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PaganiniViola

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Everything posted by PaganiniViola

  1. I was recently checking out some photos of inlaid/ornamented Strads and Amatis (and their reproductions). I was wondering how (or even if) the use of ebony paste would have an effect on the sound of an instrument. Also, would an instrument like the Amati Louis XIV being inlaid mostly around the blocks have a sound closer to that of an unadorned instrument -- assuming that the carving and refilling has an effect on the instrument's tone.
  2. Quote: The scale is only in his or her mind. This scale may be even noticed by the audience. Ah ha! But the scale is noticed. Take Leila Josefowicz' Sibelius/Tchaikovsky recording. On one concerto she played the Ebersolt and on the other concerto she played the Ruby. They both have a playing style that is all LJ, but there is something different about the sounds...even without reading the liner notes where it states that she does the ol' switcheroo.
  3. I'm going to go out on a limb and say 50% instrumentalist/50% instrument (and the longer it takes me to write this the more I seem to lean toward the instrument). To build on what someone else said, a horse is only as good as it's rider. You can have an excellent rider and a so-so horse lose a race, whereas that same rider on an equally matched horse can win (while at the same time, given two equally matched horses, the rider may be able to get something out of horse B that horse A can't provide). This relates to the responsiveness of instruments and their capabilities to produce tonal colors in different ways. The playing style doesn't change nor does the technique...but it's effect is somewhat altered on a different instrument. Quote: We praised how rare their instruments were, a wrong direction of our attentions. Their instruments, not doubt, were extraordinary. Their instrument's physical properties were not so much different from mine or yours. I'm not too sure about that one. If that were the case, a cheap factory instrument should not sound too different from a Strad. Having the same general shape (little on top, bigger on the bottom, with two fancy f-shaped carvings) and both being made out of wood is irrelevant, as the finer points such as wood selection, graduation, and set-up play a much larger role in what an instrument is capable of doing. Violins are as individual as the people that play them. They have certain qualities inherent to them which explains why some violinists prefer a del Gesu over a Strad, or the sound of a modern instrument over that of a "classic". Some instruments just don't play a pianissimo that projects or a fortissimo that doesn't sound scratchy...regardless of who is playing it. Otherwise, why else would a violinist go to the ends of the world to find that "perfect instrument".
  4. Quote: Forgive me if I'm coming on too strong, but I find it difficult to understand that on the one hand the problem bothers you enough to post here, but on the other hand not enough to find a way to measure the angle of the strings over the bridge I never said I wouldn't...I just said I didn't have. I already "borrowed" cardstock from work and shlepped past a way too crowded dollar store search for a protractor. Quote: if the cause is, as I very strongly suspect, the string angle, do you really consider it a good trade-off to mess around with different types of strings, fool around with unusual bridge/soundpost positions, different afterlengths etc, in order to handicap the optimal functioning of the instrument to such an extent that the C-string doesn't buzz/rattle/whatever simply because the whole instrument is not functioning properly anymore? If I'm reading this correct you're suggesting that and adjustment to the neck set/string angle could fix both the buzz and the ring?
