[LAU] Pro Audio? OT rant.

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Mon Dec 24 15:46:05 UTC 2012

On Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 10:40 AM, Fons Adriaensen <fons at linuxaudio.org>wrote:

> On Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 04:25:02PM +0100, SxDx wrote:
> > That said I'm sure a violin 10,000 euros is way better than a 100 euros
> one.
> > But from there to "a stradivarius is way better than what violin makers
> of
> > today build" (if that's what you meant), there is a lot of hype and magic
> > thinking involved, which is very surprising from you.
> "A Stradivarius is way better than what violin makers of today build"
> is not what I wrote and certainly not what I meant.
> And yes, there's lot of hype and a lot of ill-founded aversion to
> contemporary technology. I'm pretty sure that if some violin maker
> would discover a way to use some of today's high-tech materials
> to build a really good violin, most of the 'well-thinking' music
> world would want to burn him at the stake (along with his violins).

the guy from the chicago symphony who makes carbon fiber violins still
seems to have all of his hair and digits, and i believe they are selling
reasonably OK.

a luthier i talked to in berlin told me that most of the magic of old
instruments isn't the techniques but simply the "physics" of what happens
to wood as it ages. the lignin changes its structure over long periods of
time, as do other components. he told me that the hardest part of becoming
a luthier is that it takes at least a decade to get your supply chain
established, a supply chain that lets you build instruments with wood that
has already aged for at least a decade. he said that the changes in the
wood structure continue for at least 100 years, but they become much
smaller with each passing decade. there is very little difference at all
between a 200year old violin and a 100 year old violin, but a huge
difference between one made today and one made 100 years ago, even if the
techniques are identical.

i liked the guy a lot, his studio was beautiful and he had a degree in
physics and mechanical engineering from a major US university. i chose to
believe him :)
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