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Everything posted by viola_license_revoked

  1. *gee...* this is peaking my curiosity... the mic input impedance appears as 3.9K on the web brochure and 22K in the manual... the manual also mentions "plug-in-power" at the mic input... is that the phantom power of the electret kind? (as in 2V etc) i'm wondering if the device will prompt the user to select "plug in power" when a mic is detected. i'll try and borrow one tomorrow to find out. the minimum input level does seem to support a dynamic mic. one could try a break out cable to two dynamics... i don't know. i have no experience with the M10. i think the quality of the etectrets in question appears to be cause for concern. i would just get better electret mics. problem solved... i'm broke thus i'm cheap. my take is going to be how little i can get away with rather than what is the best there is. the idea is to get better mics than what is already inside the M10. which appears to be a solid piece of gear according to many folks on the internets. i think there is a preference indicated for separate L and R mics. most popular portable battery operated electrets are one-point stereos. so there's that... if separation wasn't a big deal, i would go for an old AT822 if they are still available. its successor the AT8022 is too rich for my blood. if not, i would go with 48V phantom powered mics. the M10 is about $200. assuming that is the upper limit on how much a pair of mics can cost, our search can be narrowed down quite quickly. they'll have to be small diaphragm electret condensers. off brands can be had for $20 a piece... amazon and ebay are full of of them. a pair of phantom pencil electrets like the behringer c2 , or samson co2 might work. a separate 2 channel phantom power source will be required. something like the Nady SMPS-2X. we'll need a stereo mini to 2 XLR breakout cable. and a couple of 10 or 15 ft mic cables to allow a crazy 20-30 ft radius in which to position our mic's for placement experiments. that's all our budget may allow. i'm a little nervous about buying off-brands. but they may be in the running. i am not a fan of mic hiss. so when it is not live sound, i prefer large diaphragm condensers. i'll take ribbons in a heartbeat if i could afford what i want. my goto poor man's mic is the CAD M179 hooked up to a behringer 802. at 28mm i don't think the CAD is a particularly large condenser. but the fantasy numbers in the user's manual promised me 11dBA self-noise, which is like gouge-my-eye-out amazing to me. for acoustic multi-tracking, this is what i need. and if i'm going to be lied to, it might as well be cheap. i'm a novice and this setup suits my needs and budget. r
  2. valve anything is cool. you must be a cool person Mr. N. i'm having valve issues myself. the older i get, the more cynical i become and the more i hate everything. maybe i need to be better shielded from modern life or i should just work on being a more grounded person. is there a UL listing or FCC cert. for wanna be violin makers like me? sorry for airing my personal problems. the electret capsule, like Mr. Yacey says, is very sensitive to a lot of things. the internet says it is a pre-polarized and permanently biased capacitor. the internet says the battery we put in the mic powers the pre-preamplifier that is routed to our recorder mic input, which has a pre-amp in it. try pointing our suspicious mic at a wall socket or the motor of a running electric fan and see if the hum increases or not. this may tell us if the mic is picking up hum from external sources. all preamps are created unequal. including the one we have in the mic and the one we use in our recorder. further problems occur if they don't like each other. excessive gain issues may result in distortion. the internet says a standard mono 3.5mm jack has a hot tip and a ground sleeve. if the ground sleeve does not make proper contact with the recorder input socket, or if the recorder socket is blown, we might have a shielding problem and increased hum. standard mono 3.5mm jacks terminate from unbalanced outputs. we can expect noticeably increased noise issues if compared to proper balanced devices. if the device was balanced and had a phono jack, it would look like a stereo jack. hot tip, cold ring and shield sleeve. hiss may be a form of self-noise. the internet says electrons are noisy little buggers. thus we would expect our mic pre-preamp to be hissing its head off when it is turned on. also, small diaphragm mics are more susceptible to amplifying the sound of busy air molecules berating their little capsules. this is called a-something-effect named after a famous scientist whose name cannot remember. ( i know, i'm always this helpful...) the question though, is... was... our mic making this sort of noise always? or just recently? do we have a dead battery? the noise floor on my portable low end zoom recording devices are pretty sad. one would not want to go out and record nature sounds with it, unless we have a preference for the presence of a distant waterfall in the background of all our recordings. i do have a friend who owns a few very expensive electrets and a high end zoom to record nature. he did mini documentaries for a park museum, so he knew what he was doing. mics run anywhere from $3000++ for a U something or an AEA R44 ( please let me have one of those... please...) to a few bucks for a diy. anyway the most important thing, is that we get a mic and some way to record that suits our needs, expectations and budget. all recordings are engineered and thus unnatural. but that's a moot point since all hearing is subjective to begin with. still, a good mic is important. this is especially true if we are recording instruments for research or even just for fun. (ribbon is the way to go... also get a Cloudlifter to go with it. or just get an active ribbon. i want one so bad... ) r
  3. may i ask what mic and recorder you have? does sound like shielding problem as Mike puts it. some equipment may have more self-noise than others. small diaphragm consumer electrets, unbalanced sources or aging components will do it. ray
