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Posts posted by Marsden

  1. I asked this question a little while ago, "flamed vs, bird's-eye, vs straight". I received no responses so I went back and reviewed the archives and found a lot of good information. Based on those discussions, the opinion was that there is no differences except for the bird's-eye, where it is important to use a form of European maple, that allows the wood to be cut in the fashion that produces this pattern, while still maintaining the specific gravity needed for good tone wood. If this is the case than bird's-eye should have the same tone.

    An interesting point was made that the vast majority of the sound comes out of the top and not out of the back so that while the back adds a color to the tone, grain variations in the same type of wood should not have that much tonal impact.

    If I have misrepresented any of these past post, please don't let it stand uncorrected.


  2. I have a violin marked "Made in the Atelier of Heinrich Th. Heberlein Jr." I really like this violin and did some research on the maker. My violin is dated 1928, and I found that at this point H.Th.H.Jr. had been dead by one account for 18 years and by another for 31 years! But as mentioned, trying to give this famous maker a little slack - it does say that it was made in his shop, not by him. I am thinking that they probably switched to the position, this is the shop created by H.Th.H.Jr. However a little bit more research brings up brochures from the company in 1928 in which they have the guarantee of quality sign by H.Th.H.Jr.

    This guarantee is of course to assure the customer of integrity! (I guess you can't call him a liar if he's not alive?) smile.gif Also all the top models that year are claimed to be the works of H.Th.H.Jr. himself - he must have built up a tremendous inventory befoe he moved on to the great "Aeteir" in the sky!

    Donuel, to parapharse your last post, how many Heberleins' could a Heberlein make if a Heberlein did make Heberleins'? smile.gif

    All that aside, as I said, I really like the violin.


  3. I have alway wondered if a violin has an inherent advantage in tone potential dependent on which of these "styles" of maple are used for the back. I have always assumed that flame was selected for better violins because it looks nicer, but is there more to it? Will three well made violins by the same maker, otherwise as identical as possible but with the three different woods, have the same tone potential?

    Insights would be appreciated.



  4. I have been very pleased with e-bay. Some of the items that I have received are not what I had hoped, but most of them have been a far better value than I could have gotten without a lot of hard hunting. In general I am using e-bay because it is fun. Part of that fun is looking for bargins. If I buy something for $100 that I think should be worth $500 and when I get it it is only worth $100, where is my basis for complaint. If it turned out to be only worth fifty dollars, and that happened most of the time, I would stop using e-bay. I think E-bay's success indicates its users are happy in general.

    I am not a professional musician, just playing for fun. I have a nice Heberlein that I am sure will do everything I could ever ask of it. But sometime when I play Debussy, hit the notes right and I feel myself starting to float, I wonder if I might float slightly higher with a slightly better violin. That is when I head back to e-bay and the hunt - within a hobby budget.


  5. The "iron wood" that I had experience with was hop hornbeam. Trees of sixty years were about 18 to 24 inches in diameter in Ohio. If someone has had better success in drying the wood I would be interested in the process they used.



  6. Polecat,

    I think you are correct about lemon oil being used to maintain moisture in wood. That is why I had used it on antique furniture etc. It seems to have the ability to get though the old varnish and into the wood and keep it moist. I speculate that what happened on my mandolin is it truly moistened the wood and the moistened wood would not ring as clear as the dry wood. After the wood dried the tone returned.

    From this I would conclude that old wooden string instruments are not the same as old wooden chairs. This obviously didn't come to me over-night, but I think I'm making progress.

    I clean my violin everytime I play it with a with a cloth and it never seems to need anymore. At the same time I had picked up some Hill's violin cleaner/polish/whatever and use a few drops on the violin about every six months and rub it till it shines - which it did of course before I put the polish on. I can't really say that the polish does anything, but I bought it, it doesn't seem to hurt anything, and like lemon oil, I love the smell.


  7. I have used lemon oil with a lot of success on antiques of all types. I have an old Maurer mandolin (my main instrument) that aways gets raves about its great tone. On a day that I thought it needed cleaning, I applied an ample amount of lemon oil to a cloth and went to work. When I was finished and started to play it, the tone was dead, and I wished I was. For three days the tone remaind dull and I set it aside and did not pick it up for at least two weeks. At that point the tone was back. Thouhgts of using lemon oil on another instrument have never come back.

  8. The answer to ironwood's lack of use may lay in the problems of producing the wood. Ironwood trees are not large from my experience, and getting much marketable wood from them may not be that easy. I once tried to use ironwood and, after cutting it into boards and waiting for it to dry, found that even with the ends painted the wood twisted and cracked making the wood useless for even some of the small parts I had planned. That is only one experience, but it was not successful.

  9. Hello,

    I have been interested to know more about Juzek instruments as well.

    I assume that John Juzek has been dead, or at least not been involved in the production of these instruments for along time. From what I have read it seems that he was using instruments made by others from the first. Everything that I hear about the Juzek line of instruments is very positive, indicating to me that Juzek must have demanded high standards from those he obtained instruments from. Does anyone know when John Jusek was no longer involved in this activity, and if the instrument quality had any significant changes after that point?


  10. I think the labels are scratched or torn to establish the validity of the label. General antique and used goods dealers (of which I was one) have tons of crude tricks to get a quick understanding of what they have. By scratching or tearing the label, they are trying to see if the wood below the lable is the same color as the surrounding wood. If the label has been there for a long time one could expect that the wood below it would not have darkened as much as the wood exposed to the light. If the label says 1880 and the wood below it looks the same as the surrounding wood, then they have reason to question the label. Unfortunately, no one ever said that these crude processes produce the right answers, but there is some logic in it.


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