt sorry for Joseph Cheung, the OP of that thread, who simply wanted advice as to the best way to treat his new violin so that it would "play in".

Scott Cole and other professionals seem to agree with me that the RESPONSE of a violin improves with time, even if the basic "voice" sometimes does not change much, provided the playing is not abusive. But after the initial settling-down period it's a slow process.

Three years is almost nothing.

Trouble with those clever scientific methods is that the longitudinal studies aren't longitudinal enough !!

July 25, 2013 at 05:29 PM · I don't think If I posted my 2 cents in the other thread already? Anyway: I highly believe in playing in instruments, even wolf notes can get better with time, and they are quite an objective problem. But if the instrument gets better, depends on the instrument. Some violins are so loud and screamy, that you dont want to go through the procedure of playing them in and working out their resonances. Other instruments unfold. It can be noticed in weeks and also after years there can be major improvements, wich are very obvious and hard to ignore.

July 25, 2013 at 06:10 PM · I used to think that this whole 'playing in' business was a bit of nonsense until I bought my second Chinese violin from ebay. The first violin sounded really good from day one and my luthier said so when he set it up for me. It still sounds the same after a year : quite good.

The second violin did not sound anywhere near as good and my luthier made a few jokes about this too. But after a few weeks of playing I noticed how much better it started to sound. I have been playing it for over a year now and my violin teacher recently said that this is easily a $1500 violin.

So it has certainly matured and devloped a real voice....even with just me playing it for an hour per day !

The point of my story is, SOME violins improve with playing and some do not. Why this is, I do not know.

July 25, 2013 at 06:47 PM · Uh oh....

breaking in of instruments AND Chinese instruments all in one thread?!

RED ALERT!

RED ALERT!

July 25, 2013 at 06:55 PM · "my violin teacher recently said that this is easily a $1500 violin"

Beam me up scottie!

July 25, 2013 at 07:12 PM · I haven't listened carefully enough under controlled conditions to contribute any personal information. However, if you go to some of the guitar forums, you'll find that it's taken for granted that a guitar will "open up" over the first several months of playing. In fact some people choose a guitar with a cedar top (instead of the usual spruce) because they believe this break-in period is greatly reduced, if not eliminated. (On the other hand, the softer cedar gets dinged more easily.)

Just another factoid...

July 25, 2013 at 07:19 PM · A serious question here:

Is the breaking in dependent on the player?

For example: Brian's violin sounded better after a few weeks playing, and even better after a year of playing. Does it still sound good when he hands it to the luthier to try it out, or is some of the "breaking in" due to finding the right pressure, contact point, etc etc, particular to that violin's own quirks that Brian has discovered over the course of weeks and months?

I took the last week off from playing violin to focus on my viola (*GASP!*). Yesterday I broke out the violin again, and it sounded a bit sharp and not very resonant. But today's practice it sounded great again. Was it me re-adjusting to playing the violin? Or was it the violin re-adjusting to being played?

July 25, 2013 at 07:19 PM ·

July 25, 2013 at 11:27 PM · When I drive a different car, my wife's car or a hire car or a friends car I generally experience a driving in period. To begin with the car will normally refuse to change gear smoothly and braking can be quite erratic....after a half hours of concentrated driving I notice everything becoming more enjoyable and smoother as the car becomes driven in.

July 26, 2013 at 01:25 AM · Hi Sharelle,

Here are my thoughts:

Problem: does breaking in even really happen?

Based on what we have already read it seems there are no rigourous observations in favour, only many subjective experiences. So "really" remains the question. I did suggest a model experiment which received one comment and a friendly warning :-)

if so what is it? vibration of the timber. What does it happen to change - tone, response, quality of sound?

Theories are moot unless there are real observations to explain.

How do we measure it? Instruments don't seem as good as the human ear, but ears forget over time, and things change. So many problems.

Is it really the issue that instruments are not as sensitive or is it that the signal processing we humans do (our perception) is not well understood? I agree our memories (and our interpretation of them) are also inherently fallible.

SO HERE'S AN EXPERIMENT WITH TWO APPARENTLY GOOD VIOLINS

made by the same maker, listened to by a bunch of violinish droogs all in the room at the same time, listening. One violin had been played in, one was new. and what did they find?

(thankyou to the other responders who tried to list this on the previous thread, with NO RESPONSE, because anyone who did respond was just bitchin between themselves!)

I think this study has been referred to umpteen times around the traps. My understanding is that it shows no significant changes due to playing so far. Is it even still actively ongoing?

Oh, and there was also no answer to my question about why a played in violin would 'forget' that it had been played in if it was layed to rest for a while (how long does it take to forget) (under what conditions); And if it is about the vibrations, why can't the vibrations from playing regularly in part of the string work? I would like to know these things.

Again is this even real?

I also notice that Joseph, OP from last thread retreated to a safe place.

It was a very old thread revived.

July 26, 2013 at 04:13 AM · Seraphim : My teacher formed his opinion after playing my violin himself. This was after he put down his $35,000 violin ! You could hear the difference in the two instruments of course but in his hands my Chinese violin sounded pretty good.

I remember a few years ago that a large university in this country conducted some tests on two violins made by the same maker. One was played regularly and the other was just left to sit. The result was after a year nobody could tell the difference between the two violins in a blind test.

But to get back to my original point : SOME violins improve with playing and others do not, so maybe this maker's violins fell into the latter category.

July 26, 2013 at 05:26 AM · "Beam me up scottie!"

Beam your own self up...

July 26, 2013 at 05:46 AM · Thanks to Melvyn for illustrating one of the stumbling-blocks !

(a) Yes, like a personal "relationship", if you "work at it" you and your violin will learn to rub along together. Failure to do so is not rewarded.

(b) There's an initial, SHORT TERM period in a violin's life af a year or so, when timber is taking up the stresses and varnish might be changing. American posters insist that many a new sound-post is needed during the early months ! (Hmm ).

(c) Players and some experts (Hill, Jalovec) opine that with constant playing the efficiency of a violin will "improve" over an EXTENDED period. Phrases include "wearing down the freshness", "opening out" and such. "Quality at all dynamics" might be an area of "improvement" since new violins played "concerto style", i.e. consistently loudly, will seem to outperform the ancient classic instruments in trials. A millisecond or so faster in the uptake to a bowstroke might be apparent to a sensitive player, but tricky to detect by a machine. Some writers have reported a "beguiling softness of new work" and I myself have found that my new violins took time to "come in out of the fog".

