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keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Back in Boston

Strad's Secrets Exposed? 

I frequently order from these folks and yesterday this announcement arrived in my e-mail. For a mere $135+ one maybe can decipher secrets Strad's and his cohorts' passed down. I wonder if there is a chapter about borax/urine/fungi, etc.

http://www.internationalviolin.com/item_detail.aspx?ItemCode=BK750
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 3 2013 12:29:34
 
jeff_hatcher

Posts: 46
Joined: Aug. 26 2012
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

I wish I could afford to be that curious.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 3 2013 18:50:37
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1667
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

I don't think Stradivarius and his sons actually passed any down. This is probably based on someone else's measurements of his instruments. (But I think his secret was that he wore his wife's underwear. )

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 4 2013 0:27:41
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

Funny that you bring that up.


Here and on former AG forum noone sane would had dared mentioning any of the secret-of-Stradivari theories without being tared & featherd and chased down the forums main road with a Sherry-Brenner sticker on the forehead.

Only fools like me would keep whispering "but I know it´s true".

I am talking of petrifaction of the trunks on their way to Cremona.

A theory allegedly disproven by experts, and ridiculed by convinced adherents like a Quasimodo swinging in pantyhose.
But how could the resonating properties of such wood not alter and improve, without first and paradoxically separating brittleness / pliability from resonation?

Anyway, talking with a luthier about a future flamenca, I asked fo it to please be build of petrified wood and then went to see what the guitar community had to say about it meanwhile.
Unfortunately mainly the acoustic and electric fraction, as noone in the nylon one felt tempted when I tried to attract folks attention to such material years ago.

It turned out that sinker wood has meanwhile been tried by numbers of individual builders as well as for dedicated batches of manufacturers.
You might find it interesting to read about the overwhelming feedback from luthiers and customers on diverse forums.

The high percentage of positive reviews can hardly be based all on fancy.
And my humble grasp tells me: Why should it in the first place.
Why will a glass ring and a pillow not? It has to do with stiffness, and mineral tends to belong to the brittle side.

A couple exerts:

“I brought back some kauri from our New Zealand vacation. One of the best guitars I ever built was with some of that wood. The wood is about 90% petrified (like stone). It sometimes will spark when you cut into it and my sets have some clear streaks of mineral deposits in them that actually pass light through.

The guitar I built has super amazing sustain, rings like a big bronze church bell.”

-


From Taylor foum:



To quote a luthier who first worked with this wood a couple years ago (Jeffrey Poss):

"The partial petrifaction of the sinker redwood adds hardness to the wood especially within the annular lines and gives this guitar a bright sound than a normal redwood topped guitar while still maintaining the bell like high tone characteristic of cedar top guitars yet with more of the complex characteristics of spruce. The bass has an unusually deep character that can only be described as dark chocolate."

I couldn't agree more...
-------------------------------------


My first experience with sinker is the Taylor custom GS I recently bought, paired with mascassar ebony. It is the most amazing sounding Taylor I have ever heard! Yes, deep chocolate with a resonance like I've never heard on any factory-made guitar before. Rich bass, perfectly balanced, sweeeet tone!

My new BTO Taylor, Sinker Redwood top, EIR back and sides w/ Ebony binding. Incredible sounding, best I've played so far personally. Pronounced lows, solid mids and crisp, full trebles

---------------------------

I love my sinker redwood guitar. I noticed a huge difference one day in the overall tone and volume of my guitar. It took about 6 months to fully break in. I played 6 gigs in 5 days and when I put the new strings on "POW" she was a whole new guitar. I can't fully describe what the sound is like but, in my opinion, it doesn't sound like cedar. I also had a traditional redwood top guitar and it doesn't sound anything like that one did. One thing I notice is the complexity of the tone. It has many overtones in the background enhancing the sound, to me anyway. I have a feeling that you will love your sinker!!!!

________________________________________
I played a new R.Taylor with cocbolo back and sides with a sinker top.
The bass was nice but the mids and highs were dull. I wasn't impressed.
But I'm not without my doubts that over time, that top will open up and sound wonderful. Don't know fer sure on that note.

