I wonder whether Gary has manipulated his violins before recording the samples in order to make them sound so GOOD!!!!
This is a paper just appeared in Nature one of the most important science journal!!!
I cannot post the entire paper but they say:
"Maple wood samples from the interior of the instruments' back plates were obtained as thin shavings during the repair of cracks. The instruments were a violin by Stradivari, dated 1717; a cello by Stradivari (1731); a violin by Guarneri del Gesu (1741); a violin by Gand-Bernardel of Paris (1840s); and a viola by Henry Jay of London (1769). For comparison, we used recent tone woods from Bosnia and central Europe".
they took 13C solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of the different wood samples and:
"The spectrum of the Stradivarius violin shows close similarities to that of the Guarneri, whereas the deviations of the Stradivari cello wood from the recent Bosnian maple are only slightly different from those of the old English and French instruments, and from those generated by boiling and baking the Bosnian maple sample"
And then they took Attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectra and:
"The spectra of both violins also differ from that of the Stradivari cello, which in turn differs only slightly from those of Jay and Gand-Bernardel and from the boiled–baked Bosnian maple".
and the conclusion are:
"By these methods, the violin by Guarneri and, to a slightly lesser degree, the Stradivari stand out against the other standards. Our results support the idea that chemical treatments, such as oxidation and hydrolysis, were used in making these violins and, to a much lesser extent, the Stradivari cello. In the case of the cello, the English viola and the French violin, natural ageing cannot be ruled out as a cause of the chemical changes. The effects may also be related to the unusual mineral composition of the wood in these instruments, which remains to be investigated.However, the observed differences are likely to have originated from a regional practice of wood preservation that affected the mechanical and acoustical properties of the wood. Our case studies may inspire a more chemistry-based approach to violin-making."
Gary call me when you are gonna sample another violin I can give you some good chemical treatment!!!
I believe Giorgio used some high-tech alchemy to manipulate the wood before digitizing them into samples. By reducing the phase colinearity of the manifold purfling, the inherent tonal qualities of the Stradivari have been preserved.
Interesting article about the master vioin-makers using chemistry. Who ever thought nuclear magnetic resonance and infrared spectroscopy would be used to analyse Stradivaris and Guarneri del Jesu.
It is well known that a long tradition of wood treating and coating has been used for instrument making, with an instinctive and empiric approach during middle age and renaissance, and a more scientific approach during late XVII and early XVIII centuries, due to the "secrets" of masters got by pupils, and improved generation after generation.
In the age of Stradivari, Amati anf Guarnieri families, a lot of rules related to wood treatement (choice, aging, treating, cut, coating, and tinting composition) were part of the mastership: a chemical evidence of the wonderful discovery of ancient masters must be still possible to find. The wonderful thing is they had no sci-fi instruments or rocket-science lab to analyse and research: just time, natural components, good ears, fantasy and good long hand-practice.
Just a minute here! According to my research through prominent professors and experts in the use of magnetic imaging it was Harry Stradivari who was responsible for the chemical introduced into the wood.
And I quote from the National Archives of Studies into Unnatural Behavior by Instrumental Luthiers; It has been confirmed after inspection in the attic of Harry Stradivari's Italian cottage a letter of apology was written to his famous brother Antonio. The letter indicates that during an after hours Christmas party in the shop, Harry after making too much marry, had stumbled and accidentally spilled a glass of wine onto several of Antonio's violins still in the making. Harry noticed the wood turned a dark shade of reddish brown and to cover his tracks, decided to "dip" the rest of his brother's instruments in the works with the same red wine.
Naturally, Antonio wasn't fooled by Harry's bumbling drunken attempt to cover up his tracks. It was this incident that caused the ban of Harry working in Antonio's shop ever again.
Till this day if one soaks a Stradivarius in warm water over night will end up with a fine aged red wine with a natural wood taste and delightful rosin bouquet not too dry and well balanced flavor. The real mystery is the wine that Harry used to cover his tracks!