Opinions under this heading are categorised as "unscientific" and of as little value as hearsay evidence in a courtroom. The young are suspicious of any "evidence" of personal experiences emanating from we wizened and presumably self-deluding old fiddlers.

(d) Into the ring are cast the objective frequency charts etc. that the scientists produce, eliminating human intervention in the sound-production process. These are reported to be relatively consistent over a very long period, and even for the FINEST violins appear to be totally whacky ! For example, I have some in a 1979 tome, "The Violin" by Paolo Peterlongo. Any hi-fi component with such an erratic fequency response would be taken to the tip.

(a),(b),(c) and (d) would seem to be positions in which folk become stubbornly entrenched. A peace-process is urgently needed, IMHO.

Breaking in a new violin is not like taming a bucking bronco. You don't beat it into submission - but what could I, an old codger, possibly know ??

July 26, 2013 at 08:07 AM · Here's something I was writing about scientific studies on an entirely different forum, but it applies equally to scientific and "scientific" studies about the violin so I reprint it here;

lyndon taylor wrote:

According to my father, a very published basic science research Microbioligist, the vast majority of "scientific" studies being published today are not worth the paper they are printed on. Why? Because they fail to properly and strictly use the scientific method, and instead set out with an agenda to prove, which they some how manage to prove, whether or not the data fits their hypothesis. Im not saying this particular study falls into that genre, far from it, just to say some healthy amount of scepticism is in order for most "scientific studies" your read in the media, especially something like the Huffington post. Now of Course if your read the study in the JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association, there is a higher standard of proof, and the study is much more likely to be based on proper science, If you read a story about Alcohol consumption increases IQ test scores by undergrads at the Bayou Junior College, for instance, you can pretty much take any conclusion they make with a grain of salt.

Hi lyndon,

There's no such thing as the scientifc method. Science is just a philosophy--an epistemology--and as such comes with serious limitations.

Kindly

dL

I think a lot of scientists would beg to differ with you, dl, the scientific method as I remember Involves proposing a hypothesis, scientifically testing that hypothesis, with rigourous controls etc, analysising that data, then publishing the results whether they support your initial hypothesis or not. Not using the scientific method involves setting out to prove something, collecting data selectivly to agree with your hypothesis, then publishing data, which is just plain not accurate or scientific. Its very hard for a scientist to stop what they want the result of a study to be from influencing their data collection, to support what they want rather than what reality is. That's why one of the first things you learn in college science classes is about using and applying the scientific method, generally the really good scientists get it and strictly stick to the scientific method(whether it support their ideas or not), and lot of not so good scientists care more about getting funding and published than strictly sticking to the scientific method.....

Addendum, one very important tradition in scientific research, Is that one study on its own does not prove anything, unless it can be independently reproduced and supported by other similar studies done by other scientists.

For instance if there's some kind of bias in the first study, independent reviews by other scientists will tend to expose that. One only needs to go to the not so long ago headline study revealing cold fusion in the laboratory, it all sounded so good, with such incredible potential, but when independent scientists attempted to reproduce the same findings they were unable to do so.

So if we've got one study showing no difference between played and unplayed instruments by the same maker. we need to do more studies confirming those results before we can really make any accurate scientific claims about the first study.

July 26, 2013 at 08:11 AM · I should point out that all my experiences of hearing the "breaking in" or "playing in" of violins have involved antiques, many if not most of which had sat unplayed for many years prior to restoration, I have no experience with the Playing in of new violins, and it might be quite different, for one thing I've heard that some percent of new violins even get worse with some years of playing, I wouldn't imagine that happens as often with antiques, but I can't say for sure.

July 26, 2013 at 08:31 AM · Oh grief!

Not again!

July 26, 2013 at 08:42 AM · "we need to do more studies confirming those results before we can really make any accurate scientific claims about the first study."

My wife studied for an Open University degree in Psychology. She reports that failure to include "more research is needed" into every essay marks would result in lower marks !

There are law courts in which it's necessary to prove "beyond all reasonable doubt" whereas in others a preponderance of evidence is enough. Watch Judge Judy.

On the matter under discussion, the evaluation of the volume of anecdotal waffle relating to personal experiences, imagined or otherwise, that would seem to support an "improvement" over an extended period in decently-made fiddles probably comes in the realm of statistics and psychology rather than the Physical sciences. If lots of folk think it, surely there might just be something in it ?

A belief system, though, says more about the human condition and man's emotional needs than it does about hard, provable fact.

I'm not one of the naysayers, but over the last 20 years during which I bought, kept, and played a few new fiddles (which SEEMED to improve) I probably suffered progressive age-related hearing loss, senile dementia even.

July 26, 2013 at 08:56 AM · If violins were played pricipaly to be recorded by spectrum analysers, then scientific proof would be a must, however since the ultimate judge of any violins sound quality is human ears, its not unreasonable that data from trained and even untrained human ears would not be rational evidence.

In fact testing before and after playing in with identical recording set ups and identical mike, etc set ups, then playing the recordings (before and after) to trained professionals might be a more rational test situation, than looking for changes in frequency response through spectrum analysis, when were not even sure if Playing in a violin changes the frequency response.

July 26, 2013 at 09:29 AM · "In fact testing before and after playing in with identical recording set ups and identical mike, etc set ups..."

I'm still waiting to be beamed up!

July 26, 2013 at 09:31 AM · I once had a vinyl record with a crack, always repeating the same spot.

A friend of mine had a parrot doing the same, but he was not made out of vinyl (the parrot).

July 26, 2013 at 09:41 AM · At least I'm making an attempt to contribute on the OP's topic, some people just have nothing but negativity to contribute......

July 26, 2013 at 10:01 AM · Back to the OP's powerhouse twins article, As with most of these blind/double blind violin studies there's no notion of a control group, like one would normally be expected to have in a reputable scientific study. In this case we rely on the studies authors to tell us the two violins sounded identical before one was sequestered for a year, what if they deliberately picked the worse sounding violin to be played in, not saying it happened, just what if. It seems to me they need to do the blind testing twice, at the beginning before the one instrument was sequestered, and after, where ones been played in for a year and one hasn't. Ideally you would want the same judges for the two blind tests (one year apart), then compare the results before and after, and see if there were differences.

