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Posts posted by scordatura

  1. Two very good examples sold for around £100,000 ($150,000) at the London sales last year .... so I imagine the current retail price is getting close to $300,000.

    They did sound pretty ordinary ... nothing to write home about. I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts on why he's fetching such high prices, particularly given the extraordinary number of genuine Vuillaumes floating around.

    It seems that the escalating prices for the much sought after Italians are pulling up the prices for the instruments the next level down. It also does not hurt when Hillary Hahn plays one. She has had the opportunity to "upgrade" but is partial to her Vuillaume. And so it goes...

  2. What does a Vuillaume insure for these days, maybe $100,000 to $150,000. I can't remember what I gave for my last one. Tee Hee. Anyway, I bet an insurance co got some of their money back.

    Wouldn't it be a mess if the thing sounded like crap before it was damaged. The restorer did all that work and it was just another bad sounding fiddle, you wouldn't be able to give it away.


    From what I understand, they are going for more than that retail.

  3. With Guarneri copies or models, one needs to make decisions due to the asymmetry and wide ranging arching variations. There is more freedom inherent in the approach. Strad is much more linear. Hargrave makes some interesting points in the Biddulph DG books regarding design and construction methods. Visually my eye is attracted to DG outlines/model.

  4. Yes, it does have the back long arch.

    I wasted quite a bit of time trying to copy Strad's grads. Didn't sound like a Strad, for sure... and now I'm thinking those grads are way too thin unless you have exactly the right wood to do it (and arching, too).

    Some Guarneris are quite extreme, and might not be a good choice for beginners, like the Cannone or Ole Bull. However, the Plowden doesn't look too screwy, as long as you can figure out what to do about the top crossarch offset.

    This is where the beauty of your favorite CAD program comes in. There is an article in the Strad "Best of Trade Secrets" book about CAD and arching correction. Some might already be on to this.

  5. I guess you are aware of the Biddulph et al 2 volume set of 25 Guarneris. Quite expencive but for a serious maker I'd believe that would be a good investment. One of the volumes have pictures and the other graduations, archings and other details. Of course there are a summary on each violin. I think Roger Hargrave was involved in making that set too.

    The Biddulph DG books are unbelievable. They are expensive (around $680 US) direct from Biddulph. The plans and photos are great. I look at these on a regular basis…and drool.

  6. In an entertaining booklet re the restoration of the Countess of Stanlein cello (Greenhouse),Rene relates how Sacconi gave him a violin for which to cut a bridge. He finished the job in a remarkably short time, and beautifully and accurately, too. So he got his start in America based, yes, on his wood-carving skills, but also on his accuracy and speed. And certainly in a commercial application, all these qualities would be sought after.

    BTW, I imagine he would have had access to many more great instruments in one of the premiere shops in NYC than in France, though I wouldn't rest my reputation on that point. What I *DO* know is that Wurlitzer once was very famous, and the shop closed when no one wanted/could afford to carry on the legacy. I imagine a similar situation held at Hills.

    Et tu, Moennig...

    edit: As recently as the early 70's Wurlitzer had for sale 2 great Stradivari cellos AT THE SAME TIME! Hard to imagine the probability of that happening in today's world. Anyway, I was invited to play both, and even though I couldn't afford one, I did make a long-time personal friend in Ken Jacobs, from whom I bought 3 instruments over the years once he went to work in Philly.

    I have the book and while not that technical is a great little read.

  7. I hear there are a few fast cars in Japan that you could pick up at a bargian, if you're into the repair and restoration thing...


    My interest in exotic cars is unfortunately academic at the present time; kids and minivan is my reality.

    Saw that. Just because you can afford a Ferrari doesn't make you a driver!

    This Enzo story is interesting


  8. Yeah, the all-wheel drives will pretty much annihilate me off the line. With street tires, I'll spin to at least 60 mph.

    Not so much of a torque monster. That's a centrifugal blower, so boost rises with rpm.

    No burn out with AWD. Especially with Hoosier 285 Race tires. Releasing the clutch to launch is key. Not a 32nd note but more like a dotted 16th!!!

    I have launch control on the EVO rev to 5K and dotted 16th on the clutch release. You should hear it. It sounds like a raging Japanese dragon B)

  9. OK I bet your Vette is a TQ monster with a supercharger. I used to have a Miata that I put a supercharger on. It was fun to drive. A real sleeper with great power to weight ratio.

    My Evo is pretty cool in how much power a 2.0L engine can make with 23+ lbs of boost. The 4 wheel drive really puts the power to the road!!!

  10. Melvin, here's a nice twin-turbo Vette for sale for only 28 thousand dollars. :)

    Probably good for over 1000 horsepower, although it's only tuned for 700 right now.

    Don't ask how long it takes to change the spark plugs. :lol:


    Wow that is one wicked engine bay! Was/Is that your ride? If so what were the HP and TQ numbers? What RPM did those twin hair dryers spool for peak TQ?

    EDIT What turbos are in there. Did you vary the size so the power did not come on like a hammer and spin the tires off the rims???

    I'll trade you a violin for my Evo that is for sale.


  11. As you all have heard Don has done a very nice job on his #5. We need to think of a more poetic name than #5...How about the Carlsbad Cannon? His workmanship has evolved nicely since the other violin I played (#3?). By far the best buy for the dollar!!!! In fact you could by a hell of a lot of Prim strings in what you would save from the other two fiddles. ;)

  12. Yep... I'll put on some Prims. :)

    Funny you should say that! I knew this ex Boston Symphony violist that had a Peresson viola that was an absolute bazooka. He would only put Prim strings on his instrument. His A string could shatter glass it was so piercing. Sadly his hearing was not what it once was and occasionally you could hear his instrument over the entire string section . At that time I was doing a lot of repairs for our orchestra. Other players were asking me to take the soundpost out to tone that viola down. Either that or glue a mute to his bridge. Sadly he is no longer with us. He was a real character!

  13. Nice work, Don. Fact is, everyone seems to like your instrument better than a +/- million dollar Grancino. I find that rather reassuring!

    What string setup are you using? Altering that might influence the D and A positively in the direction you are searching.

    If that's #5, I can't imagine how good #50 will be.

    How about the next for fun sound test against a Strad and another French?

    French violins are great; I played a Vuillaume the other day that was just lovely to play on. Interesting that in the now infamous radio interview/sound test Zukerman confused the Vuillaume for a del Gesu based on the G string


    Don definately needs to change out the evahs. They are the wrong strings for that violin.

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