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  1. "ridiculously exaggerated" thank you, that's what I suspected. i agree about the bottom of the barrel. I, and my daughter's teacher, think the Gliga is "good enough" for my daughters' classes (30 min/week). My thinking is to invest little in the smaller violins because they outgrow them so fast and invest more for the larger sizes. Our daughters started on a 1/4 violin from Shar ($100) which has been just fine. Thanks everyone for the feedback. Gligas are very expensive in France so we were happy to get an affordable non-chinese violin to take back with us.
  2. I measured it and the measurements are a little off but not as bad as I thought. the main thing is the nut is asymetrical which makes it look worse than it is, but it appears it was designed that way on purpose. We changed the strings for some Prelude. I had Tonica at home but we forgot them (we're on vacation). So we got prelude. The new strings made a huge difference in the sound. I also noticed when rosining the new bow I used too much and it sounds very scratchy, but when it tried it with a different bow it sounded fine. It sounded quite good actually, very similar in sound to our 3/4. So we're happy with it. the bubbles and sloppy varnish are a bit disappointing, but we got the Gems 2 instead of gems 1 so maybe that's just part of the dead in getting a cheaper price. thanks for the responses here. I still didn't really get an answer to my original question: is it common to shape the nut like that with the G string higher, that's why i started this thread because I've never seen that before. While researching the fingerboard "tilt" i read that some prefer the G side to be higher and some prefer it to be lower. so that was interesting. but I couldn't find anything about the nut. Thanks
  3. We're in the USA on vacation and my younger daughter was wanting a Gliga because she likes the 3/4 we purchased for my older daughter. We go back to France this weekend so we can't exchange it. I think that when purchasing it in person they hand pick the best ones. I'm going to measure it and compare with the measurements given in the thread and see. To me the playing is fine, I'm not used to playing 1/2 size but I don't have any problems playing it. So maybe it's not as bad as it looks. I've just never seen a violin nut/fingerboard like that so I was curious. I'll update the thread once I've measured it.
  4. It's a gems 2. The previous one we bought was gems 1. I read the difference was better flaming on the gems 1 so we went with the gems 2 which was cheaper.
  5. The 3/4 we purchased was very well set up, but what concerns me about the 1/2 is that if there is a problem with the nut or fingerboard, it's going to be more expensive to fix and therefore I'm considering returning it.
  6. I just purchased a Gliga 1/2 size violin for my daughter and I have some questions about the setup. I orderd it online from their store so I didn't get to try it out before buying, but a few years ago I bought a 3/4 violin there (in person) and it was perfect so I expected this new one to be of good quality. I'm a bit disappointed in the new one. I've never seen a fingerboard & nut that are so assymetrical and I'm wondering if this is normal. First the nut is much higher on the G string side: Then from the other side, the fingerboard is lower on the G string side: Another view: Also the varnish job was pretty sloppy, there are bubbles in it, in two places I can see where the varnish ran, and it stinks really bad (usually I think new violins smell good). It's hard to judge the sound because the strings that came with it are very cheap and sound bad, i haven't tried good strings yet. if there was just one cosmetic issue it would be ok as it will get banged up anyway, but the fingerboard setup concerns me. So I'd like to know if this fingerboard/nut setup is ok and I just haven't seen it before or if my intuition is correct that it's not a good setup. Thanks
  7. Brian, Thanks for the info on the history of the Breton violins and the pricing info. The one I got to try in a store was a Laberte and it was nice. I wonder if prices on Mirecourt violins are lower in Paris or higher? I thought the former, since there would be more of them in France, but now I'm starting to wonder. I also want to thank you for the links, what was great was being able to actually hear the two Breton violins. I thought the sound of the second one was much better. Was that part of the reason it was twice the price of the first one? Also, I read a horror story about a violin with a cracked pegbox and how that it's really important to check for that because it's difficult to fix. Am I just being paranoid or could there be a tiny crack in the pegbox, visible in the 3rd photo in the original post? Could be a hair or something.
  8. Hi, I'm looking for some info on a Breton violin. From what I've read by searching the forums it was common to market violins as Breton so I have no idea if this could be a decent violin or not. I know I tried one Marc Laberte Breton in a store and I liked it but it was almost 3,000 euros. This is one I've found from a private seller, I really don't know what a fair price would be so if anyone has any ideas please let me know.
  9. Hi, First I want to thank all the members here for the wealth of information available. I've been searching the forums on my commute to and from work over the past few weeks and I've learned a ton. I'm interested in purchasing an inexpensive antique violin, most likely a Mirecourt (I live in Paris). I'd like to find something that is would be the opposite of my current violin which is loud and powerful (Ming-Jiang Zhu G909), which means I'd like a dark sound that is mellow (not very loud). When I was shopping for my current violin, I tried out some Mirecourt violins in the luthier shops and the starting prices were around 1500 and I didn't think they were much better than my previous Chinese violin. Once I got up to 2500 euros they were more interesting. I've been looking at violins for sale locally and I've found some Mirecourt violins in the range of 450-650 euros which is in my budget. So far I haven't made any appointments to see them, but that will be the next step. I'm fixing a budget of less than 800 euros because I want to keep my current violin which I really like. I don't care about looks and I'm learning to do basic setup (bridge & soundpost) myself (subject of a future post). My question is can one find a "dark" "mellow" sounding antique violin in this price range? I know not everyone would consider dark & mellow desirable. I know it's not possible to find this in my price range in the luthier stores so I'll have to buy from a private seller. The ones I'm looking at for 450-650 look playable and have been checked over by a local luthier (so they say). I plan to see a few in person to get an idea of what this budget will get. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I know there are often fake labels, I don't mind if it's Mirecourt or German as long as it has the tone I'm after. Thanks for any advice you can provide.