Another what if, what if this particular makers violins don't improve as much with playing in as other makers, so you should have at least two or three pairs of violins from different makers to make the test more accurate.

What we have now is one fairly primitive by scientific standards test that seems to indicate a year of playing is of no benefit to tone, so do some more studies, by the time you have ten totally different studies by different scientists, then maybe you can proclaim science has demonstrated Playing in is not a factor, right now you just have one study that may or may not be accurate or apply to other violins in totally different situations being played in.

July 26, 2013 at 10:04 AM · By the sheer rules of physics you can't contribute negativity.

It's a contradiction in terms.

July 26, 2013 at 10:09 AM · "Problem: does breaking in even really happen?"

Well for a start, I'm shattered.

July 26, 2013 at 10:38 AM · There's no doubt the sonic signature of a violin changes drastically from the new state after a considerable amount of playing.

Whether this is due to some physical alteration of the wood's physical characteristics, elasticity or density due to changes in humidity or other factors is all debatable.

It is something that is not measurable because the ability to record these changes for posterity over that period of 3-5 years would be compromised.

It's well known you should never hang a new front door from new wood.

It needs to be aged and matured for it to become stable.

The consquences of hanging some cheap new unseasoned wood door is almost immediate aggravation with door closure and buckling/twisting.

If you go to the Vosges, to the vallee of the Bruch/Doller, you will find whole wood yards full of pine and spruce being sprayed in water jets day and night outside for years, before they are actually taken out, sawn up and used.

The Vosges supplied a lot of the wood to Mirecourt for centuries.

July 26, 2013 at 11:15 AM · Sharrelle, I don't know why there hasn't been more discussion of the Australian test. Perhaps people aren't taking the time to read it?

In case that's what's happening, to summarize briefly, two new violins were made of aged wood from the same trees, with the goal of having them sound the same. When new, they were evaluated by a panel of players and listeners, and found to sound about the same. After three years, during which one was played quite a bit, and the other hardly at all, they were evaluated again, with similar results.

I've left out a lot of information for the sake of brevity, so please go to Sharrelle's link (in the first post) for more complete information, and also check the link on the bottom of that page ("scientific report") for even greater detail.

This study was first brought to my attention by an Australian maker, and while I was initially skeptical of their findings, it was one of the things which got me re-thinking the matter, and following up with some tests of my own. One of these was to record violins which had hardly been played, and record them again after various amounts of playing, and compare the recordings. (Recording conditions, including equipment used, were identical)

July 26, 2013 at 11:27 AM · I am sorry to interfer, but why do we need "scientific studies" for something, that can be heard and felt?! I mean, I don't know any professional player who doesn't "believe" in the playing in process of instruments. I personally don't need a scientific proof of it. It's just a fact. Actually you have to "play in" your violin every day in small amounts. It sounds much different in the evening after hours of playing. Settled and smooth. There are things you cannot proof, but you can listen and judge for yourself. Or should we wait for an scientific study wich proves that emotions and thoguhts can be carried through sound until we believe it?

July 26, 2013 at 11:42 AM · Simon, that's what I've been saying all along, to rather rude reception!! Thank you.

Well a retraction here, as it had been several months since I originally read the article, I was mistaken about there not being a "pre sequestering" control sound trial,

This time I read the actual scientific paper, not the newspaper? article, and was rather surprised to find no mention of how many people were involved in the testing, but that it seems they were all players who actually had a chance to play the two instruments, while their colleagues judged the sound?? Or was the judging only done by the players. Oh well my apologies. The study is actaully set up scientifically a little better than I had surmised from my first reading.

Still doesn't mean that the similarities in this one makers instruments would necessarily apply to all other makers, or to antiques recorded before and after being played in.

Judging from their description of the testing process, there may have been a confusion element, or just plain sensory overload contributing to the similarities of the results for two violins.

Not surprisingly the owner of the played in violin correctly recognized his violin 20 out of 24 times but it makes no mention of which one he thought sounded better, though I'm sure he had an opinion.

July 26, 2013 at 11:49 AM · Players almost always recognize the instrument they normally play. I was actually quite surprised that he didn't nail it every time.

In comparisons I've been involved in, it was near 100 percent, compared to the 83 percent in this test. Even if players can't ID the their own instruments from the sound and playing characteristics, they can often do it from subtle tactile cues, such as trivial differences in the shaping of the neck.

July 26, 2013 at 12:03 PM · "why do we need "scientific studies" for something, that can be heard and felt?! I mean, I don't know any professional player who doesn't "believe" in the playing in process of instruments. I personally don't need a scientific proof of it. It's just a fact. "

It's because we wanna know.

Personal experience is prone to deception. This is a well known fact in science, that's why there are "tools" for achieving objective results.

The argument of the many great players etc. isn't worth a dime. Millions believe in homoeopathy, in the power of prayers, in astrology, or that shotguns mean security.

And, to repeat it the last time: nobody questions the fact that a fiddle improves over time. Only the causes are discussed. But I'll stop here, because it seems to be casting Perlen vor die Säue. Sorry.

July 26, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Your ears being able to turn vibrating air particles into "sound" is a form of deception played on you by your brain, If we have to elimiante all the deception involved in our hearing process, I can hardly imagine listening to a Beethoven violin concerto could be half as pleasurable.

July 26, 2013 at 12:12 PM · If we do a statistical analysis of double blind studies involving two good quality violins, by nature the process of being blindfolded and not being able to attach a "picture of the instrument" to the sound leads to on average a pretty close to 50/50 split on most studies I have heard of, even when there is a statistical difference outside of 50/50 it can often be explained by something as simple as the more popular violin being louder that the other one.

July 26, 2013 at 12:19 PM · Typically, participants are asked to evaluate many different properties, with loudness or "projection" being only one of many. I wish I'd saved a copy of the scoring sheet from the last one I attended in March as an example. Perhaps those categories will be mentioned when the study is formally published.

July 26, 2013 at 12:35 PM · Stereo equipment studies have shown that random listeners will consistently pick the worse sounding equipment if it is just a couple of db louder, I doubt they would even have a clue that one was louder than the other, or rate it louder on a scorecard, and yet the ear tricks them into thinking the louder one sounds better, not louder.

July 26, 2013 at 12:48 PM · Probably best if I withdraw at this point. ;-)

July 26, 2013 at 01:17 PM · Tangent: My violins all smell a little different.

