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Everything posted by Joseph

  1. I am very familiar with just about every brand of violin strings available on the market and have tried most of them on many of my violins. I was wondering if any of you have tried the new "For-Tune" brand violin strings? These new strings are made in China ... yes, China! No, they are not anything like those crappy Palatinos either. I was turned on to them by my friends at Robertson's Violin Shop where they got very good reviews. They are synthetic core strings. The tone is rich and powerful, but the response is not quite as good as many of the Pirastro synthetic core strings. I would recommend that you try them as you will be amazed on how well they sound. The back thread winding is lime green with black spiral and the cost was only $24.00 for the set. Joseph
  2. Joseph


    quote: Originally posted by John Ward: Has anyone heard of a Walter E. Sandner violin. It says it was made in Western Germany. I've found Sandners on the the internet but no Walter. Is it of Skylark quality or what. Thanks John, I have seen a few of these Walter E. Sandner violins come through my shop. I would say that they are much better than Skylark violins but are still intermediate student grade instruments. If I'm not mistaken Walter E. Sandner is just a trade name for these violins and not an actual maker, although I may be wrong. The ones that I have seen all had bright tone and spirit varnish, but the workmanship was pretty decent. Regards, Joseph Santiago
  3. Royce, I use sight to determine the corrrect angle by looking in the end pin hole at the angles of the plates. It takes some practice but works the best and is quick. It is best to first detemine the correct length of the post using a sound post measuring tool. Always cut your post slightly longer (1-2 mm)than the final length to allow room for correcting the angles. You may have to insert the post several times and visually check to see where you need to remove until the angles fit correctly to the instrument. I use a bench top belt/disk sander to adjust the angles. The post ends should not be rounded off, you should see no gaps around the post where it comes in contact with the plates. I do not agree than longer is better, ... In fact it should not be long or short. Either can harm the sound, and longer may cause damage. Joseph Santiago
  4. I have worked on many Gliga violins here at my small shop. I think that they are very well made violins with great attention to detail. Most have a dark mellow tone and are not very loud, but they are very pleasing and sweet to the ear. I have played many "professional" models that sound nicer than some of the "maestro" models. I can tell you that every single one that I have come across has needed attention to the setup. I have found that the string height at the bridge and nut are usually too high, the fingerboard releif is too extreme, the bridges are too thick and soft, and the sound posts too tight and poorly fit to the inside contours of the instrument, and usually in a bad position in relation to the bridge. Once all these details are taken care of by a luthier who knows how to do this correctly, you will notice a drastic difference in performance and tone quality. It is obvious to me that these violins are not set up by the same people (and machinery) that make these violins. Best Regards, Joseph Santiago
  5. Staylor, Just noticed your posting. I happen to have a Marco Raposo and a J. S. Finkel violin bow for my own personal use. The Raposo bows can range from $400.00-$900.00 here in the U.S., but generally speaking they are very good quality for the money as I have tried many of them in all price ranges. Mine cost me $800.00 and it is very strong, silver mounted, and the workmanship is exceptionally good as are all the materials. I am not familiar with the Finkel Atelier model bow, but I beleive it is a lower grade (shop) intermediate bow as mentioned above. I highly recommend the J.S. Finkel master bows, but those will set you back several thousand dollars. Well worth it in my opinion! It is my favorite bow of the two. Regards, Joseph
  6. Mackay, I can help you gather some information from players of my violins directly from their current owners. Please e-mail me and I will gladly send you a referrence list with contact information of people who have purchased my violins. They will galdly reply to your e-mails or phone calls with their thoughts on their instruments, and their buying experience from me. Since Ebay is such a touchy subject these days, I would prefer to keep our communication through private e-mail. Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you. Best Regards, Joseph M. Santiago
  7. I have played a few Tetsuo Matsuda violins and I think that they are wonderful sounding violins. Of the 6 or so that I have played within the last 4 years, I have found them to be very consistant in tone and workmanship quality. I also beleive these sell in the 12K-15K range. I had one come through my shop here for a new bridge and have also seen a few at Robertson's Violin Shop (Albuquerque, NM). I highly recommend his violins. Regards, Joseph Santiago
  8. Well, I have tried using many different colors of stains, oils, and leather dyes, but nothing compares to using hair color. I have found many shades of "auburn" to be acceptable, but the best I have found is made by Clairol - "Nice & Easy, #110, Natural Light Auburn." I can regulate the intensity of the color by the amount of time I leave the gel on the wood. It is safe and very easy to use. Application time can vary anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes for most shades of boxwood. I don't think that leaving the shaft it's natural color is very pleasant to the eye. Regards, Joseph Santiago
  9. Hello, I was wondering if there are any violin shops in Hawaii. I will be going on vacation to Oahu and Maui next week and would like to visit any violin shops in the area (if there are any). If any one has any information or suggestions, I would appreciate it very much. Thanks! Joseph
  10. I use a pattern carver (duplicator) to carve out most of the "meat" from the backs and tops (inside and outside). I follow the exact shapes and contours of my master plates which are pin guided. It works great and I can get within .5 mm of final thickness using various router bits, then I graduate by hand (planes, scrapers) to final thickness. If you make lots of instruments, it is a very good idea to invest in one of these to save time and pain in the arms. I can make several plates in a few hours. I know it is not what most makers like to do, but when you need to make instruments fast, I feel that there is nothing wrong with using power tools to speed things up, but the final work should definitely be done by hand. Regards, Joseph Santiago [This message has been edited by Joseph (edited 08-27-2000).]
