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Keith Rogers

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Everything posted by Keith Rogers

  1. Everyone there was very nice - no reflection on the folks who brought the instruments at all. I have no doubt they would have told me prices had I asked. But, I'd never been at anything like that, and wasn't in the market, so reigned in my curiosity, for better or worse. When I have my checkbook with me, I'll be sure to ask.
  2. Several of the instruments were for sale, but they didn't have price tags on them, obviously. Since I was already well outside my normal "envelope," I didn't want to focus the "outsider" light too brightly by asking prices. You know, "If you have to ask ...."
  3. It was in a private home, but one that is often used for recitals and musical "get-togethers," apparently. It was large and open, and fairly bright, with tile/marble floors and a lot of windows. The sound carried everywhere. I was not privvy to the invite list, being a bit of a crasher (using son as passkey ). We got there and left early because our day was already booked, and couldn't stay to really hear many others, and before at least one more Strad was to arrive. Besides Eugene Fodor and the brother (LA Phil violinist) of the homeowner, I was told there would be Houston Symphony members, among others, and, indeed, one I recognized arrived before we left.
  4. Guess I should have mentioned - it was in Houston.
  5. Our son had the fortune of attending a master class given by Eugene Fodor this past Friday, and yesterday there was a small gathering featuring some high-end instruments. Among them a Strad, Pietro Guarneri of Venice, Rogeri (said to have been Mozart's violin), Balestrieri, Platner, Jacobs, and, last (but not least) a couple by Gregg Alf. The high point was that these were all just laying out on a table for playing. So, that's what people were doing, and our son got to play each of these instruments. I think he's ruined! But, he certainly has a better idea on what he wants to look for when/if he ever gets in the market for a better instrument. It was great to meet Gregg Alf. His instruments are beautiful, and I know they are at the top of the list of ones to try again. He also did an on-the-spot adjustment of the Scott Cao our son is currently using.
  6. I would try the light gauge. (concordmusic.com carries gauges of Evah & Dominant both, or, at least, that's where I get light Doms)
  7. Body oil will stain maple, so it's likely to not look great after a while, but it depends on your tastes, I suppose. That's why Fender lacquers the maple fretboards on their electric guitars. Look at an old one where the lacquer has worn off, and they're pretty brown in high usage areas. You'd definitely want to try and seal it with something to slow down that process.
  8. A long time ago I was with someone who was trying tung oil as a guitar finish (don't ask). He stuffed the rags inside the guitar and we went out to lunch. Returned and there was smoke *pouring* out of the soundhole. 5 more minutes and the whole place would have been in flames.
  9. Slightly older thread, but I used Violino strings on the kids' fractionals with good results, though my preference is to get those strings, and others that try to span sizes, e.g., 1/2-3/4, only for the larger of the 2 sizes. We use Dominants elsewhere; they work. Does anyone else use Concord Music for strings? I got their name from Pirastro some years back when I was looking for a source for fractional Violino strings, and still use them on occasion. I just ordered light Dominants (one of the few places that lets you pick them online) with a Larsen E on Wednesday, and they arrived today. I knew they were closing for 2 weeks so assumed I *might* have them mid-August. $1.50 s/h, too.
  10. I hadn't looked at Tarisio in some time. There are definitely an overwhelming number of mediocre looking instruments here, which is, I guess, what it's supposed to be. I agree, a lot of the prices look high compared to eBay - certainly you could regret your purchase without venturing too far over the opening bid, let alone reserve on some, I think. But, at least you'll get something for your money - not always a guarantee on eBay. Don't forget buyer's premium and shipping when deciding to plunge. And the photos, gosh, no time wasted there. Glare, off angle, not what I'm used to, but I guess given the prices, they were saving electricity or something.
  11. My son's 3/4 (ca 1900 Mittenwald, I guess) "developed" a completely crushed top. The kids "have no idea" how this happened... I've never seen anything like it, though I'm sure some of you have. The top is fractured in 2, with multiple cracks, bassbar broken/split, and the soundpost punched completely through the top - a nice round hole that begins the pair of splits that go south from there. It *was* a pretty nice fiddle, but it looks like scrap now. I'm going to have to to rent something, but thought I'd try to glue the pieces back together, if for nothing else, just to see if it can be done. I almost hope it works, so he has to play it for a while as pennance, but wondered if anyone thought it was simply a waste of time. His teacher's going back to Europe to visit family for a month, and he just finished orchestra camp last week, so I've got a week or two to decide whether to just go rent something or make him suffer. (Well, he's going to suffer listening to me regardless.)
  12. I just saw this - not brand new news, but didn't see any other threads. Anyone care to comment? Quartet members are losing their instruments due to a suit brought by an ousted, former member. Yikes. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12...arts/music/15audu.html (You'll need a NY Times login account - there might be another summary somewhere else - I didn't look.)
  13. Contact Fred Carpenter (/http://www.violinshopnashville.com), if you haven't already. You might ask him about Jonathan Cooper violins (http://jcooperviolinmaker.com) - don't know if they are still in that price range.
  14. If you stick with reputable dealers, in the price range you are considering, student violins are a commodity, and you generally get what you pay for. Ifshin Jay Haide instruments are fine. Lots of folks are happy with Scott Cao (in Campbell, not that far http://www.scottcaoviolins.com). I'm sure the shops in your area that others have listed are worth a visit. Take your time. The world isn't going to run out of $1000 violins.
