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Everything posted by deans

  1. Here's some long Fs https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Violon_Musikmuseum_Basel_24102013_1.jpg
  2. I used to like them a little wider at close to 17mm center to center, although I have learned to manage more normal spacing. If the board is wide enough and the player requests it, no real harm, other than refitting a nut. I just ran into a small person who had hers set up noticeably narrower, but I didnt measure.
  3. "nice wood" is a comment I heard a thousand times from somebody looking at a violin or bow. Sometimes I can see what they are talking about visually, sometimes it is associated with instruments with good sound or playing properties. Often though, I think its just something people like to say.
  4. deans

    Violin ID

    Looks like its in good condition. Usually these type of fiddles aren't. Lots of people would enjoy this instrument.
  5. I notice on the NMM site they list an Ernst Busch viola. Is this a cut down viol or some other instrument or was it built as a viola. Anyone see it?
  6. Might be some stamps under that label too, with asterisks and/or trees, something like this is pretty common. This one also has a one piece rib with an inlet saddle.
  7. deans

    Slab cut cello

    I'm sure you have a good point, but those instruments look like they've been around a while.
  8. Yes, I think this term can be used very differently. In some case anyone, anywhere, any time, who is following a particular maker's style. Or in some cases, made by somebody from around the same time and place, and associated with the maker in some way.
  9. With some genetic work you could probably trace some of the closest living descendants of that tree. It might be a lot of work but it would be great gimmick for a wood dealer.
  10. Lots of violins have weird labels. At $4K you should not assume it was a real Maggini or Guarneri, both of those would be much more expensive. Other than that there is no telling what you have from the info given. Could be a good deal or not. Talk to the seller.
  11. Stories about family violins get skewed pretty quickly.
  12. I think everyone here would. I wouldnt go on a quest though, just take it to the right guy (or two). However, I suspect the owner of this instrument would not accept the answer.
  13. When I look at the OPs instrument my immediate impression is that the head doesnt belong to the body. Not that I have any idea what any of the parts might be.
  14. My experience looking at lots of violas is also that string length is very important. Whenever I find a nice small viola it usually has a generous string length for its size. And the opposite is also true, large violas designed with shorter string lengths are often disappointing considering the body size. Large violas with appropriate string lengths can really sizzle though, provided you find the right tension strings, and put the time in to learn to play it. When it comes to large violas many people never get past a few minutes. But for all we know the OPs player could easily handle a reasonable 16-16.5" instrument, in which case there are a lot of workable models.
  15. All the theoretical stuff aside, I think the best thing to do is to talk quite a bit more with both the teacher and the student. See exactly what they are thinking. Especially the teacher who has probably seen a lot of violas in his/her time, and has had to work in the trenches. The student has probably seen a lot of good instruments by now too. You probably are not going to need to formulate a new design, and its probably not a good idea to start experiments with a client, esp at this level.
  16. I think its rare for any teacher these days to say a 41cm is too small. But I'm of the belief that if you can play 42-43 and above a lot more choices open up.
  17. Maybe a depiction of Mont Saint Michel by somebody who was never there. Probably by one of the same guys who tried to carve lion heads even though they had no idea what they looked like.
  18. I doubt anyone could add anything to what BF wrote. Maybe someone might argue that it could be a little earlier.
  19. Fs look kind of big too. Almost like it was cut down (not that I think it was)
  20. Yes, lots of people want animal free products. Just thinking though, is the violin animal free? I wonder if anyone makes violins with alternative glues? Just wondering.
  21. Unfortunately William Monical has passed, he knew all the tricks. But some of his ex shop workers are scattered around who could help you out.
  22. Plain gut strings were the norm up until the second half of the 20th century for most violins. Any violin that was put away for that long could have them. Its very common to find a cheap old catalogue violin with gut strings, I have found many. Also often with a gut tailpiece. With that said I think sometimes a seller will doctor up an instrument with old strings/fittings to make it look like a "new find". Of course many people still use old style gut strings. So its not really an indication of how long an instrument might have been unused.
  23. I would go with the strings that function best on the instrument. I believe that using strings to change the character of an instrument has only a limited range of effect. I have also observed that a lot of youngsters (I was one of them) seem to be attracted to dark warm sounding instruments only to change their mind later. But maybe Obligatos would could shift the situation slightly for now. I have always though Pro-arte were the darkest string, but I never thought of them as "complex" But a cheap first try maybe, but its not a huge difference over something like Dominants. But the best solution is a different instrument, or to convince the player to keep going, maybe his/her ideal will change when they encounter different playing situations. Get the teacher involved too.
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