  5. Quote: And is $22,000 better than wholesale for one? Err...uh...what?? Wholesale? I never thought that the term 'wholesale' applied to master makers. No one goes into Sotheby's looking to get a Strad or Vuillaume for wholesale. According to this month's Strad, Carl F. violins (which I'm assuming that it is) are going for $36k. I don't know about you, but I'd jump at the chance to save $14,000! Quote: I wonder how the good the bow may be If I was able to get a Becker for 22K, I wouldn't really care too much about what the bow was like. LoL
  6. Quote: You can change the afterstring length by moving the bridge as well as changing the tailgut. Can you move the bridge a tiney bit north (fingerboard) or south (tailpiece)? I may have long fingers, but I don't think that they're willing to adjust to the bridge moving towards the tailpiece. And when you say "move the bridge" do you mean a tap or two in either direction or a significant portion of a millimeter? Quote: I'm still not clear about the nature of this buzz, is it on specific notes, strings? What does the buzz sound like, is it intermittent or can you easily get it going It's only on the C and it doesn't take much to get it going. What it sounds like...hmm...a buzz, not a rattle, or a hum, but a distinct buzz...like an insect maybe but not quite as persistent...it that makes any sense. Quote: are you nicking the C bout with your bow Not anymore...I've somehow adjusted my bow arm to play in the a string without sawing the C-bout into an inverted B. Although there are moments when I play the A-string and the C-bout at the same time. Quote: instead of all this groping in the dark you could cut to the chase and simply measure the angle of the G-string over the bridge. Sadly, this would involve the utilization of instruments that I haven't seen, owned, or used since high school. :-( But I had my lesson last night. Didn't spend a considerable amount of time on the C-string, and when I did, it was in tandem with a note on the G-string. I forgot to ask my teacher how much she could notice the buzz and ring, but I did send her an email asking if it sounded to her ear anything like it sounded under my ear. After all, only so much can be covered in a hour...even if we did run over by 6 minutes
  7. Finally, I'm able to get onto the forums.... Anywho... Quote: any little finger fitting in underneath the fingerboard at the neck end lets me see a substantial overstand. The other "measurement" you supply unfortunately tells me nothing - Bridge height is 38mm, and fingerboard height at the end is 26mm, with a string length of 15". That's a little more precise. Quote: tune the afterlength of the C-string to anywhere between F and G. Actually, before tuning the afterlength, I was thinking about getting a proper sized tailpiece. Current tailpiece is a little bit short...especially considering that the viola is 17" with such a long string length. Quote: what strings are you using? Obligato with a Jargar dolce A. Best combo I've had so far! I haven't checked out the Helicore, but with such a bright sounding viola I've opted for the warmest synthetics I can find...and we're still nowhere near my ideal tone. Quote: I'm also tempted to ask for the distance between the C-string and the fingerboard right at the end of the fingerboard - this a ruler can do too If memory serves me correct, this being the only calculation that I didn't jot down, there's about a 5mm clearance...or was it 7mm? Quote: in any event it should not be necessary to ship your viola to Cape Town. It should it fact not be necessary, given propitious booking arrangements, to be without your favourite 17" for more than 48 hours at worst. I'd LOVE to be without my not-so-favourite viola for 48-hours...if only I could keep a better one in it's exchange. (sadly, Erdesz and Iizuka are out of my price range). Meanwhile, if any viola is going to be doing a Cape Town - Philadelphia TransAtlantic flight it's going to be one of your da Salo 1580's. LoL Quote: I don't know whether you are male or female, whether you have thick or thin fingers (though if you play a 17" viola I'll be real polite if I ever come across you in person) I'm male, with thin aero-dynamic fingers (good for Paganini) and no need to be real polite...I've only assaulted one person, and that was a conductor (and we know they always have it coming). Sincerely, the gentle giant
  8. Quote: As to your acoustical problem....The overly resonant C along with a weak response suggests to me that you should move the tailpiece closer to the bridge ie lengthen the tailgut. Well, that solves that one...both the G string (sans Menuhin mute) and A strings (damn fine tunners) are tuned to C in the afterlength. Option 1: lengthen the adjuster (which I probably could do myself, provided the soundpost doesn't fall) Options 2: use this an a good excuse to get a bois d'harmonie tailpiece. Regarding the neckset...hmm... you've confused me with all the technical terms. But not having tape measure/knitting bag handy, I will say that I can fit my pinky finger flat under the fingerboard at the end on the C-string side and I can fit my ring ringer and pinky finger sideways under the C string at the tip of the fingerboard... I'll see if I can't do some mearsuring when I get home this evening.
