Violinjon

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About Violinjon

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  1. Hello, I won a bow at a recent auction in the UK (no discussing that please! ) and I'd liked to get it fixed up before shipping it to where I reside (East Asia). There aren't really any high-level bow makers or technicians around where I live, so for this class of bow I'd like to get it taken care of before arriving. The stick is not broken or anything, but it needs several typical repairs. Since it originates in the UK and shipping from the UK to my location is quick, I'd like to get it repaired in the UK. Any recommendations for a good bow repairman? Thank you.
  2. I knew someone with a kreddle who also took it off every time he packed away. I would say it depends on how much force it takes to close - if it's slight it's probably ok, but I'd defer to the tral experts here. I use a kreddle too, my solution is to order a customized case (Riboni Zerootto, great case) that fits my chinrest height . The case design also lets me angle the chinrest past the end of violin which I like.
  3. According to my rough measurements, the board is around 18-19mm off the top in the center, and the bridge is 33 mm. The top of the nut seems in line with the top of the edge using your visual test - hopefully I understood it! So I guess everything is more or less inline, although tending to support David's observation: The scoop is pretty severe with this old fingerboard, so the e height is actually ok - for now. The fingerboard has noticeably sunk since I acquired the violin (I live in a tropical city, very different from where the violin came from) and the bridge has been lowered once. Does this kind of sinking projection from humidity mean that the neck was originally more "aggressive" and has subsequently "calmed down?" for what it's worth, in my old flat I struggled to maintain 65% humidity. With this new instrument and a new flat I'm aiming for 55%. Also, thanks so much to both of you for chiming in. It's a treat having such knowledgeable people take the time to share their opinions and insights.
  4. Thanks for your response Michael. By the end of the neck, do you mean the very end of the neck, past the purfling? I've seen photos on online of people measuring from the edge, this is quite different on mine. I did discuss this with my luthier - the violin was sold as having the original neck and fingerboard, but I'm pretty sure it's been reset in the past. He said the overstand was a little bit low but nothing to worry about. It's also true that the fingerboard has been dropping in the half a year since I've gotten the instrument - it came from France and I live in a humid part of Asia. My luthier reduced the hight of the bridge slightly earlier to compensate and remarked that it seemed to improve the sound as well, so maybe you are on to something. We are now under lockdown, so further adjustment will have to wait. Attached are some photos in case anything looks obviously wrong - I'd estimate the overstand at 4-5mm but maybe I'm doing it wrong.
  5. Also the description of the facets tapering past the end of the winding, which shows some French influence (Pfretzschner did this, earlier German makers didn't). It does have a one piece heel plate, which is typical for German bows (and not that typical for this model of nice Pfretzschner bows, definitely not on mine) as well as the unpinned adjustor. The head is vaguely Voirin-infuenced (a la Pfretzschner), along with a slightly "catfish" style ferrule. To my eyes it is nickel mounted along with low quality wood, maybe not a pernambuco stick? A bit hard to tell with the uneven lighting. Probably something from an early 20th century German workshop. I see possible signs of a stamp, hard to tell with the photos. Not saying it is a H.R. Pfretzschner, just something from around the same time and place.
  6. Definitely at least "school of" H.R. Pfretzschner, who integrated French aspects into his sticks. I'm not qualified to speculate further.
  7. I have several colleagues in my (professional, salaried) orchestra who are left handed. It's quite common and I think at least proportional to the general population. I don't get the sense that any of them consider their left handedness either an advantage or disadvantage. I'm right handed and I would say my bowing is my weakest aspect... Violin is difficult either way for both hands, and there doesn't seem much sense in limiting the instruments available for use with no benefit.
