Tom Fid

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About Tom Fid

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  1. My son recently switched his older German cello (this one https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/345111-another-cello-id-from-fake-label-thread/) over to Warchal Brilliants. The previous setup was the common Spirocores & Larsens pairing. They weren't new, so it's not really a controlled test, but they weren't thrashed either. We were expecting a fairly subtle difference, but it was actually a massive improvement. I didn't know he was doing it, but immediately heard enough difference from 2 rooms away to get up to see what was going on. I think it's still predominantly a bright sound, but most of the improvement was on the bass side. I wish we'd recorded something before/after, but he definitely won't be going back. If you buy them from warchal.com, the first set is half price, which makes it a lot less painful to experiment.
  2. I quite like it, especially because it lives above my office and wonderful sounds carry through the endpin to my ceiling. OTOH most of the real GA Chanots I've seen (in photos only) are indeed a step up in workmanship (not to mention label printing). But then most of the modern trade instruments in the same price bracket are a step down, especially acoustically.
  3. That's certainly what I expected, and what I paid for fortunately.
  4. I started another topic with pictures:
  5. This cello came up in the Fake label ... remove it? thread. Posting photos here to avoid hijacking that one. Here's what it isn't: So I'm curious what it is:
  6. I don't have decent shots of the cello handy (I'm on a trip), but this is the label. I think there are several reasons to suspect the label itself, but also I think the instrument isn't a match. Great cello though. I'd be interested to hear if there are similar fakes around.
  7. Good questions. Does the maker have any interest, moral or property rights, in the future of the instrument? If so, maybe violins should be licensed, rather than sold. Does it matter whether the maker is alive? What if the instrument is an extremely faithful copy of another historical instrument? How do you balance the requirements of the instrument as a tool for making music against its present or future historical and artistic value? If the market assigns the instrument a low value, do utilitarian concerns win, or might the market be wrong? I just rebushed the pegs on a 200 year old violin using modern materials. Is that OK because it's reversible, whereas regraduation is not, or is it just OK because it's mine? Or have I sinned? Was it OK if the seller before last removed ivory linings to evade CITES, or was that vandalism? Does the uniqueness of the instrument matter? For example, does it have to be substantially handmade, or can it be 3D printed?
  8. I disagree. All of those things are generally accepted to be more or less consumables, and those changes are reversible. Regraduating the top is completely irreversible, and alters the single most important and permanent part of the instrument. I'm sure you could find fringe cases that are harder to decide, but not this. For me, the big concern would be that regraduation is high risk, and could just as well reduce my appreciation of the instrument as improve it (unless it was a brick to start with). As with other ventures, the more the vendor downplays the risk, the more suspicious I would be.
  9. Regraduation has me thinking of the catastrophic clubfoot operation in Madame Bovary.
  10. Also, fake labeling has been around for ages, for better or for worse. In an old instrument it's part of the history. We have two cellos - a real Francois Chanot and a fake Georges Adolph Chanot - and wouldn't dream of removing the fake label. We also wouldn't dream of passing it off on a sucker as the real thing, though I suspect that a luthier in New Haven did just that in the 50s.
  11. Makes sense. Do active bidders get the same notice? (I guess either way, you'd be nuts to bid without getting the condition report first anyway.)
  12. Just a follow-up on what I learned, in case it's of use to anyone. I ended up doing a paper spiral bushing, after several rounds of testing. Basically I followed the method outlined in FiddleDoug's spiral bushings thread linked above, using brown kraft paper. First, I made myself an "artificial pegbox" - basically a plastic bar with conical holes in it. I customized each hole, because the size and taper of the existing pegbox varied quite a bit. I made this by 3D printing in PLA, partly because my son had a new printer, and partly because I couldn't think of an easier way to match the taper. As a bonus, PLA doesn't stick to glue very well. I made a matching 14:1 mandrel, much like the one pictured by James Jones in the same thread. I had originally planned to make a single long bushing for both sides of the pegbox and cut it down, but it turned out to be easier to make each side separately. The 14:1 taper is steep, and it turned out to be hard to wind the long cone, especially once there was glue on everything. Also, I needed more thickness on the large side than the small side. Making a short bushing seemed to make it easier to get sufficient compression to drive glue into the paper, and drive excess out. I used Titebond for this part, letting it dry for 24h. In another thread, Nathan Slobodokin mentioned thinning the Titebond - it would have been helpful if I had remembered this: https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/337909-spiral-bushings/&tab=comments#comment-754366 Once the bushings were done, I dry fitted them in the holes and cut to rough length (leaving extra because they penetrate further with glue as lube). Then I secured them with hide glue - easier to clean up overspill and maybe more reversible. Finally I reamed to 30:1 to fit new pegs and trimmed the bushings closer to the cheek faces. I went for thin pegs, about 5.8mm on the smaller diameter, to maximize fine tuning ability with gut strings. I'm pretty pleased with the result - the instrument is now very usable, where before the steep pegs were very cranky. Aesthetically, it's not perfect. I haven't done a final trim of the bushings, because we want to accumulate a little playing time first. But I don't see how I could ever color-match the paper to the varnish. I'm tempted to redo the whole thing with maple shavings for this reason. At one point, I made a black plastic (PLA) bushing for a fit test, and the black looked pretty sharp with the ebony pegs, so dyeing the paper is an unconventional possibility. ---- Some useful peg math I worked out along the way: The taper is measured as Taper=Length/ChangeInDiameter, so a 24:1 taper changes by half an inch per foot. The included angle is usually reported as the half-angle from centerline to taper face, so Tan(alpha) = ChangeInDiameter/2/Length. So, for a 30:1 taper, alpha is just under 1 degree (0.955). The paper you need to wrap a mandrel of a given diameter D is a section that wraps a cone (think of the arc traced out by rolling a reamer on a table). The radius of the arc is R = T*D, where T is the taper (e.g., 30) - i.e. the length of the taper if it went all the way to 0. The length of the paper arc is pi*D, which is close enough to its linear length due to the smallish angle. Weisshaar advises a radius of 23cm, which is consistent with a 7.7mm peg diameter at 1:30. In my case, with steeper tapers, I needed about (6mm)*14 = 84mm radius. The fly in this ointment is that, after the first turn, you're wrapping on top of the first layer, which increases the diameter by 2x the paper thickness. In my case, I had to increase the radius by about (0.3mm)x14 = 4.2mm per turn.
  13. It's possible, but I'm pretty sure there's residue from it. The edge binding is definitely not ivory. As I recall, they made several model levels - ivory may have been one of the distinguishing features for some. I'll have to get out the field microscope for a closer look. It occurs to me that I can easily replace the missing ivory chip on the cello with antler - a locally common and free resource. Thanks for all the thoughts.
  14. So what's the rationale for requiring the user to explicitly request a condition report? It seems like a recipe for disgruntled customers, which you wouldn't want, even if it's their own fault.
  15. Sounds like a win for celluloid, which is good because it's also available in more convenient sizes.