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Posts posted by scordatura

  1. Koen Padding. For the uninitiated Koen is the driving force behind the Magister varnish system. Though this may surprise [some] of you, I think he would be a major contributor and I would enjoy his commentary. Some view my postings as having a "commercial" motivation. True I enjoy making a living. But, as in our varnish workshop project, I think it is important to have as many [studied] opinions and working methods as possible. That is why I do this project with Marilyn Wallin and Roman Barnas.....both great makers, varnishers, and teachers.

    As with Marilyn and Roman, Koen and I share some opinions and disagree on others...but that is how we figure this out...eh?

    AND...Koen has a good grasp on the language of varnish and varnishing...................................................................................

    on we go,


    Bravo. It would be great if Padding posted!

  2. Other than the obvious choices of Zig, Curtain, Alf, etc. I was impressed by Tom Croen's instruments at the Contemporary Makers Exhibition recently in NY. I had never seen or played anything by him before. Nicely made and I thought they sounded great.

    The more experts that a forum has, the higher the quality of that forum. Fortunately we do have some makers that are interested in contributing. Besides that, the more savy experts realize that participating is a good way of getting their name out there!

    As far as the reference to Zigs high prices, it is a combination of skill and reputation. Zig got a lot of notoriety by the sale of the Stern instrument. Other important clients with big names also helps one’s reputation. Are his instruments X amount of dollars better than some others? Hard to say...

  3. Weekend Wisdom:

    "Arguing with someone on the internet is like being in the special olympics. Even if you win you're still retarded"


    "stir it but don't jump in a pile of it"

    So anyway, I got a piece of spruce and finished one half with sandpaper down to 1500 grit and scraped the other half. I can't see a difference. But I did break my reading glasses so maybe that's why.

    Try putting on some varnish and report back you results with pics if you don't mind.

  4. I looked at the VSA web site, but could not determine the answer to this question: if I don't preregister, what is the price difference to attend the show (i.e. I think it cost $100 to preregister (plus the VSA membership, because I am not yet a member, do I have to be? I would assume so.), so what would it cost if I show up at the door unannounced)?

    It is $120 for non members $100 for members.

  5. Wow this violin looks familiar. I own one that looks very similar except the upper bout is less square. If I get a minute I will post some pics. No label in mine. Showed it to Robert Bein once. He said it was not too bad but did not give an opinion or want to write a certificate (for pay of course).

  6. I swear, Duane must be the guy is who they used as inspiration for the energizer bunny.

    Well put. I have this vision of him with both arms bandaged because of tendonitis. I used to tease him to "just relax dude" ... to no avail.

    He used to call me an "unreal geek". I took that as a compliment :D

  7. I chuckle when I see Duane Rosengard's name on violin family publications. We used to hang out in music school. I won't elaborate on the good 'ole days... :blink: I am not suprised he is a string instrument historian. He talked me into taking art history classes which led to an art history minor for me! Small world.

  8. So....How will I recognize you?

    Are you bringing an instrument?

    on we go,


    You will recognize me by my unusual tuning...think danse macabre :D

    I will find you Joe! As far as an instrument, I am just getting back into making after about a 12 year hiatus. I have a violin that is perhaps 1/3 of the way done with many things that I would do better/differently at this stage. Not sure if I will bring it or not...That being said, my shop is set up and I am moving forward!

  9. How accurate is the color in the pics? If the lighter more orange ones are true, how did you achieve the orange color?

    Wait after looking again the medium hue red-orange are probably more representative. Same question on color.

  10. Carlo...and anyone else who is listening,


    It is both dangerous and self-destructive....to You not the varnish.

    Bitmead is referring to making oil varnish from amber, but this is not a sane method. What I was referring to was merely solving the resin raw. Put some baltic amber in a glass jar. Fill it about 1/3. Fill the rest with spike oil. seal it up and ignore it for a year or so. It will solve the amber to a nice paste. I once though this was the 'answer' for the Cremonese Ground. I was wrong.

    on we go


    It seems to me that amber in high concentrations (short) is way too hard. Color is nice though. The color is nice for propolis also but it is too soft even after dewaxing. Do you agree?

