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Brad H

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Everything posted by Brad H

  1. Thanks, Jacob, I did have quite a few suggestions for keeping the instrument clean.
  2. A teacher asked me to write up an information sheet on violin care and maintenance for her mostly K-12 students. At the end of my draft section on cleaning, I included the following sentence: - 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. True or false? Or, are there suggestions for a more accurate statement and/or better advice for student?
  3. Ahh...yes...rather, .my concept of good wood, arching, etc., and the adjustments "I have tried" instead of "any.
  4. Being rather stubborn, I have often completely redone setups on problematic violins - sometimes multiple times - and often the uninspiring nature of the tone was still evident. That said, I have often been amazed at the positive impacts of small adjustments. Sometimes the adjustments are simply things that I overlooked in the initial setup, e.g., string height at nut, or bridge thickness, or optimum bridge placement . If there is a logical formula to apply, I haven't found it. I do usually start with SP tweaks and end up at string selection. Adjusting violins for optimal tone continues to be both rewarding and frustrating for me. I do spend quite a bit of time on each violin I own (which is too many) because they only sell if they sound good. Most of the frustration ensues when a violin that should sound good, based on wood, arching, thickness, doesn't, and won't respond to any amount of adjustments. Though they may not help you, I will share some of my adjustment ideas in hopes of eliciting more participation in this topic. Regarding E string tension, the other variable to adjust is the relative height of the strings on the bridge. Although there are limits based on standard string height above FB, there is a bit of leeway to make adjustments. I have found that bridges that are relatively horizontal in profile (E string not much lower than G string) tend to produce harsh, unpleasant E/A strings and weak D/G. Lowering the height of the treble side (or making a new bridge with slightly higher bass side) seemed to help string balance. Sound post tweaks are where I spend most of my time and I seem to go through phases where I like them closer to, then farther away from the bridge foot (even though each violin has unique "needs"). In general, I find that, in addition to the closer = tighter, further = looser/darker correlation, closer placement puts more emphasis on A and E and farther behind bridge foot seems to allow the bottom end to speak up. East/west adjustments seem to be more specific to each violin. One frustrating aspect of SPs for me is that the post can look straight one minute, then appear crooked the next. I find that tiny N/S adjustments to the bottom of the post can have significant impacts since they can correct a post whose top surface exerted pressure unevenly - not through the center of the post, but either through the top of the post closer to or further from the bridge foot. I know SP tension has been discussed before but I hope the discussion continues as I also tend to go in phases with that. With regards to bridge tweaks, I do know that the more time I spend on any particular bridge, the thinner the bridge and more open the cutouts become. Most of my tweaks are to the lower half of the bridge where I have been experimenting with ankle width, shape of bottom arch, thickness between bottom arch and kidneys. Most of the tweaks have produced positive results but most likely I am just moving towards better cut bridges instead of really finding out what does what. Moving the entire bridge east/west by even 0.5mm can sometimes make dramatic improvements in tone and I don't know whether it is due to a better relationship of bridge to bar/post, or whether the nut/bridge/end pin alignment was improved. Speaking of which, I will sometimes pull the tail gut in either east/west direction to see whether that improves the tone. If it does, I will take the setup down and check that the endpin is in the right place. This is a tough topic to articulate but hope others chime in.
  5. I am all for anything which might improve the task of leveling fill. How much aluminum hydroxide do you add per amount of fill varnish?
  6. Your violin had a mortice.. Unfortunately, whoever added the "shoe" (extension) to the neck root did not fit nor attach it properly and it came apart.....the "shoe" was left in the mortice ..
  7. Thanks, Jeff. I have a handful of my own violins which will benefit from the tool, so this was a good opportunity to tool up. Triangle Strings does sell the cf rings at $5/ring.
  8. Thanks. Wasn't Triangle Strings selling them, too? Or, was that just the rings?
  9. Who sells the tools for installing the carbon fiber rings?
  10. Does anyone have any minimalist repair procedure for this type of break on a low-level student instrument?
  11. WoW! Congratulations, Ed!
  12. I cut out a small piece of the carbon paper to slip under the "other" bridge foot. My bridge foot locating mark is still visible with the paper in place.
  13. I volunteered time today to inspect and adjust the local high school orchestra classes' string instruments .... lots of bridge lowering and sound post adjustments. One of the 9th graders brought up his violin and the sound post was nowhere to be found....full tension, and just lots of empty space inside the box. I plucked the strings before I looked inside and it sounded like a harp.
  14. My understanding is that Dutzenarbeit instruments were sold by the dozen.
  15. I have one of these. With some care in use, they are fairly accurate. magnetic thickness caliper
  16. African or European violas? Speedy recovery, Edi!
  17. I don't know where the best place is, but you could try international Violin Co.
  18. Thanks for all ideas....no success. Am shutting it down and handing it over to the computer guy.
  19. I have Windows 10 and think I am using MS Word 2010. I can't find the icon you are describing.
  20. Thanks, the methods in the link didn't work so I downloaded Disk Drill...but have no idea how to use it.
  21. I tried to open my word document containing my inventory records and Word took me to another document. I must have saved another file as the name of the inventory file, replacing the existing file. The file indicates no previous versions exist. Is there any way of retrieving this lost document?
  22. Brad H

    Vas ist Das?

    OK, since I am more interested in how, when, and where it was made than how it was sold....uhh....how, when, and where was it made? And, which features point to that information? Thank you all for any enlightenment. When you consider that, back in the late 1800's/early 1900's, America was a "new" country for many of its citizens, people who were most likely trying to get established and/or survive.....hey, at least we bought em'.
  23. No, but I have only used several sets. Where are they breaking?
  24. Brad H

    Vas ist Das?

    I will admit that I have not been a very diligent student of all the ID lessons on MN. Here are some more pics. I would guess German ca. 1900 - 1910. But, other than that....? What do you think?
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