Comparative modal tests of a violin

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In order to determine the properties that make the violins of Antonio Stradivari among the best in the world, a project is underway to reverse engineer one of the great master's instruments. To develop the methodology, a factory violin that can be disassembled is used as the initial test case. The focus of this article is to determine the best modal test methods to use on the violin. Comparative modal tests were performed on the same violin using two of the most common types of exciters: a shaker and an impact hammer. The results show that both methods have their benefits and limitations. Overall the shaker method resulted in less noise than the impact hammer. However, the shaker method also contained error due to mass loading issues of the response sensors, as well as issues with the boundary conditions at the input location. On the basis of these results, for the purposes of this study the impact hammer is shown to be the preferred method of excitation for the modal analysis of a violin. © 2012,Michigan Technological University.

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Experimental Techniques