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Winston's Achievements

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  1. The threaded area on a Perfection peg is tapered ---about the same as a wooden peg. I have installed two sets (carefully, and with a reamer) without any glue and have yet to have one slip or "back out". My personal preference will always be the traditional wooden peg when used with gut or synthetic wound strings, but on a fiddle with steel strings Perfection pegs eliminate the need of fine tuners, --even on the E string. Usually reducing the weight of the tailpiece (e.i.,no tuners) helps tonally. Looks good too !
  2. In the case of Zyex, Helicore, or Prelude viola strings, the string gauge is identical for all lengths. For example, a Zyex viola G is always the same diameter (gauge). Only the length changes for a 17" viola or a 14" viola.
  3. For a 14" viola I use violin strings for the A, D, and G. The C string needs to have a higher tension. Prelude has a viola C string for 14" which works fairly well.
  4. I have been pleased with Preludes in this situation. Much more responsive than Supersenitive's Red Labels, and don't have that "nasal" sound of Helicores. Preludes are also cheap and durable. I have seen a few pathetic, cheap VOS's that actually sound surprisingly decent when properly adjusted and strung with Preludes.
  5. A viola bow of 70 grams or more seems awkward on a violin. I use a 62 gram viola bow to play violin. I love it --- very powerful.
  6. It sounds like you are being charged for an oversized parcel. Your parcel is not oversize because combined length and girth are under 84 inches, but when I use USPS website to calculate, you will get two different rates depending upon your selection of either "package" or "large package".
  7. Consider that on these old violas the C string would have been silver wound on gut -- a relatively large diameter, low tension string. It needed quite a lot of fingerboard clearance, and the flat gives it just a tiny bit more. I learned on this type of fingerboard in my youth, and I think this style is a little easier for a beginner. A weak little 4th finger can move the string slightly sideways toward the edge of the fingerboard, rather than straight down. With the old low tension strings, the flat seemed to be useful. With modern strings it is no longer needed.
  8. Truly a fine sounding viola, especially considering it is "brand new". I'm impressed.
  9. This quote by Einstein seems to fit here: "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
  10. It's been a few decades since I felt the need to clean the inside of a violin, but I recall that dry Pearl Barley worked better than rice. It seemed like that that last few grains of rice could sometimes be difficult to shake out; the barley cleaned equally well and were much easier to remove.
  11. I have a bridge from J. A. Gould & Sons, Boston, 1957, which has ivory inlays for both the A and E strings. These inlays are not visible on either the front or back surfaces of the bridge: they sit in a tiny mortise along the top edge. Each is about 5 mm. long, and slightly less than one mm. wide.
  12. These are not wire gauges. This is "PM", or Pirastro Measure, a 19th century measuring scale. The smaller the number, the thinner the string. A Pirastro 20 gauge equals one millimeter.
  13. For an economical, durable student steel string, I prefer D'Addario Prelude over Super-Sensitive Red Label. I think they are a little easier for a beginner to play and they sound a little less harsh than Red Labels. Concord Music sells them for $11.60 per set.
  14. That set-up (using fine tuners on both the E and A strings) was very common prior to 1970 or so, especially with students. Unless you were using all-metal strings, the G and D were gut wound --and a fine tuner wasn't needed. The metal E always needed one, of course. But in the case of the A string, a few old-timers would still use plain gut, otherwise, it was either a metal A or a gut wound A. The gut wound A's typically had a short life span and required constant tuning. As a student in the 1950's, I started with all steel strings and four tuners for the first year, and then switched to the 2 tuner set-up. It was only after I was quite advanced before using a gut wound A. I still have one instrument with this set-up, but I usually now use a Tonica A with gut wound D and G. The sound that I want can come only from gut, in the case of the D and G strings. But for the A string, the difference seems less critical.
  15. Two other catagories to consider: Antiques/musical instruments/strings. Also: Musical Instruments/strings/ Vintage (pre-1960)
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