onree

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About onree

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  • Birthday 02/04/1945

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  1. I've been selling and renting good quality entry level instruments (and nicer ones as well) for nearly thirty years. I've learned that once you move above the level of the real crap, there is nothing more important than setup and adjustment. It affects my retention ratio. It affects how well the kids treat the instruments. Especially with the marginal students, it is THE real difference maker. Having a violin with a good setup that has quality strings, correct bridge arching, correct string height, tuning pegs that work well, a good straight bow with real horsehair, will help her maintain an interest. Good adjustment would help her not have to fight with a difficult instrument, allow for more rapid progress, and open up fewer excuses ("It hurts my fingers!") to avoid practicing/playing the violin. Once you get above the bottom few rungs on the ladder, adjustment is more important than label or brand. Good adjustment also allows the teacher to focus more on instruction, and less on fussing with a troublesome instrument. Since others have mentioned vehicles, this is somewhat like learning to drive. Most drivers have their favorites, but for a beginner having a smooth clutch, good brakes and tires, tight steering that doesn't wander all over the road, a clean windshield, comfortable position, good mirrors, is important. Much more important than whether you learn to drive in a 2004 Camry or a 2003 Taurus. Properly set up and adjusted, the Pfretzschner, Gliga, or your old Suzuki should serve your granddaughter well, and any of them would be far better than worst VSOs like Cremona, Cecilio, Palatino, etc. You could probable even find a local shop that would rent you a good 3/4 for a year, and allow your rent on that to apply to a full size. I do it that way in my store. Onree in Nebraska
  2. I have a customer (school system) who wants to buy large number of violin cases and specifies "laminated wood shell construction, shaped or rectangular, with tolex type cover and draw latch closure. Cloth cover with zipper NOT ACCEPTABLE as the failure rate of the zippers is too high." I find these supposedly Canadian made cases at a few websites, but can't find a wholesale source. I even looked for this type case at the NAMM show in January, but no luck. Large number of this type guitar, mandolin, etc. cases are available but none for violin. The usual wholesale vendors only offer zipper type cloth covers, or plastic with latches. I used to buy these years ago from M&M Distributing (the wholesale division of Shar) but they no longer carry them. Does anyone know how to contact the manufacturer or a distributer for these cases? Onree in Nebraska
  3. I just sold six violins to a school system. These were step-up instruments (Eastman Model 305) much better than typical school instruments. They were hand made (not bench made) instruments, all set up the same way with Tonica strings, Aubert #7 bridges, Wittner tailpieces, etc. They all sounded good, (within the context of what they were) but two of the six just sounded head and shoulders above the rest, with a stronger, richer, more complex sound. At least in commercial instruments there can easily be more of a difference among several of the same pattern as between/among different patterns. onree in Nebraska
  4. I had a teacher friend tell me that he (Peter Zaret) had a display at the Atlanta ASTA convention, and was offering to instal the new bass bar right then WITHOUT REMOVING THE TOP of the instrument. That might explain some of the "poorly executed" part. Onree in Nebraska
  5. onree

