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Daniel Medina

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  1. I had the pleasure of speaking with Ms. Voss this morning. She and Williams Gengakki violins are also the only shops which hold a full-satisfaction/trade in policy, where you get 100% of the cost back to you in resale of the instrument or 100% reflected back toward a trade-in. This way we both guarentee the condition of our instruments. Stephanie informed me that earlier this week, she had to pull the top off an $8,000 violin just purchased from one of the other shops because of many internal problems on the instrument-after having to carve a new bridge and post. If you are willing to invest that much in an instrument, I feel that it should be in usable condition. quote: Originally posted by shl821022: Does anyone know any good violin shops in the Atlanta, Georgia area?
  2. Hi Lymond, I agree with you that Mr. Forbes's work is very good, both from a player's viewpoint to a bowmaker's/violinmaker's viewpoint. The shop at which I work ruitinely deals in his bows with great success. I hope that you do get to purchase this 'beast' and have a great time with it! Daniel quote: Originally posted by Lymond: Well, with monetary concerns aside, I've found my dream viola bow. *snip* Now all I need to do is scrap together the money to buy this beast of a bow. I don't know why I never thought of having a bow built to my specifications before... Obviously Mr. Forbes had the largest hand in its design considering how little I know about bow-making, but the bow seems to fit me so well.
  3. Hi All, The shop at which I work charges $95 for a full sized violin or viola bridge, $60 for a fractional. I personally spend upwards to 2 hours on a violin bridge, which at a shop rate of $50/hr seems about right to me. We try to give a bit of a 'price break' for fractional instruments. We do not have a 'shop' and 'professional' quality bridge. Strings will not dig in as much into the instrument if the string grooves are well-lubricated- a step which many people tend to forget quite often. All you do is take a sharpened #2 pencil and write in the groove. Then replace the string. To prevent warping- and this is a must- you need to watch the angle of the bridge. Oftentimes people neglect this and the strings pull the bridge toward the fingerboard, which leads to the warping. It is necessary to pull the bridge back to a right angle (to the back of the bridge) to keep the bridge at its healthiest. The shop at which I work uses almost exclusively the Despiau bridge. I agree with Jeffery that they do take a lot of getting used to, however, I feel that I have much more control over the Despiau than the Aubert. As for carving, the Despiaus have quite a different texture from the Aubert Luxe and Deluxe bridges. As for the difference between the sound of the Despiau and Aubert, one of the main reasons why there is a difference is that the waist of the Despiaus are much wider than that of the Aubert. The Despiau needs much more trimming than the Aubert to optimize (Despiaus have smaller holes, much thicker blanks, etc), which may make it seem that the Aubert is a superior bridge. However it would not phase me one bit to use a Despiau on an Old Italian. Daniel
  4. Hi All, I am one of the violinmakers currently working at Williams Gengakki Violins in Atlanta. While I recommend my shop as one which I will give you a quality product, I will also support Stephanie Voss as someone you can trust for quality work and products. As far as Mr. Baran's shop, I cannot support Mr. Baran's shop for a product to be of first quality work in their best possible condition. Mr. Huthmaker, I cannot fully support, although his instruments are generally in better condition than Baran's shop. Fiddles and Sticks, I cannot say anything because I am not familiar with their products and craftsmanship. As far as pricing is concerned- I do not have a say for what price an instrument goes. However, I personally watch the markets, aside from the business which we do, and for a professional shop which fully sets up our instruments and restores them to premium quality, we are in a reasonable market value. Most of the instruments which I see from other shops (aside from Stephanie Voss's) tend to have problems associated with neck angles, lack of quality in previous restorations, setup and overall structural condition security, thus lowering the market value, making them seem like a much better value. Every single instrument which we have sold recently, I have personally worked on to get them to very exacting standards (which we continuously strive to improve). I know for a fact that Stephanie also works on every instrument she deals with as well. I hope that this helps you in making a decision which violinshop to visit. quote: Originally posted by shl821022: Does anyone know any good violin shops in the Atlanta, Georgia area?