Even if you did a blindfolded player experiment to see if they could recognize their own violin when they played it - by sound, that doesn't account for smell...or for tactility. The violins all feel different too...

July 26, 2013 at 02:10 PM · So if we took two identical violins by the same maker, and used potent scented oils on just one, it would consistently score higher in blind listening tests??? Maybe this is why modern violins are beating Strads, the modern makers are cheating with popourri!!!

July 26, 2013 at 02:14 PM · "Stereo equipment studies have shown that random listeners will consistently pick the worse sounding equipment if it is just a couple of db louder, I doubt they would even have a clue that one was louder than the other, or rate it louder on a scorecard, and yet the ear tricks them into thinking the louder one sounds better, not louder"

So, perhaps violins actually get worse sounding by "playing in", but simply get louder.

July 26, 2013 at 02:18 PM · I mean, the discussion about "violins in general" is also misleading, because there are so different qualitys in violins. As I said, I do not think, that every violin will benefit from playing in.

As to scientific studys: I am interested too in facts, but usually scientific studies are applied in strange ways and people don't ask. Believing in science is more secure than making an opinion by yourself. Thats a problem with such an complex thing as playing the violin and judging the sound. You cannot put every variable in a scientific research.

Also its hard to compare results over time without a reference, and using the same violin model doesn't work, because the wood structure will be totally different and unique.

Playing in is important and science is too, but there will never be a study on this point, wich has anything substantial, wich I couldn't tell before with my ears.

It may be the vibrations, the time, the temperature changes, the warmth of the hands, the worms in the wood. How can one expect a scientific study, that can eliminate all but one factor? Its impossible and still there would be the problem of the not possible reference.

As for others wasting time on searching for evidence through science I will go play my violin now, knowing for myself, that it will not only improve my playing but my instrument.

I mean its an interesting discussion, but I see major problems, wich makes a scientific approach nearly impossible. Wood is a very lively material and a violin a complex tool.

As for ways to play in/open up a violin, play loud/much bow and in tune, double stops are great!

July 26, 2013 at 02:37 PM · Just to prove I'm not making this up, here's a discourse from www.sandersoundsystems.com about the effect of minute (often unnoticeable) differences in sound volume between two tested stereo amplifiers;

1) LEVEL DIFFERENCES.

If one amplifier played louder than the other, then it will sound better. Louder music sounds better to us. That is why we like to listen to our music loudly.

The gain and power of amplifiers varies. Therefore, for a specific volume control setting on the preamp used in the test, different amplifiers will play at slightly different loudness levels.

But the audiophile in the example above probably didn't even attempt to set the preamp level at exactly the same level for both amplifiers. He probably just turned up the level to where it sounded good to him. He made no attempt to match the levels at all because he was unaware that this was an uncontrolled variable.

In any case, the amps probably would have had different loudness levels even if the preamp setting was identical. This is because amplifiers have different gain and power levels.

Note that human hearing is extremely sensitive to loudness. Scientific tests show that we can hear and accurately detect very tiny differences in loudness (1/4 dB is possible). At the same time, we don't recognize obvious differences in the level of music until there are a couple of dB of difference. This is due to the transient and dynamic nature of music, which makes subtle level differences hard to recognize.

THEREFORE WHEN MUSIC IS JUST A LITTLE BIT LOUDER, WE HEAR IT AS "BETTER" RATHER THAN AS "LOUDER" It is essential that you understand that two identical components will sound different if one simply plays a little louder than the other. THE LOUDER ONE WILL SOUND BETTER TO US EVEN IF THE TWO ACTUALLY SOUND IDENTICAL.(My caps)

This is a serious problem in listening tests. Consider the amplifier test above and for purposes of this discussion, let's assume that both amplifiers sound exactly the same, but that the new one will play a bit louder because it has slightly more gain. This means that the new amp will sound better than the old one in an open loop test even though the two actually sound identical.

The audiophile (Or violin customer!!!) will then draw the conclusion that the new amp is better and will spend $10,000 to buy it. But in fact, the new amp didn't really sound any better and it was the difference in loudness that caused the listener to perceive that it was better.

So the audiophile (or violin customer) would have drawn a false conclusion about the new amp (or violin)sounding better. This erroneous conclusion cost him $10,000. I think you can see from this example that you absolutely, positively must not have more than one uncontrolled variable in your tests.

July 26, 2013 at 02:50 PM · So, if the listener says that the louder amp sounded better, doesn't that mean that it IS better for the listener?

It goes back to your spectral analyzer argument: who cares what the spectrum readout says, as long as you are enjoying what you are listening to, right?

So, the engineers determined that amp A was "better" via who knows what determination. But when listened to, amp B wins out simply because it's louder to the listener.

If "the ear test" is what actually counts in the end, then amp B actually is qualitatively better by reason of increased listener enjoyment.

July 26, 2013 at 03:09 PM · It means that in a side by side comparison of two equally good violins or amplifiers, you will probably pick the louder one, even if it is only louder by such a small amount that you don't realize it is any louder(less than 3db)

When your playing your amplifier in everyday use, This small volume difference no longer applies, you're going to set the amp to the volume you want to hear it(not the volume it was when you tested it), its not going to be ever so slightly louder than you want to listen to it, unless of course you're a true metal head and then you'll just blast the hell out of it!

With violins its more of a catch 22 the volume depends on the instrument and of course the player, if the player plays the louder instrument, he might not play it as loud, because its louder to start with, or he may impress people with it more because its so loud, the point is the quality of the violins sound may actually be worse except in one respect, slightly more volume.

Not all listeners are fooled into thinking a slightly louder worse sounding violin is really better, but quite a few are. So the question is in blind listening tests are the majority of testers ones that go for volume over quality, or quality over volume, and how much does this have to do with the 50/50 split we see so often among test subjects.

An very interesting test would be to take a modern violin that statistically beat a Strad in a blind test, and put on quieter light strings, say of the same brand,then rerun the test to see if it makes a difference, my guess is it would.

The point I'm trying to make is everyone seems to think its the tonal quality of violin's sound that makes them win blind tests, when in fact it may have just as much or more to do with their perceived volume, instead.

July 26, 2013 at 03:14 PM · If people think it's sounds better, doesn't that mean that it does sound better?

