A website for the serious amateur violin maker, restorer and tinkerer.    A violin front and back       (the plates) can be tuned using tap-tones. Use tap tones to adjust the 2 plates of a violin to get the best sound, the kind of sound you want, or make an instrument that is easy to bow.

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This site has something for you if you are either making a violin or you want to improve  a low cost violin or viola.

By tuning the top & back plates you can get a good instrument that responds well to the bow and that can sound like a 1500 instrument.

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email:  webmaster @platetuning.org

 Last updated:                 1st. April. 2015  Copyright (C)     platetuning.org


I’m lucky enough to live only 3/4 of an hour from Oxford anMessiah_Stradivariusd the Ashmolean Museum where the single most famous violin, Stradivari’s “Messie” or “Messiah” violin is kept in a glass case.

I went there to see the newly opened and improved Museum in Jan. ‘10 and took some pictures of some of the instruments there - see right. The musical insMessiah2truments are in Room 39, second floor. The lighting is low in the cases so it’s difficult to appreciate the varnishes and detail of some instruments.

With a glass case round it, photographing this violin is problematic,  but here are pictures of it from Wikipedia and elsewhere.  There is a special page on the ‘Cello Heaven web site dedicated to this remarkable violin.2622114231_5e233a96ff

Funny how the most valuable violin in the world (c. 10 M) has no intrinsic  ‘drama’: it needs someone there to explain how special it is. The value of course is intimidating, and my brother (a philistine, I fear) said it looked just like any of the 1,000,000 copies that have been made of it.

I too enjoyed the other cases  more (see right), but that’s just me. Messiah back





Ashm'n violins viola 1The other glass cases of instruments have a Jacob Stainer, another Strad, a Lupot, a Rugeri, and Wamsley violins, and a Forster viola.Ashm'n violins viola 2

    I’ve labelled the instruments in the 4 photos. The camera  flash gives some feeling for the arching, but you really have to see these instruments to appreciate them: go and visit Oxford and the Ashmolean if you can.

   The Jacob Stainer has some drama in its voluptuous arching, above left and the back below, which is noticeably less bulbous than the 10’s of thousands of Stainer copies. It has a stunning back.

Jacob Stainer back     The Forster viola is a lovely colour (right), and the Lupot has an elaborate Ashm'n violins viola 3back. The small Strad has exquisite inlay and ornamentation. Click on the pictures to see them.





     There’s an early Gasparo da Salo viola in one cabinet: a vast ‘viola’ with only 2 corners. A wonderful wood choice on this instrumGasparo da Salo 2ent, and the bridge is set well below the ff holes.

 Click on the Gasparo da Salo 1pictures for the full photos.