  11. I like the idea of pins so that I do not have to fuss with the placement of the plate when gluing. I might be too fussy but I like to glue up in one shot vs gluing areas clamping then moving to another area.

    Hans Nebel works alone so he asks his wife's help when he is gluing on a plate. Because he felt he had limited time, things could get testy during the process. He stressed to always apologize to your wife BEFORE you begin the gluing process not after!

  12. I visited the Contemporary Makers Exhibit in NYC today. It was a great opportunity to see and play that many instruments at one time. It is rare (save for a VSA competition or similar event) to have that volume in one spot. There were many fine instruments there. Some big and well established makers and some less so. I have to admit that I was underwhelmed by some makers that I expected to be better and really impressed by some that are less well known. I think I played and studied about 80 violins and violas today. When I first got there it was pretty active and there were so many instruments being tried in the space that playing evaluation was difficult at times.It was fascinating to see the range of approaches and styles of each maker.

    I am amazed at how many descent players do not know how to evaluate an instrument. This is my opinion so take it with a grain of salt. The young students seemed to be there to show off their virtuoso technique. One kid was rattling off obscure 18th century encore pieces to his teenage friends. “Do you know this piece”...? Other players were only playing passages that were in a narrow range of the instrument. I do realize that many of the players there were just trying to impress the other players with their “skills”. Instrument evaluation was almost a second thought. Some players that are more sincere in their evaluation might be surprised by wolf note up on the D (C or C# for example)if they do not play up each string.

    Here is my method. Begin by playing a scale in first position that is slowish in tempo and medium dynamic. I purposly do not use vibrato at this stage. Then possibly repeat faster, louder and softer. Then I play a scale (sometimes chromatic) up each string usually in a forte dynamic. Then I play high up on the e string then high up on the G and then D. Then I rip thorough a fast passage to test the response, setup or feel of the instrument. Then I might play the opening of Bruch Sibelius or Tchaikovsky. If I am turned on I might play some Bach or Mozart.

    By testing in this way I get an idea of the entire range of the instrument. I think it is important to let the instrument show itself to you first by playing scales. Then play repertoire to see what you can do with it after you find its basic characteristics. Is the volume and color flexible or not? As I play up each string, does the sound and playability change or remain consistent? Is the instrument even or biased to the upper or lower strings?

    I played Manfio’s viola! I have to admit that I was violin (or viola) drunk by then. This is an undesired side effect of playing and looking at that many instruments. I liked the sound and playability. It had good resonance and was even. It was also good in terms of not being too bright or too dark. You and Joseph Curtin definitely are the most adventurous with your bridge fitting concepts!

    There were some good players there as well as many fine examples of the makers.

  13. Regarding your Mercedes analogy: While there may be no legal requirement to do so, I would hope that the dealer would show me how to operate the release for the gas cap door before I leave the lot with my new purchase. :lol:

    Not to mention that there are speed limit signs posted all over the place. The vendors selling to US customers could post info on their site. I ordered an instrument from a Chinese vendor recently on Ebay and guess what they wrote in the description. "I can't guarantee anything when shipping to certain countries" or something to that effect.

    Besides Flyboy's Mercedes analogy was completely usless for this situation and made little if any sense. :rolleyes:

  14. Appologies for the OT.

    I am trying to get my "brane" around all of this "string theory". It seems however that there are "multiverse" of outcomes if you consider things on a "quantum" level. If I use my "brane"and think too hard, from a "singularity" my head "big bangs" (inflation adjusted of course) and eventually gets sucked into the "event horizon" of this elusive and supposed faster than light speed "neutrino filled" subject of fiddle varnish terminology (was the GPS or other measuring devices mis-calibrated?).

    I long for a good old fashioned "classic relativity" explanation of this "space-time" fabric we call wood/ground/varnish.

    See what you started MikeC! Damn your "dark energy/dark brane matter" ;)

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