  11. I also recommend the new Thomastik Red/Blue strings. Personally, I like the Red set better, but depending on your violin tonal qualities, they are both excellent. The gold palted E string which comes with the Red set is great! The Blue set is also very nice, but I did not like the E string with that set. I have tried literally every violin string on the market and I would put these in my top 5 choices. Joseph
  12. Pirastro Synoxas happen to be my primary choice of strings for most of my violins. They are more powerful than Dominants and Tonicas, and they do not have that metallic ring to them as the Dominants do. The break in period is very short and they have a long life. Aricores are much darker sounding and tend to loose thier focus rather quickly. The response is not very good (on my violin anyway). Joseph
  13. I have had four (4) "Maestro" Gliga violins and two "Professional" models and I have to say that neither one had correctly fit soundposts. They were either too tight (long), or they just did not fit the inside contour of the instruments correctly. After fitting new posts for each one, the tone was drastically improved. Also, I had one that the soundpost was in a terrible position (6mm behind the bridge, and 4 mm in from the treble foot). I make it a point to check the sound posts, bridges and overall set up on all violins that come my way and 90% of the time, they all need something even if they are new instruments from well known makers!
  14. UPDATE: Well, it has now been a several days since I posted the original topic. I hung the violin outdoor out of the direct sunlight as much as I could when it was warm out and it seems to have hardened quite a bit more. I am now able to put full tension on the strings without the bridge feet sinking in to the varnish and it leaves no fingerprint marks, so I guess that is good news. I have used this same varnish before with much better results. Normally, after one week is is as hard as a rock, this time it took almost three weeks! It is quite possible that something different (although I do not know exactly what) was added since the last time I purchased some to make it more flexible. I will give it a few more weeks before I decide what to do with it. Thanks for all the help! Joseph
  15. Actually ... I did varnish it in a very climate controlled environment as I usually do. Temperature was about 75 degrees and humidity was no more than 20%-30%. I also live in the NM where the climate is very dry in general. I'm convinced that it was bad varnish and not anything different that I did as far as the reduction (alcohol) or application. I'm just concerned that it will never set up properly since this has never happened to me before under the same conditions. Joseph
  16. quote: Originally posted by Tom Carroll: Joseph The Varnish has gone bad, or it was made with the oil or softener content to high. In either case same results. Thinning the varnish can help, but you will probably end up with a varnish that will still dry to slowly. I always make my own fresh. Tom C. Tom, Will it eventually cure with time or will I have to end up stripping it and revarnishing? If it will harden, I would rather wait it out and let it set as long as needed. Thanks for the reply! Joseph
  17. I have a few questions for violin makers. It seems that I have received a batch of bad spirit varnish from a rather reputable supplier. It has now been 2 weeks since I completed the varnishing on my violin and it is dry to the touch, but is still rather soft. I have not even had this problem with oil varnish. It applied beautifully and looks good. Any one else had such a problem? What should I do to speed up the drying time? Joseph
  18. : Go with the international violin co. they are really good, i have a 2 of them myself and i like them. Thanks Tim, ... which ones do you have? The 373 model? Those are the highest grade ones that they sell according to my catalog. How much additional work is needed to the graduation of the plate(s) and scroll carvings before finishing them? Joseph
  19. I was wondering if anyone could help me find a supplier of white violins. In particular I have seen some from Bulgaria which are really high quality as far as the materials used, and the workmanship. I am interested in obtaining about 10 of these to complete and setup for a private school in order to keep the cost down as apposed to making them from scratch which is much more time consuming and much too expensive for the organization to purchase. I have seen some in the International Violin Co. catalog, but am unsure of the quality. I would appreciate any help or information. Joseph
