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  1. Well, just to close this post out for future readers... I took the violin up north to a Luthier in Longmont Colorado. Scroll issue is a non issue and is not a sign of a neck problem. On their recommendation I had them cut a new bridge, and installed a new soundpost. G string height is now 5.25mm and the E is 3mm. Looks great, plays great, sounds great and cost $105. They even shaved the ends of the pegs for me at no charge. Thanks for the moral support. I'm glad cooler heads prevailed!
  2. Yeah, no kidding, makes me want to consider a career change. I'm not really hung up that much about the scroll...I was worried more that it was the neck that was warped but that really doesn't appear to be the case. And your right about the fingerboard too...it's not warped and worst case it might need to be re-contoured. Denver only has 2 string shops that I'm aware of and one of those only caters to the upper end, leaving the other shop without much any competition. I'm going to travel up to Boulder tomorrow where there a couple of shops I know about.
  3. Well, the Luthier I took it to came back with $780 worth of work he wanted to do to it. Breaks out as follows: $500 - Reset the neck angle $200 - New fingerboard $80 - New bridge Also wanted to put a new sound post in and redo the pegs. I'm going to get a 2nd opinon.
  4. Well, the instrument is about 16yrs old. It was made in Sofia Bulgaria by someone named "Mincho Mincheff" in 1991. The actual scroll work is excellent, as is the rest of the instrument. I'm starting to suspect that something odd happened to it with the previous owner. It had steel strings on it when I got it and supposedly had sat unplayed for at least 5 years. Perhaps it was stored with tension on the strings and this is a consequence. As it stands right now, the fingerboard projection is 25mm; the height of the G string at the end of the fingerboard is 6.5mm and the E is at 3.5mm. I haven't heard back from my Luthier yet, but unless he can do something with the fingerboard to bring things back into spec then I'm just going to leave it alone and play it the way it is.
  5. I hear what you guys are saying. I took it into our local shop today and he's going to take a close look at it to see what can be done. I'm worried what the root cause is going to be. I'll find out next week. A low neck angle is one thing, but this one seems to have issues in 2 different axis. I'm sure it can all be leveled up but the solutions that I am aware of ( I spend too much time on Maestronet ) seem ugly....e.g. resetting the neck angle and a new fingerboard that is 1.5mm higher on one side than the other. Just wasn't expecting that part....You know it doesn't help that I'm an engineer by trade either. I also hate the fact that the door gaps on my Durango are wider at the top than the bottom (see my challenge?..I'm one of those.....) I have 2 violins (3 if you count the new one). My 1st one is a chinese import that I picked up for about $300. It's good and sounds "ok"...but still brassy and it weighs a ton...it's way overbuilt like most of them in that price range. My family has an old german trade violin thats over 105yrs ....It is playable but I already had it check out and it has serious issues that would have to be fixed to use daily. About $500 to bring it into playable shape according to our shop. The things the German has over the Chinese violin is sound....it's richer with nice overtones. It's also very light weight. The Chinese violin however plays really smooth and I have great intonation on it. This is because it has a great setup that I paid $250 to have done. All of the angles and string height and such are perfect, and it is MUCH easier to play on because of that. Over the past 3 months I have caught myself picking up the German to play on because it sounds so nice and then back to the Chinese when I'm learning something new because it is so easy to play. The idea for this last fiddle was to get something that had both of the things I want in one instrument. I think that's where most of my disappointment stems from. As long as I can get it that out of it, I'll be happy.
