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  1. Everybody seems pretty keen to comment on Nina Kotova's good looks, but nobody mentions Yo-Yo Ma's looks? Do they think he's ugly? Or do they think it's irrelevant how good looking a male musician is? Have you noticed that every well known female musician is good looking? It seems to be obvious that women can only play well if they are good looking.
  3. : I have a violin that has these features to it.. : Inside it says Antonius Straduarius. Another couple words follow. Cremonenfis, but the f is not crossed and the last word is Faciebat,Anno 1736. I've got lots of info on it already, but I want to know if its true.. Please reply to my information. Thank-you Derby
  4. I recently bought a bow on eBay only to find that the poorly fitting frog (cracked) does not match the stick, according to the roman numerals scratched by the makers on the bow and stick. Also, the stick, of some flimsey mysterywood, was plainly stamped "made in Japan" on the underside, which had gone undescribed. I contacted the sellers, who said "Oh, sorry, we know nothing about bows", although to their credit they offered a refund. Anybody else had such experiences? Jeff
  5. I have several bows like those, with ivory frogs (from estate sales), and they are definitely of factory quality rather than handmade. Pretty, yes, but discriminating players that I've shown them to tend to be unimpressed by the playing qualities and instead put their money into no-nonsense bows by known makers. Jeff
  6. Hi... I am borrowing a fiddle from my uncle to learn how to play, so i can play in his band... i was wondering if any of you had any ideas about any good sites or books i can look at or buy to help me learn... or maybe any of you would have some good pointers to start out with... like i said, i am new to this... i don't even know what notes to tune the strings to... anyways, any information that anyones gives me will be much appriciated... thanks for your time... -Jeff-
  7. I bought a simple wooden gauge (like the spaghetti openings) from my bow-making teacher, calibrated to give a nice, fairly sparse ribbon of hair. The gauge shows the amount of hair to be used for violin, viola, cello, or bass. Also, the gauge automatically compensates for hair thickness; indicating that more thin hairs, or fewer thick hairs, should be used. Better quality hair is thicker, by the way.
  8. How does that compare to a 3/4 violin marked "John Juzek, violin maker formally of Prague made in Germany", with a hand signature of John Juzek, printed on a white label with black trim. The asking price from the local dealer is $950.00. If you tell me how, I can send a jpeg picture.
  9. I purchased a Durro violin in fine condition, dated 1901, from an estate sale, complete with rectangular case and an excellent gold-plated "Durro" bow. I consider it an outstanding instrument; one of the best "factory" violins that I've seen (I am a violin dealer). Of course, we don't know what model your violin is; Durro made a variety of violins of varying quality. Take it to a violin shop. You might check the case for a matching "Durro" bow; the matched set is more valuable than a Durro violin with some generic bow. you can see a photo of my Durro violin at http://members.aol.com/loenviolin/durro.htm : : According to my mother, her father bought his violin in the early years of this century. I have had this : violin in my closet for twenty some years because I do not play any musical instrument, and because it needs : some repairs in order to be playable. I remember as a child that the violin had a full rich sound; however, : it hasn't been played for perhaps thirty years. There are two labels inside the violin. One reads: Special : Model of Antonius Stradivarius / Cremonensis Faciebat 1903. The other reads: Salvadore de Durro / B & J : New York / Sole Importers. There is a "D" in script at the base of the neck on the underside of the violin. : I assume that there was a violin workshop in Cremona, at the turn of the century whose proprietor was named : Salvadore de Durro. I understand that many violins were cheaply manufactered early in this century and : were not of good quality. Nevertheless, I question whether my grandfather would have bought a cheap violin : because there was also a lovely, handsomely carved foot pedal organ in the house (my grandmother played the : organ at church). I would appreciate opinions as to whether I should spend the money for valuation and : possible repairs. Thanks. :
  10. : : But ... red herrings aside, What do you think of the hinged vs. fixed plate idea, and how does purfling installation affect the size of the plate that vibrates? : . : I don't think anyone knows, but my hunch is that the violin vibrates as a unit, and sound doesn't realize that it crosses purfling as it moves through the instrument. That way, both your models would have some effect on the sound of the instrument, but neither would be predictive as to what the tone of a given instrument would be. I'd like to add that each year at the Tucson violin maker's workshop, the instructor shows a video showing detailed plate motions of a "good sounding (Italian, Strad I believe)" violin vs a "bad sounding (German, Lowendahl, I believe)" violin, and points out a significantly greater area of top plate movement in the good violin. If this is to be believed, then construction methods that allow greater top movement would be prefered.
