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  1. Colleen McTigue
    Latest Entry

    Made good progress today. At lunchtime, went to the wood store, and although they disappointingly no longer have all that much violin-specific (mostly guitar, and also viola and cello), I did manage to get 2 sitka tops and 2 nice neck blanks. The tops are marked '91, and one of the necks is marked '93, so I consider these a good score. It'll be a few years, I'm sure, before I'll use them anyway.

    I also got my workbench brought inside and set up downstairs. Tomorrow I'll spend time cleaning and organizing the space, prior to moving more stuff down there.

    I also think it will be a useful exercise to spend some time examining my #1 and writing down all the flaws I can find, before moving ahead with #2. I know they are numerous, and perhaps having a list to refer to might help me better avoid them. The biggest and most obvious are that the violin is very oversized (due to not having shaped the top and back to the correct dimensions), and the purfling is atrocious.

  2. Decemberspecial 25% på allt i e-butiken!! Ange "december" i kassan så får ni 25% rabatt. Välkommen!

    (Sorry, I ship only to Scandinavia.)

    Du vet väl att det är gratis frakt. Glad december!

    Hälsningar, Torbjörn

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    Leluda
    Latest Entry

    Trying to find the instrument for rent in the middle north west, in Iowa state. Most companies work with violins and cellos, but what about double bass. Might be somebody can recommend the owner of the double bass who can gives it for the one year rent.

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    Recent Entries

    I would like to describe my upsetting and disappointing experience with Skinner Inc. in Boston. I am an orchestral violinist whose career and life's calling was ruined in April 2011 with the bankruptcy of the Syracuse Symphony, where I had been a member for 27 years. Since that bankruptcy I've been forced to look at changing careers and, approaching dire financial straits, I decided I needed to sell my old Italian violin, insured at a value in the 6 digit range. At the advice of colleagues I called David Bonsey at Skinner's who was, at first, very personable and encouraging about Skinner Inc. selling my violin. I drove to Marlborough from Syracuse to meet with him, and after an hour of smooth talk, manipulating numbers and pressure, Bonsey wore me down and convinced me that selling my violin at his pricing in their auction would be the only option for me, and so I signed the consignment contract with Skinner. I then drove the 5 hours back home again, all the while feeling worse and worse that I'd made a terrible mistake, not only giving up my only real asset so quickly, but my prized violin which represented my life's commitment and passion. Heartsick, I called Bonsey the next day and told him I'd changed my mind and I wanted to cancel the contract. He started out trying to be reassuring, to the point of condescending, but when it was clear I was resolved in my decision he became exasperated and ended the call saying I should think about it and we would talk in a few days. I didn’t want to delay, so I sent Bonsey an e-mail that night, and then followed up with a faxed letter to his office the next day, which he ignored for two more days. When he finally did respond, he simply referred me to his Chief Financial Officer, saying it was now a contractual matter. From there it has turned quite ugly. I told the cfo that I had been pressured into this deal while under great stress from my situation, and I changed my mind and gave notice within 36 hours, but the CFO will not discuss it. He states that I signed a contract, period, which only will allow me to withdraw the violin by paying a fee of 35% of the “mid-range value” per the contract. I am very disappointed and upset by their conduct and business practices; I've had better treatment by car dealers and appliance dealers concerning property of considerably less value and on which my whole life didn't depend. I cancelled my contract within 36 hours, but apparently the three day Cooling Off Period Law in MA only applies to consumer goods.

    Am I the one out of line here in asking for some consideration and leeway considering my situation? In my opinion, Skinner may have the law on their side, but no sense of honor. Certainly I feel that any professional should think twice before making decisions like mine.

  3. I have come across this Violin and I was wondering if anyone had any information about the violin of its value?

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    Recent Entries

    Trying to reply to barryD's inquiry about Henry Mitchell. I am his grandson Clifford Duane Mitchell Jr. Henry's son, my father, Clifford Sr passed away 3-13-2009. If you have any other questions feel free to contact me cd_jr4@hotmail.com.

