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Carl E

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  1. Actually, fountain pens are quite similar to violins! For example: - They both represent a bygone era before the days of modern technology - There is a constant debate between old vs new - Both benefit from a break in period - There are a few "holy grails" that sell for exhorbitant prices - If you carry one around, people assume you are conservative, stuffy, and/or the only TV network you watch is PBS - Constant debate over best ink (pens) or strings (violins) - An active forum community - see www.pentrace.com - The correct number to own is one more than you currently have - They both can be adjusted to your individual preferance by skilled technicians
  2. He sells several lines of entry level (as well as advanced) student instruments from China, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere. What he doesn't sell, he has probably tried and would be happy to give you his opinion. He runs Loxahatchee Vintage Strings (www.lvstrings.com) and is a frequent and longstanding contributor to these boards. I, and many others, have experienced his excellent advice and service, and he has great prices and stands behind what he sells. I have bought a Cao from him as my first "real" violin, and helped a friend by a Kohr from him. Both were far better than what I could find in the local shops, at least in the $500 range where I was looking. Of course, since he is in Florida and I am in the DC area, I could not go back for adjustments, but I was happy that the violins came fully set up with quality strings and really didn't need any adjustments for quite a while. You will have to decide if you want to buy at a local shop where part of the price is assumed to go into some follow up adjustments, etc. Good luck.
  3. Thanks Thom, nice to hear from a local!
  4. What does it mean when the music says "sul G", or sul some other note? I have come across this, but don't have a teacher or a book that explains this. Thanks.
  5. Neil I also have a recently (2000) made violin from a California maker that came with a bridge that was on the thick side, especially the feet. After a few months of playing in, I took it to a local shop, where they thinned the bridge a bit. This opened up the sound a little, and made the violin more responsive. I noticed that the G string was a little fuzzier also, and less focused. It also seemed to be just a bit weaker. I took it to a luthier who moved the bridge and soundpost around, and this helped a little, but not much. Finally, just last month, I took the violin to a different shop for a new bridge and post. This, along with adjusting the tailgut, have made the biggest improvement yet. The G is now as strong as the other strings and is more focused, especially up the neck. I have kept the original bridge and post, just in case. I am currently using Violino strings after trying Dominant (OK), Eudoxa (yuck!), and Tonica (strong but a bit harsh under the ear). I like a round, smooth tone, which is what I have found the Violinos provide. In case you were wondering, the maker is Charles Woods.
  6. I second that. I have bought several instruments and bows from George at Loxahatchee Vintage Strings (lvstrings.com), including a Scott Cao violin at a terrific price. George was great to work with, and he offers free shipping.
  7. If you are willing to drive a little further, you might want to also check out Brobst Violins in Alexandria, VA. That is where I got mine. I think Brobst is a little pricier than Potters, but if you are looking for a "special" bow in that price range you are wise to try as many examples as you con.
  8. Actually, my violin is quite new. It was made in 2000 by Charles Woods in California, USA. The C. Santos bow sounds good on any violin I have tried it on. If they have several bows, I would compare them all, as they all vary. In fact, I would try all of the bows you can in your price range and not restrict yourself to one maker or brand. Let us know what you decide!
  9. I have one! I was looking for an upgrade from a Glasser Carbon Fiber bow, and wanted to go with wood, if possible. I tried out probably about 40 to 50 bows in the $300 to $500 range, and a C. Santos was the clear winner. It has just the right balance for me, and was on the stiff side, which I like. It handles really well and does off string bowing much better than any of the others I tried. So far I am very satisfied and I don't think I will need to upgrade for a long time. That being said, there was tremendous variety among the bows I tried and you may like something completely different so you just have to try a bunch. As an aside, in the shop where I bought the bow, I had about 10 bows laying on a table. I asked the sales person which bow she liked best (without telling her which I liked), and she immediately picked up the C. Santos and played it. She said these were her favorite bows in this price range (she also likes a fairly stiff bow).
  10. And all of us who have a $175,000 limit on our credit card can use Paypal!!!
  11. Crystal, I just bought a 5 string resonator banjo with the idea of learning bluegrass. It is heavy as all getout, and the back is beautiful flamed maple, just like a violin.
  12. In my case, I was shipping a guitar amplifier weighing approximately 30 pounds, so I don't think newspaper or popcorn would have sufficient cushioning properties. I know that at least one shipping company instructs that you pack so that the package could withstand a 6 foot drop, so I wanted something pretty stout. I ended up scrounging some leftover packing peanuts and other styrofoam packing forms from work, so I think I am fine. Thanks for all of the intput. [This message has been edited by Carl E (edited 04-09-2002).]
  13. Does anyone know who has the best prices on shipping and packing materials - like boxes, bubble wrap, etc. Those Mailbox stores charge an arm and a leg, and I have an instrument I want to pack well.
  14. Check with George Behary, I think I recall him saying he had them or could get replacements. Correct me if I am wrong, George.
  15. Andrew - I thought I was doing what you suggested when I went to Potter's (i.e. large shop)! Maybe they misunderstood what I wanted. It is a very large shop and seems to cater a lot to students, but I am not sure how much they deal in fine instruments. Maybe I didn't get the number one luthier, either. Like I said, I don't really have any complaints or think anything is grossly out of adjustment, but as you know, I have a pretty new hand made violin of good quality and want it to go from a 9 to a 10. I would rather not experiment with the soundpost. I have put up the soundpost in my wife's violin after it had fallen, but I really didn't get it very straight. Anyway, I would prefer to find someone who thinks it worthwhile to do this sort of work. I sounds like you didn't have any difficulty at Ishfins. Well, the search continues. [This message has been edited by Carl E (edited 03-13-2002).]
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