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Everything posted by Victor_Zak

  1. I'm not a violin maker nor a particularly good violinist so my understanding might be rather simplistic. But I associate the up-close "crackle" of an instrument being related to 1) how the player puts the bow to the string -- angle, weight, speed, 2) how the instrument is set up with the ideal balance of resistance and give by the string to the commands of the bow and 3) how well the body of the instrument amplifies this noise. The noise isn't so much musical sounds, unless I'm misunderstanding the point The closest I can describe it now is with the word used above, crackle. Or maybe 'snap' but that might begin infringing on some copyrights.
  2. This message is way late but I wanted to make a comment about Heifetz and noise. Perhaps Stradofear's comment about noise is becoming slightly misinterpreted... My daughter's viola instructor once discussed that when Heifetz visited town one time, the concert was so over-sold that he [the viola instructor] was nearly on-stage in extra seats. He mentioned that up close, Heifetz playing was noisy, not because of tone of the instrument but because of the way he articulated the notes with the bow -- techniques such as staccato and spiccatto I assume. Close it sounded harsh and scratchy. Further away, that noise wasn't noticeable, being translated into projection of the sound and sharpness of attack instead So the noise was more generated by the bow technique rather than by the instrument. [Edit...] The instrument would contribute to this by its responsiveness.
  3. Though the colour may be a bit off, the violin featured on the main article looks like a BerGuernsey to me.
  4. Speaking only as a player, I'm thinking that the neck of an instrument wouldn't contribute much to the instrument's sound through the neck's vibrations. The player's hand, thumb and fingers would tend to quash a lot of the vibration. (I do however see that a neck that vibrates would tend to make the instrument at least feel more responsive to the player). However, I am thinking that how the neck root contacts the rest of the instrument and the mass of the fingerboard and neck might be important in how much damping (or not) of the instrument the neck causes. That is, the task might be to find the right balance in design where the negative affects might be minimzed. It's also crosses my mind that many of the Classical Italian instruments have had their necks replaced through conversions to more modern setups. If there was much of an effect, wouldn't we have likely ended up with significantly more "duds" in Strad and del Gesu violins (assuming not all luthiers who did these conversions would have been aware of the influence of the neck and root)?
  5. What's to prevent someone from locating the chip in the instrument and removing it or replacing it with another? I imagine that though it can be well concealed, it could eventually be found if the person knows its there and it's an important instrument. Another concern I'd have is what sort of damage will be inflicted on the instrument while the perp. tries to find and remove it.
  6. This has little to do with the intent of the article, but I wonder about one comment, namely "about 95 percent of violins these days are machine-made". Could he have meant that, in 95% of the violins made these days, machines are used at some point?
  7. When another person I play with hits a C# -- first one on G especially -- the body of my whole instrument vibrates. This occurs even if I wrap my hand around the strings on the neck, damping string vibrations. So I assume that it's not because of sympathetic string vibrations. Frequently, violins tend to have wolf notes around C or D and especially noticeable on the second octave C or D on the G string. I've suspected that the cross-instrument vibrations I've noted were related to the reasons for the wolf notes. That is, at this frequency, the instrument is particularly responsive -- if too much, it appears as a wolf.
  8. This might be over-simplistic but... Haven't seen anyone ask whether or how you clean the strings. I've had similar problems if I let rosin build up on the strings, especially the G where the bow would skate for 1 or 2 cms before catching the string properly. Less so on the D. The heavier the string, the more the problem. Some people use alcohol (which I avoid for several reasons), a cloth or just scratch off the rosin from the strings with a fingernail.
  9. Even with traditional bow designs, I've sometimes been poked in the palm of the hand by a sharp corner at the back of the frog when preparing to do some pizz. Never drew blood however as far as I remember. The one pictured at the top look like it could.
  10. GMM2: Sorry if my post sounded like I was critisizing your post - that wasn't my intent. I'm probably overly fussy but an 1/8 of a turn's angle on a peg can make a big difference to me on how easily/quickly I can retune a string. Because of that, stretching is a nuisance to me. If experimenting with different types of strings, the amount to allow for stretching is less predictable and often requires some adjustment after the fact.
  11. Until the new strings are finished stretching, I'm not sure there's much one can do. If you align the pegs to your preference when the strings are brand new, chances are that a few days later, they'll be in awkward positions. For the first few days or week, I just try to live with the pegs the way they are. Once the strings have done most of their stretching, I just go back and readjust those pegs that are a problem. Through past trial and error, I'm getting reasonably accurate on how much to rethread the string to give me the angle of the peg heads the way I like them, often getting it on the first attempt. I don't think I have a system that I could put into words -- mainly gut feel I guess. Sorry I couldn't help more.
