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Michael Darnton

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  1. The internet has killed off quite a few of the other ways we used to do these things. Not a trend for the better, IMO. A lot of good information from 1996 onwards, now not put to paper, is just one technology implosion from disappearing forever.
  2. @OortMake sure that the F - F# wolf is tamed to your satisfaction before you commit.
  3. I hope the rest of the violin isn't as poorly executed as the cross. . . .which probably means it's an addition by some misguided owner.
  4. We've had several violins. I like them....they're well made with a nice (dark red) varnish and more personal than similar makers, in a good way, with good inspiration. I have not sold a cello but auction prices, especially older, don't really mean much since they are often wholesale and auction instruments can often need quite a bit of work to get them up to modern standards. Without seeing the instrument, the price seems fine if is is what it's supposed to be and in good shape. Most of the bows I have seen with his brand have actually been made by other French makers and branded with his shop stamp, which is fine, but I don't think of him as a real bow maker.
  5. They paid me 3 cents a violin in 1900. If they want me to use measuring tools that'll cost them an extra 1/2 cent per.
  6. Basically if it will spin it doesn't fit. There are subtle additional points but that is the essence. A full fit locks down in place, confirmed by the pressure prints on the ends.
  7. @uguntde Because the c bout is moving narrower in this area both inside surfaces are tilted slightly towards the north, moreso as you move the post. And as you pull the post outward, the post ends have to steepen. And as you pull it tighter, they steepen more because the center of the arch can expand outwards but the ribs cannot. If I tell you how to know when it fits, it will set off the critics. :-) But there is no way to know except at full string tension, and also by the pressure prints on the ends of the post when it's out. Visible fit is no fit at all, and even a difference in the pressure across the touching surfaces can sometimes be audible under certain situations
  8. I have been doing this for literally years, without complaint, for very good players on really great violins. Just last week I did it for someone who's been dealing with the problem for years, and her response was simply "why hasn't anyone done this before?" One thing that's absolutely necessary is to make sure the post fits after, which it absolutely will not when moved to this new position. Many people won't notice this, but as you say, good players will and I'm very quick to make new posts when I need to. I'll throw something else in, on this topic: Here I often hear people say that if you move the post closer the E string gets brighter. What is going on is that when you move the post so that it doesn't fit the E string gets brighter and the overall quality of the instrument thins out. If you cut posts that do fit this doesn't happen and outcomes are quite different, but it's harder to cut a post that fits at a higher pressure because the added pressure changes the shape of the violin and you have to compensate in the cutting. From talking with players I've often heard that their results in adjustment in the past have been, uh, random, and this is a big problem in the industry in general, which leads me to think that good adjusters who have a full sense of cause and effect are pretty scarce. Lots of advertised "tonal experts" but very very few actual tonal experts. I have heard multiple complaints about people with pretty good reputations among makers, which makes me think that the two worlds have very different opinions on the subject.
  9. "More" is always better in some people's world. :-}
  10. It actually does show on those other strings but to a progressively smaller extent. For instance it's not uncommon for players to notice that their first position A string is slightly muffled compared with the E string. That doesn't have to be, and it's the wolf, which though it is really bad on one note, does spread its effect over a range of three or four everywhere it appears. You don't notice this up high on the G because the howl of the worst note has distracted your attention from the surrounding notes. Again, I say this all the time but it apparently never gets heard: pull the post north and tighter and you can make most wolves nearly completely disappear. If. The. Post. Fits. the result will not be undesirable. So refit as necessary.
  11. I have a friend who was into that stuff for a while. He reported that sometimes the board tuning appears to work, sometimes not. The results were not consistent and not dramatic. About 50/50. In short: random.
  12. A loose post makes wolves worse. Sometimes pulling the post tighter and north is all it takes. Easiest to try this ahead of all the other things already mentioned.
  13. Five guitars, the harp, at least one mandolin. Some wierd small VSOs.
  14. Not totally certain but I think that it's already established that wood from a lot of makers matches wood from many other makers, all over Italy, none of whom worked together. That would be the obvious result of everyone buying wood from the same source. @Ratcliffiddles
  15. His video is a wonderful expression of what I teach, which is fast, decisive and spontaneous work. Decades ago Bob Bein impressed me with his comment that anyone could nibble through the work if given infinite time but that wasn't a functional professional attitude and didn't really take skill. That idea has done well for me and for the skill development of my students and has made me welcome in any job I've had. It's an idea from an earlier time when shops were busy and violin makers were considered workmen, paid accordingly for getting things done. Very few made the cut at Bein and Fushi.
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