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Posts posted by scordatura

  1. Dear Melvin,

    sorry for keeping you waiting! When I say vanish job I mean the whole thing: the ground, the varnish, the ware and the pollish - the kind of varnish job you like doing too! But still, in my opinion, the ground might be just a little more important then the other points.


    Great images. Even though PGM's model is not as in vogue as some, there is something about this maker that speaks to me. Varnish, craftsmanship, etc.

  2. Hillary would not be playing this violin if it were not a great fiddle. An artist of her calliber would have access to Strads and Guarneris etc. for purchase or loaned to her. I have played a number of Vuillaumes over the years and found the spectrum of one or two that were exceptional and some that were ok and a couple that were "what is the big deal about this violin". Have not played that one.

    Vuillaumes have taken a pretty big jump in price of late. Is this because the big Italian makers are getting REAL expensive or is it because she plays a Vuillaume? My take on it is mostly yes for the former and to some degree the latter.

    I just met today a violinist (Paganini competition winner) who plays a Peresson. He said he used to play a del Gesu for a while and had no problem giving it up for the Peresson. I have another friend (principal second violin in a second tier orchestra) who owned a nice Peresson from the 70s (supposedly a good era) and sold it because he found it lacking. Go figure...

  3. What are peoples opinions on the source of the color of the ground? Is it inherent in the ingredients or something added to create the color? I know that some are using shellac but if we subscribe to the notion that the cremonese were not using shellac what is yielding the gold/honey color?

  4. Thanks for those pics, yours seems easier to make than the one pictured in the book. Do you plane on the right-angle side or on the angled side of the bridge? I only ask because I thin the W/S books jig has the bridge seat angled and the sides square to the jig.

    I'm sure that I eventually will get to the point where I could hand-hold an bridge for planing, but I need to keep all my fingerprints for the time-being.

    I'm also making the bass bar planing jig and the fingerboard jig too. I also think I'll give wire bridge holder and soundpost/bass bar gauge a try too. Great book!

    I always plane on the angled side of the bridge. I would not advise hand holding the bridge. Not worth the risk.

  5. Bridge Planing Holder Jig

    My jig a la Weisshaar is as follows:

    8cm length

    4.5 cm wide

    The wedge is 4mm at the thick end tapering to .5mm at the top.

    I used ebony for the sides/holder for more strength. I usually plane side to side then at an angle from the center out. I want it to be slightly thicker in the center. Hard to describe with words.

    I have a stepped undercut at the top and at one of the sides. I was thinking I should do both sides...

    Hope this helps a fellow CT maker.







  6. Mike,

    I've seen one, up close and personal, in artificial and natural light. It was a Peter Guarneri of Mantua, and of ALL these fellas, his finish has become my favorite.

    As far as I'm aware, Peter was heavy with the ground coat (lots of it, with a thin wash of intense color applied over top). As for appearance, I'd liken the effect of his ground coat to that of a cat's eye stone (providing a deep, translucent, scintillating effect to the wood). It was gorgeous.


    I can second the opinion on Petrus of Mantua. I have seen two Petrus' of Mantua and one in particular had varnish to die for. I had the violin for a day and could not stop looking and marveling at the varnish, color, ground etc. I wish I had taken photos of that fiddle as example of what to do with the finish and ground.

  7. My ground criteria are:

    Refractive index similar to wood

    Strengthens wood

    Minimal Damping

    Penetrates wood

    Golden Color

    Allows varnish to adhere (or not if you want the varnish to chip off if you want the instrument to look old at some point down the line)

    Stabilizes the moisture content of the wood

    Isolates varnish from wood

    Good surface "wetting" properties so that the grain is enhanced

  8. scordatura,

    For uptempo passages, I notice he moves the bow nearer the ff upper eyes. For slower passages, he's closer to the bridge. Is that pure 'Galamian', or Mintz's own distinctive flair?



    Yes it is easier to play fast passages away from the bridge. At the bridge likes high vertical force (pressing if you want) and a slow bow speed (sonority). Playing fast passages tends to like a lower sounding point (where you are playing on the string relative to the bridge/fingerboard) in this case toward the fingerboard. Much of this goes on automatically with great players.

    Look at the way for instance Josh Bell plays. He has a lighter style/sound than Mintz. He tends to use more bow speed and less pressure than Mintz or Zukerman. He tends to play more in the upper half a la Gingold. Mintz and Zukerman are what I call vertical players (heavy slow bow) while Bell and say Milstein are/were horizontal players (bow speed over weight)

    I was lucky to work with Gingold for a bit and watched Josh as a teenager in action. It was remarkable to me how different Ginglold's bow arm was than the Cerone (Galamian) approach that I was used to. Gingold did not have a big sound. He had all of the elegance you could ever want. He played on an Amatise Strad which also did not have a gigantic sound. Gingold was awesome. Beautiful person. Studied with Ysaye. Sorry if I am going on a bit.

  9. Playing near the bridge is an outgrowth of the Galamian school. For those who have the privledge of standing in front of an orchestra to play concertos know that all of the colors or notes mean nothing if you can't be heard over the orchestra.

  10. Interesting. Mintz produces sound much like Zukermann does. Heavy slow bow. They both have a very large sound. They both tend to push an instrument more than some players. From the other videos he had two weeks to get used to the violin. I wish that my Italian was better to hear Mintz' impression of the violin on the second Il Cannone youtube vid. I did hear the man saying that Mintz and the Cannone was like Michael Schumacher with the Ferrari. I love the machine guns with the Italian police!

    Seeing the conductor Yoel Levi reminds me of a summer that I spent in his orchestra with me as concertmaster. Many moons ago...

    Il cannone

  11. I had a screw loose (not pun intended) on my Zeta midi connector. Nothing a small amount of blue thread locker won't cure.

    Regraduating a viola that has a back that must be rock/sugar maple. One step short of masonite. No wonder this instrument had no depth of sound. Preparing to give my wife's old viola to a student that cannot afford an instument. Working on the belly I keep hearing Hans Nebel saying "don't take too much off to allow for shrinkage" in my head. The things we remember...


  12. So where the heck are they??? :)


    Hey I didn't know that Justin Beiber played the violin too...Good use for a carbon fiber bow is to keep the groupies away :blink:

    What do you think of the Barbera Pickup? I think that is what that is on the fiddle.

  13. True...

    But then, what would I do about my fantasy of being on stage and playing a screaming rock and roll riff on my electric violin?

    And don't forget about all of the adoring fans and groupies...

    Agreed. I have had a design in my head for a while but can't find the time to build it. I was impressed by a steinberger one off that would be a nice staring point. I am lucky though I have a nice zeta 5 string to satisfy the solid body requirement. Been playing with the McMillen string port for a littke midi fun.

    It's all about the groupies...lol

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