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    Kingston, Ontario
  • Interests
    violin playing, sailing, backgammon

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strauzart's Achievements


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  1. Greetings all. I'm not too active here anymore as I have been pleased with my latest instruments, especially one restored by Alberto Garcia. I also have one of his new violas which is a pleasure to play. My current question is this: Is there anyone on this forum who can lend me a violin when we visit Tucson in December? I could bring an instrument but we're travelling 3 days by train, crossing an international border, and arriving in a much drier climate than our Ontario home. I could maybe have borrowed Michael Darnton's Rogeri from a few years back as we are transferring in Chicago, but he sold it out from under me when I didn't have the cash on me, ha. sigh. Well, I couldn't even afford the insurance on that instrument. Thanks. Keld.
  2. Let me speak as an income tax return preparer, and yes there could be a relationship to the question. I may from time to time exchange some knowledge or pose a question on a related forum, but I have never attended a symposium on tax preparation techniques, sat in another tax preparer's office comparing notes, or exchanged general ideas about taxation in person with another tax professional. I "know" I am the best and I have "known" this since I started in the business over 40 years ago. It would not be in my best interest to elevate another tax preparer to my skill level to be direct competition for the same customers. The closer the competition is, the more guarded I become. The exception is retirement age. Pass along the skills and hopefully gain some pension money in the process. I think this is human nature. If I were DG, I would poo poo those fancy dandy fiddles flying out of the door at Tony's fiddle shop down the road, knowing in my heart that future greats would choose my instruments first. Just like I scoff at those blockheads at H&R.
  3. Not a violin clip, but there is some relevance to humming along. Victor Borge fans already know this.
  4. I have a promise by a friend to make me a viola. I would like to contribute the wood. Would any of these pieces be suitable for a 17" viola? Matching ribs and neck would be ideal. Location is Canada.
  5. Ha, I knew it. Read my first line again very carefully and let it sink in. Eventually you'll have a good laugh. Ok, sorry Mr. Holmes, for cluttering up the pegbox like this. Won't happen again. Cheers and happy return to happy tax return season.
  6. Interesting replies. For starting it, do I have to go into hiding now like that danish cartoonist?
  7. Yes there are other experts on this forum but there is only one David Burgess. (Let's see how many can legitimately disagree with that statement.) ps: time to retire that viola swinging Hulk again. pps: yes I think you could take HIM. ppps: we have lots of sheep near our summer cottage. pppps: this tribute would have been better if you had offered lunch or at least a beer when we came to visit. ppppps: when do maestronetters ever find time to actually make instruments?
  8. I've watched this forum only sparsely the last couple of years and on reading through a few posts about setup was surprised to see a less than favourable comments about M.D. Actually I have been overjoyed on recently discovering that he is indeed posting to this forum again after an absence on reaching a milestone # of posts (was it 10,000?) and at the time calling it quits "forever". I rerouted a trip through the U.S. a few years ago, spent $32 in downtown Chicago parking fees just to meet with him and plead for his return. I found him to be exactly as unassuming and generous as his numerous posts, many of which have become standard reference material for luthiers and violin lovers all over. He is an international treasure. It is Maestronet's extremely good fortune to have someone of Michael's character and experience willing to share his opinions, expertise, and even off the cuff remarks. I hope he continues to post for a very long time to come. I do have one legitimate beef about Michael. (WHAT?) While in his shop, he let me try out a very fine old instrument (Rogeri?) which blew me away. Power, projection, ease of playing, the voice of experience. I surely should be its next steward! I had my wallet open to give him my credit card but had to decline when the price tag turned out to be about $645,000.00. I have often thought about that instrument, but now realize I couldn't even afford the sales tax, insurance and tune-ups on such an instrument, never mind the purchase price. So, the beef? Well, really, in hindsight there is none. He allowed me to play an instrument such as which would never happen in my circle of acquaintances and I am grateful.
  9. That is one delicious looking violin regardless of make. I love the scroll. Seems to have come from someone at one point who did a lot of gig work or orchestral, hence the 2 fine tuners. Quality pegs. I would travel to try one out like that, but I'm in Ontario. Get it into the hands of some professional symphony players and get their reaction. If it is less than brilliant, it would probably just need a new setup and regular playing. Congratulations on rescuing it from the closet. Treasure it.
  10. I've become rather attached to this violin. Any idea what it might be?
  11. I owned a violin for 40 years which was sold for me as a Caussin by Heinls (Toronto). They even brought it to Chicago for a second opinion. For many years we had believed it was a B.S.Fendt (english) until it was realized the timeline didn't match up. It was very well constructed and convincingly antiqued and labelled as a Rocca. It was a fine instrument but always a bit hard for me to play and I have obtained several more satisfying violins for considerably less money since. The realized price to the buyer was $23,000.00 4 years ago.
  12. Thanks for all the responses. The cleats are the ugliest I have ever seen. No attempt to shape them or trim down to size. Surprising because the violin itself is very pleasing to the eye. I am trying to determine approximate age. It belonged to an aged acquaintance who had this as her first violin until she bought a "better" one 15 years ago. It was not new at the time. The luthier thinks late 19th century which would surprise me based on exceptional condition. But of course it played like a dog before he graduated the belly to proper dimensions, so maybe it is not surprising. I can feel it improving daily now. Nicely balanced with big open sound. Just a completely different instrument. I will send a picture.
  13. If I could add a couple of words about labels. I have a great sounding violin with what appeared to be a very authentic ancient label. I took a closeup photo of it to get some id. I then zoomed in on the closeup and what did I find? Half tone printing. Background was all dots. Someone in the printing industry pointed out to me that this style of printing was only introduced in the 1880s.
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