  4. Thank you all for your valuable input. I'll be patient for now and go round in circles until I hit something.
  5. hello MN pegbox i've said this before: i want to learn violin repair and making. but a $30k to 80k course is out of my reach. i suspect i may never even attend an occasional workshop. still, sitting around twiddling my thumbs is causing insomnia and anxiety. leading to obsessive habitual lurking on MN and elsewhere. resulting in more insomnia and acute anxiety so dumb questions: what are the most basic skills a beginning fiddle repairer/restorer would need to learn? if there was a 3 year repair course to be had, what would be on the first couple of semesters' course outline/syllabus? is there a step-by-step and logical approach to follow? most schools have course descriptions that include lines like " learn basic hand and tool skills". what does this mean? if i bought enough wood to practice joining 10 tops or backs, would that qualify as a start? how about " learn a repertoire of common repairs" . what are common repairs anyone must learn? i have amassed a sizable collection of fine ebay fiddles for such an endeavor. there are many delicious sound post cracks, missing bits, broken peg boxes, neck, crushed sides and etc. which ones should i kill first? in the absence of an examining body, what could be an alternative way to check my own work? if i broke the piggy bank and bought the Weisshaar book, could i use it as a text book to learn how to fix my fine found collection of fiddles? does the Weisshaar contain all the known violin repair knowledge in the universe? i ask only because $300 translates into a lot of food... which i will miss dearly if i bought the book. i twiddle my thumbs and wait to be berated. sincerely, ray
  6. Maybe it was an antic reproduction... ha ha. sorry, didn't mean to be clever. Anyone tried titanium tuners? R
  7. hello Jake and welcome i'm Ray. all good points have been pointed out i'll add some bits. which may or may not help. no two pieces of wood are the same, thus no two stringed instrument will sound the same. like a box of 10, no single reed will feel like the perfect one you remember from last week. fiddles are like that in the high-strung world of singing wood boxes. wind instrument brands are detachable from their original makers. you don't think Henri Selmer when you pick up a MK VI. one might have a tough time playing an old Haynes flute with a traditional scale, but a cheap Jupiter with a Bennett scale may tune easier. winds change and evolve quite a bit. stringed instrument makers, on the other hand, have been trying their best to emulate the same 1/2 dozen great makers for the last 300 years. stare at pictures for a while and you'll pick up key features . anyway, models matter little with student instruments. For most American businesses, most imports come from China, a smaller portion come from elsewhere, like Romania or the Czech Republic. you could order Chinese instruments yourself and have your own label inserted. or you could buy an American fiddle made by a Chinese luthier working in America. i remember Indian and Korean violins some years ago...? i believe Yamaha stands out because they are relatively consistent. but for every brand Yamaha, Strunal or whatever someone recommends, you'll find fiddles that sound like an indignant goose stuffed in a down pillow. there are 2 ways to sell a student instrument: take a cheap instrument and pile on all the bells and whistles, or take an expensive one and strip away all the expensive. the latter is preferable . important things for student instruments include a good top, decent fingerboard. good bow, good strings, a working tailpiece with built in fine tuners and good set-up. set up basically refers to properly fitted pegs, proper height and profile of nut, bridge, fingerboard concavity , etc. they make it play better. a poor set-up will impede progress. imagine a sax with inconsistent key heights, uneven springs and loose play everywhere... the bells and whistles include: a prettier looking but pointless back and neck. prettier looking but useless chin rest, tailpiece and pegs. prettier looking but inconsequential foam case. a cheap carbon composite bow is more consistent than cheap wood bows. bows matter a lot, equivalent to the breath of a wind player. for every ten cheap wood bows, you might find a couple fit for student use. the rest will disappoint. fiberglass