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rynthae's Achievements

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  1. It's right in my original post (100 or less). Not looking for myself, and not looking for a lifetime bow or anything carbon fiber. I'm just looking for a starter wood bow that is better than Glasser and has a half-decent sound. They should, in a perfect world. Sadly, neither of the customers mentioned had thousands on hand. They are set up on monthly payments for two years because of this. In my experience, someone who needs a few months to save up for the downpayment (10%) just can't afford a good bow right away. I hope they do get good bows down the road, but I doubt it would be any sooner than the two-year mark. That's why I'd like to provide a somewhat reliable starter bow in special cases like these (when the customer has no bow, or has a Glasser/terrible bow.)
  2. Thanks for the recommendations everyone, all of this helps a ton! Thanks! I will definitely add that one to the list to check out, it sounds very promising, especially for students. Thanks, that helps a lot! I'll definitely look into Yita. It sounds like a great student option. We are working on offering better bows as well--just picked up a lot of 11 fixer uppers at auction that look very very nice, actually. It's where the Kurt Dolling bow came from, and that one plays like a dream. We just have to get them fixed up, first. We've mostly been consigning with music stores up to this point, but most of our sales seem to happen outside of consignment--so providing any kind of bows is relatively new territory. There are a variety of bows in all of the music shops we consign with, but since it seems like almost all of our sales happen without consigning, I think we'd better have a few dependable bows on hand. Thanks for the tip! Seeing Yita suggested a couple times I will definitely be checking them out. To each their own. Sadly, I am just not a carbon fiber bow fan. I love the way they perform, hate the way they sound.... That's okay! I've tried some pretty good bows made from different types of wood (haven't tried ipe yet). As long as it sounds good and plays well, that's what matters most to me. I was able to try a bamboo bow at the VSA this year which was really different! Very light, but nice and stiff--I actually really liked it. Good sound, good balance, good response. I'll definitely check out Ipe bows! I've seen them mentioned a few times. I will definitely explain that, and I'd be happy to help her (or anyone else) down the road if they need a more advanced bow, though I think the violin itself is already pushing her budget to its absolute limit. I just want her to have something dependable in the meantime that doesn't butcher the sound. Ipe sounds very interesting to me, I'm always curious about purnambuco alternatives and haven't had a chance to try that one out yet. I'll have to give it a shot!
  3. I will look that up, thanks! I'd love to find a few reliable brands for students, so that helps a lot. Hi Guido, thanks for the input. I just got back recently from the VSA convention and had the opportunity to try a lot of bows while I was there (which was awesome!), and sadly the experience really only solidified my feelings regarding carbon fiber bows. In terms of playability, balance, and durability they are fantastic--but I really just don't like the type of sound they produce. The Grimm bow that I have now was bought online for about $65--it looked pretty sad when I got it since someone had taken scissors to the bow-hair and it was missing a grip, but those were easy and cheap fixes and it is a decent intermediate wood bow. Not as agile as I like, but it does produce great sound. That's the benchmark I'm shooting for. If I have to, I'll look for more old fixer-uppers, but would prefer a less hit-and-miss method if there is one. It's easy to think that customers paying a few thousand for a violin would invest in a good bow, but sadly so far that hasn't been the case. The girl I just sold one to had a Glasser bow, so I threw in one of the extras we had around the workshop, an old intermediate German wood bow. Unfortunately we've weeded through a lot of our old extras at this point. A good friend (Shayne) has recently expressed a lot of interest in buying one in January, and she hasn't played violin in about 8 years. She doesn't have a bow and doesn't know what to look for in one yet. Knowing that, I worry she'll run out and get a Glasser, and I'd rather provide something a little better than that. Because Shayne is an old friend, I am offering her a healthy discount and a payment plan, plus I will be eating the cost of the outfit (case, shoulder rest, rosin, bow) personally, which somewhat limits how much I can afford to spend on the bow.
