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About doctahg

  • Birthday 05/24/1956

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    Cedar, MI
  • Interests
    Amateur (very!) fiddle player; music interests as a player are Irish, Scottish, and traditional American tunes. I can claim somewhat wider interests as a listener! I enjoy kayaking, birdwatching, and camping here in Northern Michigan. By profession I am an academic tutor, and I own a tutoring company specializing in math, science, and writing instruction, as well as ACT/SAT test prep.

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  1. Your reply showed up in my email (I had notifications turned on) so I came back to say thank you for your pertinent and useful reply. I understand about factory instruments, don't expect to discover the name of an individual, and am glad to learn more about the time and place my violin was made. And appreciate the practical advice.
  2. I'm pretty familiar with thread drift, as I am active on several non-violin-related forums, but this one took a very fast turn at the second reply, which introduced what is so obviously a long-standing joke among the regulars here about John Juzek-labeled violins. I suppose you must get lots of inquiries from hopeful newcomers about such violins. My violin is not labeled "John Juzek." I was hoping for information about a violin with a Carcassi label. If anyone had happened to know if there were any violin makers from Markneukirchen or Schönbach, or anywhere else in what is now Germany known to use a Carcassi label, that would have been helpful. As it is, the information given here about that era of violin-making, especially the details by Violadamore, has been interesting and helpful in steering me toward the kind of things I would need to research to know more about violins and mine in particular. I asked a polite, articulate question. Ignorant, also. But where does one start? I thought I might start here. When the second response one gets is a "joke" deliberately chosen to be completely obscure to outsiders, quickly and effectively make fun of all the other ignoramuses like me, and invite further sarcastic "jokes" e.g. "Such Rare, Much Prague! Round up the usual suspects..." I quickly learned that I made a big mistake even asking. By the way, "Such rare" is grammatically incorrect English. Anyone who tries to learn the difficult English language should be commended, not mocked. One must start somewhere... Maybe the same for violins, I don't know. But I won't be back here.
  3. Ahhh, I see. Inside joke. What would any forum be without 'em? (I am much more familiar with the inside jokes on my astronomy forum.) Thanks for explaining!
  4. jacobsaunders, yes, that was the suggestion of one of the two luthiers I mentioned. Thank you. Blank face, I don't understand what you mean by "it might come also (not) from Prague." Yes, I did notice myself that someone chose to fake antiquity by damaging the violin, but thank you for pointing that out. I appreciate the prompt responses; very kind of you.
  5. Hello to all. Would someone be willing to comment on this violin? The label reads Lor y Tom Carcassi, In Firenze nell' anno 1749, etc. I have owned this instrument for about 10 years. Work has been done on it by two local luthiers. One said he thought it was made in Germany. The other said he thought it could possibly be a genuine Carcassi. Neither is an expert appraiser. The neck/button is separated a tiny amount (does not show in my photos). I wish to take it to a highly-qualified luthier for an appraisal and repair, but I live nowhere near a big city, and would need to drive several hours to reach one. I'm certainly willing to do that, but due to COVID19-related closures, the professionals I contacted are quite understandably not accepting new clients at this time. If someone here could point me in the right direction, I would be grateful. If people think this is a nice but not especially valuable instrument, I will try to find someone reasonably close to just re-glue the neck, then play my violin, which sounds wonderful to me, and be happy. If anyone thinks it may be genuine or at least somewhat valuable, then I want to have it properly appraised, repaired, maybe even restored, and set up to make the most of its qualities. I am not afraid to spend money on it if that is the appropriate choice, but not sure I want to spend more on a repair than the violin is worth. (But I might if that what it takes to keep it playing, because to me it sounds very, very good.) Thank you in advance, as the saying goes.
  6. Thank you; the information and photos were informative. I agree that the f-holes on my violin closely resemble the Stainer style. Mary
  7. I had no objections to your post; I thought it was relevant and appropriate.
  8. I am not a professional musician, but I am a small business owner who provides academic services to clients who can be somewhat demanding at times, so I was following this thread with great interest and enjoyment. It was developing into a good exchange of ideas and does not deserve to be hijacked. Let's get back on track to the original question, please!
  9. I am reading all your replies with great interest. Thank you for taking the time to view this. I don't know much about the violin. I acquired it from a seller in Germany. When Ken McKay repaired it, he thought it was perhaps mid-nineteenth-century, but Ken does not claim expertise as a violin historian. I asked Ken to repair the violin, not "restore" it, so it still has a lot of old rosin, etc. build-up as the photos show. Dean, I am not a very good player, but this violin does indeed sound old, sweet, and lovely. And skiingfiddler, in answer to your question about the fine tuners: When I got this violin, I used to play informally with a small group of people and the leader/instructor wanted everyone to have 4 fine tuners so she could go around and help us all get in tune quickly. After reading your post, I removed them. You are right; the sound is better. Plus, they were ugly! Mary
  10. This violin was very well repaired by our own "upnorth", Ken McKay.
  11. I've been wanting to post photos of this violin for a long time now, but did not have a decent camera. After taking the attached photographs, I have a new respect for violin photographers. It is hard to get a decent shot! Any information you care to offer about this violin will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. Mary
  12. MingLoo, I am so sorry about the loss of your parents and of your little cat. Both of my parents are gone, and I lost my old cat Bob last fall after having him for 14 years, so I know how you are feeling. Life is hard indeed. FiddleDoug, that was a thoughtful, well-written post. Thank you for your perspective. Mary
  13. You're welcome! [i made a few tiny changes to my post to clarify my meaning, so MingLoo's quote of my post is not exactly the same - she responded very quickly, before I could fix my post.]
  14. David makes fine violins. He takes immense care and pride in his work, and customer satisfaction is paramount. His business depends on his reputation. MIngLoo sells inexpensive student violins. She takes pride in her work, too, making instruments affordable for everyone. Obviously she cannot give personal attention to every sale; her business relies on volume, not craftsmanship. What do they have in common? Unless I am very much mistaken, they both earn a living doing the above. David, you say, "the money ain't that great," but it must be enough to keep you, unless you have a nice trust fund or suchlike, which IMHO should preclude you from addressing the "working poor." Neither of them is motivated by pure altruism. David has devoted years of study and work to reach the top of his profession, and I honor that. But anyone, including MingLoo, who works for an honest living also deserves respect. I have a tutoring business, and I am very proud of the work I do with adolescents. I think I've made a real difference for many kids, but I don't flatter myself that I am a noble altruist. I am earning a living just like anyone else. Those $148 violins, now - are they crap or not? To most of you, yes. To a poor kid with no other opportunity to begin making music, they are wonderful. I've donated several such pieces of "crap" to an after school music program for Native American kids. The violins arrived adequately set up and they don't sound all that bad, given that any fractional violin in the hands of a little kid is going to sound pretty bad. No one who has one thinks of it as a piece of crap. If you persist in calling them that, then I think you are a snob. If someone who owns a music shop is resentful of Internet merchants, well, boo-hoo. The world has changed; technology marches on. The digital revolution put my sister's photo developing shop out of business. OTOH, MingLoo shouldn't expect her competition to take on low-end repair jobs from Internet merchants or their customers. I wouldn't either. Mary
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