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About Sebastian

  • Birthday 02/14/1964

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    Asheville, North Carolina

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  1. I don't have time at the moment to read all these responses, but to address the topic starter, Look here! I've learned a great deal from this and other message boards: for example, what strings will most likely work for me or a particular violin, what others think of the latest accessories available out there, how to practice a certain challenging passage in the music, etc., etc., etc. I cherish these message boards, as they are a great resource of information, and I welcome the diversity of backgrounds, ideas and the like. Naturally, one has to do some sorting through, but this is what one's mind is for. When I feel like I would like to "speak up" or post a reply or start a topic, I will -- and have -- and am. Otherwise, there is a great deal to be learned from simply "listening", and listeners are people too!
  2. Well, that's what I would think. The more softly one wishes to play, the more closely one moves toward the fingerboard. One can still accent or bounce a note easily, and this can be achieved with a minimum of bow pressure. If you feel that you require that much bow pressure, wouldn't you want to be working your bow toward the bridge, where the volume is much greater?
  3. Although this may sound blasphemous to some, I'd be tempted to consider a "thicker" bridge. I posted a topic recently about my hundred-year old violin which seemed shrill to me and others who listened to it. It had a "beautiful" bridge, a well-flamed, darkish Aubert Deluxe, nicely fitted by a luthier of considerable skill and whose work I trust without question. However, on my violin, it just didn't work well for me. I am no virtuoso by any means, but I do play the violin well, relatively speaking, and have always rather prided myself on my tone. The violin, though, was just too responsive for me, completely unforgiving, not mellow in anyway, nor golden, nor sweet. I ordered an adjustable Aubert fitted bridge with an ebony insert on the treble side -- low height, nearly the exact height of my hand-cut bridge -- and this solved my problem. The violin has not lost any of its character, is appropriately responsive, projects more than any of my other violins, but now it is buttery -- and yes, even mellow, golden, sweet. Again, I know this is pure sacrilege to most, and I respect their opinion -- sincerely -- but in my case, this is what helped, not that my situation is identical to yours. This is something she could try, perhaps, for relatively little cost. If it's not the answer, at least she has a spare bridge!
  4. I just want to thank each of you for your thoughtful comments and suggestions. The soundpost may well indeed be the culprit, but as I am not able to visit the luthier at the moment, I installed a Pusch tailpiece that I had around, thus eliminating the "added" fine tuners, and shifted the bridge ever so slightly toward the treble side. This, and the additional humidity with spring just around the corner, seems to have helped a great deal, and the violin sounds much warmer and more balanced. Also, I received the Kaplan non-whistling E today, and this should help as well. Again, thank you so much for your consideration, each and every one of you. Mr. Humphrey, I have emailed the photos to you, and I hope you might help to identify the instrument's maker.
  5. Greetings. I acquired a violin about ten years ago from a local individual. It is an unlabelled Strad copy, most likely German, c.1900, and this was confirmed by my luthier, quite skilled and a graduate of the Chicago Violin Making School. The instrument is extremely well made -- inside and out -- and resembles the earlier, finer work of Ernst Heinrich Roth, when he worked in Markneukirchen -- the attention to detail, the varnish, etc. However, it bears no label, as I say, or brand inside, although there is a small round "sunburst" brand on the back, just beneath the button. The G and D strings possess a beautiful, golden, mellow, rich tone -- one could not ask for a better sound -- but watch out: the A is loud and nasal, and the E will shatter the nearest crystal goblet! I've tried every string there is, including gut, the first time I've used these strings since I was a child, but nothing seems to solve the problem. Currently, I've strung the violin with Zyex lights, and while the fiddle sounds better in general, the A and E problems seems to be more pronounced than ever. I've tried the A with a fine tuner and without, and the difference in sound is negligible. Before I spend another $70 on strings -- I'm considering Infeld Blues for the G and D, an Infeld Red for the A, and a non-whistling E -- are there any other suggestions out there? The soundpost has been adjusted in the past, but it was shortly after I first purchased the instrument, so I don't really recall what, if anything, that accomplished at the time. Is a soundpost adjustment the only answer, if an answer at all? Fortunately, I have other violins to play. Oddly, my best-sounding instrument is a Chinese Guarneri copy I bought recently -- exactly the sound I've been looking for. But the first violin I mentioned, the nice German one, is easily the most beautiful and most valuable of my fiddles, and I'd like to be able to actually play it with some degree of pleasure. Thank you in advance for considering my problem and offering your suggestions.
  6. I recently strung a newer German violin with Vision strings, heavy gauge, and am quite pleased with the warm sound. I have an older instrument, c.1900 -- a much lighter instrument, a "finer" instrument, which has a tendency to sound rather shrill -- and am simply wondering if the heavy gauge would be a safe fit -- not too much tension on the violin. It is now strung with Pro Artes, which have taken away the shrillness, but I was really impressed with the Vision strings. Any thoughts or ideas are most welcome. Thank you.
  7. Thank you, alfadir. I hadn't seen these strings on the Shar or Southwest Strings websites, where I usually purchase my strings, and I found them absent on other sites as well. But I am glad to have your reply and the links also. Thank you.
  8. I have been absent from these boards for some time and have tried to search the archives, but can anyone tell me if the Pirastro Violino strings are still being manufactured? Thank you.
  9. Thank you, Brad. This information is very helpful.
  10. I am expecting an old Scherl & Roth violin in the mail. I am used to regular friction pegs and am wondering what I need to know about these Roth Caspari pegs -- the kind with the screw. Are you able to just slide these out a little when replacing strings, like I normally would do with friction pegs? Is peg dope applied to this type of peg? Will the pegs need to be adjusted with a screwdriver? And if so, how does this work exactly? I guess these are known as "mechanical" pegs, and I'd like to know more about how they work, and how I should maintain them. I have three other violins, all with regular friction pegs, and can deal with these quite well. Thank you kindly in advance.
  11. Thanks to all who answered this post. I ended up taking my Dremel tool to the underside of the chinrest (a bit scary for me, as I am not a woodworker by any means). Now the chinrest clears the tailpiece. I like the new Pusch tailpiece, but I wish the manufacturer would slim it down a bit. And thank you, Mr. Holmes. I respect both you and Mr. McKean as moderators, and I was hoping I would hear from one of you. Sebastian [This message has been edited by Sebastian (edited 11-28-2001).]
  12. (Posed this question on the Fingerboard -- forgot about this board.) I recently purchased a boxwood Pusch tailpiece with built-in fine tuners. I read a previous thread about this tailpiece and appreciated the tips on how to restring this somewhat tricky accessory. My Guanerius-style chinrest clamps down on the very bottom of the tailpiece. There is no buzzing, no apparent problem. My question is, are there any negative consequences associated with the chinrest touching the tailpiece -- or is it basically "okay"?
  13. I recently purchased a boxwood Pusch tailpiece with built-in fine tuners. I read a previous thread about this tailpiece and appreciated the tips on how to restring this somewhat tricky accessory. My Guanerius-style chinrest clamps down on the very bottom of the tailpiece. There is no buzzing, no apparent problem. My question is, are there any negative consequences associated with the chinrest touching the tailpiece -- or is it basically "okay"?
  14. Williams-Gengaki seems to be a good shop from what I read and hear, but I have not had personal experience with them. Emile Baran in nearby Decatur is another violin shop. I do not know if he is still in business. I have mixed feelings about this shop -- especially when it comes to trading. Always be a wise consumer. There is a rather substantial violin shop in Macon, south of Atlanta. I really know nothing about it. Good luck.
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