  5. How can I add to what people to already said without repeating? You were a friend and a gentleman. You were more giving than anyone will be able to say. Thank you for your joy and kindess. Thank you for your warm and soft heart. Now, Al, you can make violins in the workshop in the sky you said you would wait for. Daniel : I want to share with all readers on this forum the : news I received this morning. AL STANCEL, of Casa : del Sol Violins, died on Monday, Nov. 29, 1999. : I was saddened to learn of his death, as he was my : friend and I know that he was always so open and helpful : to anyone who asked him questions. Al had a big heart : and his honesty and integrity was never in doubt to : anyone that dealt with him. We've lost a wonderful : luthier and he will be greatly missed. : Marsha Folks - Center, North Dakota
  6. Hello Mr. Perplexed, I believe that less hair allows the bow to work better also, but I believe that the ribbon should cover the whole width of the ferrule (metal band). I believe the width of the ribbon of hair allows you to control tone color more. There are some people who put a whole hunk of hair, and that actually stifles the bow. Daniel : Hi, what about this idea that less bow hair gives you more control? (see my full question down below "opinions please") : Thanks in advance.
  7. Hi Melinda, It may be soot/carbon as Ben described. Does it look like that the black is IN the bow? Some bows have sap in them that never really dries but doesn't really affect the bow. My personal bow has this at the grip. If I play a lot (keep the stick warm), it seems to ooze a little bit. A bowmaker colleague restored a Tubbs (?) bow that had this throughout the stick and when he corrected the camber, it oozed it as the stick was heated. It's not really anything to worry about if it is sap. How to get it off hair? Dunno... just get it rehaired every so often... Daniel : Hello! : On my bow there is a black spot - it looks like : the varnish in this small area has blackend. And this : black spot on my bow has made a corresponding black : spot on my bow hairs - I guess it rubbed off, although : no black color gets on my finger when I touch it. : Can anyone explain what this might be and how to : get rid of it? : Thanks, Melinda
  8. I don't see any reason of coating the bridge with oil. It adds too much density/dampens sound overall. The only acceptible thing that I've seen is a thin coat of shellac, but I'm not fond of it. Daniel : Hi folks, : I bought a few cheap Aubert bridge blanks and am experimenting with cutting them myself. (Of course I leave the fitting of the Mirecourt Deluxe to the experts.) : Anyhow, in checking sources for information, one of the documents I found suggested lightly coating the finished bridge with linseed or lemon oil before fitting. They gave no reason for this. : My question is: do you guys recommend this? If so, is the purpose purely cosmetic, or does it have some sonic benefit? And finally, what would be the best type of linseed or lemon oil to use? : Thanks in advance for all your responses. : Cheers, : Steve
  9. Ben, I've seen many different variations on pernambuco, some a light yellow- but most are treated to be darkened (with ammonia or other chemicals). Roman: The white spot on the bow is probably some compound that may have combined with the finish- which is probably shellac. Next time you get it rehaired, the rehairer should probably clean that up. I have a viola bow that oozes sap (?) at the frog end- just needs cleaning every time I rehair it. It doesn't affect playability or anything. Daniel : Hi. : That's odd. Why would it turn white? Brazilwood and Pernambuco are neither light colored woods. I'd also like to know why it happens. : About the value. A bows value is really based on it's ability to function, unless it's a Tourte or something. It may take away some of the resale value to an investor, but if it plays well, it will be just as valuable to a musician. : Ben
  10. V.V., I only glanced at the photos, but it doesn't seem worth what they are bidding on Ebay. A bow like that is slightly more an "oddity" than its worth, although the stick is probably a good piece of pernambuco- but it needs recambering, a new grip and probably a new tip. It's not worth the bid for that bow. It's most likely a German factory bow. I don't know the history of them- maybe someone else? Daniel : Did anybody watch the bidding on these bows? Are they worth it??? : V.V.
