Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Michael Darnton

Members
  • Posts

    430
  • Joined

  • Last visited

2 Followers

Recent Profile Visitors

2713 profile views

Michael Darnton's Achievements

Senior Member

Senior Member (4/5)

  1. You're right--cutting the stuff out of the ends of the f-holes is an easy job. If it's not done you'll find it to be a very probable cause of mysterious buzzes. Judging by the "quality" (using the term loosely :-) of the varnish job, the person who "fit" the pegs may have just neglected to saw the sticking-out ends off and finish them off. Nevertheless, you might want the job to be redone by someone who knows what he's doing, or have the present ones refit and properly finished. : Hello! Have been loving the board for the past 6 months. I'm an adult learner (31) new to the violin. I have purchased a German Strad copy poss circa 1900's off of the internet. As it is to be my Christmas present I haven't yet taken it to my local violin shop for repairs but had a strange question. : 1) It seems that it has been revarnished to the point where the f-holes are bridged at the tops and bottoms by varnish. I assume that a luthier can simply cut through these with a knife, but am not sure. Anyone else have experience with this? (p.s. did not pay alot for it but it does seem to sound nice and resonate well enough, as far as I can tell) : 2) Also the pegs dont hold but seem to be worn about halfway through the pegbox, which doesn't seem to be damaged at all. I was going to ask if it needs new pegs but that seems rather obvious now that I think on it a bit. : Thanks very much!! : Frank
  2. Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought the original post referred to neck centering, not string spacing or neck length. Both of those problems are very easily dealt with, without a neckset, usually. Only violinists get really worried about body length, string length and string spacing--violists switch these things with almost every different instrument they buy, and the cello situation is only slightly better. If that's the problem, don't worry at all! : : I am actually overjoyed with the way my violin sounds. There were times when I thought that I might be able to do better, but trips to various violin shops proved to me and the shop owners, otherwise. It is curious to me however that I get this great sound only through the use of one of the 4 bridges that have been made for this violin. : My main concern in the original post (sorry I wasn't clear) was whether or not I was training my fingers to some strange spacing, only specific to my violin, and that one day, I would only be able to play in tune on that violin. How would you advise your customers in this regard? : Thanks : : : Whether your violin will respond at all to a neck set depends very much on the violin. As Stefan said, it you are happy with the sound and response of your violin you should leave it alone, but as little as 1/2mm wrong in the position of a neck or bridge can have significant results on the sound of very sensitive instruments. There is usually a "sweet spot" where a violin suddenly sounds its best, and that spot is usually with the strings running perfectly straight (on average) down the center of the instrument. On really fine violins, deviating from this can ruin the sound of the instrument; on lesser ones it can make no difference at all. In this spectrum of adjustments, the neckset, bridge position, post position, and endpin location all play a part. : : If your violin responds a lot to soundpost position changes, then it's probably sensitive to all of this; if not, then not. For fun, you could try moving th
  3. : Debatable point-- not only do you have pure Strad men like Joachim, Oistrakh and others to contend with, but also the fact that most Guarneri partisans have also owned Strads. In contrast, Strad men seem not to be tempted by the Guarneri siren. Let's not forget that only 20% of Strad owners can own a del Gesu, even if all del Gesus were to go to Strad owners. Of course you can come up with players who prefer Strads--against them I'll put Paganini, Kreisler, Heifetz, and a lot of other top shelf del Gesu owners. Traditionally, a del Gesu has been the step-up instrument for Strad owners--that is to say, though there's something immediately satisfying about a Strad, I'll bet you that very few players have moved from a del Gesu to a Strad, and many more del Gesu owners had a Strad as a way-station.
  4. With a bit of age, I'd say they were almost inevitable. : Would you say saddle cracks and wing cracks are the most common?
  5. Whether your violin will respond at all to a neck set depends very much on the violin. As Stefan said, it you are happy with the sound and response of your violin you should leave it alone, but as little as 1/2mm wrong in the position of a neck or bridge can have significant results on the sound of very sensitive instruments. There is usually a "sweet spot" where a violin suddenly sounds its best, and that spot is usually with the strings running perfectly straight (on average) down the center of the instrument. On really fine violins, deviating from this can ruin the sound of the instrument; on lesser ones it can make no difference at all. In this spectrum of adjustments, the neckset, bridge position, post position, and endpin location all play a part. If your violin responds a lot to soundpost position changes, then it's probably sensitive to all of this; if not, then not. For fun, you could try moving the tailgut sideways on the saddle, in the opposite direction from the offset on the neck, and see what happens. Moving the endpin hole is one of the quick fixes for a crooked neck. It won't make the strings go down the center of the instrument, but it can help bring them into a straight line. Likewise, moving