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About donbarzino

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  1. They don't look that badly damaged in the photo. The geared mechanisms are well protected inside the housings. I would first try re-engaging the pin into the lever slot. I've had similar mishaps with mine and always managed to get them working again.
  2. I leave a number of cellos and basses in an unheated space in a very cold climate every winter and have never had any problems. I believe the most important thing is slowing the rate of change of temperature and humidity with insulation and low air infiltration.
  3. Your problem could be runout , the wood being cut such that the long grain is not parallel to the surface of the billet. This is why split billets are preferred.
  4. I just ran across a 2004 article in the Strad about tailpieces influence on tone which cites a 2003 Catgut study which found ' Certain woods (especially snakewood, pernambuco, African blackwood and boxwood) were judged to cause an increase in volume and positive changes in the clarity and "edginess" of the sound. Other materials (rosewood, ebony and composite) seem to correspond to hollow, soft, unfocused and unmatched sounds across strings.'
  5. I have had bass customers who insisted that increasing the string spacing greatly improved their sound. Compared to the violin, bass and cello do have a rather high bridge and narrow string spacing.
  6. Technically, moving only one end of the sound post while leaving the opposite end in place cocks the sound post and ruins its fit to the top and back plates. However if the post was not correctly fit in the first place any change could be an improvement. I believe the fit of the north edge sound post to the top is most important as this defines the lever arm distance between the bridge foot and the post as fulcrum. Moving the top end of the post back away from the bridge insures that the edge of the post closest to the back of the bridge foot is making good firm contact and this alone an often cause an improvement in playing and tonal qualities.
  7. When I started work at a certain large old violin shop I was told tales of the schenanigans my predecessor, Edward had pulled leading to his dismissal. Later I discovered a nice old violin in the back room with much of its top smashed away. Inside of it, among some old 'repaired by' labels, was scrawled "Wrecked by Eddy K. "
  8. I think the attraction of so called antique finishes is really about complexity. Straight varnish presents a much smaller number of colors than anything found in nature and this can become boring to the eye. Perhaps it doesn't really matter how the complex patinas found on older instruments were achieved but rather how many subtly complex color variations they present to keep our eyes interested. It just so happens that the wear imposed by use and time is currently the premier means of achieving the most interesting complexities.
  9. Back in the 1970's I was a maker of brazed steel racing bicycle frames. More than one customer confided in me that they just could not bear the pain of putting the first few nicks and scratches in their pristine painted finish and asked me to somehow artfully distress it for them in advance to soften and disguise those inevitable first stark ugly blemishes caused by daily use.
  10. I agree that most antiqued varnish is poorly done and doesn't look very convincing but to antique is the logical next step when the initial attempt at straight varnishing goes awry.
  11. We should start a directory that lists these false 'violinmakers'. Felix Ponziani of Cleveland, Ohio and William 'Jack' Fry of Madison, Wisconsin are two that I have run across.
  12. As long as the pegs hold well that's a very minor problem that is probably not worth messing around with until it gets worse. You could try some peg dope compound or soap and chalk to take up that extra space and push the pegs back out a little.
  13. The large thick flat areas you have left for the upper and lower blocks could be interfering with the usual mode 5 vibrations.
  14. It is almost impossible to copy del Gesu's style from the confines of a tidy shop and a well organized life. I suggest you copy Del Gesu's life style of excessive drinking, drugging and late night carousing and enter your messy disorganized shop only when you desperately need to crank out a fiddle for money.