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  1. manfio viola

    This viola seems to be my viola "Estampes", made in 2013, 16 inches (capliper). I think itt was sold by my dealer David Segal in NYC to a player of the Manhattan School of Music. Since the player is Segal's client, I was not willing to comment here. I do think the player would resell it in better conditions with David Segal, but he is the owner, so he can do the way he wants. A full set of photos of my viola "Estampes", dated 2013, can be seen here.
  2. Scroll commas

    Try to pay attention in this particular.... this is one of the points the eye of the expert goes. The problem of the scroll in your picture is that the last turn is jut too big. Some Brescian instrument wil have it in that point, but the scroll in question is not a Brescian one.
  3. Options for creating a darker sounding violin

    Hi Jim, the article is not online.... give a look in your mail box.
  4. Options for creating a darker sounding violin

    I read Zygmuntowicz's comments again and noticed that, when he talks about the Pannete sound, he mentions "dark, warm sound, quirte rich if almost a bit hollow" and "I wish I had a little more edge", "it is a little cushiony", and that's what I was talking about. When I am looking for a dark sound in my violas, I always fear creating an instrument with hollow sound that lacks edge and focus. These things are hard to balance. dark, warm X focus, hollow, lack of edge. Finding the correct balance is hard.
  5. Options for creating a darker sounding violin

    Jim, I was not critiizing you. I'll quote Samuel Zygmuntowicz excellent article called "Interpreting Guarneri" in the Dartington Conference. These are his comments about the Del Gesú "Kreisler": "In general, the main purpose of the f-holes is to cut the surface of the top to allow the top to flex and pump. What can one say' about the Kreisler structure? The moderate length, 75.6mm is unremarkable. The upper eyes, however, are rather wide-spaced, 42.7, leaving a broad bridge platform, 74.4 measured at the notches. But there is something else a little about this, the,wide wings, especially the lower wings, give the f-hole hole a lot of what I call "horizontal spread" (from the inside of the upper ff lobe, to the outer edge of the lower lobe, I measured perpendicular to the centre line), and the broad sweep of the lower curve cuts a lot of wood fibres. The horizontal spread on the left ff is 48mm. And the overall spread from extreme lower left circIe to extreme lower right circIe is 131.6. I would expect this extra horizontal cutting to free up the side to side rocking and pumping of the top. In this case the top might well need freeing up. The Kreisler's shallow minimal channel, full arch, heavy edge and healthy graduations would all tend to stiffen the top and add mass." And here Zygmuntowicz's comments about the Kreiler sound? "What is the Kreisler sound? I hear it as a rather incisive, clear, and articulate sound, with many overtones and a clear focused projection, not as dark as many later Guarneris. This seems consistent with its relatively stiff arch, channel and edge. The moderate length of the ffs also fits in this picture." And about Del Gesù "Pannete": "Now lets look at the Panette from a structural view. The ffs are longer (78mm long), but closer set and with less spread, and with tighter end curves. While the ffs are set at more of an angle, which-would tend to increase the horizontal spread, the horizontal spread is still less than on the Kreisler (44.5mm).The upper holes are set narrower - (39,5mm), as well as the bridge platform (72.4mm), and the overall spread of the overall holes (127.3mm). The channel is deep with a wide scoop. Altogether, it presents a less massive and more flexible structure." And his comments about the Pannete's sound: "The Panette has a very dark, warm sound, quite rich if almost a bit hollow. Of course, there are many other factors, such as perhaps the slab-cut back (being softer) and thinner top, which all have effects on structure and sound. I wish it had a little more edge. If you're not used to playing it, it's a little cushiony. Describing sound is subjective, and linking sound to specific structural details is quite speculative. Still, attempting to understand these connections is vital." And here a bit more: "The 'hourglass' Guarneri shape seems less braced, more flexible and able to twist. Lengthening the f holes cuts more top surface, freeing the top verticalIy. Placing the upper lobes of the f-holes closer might also encourage the twisting and pumping of the top from side to side. Because of this flexibility, the graduation might be a bit thicker, especially in the bouts and on the edges and maybe on the centre of the back as well. "
  6. Options for creating a darker sounding violin

    Yes Jim, but the problem is that we can make many combinations with that, for instance, f-holes wider apart combined with thicker plates, one thing can counterbalance the other, and there are many possibilities for playing with these things.
  7. Starting viola

    You are wellcome Andrew! I know some players who love the JARGAR A dolce (low tension). The good thing about viola A strings is that they are cheap, so you can test many of them.
  8. Options for creating a darker sounding violin

    The problem is that dark sound may come with unfocused sound. Creating a dark and focused sound is difficult. A good player will want it to sound dark and bright, depending on his will too, because he needs to create different colours in sound.
  9. I think my first viola was a 42 cms. Made also 43, 41.8, 42.4, 39.6 and now this 41.5. This is a commision, the player is very tall and currently plays a 43 cms. viola. My main model is 40.7 cms.
  10. Thanks Nick! No, it is a pencil line, that is a one-piece back.
  11. General Question re: Body Length

    Del Gesù's violins are on the small side. Some Del Gesùs are 351 back (measured in the top it's 349), as in the case of the Baltic (1731). Violon the Diable 1734: 350.5. Haddock 1734: 349. King 1735: 351.5. Many with 352. Some of the rare "bigs": Vieuxtemps 1741: 354 Cannon: 1743: 354 Leduc 1745 (Del Gesù died in 1744...): 354 These violins are among the 25 violins on Biddulph's book. Most are in the 352 range. The biggest have 354. Del Gesù violins are a bit on the small side (but they have a wide model and deep ribs to compensate for that). I saw a Cremonese violin by Giovanni Maria del Busseto here in our local orchestra with an Italian girl. A lovely small instrument, under 350, I think.
  12. This is the first time I make a 41.5 cms. viola.