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  1. Happy St Paddy Day...

    A fine time of year, when an Irish fiddler can make a few dollars! To me, the finest part of Irish cuisine is traditional soda bread. Not the lightweight crap that turns up in American newspaper recipes this time of year with white flour and currants and--I don't know--nuts or something. Real Irish soda bread is a solid, respectable product. For years, I searched in vain for an authentic recipe, and then I read somewhere that the whole wheat flour from Ireland is an entirely different product than American whole wheat flour. Then I found this recipe, which adds wheat bran and germ, and delivers a pretty authentic loaf. My lovely wife just baked a couple of loaves today, and I had bread tonight with my stew. Bliss. And a dram of Tyrconnell 10-year single-malt port cask, which is really a good drink. Ná gaibh thar an lina ban go stada an bus. Here is the recipe... Irish Soda Bread Stir together in an electric mixer bowl-- 2 cups white flour 2 cups whole wheat flour 1 ½ cups wheat bran 1 cup wheat germ 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda 1 ½ teaspoons salt Using the electric mixer, blend in ½ cup room temperature butter. I actually soften it for 10-15 seconds in the microwave. You don’t want it melted but very soft is good. Mix in 2 cups buttermilk. Dump it out and knead until all the pieces are incorporated and the dough is “smooth.” Shape into a ball. Transfer to a baking sheet and flatten slightly into a 9” round loaf. Mark an X about ½ inch deep across the top. Bake on a baking sheet for one hour at 350ºF. When it bakes, it may raise up into a rather “rough” looking blob. Don’t worry. It still tastes great. It also freezes well.
  2. Vuillaume a Paris: Any good violin?

    There are a handful of 3/4 sized instruments from good makers that some of those prodigies manage to get a hold of, but honestly, a lot of those kids sound that good because...they ARE that good and would probably do OK with a cigar box. I guarantee that their parents did not purchase the instrument off of eBay. You liked Martin's answer, but he was assuming you were talking about full-sized violins, and he is absolutely correct. You didn't spring the 3/4 thing on us until later (why did you do that? Why not start with--"I'm looking for a great 3/4-sized violin..."?). If the pool of mass-produced full-sized violins that somehow have what it takes to stand out over an orchestra is small, the infinitesimally-tiny pool of 3/4-sized instruments with a real voice is...well, seriously, don't waste your time on eBay. You would do better buying lottery tickets. If you are buying this for yourself, the mystery is why you would want a 3/4-sized instrument; if it's for your kid--go. to. a. real. violin. shop. Or try again with a better question.
  3. Vuillaume a Paris: Any good violin?

    Uh, Miles. What should have stopped you was that it is clearly identified as a 3/4-sized instrument. I am pretty certain that there isn't a 3/4-sized instrument on the planet that could do a decent job as a soloist instrument. Because you missed that, my advice would be--don't buy a violin from eBay under any circumstances!
  4. Cool old Violin

    Welcome to Maestronet! No one will be able to determine what your violin really is unless you post photos--labels rarely tell you very much, since they are so often faked or added randomly to violins. Because you're new, you won't be able to post directly, so you'd have to post your images on a photo-hosting site, and link to your posts here. Photograph the bow, too--you never know, it may be more valuable than the violin. Before you do that, please read this for a sense of what the experts (that is, not me) need to see...
  5. Acoustic science

    It seems to me that the design of the violin-family instruments is much closer to perfection than that of steel-stringed acoustic guitars, so it makes sense to experiment, but I'm not at all sure about this Taylor approach... For one thing, I don't understand why they would make the bracing symmetrical like that (there's the two octave difference between bass and treble, entirely different types of strings on each side, etc. ), but honestly this bracing system makes more sense to me that that X-thing developed by Martin, which puts a bunch of lumber where the top doesn't need support. I am on this site as a player, but I have made several guitars and developed a bracing system that is a modified fan, influenced by Torres (of course) and Michael Kasha. The braces on the outside allow me to use less wood for bracing because these are under compression. I have a photo only of the outside of my last guitar (c. 2001), which (if I do say so myself) sounds lovely and plays as in tune as can be, given the limitations of frets. I don't have a photo of the inside... so I made a little diagram of the inside bracing... Somehow I drew the diagonal cross brace too far forward of the bridge, sigh... The outside bass brace actually passes across the cross brace that's underneath, and the bottom part of the bridge sits on top of that cross brace--so it is sort-of like a soundpost/bass bar arrangement. Oh well, other than that the diagram is close. I think those two braces Taylor has running under the bridge would mute the thing. But I am not a real luthier like you folks. I just wanted a good guitar. Here's the guitar... Here is a little diagram of what's going on inside...
  6. 1857 Caspar da Salo violin

