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La Folia

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  1. I'm sure it works that way. I've got a screamer of a Dyre Vaa. I tuned it down a step, and that really tamed it, a bit too much. I'm converting it to Setesdal. It would be too mellow for that with the current strings, but I'm guessing it will be fine with heavy strings.
  2. D'Addario Zyex. It's supposed to have properties similar to gut, and in fact I use those strings because they tolerate tuning up just like gut. They would be wound, though, and I don't know if anyone makes any for baroque violin. I second the suggestion of nylon. I hope someone tries them.
  3. He actually dissolved the shrimp shells in vinegar. I can verify this because (1) he told us so, and (2) I played one of his brand new violins at that time, and it definitely smelled like vinegar. He may have withheld some information from most people. Treatment with alkali increases the solubility of chitin in dilute acetic acid. (Third time I've posted this. This forum has a nasty habit of logging me out and then eating my posts because I'm not logged in.)
  4. Shocking. Bud Larsen makes nice fiddles. He apprenticed with Gunnar Gunnarsen Helland. I guess that makes him an heir to the Helland family tradition, and he's quite an important person in the U.S. Hardanger fiddle community. At one time I think he had quite a few Helland fiddles. I hope those weren't in the workshop.
  5. And not to mention that he was so influential. Alas, it would be very nice to be there and hear many of these.
  6. As long as you're mentioning those, I don't get to play or hear many of those, but the best I've ever played was a Gunnar Gunnarson Helland made in Bø. I thought that was a very great instrument. I heard an Olav G. Helland that also seemed to be a great instrument with a big sound. I've heard many of the great players, but oddly, I don't remember being blown away by any particular fiddle.
  7. It was after 1999, probably after 2005, and before 2017, so that narrows it down. We heard it from the back row (literally), and it had a big, gorgeous tone.
  8. For me, that would be Gil Shaham's Strad. Either that or it was his Stradivarious, and he wasn't telling. Best recorded instrument: Jonny Gandelsman's Zygmuntowicz. In a freakish lucent moment, before I had a clue what it was, I recognized the characteristic sound, correctly identified the maker as a Becker student, and correctly guessed the maker. Best instrument played or close contact: (1) French instrument (forgotten who -- Bernadel??); (2) Vuillaume Frère.
  9. Let's get one thing straight. That large area on the back is not bare wood. As far as I can tell, it's normal wear, and it should probably be left alone. There is a small spot on the top that could be retouched by a good luthier (do not try it yourself). You should also loosen the strings. An unfitted bridge could damage the top.
  10. Interesting idea. I haven't gotten around to it, and probably won't because when I thought about it, it sounded like actual work. And then again, when I do get around to it, I'll probably misplace this reference. I was thinking that maybe the tightness of the string wrappings could be quite sensitive to string length. In fact, we know this to be the case -- I think -- because strings change so much with age as they stretch. But sorting all this out seems like more than I could pull off convincingly.
  11. Sounds like fun. I would love to have heard it. I was jokingly referring to a Hardanger fiddle, but the wolf sounds interesting.
  12. I suggest strings instead of wooden bars. They ring better, and you can run them under the fingerboard instead of taking the top off.
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