  9. Quote: Buzzing when playing open C - got that, but do you mean to say that there is a symphathetic ring on the G when you're playing open C? Buzzing when playing on the C string period (sometimes a little, sometimes a lot...but a ringing nonetheless. Enormously long ringing when playing an open C or some other note on another string that makes the C string want to spring to life. On otherwords, I play an eighth note open C and jump to the A string and the C is still ringing a measure later. The G string, on the other hand, has a quite reasonable amount of ring to it. Not too much, not too little...just enough. Quote: Are you sure that the strings in question is not too close to the fingerboard? The action in the strings is rather high, so it's not because of buzzing against the fingerboard. I had been meaning to get the bridge taken down a bit, but I have since gotten so used to the height of it that it doesn't bother me any. Quote: Wonder if the post were moved to far toward the center of the bridge I should check that one. There's a nekid spot from where the sound post had been for the past few odd years, which is a tad forward (toward the bridge) and out (toward the bouts) from it's current position. Quote: I have found this to happen most commonly on instruments that are especially resonant Yes...especially resonant, yet not too terribly responsive...
  10. I've got a 17" viola (no label, but a visit to Fred Oster suggests that it may be eastern European...probably Juzek *shrug*). Anywho, recently, I took the viola to the shop to get the soundpost bumped around a bit. That resulted in a sound closer to a 17" (as the soundpost was too close to the bridge giving it a...dare I say...sickly 14" sort of sound) The problem that I have now is that the C string rings way too much (sympathetically and when I'm playing an open C), there also seems to be a buzzing when I'm playing on the C-string (checked all the seams and moveable parts and everything seems to be solid...even tapped the table along the bass bar...give or gake a few cm) and anything above 4th position 3rd finger on the C and G sounds...well...flat (not intonation wise, but just blah!) oh, and last but not least (or rather last of the major problems) the C on the G string sounds very wolf-ish. I'm used to the occasional wolf-tone on the A string around late september/early october but all of these problems seem to be new... Any suggestions on where I should start before I take my viola to the ER?
  11. Quote: Thick silk is good, as well as thick silk velvet, but they are really expensive and difficult to find, perhaps. And of course the only velvets that I can find are the cotton or rayon ones:-(
  12. Yesterday I went around to a few fabric shops looking for something to make a viola sack out of (with the idea of picking out fabric for a case in the back of my head). Of course, I didn't find anything close to what I was looking for. However, now I have many possibilities swimming around in my head. What's the best choice for fabrics that won't wreak havoc on instruments (and what should I avoid fiber-wise, or dye-wise?) Presently, I've got my eye out for something in dupionni. However, a nice cotton Louis Vuitton fabric seems to be calling my name (what can I say...I've got expensive tastes)
  13. Quote: there is no one within 90 miles that can take her further. Sadly that's the name of the game sometimes. I was checking out the Peabody website and wandered into something mentioning a family from the backwoods of central PA who travel all the way down to Baltimore for their music lessons. Oh, and when I was taking voice lessons I traveled to NYC just for an hour and a half lessons. (and since I was travelling the cheapest way, it was a 5 hour round trip) Signed, The Schlepper
  14. That sounds like just about every teachers dream! There's nothing quite like having a student that just "gets it".
  15. Quote: I tried to get a detailed Messiah picture, unsuccessfully. It's amazing how there are so few detailed pictures of such an important violin. But then again, that's how it got the name Messiah...
  16. Quote: so are Dominants really that bad, or are they just unpopular because they are so popular (the Bill Gates of strings)? They're not exactly bad strings...they're just horrible on my viola! I've heard quite a few violas that sound excellent with them. If for the sake of vanity, I'd go with the Doms because of the purple wrapping in the pegbox (alternatively, I'd go with the Eudoxa for the purple wrapping at the tailpiece)...but then that would reduce my viola to another Messiah: great to look at, but not too pleasureable to play. Meanwhile, if Doms are the Bill Gates, does that makes Larsens the Linus Torvalds?