All from one thead.
http://www.taylorguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1729579



Player reviews on a classical with sinker redwood:
"What a strikingly beautiful guitar, the woods are astonishing. First and foremost we have one of the most dramatic sets of Brazilian you'll ever find, dark and rich, with an amazingly dramatic center section on the back. The top is extremely rare Sinker Redwood, which we have heard on numerous guitars now and I'm here to tell you there is something special about it. It has the warmth and depth of Redwood but with much more power, clarity and articulation than most Redwood offers. These tonewoods together with Ed Claxton's tastefully simple appointments and superb detail make this a guitar to treasure." - Paul Heumiller

"This is one of the best sounding and playing classicals I've seen come through the shop and it's gorgeous too." - Al Petteway
http://www.dreamguitars.com/sold-guitars/1325-claxton_classical_148/
------------------------


Ok, fire away; and if you pass on the bucket and I may pour the tar myself.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 4 2013 21:43:24
 
Sean

Posts: 672
Joined: Jan. 20 2011
From: Canada

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

Cremona Spruce/Ancient Kauri Drednaught:

Straw yellow colour, reminds of bottles peed in when too lazy to leave the couch. This beauty unwinds waves of hovercraft oil, BDSM dungeon sweat and Fair-trade biodynamic hand-cultivated chocolate from a mountaintop parcel of land in a coastal rainforest. A brooding mistress of devilish wonder. You won’t forget this celestial ejaculation!

Sinker Redwood/Sinker Mahogany Parlor:

A nose of melted plastic, burnt toast and deck shoes worn without socks, this one is a true gift. Every strum brings reminisces of suntanning after a morning of mosquito bites and family conflict. Great for tonight as an accompaniment for anxiety and an uncertain future plus goes remarkably well with the movie Scarface. What are you waiting for? Say hello to your little friend.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 5 2013 4:18:47
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

Thank you for the elementary school contribution.
The `well-founded´attitute reminds me of the detached fools who urged how travelling over 30 km/h would decompose human bodies, back when the locomotion was introduced.

Now grown-ups please.
There are a number of threads with builder and user experience in several forums. Some of which contain sound clips too which you can listen to.
Don´t fear mainstream.

Tar can be removved by bathing in kerosin like Cleopatra. err ... :O|

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 5 2013 9:12:17
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith




Hey! What´s up!? No takers?
Shouldn´t behind a conviction be some causality that you can bring to the table?

Come out of your dusty worm holes and explain maybe why mineralization couldn´t have affects on woods resonating properties, and why folks out there are wetting their underpants on behalf of instruments they find outstanding from comparable common siblings, and why presented recordings do sound remarkable.

( Here for instance is a take with a classical guitar: . http://www.guitars.co.nz/Audio/Short%20Classical%20sample.mp3
While the playing won´t allow auditioning of note tails, and something seems not right with tuning, intonation or maybe main air mode, the basic sound properties appear very impressive to me, with a strong very colourful timbre.)
-

I know that some here share my experience with antique guitars, and how aged wood alone has its own specific sonic charme.
My impression is that growth age of sinker woods ( often 400 years and more ) and long term rest does even more magic, that adds to change of characteristics through mineral deposition.

Ruphus

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 8:44:05
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14607
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to Ruphus

anders won't pipe in here, but there is a chance he will admit that luthiers build to customer demands and as far as flamenco goes, we players don't want "long sustain and complex harmonics"...we want the opposite of that. A soft springy sound board we can bang on like a drum head skin, no sustain and very few noticeable upper harmonic noise, crystal clear fundamental with punch and pop and bite and a light weight construction and feel. All the opposite of what your petrified wood description sounds like. sure a fun experiment though.

Ricardo

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 12:08:46
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

Knock, knock! Noone´s home!?


...


Come on, you pansy!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 12:12:07
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

Yes, you're right.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 13:12:33

C. Vega

 

Posts: 379
Joined: Jan. 16 2004
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

The biggest secret regarding Stradivari is that there is no secret.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 13:17:43
 
Erik van Goch

 

Posts: 1787
Joined: Jul. 17 2012
From: Netherlands

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to Ruphus

Your enthusiastic post sure made me curious to try out some of those guitars.......wonder how Bert Kwakkel's 12 string resonance guitar would sound when made from sinker wood. So far there is only 1 in existence and if only i had the money to order one (15K) that amount would be instantly doubled. One of the very rare recordings with that instrument is track 5 of this album. In future i hope to record a cover of it myself for youtube (either on my 12 string Bozo or on the one and only resonance guitar)

http://www.flairck.com/discography.php?id=70
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 13:47:11
 
Arash

Posts: 4495
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to Ruphus

seriously, i can't imagine playing some heavy rasgueados with the guitars (and the sound description) those guys you quoted are talking about, without it sounding like a choral orchestral mess or something.

