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Everything posted by Soundboot

  1. Look at the scroll in the link above and you'll see what I'm talking about. You are really talking about minutiae. If you are a layman looking at a bunch of violins in the distance then you only see identical scrolls.
  2. Michael, with all due respect, that's really silly! Ok, look at this: Nice viola link Is this somebody who doesn't like violins? The scroll is very elegant and the two corners work very well. Makers don't need to make a jump to full Rivinus!!! And you know, you don't have to call this something else or worry about it sticking out in an orchestra, write a new repertoire for it etc....
  3. I think Amori makes a good point (I think your Fiolin looks great by the way) that violins can be made quicker and cheaper if they are cornerless. I have seen one maker selling a violin for children that is cornerless and has a simplified scroll. Click here This is just my point. There may be reasons other than aesthetics to do these things, in this case the simplified scroll and corners are for economy without affecting the performance of the instrument. These are aimed at young students, not everything has to be aimed at the concert soloist. Yes I'm aware of the Luis and Clark CF instruments. There is another thread going on on the fingerboard about these right now. If they really do sound brash then they sound to me like they might be the ideal outdoor instrument as a nice dark tone just won't cut it in the open. Also, they are weather proof (don't know if they are completely but they look it). Note that the Boston Pops has a cello section made up of these instruments and they play outside all the time. This is a situation where players make a practical decision rather than an aesthetic one. Also, if you look at their site you will see that the Bacon Brothers use one of these. They are not playing classical music and the cello looks right in that setting. On tour with a band it's good to have something more sturdy too. Maybe these are priced a bit high at the moment for players to buy as spares. One thing I'm surprised at is that I don't hear more frustration from makers. I would have thought that some of you would at least like to do your own signature scroll for example, even if it was just a slight variation. I hear the argument that players have to pay the maker to make these things but from what I hear makers generally don't want to. Maybe some of you who would like to add small or big artistic/tonal changes would like to come forward and vent your spleens!
  4. It's very strange that we keep getting this kind of response again and again! Look, I'm sure you are all very tuned into the subtle differences in identical violins but please read what I've actually said. I understand that some of you like things as they are and that needn't change. However, I've just come back from a wedding gig where I was playing outdoors. It started raining and luckily I managed to get under cover with only a few spots of rain on my violin. The sound gets very lost outside and I was having to compete with a trumpet. Luckily I have a built in pickup and I plugged into a small amp which I keep in my car just in case. Really, I could have had the best Strad and it would have been the wrong instrument for the occasion. Why? Because it wouldn't have been heard and it would have got ruined in the rain. Okay, here's a little analogy for you. Imagine a golfer who has one club in his caddy. It's a multipurpose club and does the job very well considering it is multipurpose. He has one club for driving and putting etc (don't know much about golf!). He could rhapsodize about the beauty of the wood and the lovely shape of the head. He could also wad lyrical about how for him the limitations of having one club were all part of the joys of the game. Meanwhile Tiger Woods has thrashed him in a game with his caddy of clubs, each one having a specialized purpose. If he was an amateur he could allow himself the luxury of his one club but for professional tournaments he would have to be more practical.
  5. I hear what you are saying but we are not always talking about tonal elements here. A slightly different scroll or less pointy corners aren't going to affect the tone but that's rarely done either. I do hear what you are saying about people not being willing to put the money down though. My cornerless violin was ready made and I was able to try it first. I liked the look but really I chose it for the sound. I took a risk on an ebay cornerless violin and a viola but they were cheap enough to gamble. I just think we could look to the guitar world a bit sometimes. For diversity of look and sound they have it all. They also have the option of classical nylon string guitars.
  6. Well Yuen, considering I've had fillet mignon every day... Why chicken? Just for a change and for the sake of a varied diet! I can always eat fillet mignon tomorrow!
  7. Michael, that's a bit unfair considering I have gone to great pains to argue that traditional violins can live side by side with any kind of new or unusual instrument rather than rejecting all that has come before. Look, I come in peace! As a player I am asking you makers to consider musicians such as myself who play in circumstances other than a cosy concert hall and who don't just play classical music. On certain occasions I may need something that has stands up to weather conditions, on other occasions I may need something that can compete acoustically with a trumpet and sometimes I may need something that just looks a bit different in order to change people's preconceptions about the violin. The argument (for want of a better word) is NOT let's replace the Strad because it's boring and old. The argument is NOT let's stop making violins the way they have always been made and make them out of plastic instead. The argument is NOT let's try and make an instrument that sounds better than a Strad by radically changing the pattern forever. Sorry if I shout loud but mine is a minority voice in the conservative violin world. I'm hoping that some makers will take notice of a player rather than hobbyists players and makers who enjoy the aesthetics of the instrument as is. I'm also hoping that innovative makers get some kind of encouragement as they mainly get criticism. Now if one more of you guys post something about the beauty and simplicity of traditional instruments and that there is no need for change then I will throw a tantrum!!!
