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Soundboot

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  1. I have had three of these. The old models used to be suede leather but now they are some kind of synthetic material but quite natural feeling. I think they are very comfortable. I find a wooden one very hard after using these. Get one!
  2. Let's face it, if somebody played exactly like Perlman there would be few complaints that the player wasn't original and yet if this happened in most other genres of music they would be cast off as an unoriginal imitator. In my opinion though, classical music does not give that much scope for originality of style in the broader sense.
  3. Mark Feldman is worth checking out. Michal Urbaniak hasn't been mentioned yet.
  4. Some more links for you all: Kamancheh Erhu Banjo violin Cello piccolo Treble violin Rivinus design concepts Resonator violin Cornerless Arpegina Harp violin? Semi-acoustic Amori modern (nice) Stroh violin Evia composite viola Modern horn fiddle Hardanger Misc unusual stuff And let me be clear that I'm not suggesting any of these replace the conventional violin, just that they exist in their own right. If anybody has more interesting links please post them.
  5. So true Amori! Mostly people like what they know. Quote from Chronos: quote: "new" ways of looking at things tend to be inferior to accepted points of view This has been a consistent kind of response - that of comparison all the time. If a guitar maker makes a 12 string guitar instead of a six string is it inferior? No, it's different. Some players want that sound, some don't and some players have a six string and a twelve string (the market is smaller for 12 strings but some players want them). If a trumpet player uses a cup mute is it an inferior sound to a straight trumpet sound? No, it's just a different color for a different setting. A keyboard player has so many choices other than piano: organ, harpsichord, synth, electric piano, etc. etc... different things to a piano but still similar under the fingers for the player. This is the sort of thing I'd like to see more of: Tenor violin with sympathetic strings Similar to a hardanger but with low strings. Is a hardanger inferior to a classic violin?! Also, The fact that an instrument like this exists does not meant that anyone is suggesting that everyone has to make the switch to making only these instruments. I'm just trying to give you makers some inspiration. If you don't like this sort of thing then you don't have to do anything different!
  6. From ctviolin: quote: But since you asked me for my opinion on the matter. I am commenting on the fact that you seem to taken a sort-of adversarial stand on the matter, as if there is some sort of dark 'makers cabal' whose goal or intention it is to thwart the good intentions of innovators in the violin world - or to price the very best violins out of your reach, etc. That's purely your imagination and you can quote me to put me right if you want to. That's the problem with the internet is that we just have some text and people's imaginations run away with them. Maybe I've expressed a little frustration but adversarial? I've gone at pains not to, please read. I'm not telling anybody how to make violins better, I'm just posting a wishlist. Your response shows that you have not understood that point. Michael mentioned progress and I was saying we don't have to think of it as progress more as a step aside - a different instrument for a different purpose.
  7. Okay, what is it that you think I'm not hearing? The purpose of this post was to express enthusiasm for modern makers who try something different and offer some thoughts from a player's point of view. I was hoping to encourage makers and question some assumptions. The message I have mainly got back from makers is that the violin does not need to change and indeed some of you are even hostile to the idea (okay, you'd make me whatever I want but you don't really see the point). I think it's futile to say 'I'm a modernist, you're a traditionalist, lets's have a fight!' and I have gone out of my way to avoid that, indeed I don't want to trash tradition at all - I think it's a wonderful thing but I see no reason why other styles cannot live side by side. Quote from Michael: quote: Joe Curtin's being a given a grant by someone not in the music business at all, for doing things that players have mostly not been interested in buying is almost a proof of the concept that outsiders without an understanding of how things are have great ideas about what progress should be, but players have a distinctly different idea. I can't speak for Curtin but personally I don't see the topic so much as progress. An electric violin for instance is not progress but a step aside and also a solution to the problem of not being heard. I play electric but I don't particularly like the idea of cables and heavy amps. However, for certain things I would be seen and not heard if I was playing an acoustic no matter how good it was. I'm just trying to get you guys to think out of the progress box! Interesting that a lot of makers have responded to this thread, would like to have heard more from players but then again there is not going to be as much interest here as it is a classical players forum primarily. Nice electric violin by the way ctviolin. I must say though, I never like to see a traditional scroll on an electric but that's just me! Thought I was finished but maybe I could go on and on and on ....!
