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  1. boiling bass strings (stainless or nickle) does work (it removes accumulated dirt)but it is hardly worth the trouble (electric bass strings are usually around $20, so buying a new set is not a big deal, but this idea originated with electric bass players about 30 years ago). don't even bother doing it to violin strings-all you will wind up doing is ruining them, and besides they don't fare so well by having their tension changed back and forth. mike
  2. i(along with all of the critics)loved the red violin. beare made the instruments and handled the details. i found it to be surpisingly accurate, and the story engaging.. another movie to consider is the french film "all the mornings in the world" mike
  3. ann, thanks for the message. i really don't have any malice towards the new borad format per se, but i find it very awkward. i will still check now and again, but will take your advice and see how things settle. i got a gift certificate for a book store and bought lots of good cd's and picked up a nice recording of baroque pieces by black composers. today i visited the aberdeen proving grounds tank museum to take a nice walk in the unseasonably warm weather we are having. mike
  4. i agree 100%. i have almost no desire to post or read hear at all. it actually makes me depressed. i would rather have the board crash once a day than have it like this. i have been a regular here for more than 3 years and i fear losing contact with all of my friends. if this cannot be rectified, i hope to see you, andy, ann, and all the others somewhere else with a board liuke the old one mike
  5. a lot of it depends on whether the instrument is truly a copy of one of these or just has that particular label. many distributers labeled the same instrument with 5 or more (possibly 10+ from what i can tell)different maker labels without regard to what it was. but if it is, the answer is yes-there are differences that can be easily seen, but you would need to have an idea already of the various models to know what to look for. f-holes, arching, corners, and measurements make up the whole picture. some turn of the century stainer or amati models do indeed look like the overall shape of these instruments compared to say a strad copy from the same time, but it really depended on the price range. mike
  6. i would guess helicores would do the trick, but dominants seem to me to respond pretty quick so i don't know how much difference you will see but steel core is the way to go. helicores have the least metalic sound of the steel core strings, but jargars are pretty good and i wouldn't be surprised if the new larsons are just as good. mike
  7. : Help. I am starting violins for the first time this week. I will be using my grandmother's violin which has been in the attic for years. I dropped it off at the repair shop 4 weeks ago for some work to get it in working order. It needs a new chin rest, new strings, new pegs, and tailpiece adjustment. As it is my first experience with this sort of thing, I was wondering if this is taking an unusually long time? The first call I made to check on it, the repair guy said he was still waiting on the chin rest. The second time i called (last week) he told me he would the rest of the work, other than the chin rest, and have it ready by Friday (this past Fri.) It's still not ready, and I wonder If I am just overanxious and being unreasonable to expect it to be done. : Any feedback would be appreciated.
  8. i received several e-mails from al, but the subject matter usually was about old vacuum tube electronics, ham radio or hobbies. he was a person that i had hoped to meet in person. he will be sorely missed here. mike
  9. it is just as meaningless as it would be had it been on a printed label.
  10. I would rather you let saomeone like me fix it before I would want you to strip it and hang it on the wall. Tell us exactly (as best you can) what is wrong with it. There are probably some hobbyists out there that could fix it up for relatively little as long as it is indeed an instrument that would not suffer from an amateur working on it. There are also some luthiers on this board (steveg comes to mind) that might be willing to take a crack at it. it all really depends on what is wrong with it. If it needs the whole thing taken apart maybe a wall hanger it will be, but who knows. mike
  11. some italian master instruments used this, but most often found on "fancy" german trade fiddles. mike
  12. : Great... I hope that you like it. It is a good value. It is also a good bet for fractionally sized players (they come in 1/2, 3/4, 4/4 for vn, vla, cello, and 3/4 size for db). : Pete : : : Thanks, Pete..... I actually just got the new Shar catalog in the mail and, you're right: The bow looks nicely crafted. I ordered from Shar, so if I don't like the way it plays, I know they'll take it back no questions asked. If it plays as well as it looks good, I think this may be the best deal in the bowed stringed instrument world.......
  13. : One of my relatives left me an old violin without a label or a certificate. The only thing I know is that it´s made in Cremona, Italy in the 17 th century and it´s scroll is encarved to represent a head of a man. I haven´t found any mention about scrolls like this in the literature, so I wonder if it´s very valuable. My relative got an offer about 30 000 $ for it, but she thought it was too little. Has someone more information about this violin ?
  14. what specifically do you want to know about it? it is a german "trade fiddle" and as such could be an excellent student instrument. it is probably worth somewhere in the $100-1,000 range. take it to a violin dealer and ask. mike
  15. i'm probably wrong, but just for fun let me try and i'll see if the experts can tell me if i came close... even widths=italian thin/thick/thin=french? thick/thin/thick=german? just a guess, but yes there are some ways to distinguish schools. even the way the saddle is cut and other small details can add up to determining where a violin came from. mike
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