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shantinik

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Everything posted by shantinik

  1. shantinik

    frog

    I'm sure it has been asked and answered before, so I apologize. Why is a frog called a frog? (not meant to be a riddle.) Thanks.
  2. shantinik

    Frog

    Okay. I've missed it. Why is it called "a frog"?
  3. Here's another vote for a Copland. Built like a tank. Lots of cushioning. Lots of room between bridge and top. Heavy? No question. But I figure I'm protecting against that once-in-a-lifetime event that the case is really going to make a difference, and I figure the odds are better with the Copland than any other case I know. (the Musafias are beautiful, though, but I don't buy "beautiful luggage".) Got mine on closeout, too - pink crush interior. I'm man enough for it.
  4. Regardless of what we think of any particular Stringworks instrument, George Behary simply has more choices available, in more price ranges, and he has no particular vested interest in any one of the products, as he isn't the manufacturer. No matter what you ask when you call Stringworks for advice, they are going to recommend a Stringworks.
  5. I would RUN to talk to George Behary (who posts on this board) at Loxahatchee Violins. He offers high quality stuff (Scott Caos, and imported Eastern Europeans) at superb prices, and deals with lots of folks who are in your position. (and he'll include a reasonable bow and case.) http://www.lvstrings.com/ or call him up. (please note: I am not a dealer, maker or shil, I bought my daughter a Demirdjian direct, and I live 4,000 miles away from George Behary.)
  6. Stepan's (Demirdjian is how you spell it) instruments will compare quite favorably with virtually every $7,000 instrument (and some a lot higher) I've ever seen, but you'll have to wait a year or longer. (But you might want to check with him about a viola.) Still, there is a lot of stuff coming out of the Eastern European world that is very good (and some of the finer Chinese as well.) However, if I were you, I'd concentrate on what you think is your primary instrument first -- after all, that's what you will be playing most, right? Sounds to me like you should take it slowly. And if there are particular things with the French violin that you are unhappy with, go see a good luthier -- a new soundpost, a bridge replacement or adjustment or even a repositioning, tailpiece adjustment, a bunch of little things may be all that it needs to play as well as the run-of-the-mill $3,000 instrument.
  7. I must have missed you there! And I agree about the Cremona exhibition. I thought the two Lucas really stood out, but if this was an example of the best Cremona has to offer (at least in sound quality), the better Eastern European makers and Americans (David Gusset is my favorite) have absolutely nothing to worry about. (I think I have to contact Stepan about another one, but last I heard he is backed up well over a year.)
  8. My daughter and I got to try out the Bergonzi, but frankly both of us thought that the Salvatore Luca's stole the show. But there were many, many good ones. (A side note: daughter took her Demirdjian down to compare. Clearly, about 1/4 of the violins there were as good (or in the case of the Luca's, better. But twice, while she was playing hers side by side with the Cremonas, people came in from other rooms to ask what she was playing! Both times the Demirdjian -- she felt like the cat who ate the canary!) (since she'd paid between 1/8th and 1/10th of what the average instrument in the exhibit was going for. But, then, it doesn't come from Cremona -- Stepan needs to change his name. )
  9. "I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Redrobe." For once, I do, too!
  10. If you ever get to Cremona, check out the work of Aldo Monacelli. Nice guy, but be prepared for the thickest German accent you've ever heard. Doesn't matter, though -- he sells mostly to the Japanese. (Note: I don't know what kind of accent he has in Japanese.)
  11. Or maybe it is a real label with a violin built around it.
  12. Need a new recording. Have always liked Kung Wha-Chung. Don't like Perlman's. Mutter's is okay. Haven't heard others. Has anyone heard the Gitlis? What did you think?
  13. I found the same thing as Andrew Victor and KillinKatz. So-called "bright" strings on bright instruments actually do better than trying to change the tone through strings. I tried the more traditional way -- using Obligatos, and they were awful -- they became tubby within a week (on the lower strings). Evahs were much better, but Infeld Blues even better than that, and they did not make the instrument sound brighter, though they did respond more quickly. The choice of E string though, is crucial, it can affect the sound of all of the other strings. (with Evahs I always used a Hill E -- wonderful!); with the Blues, I'm still not sure, though I'm beginning to think that the Blue string itself is best.)
  14. Not likely to be any slacker syndrome if you might find yourself as first chair any particular week rather than being able to hide in the back by having once messed up an audition!