  11. Michael says: : Or, you could look at it this way: first, for visual reasons, all edges start around 3.6mm or so in thickness but top edges get thinner from the more tender tops being taken on and off. Second, backs are thicker than tops, in general, and backs are graduated in thickness, but tops are not. So if you take off the part of the edge that everone sees, and the transitional area needed to get to that thickness, tops are pretty much the same thickness all over, whereas backs are thick in the middle and thin towards the edges. Jeff says: Yes, that makes sense, and follows from Sacconi's remark that "the top is a membrane and ... must have a constant thickness". But why do almost all leading violin making books and articles (Hutchins, Campbell, Strobel, Reid, Geiger, etc.) give maps for tops that have much thicker central areas (3-4 mm) thinning out to the flanks (2.2-2.5)? Heron-Allen is the only one I found that said "make the top all the same thickness". Is this a difference between the "German school" and the "Italian school"? or does it have to do with the top needing a hardening treatment in order to be scraped real thin? or do the books just get it all wrong?
  12. I've been studying the graduation patterns of 25 Del Gesu violins shown in new Biddulph book. These include some illustrious axes, including the Kreisler, the Stern, the Joachim, and numerous others. For example, the tops of the 3 violins mentioned are graduated opposite of the usual scheme; they have a central longitudinal zone of 1.8-2.5 mm occupying the area between the f-holes, and grade outward to thicknesses of 3.0-3.8 mm along the edges. On the other hand, most of the backs show the usual "bull's eye" pattern, grading from about 4-6.5 in the center, out to 2.2-3.0 at the edges. Obviously, some of these tops have been scraped, but the reverse graduation pattern repeats too often (and in some of the finest violins) to be a coincidence. Can anyone explain why tops might be reverse graduated? Jeff
  13. : Michael responds: : I'm not going to get sucked into a tuning discussion--just wanted to put in my two cents worth. $0.02 cashed in. The mention of tuning in my original post was incidental, and I agree there's nothing new to add to that discussion (it was never my intent to discuss plate tuning). But ... red herrings aside, What do you think of the hinged vs. fixed plate idea, and how does purfling installation affect the size of the plate that vibrates? Jeff
  14. : Hello: : I don't know what you mean by "hinged." Al, I refer to the anchorage for the edges of the plates. Eigenmodes for fixed (clamped) plates (i.e. held in a vise) oscillate at frequencies as much as 75% higher than for a hinged boundary (a flexible boundary, for example a 2.5 mm deep purfling groove with purfling loosely glued in on a 3 m edge--that leaves 0.5 mm to do the "hinging". Could this highly variable "boundary problem" be a reason why free plate tuning often gives unpredictable results? : I do know free plate resonances have very little to do with how the violin performs. I have used the Eingen mode method, tap tone tuning and flexing freedom. The latter produces the best sound for me. Perfling matters little, also. Some of the best sounding violins I ever heard had no perfling at all. Well, I beg to differ. Resonances have everything to do with how the instrument performs. The problem is knowing how the free plate responses relate to assembled whole-body modes. My whole point is that the plate boundary conditions can either help or hurt whatever tuning method you choose. But many makers apparently don't even know what kind of plate edge behavior they are building into their violins. Yes, some fiddles without purfling sound great. But we don't know how they would sound with purfling, so we can't conclude that purfling matters little. Some controlled experiments obviously are called for--play it with purfling, purfle, then play again. Then maybe we can start to form some reliable conclusions. thanks for your response
  15. Although many violin makers tune the top and back plates in the "free" condition, once assembled the plate behavoir is either hinged (flexible) or fixed (clamped), depending on the nature of the glued joints with ribs, linings, and purfling. I assume that a "hinged" joint is preferable because a larger area of the plate vibrates. Is this correct? Do makers consiously install their purfling in such a way (loosely?) to help the plates swing? What sorts of things do makers do to encourage a hinged, rather than fixed, plate action?
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