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Everything posted by stringcheese

  1. Totally agree with the above. Just had this exact discussion with a guy making a carved mandolin. Basically told him just do it again and the second one will be better. And the third, and the fourth.......
  2. Too bad it's all wrong and doesn't even fit the violin correctly.
  3. Once worked on a guitar that had lived in a barn. Had mud dauber nests in it with live larvae.
  4. The reamers that I have found work best (for me) are those with four cutting edges on one side and the other side blank. I used one for a long time that had cutting edges all the way around, and it would often make the hole polygonal. I have not used the spiral reamers. I am sure others will have more thoughts on this. Care of use is also important with sufficient pressure to keep the reamer aligned but not so much to ear things.t
  5. No, those are waaay better. Honestly it looks like a low end trade violin that wasn't worth much before it was butchered.
  6. Maybe try Chris Germain. Christopher Germain Violins in Philadelphia.
  7. The outer wrap on the G string is often silver, while the wrap on the D may be aluminum or another lighter metal or alloy. Hence the D will need to be of larger diameter to produce the desired tension.
  8. I use the skin (a tiny piece cut from a calfskin banjo head) and remove the little tube. Like Mark, I find that the tube can mess with the sound and the groove.
  9. The thing to remember is that plucked instruments and bowed instruments are entirely different things. While pizzicato on a violin can be an interesting tonal accent, it isn't how the instrument is usually played, and that's a good thing. The tailpiece compared to a fixed bridge on a guitar is also a different animal. If you take two similar guitars and set up one with a tailpiece and the other with a more conventional (guitar) bridge, they will sound different. Someone did an experiment a couple of decades ago to determine the primary way a guitar bridge moves. The rocking motion proved to be far more important than the up and down motion. An arch top guitar with a tailpiece may be somewhere in the middle, but it is still very different from a bowed instrument.
  10. Tuners probably added later.
  11. The biggest problem is ignorance, both on the part of the sellers and the buyers, particularly with venues like fleabay. But I'm sure it sometimes goes further than that.
  12. I agree with Rue on this one. Less is more. Some companies are certainly better at this than others, and we do buy in bulk when we can. Rue, gotta ask: Where on the Canadian prairies?
  13. An early associate of mine in this business (who has since gone on to a higher level) once said: "Violins are the most deceptive things to deal with because they're all made to look like something that they're not."
  14. Had one about 20 years ago, dated 1930, that was likely a trade violin, and we sold it as such. Nicer than some, but nothing special
  15. Definition of expert: Ex is out, after, passe. And spurt is a little drip under pressure.
  16. Yeah, I see something. You'll need to have someone take a close look at the inside. If you can get a photo of the pst area through the treble f hole it might tell us more.
  17. It will need a good deal more than just strings. Aside from an impressive layer of crud, it will certainly need a fairly complete set up, a tailgut, a properly fit bridge and pegs. And I would be concerned with what appears to be a damaged area on the back in the soundpost area. Before doing anything further, get it looked at by a knowledgeable violin repair person. If you tell us where you are the members here can probably suggest someone who can help you.
  18. Once pulled a mud dauber (wasp) nest out of a guitar that still had live larvae in it. Most of them have been vacated before we find them, like this one.
  19. I cannot say for certain, but it is likely that the instrument is a pretty typical German trade grade violin from the early 20th century. And the story of it being brought from the old country is most likely family mythology. We hear a version of that story pretty often, while reality is that most immigrants came with little more than the clothes on their backs. Once they became established here they would purchase things that they wanted or needed. These violins were imported by the thousands and sold by every wholesaler and music retailer in the country. The fact that the bow is marked Japan may be an indication that the violin and bow were bought here and at the same time. Unfortunately the violin has had an extremely poorly done top repair and is probably not worth the cost of restoration. None of this, by the way, diminishes the sentimental value.
  20. Got a box full of them. The ones in the photo look a little nicer than most, but still not usually a good idea (unless you're Tommy).
  21. Perhaps if you tell us your location we can suggest a dealer somewhere in your area. You want to deal with specifically a violin shop, not a general line music store. And yes, there are some very good American makers (and some really bad ones, like anywhere).
  22. "Tourte" is to bows as "Stradivarius" is to violins.......
  23. Think of the outline of the space through which a string is vibrating. It's curved. The scoop (also called relief) is intended to match this curve (sorta).
  24. The brand on the button was applied because goods imported into the US were required at one time to be marked with their country of origin. It would have been applied by the maker or exporter, and could have been put anywhere, often stamped on the label, stamped on the inside of the back, printed on the label, anywhere.
  25. We use evaporative humidifiers, where the water is drawn up into a wick and a fan then sends air over the wick, dispersing the moisture through the room. There is a dust filter on the back where the air enters, so it's clean air and there is a bacteriostatic treatment added to the water (in a small amount) to eliminate the bugs. We change the filters and wicks at the beginning of the heating season and again in the middle of the season as needed. We have three of them running in the main part of the shop and another one in the smaller back room. We aim for about 45 to 50% in the main shop and a bit higher in the back room, where we put all of the cracked instruments that we see this time of year before we repair them. I don't like the misting humidifiers as they tend to coat everything with a fine powder.
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