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Michael Appleman

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  1. Bergonzi's earliest recognized work shows a lot of Ruggieri influence, and it seems the research has shown he got his start most likeley through Vincenzo Ruggieri. This violin looks nice, but more of a southern german style than any Bergonzi I've seen in person or in photos. Bergonzi did let in his linings with points, not square, but his interior work seems to have been mostly in willow.
  2. Markneukirchen, Mittenwald, Mirecourt, Réghin...Austrian invasion, war of Spanish Succession...Cremona's still there and still making violins, (even if for a while the best it could "do" was Pietro Grulli)...I can't imagine any quantity of Chinese violins or propaganda will sink it.
  3. I tried that for a while. I found it protected the bridge well, but I found the sound of the E harsher and more metallic compared to parchment/drumskin. I've found for my tastes the drumskin with no glue under the top, just on the sides, gives me the protection, sound and response I like best, but that's just my opinion.
  4. I've played a couple of Carlos, a Carlo/Michelangelo, and a bunch of Nicolos and Carlo II's. The Carlos and the father/son were along the lines of what one would expect from a good late Strad: deep, warm and powerful but still with silvery "zinginess" and clarity. All were fiddles I'd be happy to be able play on regularly. The grand children's fiddles were more variable, some very good, some a little muffled, but still interesting to play on.
  5. I can't say anything about this bowmaker Meinel, but I do think that good quality German bows can be a real bargain in most markets, US and France especially. When I was still living in the US I used a bow I think is a Hoyer for many years as a favourite playing bow, and I'm beginning to amass a number of excellent German bows in my "woodpile" these days. I'll probably make a trek to Dresden one of these days since no one around here is able to certify these.
  6. It's live right now! I won't say anything about the score if you plan to watch the replay.
  7. I believe that Grestch fitted a number of their archtops from the 1950's with soundposts, but you'd better check that with experts on the subject. I did fit one to my Martin F-65. Its top was sagging from an unglued treble side brace, and I wanted to gently nudge it back into shape before gluing up the brace. I didn't make it round, but rather a long oval, hoping it wouldn't distort the top. After the arch seemed stable, I reglued the brace and decided to try the guitar both with and without the soundpost. I found the guitar noticeably louder and more responsive playing acoustically with the post, so it has stayed in ever since. This is a two parrallel brace top, and the treble brace is still in, the soundpost standing just inside of it. It has a Melita bridge with wide feet, so there's plenty of contact area next to the brace. This is just one anecdote about one guitar, so I wouldn't extrapolate any generalities from it, but I thought I'd share it if it can be of any help. P.S. I can't comment on whether the soundpost has reduced feedback or microphonics, since I never crank this guitar up that high.
  8. If there's a JTL brand, then it's a JTL. After that, there were higher quality violins produced, and some excellent makers who did produce some very fine "copies d'ancien." Take a look at the the Viaduct violins site for a wide variety of JTL examples, some quite "artistic" and even "quirky."
  9. Curious. New pegs and tail piece, but why black out the interior of the pegbox?
  10. Whenever pictures of what might be a high quality violin show up on MN, I usually PM the poster and suggest they seek out a reputable expert. It seems that several other "regulars" do so as well. Photos like this would have probably ellicited that sort of response from several people here, "hard to tell from the photos" in public, and "show it to..." in private.
  11. The number of high quality makers that seem to have been building on the back is actually quite impressive. Besides the Neapolitans and the Piemontese like Catenar and Cappa, the Brescians, the Milanese (before Landolfi and Guad), Contreras, the Parisians like Pierray and Boquet, the Dutch like Jacobs and Rombouts, the English like Parker, and of course the higher quality Saxon makers. It seems as if no one was using an inside mold besides the Amati family until their apprentices and some mobile family members started spreading the technique towards the end of the 1600's. In many places where the makers were doing just fine with their own methods, there was no point in changing. In others, like Piacenza, Mantua, Venice, Absam, Mittenwald, Vienna and Prague the Cremonese method got imported, adopted, and sometimes adapted, in places like Regensburg where the inside mold seems to have been combined with a through neck.
  12. Bruce, does this "new" Filius also have a long body stop? I'm wondering if the same influences that led Stradivari to make his long-pattern (and Rogeri his Maggini copies) didn't also inspire some other makers to start trying long body stops at this time (Joseph Filius and Alessandro Gagliano, for instance).
  13. Wittner sells a guitar-style crank for faster string changes. I've got the Stew-mac one that fits in a drill chuck. that makes it fast! Of course that makes a stage side string change sound like an Indy 500 pit-stop...
  14. One can also choose to use a "functional" instrument and prepare for one's retirement in "conventional" ways. Pianists and wind players don't plan their retirements around selling their instruments. If one buys an instrument as an investment as well as a professional tool, one had better invest a lot of time and research into making sure the investment is sound!
  15. This is sadly a universal story. I think just about every musician I've ever known has had this sort of experience or is close to someone who has, and most definitely, every person I've ever met who has tried to buy and sell an instrument for a profit has run into something like this at some point. The only way to avoid getting "stung" for a musician is either to buy only new instruments from living makers, or blue-chip consensus-inspiring examples from well known and documented makers with multple certificates (and dendro), or if one is in love with a speculative instrument, to not pay more than the price of a decent new violin or bow. If one is in the fray to make money, then it's up to that person to decide how much he knows in terms of expertise himself and recognize his own limits. Anyone who buys a violin or bow solely based on a certificate or a description in a sale without examining it and coming to his own opinion is begging for much pain.
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