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Brad H

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Everything posted by Brad H

  1. I have trouble making violins with overly thin plates sound good with any neck angle. But, I would agree with that statement. Why would it be beneficial to deliver extra force on a thin top that is inherently more prone to receive and transmit vibrations? Complicating the analysis of the factors involved - neck angle, overstand, arching height, saddle height - is the effect of changing bridge height and mass, i.e., did the change in tone result from the string angle change, or reduction in bridge mass from a lower bridge (Don's previous experiment with saddle height opened my mind to this).
  2. I will wager that the string order originated from one of the Ebay sellers, and that they mistakenly placed the order for you instead of the actual Ebay buyer. Since the Ebay seller presumably paid through some type of fraud, they didn't bother to contact you about the error. You might call up Shar and have them investigate....the more info they have, the better able to tackle the problem.
  3. The fact that they have positive reviews means nothing. The buyer got their strings so they are oblivious to the probable credit card fraud perpetrated by the "seller". Please explain how an Ebay seller can buy strings from Shar for $65/set, sell them on Ebay for $34/set and make a profit....unless there is some type of fraud going on. Again, the SHAR rep I spoke with thought the sellers were using stolen credit cards.
  4. Let's assume we are always tuning to the correct pitch. For any given pitch, a longer string length requires more tension to get to that pitch and should feel stiffer under the fingers. Take the cello A string..... shorter string lengths will feel "less stiff" than a longer string length (both tuned to "A"). Similarly, a string with more mass (steel) will require more tension to get to standard pitch than a string with less mass (gut). Guitarists who like to bend notes favor short scale string lengths because the string is more flexible.
  5. Yep, very entertaining. An ad in an ad; one low tech, one high tech.... all bases covered.
  6. The longer the string length, the higher the tension required to reach pitch, i.e., the shorter string length should feel LESS stiff. But, I am not sure how tension relates to bowing effort.
  7. Thanks for your opinion. I think you're wrong.
  8. I normally buy strings from large wholesalers. Recently, my will weakened and I bought a couple sets of Dominants on Ebay for $34/set. I was surprised to see that the strings arrived from Shar Products. Upon my inquiry, the Ebay seller said he works for Shar. I called up Shar and spoke with an agent who said that the seller does NOT work for Shar, but he saw that someone had placed the order in my name and paid full price for the strings ($65/set). The agent thinks the seller must be using a stolen credit card. I contacted Ebay but their agent said there was little they could do. So, yes, more fraud through Ebay, and, yes, too good to be true. And, yes, I should know better.
  9. I am also sensitive to chemicals. Besides not using known problem chemicals (for me, the easily identifiable ones are denatured, acetone, and Deft), there are a couple other strategies to stay healthy. One is to wear a mask that filters out volatile organics. Another is to work in a well-ventilated area with a fan blowing vapors away from you.
  10. Brad H

    Eat a peach...

