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About Mike_Danielson

  • Birthday 10/22/1942

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    Materials scientist--PhD

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  1. I would consider a spar varnish as bullet-proof. What we are talking about is a varnish that is hard, resistant to wear, and safe from solvents such as alcohol. The modern varnishes that are sprayed-on and set by UV will fit in this category. I think we see some examples of these from China. I think Jackson's rosinate varnishes fit this definition. The cooked oil varnishes (flaxseed oil plus colophony) of high oil to rosin ratio do not fit this definition. How do you get 4 holes from one shot? I can understand 2.
  2. Remember, when you are shading an instrument, you are trying to fake wear. To do this properly, you start with a perfect coat of varnish and then create wear. A little effort and you can find out how the experts fake an instrument. This is what you want to repeat.
  3. All the oil varnishes I have used are vulnerable to alcohol and a white 3-M polishing pad. You should be able to rub through the varnish in a controlled manner once made soft by the alcohol.
  4. If you want the characteristic cello sound, then you will need a mic, but that brings all kinds of feedback problems. What I am saying is that the resonances or sound-producing character of the cello body will be mostly lost unless you use a mic. That said, the best string set for the money is Helicore which are a lot better than the cheap Chinese strings that come on many basic cellos. So, you might consider using an electric cello like what Yamaha makes. If you do this, make certain you use a good preAmp with all the low pass filters to remove the PE harshness and to try and warm-up the sound. Adjusting the filters might help get the A string to cut through. I am interested in hearing about body pickups. Are these Mics that go inside the instrument? Maybe that can solve the feedback issue while preserving the cello sound.
  5. I measured how the balance point changes for a Viorin violin bow I made. This bow is unusually lightweight in the Voirin manner. It was about 4 mm/gram when the weight is altered at the middle of the frog. It will probably be less for the OP's bow since it is on the heavy side. The OP never gave us any pictures; so we do not understand what the grip problem is. The OP never gave us the balance point, either. Changing the screw material to lower the mass is problematic.
  6. Ordered my copy thru Amazon UK. $23.50 to U.S. I tried the book store, first, but the electric form could not accept a purchase outside of the UK.
  7. You need to put the frog on a diet since the bow is slightly overweight. Maybe you will be in luck and the maker put some lead tape under the leather grip--removal will move the balance point to the tip and lower the overall weight. Otherwise, you are in trouble. Moving the balance point to the tip will only increase the overall weight. It is the heavy frog which is causing the problem (gold is heavy). Time to look for another bow--this one should have a good trade-in value.
  8. Arsalan, It starts with the ground. Use your darkest red/brown varnish directly on the back wood. But you can see that the original varnish has lost some clarity relative to the bare ground--that means there is some pigment in the upper varnish layers. Any addition of pigments which are insoluble and lakes which are insoluble in the varnish will decrease the clarity or transparency. This is where you will have to do some experimentation to see how much pigment you can add and not lose too much transparency. The lakes and pigments add a lot of color for their weight. You will discover that you can add very little, but I have never seen anyone report on what the numbers are. The varnish experts are always very handwavy without giving details. Now, I am going to suggest a possible way out of this, but this is experimental. By hand, apply an extremely thin coat of pigment color followed by a thin layer of varnish (some of the pigment will be incorporated into the varnish) Repeat this over and over until you get the color density you want. My question is whether you will lose too much transparency--I have not done these experiments.
  9. The most important thing you can do to improve the sound of your cello, today, is to clean the strings. I suggest alcohol with the usual warning to not spill any on the varnish. But, if you want to go down the route of incremental improvement, then the next thing after the endpin would be the tailpiece. And then strings--do you know any cellist who is satisfied with their strings? And then on to soundpost adjustment. Finally, you replace the entire instrument and bow. Is there ever any end to this?
  10. So what do you conclude from this? I listened to the playing tests and liked the New Harmony CF the best. The Aitchisen stuff is just his personal opinion, nothing more--take this with a grain of salt. By the way,the first playing test was using a microphone, most likely in the front of the instrument--does the player even hear the difference? My conclusion is still the same--a small effect. Do not waste your time. I like the CF endpins because it lowers the weight of the instrument, and that is a good thing.
  11. Here is a chance for you to do some inexpensive experiments on your own to see the magnitude of this endpin effect--for example: 1. Play with the rubber thing on the endpin and compare it to when the rubber thing is removed. Effect? 2. Add weight the the exposed portion of the endpin (say a clamp) vs without the weight. Effect? 3. Put the endpin of the floor versus putting it on a brick. Effect? 4. Play with different exposed lengths of the endpin. Efffect? You can learn a lot without the expense of purchasing endpins.
  12. You can do what the classical guitar makers do. First a thin coat of shellac. Then make a pounce bag for the pumice. Use a pad wet with alcohol to pick up some pumice and rub it into the surface. Gradually, the pores will fill with pumice and the wood (wood dust?) that is worn away during the rubbing process. The shellac will hold everything in place. This process takes a few days. The wood will maintain its transparency.
  13. There is an odor of "snake oil" here. Small changes, yes, but not major changes. When you get tired of this idea, you can move on to the "mystery of the tailpiece." There are a huge number of these devices, many claiming miraculous powers. And finally, the acoustic platform (works to amplify the cello sound through the end pin). You might have to build you own. I think this device might have some use. Just a small reminder, you are sitting behind the instrument, but the major amount of sound comes from the front--makes it hard for the player to determine acoustic effects. But the acoustic platform might allow the player to hear what is going on.
  14. Simple way out of this--go to Shar and buy an inexpensive CF bow--it will cost less than $100. Their stuff is functional at that price range, and I find it can be rehaired. A lot of the really cheap Chinese stuff has bad hair, wedges are glued into place, and the cavities are poorly shaped--trouble for the person who rehairs them.
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