molad

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  1. I've seen several older violins with a white and black chevron pattern inlaid around the edge of the body. For example, there's one on e-bay now (Violin with inlaid edging). I presume the inlay is made of mother-of-pearl and ebony. What's the deal with this style? As far as I know, no one does this anymore. Is it in emulation of some famous maker or was it popular in certain regions for some reason? Is there a problem with the chips popping out? Does having this sort of edging devalue the instrument compared to an equivalent normally-edged one? Thanks, Paul
  2. According to the FAQ's on his website (ProfessorV's FAQ's):
  3. quote: Originally posted by: Poppiviola What I think I'll do is to play as many violas as I can find in the St. Louis area (and maybe have a couple sent to me on trial from other places) and if I don't find anything that grabs me I'll go ahead with Clemens. One of the inherent problems I've encountered when trying to find a viola is simply a lack of violas to try. I've pretty much decided to limit myself to violas 16" and smaller and within a given price range that leaves me with very few to try I've so far visited/called three shops besides clemens and have come up with about 3-4 violas to try none of which have been what I've been looking for. If you haven't tried them yet, I would also recommend the First String Violin Shop and Seitz Violins. First String is a small shop, but the owner is very friendly and he sometimes has good instruments available. Seitz seems to have a good selection at a wide variety of prices. I bought a violin bow from him last winter after trying what seemed like every bow on the market in St. Louis. Paul
  4. Hi, quote: Originally posted by: Poppiviola I was wondering if anyone has seen/heard/played one of his instruments (particularily his violas) and your thoughts on them. I've never heard or played any of his violas, but I purchased one of his violins earlier this year. At the time, he had 2 full-size violins available. I strongly perferred the sound of the one that I ended up purchasing, so you might find noticeable variations among his models. I'm only an amateur player, but my teacher seemed very impressed with the sound also. I've tried several of his violins over the last 10 years or so and in my opinion the newer ones sound and look better. My understanding is that he purchased whole logs of tone woods early in his career, so if you like the sound of a particular instrument he says he can make another from the same log and model and get very similar results. Good luck, Paul
  5. If you haven't found it yet, the following website might be useful: http://www.folkviola.com
  6. quote: Originally posted by: OuchardGadda With all the fake Hills out there, if I didn't have money for a real old bow, I'd buy something modern. Seriously... people pay premiums for the Hill name and I really don't know why. If you like this bow then get it checked out, but at the low end of the bow market people flock to Hill like nothing else. I've played quite a few modern and less-expensive older bows over the years and this one is hugely better than anything else I've ever tried. It creates a full rich sound, gives a solid tone from frog to tip, has a quick and crisp response, and easily accommodates every bow technique that I can throw at it. Plus it just feels "right" -- I think I sound noticeably better when using this bow. The dealer is a small shop -- I guess I need to talk with him about getting the bow certified by a bow expert so I can be assured that its an authentic Hill. Paul
  7. Here is a picture of the marks. I was assuming that these were maker's marks, but maybe they are just eroded areas from pins used to attach the metal to the stick. Can the maker be determined from what's here? Paul
  8. Hi, I'm considering purchasing a "W.E. Hill & Sons" violin bow and would like to know who the maker was. The stick is stamped "B39" under the frog, which I understand means that it was made in 1939. The maker's mark under the hair at the tip looks like a crescent and a dot (from left to right with the tip pointing up; the points of the crescent are pointing towards the tip). I cannot locate any on-line guide to the maker's marks and do not have access to auction guides or luthier books that might have this information. Can anyone tell me who this maker was? Thanks, Paul
  9. Hi, I recently got a Guarneri-model violin that has a U-shaped piece of dark wood at the base of the neck (I think it might actually be part of the back rather than the neck). I've seen these on some (but not all) Guarneri and Strad instruments and reproductions and have often wondered what their purpose is. Is it merely decorative or does is do something useful, such as reducing wear and tear at that vulnerable location? Does it have a name? If an instrument has one, does it associate it with a specific period or school of making? They don't seem very common on modern instruments -- have they fallen out of favor (Are they too difficult to make)?
  10. Actually, when this problem first arose, I tried a set of Helicores but did not like them nearly as much as the Jargars, at least on this particular violin. The Jargars seemed to have a noticeably quicker response to the bow and a cleaner, clearer sound that I prefer. I'm still confused, though, why the D string has the brown wrapping at the peg end. According to the color chart at http://secure.dns77.com/www_wilderdavis_com/colorchart11.htm, all the strings should be blue at both ends for the medium guage.
  11. I recently tried Jargar strings on my violin and really like them a lot for the type of music I play. However, I've been having trouble with the D string. Originally I installed a full set and the G, A, and E all sounded great, but the D was dull and felt like I was bowing through molasses. I picked up another D from a local shop and it was fine, so I figured the first one was just a dud. However, I then bought a second set to put on my other violin and the same problem occurred with the D string. Does anyone know what's going on? Is there a history of problems with Jargar D strings, are they having quality control problems, or did I just have bad luck twice in a row? One oddity is that the D strings have brown windings on the peg end whereas all the others are blue. At first I thought there was a mix up in the packaging and it was really a heavy guage instead of medium, but all three D's are like this, including the one that is good. I would really like to continue using Jargar strings, so I hope this is only an unusual coincidence.
  12. molad