Probably more suitable for classical guitarists / other Acoustic guitar styles?

Of course one should play an actual flamenco guitar with the woods your described before forming a final opinion, but i doubt it will be really suitable for us?.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 13:56:11
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

Hi Ricardo,

You must have posted while I was typing mine above ( thinking noone would be participating anymore.)

I have ( had) the exact same thoughts like you. Then again, the artisan that will be building seems to have incredible thumbs, putting out axes which nasal and rasp away as flamenco as it gets. I trust him to figure how to shape the stuff during building for it to match flameco demands.
After all it is only about B&S ( with the top of contemporary spruce ), and as someone after Torres has proven on youtube with an incredibly well ( of the rather dry type ) sounding classical guitar with BS of paper maché, a builder can quite influence in how far BS shall enhance or not.

Yet, if it turned out as you describe, I´ll use it as a classical and ask him to build me flamenco next time that I have funds abroad.
For great playability and sonics will be there anyway; I am certain.
( Further, I am a sucker for historic / ancient stuff. I will defintily be looking at this thing and fancying the tree and its palaeontologic environment when it was stil standing tens of thousands of years ago. Such for me really counts to finest of brain cinema! )

What weight is concerned, I found a dsicription on a US wholesaler´s site that says ancient kauri wouldn´t be petrified at all (?) ... dunno ( where´s the icon for "confused"), but what counts is that its density is named as varying around common hardwoods. So, I hope the guitar won´t be heavier than a arce blanca for instance.
( I really hope so, for total appreciation of light-weight as much as ever possible.)
Contemprary kauri besides has density like other connifers too ( 560 kg/m³ ).

The guitar with the above sound sample has probably had a top of todays NZ Kauri.
-

BTW ancient kauri, looks as if burried stuff could be attracting me.
This afternoon someone approached me with that around his village there have been found heaps of truffles ( allegedly now collected quite some quantities of two different species daily).
I´ve been asked to check out the species / market value and make contact with potential customers abroad. Would be crazy stuff if there could be something arranged.

Mother earth can be generous before it takes you back.
Would be nice if.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 14:08:08
 
Erik van Goch

 

Posts: 1787
Joined: Jul. 17 2012
From: Netherlands

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to Arash

quote:

ORIGINAL: Arash

Of course one should play an actual flamenco guitar with the woods your described before forming a final opinion, but i doubt it will be really suitable for us?.


Obviously only playing the instruments can tell.... but if the traditional flamenco guitar is so perfect i wonder why people like Paco de Lucia (who initiated and plays flamenco/classical hybrids to start with) still feel the need to use so much reverb (despite the fact it does indeed kill rasgueados). As far as i know Sanlucar plays a classical Ramirez guitar and when i complimented Miguel Angel Cortes with his very well sounding Ramirez guitar it turned out to be a flamenco/classical hybrid as well. Personally i'm very curious to try one out since it might very well fit my musical needs and way of playing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 14:15:10
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

Sir Vega,

The possible merrits of sinker wood are not supposed to take away from the relevance of lutheir skills.

The better parts of it could just be a terrific material to build instruments with.
( Eventhough possibly not so much flamencas; that is what needs to be seen yet.)

Erik,

I expect you could be positively surprised. All that rave will probably not be merely due to fancy about salvaged trunks. And some of the reviewers are experienced builders and players.

Arash,

Yep, could be. I am incredibly curious to see. Just can´t wait! Luckily tge luthier plans to start soon and the blanks shall be on the way not too far in the future.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 14:19:29
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

anders won't pipe in here, but there is a chance he will admit that luthiers build to customer demands and as far as flamenco goes, we players don't want "long sustain and complex harmonics"...we want the opposite of that. A soft springy sound board we can bang on like a drum head skin, no sustain and very few noticeable upper harmonic noise, crystal clear fundamental with punch and pop and bite and a light weight construction and feel. All the opposite of what your petrified wood description sounds like. sure a fun experiment though.