  6. Today I bought what was suppose to be my new step-up violin. I bought it from a private party who bought it new in 91. It's a Sofia Master Art. I didn't notice when i picked it up, but I think it has neck issues. It looks like the neck has twisted somehow, or maybe it was built flawed. I don't know how missed it, but I did. If i sight down the top of the violin from the endpin, I can see that the left side of the scroll is lower by about 1mm on the left. Using a plastic protractor for a rough measurement, I looks like the left side is 1 degree lower in neck angle. In addition the projection is around 25mm. I've posted some pictures on my blog here: http://sbarton.wordpress.com/2007/07/11/36/ I've heard of necks being shimed to raise the angle, but can this sort of thing be fixed as well? Needless to say I'm pretty bummed. This violin is in perfect condition and sounds great. If this is something that can be fixed? Can anyone recommend someone I might send it to and any guesses to cost? Thx, Bart
  7. Hello, I've been learning the colle bow technique. I have found that a positive side effect of this exercise has been that it has really helped me clean up my normal bowing in that it has helped/forced me to stop using my shoulder and upper arm to push and pull the bow around (a gross description of a bad habit of mine). Also, I don't know if its just me, but unless my bow grip is spot on, the colle movement just doesn't work - another positive. With colle, one initiates the bow movement with the fingers. I'm wondering if this part of the technique can/should be used for normal bowing. What muscles do you use to initiate a normal up or down bow - fingers, wrist, forearm, combination? Thanks, Bart - Adult Beginner
  8. I seem to "start" with a good bow grip like those pictured above, but after a few lines I notice my thumb likes to go straight.
  9. Anyone know why there isn't a For Sale section of Maestronet - for individuals to buy and sell thier own instruments?
  10. Hi, thanks for all the replies. I think part of the issue is that I'm only getting 1 lesson a week for 30 min. I spend about 10 min playing what I practiced the following week, then we spend 10min or so identifying/fixing problems then the rest of the time is spent going over what I'll be doing the next week. Add setup and teardown time there isn't alot of time left in the lessons to go over details like what we're discussing. Thanks again for all the input - it really is helpful. Bart
  11. OK, another example - what about the next song "Andantino" page 24. 3rd Line - 1st measure. I don't know any better, but it kinda looks like the most efficient way to handle those first 3 notes would be 1st finger on the E with 2nd & 3rd on the A. Or at this stage should I learn picking all 3 up and putting them down on the A. Am I making sense? Andy, I'm thinking from your previous comments it should be the latter no? Thanks in advance for the insight, Bart
  12. Gray - Thanks for the link Andy - Thanks very much for that overview. I'm not sure why my instructor wants me to do it this way. I'm sure you can understand though when I say "she's the boss". I will share your comments with her though at my next practice and see what she says. For now though I have to practice it the way she asked me to. The piece is already pretty challenging in other areas for me - especially the bowing with staccato and attack. I guess for now I'll try to get it as clean as possible without using the double press. I was woodshed'ing it last night and I was surprised how difficult it was to bow those eighth notes cleanly with some resemblance of separation between them. I couldn't get the bow to stop cleanly which resulted in lots of unpleasant screeching. Thanks, Bart
  13. Hello - I just started working on Allegretto in the Suzuki 1 book. My instructor replaced many of the Open A's with a 4th finger A on the D string. That means on several measures I have to go from 4th finger A to B on the A string. Should I try to learn this by pressing both the D and the A down simultaneously? (Sorry - bet there is a term for this) - or should I just finger it normally? Hope this makes sense - Thanks, Bart
  14. I'm a 37yo who just picked up the violin a couple of months ago. I was absolutley floored by the expense presented by two of the local Luthiers here where I live to setup my instrument. The first gentalman politely quoted me $400 for a whole list of items and told me to come back in 2 months because he didn't have time for "repair work". On top of things, he couldn't recommend a shop in my entire state that might be able to complete the job. I've had two professional players (not luthiers) evalulate my instrument since and they both told me that this is not unusual and that most of those "repairs" could probably be justified as best case with measurements, but were for the most part unnecessary for my level of playing. The things that I was told I needed was: - finger board planed - Nut shaved - New Bridge - Something else (maybe pegs) Is $400 steep for this amount of work? I did the research and shaved the nut myself. It took me about an hour going really slow. I'm planning on learning how to do as much of this stuff on my own if I can. 20% consignment seems in line with other things, I don't see that as being excessive but I'm baffled at the repair rates for these things. Perhaps I will understand better with more exposure. Best Reguards, Bart
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