  4. Hey Everyone, I hope you guys are doing well! I build violins, and have run into a bit of a predicament. A significant portion of my customers either do not have a bow (because they haven't played in years) or they have a plastic bow or something that doesn't match up well with the violins at all. I work really hard on cultivating the best sound in the violins, and I would hate for that sound to be lessened by a bad bow. Plus, I know how much difference a good bow can make. To avoid customers pairing these violins with a bad plastic bow, I'd really like to be able to include a decent wood bow with the violin that won't compromise the sound (or playability). Because I want the violins to sound the best they can, I'm not charging extra for the outfit. With that in mind, can anyone recommend some of the best "cheap" (less than $100, though less than $50 would be better) wooden violin bows out there? I ordered one from Yinfente ($25) to try out, but wasn't completely satisfied with it. It wasn't terrible. The weight/balance wasn't quite what I like, but it was manageable. What really turned me off from it though was that it sounded tinny when playing, compared to my other bows. I'm not interested in carbon fiber bows, only wooden ones. I've tried both and in my experience all of the carbon fiber bows I've tried sounded too tinny for my taste. For comparison, at home I have two bows I do not like (one carbon fiber bow, one Glasser bow), a bow that is okay (stamped Grimm--produces a good sound but is a little cumbersome and the soft camber makes quick notes sound muddier, plus it takes a bit more energy to play with), and a bow that I absolutely love (a Kurt Dolling bow--lightweight feel, great balance, best sound). I'd love to find something that is better than the carbon fiber and Glasser bow, and at least as good as the Grimm bow, ideally. The Grimm bow is okay. It's not great, but it sounds good and is a big improvement from the Glasser bow. Any help or recommendations would be appreciated! Thanks, -Michelle
  5. Thanks for the advice everyone! I ended up switching out the E string on Annabella to a Hill E (same one that has been working well on the other violin, Morgan) and it seemed to cure the issue! I tried repeatedly to make it whistle hitting the chord at varying speeds/pressure and it didn't whistle even a little bit. I'll definitely keep the Amber E and the other strings in mind for future violins! I'll keep the twisting trick in mind, too @Andrew Victor! That sounds like a good ace to have up the sleeve. I really appreciate everyone's help with this!
  6. Thanks for your advice everyone! I will check the nut and keep an eye on my technique. Some investigative research revealed that the Evah Pirazzi E string has a few reviews that mention whistling as a problem, whereas the Hill E string (which I have not had trouble with) had reviews saying it was less likely to whistle. Technique could definitely be a factor as well, so I’ll watch my bow closely and experiment to find out more. I've also considered the possibility that a recent injury might be factoring into the technique, too. About a month ago I fell down some wooden stairs and hit the inside of my elbow pretty hard... ignored it since it didn't look too alarming in the morning, and proceeded to do heavy lifting (we were moving) for the next few days, when it gave out. (It is my bow arm and my dominant arm sadly). The doctor said it was tendinitis, but thought it would heal up fine. It's been about a month since then? I think my bowing is all right and pretty much back to normal, it just aches a lot after heavy violin practice or anything else that uses it a lot. Thanks for the advice--I'll keep practicing and see if things improve on the one violin! Thanks for the tip, you two! I have a set of Warchal Ambers on an old German Violin that I take care of and have really liked using them on that one. I might look into trying the Amber E on future violins, too. I play fiddle and classical pieces, and fiddle tunes (especially show tunes) involve some pretty hard playing... so it makes sense that some strings might not be up to it. So far I've had pretty good experiences with the Hill E and Warchal Amber E though. Will do! I did just readjust the nut a couple weeks ago, so I'll check that out. Thanks! I'm using a ton of pressure on the chord (which might be the trouble, but it is also necessary for the piece. It is basically a rapid fortissimo three-string chord--and I have no trouble with it playing on the other violin (with a different E string) which is why I was wondering if it was the limitations of the string itself. It's a "fast attack" chord, so I use the full bow and tons of pressure at high speed. I have been keeping a sharp eye on my bow to make sure it is indeed straight, as well, and it has been every time I looked up to check. Thanks for the tip about the wrist--I will keep an eye on that as well and make sure nothing wonky is going on there.