  8. Okay, I couldn't resist one last word! Something a lot of you makers seem to be missing is that string players would choose an antique instrument over a new one every time. Some top players may have a copy of their instrument made as a spare from what I gather but you won't generally see a new instrument in the hands of a top player. Fact no? The stance taken in this post is entirely pro-maker as only modern luthiers can make a new instrument. However, this is not a call for all to change and nobody is saying you have to. Hopefully this post has served as a list of suggestions for a maker who may wish to extend his line of instruments - the rest of you don't need to do anything or get upset about it. I'd also like to point out that some makers do quite well making alternative instruments. Rivinus is backed up for orders so I hear and Curtin has been given a grant. Also, we have some rather successful electric violin makers (which is probably what the adventurous would do these days) which of course belongs to another world entirely! Thanks for listening folks. When I win the lottery I'm going to commission all of you!
  9. One of my students was telling me how their school orchestra was playing a piece that required them to hit the top of their violin with the metal screw end of ther bow! They actually did it.
  10. Okay, I've just about said everything I need to. It's been a fun discussion and I was hoping to keep it light but I get the sense I'm beginning to annoy some people. I apologise if that's the case, I really do respect people with a love of tradition and I can see how passionate many of you are about your art. I don't pretend to be an expert, I'm just a humble working musician with a set of tastes and practical needs. My excitement over unusual violins is sincere and in no way do I have some kind of hatred for traditional methods (that would be absurd). I have not intented to engage with any of you as 'opponents' for the way I see it is there is room for everybody. I hope you have found a different viewpoint stimulating and have found it interesting to have assumptions challenged. For those of you who do not wish to see violin making changed in any way I would suggest that you are in a safe place. Time allowing, I am planning at some point to make a website showcasing unusual violins. I hope many of you will stop by.
  11. Let's face it though Michael, price is a problem for violinists. On the whole we probably pay more for our instruments than any other musician. That goes for new and old instruments. You tell me what you would charge me for my dream instrument?
  12. I never said it was easy?!!! Boy, you are really kicking my a$$ aren't you Michael?! Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about but how can we really tell? Serious question. Given that two violins made with exactly the same pattern can sound so different I don't really see how we can compare at the end of the day. All I'm saying is that my cornerless instruments sound great! Everything else is theory and I'm not claiming otherwise. I have played a few other unconventional instruments some of which were really nice, one wasn't fantastic but I have been very disappointed by a lot of modern conventional violins. I'm not claiming to be the last word on this but I think a players ears should be respected by makers. Oh, and don't be such a meany!
  13. Cassi, you were saying that a simplification would lead to a degradation of the sound. I can vouch for my cornerless violins and viola. They have a great sound and I'm sure that the lack of corners actually frees up the sound. In theory it should as there is less wood mass to inhibit the vibrations. If this is not the case then I'm sure it at least makes little difference but it certainly doesn't degrade the sound. As for the looks of the instrument it's funny how you get so used to the look of no corners that cornered violins start to look very fussy and spikey. If I commisioned a violin with corners I would at least have the corners squared off a bit. Some believe that a cornerless violin would be weaker. I think the opposite is true, not to mention how easily the corners can be knocked off. I can't really believe that a simplified scroll would change the sound much other than to brighten the sound if there was less wood on the instrument. Probably not much though. If it really were a choice between looks and sound I wonder what the majority would chose? What do we really value most about the violin, sound or looks?
  14. Quote from Michael quote: So all these pages of pain have really just been about you wanting something cheap, and believing that not much in the construction process matters much, so you don't want to pay for it. Cutting corners, so to speak? No! If you read the whole thread you'll see that I am presenting several strands. The reason I presented the scenario of a cheapo yet goodo instrument is because after all this discussion I have come to the conclusion that not much is going to change unless a.) There is something offered cheap enough to take a gamble on. and b.) There has to be some kind of extra justification for a different kind of violin such as a spare or a decent student instrument. I urge you to read the opening statement on the very first page for a summary of what I have been trying to say! By the way, Helen Michetschläger manages to sell her student violin for 1750 pounds sterling. Which is pretty reasonable for a quality handmade instrument. I've played her small cornerless viola which was very nice indeed. ">http://www.helenviolinmaker.co..._sized_violins.htm[img
  15. Cassi I applaud your thinking and I'm glad somebody is seeing the bigger picture. Yep, there is nothing more revolting than an ultra cheapo student violin and I'm sure that this is one of the best markets for an alternative violin. I think a lot of posters are thinking fine Italians when they think of the traditional violin rather than the Strad shaped crap that is sold for beginners. The whole design could be simplified and we could have better quality instruments for a lower price. Scroll, corners, f-holes, arching, purfling - let's simplify them if we can increase quality at the budget end of the market. You will hear all kind of things about how the scroll affects the tone and so forth. I can't believe that if you carve the scroll slightly differently that you will get that much of a different sound. The same kind of thing is said about the f-holes, as if they have to be exactly as the old masters made them or you will have some kind of dud instrument. You can partially cover the f-holes as you are playing and it doesn't make so much difference so why should a slightly different shape? You are never going to be able to compare the same instrument side by side with conventional bits and then suddenly with different bits so a lot of this is theory. So might the makers here consider some kind of simplified violin as a budget instrument for students?
