Tom Fid

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  1. Francois Chanot tried this experiment, circa 1820. But he also made a lot of other changes, so hard to say what the unique contribution of the post location was.
  2. Yeah, but can you make an ice cream sundae with it, or paddle a canoe?
  3. Interesting to see if this will continue in the upcoming Skinner and T2 auctions.
  4. Decent setup helps with the cheaper ones, too, I think. The Glasser was set up surprisingly well, with Larsen strings (not red label or noname rubbish), planetary pegs, and a bridge and soundpost that actually fit. That may have been a function of the shop, but I've seen worse on things at 2-3x the price. Since the sound isn't spectacular, we were thinking of putting clear penetrating epoxy on the bridge and soundpost to make it really impervious to weather.
  5. My son has a Glasser. It's not in the same league as his wood violin (about a $3k Eastern European). You can't beat it for travel and adverse conditions though, and certainly "decent sound of some kind with good volume," especially with a pickup. L&C and Mezzoforte recordings sound better to me, but I haven't heard them side-by-side in person.
  6. If, as the listing says, "The makers violins sell consistently for $16,000+ at Tarisios," why dump it on ebay for half that?
  7. I should report back on how this worked out ... I got in touch with Gamut around xmas. They did the strings for the Chanot collection at the NMM, apparently. However, they were too busy at the time to take the special order. I ultimately talked to Gabriela's Baroque, They carry Aquila, Gamut and Toro, and it turns out that Toro E strings are available in 140cm, which gives me enough length to get 2 strings. (A standard 120cm double just isn't enough for the Chanot.) So, I have a full set now, including a gimped D, which is a little narrower than the equivalent pure gut string, and therefore fits better in the Chanot's slot. I also picked up several strings from an Ebay seller in India (ecoosa), just to have a cheap way to experiment with different gauges. The instrument sounds pretty good already, but still needs a little fine tuning. I had to cut the bridge down (a recent luthier's job was inexplicably high on the G) and the soundpost looks like a bit of a hack job. In spite of that, it projects well, and seems pretty balanced. If I had a complaint, it's that it seems a little boxy somehow.
  8. I would not want a huge, bureaucratic company involved if anything personal was at stake. If anyone can screw this up, they will. I would first document your former ownership and the shop's offering in exquisite detail, while you can. Then I'd be inclined to contact the shop (hoping for an amicable resolution) and the police (failing that). But the smart thing to do would probably be to talk to a lawyer first.
  9. Blind testing will reveal that no one can reliably determine which answer is funniest (let alone agree).
  10. Cool. I don't have any ebony stock, so I 3D printed some pins - they work well. Hopefully Chanot will approve of the modernity until I replace them.
  11. I don't know exactly how a guitar bridge works, but the Chanot setup seems slightly different. It has two slotted ebony plates, one inside the body and one outside. So, most of the string tension is carried on the inner plate slot, which is under tension against the inside of the body. The holes through the top plate are teardrop-shaped, so the string doesn't really bear on it directly. If the string slips out of its slot in the inner plate, it's in tension against the outer plate, which could easily peel right off (we almost discovered that the hard way). So, the job of the pin seems to be to keep the string from escaping its slot, but once things are under tension, it doesn't have much of a mechanical role.
  12. Bingo. The holes aren't as clean as a guitar bridge, and there are string slots so the pins don't need slots, but I'd say that's the right idea.
  13. After some experimentation, I believe this is correct. They'll stay in place under tension, but it's very easy for them to walk out of their slots when tuning, messing with the bridge, etc. I've made some prototype pins as an experiment, but I'd be really interested to hear if anyone knows what they're really supposed to look like. My initial design was too clever - essentially a cylinder with a slight lip and split tip, like an auto panel plug. In hindsight, a dumb idea, because that would be tough to make in ebony with hand tools. I think they must be more like tuning pegs - tapered, and sized carefully so that they sit at the right height.
  14. I've seen this seller offer quite a few instruments that look genuinely old and interesting, but have dubious provenance. Yeah, maybe it is what it says. Maybe the guy on the street corner is selling real Rolexes, too. I wouldn't count on it. (Note that they make no promises in the listing.) Lets say you get lucky and it cleans up well, and plays nicely. Now look at it how a prospective buyer will: they can get a top modern factory instrument for under $10k - that's the competition. They squint at yours and wonder where it came from. Then they cut the price in half for the top crack, and in half again, for the back crack. That's what you might hope for. I think it would be a fun project if you have no expectations, but I'd be looking to start such an experiment at a tenth of the investment in this auction.
  15. Hard to say just seeing the back, but my immediate reaction is that this is high risk. I don't think those back cracks are easy repairs, and how it'll sound is anyone's guess. Why not sell your existing cello, and use the proceeds plus the 2200 to upgrade?