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Brad H

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Everything posted by Brad H

  1. I have several violins that could be twins with the OP's violin. On mine, the scroll shield is inscribed with "Artist Violin", and there is an 8-point star stamped on the back button. Inside the star, two letters are stamped...not sure, but they might be KG? The fingerboards on these all have a central spine on the underside. I found the following description on this site, which may or not be the company which "produced" these: Glaesel and Mossner - 1873 - Markneukirchen - many models: Artist, Conservatory, Grand Concert, Grand Solo, Imperial, Paganini. Shield with model name on back of scroll. Some with carved heads or or portraits on back. Trade bows stamped "Tourte" or others. Some labels have G & M logo which is an eight pointed star with G&M in the center.
  2. Brad H

    Dominant e

    I only use the Dominant steel E on an occasional inexpensive violin. The Dominant wound E and tin-plated E work on some step-up instruments, but I use a non-Dominant E on roughly 90% of my violins. My only complaint with Goldbrokat is that the winding on the peg end is so short that the final wraps around the peg are bare metal which can dig into less dense pegs.
  3. I have a faux flame Czech violin with flames painted on inside where it is easily visible.
  4. "'Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,"
  5. Arguments to be made on both sides. Bottom line, just as you would not judge a fiddle solely on its label, so too one must judge a post by its content.
  6. Sadly, It is normal because many musicians do not pay enough attention to their instruments, including their bridges. Every time you tension the strings with the pegs, the friction of the string pulls the top of the bridge forward causing the warp you have pictured. The tendency to warp forward is exacerbated when the bridge is too thin below the heart. Google "straightening violin bridge" to find a video showing how to correct this forward leaning bridge tendency. Or, you could take it back to the luthier who cut the bridge and have him/her address the warp. The waviness of the bridge top in your 3rd pic is usually a result of the bridge maker not taking any wood off the back side of the bridge. Bridges can warp backwards if wood is not taken off the back, and there is an acoustical benefit as well. Since the treble side of the bridge is shorter, a bit more wood is taken off from the back on that side to "straighten out" the bridge top.
  7. We all have unique pasts and present situations which guide/influence us in regrad decisions; I wouldn't expect that we would all agree. The anti-regrad argument of, "If the violin does not suit you, put it down and find one that does", is intended for violinists,. and is less applicable to luthiers/dealers who already own the instrument. I will admit that economics plays a role in my regrad decisions. If I buy a violin for X$ and believe it to be a 2.5-3X$ violin...but, it sounds like a 1/2X$ violin, I have a decision to make. Considerations include: - the value/origin of, and level of effort initially put into the instrument, - whether a regrad would have a significant chance of improving the tone, - the basic economics of time as money, I have a knock-off Hacklinger gauge to help make the decision. When possible, I try to get input from other luthiers and/or players. When I do a regrad, I look at top, back, and ribs....lots of fun on cellos! Here is a question: once you have regraduated an instrument, do you market it any differently? At what point do you tell a potential buyer that the instrument has been regraduated?
  8. It really sounds like you should visit a violin shop and try instruments in person. Even if you have to travel a ways, it could save you lots of time and the hassle of finding, trying, and returning instruments by mail. Plus, if you find something you like at the shop, you will be supporting a "local" business, you can see meet the folks selling the viola, and be assured they will continue to help maintain the instrument.
  9. Joe, can you embellish a bit on your wizardry with the pitch fork...did you prod your kids with it?..... save your family from a charging griz?....just wondering about the practicality of your expertise...maybe you and Three13 could team up and storm the local castle... Brad, I do a bit of tree felling around here; what led you to want to measure a chainsaw kerf in anything other than wood?
  10. Like Michael and Brad, I enjoy woodcutting and splitting. It is a family thing; my dad is 89 years old, a wood-aholic, and is still gathering wood. He now has a splitter but I enjoy splitting by hand - good for body and mind. I have a monster maul that does not need to be sharp since it basically uses heft and a wide wedge to shock the wood. This is about 1/2 of my current stacks. I will add that, after a period spent shaving tiny fibers of wood off of sound posts or bridge feet, during which I tend to tense up my shoulders, it feels good to do something on a larger, more physical level.
