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Everything posted by baroquecello

  1. I'm thinking you could propose some built in led lights in the sound box, so the lit f holes stand out against the black plate. But seriously, what about making a varnish like you see sometimes on old austrian fiddles, the kind that blackens deeply? You could even attempt a copy of such a violin!
  2. I believe there are no rules like "if it sounds like this, do that", violins are too individual for that. If you are interested, you should probably just contact Dirk Jacob Hamoen, via the site of de nederlandse vioolbouwschool. There is a very superficial article about why he thinks the old cremonese might have done something similar published here. Personally, I find it rather risky to state that you may have found a working method of the old cremonese. It is not something new to make changes to strung up violins in the white. It is just that the process with the magnets makes it easy and reliable. In any case, like I said before, this is not a method that makes a silk purse out of a sows ear, only to get the best out of what you have.
  3. Well, I was very sceptical beforehand. I believe the ideal violin sound of Dirk Jacob Hamoen differed somewhat from that of the violinist present, but he nonetheless changed the violins sound in the direction she preferred. The simplicity of the whole concept is laughable, considering everything that has been done and tried. Also, I have no clue what will happen to the instrument when it is varnished, or to what extent the changes are pertinent when the sound post stands elsewhere than when the changes were made, so I'll have to take other peoples word for it that the changes largely remain. But to my perception the changes to that particular instrument were very real, predictable and at times rather dramatic. As I will likely keep attending the school for quite a while, I'm sure I'll have other opportunities to get a clearer picture of it and make up my mind. If it is indeed snake oil, it will die a silent death, and I will not mourn for it. If it has a core of truth, the method will spread. Time will tell.
  4. I've only started making my first violin, and am far from completing it. But at the violin making school in Makkum, the Netherlands, I was witness to how a white violin was "intonated" by Dirk Jacob Hamoen, and I found it a convincing method with repeatable results. The method works with completely set up violins in the white. A good violinist should be present to play and give feedback. You play the violin as is, and find its weakest tonal characteristics. You then use a set of rare earth magnets that you place on the front or back plate. You should have a systematic, but not too fine grid in your head to help you place the magnets. You find the place where you can attach the magnets that makes the problem go away. You then take wood away from exactly that place. This counterintuitively will have the same effect on the tone as the magnets had, because what you were influencing with the magnets was not the weight of that spot, but the weight/stiffness ratio. If you take wood away, the weight goes down, but the stiffness goes down much faster, the main thing you are adjusting is therefore the weight/stiffness ratio. You do this for every weakness you find and end up with a violin that works. You can't make a violin turn brilliant if it had flaws like bad wood or bad arching, but apparently you can almost always make it balanced and playable. Witnessing this being done was truely spectacular, as I hadn't expected this to work at all. The difference it made exceeds anything you can achieve with setup like bridge, strings, sound post etc etc. Also the precision with which even a single note could be improved, and the repeatability of the process were impressive.
  5. I've seen at least 25(probably more) instruments from Yita, cellos, violas and violins, in the past decade or so. None were terrible, and some were quite good. I know a professional player who actually prefers her Yita baroque violin to her, formerly main, antique baroque violin. The value for money ratio is very good. In my experience, the T20 are worth the extra money, because they simply sound a lot better than the T19 instruments. I've never played a master grade instrument, but I would trust them to also be rather good for their price. The T19/20 will need a better setup in order to get the best performance out of it. This usually means improvement of the fingerboard, upper nut and sometimes the fit of the pegs, which are all left semi finished. You will also want a new bridge and likely a sound post, as those are not of the best wood quality and you will notice great improvement of performance with better ones installed. You will also need a good set of strings. While this all sounds like it will cost a lot (it may double the price of a violin) it is worth it on these instruments. I've had a cello myself (sold in the mean time) that had a minor issue, and costumer service was prompt and reasonable. The bows that are standard with the instruments are not good, the cases so-and-so.
  6. I've got a question about the purfling and the general style of finishing on this violin. The purfling is very close to the edge in this fiddle. I've seen this on a couple of violins, usually what I expect were Markneukirchen/Schönbach trade violins. Mostly the edge work then is rather rounded and most of such violins have everything "smoothed out", except for the corners, which usually are rather "spiky" and long. Like everything you see on this violin. Like with this violin, they usually look like somewhat better quality trade violins, but I don't like this style at all. Is this a style that was in fashion and was it also used by better known violin makers (as opposed to Markneukirchen Handelsware)?
  7. That is exactly my experience, but mainly for instruments that sound and play a lot better than they "should", considering what they "are". Such instruments are often sold between players, not seldomly above the usual asking price for" what it is", because of tonal qualities. You could say people buying such instruments get ripped off, but on the other hand: if they are happy with the sound, did they really lose much?
  8. As you can see, many differing opinions. I very much like Nathan Slobodkins post, some very good advise there. Also the advise to not save expenses on the bow is very good! A bad bow can make a stradivarius unplayable. For the bow, I would reserve at least 1,500$ if not more. If it seems excessive compared to a 3000$ (ofcourse if you want to shorten your search or get a higher quality or older instrument, or if you live in an expensive corner of the world, more can be spent. 3000 is just a minimum) violin, I can understand that, but you really need a good bow with good balance, good string response and both good stability for cantabile playing and "bouncing" qualities for virtuoso playing; a bow that does everything it needs to do, because a bow that doesn't will not only slow down, but likely also harm the development of your childs playing considerably. But first pick a violin, and then find a bow to go with the violin, as bows will work with one violin, but not with another. It is still many years away, but just a thought: if you find studieing music in the US too expensive, consider Europe. For instance, here in Germany the first 14 Semesters are almost tuition free (500 $ for 6 months) You probably save so much in terms of tuition that flying over for visiting is going to be no problem at all.
