Geoffrey Fushi of Bein & Fushi Rare Violins invited an international team of experts, to study what is considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest violins, the 1741 “Vieuxtemps” Guarneri del Gesu. In addition, a 1707 Stradivari, a 1742 Guarneri, and a 1752 J.B. Guadagnini were also studied.

Among other tests performed by the team, Terry performed CT scans at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on the instruments. The process allows for an in-depth study of the instruments in a completely non-invasive manner. In the 30 seconds that it takes to scan an instrument, a wealth of information is obtained; providing valuable insight for modern makers.

The team was assembled by violin maker Joe Curtin and included Terry and D'Addario string designer Fan Tao. The project incorporated CT scans, acoustic radiation, modal analysis, and binaural recordings, as well as research into what accounts for instrument projection.
Photos courtesy of Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Click on any image to enlarge

Fan Tao, Terry Borman and Joe Curtin in front of the Siemens scanner used for this project. terry borman violin maker at NMH
terry borman violinmaker aligning instrument in CT machine Alignment of the violin on the CT gantry prior to the scan. The instrument is placed on soft foam to protect the varnish.
Almost ready for the scan. Notice the laser lines used to perfectly center the instrument. terry borman violin maker aligning instrument in scanner
terry borman violinmaker sending violin into CT scan machine Relative to a human, the violin looks small going into the scanner.
Preliminary topogram showing instrument alignment. Terry Borman vioin maker viewing CT scan results
Terry Borman violin maker Fan Tao, Joseph Curtin, viewing CT scan results Members of the scanning team. From left to right: Lee Goodwin, Joe Curtin, Fan Tao, Terry Borman and Dr. Vahid Yaghmai.

Terry Borman, Geoffrey Fushi, and Joe Curtin with the 4 instruments from Bein and Fushi.

Terry Borman violinmaker, Geoffrey Fushi of Bein and Fushi, and Joseph Curtin violin maker with all 4 instruments
On behalf of all the researchers, Terry would like to extend a special thank you to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for access to the Siemens scanner and for the expertise of their radiation department and hospital staff.