The art of violin making is keeping many enigmas the passage of time has failed to solve. The renowned masters of the past managed to build great pieces of art whose sound continues fascinating us today. Thanks to their knowledge about instruments, their architectures and physical acoustics the sound qualities of these instruments, their distinctive timbre, power and dynamics, are still durable in time and have become authentic masterpieces which the subsequent masters have taken as examples and archetypes to imitate.
An instrument with outstanding sound quality is set when each of its parts respond to vibratory properties specifically. These are established by the different properties of the wood. But this is not the only important characteristic when wood is being chosen. The physical attributes of wood will determine the distinguished sound of an instrument. Others aspects to take into account are for example: vertical as horizontal elasticity of the wood; internal friction; the mass; the density or the speed of sound in the wood. All of them play an important role in the transmission of the sound and behaviour of the instrument.
The next important step is to know how to work correctly the wood. Each material requires a different treatment, since each wood is configured by its one single internal structure. Masterpieces examples can serve us as guide and reference; but copying one to one a historical instrument, is not always going to help us to get successfully the expected results. Considering that these instruments have experienced changes over the years: crystallization of the wood, the tension of the strings, deformations, serials of reparations and restorations, etc. The goal of the violin maker is to develop an instrument that gathers those sound qualities, but without the time past condition.
Different researchers have been dedicated to explore ancient instruments and have been able to observe that there are parameters being repeated in the diverse instruments. These are not only concerned to the violins forms or geometry, but also to vibratory properties of top and back plates (each one isolated and between them). The plates tuning can be successfully afford using modern methods of frequency control, and have been proved to bring notable improvements in the sound and character of the instruments.
The improvement of these and other aspects have been the focus of my work the last years, seeking to optimize to the maximum the sound properties of the instruments.