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About devaraja42

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  1. In that price range, Jay Haide violas (especially the Maggini and Bajoni models) are very good, and come in a variety of sizes.
  2. The Götz fine tuners work very well and don't seem to break E strings at the loop - I know of one violin dealer who claimed they improved the sound, and would sell them to customers at $25 apiece (I think they normally retail for something like $6). I really like the titanium fine tuners from Stradpet, which cost a little more, but seem to improve the sound and response on many (though not all) violins. I particularly like this one, but it has a nasty habit of falling out of the tailpiece when changing E strings - I wouldn't use it or recommend it if it didn't improve the sound so much. Stradpet also makes Hill-style fine tuners in titanium, but I didn't think those made a big difference when compared to the Götz tuner. I also have a couple original Hill fine tuners (including one in its original packaging) but I don't use them, they look a little different from the modern reproductions made by Wittner. I really like the Wittner finetune pegs. I don't use them myself, but several of my colleagues have them, and I've found them to work very well.
  3. I've only tried a few (3) Rogeri violins, and 1 modern copy - but it is a model that is comfortable to play and works quite well. One of them was quite small (around 351 mm LOB, or something like that) but still produced an enormous sound.
  4. Actually, the Gold Label E is tin-plated, according to the Pirastro website: The Warchal Amber E is worth the money for instruments that need a non-whistling E string; it is also very long lasting. It's also about $8, which I wouldn't say is very expensive, especially considering its longevity. My favorites are the Jargar Forte E and Goldbrokat heavy-gauge E, though. I also tried all the newer Goldbrokat offerings ("premium steel", gold-plated, and brass-plated) but I like the original best. The extra-heavy Goldbrokat E (0.28 mm) is also an interesting choice; I've heard that Joshua Bell is using it on the Gibson ex-Huberman these days (with a Jargar Superior set).
  5. I have his Bach, I got it from this website: I am still looking for the Paganini... David Nadien studied with Dounis as well. And his bow arm was pretty good:
  6. I had heard that Pinchas Zukerman and Paul Neubauer were using them, apparently with the Jargar Forte A string - but this was a couple years ago, so I am not sure if it this is still the case. They still seem to be pretty commonly used amongst professional violists in NYC; I've seen violists in both the NY Phil and Met orchestras using them. I had also heard that Misha Amory was using Dominants, but the last time I saw his viola (last year), I think it had Helicores on it (with a Larsen A). I have a small viola (15 inches) and I like Prim strings on it. Helicore and Vision Solo have also worked quite well in the past.
  7. Off the top of my head, some of the shops that offer string instrument rentals in NYC include Virtuoso Resources, Strings and other things, and Allegro Violins. I am sure there are at least a couple others. David Gage rents out basses (and other string instruments).
  8. Their Maggini and Bajoni model violas are significantly better than their Strad model violas, in my opinion. I think they should phase out their Strad model and replace it with a more popular model, like Bros. Amati for instance
  9. I've met a couple dealers who claim he's a real person, but I have yet to see any proof of that. I think they're actually pretty decent sounding violas for the money - but I think Jay Haide violas are significantly better (and cheaper).
  10. A lot of orchestra players will bring cheaper equipment with them when on tour, to ease passage through customs. Carbon fiber bows are perfectly fine for playing in a section. I've heard that a lot of NY Phil members actually bring Chinese instruments with them (Snow, Jay Haide, etc.) when going on tour to other countries. I'm sure this is done in many other orchestras as well.
  11. Grandi Liutai Italiani/Giovanni Colonna (formerly Tone Wood International Cremona) makes very nice boxwood fittings at a relatively affordable price, using good wood. Unfortunately, it looks like their website is currently under construction, but you can see a few examples of their fittings on their Instagram account. Cremona Tools used to carry their fittings sets, but I just checked their website and they are not currently listed. I have Gerald Crowson boxwood fittings on one violin, Tempel rosewood fittings on my teaching instrument, and a Harmonie boxwood tailpiece on my old violin. Not cheap, but you get what you pay for! My luthier alternates between using fittings from Gerald Crowson, Roger Hansell, and Harald Lorenz.
  12. I've had some bad experiences with a well-known violin shop recently, where I've dropped off bows for rehair, and gotten them back to find that they've been damaged - with little pieces chipped off the frog (two of my bows don't have the silver plate at the top of the frog that protects the frog when it's off the stick) and tool marks on the ferrules; one of my bows even had a nasty scratch running alongside the tip, which penetrated deep enough to expose raw, unfinished wood. When I complained about the damage, the secretary told me that there was no way they could've done that kind of damage to the bows, and that I must have brought them in that way; however, she offered to have the scratch on the tip of one of my bows retouched. I asked to speak to the shop owner/workshop manager, but the secretary told me he was too busy to come out and see me. I'd been going to this shop for years, and I'd even commissioned a bow from one of the bowmakers there (which was also the bow that they did the most damage to), but I can't help but feel as though I was treated poorly. This wasn't the first time that this shop had been rude to me - I'd brought in bows with obvious camber issues before, or brought back rehairs that were so short that the bow couldn't be fully loosened, just for one of the secretaries to tell me I didn't know what I was talking about, and they'd refuse to show the bow to an actual bowmaker before sending me on my way. One of the times I brought in a bow with an overly short rehair, they suggested making the hair longer by holding it over a humidifier, or near some steam - and they told me I was wrong when I pointed out that the hair would simply contract again after it dried out. Another time, I brought in a bow to be looked at for insurance purposes - but they wouldn't even look at it, telling me to google the name on the stamp myself. And yet another time, my luthier pointed out that my bow had some camber issues, and suggested bringing it to this shop in order to have them fix it - but when I told them that I'd been referred there by a luthier that they were friendly with, the secretary refused to show my bow to a bowmaker, and suggested that I bring the bow back to my luthier to fix if I trusted what he had to say about camber. I'd rather not post the name of the shop - they're a very well known and respected shop, but I've had so many problems with them that I've stopped going to them entirely, and many of my friends and colleagues seem to have had similar experiences, and have also chosen to stop going to this shop. Is there anything a player can do when they get this kind of service at a shop - aside from choosing not to go to that shop anymore? I've since found a much more responsible bowmaker to do my rehairs and bow maintenance, but I'm wondering whether I could have handled any of these situations better.
  13. I agree with the Warchal Amber E recommendation ... I'd recommend the heavy gauge Amber E to go with Pirazzis; the heavy gauge Pirastro Universal No. 1 E could also work. The Westminster heavy gauge E string also works well with the Evah Pirazzi set, but it isn't completely whistle-resistant.