Scoiattola

Members
  • Content count

    29
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Scoiattola

  • Rank
    Junior Member

Recent Profile Visitors

250 profile views
  1. Scoiattola

    Reattribution of an old Violin

    More relevant to the topic at hand: was Leonardo da Vinci left-handed during his brief stint in Cremona? Important question for the experts. In our current market, fields like dendrochronology seem to provide the most support for accurate appraisals and opinions...
  2. Scoiattola

    Any good experiences with taming a ~540 Hz issue?

    Michael, One more thing (in case you haven't tried this already) - try heavier and lighter tension E string - see how things change, if at all. Cheers, ~S
  3. Scoiattola

    Any good experiences with taming a ~540 Hz issue?

    In addition to what Marty recommended, perhaps try a side mount chinrest (differing weights sometimes have different effects - none predictable, unfortunately). I have found heavier (I.e. Ebony) chinrests to work well. Also, try a little blue tack / tungsten putty (I use Extra Metal from the U.K.) on the G string afterlength. It may take a little futzing around to find the exact location that helps the wolf. Also, less weight is often better; on on of my fiddles a 10th of a gram is enough (surprisingly) to calm a C# wolf. Location for me is near the bridge, maybe 3 mm behind. cheers, scoiattola
  4. Scoiattola

    Working with pigments

    Not sure if this a unorthodox way of getting pigmentation (dye actually?) onto a violin, or just an unusual ground: found it intriguing nonetheless. Imgur link ("Very detailed artwork") ~S [Edit: source: https://www.instagram.com/leonardo_frigo_/]
  5. Scoiattola

    Neck Angle, String Nut, Bridge Cumulative Effect?

    Indeed! It will be a few months before I can get the instrument in to be inspected. The trust is warranted; good professional reputation, recommendations from colleagues, and previous work from the shop that turned out great. Cheers, ~Scoiattola
  6. Scoiattola

    Neck Angle, String Nut, Bridge Cumulative Effect?

    Hi Jerry, Good to know that bass bar distortion is not remedied by the new bass bar. Perhaps it might keep it from getting worse though? One thing that was mentioned briefly over the phone was that the violin may need to be plaster casted to correct the deformation. That will have be decided upon first inspection. The final two items on my first list have indeed been changed with fairly minor procedures (post/bridge) over the years, but I have run into a brick wall with what the instrument seems capable of, adjustment-wise. There is a sweet spot (which is difficult to get to), that seems as optimal as I am likely to get with the current setup. Re: a solution for the flabby quality, 'not on my laundry list' - I'm all ears! Other than the things I listed, I can't think of anything else (non-destructive) that could have the affect I'm looking for. I've tried quite a few things (tuning fingerboard, afterlength, tailpiece, even different chinrests with varying clamping locations/mass). Strings make a small difference. Re: putting my faith in the luthier (several thousand km away at the moment), I have utmost faith in the shop and proprietor. (It's not doubt in the luthier, rather doubt in my own knowledge.) Unfortunately, I won't have a chance to present the instrument for inspection for a few months, and locally, restoration is not much of an option. I'm cooling my heels trying to get as much information beforehand, so as to keep any questions focussed. Thanks for your previous post - appreciate your reply! Cheers, ~Scoiattola
  7. Scoiattola

    Neck Angle, String Nut, Bridge Cumulative Effect?

    Good question: on my part, it's more of an attempt to keep an old antique in running condition. It's not that the fiddle can't sound good, in its own way, right now. I just want it in better condition. To me, that means 1) healthier, and 2) more playable than it is currently. Those things addressed, if it is possible to make it sound better, that's just an added plus. Cost-wise, a good modern is much more beneficial. Depending on the fiddle, this extends to sound-wise as well Cheers, ~Scoiattola
  8. Scoiattola

    Neck Angle, String Nut, Bridge Cumulative Effect?

    Jacob, I'm definitely planning on discussing with the luthiers in question - just wanted to get a better idea of the effects of the aspects I mentioned. Jerry, I'm not sure what a very tight bass bar is either (!), but it was mentioned by another (respected) luthier as the source of the deformation on the top. Cheers, ~Sqoiattola
  9. On Andreas's Del Gesu asymmetric top archings topic, David Beard mentioned considering neck length as lever arm for power (David, I'm guessing you're not a fan of the concept?). It got me thinking: I'm in the process of having a violin repaired. Among other things, this instrument needs a neck graft. Necessarily, this will mean a new fingerboard, string nut, bridge, (post?) etc. The instrument will be going to a great shop, and I'm certain the work will be of the highest quality. However, I always like to walk into the repair process with as much information as possible. The violin has the following problems I'm hoping to remedy: Bass bar distortion (bass bar was under possibly too much tension?) - I.e. New bass bar. Neck width was always waaay too thin, and ditto fingerboard, hence the neck graft. Neck angle was also way too low. Sound quality and projection are not the greatest (resonance seems less than optimal). (Probably related to No. 3?) The overall quality of sound lacks definition (the E string doesn't seem to ring correctly, and the G string is fuzzy, or hairy/throaty in character.) Can those who better understand the variables help me understand the effect the following might have on the above problems? Neck angle (string break) Too low / Too high = ?? effect on sound String nut height Too low / Too high = ?? effect on sound Bridge height (Already understand this one to some extent). Bridge width (more accurately, distance between strings, not increased mass via increase in width) - this seems like it would activate the bridge island area differently, depending on width between strings. Thoughts? Lastly, has anyone had luck making sound less flabby through bassbar? I'm concerned the last owners were trying to remedy an existing sound problem through a very tight bassbar, and if I change it to a "proper/healthy" version, I will lose what little sound definition I have currently. Thanks in advance for any advice! ~Scoiattola
  10. Scoiattola

