One-piece back or two?
My Breton has a one-piece back, typical of all Breton models. It has a very mellow sound, and I was curious about whether a two-piece back affects the sound and makes it more complex. I know of a nice-looking Louis Lowendall for sale, then I'd have both a French violin and a German one.
I read somewhere that two piece backs can be made from thinner trees than one piece backs. But sound wise there is no difference. But I'm not a luthier.
A one-piece back may be more likely to be a certain kind of wood, and certain kinds of wood may behave differently when shaped the same vs. other kinds of wood, but there are too many variables to generalize to "one piece backs".
I've never heard anyone claim a significant "this vs. that" difference between one-piece vs. two-piece backs for sound. I think it boils down to the luthier's creative preference and the wood (s)he has available.
"Macht nichts" I have one violin with one-piece back and three with 2-pice backs. There are all different but that is not the reason.
My luthier acknowledged that two piece backs are stronger than one.I have had the soundpost snugged up a few times in the last couple years due to it being a one piece back, thus pushing the back out( very slightly).
What about a one-piece back with two "wings" added in the lower bouts in the manner of Andrea Guarneri, as here in one viola I made, "La Struggente"
Very nice. Extra sun porch on one edge, and a playroom for the kids on the other?
A more consequential difference would be whether the maker used 1/4 sawn or slab cut maple, irrespective of whether it is one or two piece back.
That's a beautiful viola Luis.
Two-piece backs are no more or less complex than one-piece backs. There is an argument that the two-piece back is stronger, yet there’s also one that it’s weaker and more prone to failure, so there’s nothing conclusive about the structural benefits.
Luis, as a luthier,how do you obtain your wood supply? Are you constantly on the " hunt" for quality wood or do you buy a large quantity all at once and " coast" on that supply for a while?
The Lipinski Strad.
There is absolutely no difference in one piece or two piece backs... if they are cut similarly and of similar wood and the glue joint is good.
I agree with Lyndon's February 12 post, and also Don's February 14 post.
The JTL catalogue says some of their wood is seasoned for more than 50 years.
Gordon, Hans Weisshaar told me years ago to never trust the age of wood that a wood dealer claims. Store and season it as if it is new, or risk using wood which is not yet stable.
I remember many years ago there was an effort to recover logs from the bottom of Lake Superior. The water is so cold that there is essentially no decay. Of course they would need to be dried, but we're talking about whole forests' worth of virgin timber -- enormous trees including many hardwoods. I don't know about maple but there was a lot of oak. Such was the scale of the logging operations, and Lake Superior is also known to be a place where a lot of boats have gone missing.
I had no idea what you as a maker pay for wood David.Thats an eye opener...
Wow! David I had no idea tone wood could be so expensive. I suppose a great instrument must begin with great wood. I'm curious... are there certain visual characteristics of wood in a finished violin that would indicate superior quality?
that was for a whole tree
Well, maybe a 25 foot section of a whole tree.
The phrase "value added" applied here I think.