Bruce Carlson

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  1. Unusual Old Violin ID

    A curious feature here, that the rib joints are the opposite of what we normally see. Neither centered on the joint nor are the upper and lower ribs overlapping the c-bout rib. In this case the c-bout rib is proud of the upper and lower ribs. I have seen this on a few instruments but they do not help to identify this one. Also an unusual neck graft.
  2. White glue drop on paper label- removal

    Hi Fred, Stephen has posted here a lot and it is a legitimate question that could just as easily have happened to a violin label. My point was that the drop of glue is right smack on top of the last two numbers of the date. Even if you succeed in removing it, the risk is too great. Due to the fragile paper you may damage the date as well. At that point, you might want to "improve" the legibility of the date and end up with another instrument where someone has tampered with the date. Leave it alone. For repair questions pertaining specifically to a guitar I agree.
  3. White glue drop on paper label- removal

    I agree. The date is under there and if you ruin it it's gone forever.
  4. Brand Id.

    The monogram is just pressed into the wood creating and indentation that takes the varnish differently. It's not burned in, I shouldn't have used the word brand in my earlier post. Evidently the stamp wasn't pressed into the wood deep enough on the first try to leave a clearly visible impression and the maker made a second attempt, but failed to align the stamp perfectly with the first attempt. This is what almost always happens and you end up with a slightly blurred or out of line monogram. It's like trying to do a bridge stamp twice over and get them into perfect alignment with each other.
  5. Brand Id.

    No. It's only impressed into the wood and the varnish, filling in the depressions, makes it more visible.
  6. Brand Id.

    Well, nobody else took the time to wade through the brand stamps in the appendix of the René Vannes! Or maybe no one was stupid enough to do that! A lot of people say really bad things about these encyclopedias but even with all the errors there is still a wealth of information, which in some instances, will give you a starting point for further research and verification. Bruce
  7. Brand Id.

    Rudolf Eras b.1904 Erlbach his brand and label are listed in René Vannes as well as a short biography.
  8. Acoustic science

    Wasn't that Frederick A. Saunders who first suggested this? As a repairman, if I have any cracks or fissures in the purfling I usually have to glue them or they make buzzes while playing. This is another flashback. Francesco Bissolotti, Carleen Hutchins and myself. Must be about 1977.
  9. Handles on Styrofoam cases

    Are the Styrofoam cases for junk or inexpensive instruments? They offer no real protection. A good number of repairs for severe damage that come through the shop are instruments where the Styrofoam case offered no protection at all when it was needed. Styrofoam is great, it's super lightweight but protection is limited to perhaps rain, cold and minor bumps. If it's your professional instrument, treat it to a sturdier case. Bruce
  10. 1995 Del Gesu Book

    No, no full size images outside of the scroll. It's mostly a photo album with some articles on Guarneri 'del Gesù'. The only instrument in this small exhibition that is the same as the big exhibition in New York is Paganini's Cannon 1743. The book was never really intended for makers but more as a visitor's catalogue. From memory there is a small 'del Gesù' c.1740 (dancing master's kit, pochette) with a scroll attributed to Lott. One from Japan known as the 'Jean Becker'. 1732. One from 1744, 'Rose, Hennel, Grumiaux. One from c.1734 ex Pinchas Zuckerman. Another called the 'Turkish' 1737 after the country where it was rediscovered. Six in all. Davide beat me to it. Bruce
  11. G string bad sound in the upper positions.

    Salvatore has always experimented so it doesn't surprise me if he tried something else The E string is a Lenzner Goldbrokat but he uses the 0,26mm which is not the thinnest. The thinnest is 0,25mm. The 0,27mm whistles more easily. The G string is a Gamut Tricolore. The A string here has to be a synthetic either a Larsen or Evah Pirazzi Gold. I'd have to see the color in the pegbox. He has tried a lot of different A strings ever since the time we got a batch from Pirastro that were all defective with loose winding. In addition they weren't holding the tuning. He wanted a more reliable A string. A Eudoxa aluminum wound D doesn't surprise me as he is always experimenting. He orders a lot of strings from me but I have never sent him a Eudoxa aluminum D. If you already knew the answer, why did you ask? Bruce Attached photographs is how it was in 2012. G Pirastro Olive normal (not steif), D Pirastro Olive silver wound, A Pirastro Passione 13 gauge (the thin one), E Lenzner Goldbrokat probably 0,26mm (medium gauge).
  12. G string bad sound in the upper positions.

    E - Goldbrokat Lenzner 0,26mm A - Pirastro Passione (the thinnest we can find when we measure a batch of them) D - Pirastro Olive silver wound (13 1/2) G - Pirastro Olive 15 1/2 or 15 3/4 otherwise Gamut Tricolore light He prefers thinner strings. Bruce
  13. Minimum archings radius

    It's the "Brothers Amati" viola in the Galleria Estense in Modena. The black spot is a woodworm canal.
  14. Messiah wood (again....)

    Thanks Eric, I'll download it. Should be a good read. Spruce is fine for flooring and building beams although the stuff I see out in the weather is usually oak. From the way wood was distributed to different makers in Italy, sometimes hundreds of kilometers apart seems to point to at least one tonewood supplier if not more. This was well described by Peter Ratcliff.
  15. Messiah wood (again....)

    Virtually all features on a violin by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume differ from those of the 'Messie' and other Stradivari instruments. The point of the exercise was to demonstrate that Vuillaume was making instruments for his clientele that closely resembled the instruments of Stradivari but are still quite different when one examines them in detail. Even the violins that Vuillaume labelled as his 'Imitation Précis' of the 'Messie' do not stand up under close scrutiny. The talk was about details such as block and lining materials, purfling materials and purfling miters, the position and size of corner blocks, the overall internal finish, working marks such as compass points on the central ridge of the scroll, how the ribs meet at the ends of the corners, locating pins, modifications carried out by Vuillaume on the Stradivari 'Messie', etc. All of this and more leading to a conclusion that Vuillaume, for as great a maker as he was, would have been against insurmountable odds for him to have produced a 'one off' like the 'Messie' using a completely different varnish system which matches that of Stradivari rather than his customary method, a perfect label down to the date and wood which fits neatly into the Stradivari workshop, closely matching with fronts or halves of fronts of other recognized authentic Stradivari violins and on a different model than his own 'Imitation Précis' violins to boot.