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Everything posted by bean_fidhleir

  1. The word "ascribed" bothers me. It means " a copy of ". Right? Not really, no. "Ascribed to X" means "somebody claimed that X made it". The identity of that "somebody" is left to the victim's imagination.
  2. O'Neill's also has the problem that the man who transcribed the tunes was classically trained with no experience of trad fiddling. So he did the transcriptions of many tunes in technically-correct-but-not-lifelike ways, making the book harder to use than it should be. Or so I've read - I own a copy of the book but don't have the technical knowledge to confirm/contradict. For sure there are tunes in the book that don't look playable by humans. I second the suggestion of JC's tunes database at MIT. What a stunningly excellent resource that is! It's far from being complete, of course, and any search will return hits that are mostly duplicates of a few settings, but with midis and printable notations, anyone who can find a setting of a tune they like is all set for the learning of it.
  3. I'll add to the good advice of PhilipG and jbgilm ("forget ebay for any important purchase!") by noting Jesse's statement that "even the best sellers on eBay acheive only about 50-75% of the price a top metro retailer can command". It's a rule of thumb (or was -- perhaps Jeffrey will tell us whether it still applies) that fiddles at auction should bring only about 33-50% of retail. Which would make ebay's 50-75% quite overpriced! I think many or most here would agree that on ebay there are too many inexperienced dollars chasing too few honestly-described instruments. Dishonest descriptions inflate prices, but not values.
  4. I don't claim that the shift has completely caught up with fiddle shops yet -- but how often do you buy strings locally as opposed to from Shar, SW Strings, etc? How about wood, if you make? Bridges, pegs, and other fitments? Tools? I see a lot of talk here about buying over the net from places like International, Dick, etc. Not long ago, such sales were brokered by local shops because catalogs were too expensive to send out to everyone who might by a set of strings every 3 months. Not any more. To me the process looks identical to the way Sears and Monkey Wards clobbered many small local shops back around 1900. They only had to support their single storefront-cum-warehouse in Chi, but sold nationally. Their prices reflected their bulk purchasing but didn't reflect shipping--they overtly pushed that off onto the customer, just as inet shops do today. So local shops came off looking worse, because they had to fold shipping, handling, and overhead into their stickers and their catchment areas were so small that bulk discounts were out of the question. Many inet shops today don't even have an inventory at all - they serve as pass-through brokers, with product drop-shipped from the manufacturer. How can a local storefront compete with that? You mention rare books. That's not an area I ever venture into, but the related area of non-rare second-hand books is a perfect example of what the inet has done. I used to enjoy making the rounds of the used-books shops and seeing what I could find. The search itself was delightful, not least because I'd often come across something I'd not seen before. No more. When I moved to the Boston area in the mid-80s, there were a couple dozen second-hand bookshops. They're gone, kaput, finis. Now it's the inet or nothing, and the net result is that I can find a given book more easily--but in general am paying much more for it without the possibility of a serendipitous douceur.
  5. I agree with Yuen. Local shops in general are vanishing because of the price-cutting the virtual shops on the inet can offer by reason of not having a storefront to support. That it doesn't seem to be a problem with fiddles doesn't mean it's not a problem. It's more likely to just not be a problem yet, like so many other problems most of us are just now getting in touch with.
  6. To me it looks neither good nor as old as claimed. The tailpiece might be that old, I suppose.
  7. quote: Originally posted by: Ray Lee So what glue did they use to attach the label in stradivari's day? hide glue? What is rag paper? is this the same with cotton paper? How i get it? I'd suppose they used hide glue, or from some other organic source. Yes, "rag" and "cotton" are synonyms in this case. They used to make paper from old, totally worn out rags that weren't even useful for patches any more. Today, rag/cotton paper is more often made from scraps from the cotton-clothing industry, and rags go into the landfill mostly because of the admixture of polyester and other artificial fibers. You can get archival quality 100% rag/cotton paper from shops that supply professional artists and museum staff. It needs to be "archival quality", also known as acid- (and other chems) free, so that it'll remain unchanged for at least a few hundred years. You can get it in either "wove" with no patterned surface texture, or "laid" with visible horizontal wire marks from the screens used to lift the pulp from the bath. Wove is modern, laid is the trad style. Marilyn has a good scheme, and very trad. Printing from a block (Marilyn, is it lino, woodcut, wood engraving, rubber, or what?) is a "letterpress" process that any printer in Stradivari's time would have recognised immediately.
  8. Best to use archival quality 100% rag paper, with a laid finish if you want it to look trad. It's what they did in Stradivari's day (probably because that's the only kind of paper they had )
  9. It looks (for some reason I can't quite put my finger on) a lot like a fiddle I bought, back when I was just starting to play and was more trusting. The fiddle looked very nice, good-looking varnish, very natural wear pattern...and turned out to be a VSO with an integral bass bar, fake blocks, and an awful sound.
