Andrew McInnes

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Everything posted by Andrew McInnes

  1. The price is definitely magical. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
  2. What a steal. I especially like how there is no Best Offer available.
  3. I've got one of Ken's carbon fibre violin tailpieces, and I'm quite pleased with it. To underscore a comment above, these tailpieces are not a silver bullet. They do not make mediocre fiddles sound anything other than mediocre, just more definitively. Installing it on a quality luthier instrument has nice results: the same instrument is more responsive, has a qualitatively "cleaner" tone envelope, and a bit more punch. As a Baroque player, the carbon feels far more sturdy under my chin than does wood or Wittners. Most impressive is that the tailpiece makes it an order of magnitude easier to properly voice chords. All that said, is it worth $350 for the violin model? Well, I spend about $125 on a set of strings, because it helps my instrument be more decisively itself. That amount of money is difficult for me to scrape up, but because this is my livelihood, I have no choice but to spend the money. For the cost of not quite three sets of strings, I have a non-consumable tool which helps me leverage my current instrument. So yes, I think the carbon is worth the cost, if one is making music as a livelihood. Given that the viola, 'cello, and bass models are each much more expensive than the violin model, obviously a grain of salt has to be taken in translating my violin-specific comments to the larger instruments. I have no experience there, so I'd be interested in hearing your comments. As a note, I'm not paid by Ken.
  4. Dwight, I've never heard a Ritter in person. Did you ever get a chance to handle your teacher's Ritter?
  5. Hermann Ritter: Here's a bit about his viola model. Info is under the heading "Richard Wagner and the Ritter Viola":
  6. As far as I know, the model for this particular instrument is similar to that of the Lupot body or Claudot family, which was slightly oversized. I have an Augustin Claudot which is similar to the OP instrument.
  7. Customer asked what her instrument needed, and was shocked to learn that strings needed to be changed. "I thought they never wore out!"
  8. NSFW nudity. Answer: Question: Second violinists try harder.
  9. My view is because of what I perceive as the "accessorisation" factor of violins. In order to be taken seriously as a member of a certain class of performer, one needs the right branding. Analogous to the art dealer who switches from driving a Volvo to a Mercedes - art is the same, but suddenly it looks a lot more attractive. That said, you're quite right, Don. I might just be a tad too cynical.
  10. Strad did that on one his lesser known instruments, the Crème Brûlée Ex-Boyardee ukulele.
  11. Answer: Question: What is a lost John Wayne Gacy?
  12. And that, my friend, is the central problem to modern 'art': Who is gonna buy that crap?
  13. I propose changing the name from Medusa -- from whom one must shield one's own eyes -- to Justice -- who shields her eyes from everyone else.
  14. I'd make the example more extreme. Lets say that your hypothetical Stradivarifaux or Del Fauxsu totally mops the floor with its real counterparts. It's the hands down best example of a performance instrument in the world. Not necessarily a museum piece, but as an instrument it king of the hill. My thoughts, although I'm unwilling to make a precise estimate of the price... The price of the instrument would crater at the next auction, and that's assuming the then-current owner would be willing to take the beating and turn it into a tax writeoff. Otherwise, they would try to unload it onto a non-profit instrument library for what would become a vastly inflated valuation (tax writeoff again). The big name stars of the violin world would have to turn their noses up at the hands down best performance violin in the world, because it wasn't "real". The rest of us professionals would be scraping together every last penny we could beg, borrow, and steal in order to own the damn thing.
  15. Answer: Question: What is sexual harrassment?
  16. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Hat's off, gentlemen, a genius! It's made from USPS Priority Mail boxes.
  17. Good pictures. I like what I'm seeing! I don't have an opinion about an original head or not, but I'd definitely agree with Jacob. Keep the silly thing, and roll with the fashion statement. If you still can't stand the appearance, call it Medusa and don't make eye contact.
  18. Hi Glenn, That was indeed a sad event in London. It's even more sad, given that the musical world in London had barely begun to rebuild after the Cromwell disaster destroyed British musical culture. He and his nutball fundamentalist supporters burnt many an instrument. And then they "solved" the nutball problem by shipping them over to the colonies.... but that's another story.
  19. Hi Glenn, The reshaping of the button as well as a more sophisticated graft are both nice indicators to me as a player. Might not mean "value", but people have cared about the instrument over the years. Good signs! The Baroque revival has its roots in the late 18th and early 19th Century. It's when players first became interested in revisiting Baroque music, and specifically with authentic instruments. To their great embarrassment, the French found that they had burnt most of those instruments during the Revolution, so they had to somewhat rebuild from scratch. Example instruments include Chappuy's rather fanciful restoration of a viol da gamba. The best way to look at it, is that musical culture in Europe had become sufficiently broad and deep, that it became interested in its own history. It was the first time that players explicitly brought out the old, dusty music and told audiences that it was just as valid as the 'Music Of The Now'. As part of that, revivalists looked to perform the old music on the instruments for which it had been written. Nothing like this had happened before in Western classical music, and it didn't take root immediately. The cult of The Now was the rule of music to that point, and beyond; for example, Mendelssohn found book one of J S Bach's solo violin partitas & sonatas being used as fish wrapping! It's a mostly forgotten epoch, but it fed IMO into the formation of two very important facets to the 19th Century. One was it got French luthiers interested in scientific analysis of the best instruments of the past -- look at the fantastic collaboration between Felix Savart and Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume. The second was that the resurfacing and reinvigouration of Baroque music helped form the aesthetics and ideals of the Leipzig circle and proper Romanticism (eg Mendelssohn, the Schumanns, Gade, Bennett, et cetera, as opposed to the Nazi-approved Wagnerists).
  20. The dark stain to the lower bass region is to my eye the result of many a sweaty violinist chin. Suggests to me that much of its playing history was without the crutch called a chin rest, namely pre-1900 or thereabouts. As a player, I would say this gives it a claim on reasonable age. The scalloping is not a style I've seen before, but the concept in general is not unheard of. The sound holes are interesting but reasonably similar to old models. All in all, my mis-educated supposition is a circa 1820s instrument from the French Baroque revival scene. Speaking again as a player, I would call it a violin. Indeed, I would play it in my local symphony orchestra just to annoy people.
  21. Sympathies about the injury, but I'm glad you're enjoying the instrument. It's quite beautiful. Heal up soon!
  22. Congratulations to you on having such an instrument. Regardless of whether or not "it's a really really real Rocca", it's still your 'cello. Insurance is a splendid idea, I commend you for being a responsible caretaker!
  23. I own a brace of Plowden copies, made by James M Jones. They're great instruments, I'm thrilled to own them. I also played a del Gesu in the past, but I have no idea which one. Fantastic instrument to copy, regardless. Tacky question, what is your asking price? Feel free to message me privately, as this is not the sales end of Maestronet.
  24. My sympathies for your experience. I hope you're still playing despite that treatment!