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Jeffrey Holmes - Old Posts

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  1. Dear Michael, Bows being wood, "straight" is a matter of degree. No bow I have ever seen is "perfectly" straight. Now, that being said, many look relatively straight when "sighted" with no tension on the stick (hair loose). It is generally accepted that a slight turn away from the string (playing) side of the bow is acceptable when the hair is tightened. As Andrew mentioned in his post, if the stick travels too much to the side when the hair is tighted, you might be able to correct some or all of this problem by a simple rehairing. If rehairing does not do the trick, the bow can be straighted by a bowmaker relatively easily. To straighten a bow, the stick is warmed over a flame, in hot sand, or over a similar heat source, then adjusted by hand. After the stick cools, the work is checked and the process repeated if required. The camber of the bow was placed in the stick in the same way when the bow was made. This process is is relatively safe, but due to the nature of pernambuco wood, there is a very slght chance that a fault in the wood can show up during the process. Most makers I know charge by the hour for this service, and many will not attempt it unless the owner understands and accepts the risk to the bow. With a normal, uncomplicated warp correction or recambering job, figure two hours or less in labor. Not really too expensive..... Best of luck, Jeffrey : I was reading Mandy's post and noted with some alarm : that the people at the violin shop told her that one : of her bows was warped and thus was basically garbage. : This is very alarming to me because I have come to : notice a slight bend to one side in the middle of my : bow that increases when I tighten the hair. It's : almost entirely unnoticeable when the hair is loose. : I say "almost entirely" because it looks perfectly : straight to me but my teacher says otherwise. When : I tighten the hair though, then I can see the bend. : My bow is quite expensive, a good deal more $ than : just a couple hundred. It's not : enough of a bend to hinder my playing in any way, I'm : just making sure this isn't really bad. Is my bow : ruined, or will this : just be corrected at my next re-cambering? : Many thanks if anyone can help. : -Michael L.
  2. Dear Marlene, I assume the information concerning Barnabetti you refer to was obtained from the Henley Dictionary? I don't know if Chris R. os Stefan H. might have further information concerning these fiddles, but I'll tell you about my experiences with them. I've seen a good number of JTL instruments bearing the Barnabetti label which date from around 1880+/- through the early 1900s, but have never seen one which bears this name outside of these productions. I have always suspected that "Barnabetti" was a name is like others used by JTL in grading and marketing their instruments. Although there may have been a person by this name, he may not have had little if anything to do with the production of the instruments. I recall reading that JTL also bought "rights" to some names for production. Be that as it may, compared with the cheaper grades produced by JTL in Mirecourt, some of the "Barnabetti" fiddles are pretty nice, especially the ones produced earlier on. Hope this helps. Best of luck. Jeffrey : I am trying to find out any information on Geronimo Barnabetti - violin maker. I believe he worked : at Mirecourt, France from 1860, he worked privately before this. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks
  3. Hi Iris, The L. Mozzani workshops produced both guitars and violins. Information concerning this "atelier" is available in several texts including, if my memory serves me, The Henley Dictionary of Violin and bow makers, The Vannes Dictionary, and volume 1 of Eric Blot's "Liuteria Italiana". Good luck and happy hunting! Jeffrey : I'm trying a violin with a label of this name. The date is 1938. The weird thing is, on the internet I found out that he is apparently a very famous GUITAR maker. Does anyone know if he really did make violins as well, and if they were generally good instruments?
  4. Michael's explanation was excellent. To clarify the value issue for a repaired bow of this type; The standard depreciation used by most of us when appraising a splined bow "of quality" (in other words, one that is worth repairing and retains it's original frog and button) is 70% + (the bow retains only 30% - of it's original value). This is roughly equivalent to the value of the frog and button. For the record, we also keep a nice splined bow around in the trial room. Best to all, Jeffrey
  5. Just a clarification comment: This tool is most often and most effectively used as a marker, not a cutter (although I've seen a few makers use it to cut the trench). The lines are marked with the tool, then a single blade knife is used to cut the two sides of the channel (following the marks) to depth. Using the tool itself to cut the channel can result in some interesting (and not so flattering) width variations. Grinding the blades to slightly different angles can help avaiod the need to shims as well. Metal is a better shim material, should you need a shim, as a piece of purfling will tend to compress. Jeffrey : In using a two bladed purfling cutter how does one arrive at the right width when the blades are beveled opposite each other and when together create a groove that is wider than the purfling? : I am inclined to place the blades together (flat sides) and separate the blades with some pieces of purfling which should give me the right width groove. Does this sound like it will work? Possibly a shim that won't crush? : Any help would be appreciated. : hr
