Stringtoad

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About Stringtoad

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  1. Well, my "obstacle" is a degenerative connective tissue disease that entered my life at about age 43...prior to that I had been EXTREMELY athletic and active...professional ballet and jazz and showing horses (hunters and jumpers). As a kid I tried to take piano, but could NOT stay still long enough to focus on the music theory because I wanted to MOVE. WELLLLL, I can no longer do any of those things and even have difficulty sometimes breathing when the disease attacks my lungs and heart. As difficult as things were for me to get used to not being so athletic, I was able to redirect my mental energies and emotional energy into learning the violin (which was a secret childhood dream that I did not follow because my parents had told me that if I could not play the piano I could never learn the violin). So, what could be a negative thing in my life has yielded a new passion for me in my life and helped me to learn an instrument that I have always loved! When I am in reasonable shape, it is such an immense joy to focus on the music and expression it offers me. I think all of us who have various "obstacles" (ADHD, Bipolar, etc) will often find that music is a terrific conduit for our desires, emotions and souls. Maybe we also appreciate it just a bit more? Stringtoad
  2. Dear Pegbox Luthiers and Experienced Violinists: I saw the thread on "what is peg dope made of", but I have the opposite problem: pegs that STICK. I have ordered some peg compound and hope to have my teacher help me with this problem...but then I got to wondering what is this "compound" made of?
  3. I'm fairly new at this violin thing, and I will be ordering a set of new strings shortly...and I've noticed that several kinds come with a choice of a silver or aluminum wound D string. What is the difference in how it sounds? Which would be the best choice? AND, on the other hand: what is the difference in the steel or aluminum E strings soundwise? And the gold E's? Thanks for any advice you can give a newbie! Stringtoad
  4. Thanks, Trent! I will look into the "search" function for more details, but your summation has helped me to understand more clearly how to judge the next set of strings! I have recently bought a used German Knilling violin which came with "Pirastro synthetic" strings (according to the literature that came with it), but it did not tell me WHICH Pirastro synthetic strings! Shortly after I purchased it, I had a string break. I then had it re-strung with a set of D'Addario Pro Arte strings, but to me (even though they are supposedly somewhat the same in description) they don't have the warmth of sound that the original strings had. So, I am looking to order some new strings...it seems to me that the Pirastros that were on the violin when I bought it were Pirastro Tonicas, but I am also interested in the Obligatos. Anyway, as I began to read up on the various string sets I realized I had some decisions to make about Silver or Aluminum wound D's and a whole plethora of E string choices! I got really confused and though,What's a beginner to do??? So, I came here to all of you Wise Ones! So, thanks for the tips! Stringtoad
  5. WEll, I have posted once already about my Stringworks Virtuoso violin (called Amazing Grace)...but this past week I acquired a very nice Knilling (NOT made in Korea!) violin that has SOUL!!! She has a warm and sweet sound with plenty of projection... So I am celebrating my new stringed friend! I'll be happy for a LONG time with her!!
  6. Wow, everybody!! I had no idea that there have been that many great women violinists! Thanks for all of your input and opinions...I will try to read up and get some CDs so I can listen to their recordings, too...I've spent lots of time listening and reading about the many male virtuosos, so this will be nice to catch up on the "distaff" side! Stringtoad
  7. I am fairly new to playing the violin and I have been wondering recently about great women violinists. Can anyone here give me some names? I would like to read and learn more about them. They can be from the past or living now. I have read alot about so many of the great male violinists and I have found it interesting and instructive, but am wondering about the ladies! Thanks! Stringtoad
  8. Shadowhawk: thanks for that referral to the ebay Stainer! It sure helped me understand my friend's descriptions. Here's another question for those of you who are more experienced in these matters: the one on ebay was a 1910 model. The one my friend has is from 1726. Does this large difference in age mean anything? Would the 1726 possibily be better made? Would the 1726 have more glue problems due to the age? I fully realize that this is not an "original" Stainer. However, I am hoping that it may be a nicely made copy and that I can refurbish it economically enough to have a nice fiddle for a reasonable price. Thanks, folks, for all your help! Stringtoad
  9. I posted this question on the Fingerboard and someone suggested it should really be here in the Pegbox...I'm still getting used to these split boards...sorry... I have a friend who lives out of state who is offering to sell me her grandfather's violin. She knows absolutely nothing about them, but says it looks to be in good condition, though it needs a new bridge, strings and the bow (she is not sure if it is Pernambuco or Brazilwood)must be rehaired. She tells me that the identification paper inside the violin says: "Stainer in Absam _ _pe D(O or P)enipontum" and then written in pencil is 1726. Can anyone explain what this means? She says her grandfather was Danish and this violin supposedly came with him from Denmark to the US many years ago. Thanks for your help!
