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  1. In my E-bay buying I often go to the seller and play and carefully look at something before I spend money on it. Many times I have asked friends to evaluate it if distances are great. The fact that the buyer came in very late points to an "old hand" at E-bay not a "newbie". I may be wrong but I have a feeling that the buyer saw, knows or thinks he knows something I am surely missing.
  2. "Ebay's a great place to get a deal on a violin." It's not the same as buying a cup of coffee at McDonalds, and I'm surprised at the number of people who apparently think it is." M.D. I seldom quibble with Mr. Darnton and in this case especially since he is from Chicago (Ray Kroc's home)but on this I will have to disagree. Buying a violin on ebay is just like buying a cup of coffee at Mc D's. In both cases you buy something called one thing ( violin or coffee) and you think they will be wonderful. When they arrive they won't be good( violin nor coffee). Either case I am always disappointed and feel like I got taken in the deal. Some months latter I order another one ever hopeful.
  3. In England they call George Formby style Banjo-ukes "Ukuleles". Those have metal tailpieces. Almost all wooden ukuleles have a glued wooden bridge(no tailpiece). Since ukes can come many forms, from pineapples to airplanes, a metal tailpiece could easily be used on some.
  4. "Has anyone else found that the pegs effect tone?" Pegs do affect tone. My ears can not tell one wood peg from another but could easily hear the difference between wood and metal pegs. I could hear this on both violins and ukuleles so there must be an audiable effect of pegs. Both times the sound was clearer and sweeter with the wooden pegs. It is my feeling that someone who really knows their instrument could hear a difference from changing types of wooden pegs but not in a predictable or significant way.
  5. Put me on the list for Michael's new book. Where do I send the deposit? Will the "Big Red III" have your articles on set up? It should be out soon, I hope.
  6. A few years ago my daughter's friend came to me with a broken violin bridge. She had a recital the following day (Sunday) and asked if I could help. The school rental instrument was a quality German factory about 30 years old and very beat up. The bridge had very large(wallowed out)string notches and had been broken and poorly glued before. I glued the several open seams on the bouts. I put in a soundpost that actually fit and that was in the right place. I was able to rework an old bridge, that I hadn't liked the sound of, to fit her violin. I put on dominate stings to replace her false and worn strings(hers had been a mix some steel and some syn-gut). I reworked her pegs and doped them up so they would work. I then cleaned and polished the violin. I loaned her an inexpensive wood bow ($300 today) that had real hair. In less than three hours,counting glue drying, she had a violin that function at a least a minumin level. She went home to practice. Her mom told me she had to get her daughter to stop practicing that night. The girl, who had planned to stop the violin because it was too hard and she wasn't any good, continued to play the violin. Today she is a first violinist with her college orchestra and has fun playing the electric violin with a couple of bands. I started volunteering to fix instruments for the school the next week. I have learned so much thru that effort. It has really helped my luthier and building skills. No doubt other kids have benefited from instruments that are tunable and have playable set ups. Please, if you do the repair(I think you should), read up and do the repairs right( it will be time well spent). Please use only hide glue, liquid(well within the expiration date) if you can't find the dry. Some of my worst experiences have been fixing bad previous repairs often involving non-hide glue.
  7. Time for me to jump into this mess with my take. Many Cremoness instruments between 1600 -1750 have exceptional qualities. They seem to play with less effort or maybe project farther with the same effort. I think they are somehow more efficient in sound production. IMHO they do not sound better, certainly not close up. They are very capable of making themselves heard above other violins in a concert setting, sounding beautifully. I think that many modern makers are as skilled or better than the best Cremoness. They are not making instruments like those from Cremona. Do not forget many violins from lesser makers in Cremona at this time are incredible instruments. They have attributes not found in instruments made by their contemporiaries in Milan for example. Cremoness instruments always seem light in weight but are not particularly thinly built. This may just be great balance but I think the wood was lighter. It looks like the same wood everyone else was using. The wood may be brighter in color, reflecting more light than other wood. This could just as easly be the effect of the ground or varnish the Cremoness used during the golden period.
  8. Someday I will have to write a book on all "The true secret of Cremona" out there. The problem is there is never any info on how they didn't really work. The authors make headlines with the theory then the theories just fade away with the authors. Someone must have some of these instruments. I have a freind that collects quack medical devices. Does anyone collect quack "secret recipe" violins?
  9. I have seen soundpost standing but with a crack separation in them,like the House of Usher with a great fissure running through it and about to fall! Surprising the one I looked at still had great sound. This might be the source of the many experiments with muliple sound posts that I am aways reading about.
  10. Science News Online announced this: "RUBBERIZED VIOLINS Modern violins may be made to rival the product of the old masters by impregnating the wood with rubber latex before varnishing, according to the claim of a German investigator named Ditmar-Graz, writing in the scientific Natur und Kultur. He states that this treatment causes the wood to remain permanently elastic. " Does anyone know him or anything else about this story? What happened with story?
  11. pvnasby

    Berg Bows

    Any one know what Berg bows are made of? I don't recall seeing it mentioned in their ads.
  12. It is tuned that way so when strummed it sounds great like a ukulele,ukelele,ukalele, or uke. If a uke was tuned to fifths in descending order it would be a Braguinha. Some Hawaiian players ( like Ohta-san) do tune ukes with a low g on the fourth string in order to increase range but to my ear it doesn't have the wonderful bounce of the high G (c tuning). If it descended it wouldn't be "My dog has fleas". Remember Krusty the Clown says " It's a ukulele, the thinking man's violin."
  13. I set mine on a electric "hotplate" but have tried frying pans. You can often see gunk bubbling out as they heat most of which I assume is just moisture(soon to be reabsorbed from the air). I use to roast them near a flame(wood stove,fireplace or bunsen burner) but cacked a completed bass bridge once so now go for slow even gentle heat sources.
  14. Heating definitely changes the color and in my experience improves the sound. The color change is both scorching and carmelizing of sugars found in the wood. What I don't know is if the sound change is permanent or does it revert back as moisture is absorbed from the air over the next few days or weeks? I think that a volatile compound is driven off leaving the wood lighter but with the same strength:I don't know this to be true. I thought I would find lots of info on what happened to wood upon fire-hardening. Are resin diven out, are resins evaporated to a harder form or are they and the wood polymerized into a more rigid form? I found nothing in the literature. Would still like to read something in science article esp. in wood industry journals or in anthropology journals.
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