baroquecello

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Everything posted by baroquecello

  1. Tom, regarding strings it depends what you wish for, ofcourse. All of The makers I mentioned have a good Reputation for HIPP gut strings. I am a Cellist and don't know what is most preferred by violinists. My Partner, a professional Violinist, says she uses a Kürschner Luxline for the d string, and otherwise at the Moment uses Aquila. She sais the Aquila bare gut is generally accepted as nice to Play, but the wound strings are somewhat Special and not appreciated by all. The wound g string in that setup will ofcourse not be a flat wire, but round wire wound string, which not everybody will like. I don't know if a Company like Pirastro, which makes flat wound strings, makes strings to your personal order, but you could try, if you wish for your violin to be more playable for "modern" violinists and not only for HIPP-Players.
  2. Many gut string makers ca make you a string to your specifications. Well made gut strings have a good shelf life (as opposeed to their Reputation!), you could order a few. I just looked, and Toro specificaly states on their site they take Special orders, I would expect the same from Aquila, Dlugolecki and know Kathedrale strings does so. In my experience, it is not so much more expensive than Standard size strings, but you may Need to wait a bit. Edit note, I 've a few Questions: I can't see very well, but it appears the button is seperately glued onto the neck root (ebony?), and not part of the back plate, am I correct? Is the neck construction of the Standard mortice-in-top block-type or is it in one piece?
  3. @jacobsaunders but a wedge would increase the projection too. To me it looks like projection might be fine (pic 2) as it is, correct for this low overstand, and in that case a wedge would not be advisable, would it? Maybe a shim or even a slightly "inverse" wedge?
  4. Ok, so I see some reactions here which contain incorrect Information, and some opinions here I emphatically disagree with. I will therefore now attempt write a General guide for understanding how the different types of modern Cello strings work, attempting to clearly differentiate between what is a fact, and what is my personal opinion. The most important Thing to know is that Cello strings come in four different Kinds, the key difference being the core material: 1. gut core strings 2. synthetic core strings and cores that are neither steel nor gut 3. solid steel core strings. 4. rope steel core strings Why such a Variety? well, before the 20th century, strings were made of gut, low strings wound with a silver or Copper wire. With improvement of the Quality of steel, the reduction of the Price of steel, the increase of the Price of labour, the financial crises in the 20ies and thirties, it became attractive to produce steel strings for their longivity mainly at first. Such very Basic strings, a single core wih a single wire wound around it, were quite crude and not attractive to professional musicians other than those travelling to the tropics. The introduction of better windings (flat wire), the introduction of dampening materials between the core and the winding, and the introduction of the wire core (in the 50ies, Spirocore) greatly improved the tonal qualities of steel strings, so that by the 60ies, they could almost compete with gut strings Sound Quality wise, and had big Advantages what stability is concerned and some what projection of Sound is concerned. Then the shift towards steel core went very fast. In an attempt to combine some of the qualities of gut strings and steel strings, strings with synthetic cores were introduced, I believe Dominants were the first ones around. With a few exceptions, most notably historically informed Players, what one sees and hears nowadays are Cellos strung with solid steel core upper strings, and wire core lower strings. Apart from the strings developed by Warchal (synthetic core, save the a string), Velvet (silk core), and Pirastro obligato (synthetic core, but only for the lower two strings!)All sets of professional quality that have come onto the market roughly the last 20 years are exactly this combination. Before that, the sets were made with a similar core for all strings. Spirocore strings were all wire core strings, also for a and d. Jargar strings, early Larsen strings were all solid core strings. So when you wish to select a new set of steel strings for your Cello, you should Keep this in mind: the top two should be single core strings, the lower two wire core, that is what generally works best. On some exceptional Cellos one may want a single core g string, or inversely a wire core d string, but that is extremely rare. The reason why you see the combination of Larsen a and d (often solo) and Spirocore g and c (often Tungsten wound), is because These two Brands were the best in the 90ies, and arrived at something that seems to work quite universally quite early. The Budget Version of this was top two Jargar and lower two Helicore. All newer sets by the various string makers are variations on this concept. As I mentioned, the newer sets on the market are already a combination of wire core strings and solid core strings. The Variation is in the exact material of the core or winding, the exact diametre of the core or thickness of the winding, the properties of the dampening material (usually fibres in combination with a resin) and the Tension. A lutier in this thread gave the impression that steel strings produce a bad Sound, and that Larsen strings are not steel strings. The latter is wrong, and the former I, a fervent gut string Player, do not agree with. Regular Larsen and Jargar a and d strings are really quite similar. What you will prefer is very personal, and it may depend on your Cello; if you had a different Cello, you may prefer the other. The ideal string combination for you and for your Cello can only be arrived at through endless experimentation. It is not possible to foresee how a particular string will Sound on a particular Cello. There are tendencies, ofcourse. The sad Thing is, as you Progress, you will start liking other Things and