geoff1954

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About geoff1954

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  1. I noticed the start of a soundpost crack to the belly so here are some photos of the inside of the viola. (No need to criticise my sp patch, we'll take that as read!) As you see: decent shape of bass bar. smooth interior, wide and flat linings (JTL style), fully blocked, linings not inserted into blocks and series of central cleats. Does this help to identify? There is also the pencil inscription shown on photo. The sp crack might explain why the viola might have been out of use for several decades?
  2. The purfling is inlaid. But not particularly well done. I've handled quite a few Medio Fino type violins, the varnish on this is different. Looks more modern.
  3. I've attached some photos of the viola. The label also has the word 'France'. There are a series of flat, square cleats down the middle of the back, as were used by JTL. But the neck looks far more modern. The flame of the maple is genuine, rather than painted on. I included a photo of the case it came in. I know that instruments can 'move home' but there is a good chance that this is the original case. The pegs are rosewood, as often used by JTL. So could there be an 'Antoine Becker'? Or JTL factory made? Or modern, even Chinese?
  4. I've recently acquired a 16 inch viola with the label: Antoine Becker Copie Antonius Stradivarius No 9064 France Can anyone provide information? The one reference I've found says that it is one of the several names used by JTL. But if 9000 were made, where have they all gone? (But maybe the number does not mean that.) The viola looks as if it could be JTL. Characteristic square cleats down the back joint. Square corners. It looks to have been made recently, but did come to me with the remains of old gut strings. So in storage since 1930s? And before you ask, its definitely not Anton Becker! I could provide photos if it helps. I've no delusions about it being anything other than a 'trade fiddle' but I am hoping to add something to my scarce knowledge.
  5. Thanks, Matesic and Martin. I'll try Audacity again. I did a while ago but probably gave up too soon. Not a Mac used, unfortunately, Martin.
  6. Hi. I simply want to record myself playing the violin and then add myself playing the cello, and maybe other violin parts as well. I have a decent microphone which connects to my laptop. When I have looked into this in the past I've been put off with complications. I gather I need to download a DAW. But I've found these to be immensely complicated. I just need to hear my previous track (through headphones) while 'laying down' (is that the right term?) another track. Can anyone recommend a DAW which is simple enough for my stage of senility? Or is there another way of doing it?
  7. A few years ago I had dealings with Vernon's violins in south Manchester. I was very impressed with their professionalism. But, like other music shops, they are closed for business at the moment. Have you thought of using an established online seller? I know that Ebay is considered a dirty word on this forum but, if you can't wait until the lockdown finishes, it is an option to consider.
  8. geoff1954

    Maidstone query

    Most Maidstones are the same type: dark varnish, reasonable construction. Made in Bohemia, I'm fairly sure. But a few look more German to me. And I've seen two violins with the Maidstone label which were definitely French. One actually had a JTL label.
  9. I beg to correct PhilipKT's post. Certainly in the UK it is not necessary to be a member of any union to appear on screen as an 'extra'. I took part in a short TV series as a musician extra. They wanted to film people who knew how to play, and filmed us. They did not record the sound but, instead, used the sound of a professional group of musicians. So there is no excuse for showing people who don't know one end of a violin from the other.
  10. Those cracks to the front look very clean to me. If they 'go together' precisely, producing no ridge, then surely they can be easily glued? Without removing the top. And no cleats needed..And that could be done for tens, rather than hundreds, of dollars.
  11. I can tell you what has worked best for me. And for a couple of other people I've discussed this with. I am a lifelong cellist. For various reasons I thought I'd like to play the violin as well. I concentrated on the violin for about six months, making good progress. When I picked up my cello again I found it okay but I made occasional stupid mistakes. e.g. Playing an open G when the the music said E. ( My brain was reading bass clef as treble clef, or something like that!) After a couple of weeks sticking to the cello this problem stopped.) So the conclusion is: don't keep switching from one instrument to one which is similar but different. After I had spent a decent time (a year?) on the violin, then the cello, I now find that I can switch from one to the other without making a fool of myself. I guess that the more different the instruments are, the less likely the brain will confuse itself.
  12. Thanks. As I feared. But worth asking.
  13. Can anyone suggest the origins of this violin? No label except a for a repair carried out by W Vaus dated 1927, London. (In fact, the label says 'reconstructed by....'. ) The violin has a grafted pegbox and ebony crown on the button. Inlaid purfling, not particularly neatly done, and not the most elegant of pegbox. The heel of the neck is quite thick (a 'transitional neck?) but that is presumably a later addition? Unusually short saddle. Is it mid-19th century German, with an attempt to look older? Or is it actually older? Could it be English?