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Everything posted by mike

  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
  16. depends on the finish. with an oil finish, the solvents in hill's will remove some of the finish (i have used it on old factoryesque german fiddles and you can see the color of the finish come off onto the rag). on a spirit varnish (and especially the new junky polyester finishes) it removes nothing. the only cleaner that i have used that does not harm the finish at all is the shar 2-part cleaner polish. moral of the story is don't use polish on anything that removing, softening or damaging the finish on would be a big deal, and don't get it in seams or into cracks. mike
  17. i have handled a couple gligas and many doetsch cellos. i honestly, in my heart believe that the doetsch cellos and violins are the best values out there. they sound like expensive instruments and they are visually indistinguishable from much more expensive instruments becaue the the great job done with the antiquing and varnishing. they also hold their resell value quite well. as to being an advanced instrument, if you let a really good player try one without telling them what it is, i think they would be very surprised. i have even heard stories of some professionals using them as second instruments to take on gigs that they don't want to take an expensive instrument on. mike
  18. : Go to your local music store, buy a C string for the smallest viola they have...get the stark...loud...large guage...string, then cut the length for enough windup on the peg. : Works fine...best with stark string, but I guess middle would be better than nothing. : Good luck, : Al
  19. the cao will probably be the easiest to resell when you upgrade because they are so well known among teachers and the general violin community. shar will definately be able to sell you a violin in canada though and the one i saw was well set up even though it was a cheaper model
  20. labels often are meaningless in violins as they were and are often swaped, forged or invented. a dealer will only look at a label after they have determined what the instrument is in order to see if it matches their conclusions. but aside from all of that, there will be no good way for you to determine its worth unless you can provide very detailed information that you would have to really know something about violins to provide. even then only an expert with the instrument in hand could make such a judgement unless the instrument is obviously a particular make, or a cheap student fiddle. mike
  21. that is really close to impossible to say without having any information on the violin the same as it would be to say that you were looking at a car, is $8,000 too much? on the other hand, if it is from the early part of this century, is french, and is in good shape, i suppose just about any violin could be worth at least $400. but there was a lot of awful junk made in germany, czech, and france at this time that wouldn't be worth much else than hanging on the wall for decoration. you will need to educate yourself some in order to provide enough information for someone to take a wild guess without being able to see it. the other possibility is to take some pictures of it and then post them here. mike
  22. have found a violin labeled heinrich schwarz, leipzig,1894. it has a wavy flamed one-piece back, dark brown oil varnish and a nicely flamed neck and well-cut scroll. i have not been able to find any info on this maker. could someone give me an idea of it's possible value, or any other info? thanks in advance, mike
  23. well, although it could be just about anything, it is most likely a late 19th century german factory instrument. as such it could be worth anywhere from $50-1,000 depending on condition, and quality level. take it to a violin shop and simply ask them to tell you what it is and what they think it is worth. they should give you a quick assessment for free. the other option is to post good photos for us to look at. mike
  24. jargars are really the string for this particular instrument. helicores are a hit or miss because they can bring out some unsettling properties on englehardts. they give plenty of volume, but can be harsh and too zingy. the prelude and helicore strings sound nothing at all alike. they are better than red labels but nothing great. the pro-arte cello strings can sometimes sound good on these instruments, but with a little less volume and they are cheaper.
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