  8. I really get the impression that you guys think an alternative violin is some kind of threat to your valued aesthetics about the violin. I've made my point over and over again why there is place for an alternative (I'm not just talking about carbon fiber) in addition to the traditional violins and all we get is the kind of reply above again and again. All the simplicity, tradition and limitation that you appreciate will not go away with the advent of something a bit different. Nothing I'm suggesting is compulsory! Okay, as I'm a bit frustrated that my point is not being understood please enjoy the following skit: Scene: A restaurant Waiter: Welcome sir, can I take your order? Customer: Well there only appears to be fillet mignon on the menu! Waiter: That's correct sir, fillet mignon is the finest dish. Do you mean to say that you do not like fillet mignon? Customer: I like it very much but I always seem to have it. I just wondered if you have anything else for a change? Waiter: Like what sir? Customer: Like some chicken or something? Waiter: But sir, fillet mignon is far superior to chicken. Customer: Erm, some may say... but I would just like a change. Waiter: You mean you'll never eat fillet mignon again. Customer: No, I probably will but just not today. Waiter: Are you suggesting that nobody ever eat fillet mignon? Customer: Er, no... Look, I can't see why the only choice is fillet mignon, they seem to do this at every restaurant in these parts. Waiter: Sir, it's a tradition going way back, it has beautiful simplicity, the dish is so good that you need never eat anything else ever! Customer: I just fancy some chicken today. Waiter: But I don't like chicken! Customer: ???????? Waiter: So fillet mignon it is then sir. Customer: Wait a minute, I need a different dish for other reasons too. I have a dietary problem with red meat. Waiter: Sir, nothing else is on the menu. Customer: Well, couldn't the chef do something a little different? I mean maybe he would like a change too. Waiter: If we did that then we would lose fillet mignon forever. Customer: Well how about preparing the beef in a different way. Waiter: Are you suggesting burgers sir? There is a MacDonalds down the road. Customer: How about coq au vin or steak au poivre? Waiter: They are crass gimmicky dishes sir. Customer: Can I order fillet mignon and a side dish of something else as well? Waiter: Why would you want to - the fillet mignon is enough. Customer: Alright then I'll have fillet mignon - well done please. Waiter: Sir, we only do medium rare as that is the best way. It should never be done any other way. Customer: You know what, I'm going to skip main course and just have dessert! What do you have for dessert today? Waiter: Fillet mignon!
  9. quote: Until people start seeing these carbon fiber violins in concerts played by leading soloists, I doubt they will sell as well as the cello. But I do hope that the technology can become a lot cheaper so that we can have better student instruments for $500. I don't think it's leading soloists who will be the influencers here, I reckon non-classical violinists are more likely to be using them at first. The main factor will be the price of course just as it was with carbon fiber bows. I remember when they were new and shops were saying, 'what's the point when you can get a better wooden bow for that money?' Now we see people happily buying carbon fiber bows as they are cheap and compare well or better than whatever else is in the same price range. Many people will have them as spares or use them in situations where they don't want to take an expensive bow. Students also have better bows thanks to carbon fiber and they stand up to a careless kid better than pernumbuco or brazil wood. Notice they haven't replaced wood but live side by side - even helping to preserve nice old wooden bows. So really the popularity aspect would come down to price and justification. The justification would typically be to have a carbon fiber instrument as a durable spare for situations where the player would not want to risk their precious wooden instrument (outdoor playing, extreme temperature or humidity, flight baggage hold, risk of theft, crazy drunk audience etc, etc...) or as a fairly decent student instrument - rugged yet decent tone for the money spent. If you could buy a spare violin that could sound like a $2000 instrument for $200 say, might you not be tempted?
  10. Yuen, maybe you should read what I've actually been trying to say over and over! In this particular strand I'm talking about the 'durable spare'. I don't mean to insult anyone here but I get the impression that a lot of you don't gig much!!! I'm a jobbing musician and I'm not driven by limo to play as a soloist with a symphony orchestra! Anybody who plays for weddings must have experienced drunks from time to time - the sort of person that dances too close to the musicians and falls on top of them! Kids? Usually a bunch of them tearing around like a bunch of crazies. I'm often asked to play in the blazing sun in the summer and have even had one gig in the winter where I had to walk outside playing from heavy central heating to extreme cold where I could hear my tuning change as I played. I have a nice old violin and I don't think of replacing it, rather I think of preserving it. I have a working violin which is not as valuable but still nice and still a worry as it is made of wood and fragile. I also have an $80 violin which I use for extreme conditions such as playing outside in bad conditions. The tone is brash but quite frankly when you play outside the nuances of tone that you connoisseurs appreciate so much are lost. A carbon fiber instrument would be nice for a lot of the things I do as it would at the very least take away a lot of worry. Now you can argue that they'll never be the same tone as a Strad but....oh I hope I've made my point by now!!!!! I've seen other violinists take their valuable instruments to any situation and I think they are nuts! I knew one person who got a $70,000 mortgage on an instrument soon after leaving college. He was staying on a boat one time and came back from a gig drunk and dropped the violin in the water! If he had had a spare (carbon fiber for instance) then this work of art would have been spared - not replaced - spared! Oh, and he could have picked it out of the water and played it fine!