Ricardo


It seems that you forgot certain nuance in the voice, and this is incorporated into a lot of what you don't like.

Perhaps the voice is static and does not need additional harmonics or longer sustain but then Reyes doesn't seem to agree with this.

And there is an edge that comes out in the upper register that cries more with a longer sustain, and this gives cutting edge sympathy to the voicing.

And one thing I noticed about the Nagyvary wood treatment I used was that the tone didn't have enough harmonic or dimensional edge to the notes but escaped through the top more easily with a flatter tone....brilliant but unsatisfying to me, as a player.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 14:35:23
 
Sean

Posts: 672
Joined: Jan. 20 2011
From: Canada

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

Kauri has been discussed before, it can make a nice Blanca.
Usable Ancient Kauri is not petrified, petrified wood is stone, and stone is a poor material choice for guitars.
Ancient Kauri that is usable will have more silicate then normal Kauri from permineralization; the process that eventually leads to petrification, turning to stone.
Perhaps the regular Kauri behaves more like a Blanca, and the denser harder ancient more like a Negra. All woods vary so this would be case by case.
There are plenty of tropical woods readily available, that have high silica content, and are too hard and dense, to produce a good Flamenco sound.

Redwood is highly overrated.
It's marketed as having the best qualities of both Spruce and Cedar.
On paper that sounds like a superior product to me; the reality is very different.
Redwood dates back over 40 years as a top wood, in the Spanish guitar.
If it was as good as its billed, you would see it only on the top models in Spain, with huge markups do to its rarity.
You could market Redwood just as easily as, lacking the sparkle of Spruce and warmth of Cedar, but then it wouldn't sell as well.
Sinker Redwood a harder, denser version, even better for Flamenco? Doubtful.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 16:41:11
 
gj Michelob

Posts: 1531
Joined: Nov. 7 2008
From: New York City/San Francisco

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to C. Vega

quote:

The biggest secret regarding Stradivari is that there is no secret.


I am almost embarrassed that I thought to write the same thing you did, but I confess I just read the entire thread to see if anyone else had made the point... and of all people I had to agree with you ?

But I do, there is no secret, except an instinctive 'ear' for sound that in our age of constant humming and concealed noise, and electrically enraged volume, we have probably lost.

The same secret really applies to the old concert halls, where the slightest snapping of one's fingers will carry throughout with astonishing clarity.

As my mum would have said... they just don't make'em any more
like they used to

_____________________________

gj Michelob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 16:53:47
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to Sean

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sean

Kauri has been discussed before, it can make a nice Blanca.
Usable Ancient Kauri is not petrified, petrified wood is stone, and stone is a poor material choice for guitars.
Ancient Kauri that is usable will have more silicate then normal Kauri from permineralization; the process that eventually leads to petrification, turning to stone.
Perhaps the regular Kauri behaves more like a Blanca, and the denser harder ancient more like a Negra. All woods vary so this would be case by case.
There are plenty of tropical woods readily available, that have high silica content, and are too hard and dense, to produce a good Flamenco sound.

Redwood is highly overrated.
It's marketed as having the best qualities of both Spruce and Cedar.
On paper that sounds like a superior product to me; the reality is very different.
Redwood dates back over 40 years as a top wood, in the Spanish guitar.
If it was as good as its billed, you would see it only on the top models in Spain, with huge markups do to its rarity.
You could market Redwood just as easily as, lacking the sparkle of Spruce and warmth of Cedar, but then it wouldn't sell as well.
Sinker Redwood a harder, denser version, even better for Flamenco? Doubtful.



Thank your for the heads up on the term "petrification". I was mistaking it for gradual incorporation of minerals.
( Otherwise thinking that woodworkers loved to blund their tools with stone, while players were waiting for guitars weighing like a Shetland pony. hehe)
-

The initial question had to do with tone wood in general, not specifically for flamencas.
-

Why should independent, single working luthiers be "marketing" redwood?
-

And if it will not suit nylon guitars ideally, it might still fit the steel string section that works with higher pull.