the bridge a bit in the east-west direction can have strong effects. Or none. In your case, with a crooked neck, it might help bring things into line, and the right place for the bridge might not be right in the center--you never know until you try. These are the kinds of experiments that are done in a shop to determine the best setup for a violin, and are the type that you can easily try at home--just make sure you note where everything started so you can get back there if you want. This is why you probably don't want the neck reset on your violin: if it's not the right thing to do, it will be very expensive and invasive to get it back where it was. Normally this would be the type of repair that a shop would do while it (the shop) owned an instrument, because it has the potential to completely change a violin in ways a current owner might not like. : Stefan, : I know from the posts here, that you have extensive knowledge of the violin itself, and that you are a world class player. This is a rare combination! I've owned and played on a professional quality violin for the past 10 years, but recently it has come to my attention that the neck and fingerboard is crooked by 2mm's toward the treble side, but the bridge is centered relative to the f-holes. Should this be a concern? I don't seem to have a problem playing other violins and no one has ever complained about my violin being hard to play. : Thanks for any insights.
  6. On the other hand, it could just be that del Gesus are better violins than Strads--the top players from Paganini on to the present seem to have preferred them. . . . .Oliviera proves himself to be such a Guarneri man. Not just objectively (it says in the notes that he plays a del Gesu full time), but subjectively. He pulls nuances out of the Guarneris that he simply couldn't get out of the Strads. . . .
  7. Are you sure it's moved? Just because there's a pencil mark there, doesn't mean that's the only place it's ever been, or been recently. If it sounds OK to you, leave it (if it's not broken, don't fix it.) : Hi, : Forgive me yet another soundpost query, but none of : the old posts on this subject answered my question: : My soundpost appears to have shifted slightly -- I : can now see a pencil outline around where it apparently : used to be on the back of the violin. The soundpost : still appears to be more or less straight (that is, : perpendicular to the back & top), and I can't : distinguish a change in the sound. What could have : caused it to move? -- I haven't restrung the instrument, : or fussed with it in any way. And, is it urgent that : I have it re-set to the original position? : Thanks for your advice. I'd rather avoid a visit to : the luthier this time of year if possible! : Loren
  8. I've seen about 80 Strads. I think three of them did not have soundpost cracks in the top. Usually a post crack is not the first one a violin gets; many of those 80 violins would have had 15 or 20 cracks on their tops, some might have had only four or five. Tops are particularly vulnerable (a 2.5mm thick piece of very soft wood, holding up 25 pounds of pressure from the bridge, and up top 75 pounds at the ends), and generally are simply an accident waiting to happen. Backs usually fare much better. Was I the dealer who told you that? I've certainly said it enough, myself. :-) Cracks are proportional to age: very few 10 year old violins have them; many 100 year old ones do; almost all 250 year old ones do. : I was once discussing how much cracks in the top of a violin affect its value with a dealer. He made the comment that just about all strads have cracks and that they are usually so well repaired that it is hard to detect them. Does anyone out there agree with this? Are there any big time (ones that are played by prominent soloists) strads or guarneris with major cracks? Just curious. Thanks
  9. What you see is actually 100s of years of abuse--wear and overdone polishing. Here's a picture of a Guarneri which probably NEVER was polished. Modern makers who have familiarity with the way the old violins originally looked often try to replicate this look, rather than the over-polished one. These days it's considered in very bad taste to take an instrument with any trace of that original texture and try to make it look like a bartop. : Whenever I look at the Strads or Gaurneris of virtuoso : players on TV while they are playing, they look very new. : I have been wondering how hundreds year old violins can look : that shinny and new. Is it due to the fact that on such : violins, new varnish is done to look more nice?
  10. In general, curved surfaces are strong, and flat ones are weak. This is used in cars, for instance to make thin panels of metal stiff. Wood is an unusual substance in that it does not act the same in all directions. For instance while it's sometimes possible to roll a guitar top up from sided to side into a tube, you could never do the same end to end, because spruce is much stiffer in length than width. Thinking about that, you can see that it that same guitar top were flat, suspended over a hole, if you tried to stand on it, it would probably collapse, and you can guess in which direction it would fail. On the other hand, if the same shape was half-rolled into the half-cylindrical shape of a quonset hut, there's a very good chance you could stand on top of it, if you didn't move around much. Because it's so much stronger in one direction than the other this works, but if it were uniformly strong in all directions, then you would need to make it into the shape of a dome, giving extra strength in all directions. In forming such a half-cylinder, you might see that there's an ideal curve--where the lengthwise strength matches the strength across--more or less curve than the ideal is inefficient. This is one possible reason that in length tops on better violins are quite flat, but the arch across is often quite tight--in order to equalize the distribution of the downward forces on a violin top. Since the forces are different on the back, it is not constructed this way. The other possible reason is because that's the way the old guys did it (or at least that's the way their tops appear to us now), and experience shows that a top made that way sounds better. : Hi Guys, : I'm working on my second violin and before I complete the final arching, I've got a question. Why the assymetry in back and belly archings? Why do makers arch the middle of the belly flatter than the back? I was thinking of making symmetrical arhings without a flattened top but want to check with fellow luthiers first. Thanks!