July 26, 2013 at 03:17 PM · If I may quote a respected violin dealer:

"From Lyndon Taylor

Posted on July 24, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Well until violins come to be primarily appreciated by microphones hooked up to scientific test equipment, the ultimate test of any violin is the ears (as well as playabiltiy factors for the performer) No amount of scientific testing is going to make your violin sound better, so it all comes down to are you going to use your ears, or simply villify and belittle other people that have been using their ears for years, because you think scientific test results are more important than what your ears tell you.......

The ultimate test of any violin and player's sound is always going to be peoples ears, not test equipment, unless of course spectrume analysers start to outnumber real people at violin concerts!!!"

July 26, 2013 at 03:29 PM · The point is when you're in the showroom or a blind test sitting, you're pressured to make a decision so you can be fooled into thinking the louder violin or amp is better. When you get the violin home and have to live with it everyday, you might end up thinking the tonal quality is much more important than the volume.

Now I've had plenty of experience with customers obsessed with getting the loudest violin, many of them surprisingly not caring about projection, and not playing in orchestras, either back chair or solist.

With violins at least you could argue that the louder sound level gives you a slight advantage, and yes you might appreciate it. But its very important to consider the strings being used on both violins, for instance if the quieter one has Eudoxas, and the louder one has Evah Pirazzis, you shouldn't just assume louder is better.

With amplifiers its just a red herring,(one amp really wasn't louder than the other, its volume knob was just set higher) the volume depends solely on the setting of the volume knob, turning it down doesn't make it a worse amp, turning it up doesn't make it a better amp. The point is if you're trying to make a rational decision about which is the best amp, you better make sure both amps volume knobs are set at exactly the same volume, otherwise the test is invalid.

July 26, 2013 at 04:20 PM · I probably deal with a different market segment than Lyndon, but I find that most reasonably accomplished violinists I’ve dealt with don’t have much trouble distinguishing between tone quality and loudness. If all other things are equal, they often prefer louder instruments (particularly if they do some solo work), but it doesn’t necessarily mean that anything else has been sacrificed, or that there has been a tradeoff between tone quality and loudness.

I’ve run into a few situations though where sellers tried to devalue loudness, when an instrument they were trying to sell was conspicuously weak.

July 26, 2013 at 05:19 PM · Well to me the implications of this loudness phenomenon are; In any blind testing situations aiming for any kind of scientificly valid comparisions, the strings on the compared violins need to be of the same type and gauge, or at least of very closely matching volume characteristics, otherwise you run the very obvious risk of unfairly favouring the violin with the louder set of strings. If the violin itself is louder, then that is a quality of that violin which some may prefer, so that's fair in some respect.

It surprises me in some of these studies, absolutely no mention of what kind of strings are being used, and the historical Strads etc being somewhat handicapped by having to perform with whatever strings the owner happened to put on them, while the modern makers are probably quite fully aware of what advantages they can get by using specifically louder, heavier strings. Not saying that's always the case, but if its not an issue, why aren't they revealing the string brands and gauges in the Scientific papers about the studies. Or the makers or instruments names and dates for that matter. (I know the reasons they give, David)

By the way the implication of these loudness biases was not that slightly louder actually sounds better, but that it tricks the ear into thinking so in the test situation, in other words in the high pressure of the shop or blind test situation you may well choose volume over quality, but if you were to take the instruments home for a week, quality could be more likely to win out over volume.

So I propose a test; Pick 10 top musicians, let them take home and play for a week a top quality Stradivari in good condition, one of the best modern violins from Mr Burgess himself, and as a control maybe a really good EH Roth from the 20s, Then rate the violins on the premise that they were all the same price, but they could not sell the Stradivari to make a profit etc.

July 26, 2013 at 05:37 PM · Go for it.

Anybody wanna talk about "playing in"? ;-)

July 26, 2013 at 06:08 PM · Didn't see it posted yet, so here goes... sound is vibration-- so the plates of a played-in violin would have been subjected to flexing, and over time, the vibrational characteristics should change. If the top and back plates are carefully removed from 2 identical violins, except one a played-in violin and the other a quiescent one, their tap tones or measurable flexibility should be different.

We need to be careful with scientific tests... to borrow a phrase from audiophiles-- if it tests good, and sounds bad, you are measuring the wrong thing. However, in this discussion, we are looking for quantitative, measurable differences, not a qualitative preference, however real.

July 26, 2013 at 06:24 PM · Melvin, I see playing in as you see it.

July 26, 2013 at 06:29 PM · Surprisingly, in the scientific paper from the OPs story, not the shorter article based on it. They show a spectrum analysis of the two violins after one has been played for 3 years as well as a cheap Lark Chinese violin for comparison. There are smaller noticeable differences between the two violins spectrums, especially in the treble, but low and behold no spectrum analysis of the two "identical" violins before the three year study. When both violins were essentially unplayed. They do compare the spectrum of tones on the two tops seperate from the body before assembly, again they are not identical by any means, but theres no real way to compare this to the three year later spectrum of the finished instruments.

July 26, 2013 at 07:39 PM · According to the text, these and many other measurements were taken, so maybe you could write and ask for those which weren't displayed in the report, if you think they would be useful to you.

July 26, 2013 at 10:15 PM · This is a wonderful and thoughtful discussion chaps. Keep it up :)

In all the discussion re loudness distorting perception of quality - I would have thought that most experienced listeners wouldn't be fooled into thinking a violinist playing the good violin as doing their best stuff in the loud bits. Its in pp / ppp that shows the quality of the violin to me. If a violin (and player) can project in ppp, THEN you've got yourself an instrument. therein of course lies the dilemma referred to in first thread - how much of playing in is the 'player learning to play in the violin'.

MAYBE GIDON'S TECHNIQUE HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT AS WELL ; ), but the violin surely allows him to speak when he decides to go quiet as a mouse, no ?

July 26, 2013 at 10:34 PM · Actually Sharrelle the point wasn't meant to say anything louder sounds better, and I definetly didn't mean to imply the violin needed to be played loud. The point is if two identical quality violins are played whether FF MF P PPP if one is slightly louder at which ever level than the other one listeners CAN (not always) be tricked into thinking it sounds better, thanks for bringing that up.

Or maybe if you're playing really quietly the same listeners might be tricked into thinking the quieter violin is better, I'm not sure.

The testing with amplifiers involved music with fortes and pianos, and didn't mean the volume had to be set high or loud for the biasing effect to work, at least that's how I understand it.