You who knows things regarding sinker wood so well, have certainly gathered your insights from practical experience with sinker and non-sinker siblings?
- Like guys in the forums and with diametral opposing opinions to yours did?
Or might they be paid redwood claqueurs. :O)

But seriously: Have you yet auditioned tracks with stone guitars like the one above?

Ruphus

PS:
Just made a search.
The kauri that was discussed before was of the Australian species.
The two are supposed to differ in characteristics as tonewood.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 17:13:31

C. Vega

 

Posts: 379
Joined: Jan. 16 2004
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

Sorry 'bout that, counselor. I know it pains you to agree with me but I think you'll get over it.

What few people seem to realize (or care to admit) is that of the 600-700 (depending on which expert you choose to believe) surviving Stradivari instruments, only a small percentage of them actually see any kind of regular use. Most of them reside in museum display cases or bank vaults. And they aren't all sonic masterpieces by any stretch of them imagination either.
Another point that is only rarely mentioned is that virtually every one of them has been considerably modified from its original state plus having been subjected to numerous repairs along with often heavy restoration/conservation work over the centuries. The structural modifications (longer and more angled necks, taller and more arched bridges, longer and heavier bass bars, different tailpieces, much higher tension strings, etc.) have altered their sound considerably, so much so that one has to wonder if their current sound is mostly due to Stradivari or to the repair/restoration people who've modified, repaired and maintained them over the years. I'm not implying that ol' Tony wasn't a good fiddle maker. He certainly was. But that, if anything, is the secret.
There is only one existing Stradivari instrument that has escaped molestation, a very large tenor viola that was part of a set of instruments that Stradivari built in 1690 for the Medici family. Supposedly everything, except for the strings on it, is original. It resides in the Instituto Cherubini in Florence, Italy.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 17:18:19
 
gj Michelob

Posts: 1531
Joined: Nov. 7 2008
From: New York City/San Francisco

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to C. Vega

quote:

What few people seem to realize (or care to admit) is that of the 600-700 (depending on which expert you choose to believe) surviving Stradivari instruments, only a small percentage of them actually see any kind of regular use. Most of them reside in museum display cases or bank vaults. They aren't all sonic masterpieces by any stretch of them imagination. Another point that is only rarely mentioned is that virtually every one of them has been considerably modified from its original state plus having been subjected to numerous repairs along with often heavy restoration/conservation work. The structural modifications (longer and more angled necks, taller bridges, longer and heavier bass bars, different tailpieces, much higher tension strings, etc.) have altered their sound considerably, so much so that one has to wonder if their current sound is mostly due to Stradivari or to the repair/restoration people who've modified, repaired and maintained them over the years.
There is only one existing Stradivari instrument that has avoided modification, a very large tenor viola that was part of a set of instruments that Stradivari built in 1690 for the Medici family. Supposedly everything, except for the strings on it, is original. It resides in the Instutito Cherubini in Florence, Italy.



Absolutely good points, to which I think one should add that Stradivari[us]' instruments were not, in his time, as prestigious as his peers' work:

"The important fact to be noted here is that Stradivari instruments are more famous today than they were in the 18th century, compared to other more or less contemporary luthiers, like Giuseppe Guarnieri (1698-1744), Niccolò Amati (1596-1684), or Jacob Stainer (1621-1683), not to mention other equally prestigious craftsmen of the same era. This means that some present analytical considerations might waver and risk falling into Presentism.

So, when picturing today Boccherini as a cellist of unparalleled high reputation, there is a tendency to link him with (presently) top valued Stradivari, in spite of the fact that any documentary evidence to support such linkage is lacking. This has lead to an inaccurate mixture of Presentism and Wishful Thinking, thus producing a puzzling, yet widely believed tale about one of the still extant Stradivarius instruments, spuriously denominated as "The Boccherini"."
[see: http://www.boccherinionline.it/annate/n2-2009/tortella-5.php]

_____________________________

gj Michelob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 17:30:15

C. Vega

 

Posts: 379
Joined: Jan. 16 2004
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