  12. I haven't studied the Galamian System thoroughly but one advantage to the student just starting on three-octave scales using Flesch is that for those beginning with B-flat and upwards to F-sharp, the same pattern of fingering is used. To my mind, this allows the student to focus on tone, intonation and rhythm rather than memorizing a different fingering for each key. The Galamian fingering can be learned later. As mentioned by 'outside', I also find it convenient to have a variety of scales, arpeggios & double-stop work for one key all located side-by-side in one section, as Flesch has it organized. The rhythm & bowing variations provided by Galamian are fantastic, as long as one has the discipline to apply/think about them. When using Flesch, I use mainly the fingering, applying turn-arounds, acceleration etc. outlined by Galamian. So I guess I use a hybrid system, based on Flesch but enhanced by Galamian. My wish would be to have Flesch also: 1. provide scales and arpeggios in 1st position, 2 octave where possible; and 2. provide "modal" scales, where all scale patterns start with G (or G#/Ab where appropriate). Having these two added would allow me to use one book for nearly all scale work.
  13. B. Ceruti: quote: "many notes seem to resist sounding; they sound almost like harmonics (but they aren't) until I push down with the bow". As you said, it could be the bow needs re-hairing, it could be you have too much or too little rosin on the bow or perhaps your instrument's setup needs to be looked at. Another possibility: Likely, you are already aware of cleaning the strings of rosin build-up, which can also lead to a poor grab of the bow hair of the string. Strings can be cleaned of the rosin in several ways. The method I use is described on this page. This Link Some people use alcohol wipes (carefully) to clean the rosin off the strings as did I in the past. But I no longer do that as I believe it creates more problems than solutions. --- Regarding various tones, I agree with xdmitrix420 on the definition of dark -- tending towards the sound of a viola. "Darkness" isn't related to "muddiness". The later refers more to the lack of clarity of the notes -- I've also heard the term "wooly". Think of the effect of violin's box filled with cotton fluff -- the pitch is there but doesn't "jump out" of the instrument but rather seems dull and lifeless. Again, a poor setup might be the source of the problem but could also be the nature of the instrument.
  14. falstaff: You're probably right. The ad on XXXX's List was posted 17 Nov 2006, the same day SongMan posted his first message to this board.
  15. songman5: I'm thinking that even a collector who might believe the instrument to be true to it's label will realize that his/her opinion will be worthless when it comes time for the instrument to be resold. Third-party certification is going to be necessary for the instrument to hold any meaningful value.
  16. falstaff: quote (from message roughly #145, 19 Nov 2006) ------ I'd like to hear from dealers and teachers to practice this system. Seems to me there's been a lot of hearsay and no real defense by the folks who, we are told, consistently practice it. ------ (This topic is mushrooming rapidly and I can hardly keep up... I have no idea whether a later poster references this article or not. Or whether this post is still "on topic".) There was an article in The Strad a couple of months ago with two peoples' opinions, one for each side. The person/teacher defending dealer commissions said, among other things, something roughly like: "my teaching is a business and I don't feel obligated in disclosing all my sources of income -- it's my business." I don't agree with this position. To me, it's a classic case of "conflict of interest". I suspect that many students take their violins to their instructors for an opinion on the quality of the sound and value of the instrument compared to its price, with an assumption of trust. If the teacher is making a recommendation based also on an undisclosed commission, then it's a violation of trust. It's even worse if the student is _paying_ the instructor for his or her time to assess the instument and make the recommendation. If a similar situation happens with a lawyer or doctor, it's unethical and probably liable. Is that because lawyers and doctors are professionals? Is it ethical for (some) violin instructors because they're not professionals? Maybe so... --- edited, adding "(some)" to my statement since many instructors are certainly professional.
  17. John Cee: You may have seen the article already but if not, Andrew Finnigan in the Oct 2006 issue of the Strad provides the method and measurments by which he determines the positions of the four peg holes. I have no idea whether what's presented in the article makes sense to a genuine maker. Perhaps others will comment.
  18. keithloke: Perhaps someone will suggest a better way, but... In the header to each message, on the right-hand side, you'll see a series of three or four icons, one being a padlock. Clicking on this icon will allow you to create a "Private Message" for the person. This message doesn't go through the Internet e-mail systems however -- it's stored on the Maestronet computer only and will be visible to duane88 only once he next visits Maestronet and checks for Private Messages. Some people allow others to see their profiles which may include personal information including a true internet e-mail address. Duane88 hasn't allowed for this option so you'll have to rely on the Maestronet Private Message system only.