  10. I just started The Young Violinist's Repertoire Book 3 (I didn't do 1-2, my teacher had me working out of other books) and the first piece is Bach's Gavotte from the cello suites. I'm also working through Dancla's 36 études and A Tuneful Introduction to 3rd Position. That's what I'm working on, what I'd like to be working on is bluegrass fiddle backup. But I never seem to have time because my teacher uses classical repertoire for our lessons.
  11. This is great advice. I used to be able to play many songs on piano, ones that took me lots of practice to be able to play. But since I haven't played piano much, I'm now unable to play them and it's frustrating. On the violin I try to get out previous repertoire books and go over them to try and keep up.
  12. I was recently researching solid wood ukulele's and I was surprised to read about people warning to verify humidity levels with the solid wood uke's because they can crack. We have 5 violins in our house and I haven't used any humidifying products. So I measured our humidity and it's between 40-50% which I thought was ok. I see on the dampit instructions that one should use it at 40%. I'm wondering if I really need it? I'd hate for our violins to crack. I wonder if there is some paranoia about it. I currently live in Paris, but prior to coming here I lived in Phoenix and I know if I lived there I'd have to use humidifying products because it's so dry.
  13. Hi, I play violin for 2 years and my two daughters play violin as well (1/4 and 3/4 size). Since we all play violins, I thought it'd be fun to learn to do some basic setup work. I had my previous violin adjusted a few times by luthiers and it was really interesting to hear the improvements that were made. I have an inexpensive 14" viola that I can use for practice. I don't play it often and it was cheap (Cecilio CVA-500 from Amazon) so if I mess it up, it's not a big loss. I also have my previous violin that I was going to sell, but if I can learn to customize a bridge for it, that would be very interesting too and could help with reselling it, or if I can correct some of its issues it could be interesting for my daughter. I received the StewMac violin setup DVD for Christmas and I really enjoyed it, which increased my desire to try some things myself. The things I'd like to do to my viola are: Make a new bridge Adjust soundpost Fit the pegs - I broke one and had a luthier replace it, the others need to be redone too. Replace the tailpiece with a Whittner with built-in fine tuners (or a tailpiece without fine tuners, I don't have fine tuners on my violin so if the viola pegs are fit properly I don't think I'll need fine tuners on the viola). I've done a lot of googling on the net and searching in these forums and I've learned a lot. But one question I have for which I haven't been able to find an answer is whether a 14" viola would require different parts than a violin? I got the viola in 14" because I still have intonation issues on my violin and I didn't want to be distracted by a larger size viola. So the viola is similar in size to a violin but it's a little bigger and a little taller. When I buy bridge blanks, can I use violin bridge blanks? The bridge that is on it looks similar in size to a violin bridge but it is thicker. I don't know if it needs to be thicker or if it just wasn't fitted properly. Well for the price I'm sure it wasn't customized very well. I also have the same question for the tailpiece, can I use a violin tailpiece? While searching the forums I found someone recommended a pack of 100 bridges from ebay to practice on. So if those will work for the 14" viola I'd like to get them. Here's the link (I hope it's ok to post these, if not the links can be removed): http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-4-100-pcs-violin-bridges-fine-maple-laser-precise-/201134962205?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ed493f61d I wrote to the seller and asked what tools he recommends for the setup work I intend to do and he recommended the following in addition to the bridges: a knife - http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/201303798766 sound post tools - http://www.ebay.com/itm/sound-post-gauge-Setter-retriever-luthier-tools-violin-/181585489641?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a4756aee9 a mini-plane - I really don't know what this is used for - http://www.ebay.com/itm/Strong-Brass-Mini-plane-curve-underside-violin-making-tools-6086-/351120166490?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51c0648e5a peg reamer and shaver - http://www.ebay.com/itm/Best-violin-tool-VIOLIN-PEG-HOLE-REAMER-VIOLin-PEG-SHAVE-/181465424465?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a402ea251 And I was also planning on getting: whittner tailpiece - http://www.thomann.de/fr/wittner_tailpiece_violin_44.htm a good bridge when I'm ready for it - http://www.thomann.de/fr/aubert_mirecourt_violin_bridge_4_4.htm I live in France and his prices seem to be very good compared to what I've found in France. My questions are: Can I use 4/4 violin parts for the 14" viola? Are there any books or DVDs that would help me to learn the setup items I'd like to do? I know there are a lot of violin books about making violins but for now I just want to focus on the setup. Do you recommend the tools I listed above? Would you recommend any better alternatives? Thank you very much for reading and I look forward to getting some feedback and sharing my progress in this adventure.
  14. It's funny you mention that thread because I stumbled up it myself while searching "Medio-Fino". I found it odd that she picked the Mirecourt over the more expensive instruments but when she found out it was Mirecourt she didn't want it at that price. If it was truly better than the others maybe it was worth it? That doesn't justify any alleged dishonesty from the luthier.
  15. BTW, when I said we didn't know much about them, I meant for the several that I tried. Next time I will ask for more information that's on the label and start keeping notes so I can research them a bit.
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