    Did you notice that there was another of these violins on a current thread?
  7. violin ID Help

    You've apparently been here awhile. Please look at this thread and provide photos that will enable the experts (not me) to identify your violin... Look at some of the bow ID threads in the forum to get a sense for what would be necessary to identify the bows. Certainly you would need closer images of the frog and tip.
  8. Gasparo Duffenpraegar

    The great Scottish fiddler Johnny Cunningham had one too. He joked that the hole behind the A string peg was a "spit valve." I believe it was stolen from him--he was in NYC (maybe?), and set it down on the street for a moment, went back into the club, came out and it was gone. It was a pretty good sounding fiddle, I also recall.
  9. I guess if you've got to have a French bow, go. But if I had $9K+ to spend on a bow, I would go to any number of great contemporary makers and try a bunch of bows. When I got my current bow, the maker let me take 6 bows of different weights and try them, then he listened to me working with them, we narrowed it down to two (this process took several weeks). Then when I settled on the one I really loved, he said I could go with that one, but he pulled out a bow he made after having listened to me playing the various bows...and somehow he had surpassed the bow I had chosen. I would put this bow up against anything made by anyone, ever. And If I had your budget, I would have had about $4500 left over. BTW, the six bows I tried were all really nice, but they were quite a bit different from each other, so if you had the experience that this or that bow from Bazin or whomever was awesome for you, that really doesn't mean that any ol' bow from the same maker will be the same. I think buying a bow from eBay without hair, etc. is madness. Good luck!
  10. Knilling Prague model

    You can't find any information? How about a google search on "Knilling Prague violin"? If you want information from us, you probably should post images. Be sure to read this first--
  11. Reg

    The way to bump your earlier post to the front of the queue would have been to do as I am doing here. Post another comment. You should look at the thread at the top of "The Pegbox" that tells you what photos are needed for violin identification, however. So, before you complain that you've been ignored, you need to do your part of this process.
  12. Old Saxony Violin?

    Since no one has jumped in to answer your questions, I'll try... You don't show two angles of the scroll that (according to our sensei, Jacob Saunders) would allow us to determine whether this was Saxon--the back of the scroll (is there a delta, aka "dog nose"?) or whether the fluting on the scroll stops around 6 o'clock or "goes to the bitter end." You didn't post close images of the corners either, though it seems that the top and back overhang the corner somewhat, so perhaps not rasped off, though I can't see where the seam is on the ribs. Perhaps a person more expert than I (which is to say, just about everyone here) will weigh in. Lovely one-piece back, in any case.
  13. Carved violin

    Wait a second. Your "prominent instrument dealer in London" could attribute the scroll "with great certainty," but not the violin?! Hmm.
  14. A string trouble

    I just went through your previous posts here to try to figure out if you are a beginner or not...hard to tell, but I'm guessing that you are... anyway, I'm not sure you should be moving your soundpost around unless you know what you're doing. There are two sources of information you seem to be lacking here--(1) do you have a teacher? What do they say about this? ...and... (2) do you have a luthier who works on your violin? What do they say about this? From what you have written it is impossible to tell what's going on, IMO, though given the fact that you are unable to tell if it's you or the instrument, it seems to me that your first step is to seek out some expertise somewhere other than in an on-line forum. If you could get another player who has skills (your teacher, or if you don't have one...recruit a player) to try out your violin, that would help determine if the problem is you or the fiddle. Or go to a decent luthier, demonstrate the problem, and get their feedback. My two cents...
  15. Carved violin

    Weirdly carved violins suddenly appear to be all the rage. What the heck is this one?! I suspect it won't get its $35K starting price...Looks kinda ugly to me.