How to choose the wood for violins?

According to a research conducted by a group of American specialists, it was determined how important is to choose the right piece of wood, in order to create a good violin. Of course, this aspect is not a new one, but the interesting part just follows: It was proved that the luthiers do not really know how to choose a wood with a good acoustic.

This is mainly due to the fact that they tend to pay more attention to the appearance of the wood, which is of course important as well. Still, if that material looks exactly the way you want it to be it does not mean that it will impress by the help of its acoustic features.

The simplest way to check the wood is to knock on it. But no matter how simple the method is, the result will not be the one you seek for. There are special machines that can be used in order to select the wood with the best acoustic features.

In the same time, it is true that the violin created is mostly the result and merit of the luthier. It is generally believed that the way the luthier sharps the wood will establish if the instrument is good or bad. The masters in the domain have the ‘’power’’ to change a not very qualitative piece of wood in a good instrument. The soundboards really make the difference among instruments.

So, which are the main aspects to look for while choosing the material?

  1. The piece of wood should be at least 3 or 4 years old. Why? Just after cutting it, the material is not enough dry to allow the luthier to sharp it and to give it the properties it needs in order to become a good instrument. Of course, there is the possibility to dry the material by using different procedures, but the best is to wait for it to get dry naturally.
  2. It is highly recommended to pay attention to the grain which has to be straight, and the age rings should be very close one to the other. Generally this kind of material is obtained from trees at high altitudes.
  3. The most used types of wood are spruce and maple. It is proved that they have very good acoustic features. While choosing maple, the aspect is of course the most important element. For a very long time it was considered that the maple from Bosnian forests is the best in Europe. Unfortunately, due to the highly demand and exploitation, it is very hard to find materials originating from there nowadays.
  4. Ask the provider if the material has been tested with a lucchimeter. This instrument has the capacity to test the speed of the sound in the wood and based on this, to establish its elasticity and sound quality.

We hope you will like this post on how to choose the wood for violins. Check our sources in order to find some more details about this process.

Potrivit unei cercetari efectuate de catre un grup de specialisti Americani, a fost determinata importanta alegerii bucatii potrivite de lemn, pentru a realiza o vioara buna. Bineinteles, acest aspect nu este nou, insa partea interesanta abia urmeaza: a fost demonstrat faptul ca lutierii nu stiu cu adevarat cum sa aleaga un lemn cu o acustica buna.

Acest lucru se datoreaza in primul rand faptului ca ei tind sa accorde mai multa atentie partii estetice a lemnului, care este bineinteles importanta la randu-i. Totusi, daca materialul arata exact asa cum iti doresti sa fie, nu inseamna ca acesta va impresiona prin caracteristicile sale acustice.

Cea mai simpla cale de a verifica lemnul este sa bati in el. Dar indiferent de cat de simpla aceasta metoda este, rezultatul nu va fi acela pe care il cauti. Exista masinarii speciale care pot fi utilizate pentru a selecta un lemn cu cele mai bune caracteristici acustice.

In acelasi timp, este adevarat faptul ca vioara realizata este in cea mai mare parte rezultatul si meritul lutierului. Modul in care lutierul da forma lemnului va determina daca instrumenta va fi unul bun sau unul rau. Maestrii domeniului au ‘’puterea’’ sa schimbe o bucata de lemn nu prea calitativa intr-un instrument bun. Cutia de rezonanta este cea care face intr-adevar diferenta intre instrumente.

Deci care sunt cele mai importante aspect atunci cand alegem un material?

  1. Bucata de lemn trebuie sa aiba cel putin 3 sau 4 ani vechime. De Ce ? Imediat dupa taiere, materialul nu este indeajuns de uscat pentru a-i permite lutierului sa il modeleze si sa ii dea proprietatile de care este nevoie pentru a realiza un instrument bun. Bineinteles, exista posibilitatea de a usca materialul prin utilizarea diverselor proceduri, dar cea mai buna cale este de a astepta ca acesta sa se usuce in mod natural.
  2. Este recomandata foarte multa atentie in ceea ce priveste fibra lemnului, care trebuie sa fie dreapta si cercurilor care indica varsta si care trebuie sa fie cat mai apropiate. In general acest gen de material este obtinut de la copacii de la altitudini inalte.
  3. Cele mai utilizate tipuri de lemn sunt molidul si paltinul. A fost dovedit ca acestea au caracteristici acustice foarte bune. La alegerea paltinului, aspectul este bineinteles cel mai important. Pentru o perioada foarte lunga de timp s-a considerat ca paltinul din padurile Bosniei este cel mai bun din Europa. Din pacate, din cauza cererii foarte mari si a exploatarii, este foarte greu sa gasesti materiale provenite de acolo acum.
  4. Intrebati furnizorul daca materialul a fost testat cu un lucchimetru. Acest instrument are capacitatea de a testa viteza sunetului in lemn si in baza acestor informatii, se poate stabili elasticitatea si calitatea sunetului acestuia.

Speram ca veti aprecia aceasta postare despre alegerea materialului pentru viori. Pentru mai multe detalii despre acest process, puteti sa accesati si sursele utilizate de noi.

Sources/ Surse:

  1. http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070409/full/news070409-3.html
  2. http://www.thestrad.com/cpt-latests/ask-the-experts-selecting-the-right-tonewood/
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