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Everything posted by AMORI

  1. Thanks for your open mindedness Evan. "But always remember that you are no longer making a violin". A matter of opinion, no matter who's lofty opinion it is "Savart did it 100 years earlier". Can't understand how anyone can find any resemblance at all? "I don't see how there is any way the plate could vibrate enough to make a good sound". It is not meant to, see my opening remarks. "Looks like a hybrid between a violin and a Steyr Aug". If this is meant as an insult, none taken, I don't really mind what anyone else thinks of the aesthetic. "Looks way too skinny to have any depth of tone". See my opening remarks, it is not meant to have much "depth of tone, unplugged" "A problem with these clever designs is not just its tone ...." I'm not trying to be "clever" only original. Unlike some of the very clever people here. For the record, I love music, violin music more than any other. With a long (5 decades) history of woodworking and music loving, I started making (traditional) violins in the 90's and was a regular here at Maestronet but being a designer by nature and trade, I grew extremely tired of making, parrot fashion (as many, not all, violin makers do) traditional violins and started designing and making alternative violins (and yes, just as good sounding). For the record, I much prefer pure acoustic music but that does not prevent me from experimenting with other possibilities. The reception to these violins, from most of (not all) the "violin fraternity", drove me away from violin making and also from Maestronet. Now I find the same narrow minded (not from everyone), holier-than-thou, pompous attitude (NOT from everyone). No, I do not expect many traditional violin makers/players to find it appealing in any way. It is a bit of fun, not life and death. It is not a copy or a derivation of any "violin" I have ever seen, the idea is mine and 100% experimental (I am also working on a decontstructed archtop guitar along similar lines right now, (see Facebook - Murray Kuun) and I have no idea how well or not, the idea will work. Although it is experimental (in the same way that the digital violin by Joseph Curtin is), it is not haphazard, a fair amount of thought has gone into the concept, both from a musical point of view and also the aesthetic. I have made many successful e-violins in the past and this is just an extension of some of my previous ideas. I am 100% comfortable with constructive critisism but I do detect an air of snobbery here (but hope I am wrong). Reminds me of a John Lennon song ....Im sick and tired of hearing things from uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded ... Okay completely vented. No need to ban me from Maestronet, I will not be back.
  2. This is a new deconstructed-violin concept I'm fiddling with at the moment. The basic idea is to have a soft (but good) acoustic tone with the ability to plug it in for big venues (with a proper violin type tone).
  3. JRaposoCostaMay I ask you for the contact info (e-mail) for this supplier - please. I'm in South Africa and that makes all wood imports extremely expensive, I'd like to try the Chinese maple on some test violins. Thank you. My e-mail is murray@designsunlimited.co.za
  4. I have not been to Maestronet for a long time. I've moved from violins to guitars but still get the odd violin in for minor repairs and restorations. Now I have a request from someone to restore/rebuild this 1850 cello and as you can see from the pic, it is in many pieces. "Someone" has made a new rib section and another section looks like a jigsaw puzzle (with some pieces missing). The belly has been repaired (so badly that the arching shape has changed) plus it has more cracks that need repairing. The tail and neck blocks are broken and will have to be replaced and there a few broken corners too. The owner does not want any parts replaced, only for them to be repaired. Is a cello in this condition, based on it's age, worth an almost complete re-build? Murray Kuun
  5. Most of my work is quite modern, but not always. I do respect tradition but there are more than enough people already making traditional "things". I make my living designing modern furniture (google murraykuun). I have not made a final decision about those "modular linkages". Possibly aluminium? I've made an MDF prototype and used 12mm aluminium which looks quite good. Maybe teflon, I'm not sure yet......
  6. Long time no speak Craig, nice to hear from you and see that you are still active here. Your son is going to enjoy making guitars and it's great that he can get formal training. I have missed my violin making (my favourite instrument) but I have really enjoyed the guitars as I have a bit more freedom with artistic expression. I've made 5 classicals, a jazz archtop and I'm busy making a steel string. The electric follows...... The electric violin I'm designing is from the same "school" as this electric guitar.
  7. Thanks Chet. Making mostly guitars nowadays, I use Stewmac a lot, the tuners you see on the attached (above) pic are from Stewmac. I hav'nt has much to do with violins in the last 2 years and I just wondered if something new had come onto the market. I'm currently designing and building my first electric guitar and am using headless tuners handmade in Germany, would have been nice if something like this were available for (electric) violins.
