pigcat

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  1. Jerry - I emailed the maker and he confirm that he didn't use lemon oil, neither he's aware of lemon used in violin making history. He didn't recommend anyone as he's not familiar with restorers at my area, he did, however, recommend what method is best used for retouching the varnish. I do have one person I trust, due to the nature of his character where he's been very very careful with anything coming into the workshop. At least he's willing to discuss before starting to do anything. I think attitude plays a huge role in the business.
  2. Thank you for the responses! I guess first of all I made a mistake by taking it to a person focused mainly on making violin and repair works, rather than someone who's more knowledgeable in delicate restorations. I do know another friend of mind who're more careful and he did more restoration works than others in my area. It's just that my luthier friend know the maker of my violin personally, so I sort of trusted him. But the maker was a very experienced maestro, I don't believe for a second that that was what he used - the unaffected surface has far more attractive sheen with minimum micro scratches (almost non under strong light but there're definitely traces), which tells something. Glad to know that the lemon oil is evaporative. I was present when he did it, it's pretty watery stuff, and clear like water. I believe it's those regular mineral oil variant. But surely, reading all the older posts scared me quite a bit. I guess what I need to do now is probably take it for restoration, and ASK before anything was done. Or, wait until I have the chance to travel, and meet the maker in person. Schedules were too tight to make compromises, I'll probably just leave it alone at the moment. That's life, I guess...
  3. Good day! Recently I encountered something leave me in shock and worries for few days and I couldn't help but to post some questions here. I bought a very fine violin with gorgeous sound and playability, and very beautiful to look at. However, there were some badly touched up varnish on the back, basically it's simply being brushed over with new varnish and that's it, which left some patches. Colors weren't affected, only texture. It didn't bother me at first as playability far exceed the aesthetic. I asked my luthier friend and see if could fix it, without even further asking, he grabbed some lemon oil and some sandpaper and start polishing, saying that it was the standard practice he was being taught. And he know he maker who made my violin personally, and saying he used the same method on polishing. I trusted him being a properly trained luthier so I let him proceed. The result wasn't pleasing, leaving the patches while being sanded flush, leaving the area appeared more cloudy. And being shined over with strong lights, lots of micro scratches shown, while unaffected area remained gorgeous looking. It seems that the varnish that being brushed over seems to react differently, it feels like the varnish is tougher to work with. It didn't cloud up the unaffected areas but surely it still left with those micro scratches. My heart literally dropped, as this is a very fine violin, and very expensive. It's a beautiful violin to start with, and sounded gorgeous, one of the best I've played in years of trying many violins. What's interested to note is that, the tone somehow changed a little, I'm not sure if it's better but it indeed sounded clearer and somehow improve the response. So now I have three questions in mind - does the lemon oil will cause further problem to the violin? I've read many old posts and seemingly only suggesting lemon oil is bad for the instrument, and it was applied with ample amount to aid the polish. Secondly, will remove a layer of varnish (around 3"x2" area) affecting the tone/response, or was it the lemon oil? And thirdly, should I just leave it alone, or asking someone who know better on restoration to revive the varnish? (I could imagine the very best thing to do is to leave it alone) To be honest, the fear of the oil used will affect the violin in long term keep coming back. And due to this unfortunate encounter, I feel I want to part with it. I only own this violin for about a month, but I no longer enjoy this violin anymore. Hence I desperately need inputs from you knowledgeable folks here.
  4. I'd say, what you hear under ear or recording doesn't always represent when you hear people playing the same violin. Then, it also doesn't always represent the sound you'll hear at the distance. So, have another player to play for you.
  5. Sounds almost identical with the exception that Markov's (it was his father, Albert) clip was remastered and the high frequencies probably bumped for clarity using EQ. She's playing on a del gesu, as far as I know...
  6. I think the bows probably the reason of the winning bid. Looks like a nice set, the price is probably right.
  7. First of all I think it's completely fair if you understand why there's the automated bidding system, it simply want the buyer to make a single bid that is the highest bid amount. If you bid $500 and hoped that it will sell at $400, might as well just place $400 at the first place. Placing the max bid amount means the buyer shouldn't have any regrets if it reached that amount, and it's the same if other buyer outbid it by a few dollars because the outbidder might have placed significantly more amount but the automatic bidding will not shoot right up to the max bid. So in your case David, say: You placed $500, and somebody outbid you by 10 dollars, won at $510, at the very last minute, it doesn't mean the bidder actually placed exactly $510. He/she might have placed $600 at the very last minute, but due to the automated bidding system, it will not shoot right up to $600 but will appear as $510 instead. We shouldn't hoped we will win the bid below our max bid, we should think otherwise - expect to buy the item at the max price we willing to pay, and expect anything below as a plus. It's the "half full or half empty" thing.
  8. I have a violin that sound rich and warm under ear, that is pretty quiet and depth-less, which caused me a little problem where I can't listen to my playing quite reliably when playing in loud situation. However, I let my (even a beginner) friend play, the sound is so much different - intense, rich, focused, and doesn't have any harshness at all, though still a little quiet. Then, listening far away from the violin, playing together with e.g. grand piano, the violin will sound big and will not drown by the sound of the piano even with the cover fully opened. And it doesn't mean it has 1 dimensional sound - it's got broad dynamic range, color control, clarity of tone, as well as balance across the strings up and down. It has everything I want. It was a brand new violin, and well below your maximum budget... I don't quite care about the power and depth under the ear, it sure sound very gentle to my ears and I'm more than willing to practice with it all day long.
  9. I know nothing about the maker, but the violin doesn't look like a 110+ years old violin to begin with...
  10. Hi there! Neat workmanship and looks great! If you want to put some scratches and dirts, remember not to go deep into the wood, just scratch away some varnish will do. Oh and remember to use a bow to do it, it'll look more natural!
  11. Zefire68 did not mention those older violins are lighter because they weight less. He just mentioned they feel lighter in the hand. Just like bows, heavier bows can feel light, and vice versa, due to different balancing and design of the bow.
  12. pigcat

    Bow Models?

    Cool, never know the portion behind the head can make big differences in sound alone. You mean something like this? When loosen: When tighten: PS: Photos are taken from ebay listing by seller "mariam94".
  13. pigcat

    Bow Models?

    I believe different models give different playing characteristic and balance, rather than sound, which can vary from stick to stick due to different woods. Other than that, I never test drive any of the big name bows in serious manner (maybe just few mins of twinkle twinkle little stars or the likes), so I don't have much comments on that. But there seems to be 2 catagories - peccatte school and lamy school as what I've read from violinist.com.
  14. I share the same experiences with OP. My experiences with big names old italians as well as other 100~200 years old violins is that they're so light, big differences. One can immediately feel the lightness of the instrument from the very moment they pick it up, felt like feather. I don't know why, they seems universal - there might be exceptions on both side, but older instruments generally felt lighter. The playability was also true, at least to me. Most of the time, when I pick up a fine old violin, I felt they're pretty ordinary, nothing special. Then, those newly made violins are so much more powerful and respond very quickly to the bow stroke. I don't have time (and the skill) to explore further, so I couldn't speak for that. Which one better? It's entirely up to you. Both are better, and both are worse, and both statements are correct. But since this forum is almost dedicated to luthiers (violinist go violinist.com, fiddlers go fiddleforum), I'll just sit back and watch this soon-to-be heated debates.