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Everything posted by uguntde

  1. uguntde

    Spool Clamps

    I made some of a broom stick .
  2. Also a great recording of the Shostakovich viola sonata by Sara Kim on youtube, on Paolo Antonio Testore. Not sure this is the same Testore as Bashmet's viola. Nevertheless, this who business of scratched-in purfling and ugly scrolls is a sign of fast sloppy making of the instruments, not the best workmanship. This doesn't mean the sound was not good.
  3. Testore violins would certainly not win any competitions today, and some of the scrolls a re really ugly. Some violas from that family have an amazing sound though. Overall I think many Testore family violins with painted-on purfling are not really nice workmanship.
  4. Maybe this would deserve a new thread, but I often wonder why people spend 20-30-40k for a new violin when they can get an old for the same or less. There are also modern makers who make great instruments for less. My favorites in the last Tarisio sale were the ASP Bernardel and the Hel (the latter with a bad button repair). Both will have an excellent resale value and great sound. Whether a new violin retains value is very questionable. Maybe a new fiddle has sound optimisation, is as good as a Strad or better in a blind test. But whether it carries in a concert hall most players will n
  5. I really liked the tone of the Stainer in the last Tarisio auction in London. Has anyone else played it? It was on the same table as the Oddone and the Fagnola, although much nicer in tone.
  6. It is hard to distinguish any different makers but Kloz from the Mittenwald school. Even with the early Hornsteiners it can be difficult without label, because they worked with Kloz family members. Many of those German makers put in wrong labels, Kloz family members took Stainer labels, and later others used Kloz labels. Regarding Italian violins I remember a Guarneri in an auction a few years ago with a Hamma certificate, which was proven not to be Guarneri by dendrochronology (probably a Voller Brothers).
  7. 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 th
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. I don't know how well Aceton works but I can confirm it is completely harmless.
  11. I have seen this striped paper in some French violins. Does anyone know what it is?
  12. 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?
  13. maybe rabbit urine - although I would classify this as inorganic
  14. 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).
  15. You have an American flag in the baxkground. Could it nevertheless be an English cello?
  16. 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 conclusio
  17. 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.
  18. 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 boar
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Interesting way to set the bridge
  22. 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).