  8. I doubt anybody is waiting with bated breath for an update to my string trials, but I just wanted to share some observations after trying almost every brand out there (everyone needs a hobby whilst staying at home), and also give thanks to some members here (specifically Michael Darnton, who's old posts about light gauge strings started me on this journey - light gauge Evahs are quite fascinating but hard to come by!). I've settled on the following plan: E: .24mm Golbrokat A: Dominant light gauge D: Dominant Aluminum light gauge G: Currently using a Passione Solo G (Dominant medium works fine, but the violin seems to like higher tensions here). I've learned a lot about my new instrument in the process. 1. My instrument is pretty beefy (it's an H. Derazey). My luthier used an electronic ball caliper to measure thickness (he cautioned it wasn't terribly accurate but he took multiple measurements all around and made a thickness chart for his own reference, since this was a relatively untouched example). The top is 3.6mm at edges of the top in the middle and around 3.3 in the centre, less in the bout edges of course. The back is around 5mm in much of the centre, going down to around 3mm in the bouts). 2. Even with dominant light gauge strings (which are the lightest tension synthetic strings around and rival and even best Eudoxa in terms of low tension) crushing the sound is quite difficult on this instrument. 3. Low gauge E strings can work - on this instrument I don't lose too much power and the upper register becomes both brighter and more free. I can use a higher gauge G string, which makes the instrument more focused, without compromising on response. High gauge E strings have a very thick dark sound and slow response on this instrument. 4. The D string is critical - with most sets and almost every silver D string the sound is significantly darker. With the super low tension light dominant alum D (and also to an extent with the already very low aluminum medium D) the entire balance changes drastically, becoming brighter and sweeter- which I like. I hated many sets (like Passione, Rondo, Perpetual, Oliv etc) but I discovered that the main problem with all of these were the high powered silver D strings - if I dropped the dominant D in they all behaved well. 5. Light and extra light Golbrokat strings are annoyingly difficult to find - the shipping on most websites to my region costs 10x the cost of the strings! The dominant light gauge strings are pretty amazing actually (didn't try the E string of course). On a very bright instrument that lacks depth they would probably be a disaster, but I would suggest that anyone who has a strong rich violin to try them, you might be surprised - they are even more gut like than regular dominants but with superior response. The G string was a little too bright for my tastes, my instrument seems to prefer a higher tension G and lower tension D. Oddly enough the dominant light G is lower tension than the light aluminum D, this is reversed in the medium set. The light tension Zyex strings (with aluminum D) also worked wonderfully on this violin, with a bit darker, more focused sound. I did visit my luthier and got an adjustment with these strings - he said he didn't notice anything negative about the low tension strings and enjoyed the sound. He did manage to get the response and focus back with a soundpost adjustment, to the point where I can use most sets without issue, but I still don't feel like this instrument gains anything from high powered sets. He mentioned that incidentally he'd tried a light gauge e on a local VIP's old italian instrument and it made a huge improvement there as well. I feel like there's a bit of a tension creep happening with string sets these days, and while it may benefit many intermediate level instruments that tend to sound thin or shrill very nice instruments might still benefit from opposite tack. My violin is plenty great now - sweet and open but with depth in the lower register, like the better Strads I've been lucky to try.
  9. Yes, Wondertone used to be a line of wound gut strings alongside Eudoxa and Oliv. I'm not sure about the time periods involved - I wish the string companies could provide us a bit of history! Perhaps they feel too embarrassed to mention cancelled string lines (bring back light gauge strings!!). Wondertone Solo is a appropriation of the name for a synthetic label of strings - quite an interesting one, actually (quite low tension for a synthetic "soloist" string, I recommend it). The Gold Label E string has a fancy cursive "Wondertone" as well. I wonder if this famous e string was borrowed from or shared with the original Wondertone set E string? Ironically the current Wondertone Solo E string is different from the Gold E.
  10. Unfortunately, I don't know of any comparison charts. The ones I've seen of regular tension strings have had some inaccuracies. All of Larsen's light strings were discontinued a few years ago unfortunately - I get the feeling I'm on the losing side of a tension war. Warchal Amber, Brilliant Vintage, Amethyst and Dominant are all around the same tension range, as are the light gauge Kaplan strings (they are hard to find but I'm going to try a set of light gauge Vivo - will be interesting). Wondertone Solo, Larsen Virtuoso, Infeld Red and Blue have higher tension but still moderate, no as much as the popular high-tension strings. Violino and the medium-light tension Corelli strings are slightly lower tension than the above. Dominant light is significantly lower. Pirazzi lights are are higher than all of the above, especially the G string.