  17. Quote: Those who speak against tape on the fingerboard have forgotten how awkward and difficult it is for a new student to get oriented with the violin. (...) Put the tape on the fingerboard. You're a better teacher for seeing the value in it. To quote Gershwin: Ain't necessarily so... I'm not particularly against tape usage, but I ain't necessarily gung ho about it either. The lack of tape didn't hurt me any, and if I recall correctly, my main woe with the viola was that it was so danged uncomfortable to hold...tape wouldn't have helped that. Meanwhile, I've run across a bevy of string players who were horrible teachers and still advocated the use of tape.
  18. Quote: You can buy them at: http://www.thestrad.com or here is the direct link to the page: http://secure.venus.co.uk/orpheususa/posters.html The da Salo 1561 sadly wasn't among the violas they have listed. However, the option of a hybrid Hellier Strad and 1580 da Salo might be interesting...to say the least
  19. Quote: You should also get the Strad poster of the 15 1/2" 1580 Gasparo viola. Anyone know where I can get the plans for the 1561 Da Salo? ...the one that's shaped like the lady from the Violin d'Ingres photo...except for the boney pointy shoulders. Other question: Power tools or hand tools?
  20. In the pre-Obligato days, my "fall/winter viola" had characteristics similar to your viola (although projection was a wee bit lacking in the summer months...but if it weren't 17 1/8" I'd gladly exchange it for my current viola) The set up that I liked best on this viola was Jargar A, Synoxa D and G, with an Oliv rigid C. However, despite my love of the gut Oliv, they didn't want to give me that amazing sound on the C-string that I was looking for on a consistent basis. It was still good...but after a few weeks it seemed to have waned a little. Current viola is set up with Obligato C, D, G with Jargar dolce A, which I'm liking quite a bit for the depth that I never got from the Dominant or Tonica or Synoxa or Corelli or... setups I tried out on the viola.
  21. I can sympathize with your woes. When I first got current viola so many years ago, it had muddy C, G, and D (Dominants) with an ultra bright, extra harsh A-string (Jargar). I took the viola to my favorite violin shop (though not the one that I purchased it from) and got the suggestion of a Jargar dolce A. Not only did this soften the strident A-string, but the lighter gauge/tension did a bit to help open up the other strings. Although the C, D, and G have changed brands quite a number of times, the A string has always been Jargar dolce. Any A-string with weich, dolce, or light written somewhere on the package should do the trick. Alternatively, if the C, G, and D are still on the muddy side, you might want to check out some of the brighter strings: Pirastro Evah Pirazzi or Synoxa are good starting points.
  22. I'm going to have to check out this C&J book. Quote: Because if you build it avante-garde, how is anyone gonna know whether you did it right or not? I wasn't thinking too avante garde like a Pellegrino. I was thinking something more along the lines of an Iizuka or something like the Gaspar model that Anne Cole has been using or something like a cutaway Erdesz. Not the typical form, but with possibilities for me to build a viola that I can safely navigate in the upper positions. And a not scroll with a not so typical volute. Quote: I think most of the books will have plenty of pictures. Reading about something you do in making a violin is one thing, seeing it is something else again. And if I get lost, I figure I can always visit the pictures on Michael's site. But ever since I spent $60 on a book (which is sitting on the coffee table on the porch) to teach me how to spin wool into yarn and not learning anything except for the fact that such a heavy book shouldn't be lugged to and from work, i've been a bit wary of book learning. LoL But then again, the drawings were't all too accurate either. Quote: Sounds more like a crash course in putting together a kit. I'd vote no if your point is to learn how to make a violin. So much for the easy way out... I guess, like all things, it must be learned properly. But I was thinking about advantages to learning the hard way: mistakes can turn into lovely embellishments!
  23. Quote: Not quite what you want, but you can take a look at this, on my website. Been there...done that... that's what inspired me I guess I should have mentioned that in the original message.
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