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Everything posted by ShadowHawk

  1. quote: Originally posted by toc: You guys amaze me. I think I could build a functional human being quicker than I could build a violin. Assuming you could find a willing, female partner... you are right. I warn you though ,the cost is much, much higher! I'd stick to violin making.
  2. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on this topic. I was particularly intrigued by Mr. Williams comment that the "birds eye" look is not the result of knots. I assumed that was exactly what the 'eyes' were and can't imagine what other growth method would result in the look. I had not considered the potential for strength impact until Donuels comment about his cello and do understand the he did not specifically indicate the cracking was due to the birds eye maple. It is worth consideration though. Haven't decided if I like the look or not but it certainly is a bit different and although I am a traditionalist at heart I do enjoy having something just slightly different that adds that somewhat unique visual flavor to an instrument. Thanks again to all who responded and if anyone has a bit more insight into the nature of the 'eyes' I would be interested in hearing from you.
  3. Anyone have any specific thoughts on the use of bird's Eye maple in violin making versus more traditional flamed/non-flamed clean maple? I like the look but wonder if the 'eyes', which I believe are basically branch pieces, would have a deadening effect on the sound. Would like to hear others opinions.
  4. If, as Al's message indicates, the individual is a convicted con-artist, should ebay owners be notified? Seems like the right thing to do if someone has validated information. I'm not sure a maestronet posting from an unregistered user named 'Al' qualifies as 'validated', but I get the impression there are others here who have a bit of background knowledge. One would think the bidders would be grateful.
  5. Shadi, It would likely be far more helpful to those trying to help if you offer a bit more detail regarding what you are looking for. You provided an example which appears well beyond the needs of the amateur player you claim to be. Of course, an amateur driver doesn't need a Dodge Viper, but if money is plentiful it becomes a matter of satisfying ones personal desires. If you are playing in a local 'home town' style orchestra, you certainly do not need to risk $15,000, even if the violin is as described. Violins found in the 2-4 thousand range, offered by prominent makers, will typically satisfy the needs of advanced players and certainly your average amateur. Think of it like golf clubs. Having a great set may take a stroke or two off your game, but you'll still be average. On the other hand, a master will beat you with the worst set of clubs. In the case of the violin, I truly believe the sound produced has far more to do with the skill of the player than the instrument. I have a wonderful instrument that frankly, sounds rather poor to me when I play. I've had others who vastly exceed my skill play my instrument. It serves to remind me that the instrument is capable of far more than my poor skill can extract. It also serves as a reminder that buying a more expensive instrument will not compensate for, nor circumvent the years of practice ahead of me. You asked about the gliga and sofia models I mentioned earlier. Gliga violins are from the Vasile Gliga shop in Romania. Christian Gliga (I believe he is Vasiles son) runs a web site offering several models (http://www.violinslover.com/). Prices run from a few hundred well up into the thousands. You'll see many, many recommendations for these instruments if you search for the word gliga on maestronet. You'll also find simliar comments about the sofia, particularly the grand models. the SHAR web site (http://www.sharmusic.net/home.htm) offers these instruments. A nice Guarneri replica runs about $3,000. A Master artist outfit can be had for well under $4,000. I wish you well in your search and hope you find what makes you happy. [This message has been edited by ShadowHawk (edited 03-31-2001).]
  6. I'm inclined to concede anyones right to their preferential purchase choices but this seems to be a rather expensive risk for someone who characterizes themselves as an amateur player. Granted, there are so called "amateurs" whose skill is a horsehair shy of the skill necessary to earn a living as a professional. It seems that a modern contemporary of known origin and potentially similar tonal quality would be a less risky venture. I've seen the dealer mentioned above offer instruments on ebay in the 15-20 thousand range. Hardly the kind of fair the average amateur would take seriously. In fact, I don't believe I've ever seen one actually find a buyer. Sofia, Gliga, stringworks... hmmm, seems a good selection of known quantities from which the amateur can safely choose without the risk or expense of a suspicious composite. Good luck and best regards.
  7. Interesting thread and timely in my case. I was examining a Vasile Gliga violin on ebay. Most of the gliga's found on ebay are from Christain Glisa "violinslover" web site but this one is from "cleffhead". My question would be one more of personal aesthetics but I am interested on peoples view regarding quality. "CleffHead" shows the violin before and after polishing. The polish appears heavy and gives that high-gloss look of heavy varnish. Assuming it is just polish, what would your take be on the visual quality and the impact on tone. My current violin looks much more like the unpolished version. I like this very much and am very pleased with the tone. I tend to care less for the high-gloss polished version. URL is below. Thoughts? http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?V...indexURL=0&rd=1 [This message has been edited by ShadowHawk (edited 03-30-2001).]
