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About fiddler59

  • Birthday 04/21/1959

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    Elkin NC
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  1. Take this for what it is worth, but my impression of the different models are that the off string performance improves as the price goes up as well as the projection. It all boils down to what you like. Some very good players prefer the less expensive models and vise versa. David Blackmon
  2. And I do have big hands......!! DB
  3. I prefer a neck width at the nut 25mm. String spacing at the nut 5mm. This is more or less between the strings and not center to center, especially between the C & G strings. Try to keep the strings at the nut biased to the bass side of the of the nut. This helps keep the E string slot on the nut a couple of mm or more inside the fingerboard area and makes playing on the E string much easier. Most 5-string fiddlers play on the E string more than they use the C string. A Standard stop length is used of 195mm. Down at the bridge side of things the spacing between the strings is 10mm with the exception of the C & G strings which is 11mm. The string angle over the bridge appears to be in the normal range of around 158 degrees on the Dudley but the FB projection appears to be a couple of mm higher. How they modified the neck geometry to get these figures i have not a clue. David Blackmon
  4. I know more than one high end maker that uses a sanding wheel (hand operated, expensive and can't remember the name of the tool maker for the life of me) to fit the sound post on there newly finished violins. Now on an older violin that has problems on the surface of the spruce from ill fitted posts of the past.....that's a different story, knife all the way. A slight bevel to the post (almost a micro-bevel) I have seen before and seems like a good idea. Using chalk is a no brainer as well IMHO. I wonder what kind of bevel angle is used to sharpen the chisel that people like David Burgess use....?? Inquiring minds would like to know. David Blackmon
  5. There are lots of compromising and rethinking when designing and building a succesful 5-string violin. I have had one that was designed around a 44mm violin bridge with a wooden 5-string tailpiece with only an E-string fine tuner. I soon put a Thomastik 5-string all metal tailpiece to accomodate my desire for using Helicore strings. Back then Whittner had not been convinced that making a 5-string tailpiece would be a profitable venture, so Thomastik was the only game in town, so to speak......that is if you wanted a 5-string tailpiece with 5 intregal fine tuners. My, have times changed. My first words of advise for you is to not overthink what you are trying to do.There are some really fine 5-string violins being made that are designed around a 41.5-42mm bridges as we speak. The key is to have enough overstand and neck angle to keep the bridge high enough to clear the c-bouts comfortably with the bow. Having played a 5-string almost exclusively for the past 11yrs. professionally as my main performance instrument, they are just a different beast than a 4-string. I have seen successful 5-strings that were slightly under 14in. and some that were slightly over 14.5in. and anywhere in between. The std. 14in. 4 string body can only support a free air resonance of around 280hz give or take a little depending on the model. The lowest note on a four string is around 196hz or so. A full sized violin does not even have a body that will support its lowest open string, but there are many makers out there (Barry Dudley, Bob Kogut, John Silakowski, Johnathon Cooper, KC Strings) and many others who have and are making great sounding 5-string violins. Look at as many different designs as possible. One of the many reasons I play a 5-string instead of a 4-string is they just sound different whether you play much on the C string or not......it is a sound that appeals to me and I can relate to. Not to mention the extra range you can get for backing up vocalists, play lower harmonies etc. So keep an open mind and good luck. It really is a seperate insrument unto itself in a weird kind of way. David Blackmon
  6. I am one of the ones taking the class. Thanx for the compliments on the fiddle playing John. John put on a great presentation. Joe is a GREAT violin/fiddle maker and is also a wonderful teacher. We are using many of the methods of the "old Italian school". The class is almost a year long. If I had the money I would buy one of Joe's violins in a heart beat or less and I have some pretty nice sounding fiddles being I've been a professional player for almost 40 yrs. The young guy in the class is Russell McCumber who is one extremely talented player and a roommate of ours as well. I say ours because my wife was the one female that was there that day though there is another female in the class that was not there. As far as building professionally I am not it would take MUCH more training and apprenticing, though I do intend to continue to build as a hobbiest and to cater to a certain "fiddlers market". I do intend on opening a small violin shop that caters to fiddlers as fiddlers in general want a little different sound and playability than most of the classical players I run in to. This is not 100 % across the board by any means but there are general differences expected most of the time. David Blackmon
  7. On a slightly different note, when I was growing up I got interested in fiddling ....BGrass,NewGrass, Gypsy Swing, Texas Swing, Old Time, Blues Rock etc. along with my classical studies. I was not fond of Prims and so I always played Thomastik Superflexibles. Then Helicores came out several years ago of which I liked much better. The medium gauge was my standard go to set for years. Then Warchal came on the map of which the Russian A string I found to be fabulous with both of my 5-strings (a Dudley and a Kogut) as well as my del gesu inspired 4 string. Then I tried the Amber E and had finally found an E. String that went beyond my expectations. I do plan on trying the vintage brilliant for my D and G strings. All three of these fiddles if you may , seem to respond to lower tension strings on the lower registers especially. I know Warchal has something in there product line that can fill my needs for my D and G strings and I certainly intend on investing a little extra money to find out. As far as the C string for my 5 strings......well, that needs to be debated under a different topic.......bottom line is I am going to try and support these guys any way I can. David Blackmon
  8. Bohdan, I wish you and your company a happy and prosperous new year and I hope this gets resolved quickly in your favor as I have been BIG promoter of your strings and will continue to be. Sincerely, David Blackmon
  9. I can most definitely tell you I will not be buying any more Thomastik strings because I feel like they are being patent trolls. Nothing like the good old US and A (a little humor from the movie Borat). They are pulling Microsoft and Apple tactics. My next computer will be linux all the way. I would be there now as I am a linux geek head at heart. I have and use it on my IMac now but it does not support ny audio interface. I will build my next computer with all linux compatible parts......it's not hard to do.....,!! And no thomastik strings on my violin. That is a cheap shot by thomastik IMHO . David Blackmon
  10. That Looks great Barry.....I love it, I still think the best sounding fiddle to date is the one that I got from you with the imbuia back and sides with the red spruce top. It just keeps getting better and better. It is a tone machine....!! This one has about three years of heavy duty playing on it. Everybody that plays it comments on the response being so quick and the tone being so rich and expressive. Cant wait to get back down there and hang out some. All the best from NC, David Blackmon
  11. Just put a humidifier in the case.....I have one bow that is a bit like that and that is what I do and everything works out just fine. My fiddle also enjoys the extra humidity as well. The humidity never exceeds 45% or so. My bow gets like this when the humidity gets in the low 20's using a well calibrated humidity detection device. Go to David Burgess's website....he has a whole section dedicated on keeping our instruments properly humidified. David Blackmon
  12. I received a set of Amber strings from Warchal at gostrings.com a few weeks ago and did not have any problems either plus an extra Amber E string as well as a Russian A string. My son ordered me some Amber E strings from Go strings and the order we through have not seen them yet but it would be time for them by the end of the week........we will see. DB
  13. A friend of mine just tried to order a few Warchal Amber E strings and this is the letter he received from gostrings.com. "The Warchal Amber E strings are not available becuse of a court trial going on between Warchal and Thomastic on this particular string. The A, D and G are available but I am not sure if you want to combine with other E strings or you want to cancel the order Please let us know" Does anyone know if there is any truth to this......I kind of liked my pigtail E strings. There are other E strings I like too........I am just curious more than anything else,,,,!! Merry Christmas, David Blackmon
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