... The sound of the strip 'with the grain' is brighter and higher toned than the cross grain sample, which sounds dull, muted.
... My design is to have the top grain angled so that this harmonicly rich sound is transmitted diagonally into the large vibrating areas of the upper and lower bouts, (visible as a red line in the photo at right) to improve tonal color, rather than up the centerline of the violin, where this best potential sound runs into the end wood blocks inside.
...The two identically sized violin wood blocks are cut, one with the grain along the length and the other exactly cross-grained. When the strips are dropped against the metal bar, the cross grain strip sounds very different than the longitudinal grain strip, even though they come from the identical wood block and are identical in size; only the wood grain orientation is different.
...This has important implications for instrument makers.
Advantages of the angled grain violin top plates...
Line of wood
grain in top
...Of course I also make violins with traditional straight oriented wood grain.
... I have also make several violins which had angled grain both on the top and back
... (and of one piece design and hot-water-formed as well!, this is my Opus # 19 vioin. This violin turned out to have great projection and my violin instructor says it has power equal to his Italian concert violin that he said was the most powerful violin he had been able to play; in other words, a success.)
...Conclusion: (2014) It does appear that the angled grain violins seem to an advantage in increased depth of tone in the lower notes, over the traditional top plate grain design. I did a research project that involved making three violins, close in design, two of which had angled grain design, one with conventional bass bar orientation, one with bass bar also angled, and one of conventional plate orientation. When all three were complete, my violin instructor, Ron Kilde, played each and we decided that there was an advantage with angled top plate grain with the angled bass bar. If the bass bar was not angled and plate was angled, this resulted in an inferior performance; both in comparision to the traditionally designed violin made at the same time.