  7. Hi Everyone, I would probably be considered an intermediate violin player, and in practicing on a couple of the violins I build I noticed a bit of trouble on the E string on one of them. I am trying to figure out what might be causing this--if it is the E string itself, the bridge, the bowing, or another aspect of playing technique. I have practiced playing the same song (a chord-heavy arrangement of the Aran Boat Song) on two violins: Morgan and Annabella. Morgan is fitted with Evah Pirazzi (regular) GDA strings and a Hill E string. Annabella is fitted with the whole regular Evah Pirazzi string set (including E string). There is one part of the song with a sort of modified triple stop / fast arpeggio that rolls over the open D-A-E strings (ending on E, then going into a grace note F natural and back to open E before continuing) with an aggressive down bow. I usually don't have any trouble playing this part on Morgan. I have practiced this song a lot more on Morgan, and it doesn't seem to be an issue. However more recently I've begun practicing the same piece on Annabella and probably 7/10 times the hard sustained open E at the end of the modified triple stop / fast arpeggio whistles. Not just a quick whistle, either, but the whistle lasts for the whole length of the note. I haven't noticed problems with the E string on either one with any other piece, and I have had a variety of other people play both of them (many who are much more skilled than I am), and it has never produced this problem for anyone else. I have watched carefully the last several times and the bow is completely straight when it happens, so I don't think that is the cause in this case. I tried switching bows, and it didn't make a difference--the problem persisted. If anyone has any insight in what might be causing this I would be really grateful... is this just caused by some kind of poor technique on my part, or the type of string, could it be a difference in the bridge arc between the two violins that is throwing me off, or is it something else? Thanks for your help in advance, -rynthae EDIT: I switched to a Hill E string on Annabella to match the other violin and it seemed to cure the whistle! It hasn't whistled since then. Thanks for your help everyone!
  8. Thanks for the suggestions everyone! FrankNichols, I'll definitely have to show my dad that link since I'm positive he would be interested in it! Clearsky, that's a good idea. Maybe I'll get the second one for him for his birthday. I would love to get him The Art of Violin Making, The Secrets of Stradivari, or Violin Restoration but alas the budget does not allow this time around, haha. I already picked him up a nice maple shoulder rest, a tuner, and will be getting him some Swiss chocolates that he likes as well, so $20-$30 on a book would be the easiest to do this time around. In the future I might save up for one of the others, like The Art of Violin Making, though.
  9. I'm hardly an expert, but I definitely think it depends on the instrument itself. There are some violins that sound great with Dominants. I've seen a few in person that really came to life and sounded more vibrant and powerful once they were switched over to them. My own violin had old Dominants on it for a long time, and I was never a big fan of how it sounded with them on. It almost sounded like they limited the dark/rich spectrum on my violin. I switched to Warchal Amber strings awhile back and it sounded a MILLION times better. I think Warchal Ambers suit a certain type of violin the same way that Dominants suit another, and my violin was a lot happier with the Amber strings. (A Glass violin, used for both classical and fiddle style playing). All that aside, I've never been a huge fan of the Dominant E string on any violin, really. Most violins equipped with Dominant strings that sounded great had the E string switched out with either a Hill E or a Pirastro Gold E. Dominants are decent. They aren't perfect, and they definitely suit some instruments better than others, but there are definitely worse strings out there. In a perfect world all violins would have strings suited just for them, I think.