  11. Hi Linda, There has been a lot of joking going around in response to this. I am asuming that this is a serious post, unlike some others. The Y2K thing may be a straight-on joke that is just irrelevant, but something that your luthier may have tried to joke around with. It could also be a genuine cause for repair that the luthier has labelled as a "Y2K bug". However, you have stated that the Poggi is in working order. $1800 of restoration is a ton of work and that normally indicates drastic steps like neck resetting, half-edging, and other drastic work. I think that it was a simple joke out of hand. If you think it is serious, just take it to another luthier and ask for an evaluation. Daniel : HELP!!!!! : I was informed today by the luthier who does repair work on my violin that my instrument is not compliant with Y2k!!!! He said that it had something to do with the sound peg and string support system, and would cost about $1800 to fix!!! My violin is a genuine A. Poggi, and is worth a substantial amount of money, but I simply don't have the cash to fix it (I extended myself financially when I bought the violin from him 9 months ago). My question is, don't you think that it was unethical for him to sell me the violin when all along he knew that in a few months it would not be Y2K compliant!!! I'm at my wits end and just feel sick!! : Linda
  12. Hey, Andy, I just wanted to add that with my viola bows, I tried to alter the tension, also, and with my favorite, I tried it tighter, and I thought it became completely unplayable, no bounce, no flexibility, it just didn't want to submit to my hand. I would loosen it just a little, and all the qualities I wanted came back. Likewise, other bows feel like they should be tighter or looser... Daniel : Thanks for posting that. I find it fascinating, and in addition, something else I have recently learned (like yesterday) is how much the tightness of the bow hair can affect the way a bow interacts with some instruments. It had to do with that "Sivori" bow and my cello, but after loosening it and tightening it again, it no longer played so well, but then, when I tightened it some more (more than is normal for me), it was somewhat better. So I tried over-tightening my other cello bows, with similar effect. Perhaps you could experiment with the tightness of your bows and report if it makes differences. : It reminds me of the posting by "OOOoooooooo" on Aug. 28 in response to my post about the amount of bow hair - he described a stand partner who tightens his bow to the point of reversing the curvature - perhaps it is for a similar reason. My own violin-stand partner plays with a good bow, a Hoyer, and when I tried it I found it was lousy for spiccato bowing, or any other off-string strokes - but she kept it very tight. when I loosened it, it clearly did those strokes even better than the Spiccato bow I was using at the time. So clearly it depends on the instrument a lot. : I only wish I had tried varying the hair tightness more when auditioning the 16 cello bows I have tried so far this year. : Well I'm planning to go off to visit a real bow expert today, and try some more cello bows. Perhaps I'll find out more about this. Perhaps I'll buy one - but for sure, I'm going to vary the tightness this time. : Andy
  13. There are some bad jokes in good taste and then there is bad jokes in bad taste. This is the latter. First of all, Adean is not adjusting to the internet. There is NO indication of emotion or direction of thought, ergo if one takes this statement at face-value, as most people do, it is QUITE offensive. It doesn't take a genious to figure that out. If I were to joke about how people of African descent should still be slaves, it would not be funny. Here we are talking about the rights of people, the oppression of people- there is no humor in that. If I joke about the atrocities that the Jews went through especially during the Holocaust, there is no humor in that. Women have endured much longer oppression than most races have slavery. To reduce such things to jokes is to reduce the importance of these situations that even exist today. And to reduce the situations is to reduce the importance of the people involved. I cannot idly sit by and let this apathy to the rights of people go on- even if it is in the form of a "tongue-in-cheek" remark. And think about it: children read this board, and if adults act this way, children will learn this behavior also. I feel that this is not something of which to be proud. My $.02 and then some. Daniel : : Young lady, the answer is simple, stick to less complicated elective classes, like, cheerleading and volleyball. Perhaps a home-ec class? : : Adean : : : Hi, I'm back after about a month of not posting. I've got a teeny little bitty question for ya. Actually, it's more of a gripe. Today was the first day of school, and the first thing the new orchestra teacher did was take my instrument out of tune and got gripey when I discreetly tried to adjust it back in tune. I know I was right because I matched with the tuner thing and my stand partner. I had to end up scooting my whole hand farther back and it was NOT FUN! Then she told me my hand was in the wrong place. Aughhhhh!!! OK, gripe over. What am I supposed to do in the future if she tries this again? : : : Thanx, : : : Katie
  14. That's kinda interesting, Steve. I've rehaired my bows with about 150 hairs for an average bow (occasionally I'd count to see that I'm not putting a whole pound in :-). I've felt that not only did too many hairs stifle the bow (in most instances), but felt tense in the hand, rather than yielding. Daniel : Elias Howe quotes Tourte as recomending 150 to 200 hairs, depending on thickness of the strands. : I know most re-hairs go by the bundle size, but I have found that 200 strands will give a ribbon of hair that is perfectly as wide as the ferrule and 3 hairs thick. : However, most customers want more hair in the bow so that they do not have to re-hair the bow as frequently. I guess paying $30.00 twice a year is worth it to them, even though they would have better "playability" and responce with less hair. : steveg. : : P.S. yes, I do count the number of hairs that I make my bobbins out of.