A number of years ago the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York had a not particularly impressive Strad from their collection (it had been modernized) "built back" to late 17th/early 18th century specs by a very skilled Dutch violin maker.
It proved to be even less remarkable as an old style fiddle than it was in modern guise.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 17:35:30
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1667
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to gj Michelob

quote:

an instinctive 'ear' for sound that in our age of constant humming and concealed noise


That is such a good point. I am always alarmed at how loud people play recorded and other music at parties (even at my son's elementary school in Seattle when he was there), and how people go around listening to music through earphones all the time. I was at a flamenco party two days ago where dancers were using recorded music for a while. It was painfully loud to me and my ears still feel affected. We as a society have lost our willingness to listen and to keep the hearing that we are born with. I for one need quiet and I like keeping my ears sensitive for the important things. But I still say it was wearing his wifes underwear that....

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 17:42:44

C. Vega

 

Posts: 379
Joined: Jan. 16 2004
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

Another interesting example is the so-called "Viotti" Stradivari violin dating from 1709.
This instrument has changed a few times in recent years, most recently having been purchased in a private sale by the Royal Academy of Music in London for an undisclosed sum but said by some of the violin know-it-alls to have been in excess of 10 million U.S. dollars
I've seen some very good and detailed photographs of the inside of this instrument that were taken a number of years ago when it was opened for some repair work.
The underside of the top was a virtual textbook of violin repair and restoration techniques. The edges had been "doubled" where original wood that had been damaged over the years by previous top removals was cut away and replaced with new wood. There were also several large patches of new wood (again original wood was removed and in a couple of places there were patches on top of patches) in the central/bridge area and lower bouts of the top, numerous crack repair cleats. etc. Based on what I saw in the photos, I'd estimate that perhaps 30% of the top wood had been replaced with new material. Since this violin is considered by a number of experts to be one of the best examples of Stradivari's work, that in itself should be enough to seriously bring into question any theories regarding secret wood treatments Stradivari may have used, magic wood, mini ice ages and all the rest of the silly-ass nonsense but when combined with the fact that the instrument has also been subjected to all of the previously mentioned modifications and modernizations it becomes very obvious that a fairly substantial portion of this instrument is not the work of Stradivari at all. The same can be said about numerous other examples of not only Stradivari instruments but other "old master" instruments as well.
However, I will say that the overall outward appearance, particularly to the casual observer, of the Viotti violin gives little indication of the amount of repair and restoration work it has undergone over the years but however well disguised it may be it's still there. There are some often anonymous but remarkably skilled restorers working on these things.

At the time of purchase, The Royal Academy of Music said that the Viotti would be played only on "special occasions under carefully controlled conditions". (Whatever that's supposed to mean. ).

Should anyone want to see it (but you probably won't get to hear it), the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England is holding an exhibition of Stradivari instruments this summer. It'll be on display along with the famous (or infamous) "Messiah" violin and another 20 or so other examples that will include one guitar.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 18:19:31
 
Arash

Posts: 4495
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to Erik van Goch

quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik van Goch

but if the traditional flamenco guitar is so perfect i wonder why people like Paco de Lucia (who initiated and plays flamenco/classical hybrids to start with)
still feel the need to use so much reverb (despite the fact it does indeed kill rasgueados).


What do you exactly mean with "reverb"? In his concerts? In his CD recordings?
the kind of effects you hear in recordings (which by the way you hear in almost every flamenco guitars CD), don't change the energetic, well seperated, dry and low sustain of the original flamenco guitar sound. If the original sound of a guitar should have too much sustain and "bad" seperation, etc. specially when you play techniques like Rasguedos, it would sound totally different than some carefully added studio effects to a conde sound for instance (imo)

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 18:34:00
 
Morante

 

Posts: 2138
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

When I go to the local Peña to hear cante I always carry earplugs: the sound system has 3000w and nobody can use it properly.

Incidentally, when I heard the Stones all those years ago, they were using Vox AC30 amps. 30 watts today is unthinkable
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 18:35:53
 
Erik van Goch

 

Posts: 1787
Joined: Jul. 17 2012
From: Netherlands

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to Arash

quote:

ORIGINAL: Arash

What do you exactly mean with "reverb"? In his concerts? In his CD recordings?


