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Andrew Victor

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  1. Is it possible your violin is tuned with so-called "octave strings" that are intended to produce pitches an octave lower than a violin?
  2. I hear you - this is the first time in a very long time that I have been satisfied with 4 strings from the same "set."
  3. You might look into ROSTANVO cello strings. I installed them on my 3 cellos about 3 years ago. I have not played cello much at all during the COVID pandemic, but I got one cello out the other day and it was still in tune (within a very few cents) after being in its case for a year. At the time I installed the Rostanvo strings I thought they provided an improvement in sound over the (prime quality) strings I had had on the cellos and thought they provided even sound across the strings, were very responsive and price-wise were a very good deal. Those opinions still hold (although I no longer have any cello strung with alternative strings for comparison). Two of those cellos are German-made Strad models ( Lowendall 1877 and Carl Sandner 1960) and one is a Jay-Haide Rugeri model (2004).
  4. Hi Go Practice - do we know each other from Ridgecrest "past"?
  5. The fact that it is set up with add-on metal fine tuners tells me that it is likely no one has ever known its potential. It looks pretty! Vitali Import Company is the store where I discovered the chinrest design in the 1960s that has served me ever since, I think I bought all they had left in stock: "Original Stuber, Germany." To buy a chinrest of that design today you have to have it tailor-made or try Alexander Accessories, LTD.
  6. what you hear under your chin is really nothing like what listeners hear. You can get a bit closer playing a violin in cello position. To get a decent idea of your sound from a recording you need a good playback system - especially the speakers or decent headphones.
  7. The 1877 German cello I started with in 1949 already had some openings in the ribs that I kept patched with scotch tape for decades. It sounded fine and I learned several significant concertos on that instrument and played in orchestra, solos and chamber music around my community for years. That instrument (repaired) is still in my family. So - I'd suggest test driving the fiddle with the hole covered with a bit of tape before doing anything else. I also had a violin shoulder rest like the one shown. I'm not sure if it was the "Menuhin rest" or not. EDIT:
  8. kds47, I tried a number of different carbon fiiber (CF) bows early in their evolution and still have Coda classic, Arcus, and CF Durro bows (of violin, viola and cello denominations) as well as Berg Deluxe and Rolland Spiccato violin bows. I quit dabbling in that sort of search (probably) 20 years ago - so I don't have hands on experience with newer excamples, but I hear some are pretty good - and in your price range. My own experience of the CF Durro bows was quite a surprise. I think I paid $900 for by collection of 3 of these bows (violin, viola and cello). The violin and cello CF Durro bows are quite exceptional on the right instruments (which I happened to own). The cello bow was the best of my cello bows for an 1877 cello that I recently gifted to a family member. The violin bow is the equal of my classic bows for at least one of my violins. The viola bow is less remarkable but it is the equal of a $600 German pernambuco viola bow that I still own. Unfortunately CF Durro these bows never seem to appear for sale any more. Regarding bow vibrations "the" expert on that is Colin E. Gough, a British scientist with numerous publications in this area. Bows do vibrate, as you would expect with any cantilevered beam. The problem of string (or any other) vibrations getting into the stick and then back into the strings might cause interference with production of controlled tone (to put it as simply as possible). If you can feel vibrations in the stick while playing, you have a pretty good idea that the string vibrations are not adequately damped in the bow.
  9. I sought a successful wolf eliminator for more than 50 years for 3 different Strad-model cellos. I tried every different commercially available eliminator I could find. (I know how to tune the eliminators that straddle the string afterlengths.) I finally had success with : Krentz modulators." I have written about them previously on this blog-site. https://krentzstringworks.com/innovations/modulator/
  10. My bow rehair experiences have taught me it is best to have it done locally - that is, at least under the same climate conditions (especially relative humidity). If you must send your bow to a different clime be sure to discuss it with the bow tech. who will do the work to assure the situation is understood.
  11. I've done better with wooden tailpieces and KEVLAR tailcord - on all my instruments (4 violins, 2 violas, 3 cellos plus some others I've done for family members) - just noticeably better tonal results. The only wooden one that was a bit troublesome for me (of ebony, boxwood, rosewood and pernambuco) was the pernambuco one, but fortunately one of my violins responded to it the same way as it did to the other 3 woods. I agree with The Violin Beautiful (above) completely about soundposts - the standard position is just the starting location - after that it's all about knowledgeable tinkering with it to get the best sound. In my opinion there is a tiny bit of tolerance in the SP length, but the post shapes at the ends had best fit the internal contours of the instrument where they sit. Fortunately those contours are approximately "circular" over the small areas of concern.
  12. To the best of my knowledge, even free violins do not decrease in value. If you have room, keep it - at least for a while. You never know what opportunities the future may bring. That's what I would do. That's what I have done. Even one of my granddaughters has had one of my violins for 20 years - and my son took up violin/fiddle playing in his 40s about 15 years ago.
  13. I know "every instrument is different" but I have have been getting wonderful sound from Pirastro Permanent D and G strings on my main viola. It is a rather strange 16-inch viola that needs lower-tension A and C strings for which I have been using Dominant Weich strings. I have never liked to raucous contrast of the Larsen A string on this instrument. The sound on my D and G strings is rich and gorgeous, which some might think is strange for rope-core steel strings. I have used this combination for years. It took more years, however, to find it. I have had this viola since 1996, when it was made. My other viola is tolerant of every string combination I have had on it since i got it in 1973 - even a full stringing of Spirocores, gauges selected to closely equalize the tensions of all 4 stings (because James Beament wrote in his book The Violin Explained that this should not be done and I wanted to see what would happen if I did it - and it is fine - just not as powerFul as the other viola, but then it never was in its previous 40 years with other stringings).
  14. In the 83 years since my first violin lesson I have used (or tried) most of the shoulder rests (SR) available about half of the time I have been playing violin. The rest of the time I have played restless, including the first 30 years. These days I am back to playing without a SR. I only started to use a shoulder rest in my early 30s because I found it helped me improve my arm vibrato. An injury in my mid-50s forced me to stop that vibrato technique, when I could resume playing after a year, and switch to wrist/hand vibrato, which results in different forces on the instrument that obviate that need for the shoulder rest. Nevertheless I continued to try and use different shoulder rests since then about half the time. I thought I was the only person who DID NOT mount the rest at "9 and 3" since it seems to me most of the people I have played with did that. Obviously there is no universal best way to position the rest; it depends on individual physique and how one positions the instrument. When using a SR I always positioned it at the most extreme angle possible (I estimate 7:30 to 1:30, left to right looking at the back). I have long arms and needed to angle the neck of the violin far to the left (which also is not that great for vibrato). SR or restless I always hold the instrument between my jaw and collarbone. I had been playing for 30 years when I finally found the perfect chinrest design to fit my jaw and have stuck with that ever since. It was only after that that I started to use SRs.
  15. Gorilla sells a transparent tape that will keep the color of the rib visible until you decide to s. The 1877 cello I was given to start my lessons in 1949 already had some openings in the ribs that I taped over with scotch tape. (I did some serious playing on that instrument.) More serious damage occurred in 1962 when the cello was moved from east to west coast (USA) - and the neck was broken off. The cello was then very crudely repaired, but still played a bit even as the rib holes and their tape coverings got bigger until 1990 when I trusted it to a friend of mine who had taken up luthery (and by then made and sold a dozen violins, 3 violas and 3 cellos) agreed to repair it for $10/hour. It is still a very nice playing and sounding instrument*** after that $110 repair and remains in my family (although no longer then only cello). ***As good as ever - can't say "as good as new" because that was too long ago for me!
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