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Everything posted by uguntde

  1. To get some sense into this: how do you distinguish Hornsteiner from Kloz violins when there is no label? Is the U-shaped insert in any way typical? Also strange to replace a back with one with the U inserted, why not make a proper one? Maybe a secret signature from? As a general rule I find that violins of this kind (German 18th century) without label are almost impossible to authenticate. Although, this one actually has a label. With 'The German experts seem to accept this as Kloz' I meant solely the varnish, which is not the typical water soluble stuff. It seems to be accepted that this type of varnish appears on Kloz violins. They seem to have used different types of varnish.
  2. The Kloz family varnishes vary. There is this famous glue varnish which is water soluble. But you also find other varnishes, like the one on the violin depicted above. The German experts seem to accept this as Kloz.
  3. I met someone a few years ago who bought a G Bernardel in a Menesson case for something like €30 at a flee market. It was undoubtedly genuine although not strung up. Such things do happen.
  4. I don't know how well Aceton works but I can confirm it is completely harmless.
  5. I have seen this striped paper in some French violins. Does anyone know what it is?
  6. 5mm between top and bottom ribs is a lot. Is there a recording somewhere on the internet where one can heat one of your violas?
  7. maybe rabbit urine - although I would classify this as inorganic
  8. What string length and rib height do your instruments typically have? My main instrument has a 370mm string length, 38/40 rib height, 16 3/8" body. Among modern good violas I see two main types: Some persue a more nasal tone, a more traditional viola sound. I personally prefer modern violas with a more open, bigger tone (maybe this is what you call clarity).
  9. uguntde

    f hole mystery

    You have an American flag in the baxkground. Could it nevertheless be an English cello?
  10. The bass making opus is excellent.Hargrave is not only a good maker, he is also an excellent writer. I read it in one night, could not stop. Zaal and Hargrave's view expressed in this article is as follows: "This was about the time that John Dilworth and I started looking at the possibility of analysing varnish samples. This eventually led to the works of Professor White, and Barlow and Woodhouse. I can clearly remember the influence that those first electron microscope pictures had upon my thinking. The conclusions I drew from their work may or may not have been correct, but from that moment I began reading about fillers and extenders and experimenting with their affect, both visually and acoustically. Shortly after, both the sound and appearance of my instruments improved dramatically." and "What I can say is that the instruments where fillers were used, display one conspicuous characteristic; they all carry very well in large halls." He takes is plaster of Paris through a long-lasting procedure to remove the smallest particles. I assume this is to avoid getting a layer of hardening plaster onto the fiddle. He then applies it in water, not in oil. No protein, and he makes sure there are no glue residues in corners.
  11. Also, if you read Hargrave's bass maing opus he says having a minaral layer made all the difference in tone for him. He uses plaster of Paris, there are posts on MN that Neil Ertz later used pumice instead. At least I cam understand how fine mneral particles seal wood in a hardening linseed oil matrix.
  12. I would hardly ever favour a smaller viola for people who can handle a larger one. But I am only an amateur player and don't need to hold it 4-6h a day. In this price range I would simply go for the one that you find sounds best. I tend to judge violas based on their C string sound quality. If the C is good the G usually follows. It is also important that it speaks on the A. A bridge is lowered in a few minutes by a luthier. If you buy from a general music reseller this is of course more complicated. There are reasonably well agreed standards for string clearance over the finger board. The strings must not rattle on the finger board if you play forte. Play some scales to see how well you can handle the upper positions. D major over 3 octaves should work otherwise it is too limiting.
  13. Can I ask why there is consensus that the mineral ground reported by Barlow and Woodhouse does not exist on Stradivari's instruments? The finding was based on scanning electron microscopy and subsequent analyses used UV which would not detect minerals.
  14. There are many 20th century Italian violins (Fagnola, Oddone, Bisiach ...) and French (Gand Bernardel school) with spirit varnish. Their spirit varnishes are based on a mixture of resins, not just shellac (which is max 30-40%). Many of these violins sound good, at least for my taste.
  15. Interesting way to set the bridge
  16. If you take horizontal profile there is a discontinuity on either side, almost an edge across the region of the bridge, where the plates become alomst completely flat. On the pictures you see this on the back: two lines running down the instrument, this is where the ridges are. Tonally it comes out very 'bright', high in overtones, as many of the instruments of this school. I personally do like this kind of tone, and think it was what they wanted: Instruments with a carrying, almost penetrating ringing sound. Hence a relatively stiff front (interestingly and back).
  17. The stepped arching was just so extreme. I did like the sound. The low estimate may be owed to that strange arching. It is just unconventional. With respect to workmanship I find this school amazing, the scrolls are absolute perfection. The violin of this school tend to be very rich in overtones, they have a very bright sound. I often play on a G Bernardel that is also built in this manner. In this Bernardel you don't see a flat ridge in the middle, but if you look at the thickness of the plates the same principle applies. Is this what you mean with 3-piece front?
  18. Tarisio in this auction (June 2018) has Gand pere with a 'special feature': on both the front and back a strip of approximately the width of the bridge was essentially flat, longitudinally from the neck to the button. You can see it on the pictures if you know what to look for. Certainly a curiosity. I wonder whether this was a weird experiment or a build for tropical countries or what?
  19. Well, she cultivated a 'dark' sound for a long time, lots of praise about her Pressenda. She made this kind of a hallmark for a while. But then, a few years ago she got a loaner Guarneri confiscated at the Swiss border - not so sure what shw really used in all these recordings. Maybe not the dar Presseda after all.
  20. Patricia Kopatchinskaja is my absolute favourite violinist. She played all the works for violin of Fazil Say, who is probbaly one of my favourite modern composers. She plays a Pressenda, which has almost become a hallmark for her recordings. She cultivates an anti-Strad sound. She may appear a bit wacky sometimes, but she is incredibly musical. Listen to her recording of the Schubert 's Tod und das Mädchen quartet which she mixes with modern things (alpha label).
  21. More inspiration you find here: I assume the spring mass vibration dampler is the Güth Wolftöter. The 'button' that I saw must be the Krentz Wolf Note Eliminator, a magnet with an oscillating weight that absolbs the eolf frequency. Looks a weird or at least techie. On my 16 3/8" viola a little piece of lead on the bottom of the finger board does the trick.
  22. I know a cellist who has a great sounding modern cello. On the front there is something that looks like a button, but not to turn it on , but t turn a wolf off. I have experimented on various violas with small pieces of roofing lead, which I stuck to different places of the instrument (or the chinrest, tailpiece, or fingerboard) with double-sided tape to find the place where a little weight would remove or reduce a wolf note. On the viola that I play I kept a little piece of lead under the fingerboard and it is almost gone. This also removes a peculiar wolf on the open A string which is only there when I don't have my hand on the neck. I also found that violas with a big C string sound tend to have a wolf between e and f on the g-string.