H_Axel

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  1. There’s been some good advice on various shop on this thread but depending on where you live, you might also find good deals on Craigslist. Here in Denver decent student violins frequently show up. I’ve seen good deals on “intermediate” name brand violins like Yamaha, Kohr, Eastman, etc. These typically sell for 25-50% of retail. Sometimes a better grade will turn up in your price range. I watched a Robertson “von Aue” shop violin on CL. Originally around $1500, over several months it dropped to less than $800 before disappearing from CL. The von Aue violins are imported European violins that are finished and set up by Robertson much like the Doetsch violins were previously done by Weavers (line now owned by Eastman). Anyway, I think the are good values out there, the trick is to be patient. Setting up searches and being notified as soon as new items appear also helps since the better the deal, the quicker they sell. H
  2. Not to nitpick but the math below is incorrect. “As I’m working in a lab environment, I had the opportunity to have a C14 analysis performed by a highly reputed lab on a sample of the violin’s table. The sample has been dated at -589 years before 1950. It means that the wood used for the table was available as early as 1450-1480.“ It should be “as early as 1350-1380” since 1950-589=1361. In my mind, that makes it even more likely that the table was made from repurposed wood. H
  3. I use something similar to “Stick it fast” sold under a private label from a knife maker supply company, Pop’s. They also sell an activator and a debonder—both of which are extremely handy in the shop even if you don’t ever use CA on a violin. https://pops-knife-supply.myshopify.com/collections/miscellaneous/products/cyanoacrylate-adhesives?variant=25313283670080 Having multiple viscosities is also useful. Whenever I nick my hands, A bit of gel CA followed by some activator makes a great instant bandage. I’ve seen similar bottles in model and hobby stores. The manufacturer, BSI-Inc., also sells replacement tips, caps and tip accessories. https://www.bsi-inc.com/hobby/access.html. Loctite is also good and available almost everywhere, at least in the US. H
  4. I live in the Denver area and I’m planning to go. I have extra camping gear and room for 3 more people if anyone wants to carpool. PM if interested.
  5. H_Axel

    The Strad

    If you only need occasional access to individual articles, try the research section of your library’s website. My local library provides free access to EbscoHost which allows full text search of many magazines including The Strad. Your library may do the same. Using EbscoHost, I logged in and viewed a pdf of the Gilles varnish article in just a few minutes by searching for “The Strad varnish.” The Robson article from September popped up too. The only downside is that you have to wait a few weeks after publication for new articles to appear and you can’t easily browse the entire issue. I guess they do this so as not to cannabalize the magazines’ business.
  6. I've wondered about this too and I think the fractions relate to volume, not length. For example, a 3/4 violin usually has a 13" length over back compared to 14" for a 4/4. That's about 92%. If height and width are also scaled similarly, .92 ^3 is just a little over .75. Ignoring the complexities of the shape, it looks like a 3/4 violin has about 75% of the VOLUME of a full size. The numbers diverge for the smaller sizes but the fractions still correspond more closely to volume than LOB. More complex shapes lose volume more quickly than cubes so that may account for the difference. If anyone has a 3d digital model, dV/dLOB be evaluated more accurately. Or, maybe this is just a coincidence. HH
  7. I observed a similar feature in a contemporary Chinese violin. Discussion in another thread includes some very nice photos of Strad, del Gesu and modern copies showing similar, but less exaggerated examples.
  8. Nice! In one thread we have the Messiah and Thunis Strads and Vieuxtemps Guarneri. My little $60 fiddle is in good company. Regarding inside vs outside mold, here are the linings and corner blocks. Looks like inside mold,,, HH
  9. Glad to have everyone's comments about this "find." Does anyone have an opinion about the maple? Is it Chinese or something else? I've seen references to "streaks" in Chinese and some American maple. Are they visible here? Thanks again and best regards, HH
  10. Lawrence, I'm not qualified to say what kind of wood it is but here are some closeups that might help those who can identify it.
  11. Thanks for the info, Violadamore. Sound is very nice, almost as good as the 1998 Doetsch my daughter plays. I'm a bginner so probably not the best judge of sound. The Dominant E was a little strident but changing to a Hill E toned it down. It's really nice to play. If its related to yours, perhaps there's some potential to improve it more. The bridge shows some evidence of hand work but there are no markings. I'm a little suspicious that a label might have been removed since there's some glue residue in the area. The left f hole edges also show a little damage to the blacking. It's crossed my mind that it could have been stolen, stripped of it's label and then sold to the second hand book store (they also sell used instruments and electronics). Thanks again for your comments. It's really good to have a possible maker--I'll check to see if any Fengling violins have been reported stolen in Colorado. (Now we can go back to jokes about the second coming of the Messiah!) HH
  12. The reflections highlight the raised areas around the lower eyes. Regarding the blocks, as far as I can see, the linings appear to be let in.
  13. I can't say why the Messiah is worth $60M but my violin is worth $60 because that's what I paid for it. I think I got a pretty good deal though. It's more responsive and resonant than my other violins and sounds better than all except the 20 year old R Doetsch from Potters. It came with a decent bow too. Anyway, relative value aside, I'm still wondering if the lower eye holes are an oddity or an effort to copy something.
  14. I guess that's why the label was removed! At least it's being played now...