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Everything posted by stringcheese

  1. 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
  2. Tuners probably added later.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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."
  6. 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
  7. Definition of expert: Ex is out, after, passe. And spurt is a little drip under pressure.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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).
  13. 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).
  14. "Tourte" is to bows as "Stradivarius" is to violins.......
  15. 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).
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. What we are really talking about is temperature compared to dew point. The dew point is that temperature at which the air would be saturated (think fog) given its current moisture content. Unless there is actually fog forming or moisture condensing on surfaces, the dew point is lower than the temperature. So if it is 20 degrees outside, the dew point is lower than that. If you then bring that air inside and raise its temperature, the dew point does not increase, at least not by much. Hence the relative humidity drops, and when it's really cold, it drops a lot.
  19. Also check for wear in the fingerboard. A really small groove can do nasty things.
  20. Gotta love violins with names. I once owned a J. B. Squier named "Miriam, Sweet Singer of Israel".
  21. I checked the Wenberg book and there is no listing for him. Certainly the idea of contacting David Bromberg is a good one. Also, you might contact Christopher Germain in Philadelphia. He contributed to another book on American makers that is more detailed but not as broad as the Wenberg book. But Deans' advice to put out lots of feelers MAY eventually net a result. Good luck!
  22. I have somewhat mixed feelings about the wood we use in these things. On one hand, preservation by substituting some alternative material sounds noble. On the other hand, making these woods and the environment that they live in valuable in their own right can lead to preservation. A good deal of the Brazilian rain forest, for example, has been lost to slash and burn agriculture. If we can make these materials valuable enough to encourage sustainable harvesting and environmental preservation, we may well come out ahead. There are some people doing exactly that, notably with pernambuco in Brazil
  23. Quoting Martin: "Having said that, at the very beginning of my violin dealing days I got a free Henry with a 200 euro Mirecourt violin."Happened to me too, a nice Henry bow with a somewhat decent but unremarkable violin. I don't hold my breath waiting for it to happen again though.
  24. We've had many of these. They are acceptable student violins, but little more than that. We've typically sold them for about $500 or 600 once they were fully set up. A dealer might pay a couple of hundred for one as is. Incidentally, in the photos the bridge is about a centimeter out of place. That's a pretty good indication that it needs to be set up correctly.
  25. Guitars and violins are simply different animals. Yes, arch top guitars, either acoustic or electric, have tailpieces like violins do, but in just about every other respect a plucked instrument is different from a bowed instrument. And flat top guitars with fixed bridges are even more so. Yes, a truss rod controls neck relief, the little bit of curve in the neck that's necessary for the guitar to play cleanly (violins have it too). But neck angle is a separate issue. I could go on and on, but the main point is that you just can't think of guitar repair/set up the same way you do violin repair.
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