Acoustic analysis quantifies the sound properties of tone wood while anatomical analysis provides information about the reasons behind these differences in quality. In cooperation with researchers at the University of Munich, the MARTIN SCHLESKE MASTER STUDIO FOR VIOLINMAKING has had the opportunity to perform many different anatomical analyses of wood using a scanning electron microscope in recent years. The focus of this work has been on comparing contemporary tone wood with old Italian tone wood used by the famous masters.

Wood analysis using a scanning electron microscope. Images of spruce wood used in a violin top plate made by the Neapolitan master F. Gagliano in the year 1780:
View of the pits in the tangential side walls of two tracheides. Magnification: 600x
A section from the above image. Magnification: 2000x The missing torus in the center of each pit is plainly apparent. The pit membranes are preserved (!). This was one of the issues that motivated the REM analysis we performed. Close-up of an individual pit with the pit membrane. Magnification: 6000x