your previously preferred strings will no longer be your preferred strings. Welcome to the world of Equipment Freaks! Just a short note on synthetic core strings. I have yet to encounter synthetic strings that truly come close to the Sound of gut strings. Usually, they Sound dull, not warm, in comparison, and some have serious drawbacks what playability is concerned. I have played a few Cellos on which obligatos sounded quite nice and worked well, but the top two strings have a steel core. I have yet to see any professional Cellist use Warchal strings. Velvet strings Combine some qualities of gut with better playabilty, but they are a lot thicker than steel. Dominant is interesting in some way, but much to low Tension, not loud enough and also loses its Sound too quickly. I do not currently believe that synthetic core strings are the definitive answer for Cellos. to come back to the OPs Question, as the OP has not experimented with his Cello at all, seems a relative beginner on a Budget, I stand firm on my advise to start with Helicore and take it from there for the future. The upper strings are a too punchy for most high Quality Cellos, but on lower Quality Cellos, that is usually what they Need. If it is too punchy, try a Jargar or Larsen a string. The lower two helicore strings are quite mellow in comparison to for instance spirocore, but as most cheap Cellos Need improvement on the top two strings, that would likely fit well. And I've played one particular Cello on which a whole set sounded phenomenal. Personally, I use Jargar Special forte a string, Jargar Special d string, and Tungsten wound Spirocores on the bottom, but this is expensive. And I arrived at this set after a lot of experimenting. Spirocores are not so nice for Amateurs to have to Play in, and can really take 6 months or so if you don't Show them all the Corners of the room in your playing, and during this time can Sound quite awful. If you have a lot of Money, go ahead and try the newer strings: Perpetual, Magnacore, Eva Gold, the list goes on. But it is expensive and can be just as bad as anything, depending on the Cello, especially if you don't know what you are Looking for.
  5. Edit note: any of the strings mentioned in this thread will be a step up from piranito, which I never recommend. The c andvg piranito are of the oldvfashioned single core type. Like Jargar, but inferior in quality. I would highly recommend replacing them.
  6. There are incredibly many different strings on the market. Jargar strings are good strings, but somewhat old fashioned. Nobody uses the g and c strings any longer. Standard nowadays are c and G strings with a wire core, like spirocore, magnacore, helicore, belcanto, eva pirazzi etc etc. Ifvyou plan using jargar a and d strings, which potentially is a good choice, combine them with a c and g of any of the before mentioned brands. As a cello teacher, for relatively simple cellos, especially if the cello hasn't been xperimented with, i usually recommend a set of helicore or kaplan as a cheap and good start. If you like to mellow down the top strings, you can then try jargar regular, for more power jargar superior or special, or Larsen soloist, for instance. For more focus and more power on c and g you can try spirocore, more focus but smoother is belcanto. As a whole set, Eva Pirazzi is very nicely balanced with a mellow sound. Eva gold is more brilliant and the c string can sometimes be too flabby. I can go on for hours talking about more strings. But for your apparent level, I think these are good starting points . Good luck!
  7. Clean the inside with lentils or rice, get a proper led light and then it shouldn't be hard to see corner blocks. Taking the top off only for that should not be necessary...
  8. I would rather suspect a meaning behind this. Something allegoric, for instance along the lines of that the Player doesn't have a voice in Society, or something like that, like a mute violin.
  9. I really like the "flow" of the scroll and particularly the pegbox en profile! Very elegant, i think.
  10. We had a topic a couple of months ago discussing what joint mainly holds the neck in place, and it seemed to be consensus that the button joint takes the main load, not the top block joint. The ribs don't have much to do with holding the neck in place at all.
  11. Just my opinion, but they would compare unfavorably. These strings have a torsion problem, much worse than modern gut strings, which means they need to be bowed with very little weight and a lot of speed. Spiccato and soutillee are almost impossible, long, loud bowing too. I am a professional baroque cello player, and the sound and playability of the lower two brilliant strings have very little to do with gut (which is what ppl usually are looking for when trying synthetic strings) I quite like the upper two strings, but don't use them as I need more power than they deliver.
  12. The stiffness of the neck influences the sound and playing characteristics. If the fingerboard isn't properly glued on, repair could change the instrument negatively or positively.
  13. I, as a cello teacher, would second renting in this case. I never recommend buying fractional size Instruments as they are very hard to sell.
  14. I think it looks fine, apart from the neck root thing. Does it show on the other side too? I once had a slight imperfection in the back of a cello of theirs, a knot about three centimetres from the sound post. I wrote them about it and they gave me a lifetime guarantee on that particular problem. It has not developed into a crack yet.
  15. I think it looks like a well made fiddle, sharp workmanship here and there (i quite like the scroll, but I don't like the Edge work i can see) and good materials, but it also looks very generic, with a bland varnish (especially on the top) and an uninspiring model. It is probably a good violin and could be a fine Player, but I don't think the maker had anything in mind beyond that, and was not terribly interested in the artistic side of the craft. For me that is enough to qualify it as a trade fiddle. If I were a violinist I would happily own it if it plays well, but it is not something extraordinary.
