Philip Perret

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  1. I regularly do this when setting necks on old instruments (or adding a wedge), but take the measurement at the top block measuring up from the back plate. It's helpful when the edge thicknesses isn't the same on both sides of the neck and/or rib heights are different, which is often the case. Measuring the tilt at the bridge position is, for me, also important. Jerry's "poirette stick" is handy, but I feel has to be used in conjunction with other checks. I agree with what's been said about bow clearance and, as importantly, the players ability to get over the shoulder with comfort. I hope you didn't have a problem.
  2. To each their own. Very briefly, what you're calling "poiriette stick" can be useful, but only as one tool in the box. I can't go on further now as I have a "New York" projection/pitch/neck raise to finish up for this afternoon.
  3. I understand what both of you are saying. I have used the "stick" placed across the lower block area, but find it is useful on only certain instruments. And, the amount of tilt (poiriette) needs to vary from instrument to instrument. A wide uncut Montagnana would probably receive different treatment than a narrow Strad model cello. In my opinion 1mm would not be sufficient for many cellos. Not only for the bow clearance at the c bout, but for the comfort of the player getting over the shoulder in higher positions. On old instruments, so many things can have changed over time that depending on any one method isn't the best idea.
  4. See topic "Bellosio Decapitation". Happens not too infrequently, and as Jerry said; "necks are not always set as well as they could be." I've personally never seen a broken button that could be directly traced to raising the neck angle this way.
  5. That's interesting, do you think it works in of itself? How does the edge thickness end up when you've put scoop into the board, and do you cant the bottom up a bit from the end of the neck?
  6. Are you positive the crack continues to the post area? Can you post a soundpost area picture? Is it studded or patched?
  7. I wouldn't disagree, a plaster cast is indispensable in many cases. But certainly not all.
  8. Perhaps that's an idea! Some people are of the opinion that Gennaro Gagliano put a post in that raised the f-hole flap and then scrapped it down... What do you think about correcting a sunken bass f-hole wing by clamping it into a corrected position and then fitting a bass bar? This is something that one comes across all the time in repair/restoration work. If you take the clamp off the the f wing before gluing the fitted bar, you will find considerable "spring" in the bar…which after gluing tends to keep the f-hole wing in it's raised position. From my observations this can be long term. What do you think might account for this?
  9. I've heard of some makers soaking neck blocks to prior to and as they carve the scroll.
  10. I have a couple of modern instruments (by well known living makers) which come in and are sunken on the bass side. One in particular that I have in mind was made by a vocal critic of "springing" bass bars. These are instruments in the 5+-year old range and I'd be very surprised if the makers made them that way. I've check the top graduations and they have all been in the normal range, so I can only assume that the bass side of the top is somehow not being adequately supported by the bar. Whether or not this is because of lack of spring or just a light bar I can't say, but visually the bars look fairly normal. The sinking is not drastic, but when the bass f hole wing has sunk 1-1 1/2 mm on a newish instrument I tend to wonder about the future of the top.
  11. I'll second that. There is even a published photo somewhere of Heifetz hovering over Koodlach as he removed the top of his del Gesu. Rene M. spoke a number of times about the relationship between the two.
  12. Thanks, this is fascinating. I found the reference in the Pollens book from the Carbonelli inventory but it only references a repair to the Othi violin in 1723. Is it indeed a complete new top that was made? The Stradivari letter from 1708 also speaks of some repairs to a violin, but it's not apparent what that instrument is. Can someone give more information on Martino Othi? Thanks!
  13. That's very interesting. Are the tops on Stradivari instruments (say from another period) or were they on backs/ribs from other makers? Thanks.
  14. As David said, there are probably a number of "stage door" hustlers and those who give away their instruments, but I believe quite a few "name" performers also commission and/or purchase new instruments. There are makers who also continue to do repairs and adjustments and have plenty of opportunity to show their work casually when a performer comes in for maintenance of their primary instrument. Marty K's idea of going to a master class is good as long as there's not a line of other makers waiting to do the same thing, but it would probably always be a good idea to shoot them or their management an email rather than showing up unannounced...although I remember as a violin making student going to a concert in Chicago where Menuhin played and then waiting in line with other students (and Carl Becker Jr) to meet him and perhaps see his instrument. When Carl Becker introduced himself Menuhin actually stood up from where he'd been seated signing autographs, shook his hand in delight, and asked Carl if he had any instruments that might interest him.