  9. I'm a cello teacher, my parnter is a violin teacher, so I have a somewhat different perspective and hands on experience with the kind of student you talk about. There are very well playing violins to be had for around 3000 $ that will not be detrimental to the development of your daughters technique. Key is that you really need to look for a good instrument, and try out many. When our students get to the point of buying a 4/4, for the better students, it is not unusual for them to buy the 10th instrument they are trying out at home (ofcourse, they also tried out many more in shops before). The instrument should have an impeccable setup, and it should be tried out by experienced professionals as well. If your daughter at a later age would decide to go pro, it will not be hard to sell a well sounding instrument in that price range (although it may be handy to keep it as a good spare in case of emergencies), so it is unlikely that you will lose a lot of money.
  10. Small cellos, if well made, can sound surprisingly good. especially with the strings that have become available in the past decade, even 1/8th cellos can almost sound like a cello, and not a screechy squeecky thing. If you'd like to make a small cello, and play the violin, why not make a cello da spalla?
  11. As a cello teacher, I want my students to play on well-sounding instruments from the start. I'd be highly surprised if this cello-shaped object sounds anything like a real cello and probably tell them to steer away from it. I've played on a couple of fairly well sounding cellos with a plywood back, but have never encountered a cello with a plywood top that sounded ok.
  12. here is a online german translation from the early 19th century. in case it helps...
  13. a Krentz might help, yes. It is the best choice for a wolf killer I know. There are a lot of small things that each can influence the severity of the wolf. In combination that can do a lot. Check for open seams, loose blocks, etc etc. Well fitting sound post and bridge help, also the position of the sound post can do things. The sound post should not be too loosely set! The type of tail piece (weight, material, length etc etc) and even tail cord, and also the position of the tail piece in relation to the bridge can have very big effects on the severity of the wolf (and sound in general). End pin fit can have an effect (should fit well), and end pin material and/or weight can also make a difference. Some strings will exacerbate a wolf dramatically on some cellos. I have a cello that has a terrible wolf with any other g and c string apart from Larsen Magnacore Arioso. So, there are a lot of things that can do have an effect. It is really trial and error.
  14. The cost of these repairs done well will be a multiple of the market value of this violin in restored state. From a financial point of view, at this time it makes no sense to get this violin up an running. Maybe the market willl value things differently in say, 100 years. I believe this violin got damaged pretty early in its life. The varnish looks almost new on large surfaces of the violin, which is unusual for such violins.
  15. The back looks like beech to me.
  16. Taking out a neck is always a somewhat risky operation, but I just fail to see how a neck reset could go wrong the way your lutier described it. Coupled with the damaged varnish, and the (to my eye) somewhat clunky looking new bridge, I'd say go find a lutier with a good reputation and discuss this with them. A new york style neck reset (actualy a pull-back o the neck) might have done the trick in its original state, though it can only do so much. The better the instrument originally was made, the less space you'll have for such an operation without it looking ridiculous (unfortunately I'm talking from experience as a customer). Now that you want to get rid of the wedge etc, I think it is likely a proper reset will likely be your best option.
  17. How about building up a blob of hard wax on it and then carve it into a convincing eye brow? I've never worked with this myself, but my historical piano has had some edges repaired this way. I understand it is reversable.
  18. I'm only a player, but to my eye, the bow looks like a standard cheap-ish beginners bow. I would not be surprised if the mis-aligned button was that way from day one, and in that case no repair is needed. If the stick is straight, you may wish to rehair it. If the stick is warped, I think I'd leave it.
  19. I'm not sure, that it has to do with that, ofcourse, but there are three possible ways of placing the thumb on a modern cello bow. One is on the thumb leather and the thumb projection, one is to put the thumb right onto the edge of the thumb projection, and a third is to place the thumb onto the thumb projection, opposing the ferrule. Maybe it was left so thick for a prospective buyer to adapt it to their needs?
  20. I'm a player, so I'm giving you a players perspective mostly. The work looks well executed, so I wouldn't worry about structural issues. However, I do think that, if it was done to resize the instrument (are you sure about that?), the route taken here (cutting off all of the edge and, by the looks of it, replacing it with new wood) is a rather unusual one. Usually one would take something out of the centre seam and/or reduce the size of the upper and lower bouts, leaving the original C bout and corners intact. Again, it looks structurally sound, but the original corners, purfling etc are gone, and that should have a major impact on the value of the instrument. What are we looking at?
  21. Have you tried stringing it like a viola once? There is a market for good sounding small violas, isn't there?
  22. I would agree with the player: it sounds very good! As you say the thickened part under the f hole is the least efficient part, maybe you could elaborate on the other parts a little? I'm a little surprised by your bass bar, in particular when thinking of your triangular shaped bass bar which was somewhat heavier than a regular one, this one is likely a lot lighter, is it not? How do you explain that it works well nonetheless? Because the missing weight is in the braces? And the most important question: have you tried this out on a cello yet?
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