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Ray Weaver

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  1. Oh I appreciate the opportunity that Stefan and Michael have given me on a number of occasions to try some marvelous things (I even bought and played on one of Michael's violins for several years) and I consider their shop to be above reproach in attitude and commitment to serving their clients. Fred Oster in Philadelphia has also always gone out of his way to provide me not only with choices in the ranges I was seeking but to also experience many fine instruments and bows after our initial business was concluded. In fact I have had largely positive interactions with various shops and people over the years (The Becker's in Chicago, Jeffrey Holmes, and a number of others) and very few negative ones - or even neutral ones. I feel absolutely blessed by the experiences. I hope my post was not understood as criticism of them at all!
  2. I can't help but reply in a slightly off topic manner on bows. I never look at the stamp on a bow in a shop until I have compared every bow available in the stock so I won't be influenced. I doubt Michael remembers it but on one occasion I had asked Stefan to provide an assortment of violin bows in the 3K to 8K range or so for me to try. Unfortunately, Stefan had to be out of the shop, but the bows were laid out and I began to play through them. They were all very good but one was simply outstanding in the tone and ease of drawing the bow. I was so excited thinking that, whatever it was, it couldn't be more than $8K and I would be happy to pay that. I noticed a "Peccatte" stamp and thought it was likely a nice copy, perhaps German. But when Michael looked up the stock number, lo and behold it was no copy! And a bit out of the price range to say the least. Much more recently I stopped by and saw Stefan and he laid out a selection of bows in a much more expensive class than I had been sampling and again one stood out as spectacular. I only looked at the stamp after being overwhelmed and saw that it was stamped "Vuillaume" but naturally the maker was again Peccatte. Still beyond my means but what a gorgeous bow and what a sound.
  3. I am already planning to acquire this bow shortly simply as an excellent playing tool for not much, but was curious if the name of the maker rings any bells. It rang mine, until I realized that what I assumed was a brand of "August Rau" was in fact "Anton Rau", about whom I can find not a whiff on Google. Since even obscure makers usually turn up somewhere on Cozio, Tarisio, or other sites is there anyone who may have run across the brand? Sorry for the lousy photos. The frog is bad shape, some weird plasticky black stuff on the stick between the wrapping and the frog and the tip looks stunted. The bow was played by a mid level fulltime orchestra player for their career for I'd guess 30-40 years if not more. I know it's not special, but it sure is focused and draws out a big sound with excellent handling. So any Anton Rau sightings?
  4. A friend of mine who is a string teacher in a nearby county school system and a freelance professional (and a wonderful kind and honest person) contacted me to see if I could help a former student of hers who has stopped playing and wants to sell her two violins and a bow. I tried to get her to approach a couple of local alternatives since I am not obviously a professional appraiser in any way, or an outlet for violins other than as a regional rep for Baroque Violin Shop in Cincinnati, but the teacher dropped by and I said I’d look at them. The violins are just Eastmans. The bow is more interesting. It is stamped *Albert Nurnberger* and is obviously aged. Looking online and in discussion on Maestronet it ticks all the boxes to actually be a Nurnberger and seems in good shape except for wear around the frog and wrapping. I’m guessing this might be worth more than the violins combined if it is genuine. It plays well. I am simply offering her advice and do not intend to sell the bow for her, but suggest the best outlet for her to do so. Any thoughts? Nurnberger_Violin_Bow.zip
  5. Who would have guessed that this was a thread about comparing the geographical beauty of one nation to another?
  6. Rats. The first time it auto corrected to "degradation"...which was bad enough, or perhaps worse.
  7. So for my second and likely last violin photo id question. The label is a non dated Juzek, my guess being 1925 to 1945, nothing special. The sound (subjectively in terms of quality, demonstrably in terms of projection and clarity) is all I desire after a lifetime of trying lots of instruments between 10K and 60K. Apparently, according to some old Russian violinist I met in a regional orchestra, someone took the time to do a thorough degraduation. Still only worth a middling or lesser Juzek I know.
  8. Funny I never even really looked at it but the word would be gigantic. I put a string it was missing and played it and it was certainly full size.
  9. Sadly it's on the back although it's quite extensive and looks well done. There's some thought of trying to turn it into a baroque violin.
  10. Thank you, Jacob. That's all I need to know. I forgot to mention it does have a rather large soundpost patch and a repaired bass Bar crack of course. I the label was a Joseph klotz Jr I believe. I will advise them to make use of it in some way other then putting it in the hands of inexperienced students.
  11. First time ever posting pictures. This violin was donated to a project for school kids. A friend who is a violinist is helping them out and wondered if I thought it would be appropriate as a handout instrument for beginning violinists. Or alternatively it could be sold and proceeds go towards clean inexpensive modern instruments for beginner violin classes. Any clues appreciated.
  12. I am surprised to see that Russian trolls are even being instructed to create division on Maestronet.
  13. I can't comment on the instrument in question. I have never paid any attention to Juzek's but just wanted to relate my recent experience. I had a mandolin/guitar/ playing friend who asked me and a friend from the local full time symphony to play some of his four fiddles he was thinking of selling (he picks them up at pawn shops/antique sales etc). The least valuable of them was a Juzek with a common label not dated likely from the 1920-1940 period. Nice top wood, average back, crude scroll. However it sounded really good, better than the other three much more valuable instruments and even better than a couple of professional instruments including mine we had brought along. I quickly put in to try it for a week or so and subsequent trials in symphony concert halls showed that it had both a rich but attractively dark sound but also considerable projection both on the top and bottom, quick response, and the ability to play softly but still be heard. It has a weird tailpiece with four tuners but I am loathe to mess with it. Nothing canine in the least and now I'm thinking of selling my 50K plus fiddle.
  14. One aspect, which has been mentioned, is that an instrument must usually function in collaboration with other instruments unless you are planning a career of solo Bach suites. This test did not address that question at all. I had this aspect driven home forcefully many years ago while listening to a rehearsal of the Mozart Concertante. The violinist's instrument was a Rocca which filled the hall with a large, vibrant sound as he warmed up to play. The violist (who had connections in the high end trade) suggested he might try a Strad that the violist had with him. The Strad sounded lovely but seemingly much softer and less bold - certainly the volume of the Rocca dwarfed it. The orchestra arrived and the violinist switched back and forth throughout the rehearsal. Strangely, the Rocca could be clearly heard only in the higher registers of the E string so much so that runs in the middle of the instrument could scarcely be heard at all. The Strad on the other hand projected every note with extreme clarity and with a heartbreaking beauty that gave an emotional meaning to phrases that was entirely lacking in the Rocca. The violinist, despite several of us in the audience suggesting the Strad would be preferable, chose the Rocca for the concert because of it's greater "power". This experience taught me that testing a violin without the context of other instruments may lead to an incorrect assumption. By no means am I suggesting that all Strads possess the characteristics of the one I heard that day, or that modern instruments would not have the ability to project in the exactly the same way. I don't know enough and probably never will to have any certainty but I'm glad the comparisons are being done. Perhaps the next one could be in a quartet setting?
  15. in 2 weeks time there is a book launch in Cremona of the first comprehensive monography about Nikolai Kittel.