  16. Thank you all for the reactions. I am happy some of you corrected my some of my inadequate undestanding of the subject. I still like these saddles, visually, but understand the technical Problems with them. I've never seen them on newly made baroque violins though, which I think is odd. Are there any examples of this type of saddle on Cellos?
  17. I found a gut string in the Music school I worked at that was at least 40 years old, and went on to use it for two years (it was a c string, they last very long). I still miss it, it was a very good string. That said, there have been occasions on which unused old strings broke within a day or two, usually not during playing. So I think is has to do with the Quality of storage and with how dry the material was when it was new.
  18. I read "E Kirchheim, Geigenmacher". Doesn't give any Google results. Kirchheim is a town in Hessen and I wouldn't be surprised if it is also a last name.
  19. I was happy to see this Photo, posted by @Guido in another thread, of an old fashioned german style saddle. If I've understood well, it was the prevalent type of saddle in Mittenwald for a long period, and was used in Markneukirchen occasionally. I quite like the look of it, (am I correct in asuming the purfling continues over the saddle?) and was wondering why it is no longer in use. It seems even on old fiddles that used to have this style of saddle, routinely the more common style of saddle is installed. I was wondering why. Is there a structural disadvantage to this saddle compared to what is standard nowadays? (standard nowadays would be inlaid in the top plate or cut out of the top plate and gleud onto the ribs and block)
  20. I don't have much experience, but have encountered this phenomenon on a 1/2 size junk violin I took apart and planned to rebuild (don't worry, absolute rubbish with nitro varnish and all). After a couple of weeks, the back warped much more than your plate there. I just wet it on the outside and the inside, placed it on a flat Surface and placed a weight on the centre of the arching, just enough for the edges to touch all of the flat Surface it was on. I left it to dry for three days, and ever since the back has remained almost straight. I didn't manage to rebuild the violin though, I thought it wasn't worth the effort. I should Mention that the back plate in question was a one piece plate without a joint. Wetting the Wood of a plate with a centre joint glued with hide glue would make me nervous.
  21. Well, I'm just wondering (and I'm only a Player), why repair something that isn't broken? You say the violin has a great tone, that means it was in playing condition before you removed the top. As that is proof of the back Performing its intended function, and there is no visible worm Damage in the sound post area, why do you percieve the worm holes as a Problem other than an aesthetic one? Worm Damage usually occurs in green Wood, for it to occur in old Wood it Needs to be stored in very humid conditions over a longer period of time, seams come apart etc, which doesn't seem to have been the case here. Is it not possible the violin was damaged rather soon after it was built, practically came with the worms, nonetheless was used for hundreds of years as a tool of the trade, but now will be hung onto the wall because of some Notion that it will be impossible to sell or might break etc? Even if it does break, what will you have lost, save a couple of Hours glueing it up an setting it up? (Ofcourse, I'm assuming violin repair is your hobby and you would like to Play this violin. If you are a professional maker, then this reasoning is not sensible. I would not wish to have to guarantee the holding up of this fiddles back to a paying customer.)
  22. extreme relative humidity changes might change the tighness of the sound post. (Just guessing)
  23. @rossini, thank you. I've only seen two m19 violins, and although they didn't develop the problems you describe, they sounded much less good than the m20 ones and therefore I've never recommended them. I feel confirmed, after hearing your experience with the m19 line, that that was a good choice.
  24. Nonetheless, we are Talking Haydn C-Major here, a concerto that is very well written in that during the solos, the orchestra has very Little to do. If you as a soloist can't make yourself heard in that concerto, then you most certainly don't know how to produce a proper soloist sound. Playing with a soloists sound usually doesn't sound very nice under the ear, or at least not nicer than a mellow indifferent cello sound, and I almost repeat myself when I say that if the bedroom is the usual venue for playing, the student will not likely enjoy producing the kind of sound needed for a solo, likely will not even see the Need for it, as this sound doesn't necessarily sound louder in the bedroom. It is a personal Frustration as a teacher that I can't seem to convince many of my students of more often using a slower bow with more arm weight close to the bridge. At best they will Play halfway between bridge and fingerboard. If they have a dull sounding instrument, then usually the Motivation for finding a soloistic sound is even smaller, as it Costs even more effort. Such is life.
  25. ok, so here is another amateur testing his empirically collected Knowledge. A well shaped Edge usually isn't round the way you seem to think at all. You have a scoop, that naturally flows from the belly, the arching, upward towards the Edge. Then you have a rounding of the actual Edge. The result in well executed edgework, is a kind of Ridge, where the scoop Ends and the rounding of the Edge starts. On some istrumets this is deliberately accentuated by shaded varnish. This detail of the edgework can be more pronounced, such as in you first example, or less pronounced, as in your second example, but, on good Instruments is practically Always there to some Degree. what I think would be the interesting discussion, is the difference in distance between the purfling and the Ridge on various instruments, or put differently, the distance between the edge of the plate and the Ridge. If the Ridge Comes close to the end of the Edge, it will look very differently (a bit flatter) from closer to the purfling. Please rectify if nonsense!