  11. Yeah, but your beautiful Italian wooden instrument won't sound that great after being tossed into the plane by morons, freezing below zero in the hold and then tossed around by more morons when you land! When your wooden violin is a pile of matchsticks it won't sound all that complex and rich either!
  12. I can't see where I actually said this CT. You are distilling something from this post and I think it's unfair to write it as a quote as if I said that. I really don't see my position as saying 'everyone should think my way'. Rather I'm trying to say that old violins and modern violins can live side by side and I find it frustrating when innovators are shot down all the time. Really I've had enough of this debate as I feel I'm beating my head against the wall, although Joseph Curtin wrote an article for Strings magazine which had uncanny similarity to my opening posts so at least we may have had some influence here!!!! I just wanted to add a footnote in the light of the changes in flight rules for hand-luggage. I just thought this was a good reason to have a carbon fiber violin (for instance) even if they are not as good as a wooden one as the alternative would be to have them put in the hold and endure subzero temperatures and baggage handling monkies! A Strad may well be a million times better than a carbon violin but who would be crazy enough to put one in the baggage hold?! Hopefully by now I've made my point!
  13. Okay, okay, I know this post is dead and gone but I just thought I'd add a note now that there are the tough rules for hand luggage on flights. As you have to put your instrument in the hold isn't this a good reason to have a rugged alternative? Carbon fiber perhaps? Something that could survive sub-zero temperatures and baggage handlers. Preserve that old precious instrument of yours!!!
  14. Well, it seem like this is a good time to buy one of these instruments now that you cannot take your instrument on as hand luggage!
  15. I used to have problems with corroding strings, especially Pirastro Eudoxas. The string I mostly use these days is D'Addario Helicores and they don't seem to corrode.
  16. I once saw jazz pianist Chick Corea play Mozart with an improvised cadenza. He played the cadenza in his own style and that seemed right to me. It's such a shame that classical musicians today can't improvise cadenzas or are not encouraged to. It seems the whole convention of playing classical music these days is that you follow the composer's intentions to the letter and yet when the composer wants the soloist to improvise they don't!
  17. Oh, and what you are used to!
  18. People are always really keen to state how ugly they think his instruments are just as they are quick to dismiss any unusual string instrument as if it has no right to exist. Well, I think the conventional shape is very ugly but I wouldn't advocate ceasing all production of that shape - there is room for everything. I like the conventional shape when I see an old instrument but when I see a brand new conventional shape there is something really nasty looking to me - like reproduction period furniture. Also, having lived with 3 cornerless instruments for some time the corners seem really fussy and spikey to me. You see, it's all in the eye of the beholder!
  19. I have a Baggs bridge which I like very much. I know that some people don't like the fact that you can't remove them but you can! Just get a bridge jack, raise the strings, take out the bridge and change it for your acoustic bridge.
  20. Larson gold E. Doesn't whistle like other gold E's
  21. Patient: Doctor, doctor, every time I drive through a long underpass I have this overwhelming urge to take other people with me in the car. I just can't live with the thought of us all driving separately through the underpass. Doctor: Sounds to me like you have CAR POOL TUNNEL SYNDROME!!! badabum!
  22. I've actually had quite a bit of success keeping carpal tunnel (I didn't even know that cubital tunnel existed!) at bay with Flextend: Flextend website I wish I could say that I followed their whole exercise regime but I'm having good results by just using it once a day. It seems that by using the opposite group of muscles that you are putting the groups in balance and avoiding the problem somewhat. Maybe you could get a similar exercise to flextend by putting a rubber band around the outside of your fingers and stretching outwards. Otherwise, get rid of your mouse and get a pen and tablet. I'm sure the computer mouse is more responsible for my problem than the violin.
  23. I once heard a story from a repairer of a kid who had a bent flute because his father hit him around the head with it after he wouldn't practice! That's what I was told anyway. I find it hard to believe anybody would actually do that though!
  24. I was playing my 5 string violin at a gig once and a violin student came up to me and asked, "but what clef do you use for that?!". Get out of the reading mindset, play by ear and improvise and you have a lot of use for a 5 string! Of course you can use treble, alto, bass or anything you like as far as clef is concerned but for somebody who purely reads music they are perplexed as to what repertoire they could possibly draw on to make the instrument useful. Well, there is a whole other world of music out there, just don't expect to read music for all of it!!!
  25. I have three cornerless instruments. They sound great! My theory is that you are better off without corners as there is less stuff to impede the resonance. Or perhaps it makes little or no difference. However, I can't really see how you can ultimately tell what is better seeing as one instrument will sound so different from another even if it and identical shape. How can you possibly compare? There are other advantages to the shape: they are simpler to make and less fragile.
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