  11. Just to be clear, I'm not saying I learned from reading eBay listings. That's quite comical. During my time on eBay I stuck to a pretty narrow field - old German bows, which if you are patient and knowledgeable enough about you can still find underpriced. I learned about them outside eBay. The identification test came when I got them certified! It's impossible to find these kind of bows in shops here. Those of you in the States or Europe have it lucky! I certainly wouldn't recommend it for the average enthusiast, though, and I know that's an important point to make.
  12. I did finally get a response on eBay's Facebook, asking to move into private messaging - only to receive an almost completely identical response, insinuating that telling me anything would enable me to circumvent their account security and create new accounts, being the hardened criminal that I am. I don't expect anything different on their Twitter. For what it's worth, I don't use eBay to sell, only to buy a few things a year, mainly interesting old German bows for my own satisfaction. I'm not one of those scammers popping up like weeds that sell fake stamped Chinese bows. I've never had the need or desire to create an alternate account - until now, ironically! I won't bother, though. This experience has really opened my eye to the dangers of negligent corporations that control our online lives. I live in a part of Asia with no antique musical instruments, no local options. eBay was my only real option at building my identification skills.
  13. You'd be surprised! The A and D are actually higher tension than Evah Pirazzi strings! The G is significantly lower, though, which might be what people notice. They used to make a soft gauge but it is of course discontinued. Larsen Virtuoso is actually lower tension, but has a brighter sound - nice strings, although still a bit too fuzzy for my violin. I think many of us associate lower tension strings with warmer sound, but I've learned that isn't always the case, with the examples of Wondertone, Virtuoso and Infeld Blue. Unfortunately low tension and bright hasn't seem to have attracted any attention from string makers after the introduction of Brilliant Vintage and Virtuoso. Thanks for the thoughtful responses Michael. I agree that the Brilliant Vintage might be exactly what I need. Unfortunately I live on the other side of the world from you and it takes quite a while for things to arrive by post! Based off the tension and sound description they might work well on my instrument. I've also ordered Evah Pirazzi light gauge, just for fun. I know what you mean about not fussing too much. I think it's a consequence of acquiring the violin recently and then not getting an adjustment (due to current events). Strings have been a way to make my own adjustment, I suppose, but I've been surprised with how much of a difference it made, compared with my previous instruments. For what it's worth, I've changed the D string to an Infeld Blue. Despite the online cred of them being "higher tension" I've found the response quite good and the sound more bright than than the dominant D.
  14. The message came through eBay's own messaging system (it looks like an automated message) and after using the eBay website's chat function to ask for help I got a follow up eBay message from a human (which sounded like a form letter) "explaining" I was banned for life without providing any more details. The form of the original message was the following. "It looks like your account xxxxxx is associated with another account, yyyyyy, which is currently restricted on eBay. As a result, we've restricted the xxxxxx account until you can resolve our concerns." After I contacted them they asked me nothing and told me nothing other than I'm banned and can't appeal. It really is Kafkaesque. You can Google "is associated with another account" to see others that have had the same issue. Apparently the only useful tip is to find an ever changing eBay phone number and keep calling until somebody is sympathetic. I've been avoiding twitter for the longest time. To be honest, I have my pride. If using eBay again means I need to sign up for Twitter and beg I think I'd rather take my business elsewhere. I did write a complaint on their Facebook page, just to vent. I expect to never get a response.
  15. It does take a lot of patience and scrolling through nonsense, but occasionally there are decent things to be found, if you know what to look for. It seems that my eBay days are behind me, however. I changed flats recently and a few days after I moved in, I received an email from eBay informing me that my account had been associated by them with another restricted account (whose ID they provided and which I did not recognize at all). After messaging them, explaining I was innocent (I had never heard of the associated account in question) and asking them to explain further I received a message telling me that I was banned for life and that they wouldn't give me any more information. What a way to treat a customer of 15+ years. I guess I'll have to find a new hobby. The only explanation I can think of is that a previous tenant in my apartment building did something bad and got the building's IP address banned.