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About MarkBouquet

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    San Francisco Peninsula, CA USA
  • Interests
    Music, violin playing/making, woodworking/furniture design/making, bicycling, I'm owned by a dog,

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  1. Don, you make some good points, and I’m not sure that I have the background to argue with them. I think it would be interesting to tune a new synthetic string to pitch, position it horizontally, hang a weight from it and carefully measure the deflection. Then do the same test after having kept the string at pitch for, say, six months, played on or not. My intuition is that the deflection would be less after the time interval. And we all know that a new string stretches for a while until it reaches pitch “stability.” But does that stretching process ever really end, or does it just slow down to the point where we’re less apt to notice it? That’s what I’m suggesting, that strings stretch and gradually lose their ability to do that. I also find that strings on a violin that’s seldom played still seem to lose the “fat” response of new strings over time, so contaminants in the windings aren’t a necessary factor in their deterioration. Granted, my thoughts have more intuition than scientific rigor.
  2. Strings lose their elasticity over time. One result of this is that they become harder to play in tune. When we tune a violin it’s important to bow lightly because when we bow with greater pressure we are effectively stretching the string to a greater degree, and therefore raising the pitch. Old, inelastic strings are more prone to this effect, and by the same principle, are more difficult to play in tune under all conditions. And I can perceive a diminished tone quality with old, stretched strings. You seem to be implying that we’re all subject to some herd mentality, and imagining the effect, to which I’ll respond that I’m happy to let you go on using your three year old strings. Enjoy!
  3. There comes a time when you might as well keep them. Will you never need to glue two violins at the same time?
  4. I did that with mine too, but I can’t help thinking that after all these years the manufacturer would have realized that they’re wrong and changed them. I guess they’d have to remake the molds, essentially starting from scratch, and since people still buy them anyway (like me, who didn’t know better at the time), why bother? They’re good after modifying them.
  5. Can you feel a screw head or whatever on the inside under the liner fabric? Anyway, if the objective is to get the remnants of the old fasteners out, you might consider drilling a hole in a steel bar to match the diameter of a small end mill, and position that bar in place over the fasteners using clamps and wood blocks. Then let the hole guide your drill chucked end mill to cut the fasteners out. It’s just an idea. I don’t really know where you’re trying to go with this. Apologies if I’ve completely missed the point.
  6. There are some tools that are so fundamental to the work that we all do that it’s difficult to imagine facing a single day without them. I’m confident that you’ll all agree with me on that point with regard to these tools.
  7. Thanks for that link. It’s all coming back to me now. Reuter very much reminds me of Ed Roman, who was an electric guitar designer/maker/seller and industry critic. Some might find this entertaining, and even enlightening.
  8. Like this?
  9. Is this issue the reason why Vuillaume developed the bow design where the frog “rides the rails” on the stick, later used by the Hills as well? I always wondered why they went to the trouble.
  10. I’ve gotten many bargains on tools at estate sales, some that I kept and some that I resold for a price that made it worth the effort. The garage is always the first place I go. I’ve also found valuable books and sometimes furniture items, some that require restoration, but I have the skills to do that. However, though I’ve seen many violins over the years, I’ve never seen one worth carrying out the door, even if it was free. But it should be admitted that I’m not one of those people who’s willing to stand in line out front waiting for the sale to open. So who knows what they got and I missed. By the way, by my definition an estate sale is one where they open the entire house up. A yard/garage sale is one where a family just gathers the stuff they don’t want and they put it out on the driveway. I never go to the latter. Sometimes yard sellers call it an estate sale, though I’m sure they actually know better.
  11. Yes, you’re done, but the sound tech still has to tinker with the EQ to get your good sound, doesn’t he/she? Making piezos sound good is all about EQ. Without that they’re awful.
  12. How was your IIIf damaged? I had an M4 for a while. I used to shoot pictures having forgotten to take the lens cap off. Not all the time, of course, but it happened too many times. I was kind of glad to see that camera go, though there’s still nothing to compare with that silky feel of winding and releasing a Leica shutter.
  13. I was kidding you when I mentioned a Leica IIIf, by the way. Now everyone’s talking about it like it’s a fact. ???? Did you see the winky winky at the end of my post? That means “kidding.”
  14. Someone should do the dendrochronology on those tops too.