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palousian

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  1. Did they come with a bow?
  2. Your document doesn't open, and this inquiry definitely needs images.
  3. I would only add that it's worth examining how hard you are pressing on the string. It really takes very little pressure to get a good sound, compared to, say, a guitar string. When you press down, the pad of your fingertip spreads out, and that can cause issues, both in touching adjacent strings and also with intonation (the harder you press, the sharper the pitch).
  4. OK, so... the responses here are useful in determining that the value of this violin in the market is not high. "You can do better," they say. I agree that this is a workshop violin from Central Europe, mid-20th-c. But the deal with these violins is that, unlike virtually ALL the rest of the violin trade, sound and playability actually makes a difference with these. Some of them have great wood and have somehow come together as a great player. If you have played enough to know a good fiddle from a mediocre fiddle, and you like this one, then you know what you have. A great-sounding and -playing dutzendarbeit fiddle is gold, if you're a fiddle player. It's the Holy Grail for vernacular fiddle players in America and Western Europe for nearly the last two centuries. I had a guy in my studio with a fiddle like this a year ago--it was his grandfather's. It was a cannon, and sublime... at the same time. They are out there. So, if this person wants $2K for it, laugh at them. But $500? If it sounds good? Absolutely, good deal. $200? Dang, congratulations.
  5. I bought my Bobelock 1017 from Amazon back in July. No problems, great case, etc., but I purchased it from Amazon, not a "third-party reseller" or whatever. Sometimes weird stuff happens, though.
  6. If you linger around here long enough and read a lot, you can get a sense of how to look at a violin and tell if it is a cheap violin. Watch for threads where someone posts a violin for ID (or go back over the hundreds of violin ID threads that have been posted for decades), and watch to see who responds and knows what is what. It isn't hard to identify those participants. One is Jacob Saunders, who posted this helpful topic-- The problem is that you have to work hard at it. Generally, a decent violin dealer ought to be able to tell the difference between a Vuillaume and "dutzenarbeit" (aka, "the usual," mass-produced fiddles from Central Europe). So, if you were interested in getting to know good violins, one important step would be to identify a good dealer who knows their trade and is honest, and you can look at their inventory. You could test some of the suggestions in the link I posted above--just to get a sense of how to apply the suggestions. One thing, right away--labels mean nothing. Good luck!
  7. I think it's a Kun Bravo, but with replaced rubber tips, maybe? Here's mine for comparison... The rounded wood part on the OP shoulder rest does look like a VLM-Augustin rest, but the hardware looks like Kun. Mine is the folding type, while the OP is the not-folding type.
  8. Rosin does die. There is moisture/oils in it that can evaporate out of it, and yeah, you end up with white powder that doesn't stick, which happened to me with a cake that was only about ten years old. My vote is that your rosin has mummified, and you should try a new cake of something delicious. I like Cecelia "signature" rosin, myself.
  9. eBay is a great place to buy a $300 violin for $1500, and it could need $1000 worth of work. This may or may not be a good-sounding/playing violin, and that's part of the problem. People do get good instruments from eBay--it can be done--but they are generally experts or being guided by an expert. It sounds like you have a decent budget to get what you need, but the way to do it, if it's at all possible, is to go to an actual violin shop, where your son could try a few violins, and you could get a sense for what's out there. But--this is important--you'd also build a relationship with people who can set up the violin properly, fix problems, and would stand behind their inventory. That's worth money, too. Maybe your son's teacher has suggestions for a good shop, or you can say where you are and get a recommendation here. It would be great if you could bring the teacher or a good player with you so you can get their input, too.
  10. I use my iPhone to observe my playing, and it is a useful tool. However, you cannot listen back through the iPhone speaker or you will hate yourself. Not even a few seconds. It amplifies all the problematic violin frequencies, especially around 3K - 3.5K, and reduces whatever rich tone your violin produces. Get out your little earbuds, at least... the sound there is reasonable to use for evaluation.
  11. palousian

    Albini

    Really? So Stainer did have an apprentice? The one Albani (M1) I saw was luscious. Sounded good, too. But I have no idea whether the inside work reveals a Stainer connection. In case my tone might be misread, I have no. knowledge. on this point--I had just read (somewhere, stated emphatically if I recall correctly) that Stainer had no apprentices, and as this sort of fiddle is the non plus ultra of my violin obsession, I am hungry for any tidbits of information.
  12. Not an expert. But... I don't think it's "the usual." It reminds me of an "Andreas Morelli" violin owned by my brother-in-law. I think they were made in the Roth shop in the 1920s but, like the this one, his is a fabulous instrument. Easy-to-play, big rich sound. I think there were a few German shops in the 1920s making violins like this, and they are nice. You know, unless this is a Guarneri. People here will ask you about the bow, too, so you might as well shoot some closeups of that, while you're at it. We will await the pros...
  13. The Greek kithara was mentioned by the OP. I was intrigued by Mediterranean lyres of this sort, because ancient descriptions of them include singers performing with them and getting the audience all worked up. The lyre was played throughout the Mediterranean, in Europe and Central Asia, but has almost disappeared from music-making in modern times. I believe Plato at one point expressed his concern that audiences could be whipped up into a frenzy by lyre-playing and singing, bypassing their inclinations towards rational thought through music. I confess that it was hard to imagine an audience getting to that point with someone picking a tinkly little tune with their fingers. And then I encountered one of the few remaining traditions of lyre-playing--the krar, a five-stringed lyre, which is played in a variety of music traditions in the horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea, etc.). When I was teaching world music courses, I would have my students seek out traditional musicians in the academic community. There were people from all over the world there, and it was not unusual to find out about, say, an IT guy from China whose wife was a classically-trained pipa player. I started hearing about a post-doc graduate student in biology whose family was from Eritrea, and students told me that Yonas could play the krar. I asked them to convince Yonas to come to our class, to no avail. Then, his younger sister took my course. She couldn't play but she could dance and sing (they do a wonderful dance move with quivering shoulders, and she took great delight in teaching it and watching us try to get it). I implored her to convince Yonas to come. Finally, he did. He was very shy--"oh, I can barely play..." His krar was very funky--two pieces of plywood on a frame made from 2x2's. He said that he and his dad has made it, and they used unwound bicycle brake cables for strings--one strand for the treble, and two strands for the bass. Significantly, there was a pickup on it. We all had no idea what was going to happen as he plugged it into the class sound system. OMG. Yonas completely rocked. He didn't pluck it gently with the fingers--he pulled out a flat pick, and his right hand played powerful, driving rhythms. Much of the time, his left hand fingers were on the strings, dampening them, so it sounded like drumming, then he would lift his fingers to let the string sound. It was only five strings--an anhemitonic pentatonic scale--but on top of this drumming, infectious grooves came out. All of our jaws were dropped. Then he started singing, and though none of us could understand it (without his explanations), there was no doubt that this could whip an audience into a frenzy. I learned the basic techniques and tuning from him, and later made a krar using some maple branches and a gourd, making a somewhat more traditional-looking instrument than Yonas'.
  14. I'm curious about the color of the varnish here. The one Stainer I played, besides having an exquisite sound, had a beautiful varnish, more yellowish than this, but a deeper look. This may be an effect of the video, as everything seems to have a subtle pastel wash, but is that really the color of this violin? Anyway, it sounds lovely to me, and I like her playing. Thanks for posting it.
  15. You've been here long enough to know that labels are mostly worthless, and if you want to know what something actually is, you need to post photos. Let me guess though... dutzendarbeit, c.1900.
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