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Everything posted by Ernst

  1. Ernst

    String Life

    Steve, I know that you are a Helicore fan. Do you feel that the 120 hour measure is applicable to them?
  2. Out of curiosity what is the average relative humidity there now? I haven't tried the Liebenzeller Gold II rosin but Obligato is one of the two rosins that I use. How would you classify the Liebenzeller, sticky or light? I like a little bit stickier rosin like Hill's in the drier winter months and the Obligato rosin in the humid warmer weather. I'm not sure if that's normal but it's what sounds best and feels best to me.
  3. Very nice looking fiddle.
  4. Of course. Ever hear of tone woodies? Luthiers know how to find the mensure and they take the time to tweak things until they make their baby sing! You do have to watch out though, as there are a few bad eggs. Some are strung out on peg dope and now that I think about it there are also quite a few chiselers. If you're not careful you might get gouged. All in all though. as a group they normally like to play with their instruments and the more accomplished ones really know how to dig in and hit that sweet spot on a G string.
  5. In reply to: I wonder how Broadway singers or rock stars or theatre actors would come across reading their parts. When we saw Paul McCartney in Philadelphia last summer he had flat panel video screens alongside the stage monitor speakers. The video screens were scrolling the lyrics to the songs that he wrote and sang a zillion times during his 40 + year career. Maybe they were just security against a sudden case of brain deadness. What Pag said make sense to me. I have to hear it in my heart to play it.
  6. Thanks for the help and - Craig if your still there thanks for setting me straight. If you hadn't taken the time to tell me that I was using the wrong stuff I'd still be clueless. Ernie
  7. That sounds like the stuff I need. Do you use their solvent or will plain old ethanol or methanol do?
  8. No I didn't No wonder I'm pulling my hair out! I really thought I was doing the right thing in using the oil varnish. Is there a special type or brand of Spirit varnish that would work best and would oil soluble dry stains work with a spirit varnish?
  9. I'm probably not thinning it enough but I'm definetely wishing for something faster for touch up work.
  10. In reply to: I wonder the black light used in the bar would work better. Has any one ever tried this type of tubes (dark purple color). They don't emit enough energy in the desired spectrum. We use UV light sources in the lab for certan studies. The object of our experiment is to deliver a set amount of energy to a chemical to determine the effect that prolonged exposure to sunlight will have on it. For even the smallest desired energy level at any useful wavelength the black light exposure times would be extremely long. The tanning lights that Michael mentioned are probably the most practical, although as Japes mentioned eye protection would be a good idea. These tubes emit enough energy to burn your cornea. They are not as dangerosu as the germicidal tubes but they still should be used with caution.
  11. In reply to: My advice is not to eschew anything until you've used it yourself. That sounds reasonable. Have you or anyone else tried the oil base violin varnish sold by International Luthier Supply? I've been using that and their sizing filler for touch ups. The sizing filler is wonderful stuff to work with. Dries fast & scrapes nice. Their oil varnish is another story. When slightly thined it brushes on well. It's easy to touch up with or even for varnishing new pieces that were spliced in. What i'm not thrilled with is the drying time. It seems to stay soft forever, which makes scraping extremely difficult. It's impractical for me to wait months for the varnish on a repair job to fully harden. Is there a cure for this?
  12. In reply to: Ernst, News Flash - it's ok to have Winter parties! Right on buddy, only thing is I can't find a rosin that works well below freezing. Seriously, winter jamming for me is a no amp accoustic scene. The Peavy might make a decent back yard or small hall amp. So far I'm just using it for the mic inputs preamp out.
  13. In reply to: It looks like the capstans are optimized for a nonconventional tuning scheme (not GDAE) which could confuse a player the first time out! The older post also had what appeared to be an unconventional tuning scheme. The strings are still GDAE, they just go to a different tuner than we are accustomed to reaching for. The string that is on it should be in the D string slot in the nut. From the picture I think the pegs would be as follows: From the nut up - G & A on the left and E and D on the right. This would result in conventional gdae tuning running through the nut without any strings crossing each other.
  14. In reply to: Alternatively, you could pretend that it is a valuable instrument and rebuild the existing top. You read my mind. That would be my first project and I would also practice my refinishing on the repaired top. I would also glue it back on the violin, set it up, and play it. The skills learned would be beneficial to making the new top, and the inevitable mistakes would be made on the old junker top instead of the new one. The old top would be invaluable for developing the technique to refinish the rest of the fiddle. Also, getting it back off in one piece would be a good trainer for removing tops.
  15. I'm not an expert but common sense would recommend contacting the Luthier that did the work and voicing your complaints. Maybe it needs more time to dry? Perhaps there was a reaction between varnishes? It's only fair to give the luthier a chance to make it right. If you exhaust that avenue without satisfaction and you feel you have nothing to lose, then it might be time to try it yourself. If the finish never dried and you're sure it will never dry, International Luthier sells finishing kits with directions for something like 35 dollars. If the restoration finish is not dry it should come off with whatever base it's made of. Warning: Refinishing violins is practically sacreligious and would literally be a last-ditch "nothing else to do" venture.
  16. In reply to: In addition, did you have a number of people blind test the violin for under the ear sound No, I clearly stated that I have not experimented with string gauges. I was merely remarking on comments/sugestions from an old thread that sounded logical to me. If I don't like a particular sting in medium gauge I put on a different brand string. If I'm buying a violin for myself, yes I test it both under my ear and then I have someone else play it so that I can hear it across a room. I am not a virtuoso and do not work on virtuoso grade instruments so I do not bother with halls; it would be a waste of my time. When I do radical setup changes on violins that I am working on I also use a second party so that I can hear it across a room, and also for their opinion. But, if an instrument sounds lousy under my ear I reject it and try again before going to the across the room test. In reply to: Are ear impressions correlated to the others In my "limited" experience not always. I've tested violins that sounded wonderful under the ear and horrible across a room, and I've also tested violins that sounded terrible under the ear and divine across the room. These were not my instruments to tinker with so I do not know if the condition was correctable. They were set up by an experienced pro who I have a lot of confidence in so I'm guessing it was an inherent problem with the insruments. Of course my divine and horrible could be entirely different from what you would like or dislike.
  17. A while back there was a post discussing the differences in pressure on the top plate and how thicker vs thinner strings affect the pressure and tone. A simple test was suggested; tune slightly flat and then slightly sharp. If the tone is better flat the recommendation was to choose a string gage to decrease pressure. If the tone is better sharp the recommendation was to choose a string gage to increase pressure. I have not personally experimented with string gages because I've been able to achieve my desired results with setup adjustments, but the reasoning behind the suggestion sounds logical.
  18. Ernst