  10. I think Ron nailed it: it's decoration. Brickwork decoration -simple or ornate according to taste and purse- was very common in the late 15th through 17th centuries and in the 19th c. especially after the beginnings of the Gothic revival, just as stonecarved decorations (gargoyles and grotesques) were common during the 13th and 14th centuries. The multi-flue Renaissance brickwork chimneys were particular targets of decoration, and this can be seen even in some of the few surviving 17th-c. houses here in New England. (Like JM, Dean, I couldn't see the "body" of the alleged house either.)
  11. (Multiple posts because the software claimed there was an error)
  12. (Multiple posts because the software claimed there was an error)
  13. (Multiple posts because the software claimed there was an error)
  14. You can also buy it straight from the maker. See their site
  15. I don't trust that label either - I'd want to look at it from much closer-up, but even low-rent job shops of the time typically had better-quality type than what that label purports to have had used on it. From here, that looks faked up by someone who wasn't clear on the concept. If Carrabba's really relying on the label...eeeuw. (I didn't though, see where it said that label was under another - I thought it only said it's an "inside label", which I took to mean inside the fiddle.)
  16. I use it for all abrading and fine-polishing jobs, including using the 12000 grit to recondition CDs and DVDs I borrow from the public library, since they're quite often unreadable due to scratches and scuffs. I also used it to reduce the glare off the acrylic face of my car stereo/cd player so that I could read the display even in sunlight. I generally use the straight sheets wrapped around a bit of scrap wood. It's lovely stuff.
  17. Having a keyed case handcuffed to one's wrist would be favorite. Very hard to steal, as generations of couriers could testify.
  18. Alcohol?? eeegh...it feels like I'm slipping deeper into the swamp already. And I can really do this without taking off the top? I haven't tried wiggling the neck to see whether the glue is completely kaput. The first time, I was advised to keep a corrugated buffer in between the table and fingerboard to prevent this, so I did but it didn't---the fb just squashed the corrugated when it rotated. When I pulled out the buffer yesterday, I heard some crackling noises, so is that maybe the glue telling me it's kaput, wants replacing, and won't resist me pulling the neck out?
  19. quote: Originally posted by: Andres Sender Well if the only problem was the glue (was this something other than hot hide glue?), it could be cleaned out and re-glued with little fuss, just making sure the FB is pointed right, without taking off the top. If the joint doesn't fit, then the mortise needs to be thoroughly cleaned out, filled with wood, and re-cut for a proper fit, which is fussy work and requires retouching afterwards, but still without taking off the top. Unless there is some other problem the top doesn't have to come off. Taking it off is part of an alternate approach to removing the neck (by carving away the upper block), but that doesn't seem to be the problem here. I imagine it's hide glue--I can't think what else it could be. I mean, it wouldn't have given way if it were Elmers or something, I shouldn't think. As to fit, I don't know whether it's snug or not. The guy who fixed it the first time didn't say anything to me. So are you saying that I can treat it almost as though it were a dowel? Re-loosen it with hot water applied with a hypo, pop it out, slather on the glue, and shove it straight back in, sort of thing?
  20. quote: Originally posted by: C.B.Fiddler My fear is that you are going to have othe issues as a result of this (open seams, rib cracks, distortion, etc.) That was my first fear, too, CB. But the humidity doesn't seem to have been bad enough to do what it did last time, which was to spring the ribs loose from the blocks and all. That was horrifying to look at. This time everything else seems to still be tight.
  21. I'm sort of assuming I'll have to have the top off to do the repair, Andres. The heel has released from the button, yes. There's a wedge-shaped gap ca. 1mm at the widest point. This happened once before, too. The problem just seems to be summer weather. It gets hot and humid, and the bloody glue liquifies just enough and long enough to let the string tension go to work on it.
  22. I did a search on spool clamps, but am not much the wiser for it. The humidity loosened the glue holding the heel in the neck block of my old fiddle (nice enough German factory fiddle, ca. 1900), and so the string tension kindly rotated the neck a bit, nearly laying the fingerboard on the table. It's still playable, since I don't go above first position, but unlike a scab it's going to get worse rather than better if I leave it alone. But I can't afford to fee a pro to do it, which leaves selbstmord. The main thing that makes me very nervous and hesitant to try was a comment by Michael about the ability of amateurs to turn a small problem into a big one. I don't know what to do about that problem.
  23. quote: Originally posted by: HSGNOTES I've been asked numerous times lately, to give a potential buyer on Ebay the amount of my reserve. Is there any any reason why this question should or should not be answered? If the reserve is out in the open, what is the point of the reserve, other than to serve as a stop-loss? Well, actually, out in the open or not - what's the point if not stop-loss? Can there be any other reason? If I know what the reserve is, I know whether to walk away or stick around.
  24. Whether vellum (traditional name for calfskin used in scriptoria) or parchment (trad name for sheepskin ditto), animal skins are b*st*rds to de-fat enough merely so that they'll acccept ink usefully. It involves LOTs of punching, scraping, chalking, and general kerfuffle...and it never works completely. I have a contract of indenturement from Yorkshire on parchment, written in 1687, that is still detectably greasy. I can't imagine keeping it stuck to anything that responds to weather at all. Some skins that are less greasy are foetal calfskin, birdskin, and reptile skin. But in general skin is a poor material for anything but keeping the owner's insides dry in the rain.
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