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    I have my Dad's old and rather dirty violin which he used to play in the 1920s onwards. The label inside is invisible without using a strong torch. It reads, "Alessandro Gagliano alomnus Stradivarius fecit 1720 Napoli". Can anyone please give me any tips on how to discover if it is authentic or only a copy? I think many copies were made. Thanks

    Madog

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    My new friend Jessup turned me on to this site..He is currently teaching me to build fiddles from the other side of the Continent...He said it was the place to learn from "Od-balls like him or the best of the best"..Any way, there should be plenty of reading for an old disabled fiddle player...Ron

  4. The Silverton School Cello approaches completion.

    It looks more like a cello each day. I plan to

    put on to clothes I wore on day in March when

    I posed on the roof with my cello rib working

    tool:

    ...but posed with the completed cello in hand.

  5. Today, because of better pedogogy and better instruments, our young artists, particularly our young pianists, are getting better and better.

    I can remember when the name "Horowitz" made the hair on your neck stand on end. No more though. And even Martha Argerich has been eclipsed by the likes of Valentina Lisitsa and Lang Lang. The Byron Janises and the Gary Graffmans of yesterday are no more than relics, nonetheless beautiful, for us to remember.

    The piano competitions are getting more and more stringent and the contestants are under more and more pressure. Santiago Rodriquez said of his last competition: "No more for me. This is it. There is too much pressure."

    And where does it all lead and is it all worth it? Who wins? The luckiest contestant? I'd be interested in hearing from the Mastronet members about this.

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    hrobert
    Latest Entry

    I have recently bought a violin at auction. It has a small (approx 3/32") bbevel on all edges of the scroll.

    I've never seen this before. Any inputs on maker?

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    Recent Entries

    I am searching for a violin made by my grandfather, George E. Millis. He was a violin maker in MI and signed each violin.

  6. Well, it was a busy summer, and I didn't have much time for building or posting, because I was spending most of my time composing and recording music for a contest here in Canada. I didn't win, didn't even place, but it was fun working on it. And when the weather was good, which wasn't often, I was out flying my model airplane or brewing beer.

    Seeing that my last post here was June 4, reminds me of a joke: A grizzly bear walks into a bar and says to the bartender "Please, sir, I'd like to order a ............................................... beer". The bartender replys, "Why the huge pause? (paws)"

    Anyway, since I'm back working on the violin again, I expect to be posting here again soon also. Stay tuned!

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    Ken_N
    Latest Entry

    Last Friday I took my Ole Bull (number 6 violin) to a violin shop down in the city. I didn't send it to Oslo because of the price of shipping. The owner didn't like much about it, except he thought the archings were nice. Score one for me.

    He didn't care for the varnish, thought it was too thin (Joe I have to get back to you!). Uneven overhangs bothered him, purfling that was broken and pushed back in was frowned upon, and he just didn't get purposly putting the scroll on an angle! He suggested I make a Strad model, out of real violin wood, not sycamore, and bring it in. That's where I am right now. I'm thinking of getting some red maple and red spruce from Old Standard. Either that or European stuff from International violin. I like the idea of more local wood and the wood at Old Standard looks pretty nice. At the suggestion of the shop owner I'm going to buy a belly at about $25 and the back neck and ribs at $65.

    Here is step one:

    Get your Strad poster and try to figure out all you can from it. I don't want to just copy it. I want to have more of an idea of what I'm really looking for. I drew it up on AutoCad, because I have it, but paper works fine. I just draw up the mold. The outline of the instrument will be a direct result of that. I take out the asymmetries and try to find something where all the major dimensions and points relate to each other in some simple way. Here is my mold drawing, with the layout of the ff holes in red. Yesterday I made the mold out of the new world species MDF. It is a very new species, probably a hybrid, that wasn't even around when I had woodshop in 8th grade.

    I'll add photos later, have to go to work.

    Anyone out there who know how to add pictures? Let me know!

    Ken

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