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Everything posted by nola

  1. having lived in new orleans for four years, i'd like to weigh in. the first reference there is to sal giardina in metairie. he is not a cello maker. he has made some basses, and makes some very nice electric guitars. as the city's lone instrument repairman, he gets all the business. that much having been said, he is extremely unreliable (he admits this) when it comes to deadlines and dates promised. example: "it will be done next wednesday." you show up, he hasn't even looked at it. why didn't you he call? oh, sorry, i've been too busy to call. this has been my experience with him every time, and has also been described to me by several others. i have never left my violin with him (and never would), but he did a bow rehair for me on a rather valuable bow. when i returned at the date promised, it wasn't done. he was sorry, and said he could do it while i waited. so i did. sal's actually a wonderful guy to talk to, so i enjoyed shooting the breeze with him, and watching him work. he gave the bow to me with the hair still wet. once it dried and settled in, the hair was too long, uneven, and had some crossed hairs. completely unacceptable. that much having been said, at $25, it was the least i've ever paid for a rehair. the next gentleman mentioned is keith davis in hammond. keith rehaired the bow (roughly a week after sal had done it), and did an acceptable (not fantastic, but acceptable) job on it. he has a LOVELY shop. he's a very nice man, and makes some nice instruments. he had a decent collection of violins in the shop, and did have a few cellos. he did some minor adjustments on my violin, and did them for free. he did a nice job, and i would go back. as for the bow, well, i know live in the DC area, and josh henry takes care of my bows -- and does a wonderful job at it. the final answer on string work and sales in louisiana is that there isn't really a great place. the deep south is a bit of a black hole when it comes to strings (classical, anyway). i recommend keith davis if you're looking to purchase an instrument. he's a very honest man, and i think his work is good. unfortunately there simply isn't a high-end option for sales or repair in the area.
  2. As far as I know, left-handed players always play regular instruments. The concertmaster of my college orchestra was left-handed, and I have known several others as well. I have, though, known one player who played the violin backwards. She was born missing the ring finger on her left hand, so a local maker in MN modified a violin for her (reversed teh bass bar and soundpost, etc) to play. It looked pretty strange, and there was a lot of debate about whether or not she should do her bowings opposite the rest of the orchestra so that her bow would at least be traveling in the same general direction.
  3. yeah, what do you (/does he) do with the lathe?
  4. Do 5-string cellos have a low F or a high E?
  5. wouldn't it be more appropriate to have a g-string?
  6. Just give it to the dog to play with for a week or so.
  7. as a matter of fact, an extremely similar case just went on ebay. you can view it here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...63149&rd=1&rd=1 it wasn't in quite as good of condition, there was no key, and the wood wasn't quite as nice as yours. i had intended to buy it, but forgot to do bid before it closed. i have been really wanting a nice old wood case for some time. hopefully i'll find one like yours someday! on a related topic, if anyone has one they'd like to sell, feel free to private message me.
  8. how on earth did you ever come up with that string combination?
  9. YES, and it' annoying as all heck. i know this is only rewarding their obnoxious behaviour, but has anyone tried their strings? i've never even seen them in a shop.
  10. it depends on what you want from your shoulder rest. yes, they're heavy. if you like your violin to move as you play, it's not for you. if you like a stationary, secure violin, i think it could be good, and the weight there shouldn't be a big deal. i love the cushioning on them, but they don't really fit my shoulder. i've been using a mach one rest for a couple years now, because that's what fits me well. if there were something in the shape of the mach one, but with the cushioning of the comford, then i'd be sold. in the end, neither of them are particularly (at all, really) adjustable. for most people, it seems like one that can mold to you a bit would be best. and, as for the affects on the tone of the violin....i tried the mach one, comford, kun, wolf, etc on the same day and didn't notice even the slightest difference...
  11. nola

    Best cases?

    call me crazy, but i think investing in a decent case is a very worthwile investment. protecting your instrumetn should be priority 1. explain to your customers that, while they will likely change violins several times in their lifetime, the case can be retained. so, even if you're just using a $1k student instrument now, investing in a good case now will ensure you have something appropriate when you move up to a better instrument. there's no need to drop a grand (or more) on a musafia case -- that seems to be mostly luxury and fluff. a quality case in the 300 or so range (i've been using my weber for ten years and it still looks new) will do a great job for a long time. i don't think i could trust a crescent-shaped bobelock case. they're just a little too light for me. better than the degrading thermoplastic cases, sure, but there's still something very "student" about it.
  12. "Just thought I'd take a picture of my working setup of the last few days." ---- That's a pretty serious calculator for a violin maker....are you an amateur engineer as well?
  13. ....and how much to neuter the cat?
  14. I've never had the chance to try playing one, but the pictures on Rolland's site are breathtaking. Anyone here have one of his bows?
  15. Check out Josh Henry too (www.fineviolinbows.com). He's in the general DC-area, and I've been impressed with his work. He also just got done restoring my bow, and really did a nice job.
  16. btw, i really hope you post pictures of the violino piccolo when done! i'd be very excited to see it. i've always really wanted to try one.
  17. what about sequins and glitter? i'm glad to hear that someone at your level is still open-minded. i sure wish i had access to a great fractional instrumetn back in the day. of course, i wasn't that good. funny story about colorful instruments -- there was a violinist in my college orchestra who played with a bow she had painted herself.....it was sort of a sky blue with small flowers painted on it. it was haired with orange hair. our conductor wouldn't let her use it in the concert, so she kept another bow around.
  18. ok, well my fingers are a little bit longer than that so i can't complain too much. and i actually have very long arms. michael-- do makers of your calibur ever make fractional instruments? is it a common request? i often wonder what instruments young prodigies play. i seem to recall reading that there are some smaller strads out there, but i'm sure there aren't enough to go around.
  19. i think a letter to the strad is a great idea. even if you never get any money back (which seems to be the case), please alert others to your situation. and you can bet skinner will be less likely to screw someone again for just a couple grand.
  20. i happen to be stuck with pretty short fingers as well, but my teachers have always taught me not to blame them. my violin does happen to be a tiny bit smaller than normal (the difference is very small, and it was not purchased for that reason), but i find really that with good technique and practice (i try to practice stretching for large intervals regularly), i don't have any problems. have you ever seen mischa elman's hands? they're about as stubby as you're going to get. if he can do it, anyone can.
  21. uh, step 1: ignore the label.
  22. uh, i guess i shoudl make more of a point of checking dates and reading all the posts before i post myself, haha
  23. i used to live in the area. i've never been greeted with anything but arrogance at claire givens shop. john waddle, on the other hand, has always been a dream. he sold me my current violin, and has always gone out of his way to help me with quick repairs when i'm back in town. his work is excellent. definitely do make an appointment, though, because your chances of catching him by 'just dropping by' are slim. dave folland makes excellent instrumetns in northfield, but they're not cheap. as far as i know, he does not really deal in instruments other than his own. his brother dan was my violin teacher for several years. if you head a little further south to red wing, john reed is a maker there who makes nice instruments (he trained with dave folland) that are a little more affordable (although still not exactly free...). he does usually have a few other instruments in his shop for sale as well.
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