  15. Thanks! Which one? We have two: one is the Capital Area Youth Symphony (CAYSA), the other is Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia (SOGO). My older daughter is a violinist in the latter, and also plays the oboe with my younger daughter playing flute in the training orchestra. SOGO has a huge sound in its string sections, despite the fact that there are in fact only 18 violins (CAYSA has a larger string section, but many fewer horns.) SOGO is also rather unique in structure. It was founded by students themselves, and they choose the conductor. While there are auditions to join, there are NO auditions for chairs, no permanent concert master -- they switch on every piece, and no strict division into first and second violins. Everyone gets to play everything. The theory is that if one knows the music better from different vantage points, one is likely to play better. And no time is wasted in pointless competition -- all energies are focused on the music. As you note, it works! I doubt SOGO quite competes with SYSO's string section, but player for player.... (I'm a proud dad, and my wife sits on the Board.)
  16. For several years I have been using the Hill E String. But my luthier (Bischofberger, Seattle) insists that they rust very quickly from dampness on the fingers (and he was able to show me where that happens.) So he suggests that if one is to use them, they should be replaced about twice as frequently as other E's (no big deal -- they cost about half what some of the others cost.) He recommended either Lenzer Goldbrockets or Infeld Blues in its place (he likes Pirastro Wondertone Gold E best, but it's pretty hard for me to control effectively.) So I have been experimenting with these others. But I miss my Hill.
  17. I have no idea which is the best. But I can say, with very little doubt, that the largest per capita is Olympia, Washington. So large, in fact, that they have split into two full youth symphonies, each with their own training orchestras. This in a town of 70,000 people.
  18. There is no evidence that Mr. R (other than his word, which is not worth very much) has ever even touched a David Palm instrument. After all, he has commented before on instruments where he has been "outed" as having never even seen one. (For the record, I liked the one David Palm instrument I saw in Seattle.)
  19. Let's just agree that some people like Mr. Palm's work (I tried one, with tone that was "not bad", and the workmanship was fine!), and some people are noted for commenting on the work of violins and makers they have never even seen. Probably should move on....
  20. We visited the Cremona Exhibition at David Kerr's, and took the Demirdjian with us. My daughter feels like the cat who ate the canary. Yes, about a quarter of the violins there were as good or better than Stepan's. The Luca Salvadoris were amazing!!! (they had 2.) There was an excellent Borchardt with superb projection, a very open-voiced Robert Gasser (a Swiss maker, now in Cremona), an exciting Eduardo Gorr, and some Marco Nollis that were inconsistent -- some great, some so-so. But Stepan's -- both in tone and projection, and in workmanship would stand up there with any of them (and they ranged in price from 5X to 16X more). At one point, with my daughter playing the Demirdjian, a customer came in from another room to ask her which one she was playing, it sounded so gorgeous! (Needless to say, we grinned). Stepan -- you are going to have more customers....
  21. Okay -- here comes a suggestion from a complete ignoramus who has never held any of these instruments in his hands (the closest I have come was an indifferent sounding Gagliano, an evil sounding Chanot, and a LOUD Bernadel.) All of Strads and Del Gesus were made to be played at a lower pitch than modern A-440, by approximately half a step? Yes, necks have been adjusted, etc. to support higher tension/different string length, etc. But there is no question that the violins were constructed to produce lower-pitched sounds than modern ones are. Now, of course, modern makers can "copy" what the old guys were doing, but do they completely understand the intent if they are aiming for A-440? Inquiring minds want to know.... (and there is no stupid question except the one left unasked....)
  22. One who panders to the base desires and tastes of others or exploits their weaknesses. (He exploits the lack of information that many folks seeking good advice come to this board for by voicing opinions based on no experience or information whatsoever, for the purposes of his own self-aggrandizement.)
  23. If you were a maker on this board who had been slandered by a panderer who had never seen your work, I don't think you'd feel that way. I don't take a single word back (except one - below) , and I hope Mr. Redrobe will have the good sense to keep his mouth shut, like he promised. After all, he "has nothing to prove." (I do apologize for the "we" And I also apologize to those who are disturbed by this unseemliness. The truth can be kind of raw.
  24. Yes, I believe Stephen's total reputation is at stake. I believe (but am willing to be proven wrong) that he often posts information based on no experience whatsoever, information that is misleading and, potentially, even dangerous to would-be consumers seeking honest information from what they believe to be informed sources. (I also wonder whether we are getting full disclosure, too, and whether there are conflicts of interest involved, but that's another matter.) I am absolutely certain that Stephen knows MUCH more about violins, violinmakers, and violin playing than I do (that's pretty easy.) I also think that the comments he has made on this forum are damaging to the professional reputation of another maker on this forum, and so I am calling on him to back it up (and if he can, I apologize in advance.) If he can't, I think we should all ask him -- when it comes to other makers -- to keep his mouth shut.
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