  10. Hi everyone, I've started thinking ahead for what I want to do for holiday gifts this year, and although I've already decided on a couple things for my father I also wanted to include a book to help expand his reference library for violin-making/repairing since he dabbles in making and repairing violins and violin bows in his spare time. He has a couple of the Strobel books already (he has Violin Making, Step by Step and also Useful Measurements for Violin Makers) and I was hoping to pick up another to add to his collection, but wasn't sure whether Art & Method of the Violin Maker or Violin Maker's Notebook would come in handier. Any opinions on which is more useful out of the two? Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks, -Ryn
  11. Admittedly, this was me for a long time. When I went through school playing the violin, for some reason, I always thought of any flaw or shortcoming of the playing a result of my actual skill, and didn't put much thought into how it might be affected by the instrument itself, strings, rosin, bow, etc. I played on a cheapo mass-produced beginner's violin for a few years, and I practically wince to think back on it. It was a whole lot of effort for not very high a quality of sound. Once I got into high school and we moved to an area with a more competitive orchestra, I was fortunate enough to be able to play my dad's Glass violin and have been ever since. The difference in sound, and ease of playing was just night and day... but I guess I was so blown away that I forgot to think that anything might be holding me, or the Glass, back. Being a broke student didn't help either -- just the cost of a bow rehair at the time was probably enough to give me an ulcer. Now though, things are different, and I'm glad that I'm finally able to put a little bit more thought into what works with the violin -- the bow, and some better rosin and strings. Although I'm not a professional by any means, I play both traditional ("classical") violin and fiddle, so it is important to me to be able to go between the extremes of both styles of playing. Jeffrey -- thank you so much for the information! I was able to scrape up a little info online about the Grimm shop, but had a hard time telling anything about what time period was relevant or what info was really specific to the bow I picked up, so this helps a lot. It does have two clear stamps ("Grimm" and "Germany") although there is a small and more rough, hand-carved looking "V" on the underside of the stick, near the frog and not too far from the "Germany" stamp that is a total mystery. That's true -- I am glad that they were upfront with me about the prices in order to save me grief or confusion. Ultimately, I do feel a lot better having sent it to someone I really trust the work on it in the long run, also.
  12. Thanks for the tip, Violadamore! I don't plan on making too much of a habit of buying on ebay, but if I do in the future I'll be sure to keep that in mind. Part of the reason for that is that I don't have the skills to do repairs or maintenance on my own -- if I did it might be a different story. ^^;; You are probably right on this -- Naples is full of rich people, for better or worse, and Spokane is a lot more blue collar. I suppose I figured it might make a little bit of a difference, but not nearly that much. I would have felt a lot better about the whole experience if the "bow expert" seemed like he actually knew anything about bows. The guy back in Spokane who has done work on my family's violins and bows in the past (and done an excellent job with both) is Ernest Barrett, who runs Davenport Violin & Bow ( http://www.haveviolinwilltravel.com/index.html ). He has done just amazing work for us in the past. Here's a quick exerpt from his website: "CREDENTIALS In 2005 Ernest opened Davenport Violin & Bow. He acquires instruments for repair and resale, as well as performing repairs for customers and subcontracting work from other shops, including Paul Schuback in Portland and Bischofberger Violins in Seattle. He enjoys working one on one with all levels of musicians to meet their individual needs in caring for their instruments. Ernest worked at Lundin's Violins in what is now Spokane Valley from 1997 until 2005, when Lundin's relocated to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. It was during this time while at Lundin's that he received his initial