  15. Hi David, I personally think that modern finishes (poly-u, laquer, acrylics, et al.) are too hard for violins, for the thicknesses generally used. Traditionalists use traditional methods. Old Italianists (If I may coin the phrase) want even more "primitive" varishes. Those varnishes are more "primative" than spirit varnishes, even (as the refined processes for alcohols weren't invented until the mid-late 1700s). I don't think that the factor is about durability, but character. Modern varnishes are too durable that they don't wear pleasantly like the old varnishes- and that is one thing people want. Why else are there a ton of "antiqued" or shaded violins than "new" ones? If you are looking for durable, yes, a modern finish is okay, but I don't look for durable. Old finishes are better for certain objectives, but not all. Daniel : The modern varnishes are much better than those rubbish spirit varnish, 1704, and the French polish.
  16. Adean, I'm sorry that you feel this way about me despite you never have met me. Despite what you may think, I came to the conclusion on the fiddle on my own. I was trying to bring up a discussion about views on violins, a conversation with reasons, but you have to label people and judge them without dealing with the topic. Now, Mr. Dean, if you feel that you have to mudsling, please, email me privately- not for my own "reputation", but for those people who come to this discussion board to learn and discuss matters of music and the violin. Please, give those people that consideration. Daniel : I am not going to explain why, because it really isn't worth my time, but you are a knucklehead. (just refering to the response to my last post in this string)
  17. Hi ADean, Could you define "ugly" and "beautiful"? I find that the market has narrowed down its favorites to a few selected models, and the market has refined itself over to a point where if there is a variation in the model, any derivation, it is intolerated. It's become bland and predictable. It's like the market has loved Champagne wines- there are different nuances of the Champagnes, but you will never make a Champagne taste or look like a Bourdeaux. The back of the genuine Hellmer shows some well executed beestings. They may not be our normal Strad of Cremonese shape, but does that mean it is ugly? It's different yes, but can you automatically discount it as ugly? How can you say that Hellmer didn't have "artistic integrity", what do you mean by that? What does it even mean? If you mean that "taking every aspect to the degree of art" then you rule out every historical luthier except some of the Amatis, Stradivari, and Seraphin. Well even at that, only Seraphin remains, after all, he made his labels artistic. Daniel : I don't know who this Gregory guy is but he is not voting for the same fiddle all the way down. Second, this is way too simple, the first pic gives it away, as for the rest one can go by varnish color, there are way too many repaired cracks, wear on the f holes and coats of bad french polish on the #1 instrument to be faked, plus, the bridge imprint is much more pronounced in the Hellmer, but as someone else meantioned, who would copy a Hellmer, and who would care about it if someone did! The bee stings on the fake are also much too perfect, the boxy ugly beestings on the Hellmer make much more sense and show a distinct lack of artistic integrety. I'm no expert, but the real give away is the absolutely obvious fake age and stress marks on #2 : Adean
  18. I would say that he would either be German/Bavarian or French in influence. It's not where but the influences. Aren't there some Tyroleans and Frenchmen who trained in Italy (or under an Italian makers) who are considered more Italian than those nationalities/regionalities? Daniel
  19. Hi Steve, Well, like I said, I took note of the non-Strad pattern into account and remembered that the earlier Germans were more Tyrolean and the taste at the time was more Amatise than Stradivarian. When it came to the scroll, I looked at both the varnish and wood wear, that the varnish on one was chippy (like a Spirit varnish) and the other was more "greasy" where the wear was much more subtle. Plus the wood wear is more consistant with the wear of the old-style cases, etc. I wasn't sure that that violin could have been an exception to the type of wear from the time, however, the fingerboard wedge confirmed my opinions. The profile shots were kinda tricky, but taking the tastes of tone and model ruled out the fake. When do I collect on my 50 groeschen? :-) Daniel
  20. Hi Steve, Here are my guesses. I've just taken a look at the photos and seen G Gregory's guesses. I've not even really heard of this guy before, but I've guessed anyways. Here they are in Numerical order: 1, 4, 7, 8, 11, 12, 15... The things that influenced me is that at that time the Germans really hadn't taken to Strad patterns as Strads were considered "Shrill" at the time. So the Strad pattern would not be a good choice. Next was the texture of the varnish. It was before spirit varnishes were _really_ popular, so it seemed better that an oil looking varnish was more suitable, I would think. The other guesses were attached to the fiddles that I originally conjectured as the original. Do I win? Do I get to pass go and collect 200 pesos? Daniel : The above and following are photo's of two violins, each of which are labled Joannes Georgeus Hellmer, one 1745, the other 1760. One violin is genuine, the other violin is a German knock off, with phoney cracks and age scuffs. : Pick out the one that is real, and I will post the correct numbers in a couple days. : Ask all the questions you want.