July 26, 2013 at 11:04 PM · Only 44 responses till this thread is closed!

July 26, 2013 at 11:04 PM · 43 left!

July 26, 2013 at 11:05 PM · 42!!!

Who will get the last word in? Lyndon or David?

I don't even know which side they're on!

So exciting!

July 26, 2013 at 11:09 PM · "to me the implications of this loudness phenomenon are"...

You press the "loudness" button and it boosts the bass and the treble.

You turn it off when some pillock comes on classic FM to give you the latest speel on Katherine Jenkins, or the best insurance deal for your Ford Mondeo OO!

July 26, 2013 at 11:29 PM · Just out of curiosity .... what happens to a sound post after years of transmitting vibrations? (And the areas of the violin around the contact points).

July 26, 2013 at 11:36 PM · Nothing whatsoever.

Even the village postman would tell you that.

July 26, 2013 at 11:55 PM · Even the village postman would tell you that.

Maybe he has....

I'm still surprised pressure and long-term vibration have no effect, but thanks for clearing it up.

July 27, 2013 at 12:18 AM · My favourite line in the paper

"It is, of course, notoriously difficult to manipulate time as a variable, particularly in the reverse direction. In this study we attempt to tackle the problem of establishing a control from the very start." (my emphasis).

Could it be a humorous dig at some of the referenced sources?

Also

"Three years is not considered a long time for an instrument

of which there are examples still being played after hundreds

of years. The investigators hope that this study will continue,

with this pair of instruments, for a time comparable with the

age of these older violins."

Unlikely, and surely tongue in cheek, especially given it was a student project.

It is interesting to note that many claim to see changes due to playing in significantly less than the time of this study (3 years) and yet that was not the case here. Also that there are differences in the spectra that were not significant to listeners.

July 27, 2013 at 01:29 AM · Robert if you were to leave a soundpost in the same position for several years, there is a possibility there would be a very slight compression of the wood; post, front contact and back contact, to the point where the post made a more perfect fit IF IT HADN"T BEEN PERFECTLY FIT IN THE FIRST PLACE, unfortunately this effect would leave slight indentations in the front and back that might not be good for future post fitting or adjusting the position of said post.

Somebody please tell me this can't be true!!!

July 27, 2013 at 01:31 AM · "Who will get the last word in? Lyndon or David?

I don't even know which side they're on!"

____________________

I don't have a belief or a conclusion one way or the other. Information keeps coming in, and there is always more to learn. Taking a side can have value, but can also be an impediment to further learning.

When I had a lot less experience than I do now, I was much more opinionated, and had everything figured out. LOL

Now, I'd much rather present various forms of information to digest, and take issue with some opinions which show obvious signs of bias, when they come up.

July 27, 2013 at 02:10 AM · When I entered the business 30 years ago Stradivaris were King, and violins got better the more you played them, and the older the better.

30 years later and now David Burgess and company are the Kings, and violins don't get better no matter how much you play them. Old is just old and new is better.

Go figure!!!

July 27, 2013 at 02:20 AM · "30 years later and now David Burgess and company are the Kings, and violins don't get better no matter how much you play them. Old is just old and new is better.

Go figure!!!"

__________________

That's highly spun and mischaracterized, particularly since I just stated where I'm at on the matter.

Spin and mischaracterization, along with fallacious "facts" are typical signs of prejudice or an agenda. I tried to deal with a bunch of that stuff in the last thread, and hoped it wouldn't come up again.

July 27, 2013 at 02:31 AM · I bet Sharelle, the OP, is beginning to wish she could:

manipulate time as a variable, particularly in the reverse direction.

July 27, 2013 at 03:22 AM · Sorry David, I highly respect the restraint you have shown in this new thread, and I was just trying to be a bit funny, but in doing so let loose of some of the restraint I had been showing, apologies

July 27, 2013 at 05:19 AM · 30 replies left!

Whoo hoo!

July 27, 2013 at 05:24 AM · "manipulate time as a variable, particularly in the reverse direction".

Dr. Sheldon Cooper rides again !

29 left.

July 27, 2013 at 05:41 AM ·

David are you describing a wormhole? A rip in the fabric of space-time? Or a hole in an old fiddle?

29 left!

July 27, 2013 at 06:33 AM · "29 left! "

No, it's 27, right ??

BTW I read :-

"Radio astronomers have found the biggest hole ever seen in the universe. The void, which is nearly a billion light years across, is empty of both normal matter and dark matter. The finding challenges theories of large-scale structure formation in the universe. Unlike black holes, within this void there is no gravity, only levity".

July 27, 2013 at 06:55 AM · Who's counting, the same arguements go on and on, sooner or later your going to have to decide, do you want a violin that sounds good to your ear, or a violin that tests better under spectrum analysis, if you choose spectrum analysis, your next major challenge will be do you donate your brain to science or have your memories preserved on a microchip so you can live on forever inside your computer,

Your next major decision, how do you pay for keeping the computer running that houses your former brain, thats where you may come to regret not buying a Stradivari, and buying a modern makers violin instead. When you get the news that selling your last modern violin will only pay for three years of juice and maintenance for your computer brain, you have an unfortunate accident, the computer chip equivalent of an brain hemmorage.

As all the life drains from your computer brain, your last words are, "I should have listened to Lyndon Taylor and bought the Stradivari"!!!

July 27, 2013 at 07:04 AM · "Why did Lyndon and David keep cycling .."

Tying to keep fit, I guess. Regrettably, arguments lose weight too if you keep on pedalling the same, IMHO.

July 27, 2013 at 08:22 AM · There's no doubt I need to lose weight, and David Burgess is in way better shape than me, Golly have you seen his picture?? He looks just like Hulk Hogan only with a violin in his hand!!!

July 27, 2013 at 10:24 AM · Au contraire, Eric, Aren't you just plum proud of the boys this time? Only Scott is playing up and earning a place on the naughty chair. No soup for him!

I'm throwing another spaniard into these works - why do makers prefer maple for tonewood, is because of its playinability? I read (maybe on maestro net or something) about a guy who had made violins out of Australian timbers. I don't recall that they were spectacular in sound, maybe good? but heavy, though they looked good to me, but I like that aesthetic ) - perhaps they aren't going to play in becasue the timber doesn't have 'that' property?

