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John Masters

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About John Masters

  • Birthday 05/08/1944

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    Columbus, Ohio
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    Phone: 614 262 9254

    email: jmluthier10@yahoo.com

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  1. That is really quite a jump, looking for how to make a better fiddle. It is like trying to figure out heredity without knowing what DNA looks like. And after that, millions of questions. Pollens seems to not know how "science" works. Did you know I went through several years of physics in very good institutions and never ONCE heard the term "scientific method" ? There is no scientific method. People poke the bushes for years perhaps before they get some ideas. Then they mess around for quite a long time. The result is a smug paper taking you through the results of their final idea and experiments. Or in the case of a theoretical paper, simply lay out the parameters and derive a conclusion. Mathematicians are worse than that. They look for a proof and sweat blood for days, weeks, or years. Finally they write a paper with the final proof and very smugly write "QED" at the end. Or at least imply it.
  2. David, I think this is the most sensible response so far. Science requires the right questions, and specific ones about certain aspects of the violin. Then perhaps it is possible to model some aspect of the complicated system and do observations.
  3. Some time ago I went looking through the internet for physics of curved shells. Also "loaded shells" for statics. You know what I found under "loaded shells" !!!! Anyway, papers written about deformation etc. of shells was up to about cylinders which don't even have curvature, let alone what we work with. I think the theory is just too much at this time. Maybe FEA studies will eventually find more publications. We have the stiffness-adding effects of arching, and it is under loads, and it is resonating at various frequencies with no driving. With driving and damping (and of what kind?) prospects look pretty miserable for practical results for a maker at this time.
  4. That is for sure. Just yesterday I wired money to Alabama for a 2006 Goldwing. And I keep in mind the auto industry too. 4-valve heads were worked out on bikes before the low-end auto industry adopted them. (I know it is an old idea, but not seen in mass production until emmisions restrictions made them a good idea.) By the way, I have a question... I went to the Cleveland meeting of the VSA a couple of years ago. I tried many brands of commercial Chinese violins. They all had very scratchy surface noise. I never got this in my violins even by accident. Is this because of their particular choice of sealers? If you knew anything about that, it would be very nice to know. I don't think that they are over-thickness, but this might be a reason. The effect was uniform across several tables of display.
  5. No, I was not criticizing the maker's choice of wood. Lynn Harrel told me his Strad cello had a wood like poplar in the back, it was a cm thick in the middle. I was commenting on the (non-Matsuda) viola that had the paint job. It was also a bit ironic for me that the girl was bragging about the willow or poplar back. She had obviously been sold by an actual salesman. It was also slab-cut as I recall. And it has nothing to do with provenance. In fact, my main reason to start the thread was that provenance seems to go best with dead makers. Otherwise, the maker could authenticate it. It is nice to know that your violin will not be buried by a great many more violins from the same source.
  6. I was talking about actual makers from anywhere. It helps a lot to be dead for a Second-owner sale. Don't you agree. And actual makers as opposed to violins built by a group of parts-specialists. People want a personality behind a violin, but if they buy just for sound, (and fairly neat workmanship) I still think that the Chinese onslaught has put a dent in the market for new makers. I made and sold many violins over the years in addition to my repairs.
  7. I don't doubt that. But it IS cheap. Also, your reaction to my comment on Matsuda instruments is a bit stilted. I remember a flurry around here when people were trading around. A couple had Matsudas which they wanted to trade or sell (probably they were just dissatisfied with everything.) They were trying to get the 10k+ back that they had spent at B&F. Isn't that hard to do? It was a dozen years ago or more. (I did not say the viola did not sound good)
  8. I have complete copy. I say "complete" because the binding was not the best and some sections have come loose from the back web. Please MN if interested.
  9. Yes, I can see it now... As to provenance, I recall Matsuda when he was at Bein and Fushi. Now I never hear the name. There was another creator of faux antiques there. I knew a girl who had bought a viola and dinged it up a good bit. Turns out that the surface was essentially a water-color over white wood. It looked terrible. She loved it and kept bragging about its poplar back. I did not try to tell her how much cheaper poplar was than good maple.
  10. Goldwing motorcycles were made in Marysville, Ohio just about 35 miles north of me. My neighbor was left go a couple of years ago form the company as they took the GW production back to Japan. They still make Accords and others, I believe. I was releived to hear this as I was skeptical about American automotive stuff even though the quality control is overseen by people from Japan. They are assembly plants. I believe assembled engines come from Japan. You love to make violins, by all means, keep at it. I was thinking more of the schools producing makers who all come out expectiving to start making 10k per violin. I hardly think that this can continue into another generation.
  11. I really understand that, I do not put my label in, but "from the shop of .....) in the varnished ones I sell, very cheaply and to schools. I would like to do it all, just that I am getting a bit tired and lazy.
  12. Thanks for the tip... Wax in the rubbing compound might explain that, the filler seems to follow some of the wood lines. And it stops at the edges in a funny way at times. I think that might be a good explaination. And I suppose that the problem was cured when you got them to finish buffing? And yes, this is variable. I have had both kinds.
  13. But how much is buyer perception? I still remain in the camp of "they must be broken in." In order for this to happen, a player has to start off with a sense of pride in his purchess. Then he can dutifully play the instrument and let it develop. Any violin pre-damned by the general market will not see much care and development. Most of the old "factory" German violins I have seen show little sign of being used. Perhaps the buyer lost interest and it went into an attic. But many of these look decent and some have wood to die for.
  14. I know what you mean, but it does not wash with me. I see car restoration shows and the old muscle cars bring big money. When they were new, I found them of no interest at all. But that is just me perhaps.
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