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Everything posted by devaraja42

  1. With how objective Dominants typically are, it might be the case that you simply don't like these violins, and the strings aren't the problem. I'd retain the Dominants and experiment with different E strings for now, such as the Jargar Forte, and Goldbrokat heavy gauge E, or the Westminster heavy gauge E for even more focus. You could also try something like the Pi or Rondo sets for an easier, more forgiving response.
  2. A higher tension E string seems to be quite helpful for Olivs - the Oliv medium E has a tension of 8 kg (about 17.6 pounds), which is the same as the Goldbrokat heavy gauge E from what I've been told. Using conventional medium-gauge E strings with Olivs seems to lead to a particularly stiff feel. Menuhin used a medium gauge Goldbrokat E with the Oliv set, but my understanding is that he used relatively thin gauges. I don't use much rosin, but I get rehairs on a regular basis - a dead rehair bothers me much more than a dead set of strings. I'm able to keep playing on played-out strings for a month or two if I have to, but I can't deal with the loss of control resulting from shot hair. I do really like gut strings, but since I play in a variety of halls and venues, I prefer to stick to synthetic strings - and I'm lucky that Dominants, Pi's, and most of the other popular string sets work quite well on my current instrument. I'd be more liable to use them if I had a tenured job and did most of my playing in the same hall, or if I had more than one first-rate instrument (and could have gut strings on one, and synthetic strings on the other). I find them to be quite stable as long as I arrive at least 30-40 minutes before any rehearsal or performance, to give them a little time to settle. Have you tried the Passione set? I didn't mind the middle strings, though I could've used more bite from the D string (which is silver wound - and my preference for D strings is aluminum). The G string was the weakest of the set for me; it felt like a significant downgrade from Oliv and Eudoxa G strings in terms of complexity.
  3. I like the Goldbrokat 0.27 mm (and on some instruments, the 0.28 mm) quite a lot. I haven't used any 0.26 mm E strings since I was in high school. I use them on 2 of my instruments, and Jargar Forte on my third. I don't wipe strings with alcohol, but I've found that a few drops of naphtha (on a small piece of paper towel) work for me, and seem to get the strings cleaner than alcohol does. I haven't had to do this in a few years, since I generally wipe my strings every time I am done playing (which includes rehearsal breaks) and I do not use very much rosin. I like the Eudoxa A and D (stiff) with the Oliv G (stiff), I find that the high tension of the Oliv D doesn't work well on any of my instruments; however, it's been a couple years since the last time I performed on gut strings.
  4. Email them. They are quite responsive to emails, and will know better about their own strings than most "people"; I am sure they would be happy to clear things up for you.
  5. This page should answer your question: Years ago, when I liked and used the Gold Label E, I'd often use the Obligato E instead, since it felt like the same string to me, and my local shop sold the Obligato E at a lower price than the Gold Label; years later, this page appears to confirm my suspicion.
  6. You should be able to find a Jay Haide
  7. If the current D string is silver, I would try an aluminum D string instead
  8. You can reach him at
  9. I see that this list was last updated in 2011, but anyway - it is worth noting that David Oistrakh, Gregor Piatigorsky, and Lillian Fuchs also owned very fine Dodd bows (I think the ex-Fuchs Dodd bow showed up in a Tarisio auction a few years ago); Josef Gingold had at least a few Bazin family bows, and Sidney Harth apparently commissioned two Tourte copies from Henryk Kaston, which are now owned by an ex-student of his. In addition, Robert deMaine, Clive Greensmith, and Gil Shaham are all using Tourte bows these days, and Augustin Hadelich is using a Pierre Simon with a grafted head.
  10. There is definitely a lot of effect on the tone. I'm just a player (and not a maker) but my preference is for nylon tailcords. I tried the steel and Kevlar tailcords (against my luthier's recommendations) and they made my instrument slightly quicker in terms of response, but the sound lost a lot of core. I was much happier upon switching back to a nylon tailcord. I've gotten the best results with tailpieces with the widest possible hole spacing (both for the strings, and for the tailcord). Some violas with response issues might work well with a more flexible tailcord (such as kevlar or steel) but I also prefer nylon tailcords on viola. It seems to be different on cello, especially since some tailpieces, like the Thomastik or Akusticus, come with a steel tailcord by default. However, the greater majority of the Harmonie tailpieces I've seen on cellos have had their holes drilled wider to accept a nylon tailcord instead of the kevlar tailcord that Harmonie recommends.
  11. I didn't hear it directly from René (I never met him), so who knows? Maybe Jerry would know this story.
  12. Apparently René used to tell a story about this violin maker in Mirecourt who made a bet that he could build a functional (if not great) violin within 24 hours, without using any prefabricated parts (besides the obvious ones like fittings and strings). He was supervised by other violin makers who took turns watching him to make sure he didn't cheat and have any prefabricated parts hidden away - and he managed to pull it off. René would then finish up the story by saying that this guy only had one hand, and the other hand was a hook (replacing a hand he had lost in the war).
  13. Was this the same guy with the hook-hand who made a violin in 24 hours?
  14. There is a pretty cool carved head on Robert Cohen's Tecchler cello: Filippo Fasser also made a cello with a carved head, in 2018:
  15. I heard a rumor (from a reputable source) about a del Gesù that was apparently in fantastic condition when Vuillaume got it - but he revarnished it and labeled it (and sold it) as his own work, according to a prominent London dealer. I know several makers and dealers who have similar feelings about Sartory; you are definitely not alone.
  16. Were his initials A.B., by any chance? I might know those fiddles (and the fiddler)...
  17. In that price range, Jay Haide violas (especially the Maggini and Bajoni models) are very good, and come in a variety of sizes.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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).
  21. 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:
  22. 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.
  23. 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).
  24. 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