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Changing violin sound over time
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Rondo
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June 9, 2015 - 7:43 pm
Member Since: June 8, 2015
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Forty years ago  my parents in the Moscow store was bought by an ordinary cheap violin. It sounded bad and for many years had lain forgotten in a closet. Ten years ago, I found her, tried to play and was surprised. it sounds good. Is that possible?
p.s. Experts say that a violin sounds not bad. Certainly not as good as the workman tool, but it sounds reasonable. Now I am play it with pleasure, but I dream of a good instrument.

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Fiddlerman
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June 12, 2015 - 7:08 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Hey Rondo,
It's certainly possible for several reasons. Cheap violins are cheap for several reasons. One of them being the selection of wood. If the violin that your parents bought 40 years ago was made in a factory using fresh/green wood and the wood has been allowed to dry properly, it might have a better resonance. Usually playing on an instrument opens it up and makes it sound better.
Who knows, the second possibility could be related to:

Treatment with fungi makes a modern violin sound like a Stradivarius

Summary:

A good violin depends on the expertise of the violin maker, but also on the quality of the wood that is used. Professor Francis W. M. R. Schwarze of th Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology has succeeded in modifying the wood for a violin through treatment with special fungi, making it sound indistinguishably similar to a Stradivarius.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Schaick
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June 12, 2015 - 2:12 pm
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@Rondo I have mentioned this before -  My violin was kept in a damp unheated house for years until given to me.  I have kept it in a propped open case since the day I received it, er I should say him - Berty!

I swear after just a few months Berty started sounding better and it wasn't just that I was improving a bit.

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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DanielB
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June 12, 2015 - 3:50 pm
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I haven't met any violins that were that old.  But other stringed acoustic instruments like guitars, I have.  Some of them can improve with age, definitely.  But it is no absolute guarantee, since some instruments can also get worse with age.  Some really badly made instruments can also just fall apart over the years, even if they aren't being played. 

I think it is safer to say that the years will make some changes in the sound of any wooden acoustic instrument.  If the changes end up being things you like, then you have a winner.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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pky
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June 12, 2015 - 6:18 pm
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Fiddlerman said 
 
Treatment with fungi makes a modern violin sound like a Stradivarius
 

Better go check if my Stainer copy (and all the kits I have yet to complete) gets moldy yet, and that's probably why my daughter's 1964 Hopf sounds good:) Any way, it's interesting to learn about the fungi.

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