  10. Dear Wise Ones at Maestronet (especially you luthiers and people who REALLY KNOW violin makers)--- I have a friend who lives out of state who is offering to sell me her grandfather's violin. She knows absolutely nothing about them, but says it looks to be in good condition, although it needds a new bridge, strings and the bow (she is not sure if it is Pernambuco or Brazilwood)must be rehaired. She tells me that the identification paper inside the violin says: "Stainer in Absam _ _pe D(O or P)enipontum" and then written in pencil is 1726. Can anyone explain what this means? She says her grandfather was Danish and this violin supposedly came with him from Denmark to the US many years ago. Any insight, information or opinions would be very helpful. Any ideas on what it may be worth? Obviously, if she sends it to me I will take it to a local luthier for a professional opinion (and possible work done on it) but I would like to know what I can about it ahead of time if anyone out there can enlighten me! I am considering asking her to send it to me and see whether or not it is a playable instrument and worth refurbishing and make her an offer on it...and if I don't want it, then return it and pay all the shipping for her for her troubles. She seems very happy with that idea. Thanks in advance for your help!
  11. I thinking of "moving up" a little in quality for my violin...but my dollars are limited. So, I am wondering if any of you have any opinions regarding two different violins that I am considering: First is a Guarneri model "Master Art" Otto Ernst Fischer violin from Shar...the tone is described as "dark, sonorous and focused". The other (and more expensive) violin is the Sofia "Master Art" violin with a tone described as "smooth and mellow, yet clear". Does that mean it's "brighter"?? I prefer a darker sound in violins and like the Guarneri type. The text in the catalog seems to indicate that the Sofia's are individually handmade (and therefore cost more)and so I am assuming they are a higher quality violin. Also, Shar says that you have 60 days to try the violin and can return it for a refund if it isn't to your liking. Has anyone had any difficulties with Shar? (I've bought some small accessories from them and they were great, but this is a bigger item!). Any insights or personal experience with either of these two types of violins is appreciated! Stringtoad
  12. Dear Wise Ones on Maestronet, I have two questions for everybody: First, lately I have been looking at some violins which are a bit better in quality than the one I have (not able to buy yet, but just "window shopping" for later on!)...and I have noticed that many violins now come with Boxwood fittings. I'm unsure about the "look" of Boxwood, but what is more important to me is the quality of it... I am totally unfamilar with this wood. One violin I had was fitted with Ebony and my current violin is fitted with Rosewood (which I love). Can anyone enlighten me? Secondly, I also notice that so many violins are sold with Thomastik Dominants. My violin actually came with D'Addario Pro Arte strings, which both my teacher and I love. My question is this: why are Dominants the "standard" on so many violins? Am I missing something? I like having a warm, dark sound and also wondered if there are strings which would make my violin even warmer and darker...how about Obligatos? Any suggestions are welcome! Stringtoad
  13. I would just like to echo what Anne S said about the violins from Stringworks! I have had an Artist violin from them and now have a Virtuoso and both have been VERY good instruments and are well within your budget. As Anne S said, they also were very nice and easy to work with and they have a two week trial period for any of their products. I'd suggest you hit all of the websites mentioned here and look, read and call every one and ask lots of questions! Then pick your top two and order them and give them a try and return what you do not want. Hang in there! You'll find a great deal if you take your time to look things over.
  14. Jane... Liked what you said about when you're sixty you'll be really good! One day I was bemoaning the fact that I hadn't started in my youth and how much time I had lost in playing the violin because of that, and I told my husband "Yikes, I'll be sixty before I can play very well at all" and HE said, "Well, at least you will be a respectable violinist at sixty now...if you had never started at all, all you would have had at sixty would have been the regrets of not playing" !!!!!!!!!!! Let's hear it for us "better late than nevers"!
  15. WAY TO GO ARIZONAVIOLIST!!!! Seriously, Kim, heartiest congrats to you...your efforts have paid off and you'll now have some incredible and wonderful experiences. I hope you enjoy EVERY second! Stringtoad