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About Argon55

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    Little Ribston, UK
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    Biochemistry, immunology, violin playing, lutherie, cycling, natural history, astronomy, art
  1. Yes, it looked in very good condition so I assumed modern(ish). Didn't like the varnish much (looked the same colour as the Messiah on my TV) but did like the sound, especially in the Bach.
  2. Yes I know they sell the same posters. Just giving my experience with them, which has been flawless. However, I don't doubt they get things wrong sometimes. That happens to the best of companies.
  3. +1 for the Strad posters. They are attractive, well-photographed and you can even make a copy of the instrument from the plans on the back. What's not to like? Personally, I've never had any problems with them and have ordered quite a few books and posters in the past. No recent experience however but they were fine up to about a year ago.
  4. Wow (but not in a good way)! Are you a beginner or somebody with a few years playing experience (iIm guessing you're not a professional!)? If you're looking for a good bow, I don't think you'll get such a thing from any maker past or present with that design. I'm far from being an expert but it looks like the head might be rather weak and prone to failure. I'm sure others here will be able to give a definitive opinion about that. But clearly, somebody somewhere is making them and if you're just looking for a fun item as a second bow, then good luck in your search.
  5. No, they treat each other with a lot more respect.
  6. I understood that using spirit varnish over an old oil varnish was a conservative restoration, as the spirit varnish could be easily removed by a solvent such as IMS. But maybe I'm wrong?
  7. Quite. A sense of proportion and awareness is needed.
  8. Other, more expert people should be able to confirm this, but if you mean the purfling is drawn on the violin, then I understand that this practice wasn't unusual in English violins in the 18th century
  9. Interesting point. Might this be related to the change in neck angle/string tension to more or less all Strads and GdG that are being played now? If so, it might suggest that the allegedly superior sound of Strads might be a result of a fortuitous accident rather than being deliberately designed in from the start.
  10. Ah, thank you for that. I'd heard that old swords were good but it's not an interest of mine. But.....are they better aesthetically (which I could believe as I wasn't really thinking about aesthetic or artistic differences but rather material objects which have specific functions) or is the steel better (which would surprise me) and if so, is there any objective evidence for that? Same would apply to carpets.
  11. This study by the Strad magazine has been effectively critiqued by others here and it clearly adds nothing to the debate because of its limitation in design. But it's interesting that some here find the fact that The Strad study was encouraging or somehow a good thing. In other words, that something made in the 18th Century was better than it's modern equivalent. I've been trying to think of things, any things, made in the 18th century that are better than today's, and can't think of a single object. This isn't surprising given the increase in knowledge since then, together with improvements in materials and technology. So why should Strads be anything different? There are infinitely better tools today than in Stradivarius time, centuries of research on violin-making, greater knowledge of accoustics etc etc. I don't doubt that he was one of the greatest makers ever and made breathtakingly beautiful instruments, but I'd bet that there are some modern makers (perhaps including some posters on here) that are better. And this seems to be borne out by the comparative acoustic studies such as they are. Surely that's good news and not problematic?
  12. I bet he was from Yorkshire :-)
  13. Thanks for the information guys. Certainly sounds like an incremental number. And based on your info Ed, a date of 1975 sounds broadly right. Didn't think it was that old but very interested to know. They are lovely bows aren't they and still fantastic value. Mine draws a lovely legato tone from my violin and spiccato feels almost effortless (compared with my old bow at least) and it's very well balanced. I was last in Inverness in 2005 and greatly regret not calling in to see him in Dingwall to buy or commission a bow. Al
  14. I have a lovely Garner Wilson gold-mounted violin bow which is pre-owned. I suspect it's 20-30y old but have no way of telling for certain. Under the handle of the bow, normally covered by the slider of the frog and forward of the mortise, is a three digit number stamped into the wood ("386"). I'm interested in what this number means. Perhaps it was the 386th bow he made or was made in March 1986? Does anybody here know what system Garner Wilson used for numbering his bows?
  15. I much preferred Violin X (heard on laptop speakers). But I have no idea which is the Strad!