  8. Fascinating... where I was raised we called it "The bird". sorry... couldn't resist.
  9. Fascinating thread. I'm a bit confused about the context of Michaels analogy. I understood Barrys comment to imply that the step was a strong hint of a violin being chinese. I also understand that some european makes also have the step. The evidence suggests that the step really can't be used to determine geographical source, but rather, may identify the general "style", as in cremonese. From this we deduce that a violin, made in china, can be indentified as a cremonese style model, but not necessarily a chinese make. This begs the question, which is more important, the style or the actual geographical location? I suppose where it is made means nothing. After all, I see no reason why a fine Italian maker could not suddenly decide to live in China and make/sell his violins from there while continuing to build in the style of his homeland. Given this, all the value a label can add (assuming any value at all) is the makers name and the style after which the violin was fashioned. The "Made in <insert country>" then has absolutely no bearing on value or style. "Made in Germany" in no way means an instrument any better than one labeld "Made in Bucksnort, Tennessee!". (Yes, there really is such a place . Curiouser and Curiouser but very interesting.
  10. In fair honesty, I was so enraptured by their music that I could not "see" much of anything but the music. It was incredible beyond imagining to enjoy both of these fine musicians.
  11. Wow, three in a row.. but this one is interesting and to Barry. You indicated earlier that a chinese made violin can be identified by a 1 mm step down beneath the nut where the neck "steps down" to the top of the pegbox walls. Examine the european made gliga at this URL. http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?V...item=1417629175
  12. Barry, I didn't see it at first but put a magnifier on it under strong light and can see a very tiny, gently sloping step under the nut onto the pegbox walls. I would have never seen this without a magnifying glass. I certianly cannot tell if such a step exists in the photos that Fubbi2 included above. I have to ask... what does the violin you have in your shop go for retail? The tailpiece on mine was already installed when I bought the instrument at the shop, although the owner had two others with more traditional hill tailpieces. They came very close in sound but were not quite as strong. I compared it to several Sandners in the same price range and the chinese model was far better. It even compared well to several Italian models in the shop which cost well over eight thousand. Hope yours plays and sounds as well. [This message has been edited by ShadowHawk (edited 03-25-2001).]
  13. Hmmm... not sure I agree Barry but it's all speculation. I have what I consider to be an excellent chinese violin and your comment caused me to go back and look at my own. I didn't see the 1mm step you referred to. I did notice however that my pegs are not fitted correctly. They are too long and need to protrude a few millimeters beyond the pegbox exit holes. I'll have to correct that. Odd I had not noticed before. Here's mine... actually quite a different instrument than the one shown above so not a good comparison. http://w3.one.net/~gough/violin/ [This message has been edited by ShadowHawk (edited 03-24-2001).]
  14. Mine is a '2000 model from a chinese shop. I purchased in Cincinnati from Jim Johnson at Strings&Things. Beautiful golden brown wood with excellent grain show-thru. Wonderful full sound with incredible projection. A few pics are available at http://w3.one.net/users/gough/violin Oh, and nope, it's not for sale! [This message has been edited by ShadowHawk (edited 03-24-2001).] [This message has been edited by ShadowHawk (edited 03-24-2001).]
  15. I think this will work. Here's a few shots of my violin. You should get a web page of jpg links. Just click each one to see the photo. I didn't want to place all on a single web page to avoid a huge download to someone using 56K dialup. http://w3.one.net/users/gough/violin
  16. MacCeol, You asked for opinions so here is mine. Yuck. I can understand how others might find the one you like attractive but to me it looks like a poorly revarnished hack. I would think it sounds much better than it looks but one can only guess. I'll admit that I usually gravitate to the newer, contemporary instruments, particularly in the Stainer or Guarneri style. Here's one I've seen offered on ebay several times that I like. http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?V...indexURL=0&rd=1 It's a recent make offered by the luthier. It's quite 'red' and a bit shiney on the bout edges but I do like the style and the deep coloring. I do not care a lot for the "too white" flamed neck. I think a more golden color would have worked better on this instrument. Who knows, I may buy this one someday. On the lighter side, I really like the more plain look, augmented with attractive fittings. A good example would be the intermediate offerings at Stringworks. An example would be http://www.stringworks.com/mall/violinartist.asp This is the quintessential violin to me. The strad body style is very clean and the varnish appears hand-rubbed to enhance the wood grain without covering it. I don't like the two piece back as much, particularly the one in the photo. The matched pieces do not appear to match! Of course, this could be a photo problem rather than a real problem with the instrument. The instrument I like the best is my own. It's crafted with the best of both of the above and is one of those instruments that you can almost tell what the sound will be just by looking at it. If I can find a bit of time, I'll post a few pics of it if there is any interest. Finally, I must admit, as should we all, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and nothing is more beautiful to behold than a finely crafted stringed instrument. Best regards all.