    Pegheads!

    Hi, Last February I posted a review of the violin pegheds. You can find it by searching the forum for "pegheds". There seems to be some confusion about what I meant by the screws. There are NO screws separate from the pegheds. However, the shaft of each peg has a shallow screw thread in it that is designed to bite lightly into the side of the peg hole and keep the stationary part from turning. Hope this clarifies things. As I mentioned in my review, I've been very happy with the pegheds and would not want to go back to traditional pegs. Paul
  13. Hi, The violin pegheds cost $100 plus $6 for shipping plus whatever your luthier charges for installation. The maker offers free installation if you bring or ship your instrument to his shop in South Carolina. Paul
  14. I had pegheds installed in one of my violins last summer by my local luthier. Here in the MidWest I've always had terrible trouble with standard pegs -- they stick in the humid summers and slip in the dry winters. The pegheds have worked great -- they've never stuck or slipped no matter what the weather. The freedom from aggravation make them well worth the price in my opinion. In fact, I like them so well that I recently ordered another set for my other violin. Here are a few observations about the pegheds: * The black pegheds look very much like ebony pegs -- you have to get really close to tell they're not standard pegs. I don't know if they're offered in any other finish. * The non-moving part of the pegheds gets glued and screwed (using shallow threads) into the pegbox, so you should think twice about installing them on an expensive investment-type instrument. The pegheds can be uninstalled, but the holes would probably have to be re-reamed or possibly even rebushed. * When tuning, I find it works best to use fairly large rotations of the peg, similar to using standard pegs, and not micro-adjustments like when using a fine tuner. I think this is due to the amount of friction as the string goes over the nut. * The movement of the pegs is not perfectly smooth -- there are some points where it moves slightly slower or slightly faster. However, I have never found this to interfere with tuning. * Similar to normal pegs, the amount of friction can be increased or decreased by increasing or decreasing the amount that you push them in while turning. * The main disadvantage is that they are slightly inconvenient when changing strings because you have to rotate the pegs many more times than normal and you cannot pull the peg out to get easier access to the string hole. * The violin pegheds are available in either a "captive" or "non-captive" style. In the captive style, the external thumb part cannot be removed from the part that goes in the peghole -- I think this is mostly for schools and rental outfits to prevent loss. If you get the non-captive style, be careful to maintain light pressure inwards on the peg when changing strings so it stays properly seated. One time I failed to do this and one of the internal gears moved out of position. I had to contact the maker for instructions on how to reseat the gear -- fixing it was not a big deal, but I could not use my violin in the meantime. * In a full set of pegheds, 2 have right-hand screws and 2 have left-hand screws. They have to be installed on the correct side for proper operation. The pegs did not come marked, so whoever does the installation has to have enough mechanical knowledge to tell the thread directions apart. Hope this helps, Paul
  15. Hi, I was thinking of getting a pen made with a wood barrel, and thought it would be great to have it made out of a scrap of flamed maple left over from the construction of a violin or other stringed instrument. The piece would have to be at least 5/8" square by 5 1/4" long, structurally sound (no cracks, checks, deep pores,etc.), and have an attractive flame. Perhaps the piece that gets cut out beneath the neck would be large enough. Do any of you violin makers have a couple of pieces of scrap like this? I'd be willing to pay a reasonable amount for the wood and the shipping. Thanks, Paul