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Everything posted by Steve_W

  1. I would suggest that no string is going to make a $100, 3/4 size violin sound good! You might as well go with the cheapest decent string you can find. If you want a synthetic string, something like Corelli Crystals, which sell for significantly less than Dominants, might be a way to go. -Steve
  2. Yeah, you haven't made your case for needing a second bow. Nothing typically fails on bows; the only time I can think of for needing a spare is when your bow needs rehairing, and that's not very often (especially if you subscribe to the theory that hair doesn't really wear out and can be cleaned instead of rehairing--plus how long does it take to have a rehair done? Here I can get my bow rehaired in a couple days if I'm in a hurry). During the first 20 years or so that I played violin I only had one bow and there wasn't a time that I felt I needed a second one (now I've accumulated 5 but almost always use my favorite). On the other hand, a lot of people I know want a "beater" bow to take into dicey situations where they'd feel uncomfortable using their main bow, and in that situation a CF bow makes a lot of sense, in my opinion. -Steve
  3. Agreed, skiingfiddler; I think that the difference is more likely due to our different styles of measurement than a difference between bows, although given that ARCUS' manufacturing process includes quite a bit of handwork I suppose it's possible there's some variation in individual bows. -Steve
  4. quote: Originally posted by: skiingfiddler Henry Strobel, USEFUL MEASUREMENTS FOR VIOLIN MAKERS (P. 13), gives 185 mm as the balance point for violin bows, measuring from the front of the frog in its most forward position. He also notes that: "Balance points especially have a wide range." Two of my favorite wood bows are within a couple of mm of that measurement. So, that number, to me, seems like a pretty good one, loosely speaking, as a general standard. The 2 Arcus bows I have, one of each of older and newer styles, have a balance point closer to the frog that the 185 "standard." The balance point on my Sonata, with the older, full-size frog, has a balance point at 160 mm. The balance point of my Sinfonia, with the newer, reduced frog, has a balance point of 170 mm. Those 25 and 15 mm variances from the 185 mm "standard" are significant, I would think, and contribute to the feel of those bows. By the way, I really like my Arcus bows. I stand corrected! I checked my Sinfonia and it comes in at 171mm using Strobel's system; my German Voirin copy is about 180mm. -Steve
  5. quote: Originally posted by: maxr An extra stiff Incredibow will probably feel more like an Arcus carbon bow than a conventional wooden bow, so maybe a similar balance point to say a current Arcus Concerto would work well (I believe the Arcus balance point is nearer the heel than most wooden bows)? Thanks, Max ARCUS made some changes to their bows around 3 years ago (removing weight from the frog and other components at the frog end) which shifted the balance point back to around where it is in a wooden bow. If I remember correctly the balance point varies a little between models but typically isn't more than a couple mm's further toward the heel than a standard bow. Andrew Victor could probably elaborate, and I think Berndt Mussing from ARCUS used to post on this forum; you might find some info in the archives. Unlike Yuen, I'm a big fan of ARCUS bows; I've used my Sinfonia almost exclusively since I got it 2 years ago (displacing a pretty good German Voirin copy as my favorite bow). The combination of light weight and stiffness works very well for me. Have never tried an Incredibow; I'm somewhat dubious about the value of the design, but I know a lot of fiddlers like them. Good luck! -Steve
  6. New guitars are like new cars in that as soon as you remove them from the showroom, they lose a significant portion of their value, particularly with cheaper instruments. There are plenty of good used guitars around; you don't need to waste your money buying a new one. Particularly since your goals seem nebulous I'd recommend starting with a cheaper used instrument (or a couple of them since you'll want a different instrument for rock than for classical) then looking for something better once you figure out what you want to concentrate on. Regarding books, Frederick Noad wrote some good ones if they're still in print. Good luck! -Steve
  7. Specifically pickups rather than mic's? I'm in a situation where I generally don't need the extra feedback resistance a pickup provides so can make use of the superior sound reproduction of a good mini-condensor mic. A lot of fiddlers use Crown GLM-100s to good effect, with various systems of mounting--since they don't come with a specific mount you need to figure out your own. I've been using a GLM-200 which I've never sorted out to my satisfaction; it's tricky to EQ in a performance situation. I've just ordered a DPA 4061 which is a really nice little mic (but expensive). For mounting on string instruments DPA makes a neat little rubber mount that hangs off the strings between the bridge & tailpiece and can be mounted in a couple of seconds. -Steve
  8. Dr. S., it wasn't the content of the post as much as the provocative tone of the title and topic summary that I reacted to. To say "I saw a Menuhin performance that was poor; what's the deal?" is one thing but to say "...Menuhin sucks...Menuhin plays worse than a 3rd-year student" seemed to be an obvious troll. Speaking of which, the Menuhin recording of the Bach violin concertos with the Bath Festival Orchestra (recorded in the early '60s, I think) has long been one of my favorite classical albums; I particularly love the double violin Cto. with Christian Ferras on 2nd. My copy was on LP and it had been a while since I heard it but recently I found a CD in my local Best Buy that has those concerti plus the Cto. for flute & violin, selling for around $6! Still as nice an interpretation as I remembered! -Steve
  9. Yes, the angle of the saddle in the bridge is the issue I was considering. With electrics you can restring them upside down easily enough, but with an assymetric body style the results range from mildly odd-looking (Stratocaster) to ridiculous (Les Paul). I was also thinking of the currently-popular acoustic steel-string single cutaway style (the Taylor CE series, e.g.), which wouldn't be practical restrung as a lefty!
  10. quote: Originally posted by: Hank Schutz Insofar as the instrument itself is concerned, it does not appear that guitars are as asymetrical on the inside as violins (bass bar, sound post), thus converting to a different handedness should be somewhat easier for a guitar than for a fiddle. I suppose, although I wouldn't consider removing and replacing the bridge to be trivial for most acoustic guitars. Any guitar with a cutaway can't be converted at all, of course [although playing his RH Stratocasters upside-down and strung LH didn't seem to hamper Jimi Hendrix... which reminds me that several years ago Fender marketed a Jimi Hendrix Model Stratocaster for RH players--it was a left-handed guitar strung RH, with the headstock logo a mirror image of the normal one, so that if you watched yourself playing in a mirror you'd look just like him!] -Steve
  11. Could this be (at least partly) due to the bow? In my experience some bows settle down on the strings much better than others. -Steve
  12. quote: Originally posted by: xdmitrix420 I just saw Yehudi Menuhin play on the Arts cable channel, he was playing Air on the G string by Bach.... he is around 30 in the video. I just thought it was the most stale, unemotional playing I've ever heard. Gosh, it's been such a long time since we've had a troll on this board! -Steve
  13. It's apparently a feature to prevent bots from harvesting your e-mail address for spamming purposes. I think you'll find that everyone's published e-mail address has that included. The idea is that a human will understand that it needs to be removed, while a program won't. I wonder if that assumption's valid; you'd think it would be easy enough to code around. -Steve
  14. Interesting, I just checked and mine was off; I'd thought I had it on. I wonder if there was a forum-wide reset at some point. I'd guess that the default setting is off and most people haven't found out where to turn it on?
  15. I've experienced no issues with the forum pages' loading speed from my computer (cable modem, Apple eMac, FireFox), and I'm a frequent vistor. I wonder if there's some specific issue that some users' systems are more sensitive to than others. I do agree that the forum "upgrade" was a step backwards in terms of convenience and usability. -Steve
  16. Personally I like to shop locally when I can, but I live in an urban area with several world-class shops nearby. For web stores I would suggest taking a look at the list just to the left of this message headed "Sponsors!" There are at least 2 online sellers there that have good prices and good customer service, and you'd be supporting people who help make this forum possible! -Steve
  17. quote: Originally posted by: thom Sartory - I tried the Kaplan, and it sounded grainy. The Pirastro did not sound good either. thanks for the tip, however. The Wondertone Soloist is an unwound string that Pirastro advertises as being whistle-resistant, that might be another one to try. They sent me one for trial when I was looking for a non-whistling E to go with the Obligatos and I wasn't able to get it to whistle, however I found it to be too bright for my tastes. -Steve
  18. quote: Originally posted by: yuen Hi, I carried my violin to travel without any problem on airplanes but a lot of problem on ground transportation. A few accidents that it resulted of long scratches on the top of my violin.. The bow fell out inside the case due to the rough handling by others That's a good reason to use a case blanket and a case bag.
  19. One more tip: to avoid delays at the security station remove extra items from the case and put them in your checked luggage; the guys running the scanner are much happier if there isn't a bunch of stuff cluttering up the scanner image, and it's less likely they'll pull you aside and ask you to open up the case. Looking at Chronos' message reminds me that when I started flying to gigs with my fiddle, I got a rider on my renters' insurance that covers my equipment against damage, theft or loss when travelling. Insurance for full replacement value for the equipment I take to a performance (around $10K worth of stuff) was only about $85 a year; well worth it I thought. -Steve
  20. Here are my current favorite combinations: Obligatos with a Pirastro No. 1 E (on my main fiddle) Tonicas with either a Kaplan Solutions or Eudoxa E (on my backup) -Steve
  21. Steve_W