July 27, 2013 at 10:55 AM · Sharelle, while the choice of maple seems almost manditory, there are other woods used mostly on larger instruments like violas and cellos; poplar, beech, willow, I'm not sure but I think there may be one or two others, but of all these choices, maple is by far the most spectacular looks wise, with the availability of highly figured flamed or even birdseye wood. Then there's location, northern italy, there really aren't that many other good hardwoods to choose from like there may be in Australia, Africa etc. My 2c

I'm sure David could have some good input on the topic if he's game. We may not get along well that often, but if for a change we can both contribute on something, I welcome his input. seriously.

July 27, 2013 at 02:30 PM · Simon Streuff - 7/26

"As for others wasting time on searching for evidence through science I will go play my violin now, knowing for myself, that it will not only improve my playing but my instrument."

Last night I played for a few hours with some other musicians. At the end of the night, my violin sounded clearer, more responsive, and overall just plain nicer to my ear than when I started. It was a definite difference.

The question is: difference in the instrument, or in my perception of it?

I have no problem at all believing it is all in my perception, and nothing physically/acoustically changing in the violin. After all, isn't this a sensory and physical exercise, similar to athletes in competition? I played on several teams in college... volleyball, table tennis, and bowling... and there is the well-known term of "the zone", where after a while playing, time slows down, vision becomes sharper, targets become larger, and everything just works. Even now, in bowling, there is the odd perception that the marks on the right side of the lane (where I normally throw) appear to have 30% wider spacing than the marks on the left side.

In the case of sports, it is ludicrous to claim that one's perceptions are the true condition, and the physics of the universe has suddenly changed. It make perfect sense to me that playing an instrument is the same way.

As far as "wasting time on searching for evidence through science", it depends what you're trying to do. If I was only playing an instrument, it would be a waste of time. However, as a maker, I want my instruments to sound as fabulous as possible as soon as possible. So it is not a waste of time to investigate play-in. If it is a real and significant effect, then there may be some way to use that information to improve the product. If it is NOT real, then attempting to use it is a waste of time.

July 27, 2013 at 02:35 PM · Don,

The short-term enhancement of which you wrote is surely a different phenomenon from the supposed improvement in playing characteristics that folk like to think occur after MANY YEARS of diligent use.

I too would think my violin sounded better after a few hours practice, but I was then tempted to think the "improvement" was in ME, not IT.

The Melvyn Goldsmith effect.

I hadn't been aware of those sporting phenomena you report, so thanks.

Problem for curious folk such as myself is - is any LONG TERM maturing real or imaginary ? Ars longa, vita brevis - the fiddles last longer than the fiddlers. We cannot yet turn back the clock and confirm the theory of evolution by watching it happen; still less can we take the same violin back to square one and see what would happen with different treatment. Bring on the time-capsule.

Then, if the suspicion that a violin "improves" over a long-term period IS correct, why ? Making with old timber doesn't seem to produce an instrument that players immediately recognise as behaving like an old one, I understand. The explanation that the activity of the player contributes then becomes irresistible.

Did Strads ALWAYS sound like that ? Who can ever really know !

July 27, 2013 at 03:55 PM · David,

The long-term maturing of violins is definitely real, and I have been measuring fairly consistent changes in my instruments over the months and years. The question as to why... there are several possible known physical mechanisims, which I won't bother to repeat again. Vibration is not yet proven, but not yet disproven, either. I take the lack of positive proof as an indicatior that it either isn't real, or not a large effect.

July 27, 2013 at 04:29 PM · Don,

Forgive me for this anecdote !

Years ago there was a 'cellist I knew in the Hallé Orchestra (UK) who was also a trained maker.

The story goes that he had a new 'cello sent over to him from one of the Bisiachs. He didn't seem to be getting on too well with it. As so often happens, he did think to thin the wood (as folk so often do !) but decided against. Instead, the instrument stayed unplayed in the case for 10 years.

Then one day he took it out again, and, lo and behold, he was happy with it. That's what he told me. He seemed sober at the time.

Hmm. Pinch of salt

However, I do have a VIOLA bought new around 1992. I hardly ever use it; but every time I DO it seems a lot better than the last time.

Must be something in the Manchester air !

I think players get into difficulties wanting a "quick fix".

July 27, 2013 at 04:54 PM · Hello Don, I happened on this thread and remember the time we spent a year or so ago testing your violins and mine. I always hoped that was helpful to you in your searches! If anyone's got a shot at some real answers, you do. I know I'd love some explanations as to why I perceive what I do!

July 27, 2013 at 06:27 PM · Time to get serious.

No one has tackled my proposition from the other thread, probably due to the crystalline and devastating logic.

It is accepted dogma in the world of lutherie (is that a real word?) that a thinly-graduated instrument will be very easy to play and sound good immediately, but will eventually lose its sound. Some illustrious makers such as Peresson were accused of such.

So how is one to account for a too-thin instrument losing its sound? Obviously, it's not player perception or getting used to the instrument. It's not aging of varnish (too early) or setup. It has to be the mechanical act of playing the instrument. People often say that even many Strads are "played out." This wouldn't involve changes in varnish, setup, or player accomodation either.

And yet one can't have it both ways. You can't acknowledge that a thin violin can be quickly played-out but that something just a little thicker would experience no such changes (or that suddenly only perceptions are responsible). There must be some gradation of the effect, with thin violins changing earlier and thicker ones taking longer. A violin with one-inch-thick plates would presumably show no effect from playing (or perhaps it would take a thousand years to present).

July 27, 2013 at 07:09 PM · "So how is one to account for a too-thin instrument losing its sound"

Simple explanation.

You get married to a girl who is on the thin side of beautiful and for some time, the times in bed are great, you could even lift her up with 2 fingers and carry her to the shower.

Unfortunately as age has a particularly unkind way of dealing with feminine beauty, by the time she gets the odd wrinkle, the thin thing, becomes more like the clothes of 21+ being ill fitting and she looks more and more emaciated & ill as time goes on.

The moral of the tale is, you get a divorce because you can't stand the sight of her any more, least of all getting grey and toothy together, until osteoporosis sets it.

Such stuff is made of fads and fashions, while the classy girl you dismissed as a little large boned and maybe muscular at 21, still looks as sexy as Claudia Cardinale at 55.

July 27, 2013 at 10:49 PM · Unless she divorces you first.

