Casey Jefferson

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Everything posted by Casey Jefferson

  1. Thought I'll reply to this in a separate post. The plug was still available for inspection when I handed the bow to my friend. And he was actually aware of the unique bow hair distribution which he actually contacted the maker. He might has his own reasons. I'm tired of expressive my feelings. I decided to step out of this dilemma for a while and come back again somewhere in the future. Thanks again for sharing your experiences!
  2. Many good points really and I agree wholeheartedly. It's always a two sided thing, on one hand luthier had to be competent and on the other, players need to know what's reasonable. My luthier was a good person and he definitely has the chop to do his job. So with that in mind, I always be mindful not to cross his line. And he seem highly dedicated to his craft. So I compromised my part to stay in good relationship, for example, suck it up and get used to the new bridge and new setup (which my luthier expressed to me about his new concept, which other players of higher status preferred). I do use a backup cheap $30 student bow which I found played very well and free of nerve throughout the stick and it does well everything I throw at it. However it just doesn't have the sound purity, and that "hugging the string" feeling of a well made bow, and doesn't give me the tone color shadings that corresponds to different bowing techniques. I'm supposed it's like buying a sports car, and need to be serviced by a person or workshop who know the sports car well, and tune it to keep it at optimum performance. But now the car drives drastically different than how it was new. And all I got was - this is how it supposed to be, I felt a great sense of "it's your problem" behind the words. And my respond to this? I'll just sell it off and drive a sedan and be happy with it. Cheaper maintenance, not fiddly to service. Well, when I think about it, it's not all that bad. Not like I'm a great driver in demand and relying on high performance tool to earn a living. And it doesn't take a Schumacher to drive a sedan well. I guess I'm in the "nut-job" camp of players. When I'll have to arrive to this conclusion, really I felt relieved. Then I know what I'm supposed to do and not supposed to do. I guess that's life. Don't play a game that frustrate our self. PS: Then again, despite all the frustrations, I still have a lot of respect to my luthier. When his works resonate my requests, it was just wonderful. And outside of the workshop, he's actually my old friend that I know long before he became a luthier. I don't carry my emotion along in our friendship. So it's time for me to move on to something else.
  3. Thank you everyone, some very good points there. Very encouraging which is a refreshing conversation. I do recall a lot of past experiences with my instrument being serviced and I don't share them most here unless I was really stucked. Interesting to say that similar case happened more than I wanted and I did worked it out, maybe more like adjusting my mentality and accept the result than work on it to satisfy me. Let's just say I was pretty much dealing with a talented luthier with a rather artistic personality. He's by no means a mean person, but maybe adhering a little too much to own concept, or I'm not high enough of a status to convince him. An example would be, my violin that undergone 2 bridge replacements which cut by him, he would apply new concept to the setup, but each time I was caught by surprise and couldn't exactly get him to adjust to play comfortably, but I don't know how to express my feelings. I ended up getting use to the new setup and frankly, it was not easy. He seem to worked hard and gave it all into the work he did, and that, creates a barrier between the conversation. I'll take a chill pill, and just out my instruments away for a while...
  4. I never thought the length of the hair would change the balance, probably the frog shifted a little and throwing balance off? The hair was indeed shorten and frog is somewhat shifted forward. But the difference isn't dramatic, probably 2-3mm? I looked at the plug and it was somewhat slightly oversized and protruding out from the tip plate, and somewhat chunkier. The hair ribbon was also somewhat wider spread. Interesting to say that the new plug the hair ribbon probably at more of a normal ribbon width, sound is more focused but compromising the playability quite a bit. Big chords no longer felt cushioned, and slightly frog heavy, sautille felt difficult to start. Previously it felt like it's balanced from tip to frog, much more cushioned, stick felt less stiff. Initially I thought the sound improvement was a plus but eventually realized the playing character no longer at optimum balance. Now the problem is, I'm not going to rush to my luthier and tell him someone on the forum said something otherwise. I'm tired of doing all these...
  5. Thank you VdA, that warms my soul.
  6. When this guy said the bow didn't work where the bow maker didn't copy the original "mistake" just because the maker didn't believed it, the maker then make the amendment and proceed with the "mistake". Should I say I'm just a nobody and don't deserve it? Maybe I am. I don't know. I shall admit it, it seem.
  7. That's exactly it. I take that you're suggesting it's my own problem. Bow hair were untouched, just a new plug installed. The workmanship of the new plug was made up to standard and it was a wonderful workmanship. But the bow just doesn't play like how it was. I might be suffering an ongoing placebo effect, and I understand where luthiers are coming from. So that also means I'm not suitable for going into that level or I'll drive myself (and especially luthiers) crazy. I'll just stick to where I am now. I just want to buy another now. As a matter of fact, it was a huge investment for me. And I thought I shouldn't be going through dramas... Or maybe just go sell ice cream. Thank you for the encouragement. It wasn't a specific thing, just in general I had this feeling for years. Tried hard to overcome and work it out. But I genuinely felt intimidated recently. I'll still be continuing my day job as a violin teacher. But to improve into that territory seem impossible for me.