    Written by the experts on Kittel: Grünke, Gabriel and Chins. 30 Kittel bows in it. And some photos of documents contributed by kenway.

    There will be a lot of your questions and answers in it. www.nikolai-kittel.com



  16. I love the allusion to Keyser Soze which was a fascinating movie. I know of a Spiegel that is for sale for around/over 20K right now in Chicago - it's a lovely instrument. And I am relieved that there is evidence that Nemessanyi is not Keyser Soze.
  17. I can't resist interjecting that I have been told a number of times by an expert with not inconsequential heft in the international world of Strads, Guarneri's and such that Nemessanyi in fact didn't make ANY violins personally. Unless I misunderstood him he once claimed that Nemessanyi didn't even exist.
  18. It's great to hear you have finished a new violin - would you be willing to give a little description of model and inspiration for it? I'm loving mine more every day - it has gotten very easy to play as I have become more familiar with it and I'm having no issues at all at the moment - just fun.
  19. Yes, I believe that was the name - just couldn't remember without prompting.
  20. A friend of mine talked to someone there (Phillip Kass?) and was given the impression that the decision was not so much financial but more that the current generation of family was just not that interested in the business and wanted out. Take this with a grain of salt, but that's what I heard.
  21. I can vouch for that in a recent violin made by Michael to the exact thicknesses of the "Cannone", with nearly twice the amount of wood left in the top as a typical Strad model. It sounds well enough under the ear as a player but I would not have been particularly excited by it. My good luck was hearing a friend play it first!
  22. CTviolin, finally a marvelous belly-laugh. I'll put in an advance order should your literary efforts bear fruit. Jeffrey, you have my gratitude for your generosity and patience - there are always some who just experience a different reality and no evidence to the contrary will convince them otherwise.
  23. I have a new (2008) violin which I am enjoying very much. However, I am finding that the neck is significantly thicker than the Marchetti which I have been playing and is resulting in more tension and the need to swing my arm much further to the right (I have small hands). The maker is perfectly willing to change the neck to something more along the lines I am used to feeling. He did say that such a procedure would change the sound somewhat. Is this the experience of the makers here, and if so are we speaking of a slight or significant change? Thanks for any thoughts.
  24. Omobono, its looks nothing like the fiddle you pictured (I think it is much more attractive) but thanks for the photo. I have had a supposed (and I am not being sarcastic or ironic) expert who moves in rarefied circles tell me privately that the master Nemmy himself made no violins at all, only ran a workshop. I find this hard to believe but there is much in the violin world that seems hard to believe. Would that make a workshop Nemmy as valuable as a real one? Is there a real one? It is enough to make one throw up one's hands and say buy it or buy it not as simply a fine playing violin, which is all I can advise. It is all the fiddle this player will ever need as she is a mature adult with ability but no fantasies of being a soloist.
  25. A friend of mine (No Jeffrey, not that friend) is looking at a no-name Hungarian violin from a private individual that is being offered at 22,000. The seller is "moving up" to an Italian in the 150K plus range and he is quite a fine player and very ethical from all accounts. He himself purchased the violin from a dealer/individual for $19,000 about 5 years ago. The violin is unlabeled, but comes with papers from the dealer/individual (I'm not sure whether the papers are from the dealership or the individual) that state it to be something of the nature of "workshop of Nemessanyi". It is a gorgeous fiddle, with a top knotch sound quality, projection, ease of playability etc. (which of course means little in the world of dollars and cents). Short of being a Nemessanyi itself (whose very existence as a maker, as opposed to shop owner, has been called into question) are their any other Hungarian makers who might command such a price? In other words, will my friend be able to recapture at least a majority of the price should he/she decide to sell at some point in the future. If this is too sensitive a toipic please feel free to email me at violiner1@hotmail.com. Thanks
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