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Everything posted by Joseph

  1. Joseph

    Dead Notes

    Michael: Actually all the B notes are very dead in comparison to any other notes including an octave up and the second B on the G string. In the past I have done exactly what you have said to eliminate wolf notes on other violins, but this does not sound like a wolf note to me as there are no booming notes, just this very dead (no ring, no overtones) note. Jeffrey: I have already messed with adjusting the string afterlength many times, both by shortening and lengthening it by one or more mm and it doesn't seem to improve much (if any). This one has me puzzeled Joseph
  2. Joseph

    Dead Notes

    Michael (and others) ... what can be done to a violin which has a very dead (or muted) sounding note? In this case it is the "B" especially on the A string, but all other "Bs" are somewhat dead sounding compared to every other note on the violin. I have already messed with the most obvious such as trying different string types and brands, sound post position and fit, adjusting string after lengths and cutting several bridges and none of these seem to eliminate the problem. Is it the frequency of the body cavity that is interfering with this particular note? (This is on a very modern and well made instrument) Joseph
  3. Hello Amy, I currently have one of those Zhang Shu Mei shop violins on my rack. For the price that they sell on Ebay, I would say that it is a good buy, plus the case and bow which were included are also very decent in quality. I would rate the quality of the whole violin outfit as a student level, but they are nicely made. The violin is a bit heavy in weight but still sounds nice, not very powerful, but sweet in tone and nicely balanced. It is made of Chinese tonewood, not European, nicely flamed and the workmanship is decent. Mine needed a new set up (as almost 99.9% of them do). Be extra careful when buying because I have noticed that the quality of these shop instruments can vary quite a bit. The seller is nice to deal with and is very prompt in shipping out the instruments, I received mine about 4 days after sending payment via Pay Pal. I did not buy mine through an Ebay auction and was able to pick out the one I wanted from several photos that he sent me by e-mail. Joseph
  4. I have this book and I think that the information it contains is worth more than gold! ;-) Joseph
  5. Well, I have purchased many of these fitting sets directly from Rafael Sando in Brazil. The quality of materials and workmanship is outstanding and he can custom make sets to your specifications as he has done for me many times. He is easy to deal with, very professional, and his prices are reasonable for the quality you get. He makes these fittings in his shop and they are available in many fine rare woods. And yes, I find that pernambuco is great for this purpose. Joseph
  6. Hair color works perfectly fine for me although I have never tried using it over boxwood that has already been colored. I would definitley recommend removing the existing finish before using this stuff. I use Clairol Nice-n-Easy hair color with excellent results. The shade can be controlled by the amount of time you leave it on the wood to some extent. I find that either the #110 Natural Light Auburn, the #112 Natural Dark Auburn or a combination of the two can be used for just about any shade of boxwood. Joseph
  7. Thanks Fubbi2, Sorry, I forgot to mention that the label does indeed have a violin on each side of the text and it is all printed text, no hand writing. I know it is difficult without seeing it, but does anyone have an idea of it's approximate value? It is in great structural condition and requires only a new set up which I will do before selling it. Joseph
  8. Hello, Just wondering if any one can give me any information on a violin that recently came into my shop. It is labeled as follows and I have no reason to believe that the label is not original to the violin: Richard Gareis Bleistadt bel Graslitz, Czechoslovakia Gegrundet 1905 It has rather high arching on the top and back, the purfling very close to the edge, and a petite scroll. The corners are short. The tone is very rich, deep and open. Any information would be helpful. Thanks in advance. Joseph color>
  9. Bob, It's funny you should bring this up. I made a violin with a similar problem last year. I noticed that almost all my violins balanced themselves out after some time of being played on to some degree. Harshness on particular notes are often the first thing to mellow out. Things like wolf tones and muted notes are not always easy to get rid of by just playing on them. I agree with Jeffrey that you should give it time before making any critical adjustments or modifications, assuming that everything is already set up correctly to your normal standards. Let us know how it matures, I'd be interested in hearing about it. Joseph
  10. If you have pegs which have a glued on collars and pins, check to see if they are not loose. I have found many buzzes caused by this. Also, be sure to check that the chinrest is not coming in contact with the tailpiece, or that the chinrest hardware is not loose or hitting the rib. If you are sure the seams are all well glued, it could be possible that a lining or the bass bar is partially unglued inside the violin. Just a few more suggestions to check for. Joseph
  11. I have done exactly what Jacob described above, but instead of using weights, I just glued in a small wood cleat similar to those used to reinforce cracks. It will eliminate the wolf if you glue it in the right location yet it does not have too much weight which I found can dampen overtones in that area. It's relatively simple to do ... a tool can be made with a coat hanger wire sharpened to a point which holds the cleat, then just glue it in place inside the instrument from the bass side F hole. Joseph
  12. I use the gel type super glue to glue on parchment to my bridges. I find that it gives you more time to work since it seems to set up slower than the thin liquid super glue. It's also much easier to control and does not get all over. Not much is needed and it has proven to hold up well on my bridges. Joseph
  13. Weisshaar gives 16 mm as normal string spacing at the nut with a range of 16-16.5 mm. The latter being for players with larger hands or fingers. As you can see my normal settings fall right in between these at 16.25 mm, but again I always take into consideration the player's preference and the nut width unless it is a violin I make new, than I stick with my normal. Joseph
  14. On violins that we make, I set the string spacing at the nut at about 16.25 mm from the center of the E string to the center of the G string. When replacing the nut on any other violin, you have to consider the width of the nut and fingerboard and set the string spacing accordingly, but find that 16.25 is comfortable for most players if it can be used. Joseph
  15. I currently have a violin available which has a nice deep tone (in my opinion). It's not a very expensive violin, but it sure sounds great. If you're interested in knowing more about it, please e-mail me. Joe
  16. I have already gotten used to navigating around this new board. It has some very nice features that the old one didn't have and I'm sure it will grow on most of us as time goes by. Change for the better is always a good thing! Joseph
  17. This could be fun, I'll give it a try. Hard to tell from just the back views ... but I'm going to say that they are probably all modeled after the same maker (possibly Amati?) but not necessarily after the same violin (mold). The waist seems to narrow to be Guarneri models to me, but the C's are similar on all of them, whereas the upper and lower bouts are similar in pairs. I think that the 3rd violin from the right (possibly American?) is from a different country than the other three. I think I better wait for more photos before continuing to guess the countries of origin. Joseph
  18. Derek, May I ask what you used? I use an alcohol based leather dye for staining fingerboards with excellent results. The brand I use is "Fiebling's" and the color is "USMC Black" which works well and can be purchased at any leather supply store. I find that the fingerboard dies sold in most violin supply stores has a bluish tint which does not look natural. Just my 2 cents worth! Joseph
  19. On Dominant strings ... the thread color on the peg end represents the tension (gauge) of the string. The purple peg end is Medium tension, the Green peg end is Heavy, and the Yellow peg end is Light gauge. All gauges have the same color scheme on the tail piece end being: G=yellow, D=green, A=blue, and E=purple. :-) Joseph
  20. Joseph