In Paco's case i meant the overdose of "echo" he (and many others) applies during life concerts. I specifically choose him because the last concerts i attended (many many years ago) he used a kind of echo that was really total crap. Vicente on the other hand has the most perfect stage-sound one can imagine so it's not fair to question the flamenco guitar as such. I merely wanted to question the reluctancy of some to even considerer a possible plus of a more richer sound of the guitar itself, while at the same time so many use artificial ways like echo to create a more "richer" sound. Demands can change when alternatives are offered. Quite recently a personalized bow instrument was ordered by a player based on a no longer favored/build historical model. That order did raise some eyebrows with the builder, but his willingness to build the instrument turned out to be a fruitful investment since it became one of his most wanted models after a couple of professional players loved its playability and sound.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 19:52:55
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to keith

Yep, I agree.
The tonal characteristics that can be present with a flamenco guitar seems can vary quite some.
Maybe the only practical limit is a relative short decay, for to allow percussiveness and separation.

I have two fine flamencas that `provenyl´represent a type of flamenco voice, but they - despite of their individual strengths - don´t hit the nails head to my personal taste. Instead there´s an estudio that sounds more flamenco to me than the two refined ones. ( Only that the estudio mises the final immediiacy of concert level.)

My preference is quite what Ricardo described so nicely above. Relatively dry flappy tops.

And yet, eventhough not knowing how it could actually come together I would love to have that deep and complex timbre of what I account to verry old / extremely old wood, added to the flappy baby.
Ron Fernandez ( who besides is a really interesting down-to-earth person to communicate with ) mentions on his website how the Miguel Rodgriguez shop thought it of high relevance to use old wood for what they wanted to achieve.
I think to quite understand what it is sonically that comes with aged ( and quite likely as well with mineralized ) wood. I think to hear it when it is there ( naturally, less than good wood in the first place won´t turn into great tonewood with age either ). I think to hear that plus in substance and sound complexity.

Having said that, it is not meant to indicate that there aren´t built stellar instruments with contemporary woods. Just that I sure appreciate the special something with antique stuff.

With all that, not fully envisioning how it may sound if the two shades of "condesque" and ancient shall be merging, I am bursting to see what the builder will be making of it.
( And this thrilling anticipation is what I totally needed after an all too lousy low, still lasting period in life. Thinking of it has me flying away behind the scrap heaps horizon.)

I am convinced that the material will only spice up the builder´s amazing work of art. You know, like a subtle sonical equivalent to that antique-style clock in a Maserati Biturbos dashboard. Just the cream on a black forest cake.
I am expecting my desert island guitar. ( A kind of incarnation of a Spanish mega axe that I missed out on in the seventies, `limping around´ with phantom ache since.)


Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2013 21:03:47
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14607
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Strad's Secrets Exposed? (in reply to Erik van Goch

quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik van Goch

quote:

ORIGINAL: Arash

What do you exactly mean with "reverb"? In his concerts? In his CD recordings?


In Paco's case i meant the overdose of "echo" he (and many others) applies during life concerts. I specifically choose him because the last concerts i attended (many many years ago) he used a kind of echo that was really total crap. Vicente on the other hand has the most perfect stage-sound one can imagine so it's not fair to question the flamenco guitar as such. I merely wanted to question the reluctancy of some to even considerer a possible plus of a more richer sound of the guitar itself, while at the same time so many use artificial ways like echo to create a more "richer" sound. Demands can change when alternatives are offered. Quite recently a personalized bow instrument was ordered by a player based on a no longer favored/build historical model. That order did raise some eyebrows with the builder, but his willingness to build the instrument turned out to be a fruitful investment since it became one of his most wanted models after a couple of professional players loved its playability and sound.


Arash is right, remember it's a CHAIN. You can't say a guitar with natural reverb is not enhanced by reverb nor vice versa. Just for you the same piece:

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=178199&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=punta%2Cdel%2Cfaro&tmode=&smode=&s=#178215



As you can see the initial ATTACK and clarity are all retained, only a false sense of "room" is added or closeness, not as though the guitar is made of different wood etc. the guitar sounds farther away or in a large hall. EQ does add or subract brilliance/bass etc, which is more of a noticeable change from prehaps the luthiers original thought of tone.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 7 2013 21:22:54
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