  11. Well, it's good to see that Shar is trying to stop the practice,; they could have kept quiet and continued to make a profit from the fraudulent sales. Now, if Ebay would even pretend that they cared about fraud...
  12. Thanks, I try to do all of the above, and I can't find a problem with the slot on the most recent broken string.
  13. OK, I know that Dominant A strings are mischievous and prone to fraying, but why do relatively new D strings just give up the ghost and break for no apparent reason in the pegbox winding? The breaks occur in the tensioned portion of the string between the nut and the peg under the winding...maybe one cm from the peg. They aren't jammed against the pegbox wall and not near any overlapped areas. Has anyone else experienced this?
  14. I think people develop the needed skills for their preferred tool. I use a chisel for both bridge feet and cutting sound posts. If the edge has a very slight camber (and is sharp), it facilitates removing select areas from bridge feet.
  15. I agree, and I suppose it is because some folks know how much crap is peddled there so ALL Ebay purchases must be suspect. Plus, musicians are told not to try to find an instrument on Ebay, and are sometimes derided when they bring their purchases to a shop. So, as a dealer, when I tell a potential customer, "I got this great fiddle on Ebay", they may be less enthused than if I had bought it through a major auction house.
  16. Back when I bought my first fiddle on Ebay in 1996(?), Ebay was completely different - it was actually an auction site. Most everyone started their listings with an opening bid of $9.99 because higher starting prices and higher reserves accrued higher seller fees. By doing this, Ebay was encouraging sales. There seemed to be much less competition and many great deals to be had. Unfortunately (for me), I was just learning about fiddles and I didn't take advantage of some great opportunities because I didn't know enough to bid aggressively on the good stuff. Today's Ebay is more of a store than an auction site. I would bet that upwards of 80% of the violin listings don't sell because of the ridiculous asking prices. As Jacob said, you do need tall waders and lots of patience - which I have mostly lost - to sift through the muck and find a decent offering. And you can bet that that one decent offering will receive attention from lots of folks worldwide.
  17. Agreed. The side view also gives an indication of overstand and neck angle. But no picture can tell you plate thicknesses. I don't mind if they are too thick, but would rather steer clear of violins with overly thin plates; I haven't been successful in this with some auction violins.
  18. Lula, I would start local and then expand your search as needed. If you are moving up from a 305, you will probably need some time to train your ear on the qualities of better violins; playing lots of violins which are available within a day's drive will give you that experience, plus you might meet some interesting folks in the process. I have no idea how complete or accurate this webpage is, but it gives violin makers in each province. Canadian Violin Makers
  19. I don't, but will bump it up to give it some more exposure. Maybe if you gave your price range, you might receive suggestions of other makers, both in Europe and elsewhere.
  20. I think the Ebay seller just placed the order in my name, using whoever's credit card....but am not sure.
  21. 13 grades, with No. 13 priced at $40. Here is a No. 4 currently priced at $3500 And, an even nicer Masakichi Suzuki from the 1920s
  22. Some of the 1910-20s Masakichi Suzuki (Nagoya, Nippon) violins can be good student instruments - I am not sure how this brand was connected to other Suzukis I have had a few and, besides plainer maple and low overstands, the construction was good and tone can be quite decent. I think they also made them from 1941- 43 at even higher grades. Somewhere I picked up an excel file with Masakichi violin grades by price and year (starting in 1907) - , I can send it to anyone interested.
  23. Michael, what I hope to learn from you (and David) is why each group of players have their string angle preferences.
  24. I am hoping for some more details.....What was your method of increasing the string angle? Were the comments you received related to tone? To ease of play? To other preferences?
  25. Is there a right string angle? I know it is given as 158 deg, but is that based on tone, or just the way things worked out with typical construction specs? Does every violin perform optimally at 158 deg? Or, do some perform better with angles of 157 or 159 based on arching shape/height and plate thickness? In other words, does a thick plate with a strong arch perform better at 157 deg because it needs extra downward force to drive it?
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