    Sunnybear, do you happen to have contact info for Mr. Thompson? I'd like to find out more about his instruments. -Steve
  22. Steve_W


    If I remember correctly Scottish fiddler Dr. John Turner builds kit fiddles; at least he performs on them and should know the proper string gauges. He might be reachable through Colonial Williamsburg or the Jink & Diddle fiddle School (watch out, this link plays an audio file). -Steve
  23. Some thoughts: 1) a lot of newbys won't consider "used" instruments; they want a new one, which seems to keep the market for cheap new instruments going 2) when upgrading to a better instrument, there's a tendency to hang on to the old one for various reasons (sentimentality, the difficulty of selling the old one, the perceived need for a backup), so a lot of violinists probably have extra instruments lying around--I know I do! 3) maybe part of the issue is one of lots of bad violins, but not enough really good ones!
  24. Steve_W

    fine tuners?

    quote: Originally posted by: Jacob I understood that to mean pitch range. With Pusch, if you are lucky enough that the screw will actually hit the plate, you may get between 1/4 and 1/2 tone variation on the G-string on a full-size violin (more on fraction-sized instruments). With Wittner you get about three half-tones. On the e-string this pitch range will obviously be wider. Yes, that's what I meant; thanks for the info. -Steve
  25. quote: Originally posted by: pandora You just reminded me that a looong time ago I actually sorta liked (ready for this?) "Night on Disco Mountain." (Say it isn't so...) Hey, that was a classic! Remember "A Fifth of Beethoven?" They both got pretty heavy play on the local radio stations! During the years when Disco was so popular I eventually got to the point where I hated any song with that incesssant beat! Funnily, a few years ago when my son was about 10, he and all his friends got interested in Disco music for some reason so we found some CDs for him. I have to admit, now that enough time has passed I actually do like hearing some of those songs again! -Steve
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