  15. Besides looking at the address in the status bar when doing the mouseover, Microsoft has an anti-phishing filter they are developing for the next release of Internet Explorer. It can also be installed on IE 6 if you install the MSN search toolbar. http://www.microsoft.com/athom.../phishing_filter.mspx Or, you can install the IE7 beta. I've "seen the demo," as well as used it on some test systems, and it looks good, though I'm sure there will be some kinks to work out. If you're feeling adventurous, you might want to give it a look
  16. The problem I had was that it wouldn't accept my password at all - just said it was incorrect credentials, and the link for a forgotten password didn't work. I solved it by typing in the URL in the address bar of the reset window: secret.cfm page and had it email a reset password. Of course, that only works for those who kept their email address current. And, the secret question didn't exist before, so we don't have an answer for that. I'd suggest setting up a query that will put everyone's email address in as the answer for the secret question if the person has attempted to login, but not succeeded, and the existing answer is blank. Then, tell folks how to actually get to the page, since the popup windows aren't working (maybe the blockers have gotten too good). Oh, and how the heck do I logout?
  17. There are 2 that are "hidden" in the Small Violins section. If I was looking for a Guarneri copy, this one looks nice.
  18. When I was playing a STV-900, I migrated from Tonica to Infeld Red for the last several sets. Now that our daughter has inherited it, it's had 2 sets of Vision (regular/orchestra) on it. They may not be quite as warm, but they're very good strings that settle in quickly. Nice tone, very "focused," and I can't think of anything except metal that hold up better.
  19. Friday, April 1 at 7:30, Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center. Free! Winners of the annual Young Artists Competition. Houston Civic Symphony Houston Chronicle news article
  20. I always put a plus-sign in front of every term to make it required, and don't use quotes, e.g. +kun +voce That seems to work for me. And then, change the range to something other than 1 week.
  21. Well, the orignal post was 2 years ago (!), and the 1/4 violin (& case that needed the spinner) are long gone. So, I'm sorry to say I don't need the spinner anymore - I fashioned one out of wood. Next time I'm looking I'll check Howard Core's catalog, though. Thanks.
  22. I bought my first violin from Gold back in 1990 (jeesh, it's been a while...). Lisle and Amati have been around as long or longer - both preceded my interest in fiddling. You should definitely include whatever they offer in your evaluations, without preconceptions, because they've obviously done something right. You may not find what you're looking for there, but give Lisle a try (our daughter's BAM case came from there). If you find one that you like, try to get it on trial/approval from the shops and spend some days with it (at home). An in-store comparison (with a competitor's violin) isn't comfortable, and I don't believe you can really evaluate an instrument in a few minutes (well, maybe some you can reject, but comparing one with an instrument you've had for a week is not realistic in 15 minutes). Once you start looking at mail-order, I think there are lots of choices to consider, both large and small. If you are pressed for time, call the shops you have instruments from and ask for more time. Most will give it to you. Wood? I'm not the first person to say this, but, who you buy from is as important as what you buy (if not more so). In this price range, where the wood grew is not very important (IMO). And, for heaven's sake, get the teacher involved. Are they out of the country? If so, start over after Spring Break is over. I think it's a mistake to not involve someone experienced in a purchase like this. I hope you have budgeted for a nice bow to go with the violin (We've been through 1/10 - 4/4 for both our kids, plus the few fiddles I've bought and sold for myself.)
  23. There's an old thread here about this - search for: +small +viola +stapely The Shen website: http://www.cscproducts.com/ George Behary contributed to the earlier thread. He might have some leads on where to get/try one.
  24. Most shop owners, or the folks who might have sent them to an antique shop, have figured out that that while violins don't move that fast in that venue, they are quite liquid on the internet. 5 years ago was an epoch in eBay time. I suspect what you're seeing is junk that can't sell anywhere.
  25. Scott Cao, Jay Haide. But, I think you're asking the wrong question. Do you have a sound in your head that you're trying to create? Can you create it with your current instrument? If not, is it the violin's fault, or yours? I used to say that I was looking for a fiddle that (when I played it) would sound the way my current fiddle did when my teacher played it. Of course, my teacher wouldn't choose my fiddle over his, because "his voice" came easier with the one he had, but it didn't matter much which instrument he picked up - they all sounded like him. Your violin should sound like you. When you know what that is, you'll be able to decide if *any* other violin is better than the one you have. Assuming you've got a decent (K-500 is supposed to be), correctly set up instrument, with a limited amount of dollars, I think you're best "investment" might be lessons from a great teacher. 2nd place would be a bow upgrade, with a fiddle upgrade a last resort. Finally, when I used to work on guitars, most of my income came from folks who just tinkered incessantly with their instruments. Trying to make the guitar do what they couldn't, was my cynical view - though I, of course, kept that to myself, since it was easy money - new tuners, jumbo frets, hotter pickups, the latest whatever.... Some of that goes on in the violin world - witness the never ending string quest here, while, somehow, Hilary Hahn manages to get by with lowly Dominants. (I know she's got a Vuillaume, but even if she didn't, I don't think she spends a lot of time fussing over her strings.) So (moral), make sure you're spending your time and money where it pays off.
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