  17. There is no doubt that all here are in agreement that the violin is not an authentic strad, nor are any of the others advertised as works of the orginal masters one might encounter on ebay, but just for grins, what do you think of the violin on its own merit; aside from the authors ridiculous description that is? I do like the varnish on the top and the scroll has nice shading on the side. All in all, I'd rate this (from visuals only) a fairly nice intermediate piece. The hill fittings go well with the overall color and that 'grainy' imaged back is nice. I doubt if the first picture of the back is actually from the violin being offered but if so, all the better. The peg box is clean but the pegs don't sit well. I'd say late chinese strad copy in the 3-500 hundred dollar range. Any takers?
  18. Stringtoad. I apologize for not making myself more clear in my first reply. The 17xx date you saw is a very common date used in copies. The violin you are investigating is almost certainly not of that era. When I said "copy", I meant that it is likely a replica of the 1726 version of the Stainer. As mentioned above, it is probably a creation of the 20th century. Most seem to have appeared after 1940. Good luck.
  19. MacCeol, I've seen several violins and guitars with Poplar backs. Poplar produces a muted sound, resonating less to the sound vibrations. I liken it to the difference between a standard dreadnought and a classic guitar in tonal difference. Some say it creates a warmer, more subtle tone. I don't really care for it myself.
  20. I have no idea if it's original but looking at that chinrest and the case, the thing could have dated from the 1800's as advertised. Has anyone seen a chinrest like this? Those rosewood pegs are replacements but I'm not so sure about the tailpiece. It looks quite old. Perhaps someone knew what they were getting here.
  21. What absolute, unadultered FUN! Thanks Simon. You've achieved the greatest accomplishment any musician can hope for. Wonderful entertainment of others!
  22. Here's a though... albeit a bit unorthodox. Take pictures of the violins and post nice ads on ebay or any other busy auction site. Set a reserve price to a value that well exceeds what you believe each is worth. Most likely, none will sell and you'll get a general feel for what the violin would sell for, sound-unheard, on the open market. Your insurance company could hardly refute a legitimate bid value. If any happen to reach your "over-priced" reserve... well, as they say, everything has it's price. If some do not approach what you think they are worth, only then take them to a shop for an appraisal. [This message has been edited by ShadowHawk (edited 03-20-2001).]
  23. Thank you Jeffrey. Your clearification is correct. I did indeed intend the resource guides as the source of comparitive information. The link I provided was a cut&paste of the URL rather than the specific cgi script which defined the frame. And that last sentence contains more computer tech jargon than any violin enthusiast wants to read! <grin>
  24. The complete inscription is... "Stainer in Absam prope Oenipontum 1726". It means that the violin is a copy of one made by Jacob Stainer, a famous violin maker from Absam, Austria who lived from 1617 to 1683. prope means "made near" and Oenipontum means Innsbruck. Stainer copies often have the name Stainer branded at the top of the violin back just below the neck connection. Modern copies can be worth anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands depending on quality, age, etc. The Stainer design precedes that of Stradivari and tends to be a bit less powerful due to a high arching on the top and a broader, lower back. Since this is a violin you are considering "signt-unseen", here's an ebay offering of a typical stainer copy that will at least give you some idea as to what you might expect. This one has a nasty crack near the base bar and is very dark in coloration but is an interesting example. http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=14 17037560&r=0&t=0&showTutorial=0&ed=985112981&indexURL=0&rd=1 Good luck and enjoy! [This message has been edited by ShadowHawk (edited 03-18-2001).]
  25. Thanks for the support Nemesis. I don't believe concensus is necessary for everyone to move on to more productive discussion. Even without concensus, a few words of encouragement, even couched in dissention, can often incite postive change. I've invested nearly 40 years of my life in the world of music and stringed instruments. I never achieved a level of skill that would allow me to earn more than the meagerest of livings but have the found the personal satisfaction of playing and teaching others to be very rewarding. I'm an engineer in the computer industry so understand well the inquiries, trepidations and fears of those new or inexperienced in that world and always have tried to maintain a position of patience and shared interest regardless of the persons knowledge level. I try to remember that in everything I do, whether it be music, the sciences, or just trying to understand my own teenage daughter (God help me!), I am and always will be no more than a poor student. It is my hope that forever I will remain so, learning a bit more from others with each new day.
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