  8. Thanks Chet. Making mostly guitars nowadays, I use Stewmac a lot, the tuners you see on the attached (above) pic are from Stewmac. I hav'nt has much to do with violins in the last 2 years and I just wondered if something new had come onto the market. I'm currently designing and building
  9. Thanks Albertus. I'm fine, and you guys. I can see the attachement box now but I'm almost sure it was nt there before:-) This is what I was trying to upload, an electric I made about 2 years ago.
  10. Thanks gentlemen, I'll look into these possibilities. How does one attach an image?
  11. As always, Manfio, beautiful work. I have not been the Maestronet in a longb time but when I do, I always admire your work.
  12. After having built a good number of violins of various descriptions, I moved over to building guitars 2 years ago. Now, I have a commission for a modern electric violin and would like to know if members here know of the availability of guitar style machine heads for violins (not the Knilling type tuners though) The attached photo shows a previous design of mine where I mounted guitar tuners at the tailpiece side, now I want to mount them at the more "conventional" side at the end of the fingerboard (oops, I can't work out how to post a photo).
  13. I can't tell what varnish was used. To all intents and purposes, it looks no different to 100 other violins I've seen that were oil varnished. I tried my nail on a corner and it seemed to come away okay. Clearly I can't scratch it all off - can I?
  14. I recently got a rather nice violin in for restoration. It does not really need much work except cleaning* and a general set-up, new accessories and the like. There are no cracks and in good all-round condition. But the bow is interesting, it is stamped Vuillaume and may or not be the real thing. This guy's grandpa used to play on ships around the 1920's and since then it has been left under tension and as a result it is rather skew, in both directions. Can bows like this be restored? And would it have any value in that condition? * Almost the entire front is caked with black grime. Not the usual area just around the bridge, almost the whole front. I assume it has something to do with being at sea for a number of years. Do you know what is the best method of cleaning such old grime?
  15. And I thought my latest e-violin was "drastic" :-)
  16. I don't know why the guitar photo is attached. I'll try again.
  17. This is a photo of my "Norma Jean" family as it stands to date. The original member was was the 4/4 size violin, the nylon string guitar followed and now the 1/16 th size violin has just arrived. Made for my second grand daughter who has also just arrived. I have designed and made a start on a NJ mandolin too. How many of you guys and girls have made working miniatures and did you also find them very difficult to make? I found it very tricky/difficult to hold or clamp the component parts due to the fragility of them and I hade to guess the neck angle and a few other measurements as I could not find the proper specs anywhere (the overall sizes are accurate). Retro-fitting a sound post, with this design would have been impossible so I had to fit the soundpost before I glued on the top!! Anyway, it's all together now and working just fine. Of course, a 1/16th size is a silly size to make because it is suitable only for a 2 year old, and no 2 year old could ever learn the violin. Or, could they?
  18. I had been thinking about t for a good many years but never thought it possible that I could make a violin. Then, in a state of euphoria, after a visit to Michaelangelo's David in Florence, I came across a small luthiers' shop nearby. Bewteen my broken Italian and his non-existent English, we decided that it may well be possible that I make a violin. That was 19 violins (of all sorts of shapes and sizes) ago.
  19. Lastchair, I bought this DVD about 2 years ago on a magazine recommendation and really enjoyed it (a number of times) I'm not a "real" player and did not notice the things that put you off - but then again, Emmanuelle Béart is so beautiful, the average male would not notice her playing at all:-) I particularly like films and (especially) books, fact or fiction, about the subject of violins (and the like) and have compiled a short list of some titles, many of which I have already acquired. Just recently I have been getting "into" guitars as a diversion and find far less in the way of books or films revolving around guitars. I have just ordered a few books from Amazon, two of which are on the subject of guitars. Both about Eric Clapton, one is his autobiography, the other about the guitar making process he went through with a particular maker. Probably similar to a violin equivalent I read recently.