    Over Varnish

    I've seen this flaky condition on old trade instruments that have gotten wet or been stored for a long time in a damp environment, like a cellar or damp basement. Sometimes the case offers clues to this, or a rusted bow screw. It does respond to french polishing, and I have a couple of times used the Homer Formby furniture refinisher that "consolidates" the old finish without stripping. The Formby treatment is, of course, putting a $2 saddle on a $2 horse, and should never be done to any instruments but the lowest quality. But it can look surprisingly good. Onree
  6. I'm not intending a thread-jack here, but it is not possible to make 1000% profit. Although it is possible to have a 1000% MARKUP, that results in a (rounded) 91% profit. A more typical 100% markup (buy for $330, sell for $660) would leave you with a 50% profit. Onree
  7. On a more serious note, get yourself a copy of the book MY REAL-WORLD VIOLIN SHOP by Henry Strobel. Full of useful advise for those of us who buy, sell, trade, and repair instruments mostly in the, say, $2000 and under price range. It will be the best $30 you will ever spend. Onree in Nebraska http://www.henrystrobel.com/booklist.htm#real
  8. We kind of joke that when it comes to violins the local music store "can't figure out which end to put the mouthpiece in," which is an exaggeration, of course, but not a huge exaggeration. Onree
  9. In my shop, for my school grade rentals and similar customer instruments I keep D'Addario Prelude strings in bulk for full size instruments (which I also use on 3/4 size, sometimes clipping the ends, but still within the "silk" covered area) and also bulk 1/2 size, which can be used on 1/4, likewise clipped. At least one "premium string" --Thomastik Vision-- sells in fractionals for less (dealer net) than the full size equivalents. A lot less on the small fractionals. Onree in Nebraska
  10. Of course, the seller certainly doesn't want to sell violins for LESS than they're worth. Unless you really expected to find a Strad for the price of a Strunal, (hope springs eternal -- especially on ebay) it looks like you had some good cheap entertainment. If you really believe that the fiddles you bought on ebay are "worth basically what I paid" you are miles ahead of a lot of ebuyers. Perhaps it means that ebay is maturing into a more "efficient" marketplace. Onree in Nebraska
  11. I buy instruments from West Coast, and just looked up some of my old invoices. As far as I can tell, Christopher Pu became (or was succeeded by) Chicago String Instruments, in about 1999, before becoming West Coast String Instruments in 2003. I haven't heard his name mentioned by the West Coast folks for a long time, and he may (or may not) still be associated with the company. Onree in Nebraska Now it is only about once a month.
  12. Agreed, but who said anything about inlaid cleats? The instruments in question are school instruments, They will never see (and do not deserve) a"good restorer." They'll probably never see a good player, and certainly didn't pass through the hands or across the bench of a good maker. Sometimes all the school wants to do is get another year or two use out of them. Perhaps the term "instruments of modest value" was not clear enough. These are often instruments provided at no charge by the school to kids who would otherwise not have an opportunity to play at all. I was reminded of this technique recently when reading a thread about using parchment as a reinforcement, and just wondering if anyone else remembered seeing it. I must have seen it somewhere, I'm certainly not clever enough to come up with it on my own. Onree in Nebraska
  13. I seem to recall reading an article in The Strad magazine a few years ago about someone experimenting with the use of round circular discs (wow! a triple redundancy!) instead of spruce cleats to reinforce repaired top cracks in instruments of modest value. The discs were cut from wafer thin (about 1/32" or 1mm) model maker's plywood. Does anyone remember this article, or has anyone seen this done? Onree in Nebraska
  14. onree

    Gut sting snapped

    The tension from all four strings is transferred to the tailgut. So, for example, if each string is under 15 pounds of tension, then the tailgut is holding 60 pounds. If one string breaks, and nothing else changes, then the sixty pounds pull on the tailgut is now spread among three strings instead of four, resulting in a tension of 20 pounds each, which would produce a noticeable raising of their pitch. Which also explains why tuning one string affects the pitch of the others, and you need to keep going back and forth. Onree in Nebraska
  15. onree

    Conn

    I had a Conn Wonder violin (although somewhat battered and without the original case) consigned in my shop several years ago. It was a very nicely made violin, every bit as nice as the better Markneukirchen (EH Roth, Heberlein, etc.) instruments. The $4800 price is certainly no bargain, but I don't think that it exceeds high retail either. And a real collector (as opposed to a dealer) would certainly covet that original case with the embroidered blanket. Onree in Nebraska There was an article about the Conn Wonder in the VSA Journal a few years ago, by Dr. Margaret Downie Banks, Curator of the Shrine to Music Museum. "Violin Manufacturing by the Conn Company of Elkhart, Indiana," Journal of the Violin Society of America XI, No. 3 (1992): 20-76.