training in bowed instrument set up and repair from Jim Kytonen, and bow rehairing from Tim Barber. As well, prior to and during his training in violin and bow repair at Lundin's, Ernest completed the Roberto Venn instrument building and repair course in Arizona, violin and bow building workshops at Bernard Michaud’s mill in Fertans, France (Bois de Lutherie), and summer violin repair workshops with Horst Kloss at the University of New Hampshire. Currently, Ernest frequents the Schuback workshop receiving individual instruction honing the necessary skills for high end repairs as well as gaining further insights into building. Ernest is committed to continuing his careful study of violin repair techniques so that he can perform the best possible repairs for his customers." No kidding... I bet he's sold a lot of bows that way! Oh jeez. Well, sounds like he was cut out more to play on instruments than to work on them! I know it probably isn't necessary to ship my bow across the country, but I just put it in the mail yesterday. I'm a little more comfortable with it anyway, since I know that he does such good work. And I don't reject CF bows from a playability standpoint at all -- I know that some professional violinists seem to prefer them. I'm not a professional though, at this point it is more for my personal enjoyment (although some day I'd like to improve enough to offer private fiddle lessons). I really just want something better than my old fiberglass bow. To be honest... this guy really reminded me of a used car salesman. The resemblance was uncanny! Sadly, I'm not too surprised... this is probably something that can be found in a lot of instrument repair simply because it requires a bit of knowledge from the customer's side in order to avoid being overcharged -- and therefore despite plenty of good-intending shops and individuals, it gives liberty for the shadier folks to take advantage of customers who aren't very knowledgeable. LMAO! So that's what the stamps are for! XD Hi Skiingfiddler, the "bow expert" actually broke down the cost when I looked at him like he was touched in the head. He said that the rehair would be $60, there might be an extra $20 charge if it is glued in (that's totally reasonable to me), but he wanted to charge something like $100 for the grip (lizard skin, which was evidently their only option) and something like $270 for sterling silver windings. Granted, he really didn't take very much time to look it over before giving his assessment (which were just all of the things I had asked for anyway), but he didn't "find" anything else. He did say that the stick looked to be in good shape, almost in the same breath as insulting the bow and telling me that he had no idea what the stamps meant but that for the price of fixing it I was better off buying a new fiberglass bow from them. He'd never heard of the name Grimm, didn't even see the stamps before telling me the bow was unvaluable (yes, I'm aware that it isn't a million dollar bow, but I'd like to think it's better than the shoddy fiberglass ones he was peddling), and when I informed him that I was not concerned about the value of the bow so much as the playability he looked at me like he just didn't understand.
  13. I'm glad to know it is contagious! XD I just wrapped up my bow and one of my dad's bows that needs to be rehaired (we're just going to send them in together for convenience's sake) and should hopefully ship it out tomorrow. It probably won't take very long at all for Ernest (the guy who has done work for us before) to do the actual work, but it does have around 3000 miles to ship to get there, and then another 3000 to ship back! o.o I'm estimating maybe around two weeks until I get it back or so, but it probably depends a lot on the weather and such.... keep your finger's crossed, hopefully it will have a safe and quick journey there and back! I'm so excited that I mustered enough courage to do a little recording of playing one song, on my old strings (totally mixed random strings) with my old bow (fiberglass) and old rosin (the cheap $2 stuff), and I want to play the same song again and record it once I get the Grimm bow back, now that I just got some Andrea Solo rosin and Warchal Amber strings -- just to see how much everything has effected the playability, tone, and everything. ^^ I figured all of this would be a good use of at least part of my tax return.