    I am glad that I was imprinted with the music of the late 60s and 70's. When I saw your title with "Eat a Peach", I immediately thought of John Prine's song with the lyrics, "Eat a lot of peaches..."..., especially since Prine passed away yesterday from complications from the covid virus.
  11. It sounds like you are referring to "string" vibrations vs "body" vibrations. If the top of the violin is not vibrating, the tone will be overly reliant on the vibrations of the strings; it might be thin, without much depth, and seem to be coming from outside the violin. Better violins have a top which can be driven by the bridge vibrations to elicit more "body" tone. It seems that the best violins can be distinguished by a round or compliant tone which a player can sink into, I wish I could explain what is happening to achieve this.
  12. Thanks, Ernest. I had a feeling I was overlooking a better tool for the job. The chinrest tool will be perfect. What are you using instead of epoxy?
  13. I bought the peg ringer tool from Regh Violins and, after using it several times, had a couple questions. What is the preferred method for disengaging the cutter from the shaft ? Is there a preferred type of epoxy? I have been using a 5-min J-B ClearWeld expoxy , which seems pretty viscous for this application. Any other comments or tips on the tool and its use are welcome.
  14. That's a reach....and it is "reach", not teach.
  15. Awesome idea! I will spread the word in my musical community.... I might even join FB just to check out some of the build.
  16. well..... One may believe in the democratic process yet sit by helplessly watching the results of that process become twisted beyond recognition by political hacks and special interests. Regarding the media, it is unfortunate that they have become obligated to bear sole responsibility for the oversight of the Executive branch; the Senate and other segments of the media are determined to ensure there is no accountability in the Executive branch. And, yes, the media has gone too far on occasion, but I am still thankful for their courage in spite of the constant, deceitful attempts to silence them.
  17. Most of what I am talking about are the prodigious number of plastic ziploc bags in which separate items are packaged; sometimes plastic bags are used to enclose other plastic bagged items. As Jim pointed out, reusing them is advantageous but, at some point, they pile up and one is occasionally reminded of larger pictures to consider. Those are some good ideas, Joel. I, too, know the occasional hazards of recycling packaging peanuts; a cello-size box full of peanuts scoffed at my tie-down attempts in the back of my pickup and tried to make it to greener pastures on a rural road. Of course, the box opened on impact with the curb of the road and I spent a long afternoon picking up peanuts in the ditch on the side of the road. I appreciated the comments, Rue and those posting on waste-to-oil technology.
  18. I finally contacted several wholesaler suppliers of tools and parts and asked them to refrain from packing items for my orders in plastic bags. One supplier received my request last year and my orders are now wrapped in paper or not wrapped at all. As a former environmental ed. field teacher of 6th graders ( Santa Cruz mountains), I still try to walk the talk and recycle as much as possible; I don't like throwing things away, especially plastic bags, which are made of fossil fuels, and often end up in unintended locations. The thought occurred to me that others might, with a prompt, ask the same from their suppliers. Then, there is the sad state of plastic recycling in general...sigh Signed, He who wants to live in a world which sustains the earth.
  19. There is also this Violin Spit by Stravari
  20. Regarding concerns about water on certain varnishes, I am now concerned about my draft instructions on cleaning which does include periodic wiping down with slightly damp cloth. Here is my draft section on cleaning. Opinions/recommendations welcomed. Cleaning - Start with your hands…how clean are they? Wash your hands before picking up your instrument and bow. Oily fingerprints all over a violin are a sure sign of neglect….as is rosin buildup on top of the violin, the bridge, and the strings. - Excess rosin is the enemy of your violin. Rosin that accumulates on the violin will eat into the varnish and become embedded, impacting the tone, beauty, and value of your violin. Rosin buildup on strings adds extra mass to the string and deadens the tone. Same story applies to rosin buildup on the bridge. - Wipe down your violin and the strings after EVERY playing session. Use a soft microfiber cloth (microfibers are more effective at cleaning – they pick up more dust, rosin, and dirt). In addition to the easy areas to reach, you should push the cloth under the strings, grab the cloth on both sides, and clean under the fingerboard, and then under the tailpiece. You can also clean the fingerboard and the underside of the strings using the same procedure. If there are exposed, rough areas on the violin’s top edges, be very careful when wiping these areas – you don’t want the cloth to get stuck in a rough area and pull off a splinter (have a luthier address the rough edges). - Wipe down the bow stick as well. Tension the bow hair, insert the cloth between the hair and the stick, and give the stick a good wipe down. (it is a good idea to have a separate cloth for the bow and to wash all cloths periodically) - You can periodically use a slightly damp cloth (a couple drops of solution* on the cloth, not directly on the violin) to remove dirt and oils. Don’t allow moisture to come in contact with any bare wood (it is a good idea to have a luthier apply some varnish on any bare wood). You can then wipe it down with a clean, slightly damp cloth and then immediately wipe down with a dry cloth. * Solution can consist of 1 drop of dish soap in a glass of water (distilled water is best, but can use tap water). Saliva, with its enzymes, is also a good cleaning agent. - Violin cleaners and polishes: Most luthiers frown on the use of these since they contain oils and waxes which can build up on the violin.
  21. Good point! Thanks for the feedback.
  22. With some patience and elbow grease, luthier's spit can be very effective at removing dirt/encrusted rosin. I was once shown how to rub a saliva-moistened finger over cloudy areas in the varnish where dirt and rosin have become encrusted. You have to rub with quite a bit of force, and do one area at a time, but eventually (10-15 seconds?) you can feel the dirt/rosin being rolled up into small solid fragments which can then be wiped away. My draft care sheet did mention saliva as a solvent but, with our current virus crisis, wonder whether I should remove it. Again, my care sheet is intended for students, not luthiers. I think I will amend my statement on cleaners/polishes to say: - Commercial violin cleaners and polishes: Most luthiers frown on the use of these since they contain oils and waxes which can build up on the violin's surface or impregnate the wood where bare spots or tiny fissures exist in the varnish.
  23. Yeah, I have seen my share of oily fingerprinted instruments. My first instruction in the care sheet was, "Wash your hands before picking up your instrument" Thanks for the comment, Duane.
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