David Burgess

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About David Burgess

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    Ann Arbor, Michigan

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  1. Yup. My wife, who was doing regular paid gigs from the age of about 14, has such a discriminating sense of sound, that I consult her every chance I get.
  2. I'm quite sure that there is, if you will spend as much time talking to the engineers at the various string manufacturers as I have. On the personal experience end, I have replaced a ton of old strings with new. Sometimes, the difference will be more apparent by replacing only one string, since less time elapses to forget how the string sounded before, and one still has the other three older strings for comparison. That said, some will prefer the cleaner sound and more immediate response of a new string, while others will prefer the the properties of an older and more used string.
  3. I have done only one or two experiments with reversing only the strings, but the fiddles seemed to sound and play (aside from hand-to-peg clearance) very much like they did before. I do get why in theory, this shouldn't be so. Just passing along my findings.
  4. Agreed. The violin doesn't appear to need major work, unless the lower block is split. More information on that could be gained by looking at the lower block from the inside with good lighting and a mirror. But don't under-estimate the difficulty of making a new upper nut, to anything better than hack-job standards. A really nice upper nut remains a huge challenge for even those who have good training, and a lot of experience. It can go downhill from there.
  5. Yup! Why does it take a NASA engineer to expose so many of the foibles in fiddlemaking thought?
  6. I will suggest that as far as the bridge goes, much more would need to be done than "flipping" it, starting with at least refitting the feet to their new positions, while also adjusting the lean angle, if enough wood remains to do so.
  7. "TBDS (top block distress syndrome)..." Too funny, but also very true. The neck just resting against the top will do very different things, both structurally and acoustically, than having a solid joint there.
  8. Many of the better repairers/restorers I have run across, who have done a lot more repair than I have, have stressed the importance of a good bond between the top and the upper block. When sound goes downhill, separation between these parts is one of the things they look for.
  9. Granted, the Las Vegas Strip area is probably pulling in a lot more money than Roswell. The last time I drove down the Las Vegas strip (on my way to attend the Spring Mountain racing school a little west of there), some good looking and extraordinarily scantily-clad women waved to me from a street corner. Las Vegas does have some really friendly people.
  10. I'm not understanding why a piece of pine, properly chosen and fitted to the top, "would not go along with the grain in any way".
  11. To me, both of the above seem like good responses. One does occasionally get some "nut-job" players. When I was working in the Weisshaar shop, these tended to be "Las Vegas show" musicians. How could one get much further from reality than by living and working in a Las Vegas tourist hotel/casino?
  12. Ya also got Michael Becker and John Becker, both also in Chicago, in the fiddle biz, and both unrelated to either of the Carl Beckers mentioned in this thread. And there may be more. Luckily for me, the only two other Burgesses I know of involved in the fiddle trade live far outside of Ann Arbor. One in Louisiana, and the other in Australia. Some of you will have run into my buddy, Anya Burgess. But when I first moved to Ann Arbor, there was a Burgess Viola listed in the phone book (last name was listed first in the phone book). Apparently, she passed on back in 1995. Wah. Obituary: https://obits.mlive.com/obituaries/annarbor/obituary.aspx?n=viola-burgess&pid=15813462
  13. Which Beckers? I don't recall having seen one of Carl Seniors which wasn't antiqued. or one of Carl Junior's which was. Not that I have seen everything, by any means. Is that why it is so common to describe the sound of a violin as similar to that of a scalded cat?
  14. LOL. My mom and dad cut our hair when we were kids. When I asked how they decided how and where to cut (I was so much of a nerd that I sincerely wanted to know), I was given some sort of explanation about evening up the lengths. So naturally, I tried to practice and pass on my new-found knowledge via trimming the cat's whiskers. My sister still claims that after my neatening-up job on the cat, he was walking into walls and doorjambs. I'm pretty sure this has always been a lie.
  15. I'm not sure. Would you whack any of your horses around the knees or ankles with a baseball bat in order to "antique" them, and thus render them more desirable in some sort of market segment?