  14. Will, that does make sense -- and I'm sure that the "bow expert" here in town has convinced more than a handful of people to either buy terrible bows or pay out the nose for any kind of maintenance. I shudder to think what the quality of their work might be like, since they seem to be practically conning people. It is sad that you have to at least have a certain amount of knowledge in order to stay away from questionable deals or bad work. That sounds awful that the bass bow fell apart in the middle of a concert! :/ And sheesh, I can't believe that someone would think they could learn that much about a bow in two weeks... that's not just over confident, it's crazy! o.o Violadamore, thanks -- I'm just glad that I walked out of there and had somewhere else to take the bow. Skiingfiddler, I blame my dad for that one! He's the same way with some of the things he buys. I suppose we both just get very excited, and honestly I think that we both really like to take something that needs a little TLC and get it all fixed back up (even if we aren't the ones doing the fixing). The bow is my first time really doing this, but he's done it with bows and violins from time to time, and he does it all the time with antique firearms... that one he got so involved with that he ended up getting into restoring them and fixing them up as a side-job! It's hard to describe, but there is just something about seeing something brought back to life and resurrected so that it can live up to its full potential. Unfortunately part of the gamble is that we never know what that potential really is until after everything is done, but it actually has a lot of similarity in structure, weight, etc, to a bow that my dad owns that I've tried out and really liked, so I'm hoping for the best! Honestly, when I first bid on the bow the pictures didn't show the "windings" or grip that were currently on it -- the grip was falling apart (not even sure if it was a real grip either) and the "windings" were silver-colored string that had been tacked on with jeweler's wax and were falling off, so I didn't factor in those costs in the beginning -- though that's my own lack of foresight. But honestly, I was budgeting around $100-$200ish for a playable wood bow that would be an improvement on my fiberglass bow (admittedly not a huge challenge there), and I did look at ready-to-play bows as well, but most of them were pretty out of my price range. I get a little antsy about modern bows, not because I don't think they are good, but because it is hard for me to get a good read on which ones really play well, which places make good bows (and which ones try to pull a fast one on you), whether prices are fair, etc. Plus, as cheesy and childish as it might sound, I really like the idea of an older wooden bow, and I can't really explain why, because I know that carbon fiber bows can be very good. A lot of it is sentimental, most likely, which is probably why I got pretty irked when someone with very little bow knowledge and no playing experience insulted it. >.> I guess there is just something about bringing a piece of history, no matter how little, to life. Sorry if I sound like I'm just rambling nonsense!
  15. mmmm - that's encouraging news! I am more than anxious to get this one fixed up and playable and I'm hoping it will play well! Honestly, just about anything would be an improvement over my mediocre fiberglass bow that I've been playing with! Rue - will do! I took it to a local shop that does in-house work (they have a luthier on-site and all that) and their estimate was completely outrageous ($450 for rehair, windings, and grip). Luckily, my dad and I have brought violins and bows to someone in Spokane, Washington for years who really knows their stuff and does excellent, just fabulous work for a reasonable price, and we called up him today as my dad also has a bow he'd like to get rehaired, and he offered to do the rehair, windings, and grip for $125 which is a much better price... so as much as I'd love to get the bow in playing condition right away, I think it is for the best that I'll be shipping this to Spokane (we live in Naples, Florida currently) to have everything done. As soon as I get it back I will let you all know how it turns out though! As for the German Silver thing... I got a little over-excited without knowing much on the subject. It is German Silver, which at the time I didn't realize was the same thing as nickle silver -- sorry for any confusion on that! That's all right, though. It looks nice, and hopefully it'll play well also! Skiingfiddler - That's good to know about the warp. I'm glad to hear that it isn't actually that serious even if it does return to the slight curve after rehairing. Right now, it is straight again (although time will tell if it stays) -- I applied very slight pressure in the opposite direction of the warp, and nothing else (no steam, no heat, nothing like that). It is a bit humid and warm down here though (south Florida), so just applying a little bit of opposing pressure over a short period of time (a couple days) seemed to do the trick. Not sure if it will hold or not, but I suppose I'll find out.... Martin - sorry for any confusion. Admittedly at the time of posting this I didn't realize that German silver is the same thing as nickle silver -- but that's all right with me. At the time, I pulled my information from a similar listing, so that's why I thought it was pernambuco as well. But, all in all, I'm more concerned about the playability than anything anyway, so hopefully it will sound all right! I got a quote from a local store down here in Naples, Florida and they came back with an absolutely ridiculous price ($450 for a rehair, windings, and a grip), so I called up someone back in my hometown who does really excellent work that has worked on violins and bows in my whole family on multiple occasions with stunning results, and he said he'd be happy to do all of that for $125 which is a lot better than the other option! As much as I'd love to be able to test out this bow right away, I think that the wait time will be well worth it -- he does amazing work.
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