    Methods to increase speed and quickness

    Sorry for the confusion - I'll try to explain. It's not so much about economy of movement, it's more like "economy of tension." It can seem a little counter-intuitive - and I take your point: it's absolutely true that the 1st finger is a good guide finger for the rest of the hand. (not the only one, but that's a different kettle of fish.) Perhaps another way to look at it is that the "center" of the hand actually should be the 2nd finger. We can still use 1st-4th finger frames, but not as the thing that defines the ideal curvature for minimal tension. Try this as an experiment: loosely hold your left hand as if there is an imaginary violin in it. Notice the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers all line up easily with no tension. Now look at the 1st finger. Most likely it is up in the air, at a slightly different angle. Almost like it is in its "own" group (of one)? Now, if you try to place the 1st finger alongside the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers in a row on the imaginary 'air fingerboard', notice how much tension is required to "keep them on." This technique is designed to mitigate that tension, or in other words, exploit the physiology of the hand so that tension (constant downwards pressure) is kept to a minimum. 2, 3, and 4 in their own group and 1st finger releasing when possible to keep the hand as even and tension free as possible. Caveat: this doesn't mean we always want the first finger up (especially if needed in the near future, this is what Shradieck does so well; trains us when to use the fingers, and when they can and should be lifted). This technique can be used in fast scaler passages to great benefit. Here's a clip of Oistrakh and Richter playing the second movement of Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No. 1. Besides being part of an incredible performance (highly recommended to any and all), listen to the scales at the end starting at 6:21. This blistering speed and clarity of articulation is only possible with a first finger that is actively released. Does this help explain the logic behind the technique? If I have some time, I may be able to put a video up on YouTube and post it here; as a picture is worth a thousand words etc etc. Cheers, ~Scoiattola
  11. Scoiattola

    Methods to increase speed and quickness

    What Bill said. Also, make sure you are dropping the fingers of your left hand up and down (with no forward reaching). Best exercises are in Schradieck Book 1, first 3 or 4 exercises (finger patterns). To make sure you are using an efficient frame of hand, try solving optimal curvature for finger 2 and 4 first. You get placement of finger 3 for free 1st finger should be off the string if 3rd finger is on. Try to train 1st finger to lift up (energetically) when 3rd finger is on. Additionally any sideways pivoting motion makes the hand less accurate (intonation-wise) and slows down your speed to boot. One of my teachers (a student of Oistrakh's) was emphatic that when practicing Shradieck (mostly the first three excercise / finger patterns) it is important to feel the hand lifting upwards. Keep us posted - congratulations and good luck! ~Scoiattola
  12. Scoiattola

    Do you build Bergonzi?

    I'm late to comment on this thread, but Christian, your Bergonzi copy from a couple pages ago! What a beautiful instrument - has such class. That back is gorgeous! (Your more recent instrument as well - I just really liked the looks of that first fiddle, both wood & varnish.) Roger, I totally agree with your point on "judging a book by its cover," but don't think it's just clever dealers and makers who can imagine the sound of an instrument just by examining its architecture. As a somewhat professional player, I always give an instrument a looksie before playing it, making a mental prediction of what I might expect based on arching, etc. While there have been some outlying surprises (both positive and negative), in general, my intuition matches with the results in practice. Now I just need Ms. Claudia Fritz to tell me that this is all subjective and more for the realm of acoustic psychology Scoiattola P.S. Christian, love the back on your Segelman copy as well - would love to see finished work!
  13. Scoiattola

    Tracking device suggestions

    Ok, Nasa stickers, fine. Radioactive stickers? Have fun getting that through airport security! I think I'm going to go with an "EPA sewer treatment plant" inspection team patch. "Please apply proper decontamination procedures after contact" Actually, come to think of it, maybe it'd be best to just slap a sticker that says "free viola inside..."
  14. Scoiattola

    Craig Tucker, in rememberence.

    As a long time lurker, I never participated in discussions with CT, but greatly enjoyed reading his posts. He was a unique voice (of reason!) and freely shared his thoughts and insights. When he had his stroke, I was glad to follow his progress while he was on the mend (virtually rooting for him). From afar, it seems obvious family was very important and a huge boost to Craig. While necessarily a bittersweet one, it seems a blessing that his wife could be with him to the end. Heartfelt condolances to all those affected by his passing. Scoiattola
  15. Scoiattola

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    Double pun! That takes skill...