  6. This could be an interesting discussion, but I hesitate to participate to a poster (dealer?) who remains annonymous. Even Steveg has included his name when posted his opinions. Want to come out in the open? Jeffrey : The motivation is money, money, money, and not upseting the dealer status quo. Stephan, you are the same as a dealer. You know it, us dealers on the board know it, and while I want honest hard working dealers to be supported, I think many customers get a raw deal. I see it every day. Most of the large houses are nothing more than real estate agents and car dealers hiding behind a bunch of violins. I don't know whats' up with Steveg lately, he seems to be making himself a trouble maker, but there is some truth to what he says and if the laypeople on this board want to be beaten into submission by the dealers on this board, I guess that is their business. : Your Comrade
  7. Steve, Besides making my point for me, I find your reponse inappropriate, rude, unprofessional and uninformed. As for your inferred judgements; you do not know me in a business sense. I will be happy to be judged by those who do. I am not offering the Bailly. My advice to the poster was to get a QUALIFIED opinion before purchase. Believe it or not, most dealers exist on far less than 300%. Average consignment fees in this industry are about 20%. Wholesale prices take into account labor (even for an instument in good condition this could include a bassbar, neck set, and set up), guarentees, cost of money, and services. They are therefore SLIGHTY better than consignment. For the record, auction houses, on average, charge about 10% to the seller and 15% to the buyer based on hammer price. Considering that an auction sale is much the same arrangement as a consignment, the rates are pretty close, no? Prices at auction are often appropriate considering the instruments authenticity, quality and condition. While the auctions of the '60s otr 70s were attended by mostly us nasty dealer types, players are often included these days. While I have not seen a 20K Bailly reach the auction block as of yet, if you research crefully, you will find several lots that have reached the same prices as they would have in a dealers showroon (Pressenda, Lupot, Sartory, Curtin & Alf, the Gaglino sold at Skinners yesterday, etc.). Incomplete advice might cause a prospective buyer to pass up an appropriate instrument at a fair market price. It is also the one thing I personally do not have patience for in this forum. Good luck to you. Jeffrey : Absolutly!!!!! : Especialy when when RETAIL prices are 3 TIMES wholesale prices or auction prices. : Go to an auction and buy and certified Baily.. Then have it fixed. : Or : Go to a dealer and offer 1/2 of what they are asking. That would be fair. : There is no reason why dealers need to mark up violins the way they do, when the actual costs of obtaining the instruments are so reasonable. : I can understand a 20% markup to cover overhead, but 300% ?! ?! I am surprised that some shops stay in business now that musicians can buy instruments at dealer prices. Or is it that most musicians are gulable and do not care about the price, so long as they have the "Ultimate Violin" for their dollar? : A good salesman can sell a refridgerator to an Eskimo above the Arctic Circle. : A good violin salesman should be able to sell a "Vuillaume school" Baily to a beguiled musicain for $20,000.00 with no problem. : cavet emptor,.......sucker
  8. I believe the two brothers (Phillips/Hill) are still working within the business as consultants, with foundations, etc. Jeffrey
  9. : Check out what he's got to say about Paolo di Barbieri.
  10. The earliest Oddone we have sold was a very fine one dated 1898. It was branded. Jeffrey
  11. : to paraphrase: "I could have sent it to Sothebys and got the $25,000 that it would bring at a real auction, but gee, silly me, I guess I'll just be happy with $1200! And I have a friend who thinks he knows fiddles who says HE thinks it's a genuine 'Charot A', too, but he won't let me tell you who he is." What do you think? : . : : Anyone see this violin? It's beautiful! Worth the asking price even if a copy? Not a copy??? :
  12. Hi Joseph, Describing an acoustic problem in writing is always a bit of a challenge, isn't it! While I was reading the other posts in this "string" I also began to wonder if the problem had something to do with the contact of the string on the nut. Glad to see Al had jumped in there. It is unfortunately my experience that a majority of instruments out there have a poorly shaped nut to begin with. If the string does not make contact with the leading edge, it tends to sound "false" or "dead" when the open string is played. Same kind of results if the groove is too tight (smaller than the string diameter) or if the string is "buried" in the nut. It seems you've already experimented with the rest of the setup, so I hope you'll find your answer in that little piece of ebony. Without seeing the construction of the instrument, neck angle, and size, it's difficult to go much further (concerning ideas and advice) in this kind of forum. Did one question: Had this instrument ever had a good sounding open A? If so, what was changed? Best of luck! Jeffrey : Hello Joseph: : If the "harmonica" sound is only on open "A", and no where else on the string, could be what is called "a nut buzz." This is cured by making the string groove fall away from the point of contact at the fingerboard until the string actually bottoms AT the edge of the nut closest to the fingerboard. : As many srings as you've tried, the "A" string groove could be worn out (;o)) Also, there are many other reasons, but my way is to try the simple cures first. : Keep trying to fix it, and give progress reports, : Al
  13. If the pernambuco has a figure (like a violin back) it usually shows up looking like "rings" around the stick. Bow quality still has more to do with the overall workmanship, density, and balance of the bow than the figure in the stick (a weak but pretty piece of pernambuco will not make a great bow). If you find a good playing bow with a nice figure it can be pretty though.... Best to all, Jeffrey
  14. ....the shell softened, then laminated under pressure in order to make it thick enough to make the frog.... Hi Al! Nice bit of information. Jeff
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