From these people. The luthier in question is a Hutchins student who utilizes free-plate tuning in the creation of his instruments, and it strikes me that that’s a great way to ensure that a wolf isn’t present before the damned thing gets assembled.
I suppose it doesn’t boggle me that old-school luthiers disliked her methods; they enable excellent instruments to be made literally every single time, and for far less money. Nowdays, it’s a crapshoot whether you’ll get a wolf or not, which is ridiculous. Stringed instrument bodies are nothing more than speakers — 18th century amps. There is zero reason not to use acoustic physics to know ahead of time whether a particular amp is going to malfunction. It’s done all the time on 20th century amps.
Ah, but then you wouldn’t get a dime for the crappy ones, would you? I mean, why buy a cello with a nasty wolf on it if you feel you should be able to get a wolf-free one, at 100% certainty? Currently, a crappy cello with a wolf could cost upwards of $15,000. Without Hutchins’ methods, a luthier can still sell that clunker … and then can also soak the player for something like $75,000-$100,000 for the good cello when they finally get sick of struggling.
You know, the good cello. The wolfless one. The one that’s not actually a piece of junk.
So as long as acoustic methods are repressed, luthiers stand to make a fortune on their better instruments … and more importantly, they still stand to make a nice pile on their rotten ones. No wonder they disliked her so much.
What truly does boggle me is that they called her methods mystic nonsense. Usually physicists and scientists are the ones burnt at the stake by mystics. This must be the first time that people who talk up using holy water from Lourdes in their varnish have called someone a mystic for using loudspeakers and sine wave generators.
At any rate, this fellow makes conventional instruments, new family instruments, and also a set of ergonomic violas that he still uses free-plate tuning to optimize, and at a decent price. Provided that these ergonomic instruments can be guaranteed wolf-free, I’m getting one. No more screwing around. One instrument — that works.