bows are consistent but stiff and heavy, they lack subtlety and technical malleability for aspiring students. they are great for stabbing teachers. won't break. base your sale on the unique sound and quality of an instrument. if you found an awesome 5RV at the store, you wouldn't give it back and ask for another new one in-the-box. same with fiddles. there are carved, laminate and hybrid carved/laminate instruments. common carved instruments feature maple neck, sides and back. spruce top. ebony fingerboard. this combination offers the best hope for a decent instrument. fancier wood cost more . but may not mean better sound. carved instruments range broadly in quality and price. from unplayable to unobtainable. laminates are evil sounding plywood instruments. bad fingerboards painted to look like ebony. bodies often painted all sorts of vulgar colors. no serious student should ever play a green violin. everyone knows the purple ones sound better. setups are horrible. having blasted plywood fiddles, i must say plywood cellos and basses are cheaper. plywood basses actually have a following for other reasons. plywoods can take a beating. you could also have a carved top on a plywood back. most "popular" electrics suffer from bad workmanship. the only "affordable" electric i like is the Yamaha. other expensive ones include NS and Zeta. you could put a Barbera transducer on a decent body and improve it awesomely. for regular fiddling, a LR Baggs bridge is tops. a Fishman bridge-mountable should be considered minimum. pre-amp is useful for none piezo- friendly amps. use an acoustic amp if in doubt or EQ like crazy. you can take apart a piezo guitar saddle pick-up and repurpose it for fiddling. pair that with an Artech AB1 and voila! but that's a different thread. cheers
  8. if you are not oppose to putting a hole in the top, you could do one of those "hole through the heart" fiddles. it works very well for 5 strings and i once did an octave fiddle with a 4/4 violin using shortened cello and viola strings. it was difficult to bow but then again i could have made it better with better strings and spent more time on it. that and perhaps a propane torch. scratching was accomplished with a cello bow. greetings from Miami R
  9. <p> double checking to see if i was the only Ray posting in this thread...i think i am. thank you very much Mike, its an honor to have you comment on my stuff! Ray
  10. glued fingerboard back on, completed rib doubling, rib section fitted to bottom block. can begin on button proper now...
  11. thank you very much Brian. i was tempted to split the block but wasn't confident that was the right thing to do. i will do so next time if the need ever arise. i learned a lot from your pictures! thank you. hello Barry , sorry for the lousy picture, i was trying to keep the file as small as possible. it's actually a pencil line. not sure why or how it got there. on the back, someone also drew a circle where he or she thought the sound post had to to go. the soudpost has thin strings tied to the top and bottom end. no sound post cracks on either plate. spent too much time taking it apart... taking a break tonight. information overload. hope to come back stronger in the morning. thanks Ray
  12. hello bcmviolin i meant to ask, why did the lower corner blocks looked the way they did? should i do the same somehow? thanks. Ray
  13. thank you bcmviolin, Mat, Fellow and Evan i will attempt the rib doubling first because i've done one of those haphazardly in the past. this time i will pay close attention to the excellent pictorial example and learn from it. yes i will stick to hide glue. if i'm still awake tomorrow night, i will get plastered, along the detailed instructions from Evan. many thanks for taking time to explain. i took apart the neck this morning. its going to need a new nut. i will leave off the badly executed shims and reset the neck at a better angle later. i have decided to go with a button graft and a new neck block. thank you all for the information that pointed out where i needed to go next. will be digging into the archives yet again and googling the night away. the top is fine as far as i am concerned. i don't think there will be time to take care of a few minor things that bug me. i have to let them go. grateful person Ray
  14. thank you just the same lyndon. have a good one. so the pieces fit back nicely, but there are chips missing.