July 27, 2013 at 11:42 PM · "So how is one to account for a too-thin instrument losing its sound"

This isn't enough information to make a guess. I personally haven't experienced this, and don't know what "losing its sound" means terms that I can think about logically.

Nathan, yes, thanks for putting up with me for the testing session. For makers such as myself that play only passably, it is necessary to annoy good players such as yourself for reality checks and to figure out what is lacking. Please move South so I can bug you every few days.

July 28, 2013 at 12:43 AM · Scott Cole worte: "It is accepted dogma in the world of lutherie (is that a real word?) that a thinly-graduated instrument will be very easy to play and sound good immediately, but will eventually lose its sound. Some illustrious makers such as Peresson were accused of such."

Scott, in my experience, a thinly-graduated violin will show some problems from the very beggining, such as poor sound in upper positions on the G and D strings, as well as a rather hollow sound.

In my opinion is that many players, when they get these thinly-graduated violins, are not playing virtuoso pieces and will notice the problem only when they start playing in the 7th position on the G string.

Peresson violins are on the thick side.

July 28, 2013 at 08:00 AM · Scott, you may not want my opinion of why thinner instruments get worse, but here's one possible explanation;

Imagine that playing in and aging together or one or the other, increases the ability of the instrument to vibrate and/or resonate. For an normally thicknessed instrument, and increase in vibrations and resonances is a good thing.

For a thin instrument, it is made thin because it immediately tends to resonate and vibrate more because its thinner, and sound good straight away.

Over time increasing the ability to vibrate and resonate of a thin instrument, makes in resonate and vibrate too much, wolf tones, for instance, appear, and the sound is not as good because instead of the ideal amount of vibration and resonance that an aged thick instrument has, or a brand new thin instrument has. Now your thin instrument has too much resonance, and not enough damping.

July 28, 2013 at 09:28 AM · "Bring on the time-capsule."

The very same tale "playing improves sound" is believed by electric guitarists. They believe these 50-60ys old vintage fenders and gibsons sound so incredibly better because they have been played for decades.

Ok. But here we have the proof: We have recordings of these 3-4cm thick massive planks when they were new. Guess what?

They sound the same. Even the sound ideal comes from these recordings.

Old wisdom: Good instruments sound fine from the beginning. How much the ageing of the components in electric guitars contributes to the sound, I don't know. I have some contemporary solid body guitars that are absolute top level. They feel and sound old in the desired way. So time is not on my side, it's no important factor here.

Edit: When I got my new guitars, I noticed no quick change in the first few weeks, like it's obvious with violins. I guess a massive wooden construction behaves different.

For those violinist who may not be familiar with electric guitars: The choice of the wood and the construction are very important, just like with fiddles. It's not the electronics, it's the instrument and how it's made.

July 28, 2013 at 10:53 AM · Even David Burgess wouldn't agree with your statement, Tobias, you need to get out more and talk to more players and luthiers, just because you can't hear the differences, or more likely can't expalin the differences, doesn't mean your OPINION is right every time.

July 28, 2013 at 11:08 AM · What are you talking about?

July 28, 2013 at 11:32 AM · If I might be allowed to express my opinions for myself, I don't agree or disagree with what Tobias has said. I have very little experience with solid-body electric guitars.

However, since most parts don't vibrate with nearly the amplitude of a thin-shell acoustic instrument, and the sound is taken directly from the vibrating string, rather than from the vibrating body of the instrument, I suspect that changes due to vibration or wood property changes, if any, would be greatly reduced compared to an acoustic instrument. So what Tobias has said kind of makes sense to me.

July 28, 2013 at 03:24 PM · That would be a denial that the tonal properties of wood get any better with age, regardless of how thick they are, Which I would kind of expect David to say. Certainly a thin body instrument like a violin or acoustic guitar has more potential to improve from actual vibration than a thick body electric guitar, except with one big if, If you have ever been to a 110db live rock concert, perhaps you might understand how SOME electric guitars get vibrated more than others,

Coincidentally the highest prices for vintage electric guitars are for instruments played for many years by famous rock stars(who tend to paly at the loudest levels)!!!OK so that's tongue in cheek!!

July 28, 2013 at 03:47 PM · "That would be a denial that the tonal properties of wood get any better with age, regardless of how thick they are,.."

_______________________

Incorrect. Is there any chance that I could just be my own spokesperson? There seems to much greater accuracy that way, preposterous as that may seem.....

Suggested alternative:

"David, are you saying that the tonal properties of wood don't get any better with age, regardless of how thick they are?"

Response:

"No, but I would expect the effects (if any) to be greatly reduced on a solid-body electric guitar, because unlike a violin, the vibrating wood itself isn't responsible for producing most of the sound."

July 28, 2013 at 04:08 PM · "That would be a denial that the tonal properties of wood get any better with age, regardless of how thick they are,.."

_______________________

Incorrect. Is there any chance that I

...get responded to what I really have said?

You ignore statements and opinions arbitrarily.

But you seen to remember very clearly what others, like David, would comment.

For a serious discussion it would be natural to keep in mind the position of the partners, what you ignore from time to time. But sometimes it's really funny to follow your erratic logic. Thanks for sharing.

July 28, 2013 at 04:54 PM · 3 to go!

Gee, what happened to all those people who talk about played-out Strads that were made too thin by repairmen? Suddenly they're very quiet on the subject.

July 28, 2013 at 05:25 PM · Yes, and I am very curious with what subject the OP will revive the beaten to death horse.

What about "Is Lyndon's knowledge directly inspired by heaven?"

July 28, 2013 at 06:10 PM · Well, a regraduated Strad isn't a Strad anymore, and those that have had their thicknesses modified have also very likely been patched and revarnished - would anybody here knowingly buy a revarnished modern violin with patches in it?

July 28, 2013 at 06:30 PM · Still trying to get in the last word here, have you enjoyed playing your violin lately, would getting a full scientific spectrum analysis of it make it sound any better to you, I'd be interested to know do the pro playing in camp players play their violins more than the nothing changes group, is that a possible reason for some of the differences in perception, are the best players in the world more likely to prefer Strads over moderns or do they just aquire them as status symbols. What percent of our opinionated posters have never heard up close a strad compared to a modern, inquireing readers want to know!! Cheers David, sorry for putting some words in your mouth but some of that stuff was actual quotations of what I have read you say, or do I have Alzheimers disease, post 101 for You david!!

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