  8. I'm trying to improve as a better violinist and I'm having some very frustrating moments with finding the right bow at the moment. I came close to that but the bow lost its playing characteristic after some work done on it. I'm sure I can work with luthier closely but that's where the problem usually make things stuck. I felt like I'm the weirdest musician in the industry, for e.g., asking lutheir to copy exactly what the maker done with it originally. Particularly the head plug was a weird one and doesn't match the standard measurement. I expressed that just copy everything but ended up with a standard plug installed (which was a wonderful job regardless) and the playing characteristic was lost. The point here is that whenever I further express my request I'll usually receive some counter comments and sometimes some lectures. Frankly, that was intimidating to me. It makes me feel like I'm the very weird one just because I'm making requests different than normal. Maybe I am! Without much choices and travel restrictions, I try my luck with dealers who accommodate international customers. I admit I'm pretty anxious about it, but I gotten a feeling that I was being brushed off as a joker or not a serious customer. I can't help but to feel that, I don't deserve to buy a good instrument or bow if I don't have credentials. It just further make me feel like I just don't belong in this field. I gave up. I should just stop being a better musician altogether. Sorry for such a negative post. Not trying to name names (and not going to respond privately either). But I just need to express somewhere. I enjoy reading mnet from time to time and it was very fruitful and wealth of information. Thanks to everyone who helped me in the past.
  9. I experienced a soprano singing at a smaller hall, or should I say, auditorium, around 100 seats, and ceiling was 3 storey tall. Doesn't matter. There was a grand piano. Up close it's pretty balanced but I walked right to the back and the voice just towering the whole auditorium and overwhelming the grand piano! Whether the voice was filling the hall or filling the ears, that's a whole different matter me think. I also had experiences where my quartet members had problem hearing me even if they're sitting right next to me, but video taken at a distance turned out that my sound was the clearest. I didn't use any particularly power house violin but seems like certain frequencies play our ears different than others. I do, however, try to "excite" the "frequency range" with my playing, always following the singers formant philosophy.
  10. They are and still living healthy and making bows. I tried to text them but apparently didn't get any responses maybe due to language barrier. I'll leave it as it is until I manage to get advices.
  11. An update, I couldn't resist and went out to buy necessary ingredients to do FP by myself and it was a success! So now I have a fresh layer (two in fact, I polished it two rounds and brought back the sheen nicely). It's relatively easy after a lengthy reading on valuable informations available here. But just one more thing if anyone will be reading this - while I gave the areas where my fingers touches fresh layer of polish, I left the maker stamp side untouched. Is it a common practice to polish that area too (in my case my finger never really touches there) or I should just leave it untouched? The stamp side is a little duller compared to other side at the moment.
  12. Thanks for the reply guys, plastic sheet over the playing area seems like a great idea. I've only seen leather skin over that area which will inevitably adding some weight throwing the balance off a little. Interestingly it was never a concern on other bows, one which made by the father who's a very well established maker and the polish seem to hold up very well.
  13. Hi everyone, Following up my previous thread, my bow came back with new tip plate and I was delighted. The head needed some new french polish job though, which I'll arrange with my luthier to do it later. However since I'm at it, I realized the playing portion of the bow can become slightly tacky when I sweat a little on my middle/ring finger. Not so obvious of a problem on my previous bow which made by the also very well established bow maker (they are father and son). I read a little about shellac, I had a feeling of the shellac wasn't hard enough, probably a little old? Should I get this renewed too? Or should I be too concerned about the polish, my previous bow were well used and I don't see any wood wear apart from darkening from sweats. Any opinions and insights are much appreciated. Thank you guys.
  14. I had Arcus Cadenza Gold which should be top of the line best sounding bow. I've since sold it moved on (maybe 10 years ago) and now couldn't care for any cf bows, they just don't have the same organic overtones of fine wood bows, nor the flexibility and agility. I do have a cheapo cf bow for teaching and gigging, which I also used to tap the music stand for counting during teaching...