  19. Amori: "chuffed" -- is that positive or negative? (mainly kidding...) Did someone from The Strad approach you? Cold? I'm curious on where they got their information, including the pricing, options for varishing, purfling, etc.
  20. I'm not sure that bridge angling is more than a theoretical curiosity on a non-fretted instrument. Because the wrist rotates to allow fingers to reach across to various strings, "parallel" movement may be somewhat hard to judge on a non-fretted instrument. Although a player thinks s/he is moving parallel to reach a fifth lower or higher, an exactly parallel movement is rather hard to predict, given all the motions happening with the fingers, wrist and forearm. All the joints of the arm and hand want to travel in arcs rather than straight lines anyways. In the compenstation that's being discussed, what strings have to be longer between nut and bridge -- the higher strings or the lower ones? Also, how much of a difference in finger placement (in 1st position let's say) are we talking about in the two setup alternatives -- 0.1 mm, 1.0 mm, 5 mm -- does anyone have an idea?
  21. I just noticed that in the photo of the Sauret Strad in the October 2006 issue of The Strad (p. 17), the violin has a mix of string brands. I'm guessing that the G and A strings are Olives, while the D is an Obligato. I'm aware that cellos and violias are often equipped with a variety of strings to balance the instrument. But it seems that violins are almost always equipped with the same brand on the lower three strings. I'm curious on whether the Sauret Strad was intentionally set up this way for playablity or whether simply equipped with an Obligato D for the photo, assuming something may have happened to the original Olive D. How common or likely is it to have a mix of the lower three strings on a violin?
  22. I would consider Eudoxas to be "halfway" to gut strings. They're gut-core, but metal wound. Most purists would probably say that only unwound gut strings are the real thing (except maybe for a wound G string). I've been using Eudoxa's on one of my violins for something over 6 months. I find they're similar to Dominants but with perhaps a somewhat rounder sound and I prefer their continued response over the longer term. (Dominants seemed to wear out in their response rather quickly for me). If you try Eudoxa's (or any gut string for that matter I think), be prepared to re-tune frequently. They're quite a bit more sensitive to heat/humidity changes than synthetics. Right now, our climate is getting drier with the coming cooler weather and the strings have been going sharp on me, which never happened with synthetics. When preparing for gigs or recitals, arrive and get your violin out early so the strings can acclimatize before you have to do final tuning. They're a bit of a pain that way, as if there weren't enough other things to worry about at the time. Also, when first strung on a violin, I find they stretch _a lot_ in the first couple of days. Seems like the first day is pretty much devoted to being an exercise in tuning the violin. Be prepared for this. I nearly threw them out because of it but you may have more patience than me... Just prior to the Eudoxas, I was using Visions which seemed to settle 95% in a matter of an hour so I was a bit spoiled. *** Tonally and responsively, your violin will probably react differently to gut than mine. Only you trials will tell you how they do in your circumstance. I do believe that you'll experience similar stretching and re-tuning issues however. *** I'm skeptical whether gut strings would age or mature a violin any differently than synthetics by the way. Try the gut to see how your violin responds to them now but don't do it in the hopes that they'll mature your violin differently than other types of strings.
  23. I'm coming into this discussion late so my apologies if this has been covered. From what I understand, dendrochronology maps the relative sizes of growth rings of an unknown sample (or perhaps better, "the wood in question") against that of a sample of known age and origin. Then, based on the degree of matching of the patterns of the two, it can be stated whether the two are from the same time period. And, depending on where the patterns start matching, the age of the unknown sampe. Is my understanding reasonably close? Assuming so, I'd like to flip the question around and ask what degree of certainty is there that a piece of wood harvested from another area and another time period _couldn't_ have a similar pattern? Mention was made earlier that the likelihood of a high degree of matching _by chance_ is low. However, a copyist intending to deceive (or just wanting to be as close to the original as possible) will no longer a random process. He or she could select spruce whose growth patterns bear a close resemblance to the original wood. Couldn't this throw the conclusions based on dendro off?
  24. I'd suggest taking your time in making a decision. One possibility is to have one lesson with possible teachers (paying for their time) to find out their style and to get a better idea if the two of you could work together. Stick with the first one you encounter that seems a good match and fits your budget.
  25. From a buyer's perspective, I can see it being an advantange that all violins evaluated have the same strings installed. This would make a level playing field and make comparisons easier, without the added variable of the type of string on each one affecting the sound. From a dealer's or maker's perspective, I think it common that the instrument be equipped with the set of strings that show off the sound and response to the best advantage of the seller. And I wouldn't blame sellers for doing so -- they justifiably need to make the instrument sound it's best to increase the possibility of a sale. I don't see how one could comprimise between the two objectives.
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