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About Fiddler45

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  1. Options for creating a darker sounding violin

    As to Peter's point about "a lot of fiddlers are very picky"....yes. Yes we are. Especially, I imagine, in the eyes of violin makers. Most makers build for orchestral use. Violins in orchestras are supposed to have a certain timbre of sound for their part in the score. The darker tones; that's what violas and cellos are for. So unless a maker is willing to go outside their bread and butter zone, the results probably won't vary too much. Fifteen years ago I was looking for a fiddle such as we are describing. I looked, and looked, and looked......and then looked some more. At many different violin shops. Even almost commissioned a maker to build me one, but then realized that if it wasn't right, I'd be stuck with it. Finally "settled" on one for $10,000 at a high end shop. Only years later, after getting into working on violins, did I realize that I never noticed many (if any!) Maggini models in my trials, and not many Guarneris. In my experience since, these are more commonly the models I, and a lot of fiddlers I know, prefer. Trouble is, the market is overwhelmingly oversaturated with Strad models. I would imagine the Strad is the model most makers adhere to. Since working on fiddles, I have set up plenty that are satisfactory to me tone wise, and a few that I like every bit as well as my expensive one. Most of them cost me under $500 and some sweat and elbow grease.
  2. Options for creating a darker sounding violin

    I can't say with absolute certainty, but being a fiddler myself, I would guess this would not be satisfactory. Unless a maker has produced many instruments already that have a darker "fiddly" sound, they are not very likely to arrive at the desired destination merely by messing with setup. You'd need a maker willing to try different body patterns, different archings, different graduations, maybe a larger bass bar, and when it's all said and done, not be stubborn about where the "correct location" of the sound post is. Oh, and probably also not slap a set of Dominants on it and call it good.
  3. Options for creating a darker sounding violin

    I concur with quite a few on here. It is very hard to find fiddles with the type of sound I am sure the op's customer is looking for. "Bassy" is how I have always described it. Trouble is, you usually lose clarity and bite if a fiddle is too "deep" sounding. In the rare cases you can find a fiddle that is not only pure and clear, but also possesses a very powerful, full low end, to the point where even the A and E have mellowed to sound even "deeper" yet still retain their clarity, they are a dream to play. Also concur that the Maggini model lends itself to this quite well.
  4. The Sad Violin Diaries

    I've got a few. I'll try to pick one for a photo shoot tomorrow.
  5. Cracked End Block

    Specifically, a crack that is enough to also cause a crack in the top, and one that, once the block is removed, is enough that if you put even modest pressure on the block, it will break in half in your hands.
  6. Cracked End Block

    Yes, probably the safest bet. Thanks to all for the replies!
  7. Cracked End Block

    Question: does anyone repair existing cracked blocks? Or is it best to always replace them? I have made a handful of new blocks and they have turned out fine, but the reason I ask is this: Someone posted a thread a few years ago asking whether his violin was suitable for playing. He posted pictures from his luthier's bench which were to focus on some bass bar repairs. In one photo, there were some big, and I mean BIG cleats across the end block for reinforcement. Many posters who frequent this forum saw said photos and I don't believe anyone said anything about the block. So...what's the verdict?
  8. What is it about E strings?

    Good points, but.. The Prim Lisa I was referring to was on my wife's fiddle, which had just received a well needed set up. I listened to her play it with the regular prim E, which she had been unhappy with for quite some time. As soon as I put the Lisa on, I could hear the fiddle sound clearer, with more focus to the tone, and more powerful and resonant sound on all the strings, particularly the G. She noticed the same while playing it.
  9. Is there a Sound Post "General Rule/Tendency"?

    There's the frustrating part. The question is though, if you move it say 1mm, and it sounds better than it has and it's the way you want it to sound, and the post still fits flush on top and back, and the tension is still within a reasonable range, is it really necessary to make a new post, taking the risk that a new one might not sound as good?
  10. What is it about E strings?

    Prim aren't quite what they used to be, especially the E . I tried a Lisa in place of the regular prim E a couple weeks ago and the whole instrument woke up and responded better with more focus to the tone. I'll be using them on that fiddle from now on. Part of the problem though, is the "rubber" sleeve on Prim is no longer rubber, but some kind of barely bendable plastic. I think it gives them a hasher tone. I replace all of them with sleeves similar to what the Dominant E comes with.
  11. Is there a Sound Post "General Rule/Tendency"?

    Of the ones I'm repairing? I would hope so. I'd definitely never install one that tight. Some of the ones I'm referring to are from a music store I have done repairs Chinese garba..I mean instruments. (I think I'm done messing with them..some of these have no hope no matter what is done to them).
  12. Is there a Sound Post "General Rule/Tendency"?

    I only asked the first question because I know some violins are so touchy that moving the bridge even .5mm or less can change the sound enough where it's not suitable to the owner, and the difference is quite noticeable. If your method works, it definitely would save a lot of time and post adjustment though.
  13. Is there a Sound Post "General Rule/Tendency"?

    I know moving east/west necessitates a different post. Sometimes,depending on the (questionable construction) arching, even north/south movements may necessitate a slightly different length in order to keep the east/west location where you want it. Wherever I put a post, the tension is always the same, or at least I try to keep it the same, generally the way Roger describes it. I can't believe how tight some posts are in violins that are brought to me for repair.
  14. Is there a Sound Post "General Rule/Tendency"?

    So top determines how strings sound (power/volume) in relation to each other, and back can more change the general tone of the instrument (clarity/overtones)? I generally start about where Roger suggests, then try different spots/posts until the sound is about as good as I can make it. Unfortunately, I have found (in my limited experience) that all instruments are different, and will not necessarily follow a distinct pattern every time.
  15. Is there a Sound Post "General Rule/Tendency"?

    Marjan, I have a couple questions for this method. How do you know that it will sound the same with the same bridge/post distance relationship if the bridge isn't sitting in the correct place for scale length? Also, if you later change east/west distance, do you need a shorter/longer post, and if so, how do you guarantee it will sound the same with a different post? Many times I have made two identical posts, set to the exact same spot, and get totally different tonal results. Also, nobody has given an answer yet about what the general effects of East/west movement are.