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About pjham

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    The wet tropics Australia

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  1. pjham

    Warchal 'Timbre' Strings

    Thank you. That was part of one of his grade 8 AMEB pieces. I will do another recording of the Timbres in a fortnight after both the strings and player have had a chance to acclimatise. I wonder if he was playing less forcibly since they sounded louder under the ear, although in the room they sounded equally loud from where I sat.
  2. pjham

    Warchal 'Timbre' Strings

    Our strings arrived! Here is a comparison between the Amber and the Timbre played on a Colin Mezin Le Victorieux by a 13 year old. Both sets of strings new, barely played in. To my ear the Timbre sounded clearer and louder. He preferred the Timbre to the Amber. (Previously Amber was his favourite string.) Not sure why the Amber recorded louder, turn the volume down on the Amber file when comparing the two. amber.mp3 timbre.mp3
  3. pjham

    Warchal 'Timbre' Strings

    Sadly, this has already been done. Search for "DOMS". Not quite $5 per set but close. I'm actually surprised that they are still available on ebay in the USA, given the sensitivity Thomastik seems to have about copyright. Court trial between Warchal and Thomastik By fiddler59, December 25, 2013 in The Pegbox But I am not sure whether or not Dominants are still under copyright? They were apparently released in 1970. My understanding was that patents offer protection from copying for a limited duration, for the benefit of the inventor, but at the end of this time the invention is available to society in general. If that is the case, (and I don't know whether or not it is in this case) then I can't see an ethical problem with cheap copies.
  4. pjham

    Skunk in Workshop

    Python under the bench I use for repairs. The dog (see profile photo) told me of its presence.
  5. pjham

    Please Identify My Old & Tiny Violin Unicorn

    Just for fun here are two modern Chinese violins, the one with proportional neck has a 7 1/2 inch back, the one with the large neck 5 1/2 inch back.
  6. pjham

    Perfection Pegs

    Here in the wet tropics, it was not uncommon to open the case and find all the strings either unwound or sticking with the large swings in humidity. This had a negative effect on the children's desire to practise when they had to spend time and effort rewinding or unsticking before they could start. (Usually involved finding me to fix the problem.) The mechanical pegs have solved this problem nicely. The only problem I've had is when the teachers are not familiar with them they don't push the head in and out to adjust the friction on the perfection pegs (not on the wittners which don't have this feature) and assume the pegs are malfunctioning. Also the wooden pegs go out of round quite quickly here. I suspect that the very high quality ebony would be resistant to this but alas most of our instruments are student quality. They also get around the problem of children not having the hand strength to turn stuck or stiff pegs, and I believe are especially useful in this regard for tuning cello's.
  7. pjham

    William Duke violin

    If I remember correctly (it was several years ago), they came from United States of America via eBay. To the naked eye of a non-expert they look convincing, I suspect even more so if they were in a violin. Note that I have them as an object lesson and don't plan on putting them in an instrument, unless doing it as joke. The same lesson applies with the bow stamp, except that you can get some sellers to stamp your bow with whatever you like, you don't even have to do it yourself. Here is a quote from a current eBay violin bow listing: 2. Stamp Your Name on the Bow----Want a personalized bow? This is the service you can choose! We can stamp your name on the bow or frog. Price is 3USD per Letter. For example: "John Tomas" contains nine letters, so the service fees you should pay is: 27USD. You will get a stamped bow and the iron stamp itself. Send us an email to request a revised invoice if you want to have this service. It will take about 1-1.5weeks to make the iron stamp. So please expect a little bit shipment delay if you choose this service.
  8. pjham

    William Duke violin

    Here is a packet of labels I ordered online. I keep them to show people how unreliable the label in their violin may be. Makes explaining the concept that labels are not necessarily genuine easier. I also gave our string teacher a bow with his name stamped on it as a humorous present. They can be ordered quite cheaply from China. I also have a bow stamp with our sons name on it to stamp his (cheap) school violin bows (when he was in primary school) which would otherwise go "missing". The bow stamps can also be ordered online from China.
  9. pjham

    New Helicore strings 'Octave'

    Thank you. For your interest, I can just get the Sensicore Octave strings into the holes in Knilling perfection pegs but not the Wittner. The "C" didn't go all the way through but jams in enough to be solid. The "G" is tight but makes it all the way through. Reg, I haven't tried to tune to a "B" string so am not of much help on that issue. What brand / type of C string did you use for your test? When I first set up the viola with Octave strings I had the C string on the C peg and the string did unravel at the nut. (Fortunately the retailer sent me a replacement C)
  10. pjham

    New Helicore strings 'Octave'

    For the 16 inch "Octave" Viola I still wind the C string on the higher G peg. I have used the Sensicore Octave Viola strings. If you do a search for "Chin Cello" or "octave Viola" on youtube there are examples of both acoustic and electric versions.
  11. pjham

    New Helicore strings 'Octave'

    No, but I do have a Tarle variation of this. See "METAL PIN UNDER BRIDGE FOOT" in The Pegbox. Although this gives the violin sound a bit more of a viola character, I doubt it would be useful for the Octave Strings as I don't think it makes the instrument louder (based on the Tarle violin which is not loud), and I think you need all the volume you can get when using Cello range strings on a small body. I do have a sixteen inch viola set up as a "Chin Cello" and this does sound nicer than the "Octave" violins, but alas the children play violins so they don't use the lovely viola.
  12. pjham

    New Helicore strings 'Octave'

    Dear reg, You may, none of it is original, most learnt from the internet prior to setting these up. ( I am just a hobbyist.) I have, of course, enlarged the grooves in the bridge and nut, as well as enlarging the slots in the tail piece. I have read that some insert a larger diameter sound post but I haven't bothered to do that. I have also read that a higher arch on the bridge makes playing easier but once again I haven't bothered with that. I also haven't bothered to alter the fingerboard scoop as on these instruments it seems to work OK with the standard violin scoop.
  13. pjham

    New Helicore strings 'Octave'

    Here are the kids violins, one set up one octave below and one set up as a cello. They sound surprisingly effective for their size. The thick 'C' string is wound on the 'D' peg to lessen the bend at the nut. Sadly I usually forget this when tuning. A heavy viola or light cello bow works well. We have found that the "baroque" snakewood cello bow works well. We use cello rosin. The Knilling perfection pegs work well for this application. This pair of instruments were particularly loud and harsh under the ear as violins. They produce a surprising amount of volume for their size with the deeper strings. They are fun to play, but hard on the fingers after a while.
  14. pjham

    New Helicore strings 'Octave'

    With respect to applications, part of my children's busking repertoire is playing The Pirates of Penzance from the vocal score on violin. They use Sensicore octave strings, one violin tuned one octave down for the tenor line and one violin set up with the low C string for the base line. The violin using the low C string is the same range as a cello. It sounds quite effective, the two violins set up with the octave strings were particularly loud and harsh sounding instruments (using regular violin strings) but work very well with the octave strings. Although it hasn't been particularly cost effective to set up two violins for this it certainly inspired them to learn the music.
  15. Here in the wet tropics it can be hot. (and humid) Unfortunately parcels in delivery vans and storage depots can also get hot. Here is an "oil varnished" Chinese violin where the cloth wrapping stuck to the varnish during transport. I know in an ideal world the varnish would be fully cured, the packages wouldn't get hot etc. My question is, is there some sort of wrapping (for example cling film or grease proof paper) that would stop the material of the case or violin blanket from sticking to the varnish despite getting warm during postage? Or clever packaging to prevent this?