  20. : Joseph, : I enjoy playing my Gliga, because it has a dark, rich : tone, yet it is powerful, too, even with Dominants. The E is sweet sounding and not too loud, so an E on the A string would sound just like an open E. I'm thinking of getting Eudoxa or Obligato strings to further enhance its performance. : Can you tell me what the Pro and Maestro labels read (for future reference) and how much each model should cost? I bought my 4/4 for $1000. Is that a reasonable price? : Thanks again, : Joey The Maestro label reads: Gliga Vasile (printed script) Fecit Anno 1999 (hand written year) Reghin - Romania 04.07 (month/year hand written) Gliga(hand signature) The Professional label reads: GAMA Professional Instrument Eseguito Sotto il diretto controllo del maestro liutaio Gliga Vasile Reghin - Romania Fecit Anno 1999 (hand written) I paid $1250.00 for each Maestro model and $800.00 for the Professional Model so I think that $1000.00 is a little expensive unless you got a case and bow with it. I only purchased the violins without a case or bow. Joseph
  21. : I own a Gliga Violin and I have no way of knowing what : model it is. I know that there are three models : (Student, Professional, Maestro) but that's all I know. : If it helps, the label reads: : "Strumenti musicali eseguiti nelle officine GLIGA : Fecit Anno ...... 1998 05.089" : The first line is written in italics, and "GLIGA" is : written in bold. "Fecit Anno" is written in straight : boldface. There is also, on the label, a graphic of a : violin to the left of the writing. : Any help would be well appreciated. : Sincerely, : Joey : P.S. I'm pretty sure that the purfling is not inlaid. Joey, What you have is the student model. I have samples of all the labels and the information each one contains. I have never played the student model ... How do you like it? What are the tonal qualities of it? What did you pay for it? Joseph
  22. : Thanks for the warning about resale value; I'm glad to find out before buying an instrument that it might be an issue later, although in itself it probably wouldn't deter me from buying a quality instrument I really liked. Sue, I will have to disagree with Mike on this one. I sold two of the three maestros for a good profit and I would say that the buyers still got a good deal. I think that the instrument itself will determin what a person will pay for it regardless of the maker. The E.R.Pfretzschner violins do not even come close to the quality of the Gliga Maestro! They usually have thick tops (and necks) and nasally and thin sound. Joseph
  23. : Are the Gligas like the ones on Ebay generally considered student instruments, maybe suitable for the intermediate to advanced student? Are they comparable to the Doetsch instruments, or is there another maker they can be compared to? I would be curious to know what people who have played/handled Gliga violins and cellos think of the instruments' sound and their overall quality. I do not know much about the Gliga cellos, but I know that there are three different grades of Gliga Violins. Those modlels being the "student"(exactly that) "Professional" (intermediate) and the "maestro" (professional). I have owned three Maestro models and one Professional model. In my opinion the quality of the workmanship exceeds that of the Doetsch violins. As far as tone, I have heard some pretty decent sounding Doetsch violins, but the Gliga Maestro violins sound very warm and deep. The volume is not super loud but they do project very well. The varnish and wood selection is extremetly beautiful if you like "new" looking violins. Joseph
  24. The basic construction is similar as far as the materials used, however, In my opinion Dominants sound too metalic when they are new and they just do not last as long as many other perlon core strings. After they break in they sound good for a while then it is time to change them. They sound sweet but not very powerful. I think the Dominant E string is the worst on the market! Tonicas break in much quicker and have a longer playing life and many prefer the silver woud D string over the aluminum wound. I think that they have more tone and power than the Dominants. I do agree that it is a matter of personal preference because I personally prefer the Synoxas over any perlon strings on most of my violins. They are also a perlon core string with aluminum (A,D) and silver (G) windings. You will get many different opinions here! Joseph
  25. : I agree with the Olives, but they supposedly don't last long enough for the price you pay for them. About how long do they last? If stability is a problem, do Obligato strings match the Olives? Joey, One thing that you must remember especially when using gut strings is to make sure that all your string grooves (nut and bridge) are lubricated with pencil lead and also that they are not too tight or deep for the string. This along with being carful when wiping rosin off the strings will give your strings a longer life. In general, gut strings do not last as long as steel or perlon core. Oh, by the way the Obligatto strings by Pirastro are also a good choice but also a little expensive. They will however outlast the Olives.
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