  21. Hi mike, As I understand it, the tenore violas are anything 17" or more, but there is no real set limit on size, just most people cannot handle an instrument over 16 1/2". When people want a tenore instrument and cannot handle it in violin position, they just put it in "viola da gamba position" (or "'cello position" as some people would say :-). Originally, though, they were built to be played in viola position. Just a comment on large violas: watch your hand and fingers as you extend your arm in playing position- the fingers are pulled together as your arm goes out farther and tension is added in the arm, so string length is more of a factor than body size itself, IMO (extending the arm for the same string length as a smaller instrument doesn't affect the arm as much, but there are still limits...) A tenore is 17+ inches and contralto is 15.75-17" and an alto is 14.5-15.75" (it also depends on the tone). Historically, there would be 3 parts for violas, one for each instrument for different tonality... The deeper lower tones were preferred, though. Okay, I more than answered your question... I'll hush up now :-). Daniel : : Hi. : : I read somewhere, I think in the Hill's book (even though I can't find it now), that he made a few child violins. These violins were probably comissioned by royality. He also made several 19 inch violas, just the thought of a 19 inch viola scares me . : : Ben
  22. Laurel, As far as I know, Stradivari did not make any child-sized fiddles. He did, however, make a few "lady's fiddles" such as the "Lady Tennant the Second" (also known as the "Gudgeon the Second")and a "1/4" size violino piccolo (well, one is known to exist). But no child sized instruments I know of. I don't mind being corrected :-) JB Guadagnini, however, did make some 3/4 sized fiddles, one is owned by Midori (if my mind is sane :-) I hope this helped you a little. Daniel : Anyone out there know if Stradivari made child-sized instruments at all?
  23. I've not heard too much about staining pernambuco- the only treatment I've heard is exposing to ammonia to get a darker hue. I've tried staining pernambuco on one occasion, but it really didn't hold, the stain didn't want to soak in, really. (possibly just a bad stain for the job) Pernambuco, like most woods, gets darker with time/exposure to air, so that is all I can mention. Daniel : Just a technical question for the bow makers out there, how do you people stain your pernambuco. I have just spoken with Bill Watson and he told me the way he does it and I was wondering if everybody stains their sticks in the same manner or not. : Ignorant question from a violinmaker, thanks.
  24. David, I am quite acid-skinned. I cannot touch brass or bronze or silver or anything without causing some reaction with the metal. When I work with my fingerplanes bare-handed, I cause both the metal to turn dark brown and my fingers purple. Similar thing with steels and other metals. Just lovely, ain't it? Daniel : I seem to remember a middle school experiment where one used litmus paper to determine if one is "acid" or "base." High acid people turn metal-framed eyeglasses green.
  25. Here is what I count as the 'minimum pieces of wood' which do not count for chinrest or shoulder rest, bow, etc... Just the bare violin: 6 blocks 5 ribs (one piece bottom rib) 12 linings 1 belly (one piece belly) 1 back (one piece back) 1 fingerboard 1 nut 1 saddle 1 neck 4 pegs 1 bridge 1 bass bar 1 soundpost 37 pieces of wood minimum. Not including purfling, which could be fiber (condensed paper)- tailpiece can be metal or carbon composite (or plastic). Strings are not wood, nor is the tailgut, varnish, or chinrest clamps. There may be no pins in the plates... A full violin with a chinrest and with jointed pieces (two piece back and belly, 2 piece bottom rib, etc) the instrument can have up to 70 some individual pieces, but the parts are not all wood... Daniel : In a foreward to Menuhin's "The Violin" : Etienne Vatelot quotes the surprising : figure of 82 or 84 individual pieces : - without the plates! - that go into the : manufacture of one violin. : I haven't tried counting them myself.
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