  16. I guess I come at this from a different angle. In my teens I had a lovely violin that got smashed backstage when I was doing a school play. Some kid had a crutch as a prop and he made a joke that he was going to smash my violin as he swung his crutch from a distance. The end part was loose and came hurtling towards my violin with full force on the belly of the instrument. Yes I got it repaired but it was never the same again and I was heartbroken. I later sold it for next to nothing but realize later in life that I had a valuable instrument. I have another lovely old violin that somebody once sat on. Again it was repaired but was never the same, was severely devalued and it breaks my heart every time I look at it even 22 years later to the point that I find it hard to play sometimes. Two very nice old instruments were ruined forever and one violinist was left feeling very cautious about where he takes valuable instruments. I'm sorry, I can't be so blaze about repairs or replacements. I believe that all players should have a spare so that they preserve the old instruments for future generations. This could be CF or wood - the main thing is that we don't just take our precious instrument with us into crazy crowds, bad weather, and dark alleyways! OK, if you are an amateur then you have a different angle on this and can play your nice instrument in the safety of your own home. Professionals however come up against all kinds of circumstances.
  17. I wouldn't call myself a classical musician (not these days anyway) so do not see the need for the violin to conform only to the needs of classical music.
  18. Then I had better repeat myself a few more hundred times!
  19. quote: Hmmm, I'm curious, other than you, right now, who's making this claim? Boy this is hard work! I'm not making this claim and nobody else is. My point is that it would be crazy to make this claim and compare these two instruments and yet this is done with any other violin that deviates from the norm. My point has been that there are places for alternatives that fulfill a particular role rather than something that trumps and replaces the traditional violin. Am I clear yet?
  20. I'm not really concerned with futuristic violins, rather I'm interested in the prospect of alternatives. Whether they are new ideas is by the by. The Baroque violin is a good example. Modern Baroque violins are made today for players that need an alternative sound. You can't say something like 'baroque violin are inferior because they don't have the same power as a 'modern (?!)' violin. They have a different sound that suits a certain type of music. I think the Stroh violin (the one with the resonator and horn) is a another good example of a very different instrument being made to solve a particular problem. They were invented to solve the problems of recording given the technology at the time. Maybe they are not needed for that purpose now but I have heard being played for the sake a different color in the palette.
  21. Two cornerless violins (I like both the look and sound), one cornerless viola, one 5 string electric violin, one viola with extra low strings, one home made experimental thing, some unusual bows. Not silly for what you do for a living just for your remark and silly in an affectionate way!
  22. I don't think I've heard anybody on this thread trash traditional violin making while discussing this subject, in fact I don't think I've encountered it ever! I think a lot of you should take a leaf out of Amori's book - he makes traditional violins and unconventional ones. The trashing seems to be reserved exclusively for the deviants and modernists. I get your point with Itzhak Perlman playing his Beethoven concerto but really if he only ever played that concerto and nothing else then he would probably not be able to bring the same freshness to it each time (and I'm sure his career would suffer!) I really do understand the aspect of clients needing to pay for these instruments. Helen Michetschläger has actually made her cornerless, simple scrolled violins cheaper for clients as they are cheaper to construct. That's one solution, any others? I do believe though that subtle differences are not going to scare people off too much. Aside from price issue though, the responses here are gradually outlining a very interesting picture of the psyche of the luthier!
  23. But Tets, I notice you make Baroque violins. They are a good case in point, a different instrument for a different sound for a specific type of music. I notice these are accepted and many believe that baroque music is better played on a baroque violin - the modern violin just isn't right for the job! Is it so hard to believe that other kinds of music might require a different kind of instrument?
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