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Ernst

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  1. I have a Czech fiddle from the WWI era that has no corner blocks. The label reads Georg Klotz made in Czecho-Slovakia. I'm assuming it was made shortly after the end of WWI because of the way Chechoslovakia is printed. I'm thinking it was made during the joining of those two countries into one. It's trade fiddle quality with a lot of dings and wear spots. The back is one piece slab cut. There's actuallly a knot in the sound board. I'm assuming quality materials were hard to come by immediately after wars end. Structurally it's in great shape and not a bad sounding fiddle. It seems to do best with Tonica or Helicore strings. The tailpice is a synthetic Wittner with 4 fine tuners built in. When I had a wooden tailpiece on it I experimented with the difference in tone between a synthetic tailpiece string and a plain gut tailpiece string. To my ear the gut string sounded better, more low frequency response.
  2. I like a tailpiece with 4 fine tuners built in but it sweems to me that the plastic or metal tailpiece negatively affect sound. To my ear the best tone comes from a wooden tailpiece with 1 fine tuner. Dove Schmidt carries a wooden tailpiece with 4 built in fine tuners. He sells it for something like 20 bucks. For me this is the best of both worlds without breaking the bank.
  3. I need to apologize. I've read posts that discuss using ozone generators and I've also read one where the luthier micro waved his plates. The result was wood that's very crumbly. I asssumed you were talking about the same type of treatments. My apologies.
  4. When I see how crumbly the shavings are it makes me afraid of plates cracking. I know you guys did your home work on this but I can't help getting that feeling. Does naturally sun aged wood get that crumbly?
  5. I guess I didn't realize there was that much difference because I was thinking inches instead of cm. Thanks Manfio Ernst
  6. Being 16" violas they're not much larger than a full size violin. In the pictres the bodies look fatter than a violin. Aside from that and using viola strings what gives them that viola sound? It's got to be way more than strings otherwise you could put viola strings on a large violin and have a viola. Is it arching and plate graduation?
  7. Fabulous and perfectly proportioned scroll. Of the two I like this one better. Maybe it's the one piece back? Do you make mainly violas?
  8. Yes Craig, things we're waaay out of control but the mqjority of posters minded their manners. As I recall there were only a few who turned threads into foul, lewd commentaries. I won't name names but you know the people I'm talking about. Anyway, if the moderators started a new soapbox it probably would degenerate into something similar before being shut down. There's always a few who would cause trouble. Too bad, except for the foul posts I found the old soapbox humorous to read.
  9. I use a 5" powered bench disc sander. It's fast and you can do a very precise job with it.
  10. Nice clean work, a pleasure to look at. It probably sounds as good as it looks too.
  11. That sounds like it would be good for somebody like me. Can I ask you how much the set costs?
  12. To my ears higher frequencies do project better. I can hear the difference in violins and as mentioned above in guitars. Body size does affect projection also. When you're going from a 20 inch viola to a 16 inch viola that's a 20 percent reduction. This projection difference is quite pronounced in accoustic guitars also.
  13. I don't post often because I have nothing to add. Many posts are highly technical in nature and honestly above my limitted knowledge. I don't make fiddles but I do restore what I call old barn fiddles. I buy my varnish; spirit and oil so I have nothing to add in those topics. Grounds and coloring are other issues I don't have to worry about. If I ever completely refinish a fiddle I'll deal with it then. My fiddles are naturally antiqued and I feel that adds charactter to them. I don't deal with arching or cycloid curves because the plates are already made so I work with what I have. IF i regraduate a heavy plate I follow a map of set thicknesses which seems to work nicely. I use Darntons formula for bass bars. My main challenges are things like getting a crack to close cleanly or resetting a neck straight and at the proper height above the fingerboard. When lurking I read the most active threads. Although most are above my head I find them to be very entertainng and informative. The knowledge I learn while lurking is invaluable in my limited violin work. Thanks to all for sharing. Ernie
  14. I use bone or white tail deer antler for saddles and nuts on all my guitars and mandolins. I actually prefer the antler over bone but as you said the center is pithy and undesirable. The brow tines from a good sized rack are usually nice material. I used to be a hunter so I have a sizeable inventory of antlers. To me there is a pronounced improvement in tone, it's crisper and cleaner. I'll have to try it on one of my violins.
  15. Ernst

    the lurkers

    Yes, it's a pity that things got out of hand and it had to be shut down. If I remember correctly the primary posters in that forum formed their own bulletin board. I don't remember the name of it though.
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