  15. Thanks again everyone, I gained a lot of confidence on sending the bow for the replacement. Can't wait to get my bow back in playing condition as I love the bow so much every time I play it I have hard time putting down the bow
  16. Thanks guys! First thing first I live in South East Asia and the maker lives in Europe. It's especially troublesome to send the bow oversea at this period of time although not impossible, the shipping can be very pricey inclusive of insurance. The luthier friend of mine also trained under the maker so in terms of qualification for the job, I probably will not worry. However if glueing the piece back in place can be a temporary solution then I really don't mind doing so maybe visit the maker by next year - in which I can also visit the maker of my violin during the same trip too. So one more question - under which circumstances that a bow with broken ivory tip glued back will risk breaking the head/mortise? Let's say I'll be very careful not to expose myself to environment that'll have the bow hitting something hard easily, will that pose a risk?
  17. Hello there, The plug at the bow tip came off when I was practicing, and somehow the bow tip ivory plate decided to go and broken in half, bringing along also the ebony at the nose. The ebony lining is intact, should this be enough of a problem to call for a new tip plate? This is a valuable and relatively new bow made by fine maker, so I try not to risk a full tip plate replacement (not to question my local luthier, but to avoid unnecessary moves). Just wondering if a full replacement tip is needed for structural strength. I've just experienced this for the first time after near 20 years of playing so do bear with me. Thank you so much for reading and looking forward to the replies. PS: I talked to my luthier friend who I've been having close relationship with, I trusted him a lot to send my instrument in. He suggested a new tip right away but somehow I don't feel entirely comfortable with it... span widget
  18. I agreed with what you've said so far, and I know my post gonna get some eyes rolled as well just because the example I gave happened to be Strad versus the rest. A good violin is a good violin is a good violin.
  19. My take, as a player, is that the player make the sound. I don't have any credentials to make statements, so you may read my comments with a pinch of salt. Many of my peers, as well as young players, often play with strong bow grip. I experimented with different way to hold the bow, slight changes in finger placement will change the quality of sound. More so with the finger strength when holding the bow. Menuhin once said one should hold the bow as if one is picking up a newborn bird. My finding is that with very light bow hold, and with the right finger placement, I was able to draw a strong sound that sounded clear at a distance. Strong grip will disturb the overtones in a way, while not enough to sound bad, but hurt the "carrying ability" - ultimately suppressing the overtones. However, such playing is seductive, player will hear huge sound coming out from the instrument, and to certain extent, intonation became easier and more forgiving. Another aspect on carrying power is about the singer's formant, I've heard a soprano overwhelming a grand piano (who probably didn't realize what's happening) and filling up the stage, when I listen at the back of the hall. I've been trying to mimic that by changing how I bow, with very positive results. Coincidentally, strong bow grip will tend to suppress what I call the "rich and ringing" region of the spectrum, it'll just take away that sound that fill up the ears. Also, when an instrument is played in a way where overtones vibrate smoothly, for a long period of time, the instrument will eventually develop stronger overtones that will carry. A few observations I gathered over the years: 1) a new Cremonese made violin, didn't sound very lively or ringing at first, eventually rings better after playing on it for a while. This violin had been played previously by other player for a short period of time before returning onto the shelf. 2) 3 violins from same (another) living cremonese maker, 2 belongs to my friend and he had it for few years, and I have 1 my own for few years too. Mine sounded very different from his, while both of his violins sounded very similar. Interestingly, he also just acquired an older (newly restored) violin, that also sounded similar albeit better in response. I can almost feel his playing in the violin. And a few more similar observations. We often hear the violin doesn't make the player. And we also hear some violins better suited to certain players. We will never sound like Heifetz by just playing on his del gesu. I believe the instrument alone doesn't make "carrying power" complete without putting the player into the equation. EDIT: with rare exceptions from the above remarks, I've heard a fantastic soloist played twice in the same hall with same orchestra, but one with Strad, and one with modern. The Strad just had the special sound it almost sounded as if he's playing right in front of me. The modern just didn't have that...
  20. That's very interesting, thanks for starting the thread! So here's the update. It was indeed, a false hope. I have no problem admit that. while it did project the sound different than violins that I got to test side by side, it start to fall apart when I tested it at larger space. I didn't expect it to, due to the it being a cheap workshop violin. I'll send this violin for further adjustment and see it can bring out more of that quality. Till then, that's what it is. Thank you guys for participating this discussion.
  21. That rings a bell, my friend did learn the most when he doing adjustment right at the concert hall for fine players. But still, I want to first check with him if he can actually make instruments do that projection effect though. He did always help me adjusting my Italian violin (made in 2015) and always did a fantastic job, but tomorrow I'm hoping that he'll be free and I wish to do a session of the infamous projection test at his place.
  22. I can relate to that phenomenon. It's more of the acoustic, but some instrument do better than others under the ear in such places which may or may not sound loud to the audiences.
  23. I've been trying to digest this, my friend who's doing really fine work on adjustments said the same thing that he can make the violin sounded more to the audiences but compromising the sound to the player. Can you elaborate a bit more maybe what's the concept behind this? I need to ask my friend about it too.