Jeffrey Holmes

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About Jeffrey Holmes

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  • Birthday July 23

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    Ann Arbor
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  1. Jeffrey Holmes

    Perfection Pegs

    Honestly, besides the history of the other innovative pegs of the past (not great) over time, I don't have any real complaints. They seem well made. I don't particularly like changing strings when the damn things are installed, however... and if I did install them, I imagine I'd have to keep a stock of perfection pegs in order to be prepared if something went wrong. Rather have extra Meyer or Temple pegs on hand. :-) One possible advantage I haven't noticed mention could be that I assume they exert less stress on a compromised peg box. That said: I don't normally sell or work on student fiddles, and I've really never had complaints with the functioning of traditional pegs I've installed. In the cases (few) where violinists want fine tuners, or the cases (more common) when violists want fine tuners, I use the Bois 'd Harmonie tail pieces. The few Nashville or Cajun players I work with (who have nice fiddles) seem happy with traditional pegs for the time being. ...but as I said, I understand the attraction. I am happy to admit to my own prejudices, however. For example: I absolutely hate metal and plastic tailpieces with fine tuners for 'cello... and indeed can recall installing only one on a decent 'cello that didn't already have one. My inability to adapt hasn't seemed to reduce the number of 'cello clients I have, though.
  2. Jeffrey Holmes

    Perfection Pegs

    I understand the attraction for some purposes/situations, but I've never installed them. Don't plan to.
  3. Jeffrey Holmes

    Wood ID

    The moderator sometimes gets a little busy running his business and with family obligations... (this is a volunteer position, which I've fulfilled for going on two decades), so approval is not always lightning fast, but is almost always within 24 hours. Your posts will not require approval after you've had 10 approved. The post approval policy was a necessary evil to combat spam on the board. Patience please.
  4. Jeffrey Holmes

    Violin ID Quiz

    Enough of it was.
  5. Jeffrey Holmes

    Violin ID Quiz

    Had the same reaction. BTW: I believe your Henley Dictionary quote was close, but slightly off. For the person asking about preservation: I've seen a good number of late 19th century French fiddles in similar condition. The varnish often holds up pretty well on these critters and they tend to sound much better than they may have at conception with a modern neck set... and maybe a bar.
  6. Jeffrey Holmes

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    I have no idea why you are choosing to act like your brain emerged from a bottle of bad scotch, but your behavior is not appreciated here. In other words., I completely support your decision to retire from this site. I do suggest you offer an apology to the members here, however... when your hangover wears off. BTW; I'll have to approve your apology if you have the guts to make one, as I don't believe you can be trusted to keep things civil. To other members; I've removed a number of posts from sight while I try and figure out how best to edit them... Sorry for the disruption.
  7. Jeffrey Holmes

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Sorry Carl. No more reminders. I need to make choices concerning my time. I've put your posts on review before release.
  8. Jeffrey Holmes

    Hydrocal vs. Plaster of Paris Casts

    I had mixed results with plaster of Paris, I assume because the various suppliers grades differ. I used Hydrocal White for many years with no serious complaints, but more recently have been using a product called Tecstone (It's a dental plaster). It dries very hard, it shrinks very little and the cast is quite durable... but it takes a while to cure fully, so there is plenty of time for arching corrections if needed before it's a rock. I've used rigid board insulation for making cast forms for years now. Cuts easily, pulls away from the cast well, and you can get a very nice, tight, outline of the instrument every time.
  9. Jeffrey Holmes

    Opening a Seam or Crack

    ???? I wrote: "Actually, I believe it dehydrates the glue (crystallizes it; there is an old post with photos of the effect on glass that I put up). Handy in rough spots, but the effectiveness is a bit reliant on having alcohol with a low water content." I'm sure it does "work"... and as I said, the more exposure to air (the more water it takes in), the less effective it is... and using alcohol with a lower water content is more effective.
  10. Jeffrey Holmes

    Reattribution of an old Violin

    OK. I have some problems with this thread. First; I get the impression the OP is not the owner. Is that correct? If so, I have difficulty taking the whole tory at face value. Second; we don't know critical details (maker, experts involved both past and present, etc), and if my assumption of ownership (or lack of it) is correct, the OP has no business telling us. Third; The telling of this story, without pertinent facts, tends to color the business in a not so flattering light despite the many in it that take great pains to "get it right" and fiscally support their opinions and errors. Maker's histories are subject to discovery by those brave souls who tirelessly search dark dank archives archives resisting the urge to have open there arms to the Italian sun over a spritz in the square... (hows that for a schmalzy imagery?) We have no idea if this instrument's attribution is a result of such selfless commitment. Cheers all.
  11. Jeffrey Holmes

    Opening a Seam or Crack

    Actually, I believe it dehydrates the glue (crystallizes it; there is an old post with photos of the effect on glass that I put up). Handy in rough spots, but the effectiveness is a bit reliant on having alcohol with a low water content.
  12. Jeffrey Holmes

    Martin Mathias Fichtl Vienna, Large Cello

    Tough decision, Jacob. I think there is a valid argument either way... I'm mostly in the "leave it be" camp when it comes to large 'celli and large/small violas in general... but even with commerce placed aside... there is a twinge in any instrument lovers heart to see an old, charming and interesting instrument be pressed back into commission with active musicians... practicality be damned... and that probably won't happen without alteration. As you, I'm sure, are well aware (so I say this for other members benefit); Certain alterations were common in the past, including cutting and lowering arching... even when we were young(er) in this profession. Many of these procedures have fallen out of favor (though they still occur on occasion... in some cases when it leaves me scratching my head in wonder) in the least several decades in favor of more conservative approaches, but I should mention that I feel returning instruments to their "original sizes" is still an alteration. Even stretching, I doubt it can be considered is a resurrection of the piece, but it appeals to many instrument geek's sensibilities. I, too, like those ffs. It's a shame there probably isn't enough interest in museum acquisition of this sort of thing... though I understand it's not a pristine piece, having that outline preserved (along with the others who have found their way to a safe haven) for future reference appeals to me. Once it's cut, it's gone.
  13. Jeffrey Holmes

    Stefano Scarampella Fake quality

    The last unworked one I had didn't sound all that wonderful... I ended up selling it at auction as I didn't feel like "sending it back to school". I'm sure it's been done since then. Those that came in to the US in the mid 20th century were often re-worked by Wurlitzer, Moennig, and Hermann, as I recall. My pet peeve is when someone capable of making a reliable, consistent good sounding fiddle doesn't take the time to make it visually pleasing.
  14. Jeffrey Holmes

    Stefano Scarampella Fake quality

    ...and the term "center joint" is not a precise descriptor. We used to call them "Scary Fellas" in the shop. They're pretty sculptural. Depending on who re-gradutated them, they can sound awesome.
  15. Jeffrey Holmes

    Stefano Scarampella Fake quality

    Sgarabotto produced a number of Scarampella "copies" (if you want to call them that). I've seen a couple certified as Scarampella violins.