  20. Hi Joe, did you get into that site and if so, what are your thoughts? I don't suppose this is any different from 100 other products worldwide. One possible area of concern is that it does penetrate deeply (but not heavily) - one could seal the surface with a complimetary sanding sealer to offset that problem I suppose. Talking about egg-whites. I used egg whites on at least half of my violins as a sealing coat and I think it works very well as a sealer. I have also used gelatine and that too works well as a sealer. Typically one would not have to do grain-filling on a violin as both maple and spruce have little or no pores. Some guitar woods though have a lot of open pores though. One of the experienced makers here does not grain-fill and prefers the look of open pores. My guitars so far have been maple/spruce so I havn't had to make that decision yet - the one I am working on now uses Padouk sides/back which will require filling. I have done some successful tests where I added pumice to the first few coats of this "Woodoc" we are talking about. Does anyone know if egg white is considered a grain filler (by itself) or if one could maybe add pumice to it?
  21. Mignal. Most steel string makers do use nitrocellulous lacquer, yes. But I'm not sure I agree that most classical makers French polish. Many do but many do not - I have been "into" and researching classical guitar making for about 18 months after spending close to 10 years with violins and have found that many of the high-end makers are lacquering. I personally think that lacquering** does mute sound a little but obviously they do not. Michael, a very large percentage of classical makers use spruce (Euro or USA) for soundboards, others use western red cedars etc. which are quite close to spruce in many ways. None use dense woods for sound boards but yes, many dense (but resonant) woods are used for back and sides - I am led to understand that back and sides hardly contribute to the guitar sound, the sides nowdays are very stiff and thick and the back is heavily braced to "reflect" sound. GMM, you may be right that the finish is not as critical as on a violin. But I'm not so sure! There is a big difference in the sound of a classical guitar in the white compared to the same guitar finished - just like on violins. My research seems to indicate that guitars and violins (and a few other string instruments like lutes etc.) may have similar basic criteria that govern good sound. Never-the-less, this finish I have been talking about does work a treat, believe it or not. At some point in the future I do intend testing it on a white violin..... **It may rely on how qualified the lacquerer is at achieving thin coats.
  22. Hi Joe, As you know I am no expert on finishes, all I can say is this stuff (http://www.woodoc.com/products...ations/w10_18_1_1.pdf) works incredibly well on guitars. That is, in terms of final finish and what it does (doesn't do) to the sound. The tip came from a well known maker (here) who has been making for 30+ years. I just surmise it may work on a violin too. As I understand it, we look for something that stiffens the surface. I would not suggest high-end makers use this stuff but for guys making middle-of-the-road violins, violas etc. or those that re-finish off-the-peg white instruments, it may be just the ticket? But no, its nothing new under the sun, I expect this genre is readily available all over - I just would never have thought of using it myself. And, in my opinion, it is possibly better than the very widely used (nitro) lacquer on classical and other guitars. Maybe.
  23. Nice article Joe. I still get Strad even though I have been mainly making classical guitars for the last year or so (other than a 1/16 size Norma Jean violin for my new 2nd grand daughter). Classical guitar makers either lacquer (nitro) or they french polish and alas, there is none of the "mystique" that surrounds violin varnishing. Another local maker put me onto a localy made "penetrating oil" type product which I have used to nice effect - I'm not mad about high gloss on instruments and this stuff results in a nice even satin finish. And it's so EASY to work with - like applying water with a cloth. I'm told by some of this coutry's top players that my Norma Jean guitar has a special sound - a fluke no doubt, but I did use my violin making "sensitivities" when making my guitars. In fact, I use many violin making techniques. Now, I don't know too much about what the effects of finishes plays as regards guitar sound - compared to violins but I suspect one could use this stuff on violins without negatively affecting sound (heresy, I hear you say:-). It tends to harden the surface of the soundboard wood which is similar to what we expect in a violin, is it not?
  24. Ah Matthew, I thought you may find that:-) I'm having some pro photos takes and will post asap. Desert Rat, I had thought of the ergonomics and I had designed a chest rest (as in chin rest) should the need arise. But after a few musicians gave it the thumbs up it does not seem necessary. The cherry on the top were the comments made by this countries' top classical guitarist........."it's lovely and the sound is absolutely beautiful". As violin makers, you may appreciate the fact that this guitar was made largely using violin making methods. That is, inside mold, corner blocks etc. I'm a great believer in tap tones and this guitar is no exception - I went to great lengths to tune the soundboard and back. The results speak for themselves.
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