Andrew Victor

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  1. Andrew Victor


    The "pips" add nothing to ease of tuning and if the peg is at all difficult to turn (which they all are at one time or another) you will wish your wish for them had not been granted. Voice of experience - especially true if you play cello.
  2. Could it have been the Artino BF series? Or was it "CF" ? - and in that case the CF Durro bows?
  3. Istvan Konya! But they have been exhibiting with the "traveling Cremona show" which I managed to attend and sample 3 times. Opinion unchanged. Both father and son attended the Cremona school Father taught there for a while.
  4. There is no "inflation rate" for violins, etc. One example I note, Ifshin VIolins' Jay-Haide instruments are the same price they were in 1997 for the same model. The subsequently issued, more expensive models are sold new at their original issue prices. For antique instruments the price tends toward some relationship to the highest price that maker "made" at a recent auction, but seller need and buyer taste will tend to balance - even in retail sales where negotiation goes on. In 1951 my father bought me a brand-new beautiful antiqued copy of the Emperor Stradivarius - from the maker. The "list price" was $500, he got it for $350. Even now, almost 70 years later the highest auction price for that maker's violins is only around $2,000. I tried one in a DC area shop about 40 years ago priced at about $2,000 retail. Today I think they are selling for about $4,000. . In 1974 I tried out Stefano Conia (a Cremona maker) Strad-model violin from SHAR priced then at $1,500. Conia (and his son) have since become quite popular and "papa's" auction prices tend to range between $7,000 and $15,000. BUT when I was able to compare my 1951 violin with that Conia in my home for a week there was no question those two violins sounded exactly the same on the E,A, and D strings - but the G string on my violin was far superior.
  5. I am not a violin or bow maker or repair person of any sort. However I have done minor things, like moving soundposts, installing geared pegs, or gluing openings of glued seams (likeribs to the top or back). But I did have a violin bow that I got in a "trade" and some years later the head cracked and separated from the rest of the stick. Not having any idea of the value of the bow, I had read of a way to repair such a break using epoxy and clear (i.e.., transparent) fiberglass tape. The repair is quite secure and rather invisible from 2 feet away. Unfortunately, I later realized the bow is stamped "H. R. Pfretzschner." It was probably worthy of professional repair.
  6. Is it possible that the near ubiquity of shoulder rests among professional violinists has made it possible for more of them to use their violins and bows in optimal ways that yield more similar sonic results? Perhaps shoulder rests are the Great Equalizers?
  7. By modifying the elliptical curvature of the neck's cross section to account for the position of the player's thumb an effectively narrower neck can by accomplished without narrowing the fingerboard at all. The neck cross section must not by circular!
  8. My experience with CF bows has been that they do not change their basic characteristics in at least 20 years - that's about as long as I have had any of them. Good then - good now. With pernambuco bows good then - good now (but that's been 70 years. I would bet the CF bows will follow that pattern too. A good rehair can bring a bow back to its best behavior. Good rosin helps too!
  9. Andrew Victor