  15. thank you Matthew Noykos, Jesse and lyndon i understand what a clavette is now. i will toss a coin and figure out if i should go with a graft or a clavette. and yes i think the back definitely needed to come off. i wanted to remove the top too so that i could get to the ribs andf do a proper doubling. so here's where i'm at... i think the top[ block isn't really doing its job. it was a bad fit all round and i am thinking about replacing it. i understand the rationalw behind conservation and do no harm as the first rule. and i am aware that this particular instrument is perhaps not of great monetary value. at what point do i ditch conservation or should i stick with it come hell and high water? i undefrstand the rationale behind using hide glue. is thdere ever a good time to use AR, CA or PVA? if so, what would i need to know to make that judgment? need to get some sleep before work. will post update tomorrow night. or tonight rather. thanks Ray
  16. thnak you Chet, i have the highest regard for your words. yes, i'm beginning to think 2 weeks is unrealistic. picked up a real doozy didn't i? no i've never done a button graft and i've never seen the Weisshaar book. i'm taking it apart while gooling button anything right now. its going to be a long night. than kyou Mat. rib it! i'll start making cauls asap. yes, i'm disassembling it presently to have a better look-see at what is going on. its a trade fiddle. i have no clue of its value. and after i get done with it, i'm going to guess it'll be worth less. Thank you Jesse. the picture helps a lot. i think i can do it. the button break took a bit of wood on the treble side and its no where to be found. in doubling and grafting new wood, would i have to cover areas left and right pf the button or should i keep the graft a straight "tongue"? something else came up i didn't see befroe: the fingerboard was once shimmed to make up for an angle issue i assume. would this be the time to remnove that shim, reset the neck for a better angle or leave it and set the neck as is? the shim job wasn't great. warning: attached pic is rather long.ish thank you Ray
  17. greetings to all here's a fiddle belonging to a friend of a friend that i've been asked to fix. before i jump on it, i would sure like to hear some suggestions from the experienced folks on this forum i have two weeks. thanks in advance. r
  18. hi i build without a mold because i don't know how to use one yet. i saw it on Helen Michetschläger's website years ago. there are also a couple of relevant articles by Benjamin Ruth and Shem Mackey in that Trade Secrets book Strad mag put out back in '09. a few people here have posted bits of mind boggling stuff in the past working without a mold, for copying or other reasons. its really awe inspiring. as an amateur i will do whatever i can however i can to make that darn sound box i really want to make. if's, but's, how, why or why-not's can wait. it's a common enough ancient method that is loved by some and frowned upon by some for many good and bad reasons. i've seen and heard wonderful instruments made without a mold and less successful ones made with a mold. and the other way round just the same. just saying... but you should definitely try it and come to your own conclusions. peace. r
  19. i think there are a number of small violas out there that pack quite a punch. i believe making an acoustically efficient yet small viola is quite possible. (you can always "hole-through-the-heart" a violin) the Diaz ex-Primrose cut down is just a little over 15.5" (398mm?), i think. the cut down probably led to the giant f-hole look. which i really like actually. with all due respect and not claiming to know much, i believe a viola has less a chance of succeeding if it is confined to the form and aesthetics of the violin. a viola cannot simply be a larger violin. conformity not always good...just saying... i believe it is ok to modify existing forms or to rethink the instrument from scratch. both ways work if given enough time and experiment. this opinion is based on my own limited viola making experience and not meant to contradict anyone. 365mm works great for my hands. my last viola went down to 355mm at 15 1/4". it sounds ok to me. i will record it when i get to see it again. here are a few of the more traditional shapes i tend to like. i will spare everyone my taste for the weird at this point. here's a skinny Da Salo viola made in 1850 (no, really, it says so...) here's a Naxos CD cover with the Amati (i think): here's a link to a J.A. Laske at Orpheon which sort of reminds me a little of the Strad mag Guadagnini. attached is a Gabrielli at 15 7/8" an earlier discussion with a few interesting pictures: maestronet thread if anyone has a picture of Catenari's viola of 1684, please share.i remember liking it, but can't remember why... R
  20. i felt really stupid when i did that with my 2nd viola. 3 years later, and i'm still not over it. but thank all for posting. i feel a little better. and hey, others have done worse...
  21. dear dear... suggest a Busse or KA-BAR for batoning. carrying a small chisel around in a sheath... dunno... would i also have to start carrying all my gouges, mallets, squares, bending iron, strad magazines and fall in in Full Battle Order? trying too hard... just saying...
  22. dear dear... suggest a Busse or KA-BAR for batoning. carrying a small chisel around in a sheath... dunno... would i also have to start carrying all my gouges, mallets, squares, bending iron, strad magazines and fall in in Full Battle Order? trying too hard... just saying...
  23. sounds YUMMY Chet, i'll be right there! cheese and ice cream... what could be better? definitely must try! i've been hardening just about 1/3 of my plane blades from the cutting edge. ditto with the gouges, and pretty much leaving the rest alone. the knives i'm made function more like x-acto's. i don't know how to weld and so prefer to stick to cheap non-laminates. these are small tools of course. i will need to learn more as i make bigger tools. just bought some 1095 and 5160. what should i temper 5160 at? forging ahead thus! Ray