  11. Try 0000 steel wool, then make sure you get it ALL off! Don't feel like you have to get off every last zit, or you'll go too far. If you heat your varnish up to thin it out then maybe you can filter it so this won't happen next time. : Hello, : Well, on the violin I'm varnishing, in the most recent coat of oil varnish I have a problem. This is not the final coat. The varnish in the jar has become contaminated with some sort of dirt and fuzz. The result is that the violin has a coat that is now furry in some places. It isn't acceptable. : I think I have two choices. First is to rub it out with micromesh. The problem with this is that I have some nice ridging on the top that I do not want to lose. The other option is to wipe all the varnish off and start over. Will the rubbing out the fuzz take down the ridges, or should I start again? : A. Brown
  12. No, they were given that number by a dealer who was basing his number on private sales. He didn't, however, say what number he was adding $1.25 million to, and the news subsequently added it to the record auction result, coming up with an incorrect number. : In the newspaper at my house, there was a small excerpt stating that the late Yehudi Menuhin's violin sold on auction for over $1.25 million more than a violin had ever sold(publically I assume) before. : Jonathan
  13. From just watching for months I can tell you some of the risks. First, if it says "Italian" or "possibly Italian" and starts under $1000, it isn't--no way, don't even dream. Over $5000 it *might* be Italian, but the chances of it being the name advertised aren't good. On other illustrious nationalities the chances are better, but still not reliable. The best deals in violins seem to be in the $300-500 range, if one can determine the condition of the instrument is good, AND one knows a little about violins--enough to tell from pictures what's there. . . and very few people can really do that. At the very lowest end of reliability, I know that one regular poster there is the last member of a very long food chain, and that his offerings have been previously seen and rejected by almost every professional dealer in the country, and many players. If that filtering process appeals to you, bid on. None of this addresses at all the problem of seller honesty, packing or anything of that order, which all add to the burden. I don't doubt that one can purchase a violin there, and do well, but I've also heard tons of horror stories--enough that I think someone who doesn't know what he's doing should stay away. Your $600 cello purchase would seem to be in the safest category, by my standards, though, so good luck. : Whenever I browse messages on this esteemed board I can't help : noticing that there's always plenty of : derogatory comments about Ebay. "Junk" instruments, : references to "horror" stories.... It's like a kiddie scary : myth.. eat your food or I'll sell you at Ebay !! : As a NeoBayista ( having bid, payed but not yet received a cello) : I'm starting to notice a slight sinking feeling.. : Is it warranted ? Has anyone had bad experiences with instruments : not being what they were advertised to be ? : bad packing ? : But, Hey..is there anywhere else where one can get a $600 cello ? : ( I know.. I shouldn't be looking for a $600 cello, or a $2000 jet airplane : or a $23.99 heart transplant for that matter...! but I've developed : this insatiable lust for cello without the capital to back it) : thanks.. : Dimitri
  14. The figures you read in the press (and apparently in Guinness) don't say a thing about the real prices of violins. They are taken from the only public records those sources have access to--auction reports--but don't include the majority of sales of fine instruments, which are entirely private, and tend to stay that way. Real sales prices are greatly over those that have been reported in the press recently. : I just got the Guinness Book of World Records as a gift and under valuable items it lists the Kreutzer Stradivari of 1727 as being the most valuable violin. It is said to have sold for $1,516,000 on April 1, 1998 at Christie's Auction in London, England. Is this correct that it is the most valuable violin? I always believed that there have been Strads and del Gesus out there in the +3 million dollar range. : any info.... : thanx : roman
  15. Generally, I'm with Oded. : Note that not a single serious response was given to Glen's question. Once a response is given to a question, even if not answered, the chances of another serious answer are nil. I did, however, think Oded's answer was very humorous. Unfortunately, I think he is probably correct! : _______________________________________________ : : : : Bass bars usually wear out at about the same time that the luthier needs to make a boat payment :-) : : : : : : : : : : : : Do bassbars weaken over time and need replacing? I have read that they do, but I suspect the real reason they need replacing is because the top dries out over time and requires a heavier bassbar to compensate?
×
×
  • Create New...