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About go_oa

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  1. How to judge violin sound ?

    Martin Swan said: When it comes to comparison tests, we should accept that if you give any listener a choice between violin A and violin B, they will generally express a preference. This may be a genuine preference or just a random choice because they are being asked to make one, or most likely of all it's a preference which doesn't take into account the quality of the performance. I helping customers choose I have found that after the initial trying of 10 instruments, when there are only 2 or 3 candidates, playing duets with the small set of instruments often leads to a quick decision. This has MANY practical advantages. Of course there are many questions left open - If we change rooms, bows, duets, listeners, strings, etc. would we get different results. As a practical matter the customers tend to be very happy, the shop owner is happy! This can be reduced to a rigorous method, but it takes a lot of time and energy to do say 10 instruments. 240 pairs for each initial condition! ie - for each player in room A: 240 trials. But at the end, you can see differences in players, rooms, set-ups etc.
  2. 5 String small Widhalm viola

    I suspect that the driving factor is the strength of E string material. You need good steel to get an e string for a viola!
  3. Handles on Styrofoam cases

    A new case arrived at the shop today. The handle fell off. Repair? A nice repair was to remove the latch hardware, slip a thinish bit of polyethylene plastic between the canvas cover and the styrofoam, then run the screws through the inserted plastic to hold the handle (and latch) in place. The plastic (or thin metal) supplies something for the screws to grab. The screws go into the foam to establish a location. The canvas cover is held tightly to the handle. Seems stronger than the original manufactured bit, and saves a case for more use. And it is quick and requires little skill. So simple that my luthier permits me to do it!!
  4. You do not 'Sell' 1/8 size violins. You rent them with the promise to up-size to 1/4 if they continue to feed the child! At 1/8 the price is $15 / month. It is only required that the pegs will hold and there is some sound!
  5. Gasparo 'da Salò' violas

    For viola sound, Size Matters! Consider the Hutchins Alto violin: Using the same simple scaling to smaller sizes - 4/4 Alto Violin <> 21" Viola 53 cm 3/4 Alto Violin <> 19.5" Viola 49 cm 1/2 Alto Violin <> 18" Viola 46 cm 1/4 Alto Violin <> 16.5" Viola 42 cm 1/8 Alto Violin <> 15" Viola 38 cm Does it make sense to compare a 1/2 size instrument to a 1/4 size instrument ?? But ofcourse very few 1/4 violins have been carefully graduated and set up well! A am attaching a short sample of my 18" viola - #211 from Fritz Reuter and Sons - Marneukirchen / Sachsen ca. 1925. This has been my preferred instrument for about 20 years. It is the one in my picture. Body length 17 3/4" (45 cm) scale length 43 cm. HonkerFiddleSample-02.mp3
  6. Washing linseed oil

    If you really want fresh squeezed oil : http://www.oilpress.co/ https://www.ifsbulk.com/search?Q=flax+seed&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxKbagrWH1gIVF7XACh0I2QTOEAAYASAAEgJ33fD_BwE $10,000 foe the press. less than a dollar/Pound for seeds. Squeeze your own and control the refining!!
  7. Will it turn black?

    It does not seem to need much tannin to get black. I suspect that Oak leaves have a lot of tannin. But if you watch, it looks like you can get a nice brown!
  8. Will it turn black?

    I have been experimenting with coloring and varnishing. It is well known that an iron rich solution reacts with tannin to make black. A standard way to make things black. My observation is that if you wash the iron off early you can get a nice brown. Picture 1 I got a wooden wine box as a gift (filled with beer cans). This is one end of the box with one thin coat of a Michaelman style varnish made with old rental return belmore rosin and dollar store drain cleaner. Picture 2 a coat of wine tannin (dried), nails in vinegar solution (dried, left to completion), one thin coat of varnish. Picture 3 No tannin added, nails in vinegar washed off when it looked nice, a quick ammonia wash, dried, two thin coats of varnish. This was 2 1/2 weeks ago. Will it go black with more time? (Can I load the pictures?? )
  9. Opinions wanted on a odd Hardanger fiddle

    What is the body length?
  10. Ground - Why Not Laundry Starch?

    Cellulose is thousands of sugars strung together into a long molecule. Starch is a few tens of sugars strung together. (Laundry only points out how common starch is) Sugar is just one unit. We have talked about sugar as a sealant. If they used starch long ago, it was so common that they might not have mentioned it. If they used starch long ago, we would have a hard time detecting the starch because it looks like cellulose. Same for sugar! Worth a look?
  11. How would you like a ground that is 1) Chemically like wood 2) Well known to everyone, 3) Available to everyone, 4)Cheap, 5) Makes a nice surface for varnishing. Laundry starch fits all these conditions. Further, it is first cousin to the Sugar ground. It is so common in the 18 th century that I can believe that it was never mentioned because everyone was familiar with it. Everyone had ir wrapped around their neck, at least on Sunday. Yet I have never seen it mentioned by anyone while we all think about exotic combinations of African and Indian gums with complex oilos. Just go down to the kitchen, take a cup of laundry starch and smooth out all those nasty iregulerities. No one will ever know. It looks like wood to the scanning expensives!
  12. "FLITZ" polish compound on violins

    What is in it ? My Guess - Diatomaceous Earth, Orange solvent, Carnauba Wax. Could thin the varnish!
  13. What would be a better violin?

    On the matter of age/quality: What percent of excellent violins constructed before 1700 are still with us? What percent of very bad violins constructed before 1700 are still with us? Same questions for 2000 instead of 1700. Could the populations be different? Could ratio of #(existing excellent violins) / #(existing vso's) be different for (before 1700) and (after 2000) for reasons more related human selection than change due to age ??
  14. Being able to play the instruments you make

    I believe the 10,000 hour rule. You want to play, go to the practice room for 10,000 hours. When you come out we will tell you if you are any good! You want to make violins? Go to your bench for 10,000 hours. When you come back, we will tell you if you are any good! You want to do computers? Sit at you terminal for 10,000 hours. (5 Years) When you stand up we will tell you if you know anything. After the first 10,000 hours we can start polishing your skills till you are really good! I keep my luthiers computers alive and play his newest work so he can evaluate it. I also do an occasional bad case repair. Playing and making are different. After 5 years learning making and 5 years learning playing, then you start getting 'REAL' experience and can start paying off the debt you accumulated learning things. How many high level skills can a person learn in one lifetime??