    That's certainly a diverse collection, not only of brand names but more specifically of different ideas of cut and tuning. Feet and leg thickness - and height, distance to bottom arch, radius (or lack) of bottom arch, wood mass between arch and kidneys, shape of kidneys - big-small-wide-tall, and also hearts and tongues, you name it. There's as variety as there are similarities. Is it my imagination or do the majority have more mass on the bass side? I don't mean from the added height, I mean wood left between legs & kidneys, on radiuses, and other areas. It's hard to tell for sure from pictures.
  19. Ernst


    Michael, thanks for the straight scoop on that tourte and for the lessons in good bridge design.
  20. Beware, the violin world is full of harlots that are falsely promoted as having the virtue of chastity.
  21. In reply to: The good stuff may or may not be made anymore I thought that Hemmingway polished off the remaining good stock on his safaris
  22. Ernst


    Is that the newest model? I haven't seen anything like that before. This is the tourte I'm referring to. The bottom part (legs) remind me of earlier models you posted, they look like "dancing bridges."
  23. Are there any generalities in the playing or tonal characteristics of a flatter broad arch as compared to a higher arch?
  24. Ernst


    Are the Tourte bridges that International Luthier offers any good? Their design reminds me of a new bridge that one of the members is promoting.
  25. Thanks for the information and good advice. I've had this thing for over 40 years. When I was a young boy I kept it because I thought it was neat. As a young adult I kept it just because my uncle gave it to me. For the past tewnty years I kept it with the intention of doing an ivory carving someday, maybe in retirement. I'm 50 and that retirement is still a quite a few years away. I'd have to live another 50 years to accomplish one half of the things I "plan on doing someday." Through all these years I've seen the decline of the elephant, although it actually began decades before I was born. At times I've actually felt guilty just for having the darned thing. Today I have to be honest and admit the only reason I still have it is because I'm a pack-rat.
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