    Yes, that is correct, the end buttons are not glued in. They should fit snug into the hole like the pegs. Both the hole and the end button should have the same taper for a proper fit. Nothing to worry about as long as it is not too loose (or too tight) and you pushed it all the way in before you tuned up the instrument. Joe
  21. I use two different ways to mark my bridges. I had a steel stamp made for me years ago which I simply hit with a small hammer directly onto the bridge with lamp black. It is difficult to find someone who will make the letters on the stamp small enough for this purpose, but I did find one place on the Internet to do it for me. The problem is, I can't seem remember the exact name of that place ... it was something like "Indiana Steel Stamp Co." I also have a small electric branding iron which I use to brand my name on bridges. This method is a bit more tricky to do, but with the help of my drill press, I made a jig to brand it evenly and it works quite well. I had this one made at a place called "Bran New Branding Irons" ... you can find them at: http://www.brandnew.net/index.html The price you pay will depend on exactly what you want, so try searching the Internet for specific pricing information, or check with a local tool & die maker and they may be able to make you one for much less. Try to use letters that are 3/16" high. Joseph Santiago
  22. You can send it to me! ;-) I do this type of work almost every day for people all over the U.S. If you are interested, I can send you some prices but would need some more specific information from you such as your preference of strings and the quality of bridge you want on the violin. E-mail me privately (jsanti7445@aol.com). J.M. Santiago
  23. Generally it should be moved towards the bass side (G string) to give more to the lowd and less to the high end. These movements should be small, but you should be careful because if you move it too much in this direction the post may fit loose causing loss of response and the post could also fall down. All of this said of course assuming that it was fit properly to begin with and that it is within a normal position range in relation to the bridge. Movement towards or away from the bridge will control volume and response, where movement from side to side controls balance between upper and lower strings. I have found that most violin sound good within this range: 1-3 mm in from the edge of the treble bridge foot, and 1-4 mm back from the same foot. Joseph
  24. Personally, I think a black pegbox and F-holes look much nicer than varnish. I use J.E. Moser's Japan Color which is just an oil based pigment. If needed, you can thin it down with turpentine and paint it on with a fine brush. It can easily be wiped off from the varnish if you accidentally get some where you don't want it and once it dries it leaves a nice flat opaque look. You don't want a glossy black painted look. The two colors I have used and would recommend are: Raw Umber #848327 (a little brownish, but dries flat) Lamp Black #848278 (flat Black) I buy these at Woodworker's Supply in 1/2 pint cans and cost $9.99 each. Joseph [This message has been edited by Joseph (edited 01-27-2002).]
  25. I have had good results with both oil and spirit varnishes. They are both different to work with, but once you learn how to apply them, the results can be great for tone, beauty and aging. We use both in our shop on a regular basis but I find that oil varnish is much easier to apply then spirit if you're brushing it on. Joseph
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