    Bow hair

    Although you do not need to remove old rosin before changing rosins (as GeorgeH said), if you wish to remove most of the old rosin simply bowing across a microfiber cloth will remove much of the excess old rosin - OR you can just use a retired toothbrush to comb through the hair. This next is controversial, but you can dissolve and remove much more of the old rosin by 1. grabbing both sides of the hair ribbon with a folded alcohol pad and wipe the hair with the pad from frog to tip and back to frog. 2. then immediately repeat the process with a clean cotton cloth (diaper quality) to remove dissolved rosin. 3. reverse the alcohol pad and repeat step 1 with the clean side. 4. repeat step 2 with a clean area of the cloth. I have found that if I repeat this process with 3 rosin pads I finally get to the point that the dissolved rosin is no longer visible on the cotton pad. The alcohol pads are sold in drug stores in boxes of 100 for sterilizing skin injection sites. I've been doing this for years and have not noticed any hair degradation - no more than the hair on my head suffered from using alcohol-containing Vitalis when I was a teenager 70 years ago. I still have a full head of hair - just white now (like my bows) instead of brown.
  10. My father joined ACMP in 1948, about one year after it was founded. I joined around 1975 to find chamber music players and to provide a local contact for players who visited our isolated desert community. I quit about 10 years later when changes to the telephone-number prefixes put us at the north end of a 240 mile long geographic strip with a major city at the south end (got too many calls from San Diego visitors and none from visitors to our town). I joined again about 12 years ago (2008) because an ad hoc string quartet I was playing in wanted to hire a coach to prep us for a performance and ACMP supported 50% of a coach's remuneration for each member - so we all 4 joined and had 4 coached sessions (tremendously helpful). I dropped membership again after that because I had more local musician friends in my new local area (SF bay) than I could ever need. But it is a great organization.
  11. I think most players who have a concept of "their sound" will do all they can to create that sound on a "strange" instrument. I know this happened to me in 1964, when I was principal cellist in our small community orchestra, my cello's neck had broken, ripping out the neck block, and I had to use an old WW-II surplus Navy Band* plywood cello from the orchestra's supply closet, playing it for the first time in the concert. There were some solo parts and in order to project them in that venue I had to vibrato so widely that at one point my left hand flew off the fingerboard. But I did "approach" the sound I was after. I bought myself a new cello a few weeks later. It was another 26 years before the broken one was adequately repaired. I moved to the violin section a couple of years later and became CM shortly thereafter. * I know it was a Navy Band cello because it was stamped "U.S. Navy" on the back and we were rehearsing and performing on a Navy base.
  12. Andrew Victor

    Dominant e

    For me the Thomastik Peter Infeld (PI) platinum-coated E string was a real eye-opener. I first used it with Peter Infeld sets on 4 violins. When the original sets wore "down" (to my ears) I switched to Vision Solo A,D,G and finally to Evah Pirazzi Gold - all while retaining the original PI E strings. I found that that particular E string modified the quality of the G strings on 2 of the violins such that upper ranges (2nd octave) were much more playable with the PI E string that they had ever been before. I have since switched 3 of my violins to Warchal (one Amber and 2 Timbre) and find the Warchal "coil-y" E string to be excellent. I cannot tell if there is any difference between the Amber E and the Timbre E. That will take future switching, if I do any. I had also tried the PI E string with a Tricolore set on 2 violins but it just overpowered those strings - so I switched to a Goldbrokat, E which was a good match - but neither of those violins was strong enough under the ear for me with that setup. I have not had an E-string "whistle" since I first tried PI those years ago.
  13. I still have one of the original ToneRites - and I think I still know where it is (give or take a foot or 2). I can't swear that it really did what it is supposed to, but it didin't hurt anything. I have long felt that that device, lots of playing and other experiences the instruments have tend to improve the fit of bridge and soundpost (given that they are optimally located). It seems reasonable that many, many years of being played will lead the inner wood surfaces of string instruments to shed wood cells in those areas that already vibrate most (as opposed to the nodes that move less), thus enhancing the results of thickness graduations purposely created during fabrication. It also seems reasonable that areas of an instrument that are being vibrated but are too stiff might be loosened to vibrate more by significant amounts of "playing in.". I don't know if these ideas are correct or not
  14. The only rental instruments I have experience with are Jay-Haide violins in particular sub-scale Jay-Haide violins 1/2 and 3/4 size. I have also played full-size jay Haide violins in the same price category 101 model) and I was more impressed by the sub-scale instrument - I think because all the sub-scale instruments were in this category so there was no chance for the manufacturer to move the best to a higher price range. category. My granddaughter rented these until she grew to full-size. I don't know if the sub-scale cellos are that good, but I have owned 2 Jay-Haide full-sice (4/4) cellos and they are good! At least both of mine have been - especially the one I have had for the past 15 years. I am pretty sure a dealer in the Boston area carries this brand - you might be able to link that to your local dealer.
  15. Who is going to play this violin, beginning child or adult? It is difficult for a left-handed adult to begin playing a standard violin because the right had is critical to producing proper tone. A beginning child can probably learn - if Heifetz, et al did. I recall that at one point several years ago Ifshin Violins was able to provide "left-handed" violins (made to order) from their Jay-Haide production. It might be worth contacting them. These instruments would be reversed internally as well as externally.