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Andrew Victor

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  1. What I have found is that the differences between CF bows is at least as great as the differences between pernambuco bows. Surprisingly though, I did experience that the CF bows seemed to be designed and built for more consistent (and better) off-string behavior (even the "turn of the 21st century Glasser "composite" bows. There can be a strong relationship of bow preferences to the instrument's characteristics. Check out the last paragraph of my entry at this post: https://www.violinist.com/discussion/thread.cfm?page=2539
  2. I have 3 ARCUS bows, one each violin, viola and cello. They are the early Concerto models. They have a useful place in my bow collection.I purchased them early enough (around 21 years ago) in the evolution of the ARCUS evolution that a relationship with the company founder, Bernd Müsing, was established. After my purchases he sent me a number of later ARCUS bows on approval with the understanding that if I did not want to purchase them I could turn them over to the violin shop I had frequent dealings with. I felt that as the company developed new models (that I tried this way) their performance became more and more "sophisticated." I also have (or have had) 3-bow sets of CODA classic and CF DURRO carbon fiber bows, and BERG Deluxe and Rolland Spiccato (Paris) violin bows. In my opinion these bows can have a useful place in a player's quiver. One may be more likely to get a very good bow for "off-string" strokes with a CF bow, but perhaps not as good tone production to the player's ears (but close). My pernambuco bows include Albert Nürnberger, Paul Martin Siefried and a Brazilian Marco Raposo cello bows,; F.N. Voirin, Richard Weichold, and Paul Martin Siefried violin bows; and viola bows labeled W. Seifert and C. Bazin. So I do have a range of CF and wood bow experience over the past 80 years. In addition my few bow-purchasing excursions included trials of dozens of violin bows and over 100 cello bows (all priced at less than $10,000). As far as non-wood bows go, one of my violin friends, with whom I played piano trios for 20 years, preferred his Rolland Spiccato bow (and his CODA Classic) to his French Lamy on his Enrico Rocca violin. For me my Berg Deluxe is my best "players" violin bow, but ranks below my Paul Martin Siefried in tone production - perhaps with the Weichold.and Carl Holzapfel The intended owner of a new bow MUST be sure it suits themselves - their instrument(s), their hands and arms and their ears. Some low-cost adjustments of balance (i.e., CM location) are possible that can have a big effect on playability, and in my experience they have not changed the quality of tone production. I had that done on my Weichold violin bow and with Müsings help on 2 of my ARCUS bows. Also the amount of hair in a bow should be proper for the stiffness of the stick. Too much hair can ruin the behavior of a soft stick (i.e., Voirin - and from what I hear - a Tourte - never got to play one of those).
  3. Henley's "Universal Dictionary of Violin & Bow Makers" lists a "Ladislav Kaplan" of New York (and later Norwalk, Conn, 1929) with praise for workmanship. The few Auction prices for Kaplan have not been high, but I have violins by makers (one American and the other, Spanish, also listed in Henley) with similar auction results that I consider quite excellent, having played on them at my luthier's (picking them up after long delayed adjustments had been made) at the same time I played a 1698 Antonio Stradivari and an Andrea. Guarneri in the same room. Henley (1960 edition) also says Kaplan was the head of the Kaplan String Co. Brompton's book (which I do not have) might have more info - perhaps you can find a luthier, library or shop that has a copy.
  4. The photos are beautiful, but even the best possible photo cannot truly capture the appearance of some violin's surface. It has to move in the light, like a diamond. A diamond only sparkles if it moves in the light or if the light moves on it (or if you use multiple light sources). I have a Strad copy with a back that looks like it is an inch deep - but it has to move in the light for me to see that effect.
  5. I am not a maker, just a life-long player. I can assure you that those "long corners" on the C bout will get in every players' way. They restrict the bowing far too much. I have one viola with long corners, although not that long, 4 violins and one viola with normal corners. The voice of experience!
  6. I think you want to balance your E string in "harmony" with the rest of the strings that work well on your violin. I have found the Thomastik Peter Infeld platinum-plated E string to have strong tone that worked well for me on all 4 of my violins when they were strung with Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold and a few other brands. However the PI-Pt E strings seems to be fairly high tension and tight and does not give a good pizzicato sound. For that a softer E, such as Pirastro Eudoxa or Perpetual Cadenza E is good. The Warchal Amber and Timbre E strings are good too - provided they work well on your instrument.
  7. My dad bought a F.N. Voirin bow along with a Richard Weichold bow and a Stefano Scarampella violin for $125 (back in the 1930s). They have been mine since 1954. I still have both bows, but unfortunately I sold the violin 60 years before I should have! Ah - Inflation!
  8. I do not make violins and only do some maintenance and very minor repairs on my own instruments - but I have been playing for 82 years. I use an M.E. Strings chinrest cover on all my violins and violas: :https://www.ebay.com/itm/ME-String-Chinrest-Cover-for-Violin-and-Viola-Preventing-Clamp-Contact-with-Neck-/322109345547 These cotton covers are made for Guarneri-style chinrests but they also work well on the "original Stuber" chinrests that I use. In lieu of thee I would use chamois and fashion mu own cover (did that for decades). With one of these it does not matter what kind of finish you use on your chinrst.
  9. What does height have to do with it? I was 6 feet tall when I was teaching my granddaughter to play violin. By the time she was 12 years old she was 5' 4"m but her arms were about as long as mine. It started with a game wherein we poked our finger tips into the other's underarm "pits" and both touched flesh! By now (20 years later) she has gotten a bit taller and I have shrunk 4 inches in height, but our arms are still the same length. My hands are still substantially larger than hers.
  10. On my 16-inch viola the vibrating string length is 14.75-inch (375mm). My glove size is XL (cannot get my hand in anything smaller). It is a stretch! But one could do 1-4 instead of 2-4! I'm also a cellist and cellists' hands do a lot of "finger dancing" - and position shifting.
  11. Candace's suggestion (Last Resort Music) is a good one. If you google (search) "IMSLP string quartet albums" you will be led to a number of free choices that you can view and then download to print if you so choose.
  12. 4th finger vibrato in 1st and 2nd positions on violin can be very difficult for some people. If one has trouble with that wait until you can play the note with a different finger in 2nd or 3rd position before attempting to vibrate it. I recall some of the music I worked on many years ago that was edited by Menuhin and he often favored 3rd finger instead of 4th (pinky). I figured it was for this very reason.
  13. Personally I now prefer internally geared pegs such as Wittner, Knilling and Pegheds. My heirs will not have to worry about rebushing the peg holes, etc. as I did for my 1877 cello. The maker of one of my violins and one of my violas reduced the peg shaft diameters of tuning pegs for his instruments sometime before his 50th instrument. The reduced torque required for tuning I experienced was only one advantage. He is a retired mechanical engineer, so I had no reason to doubt the ability of these pegs to withstand the forces they would experience. They all are within the range of dimensional specs of the store-bought geared pegs named above. By now I have replaced these pegs and all my others (and all the others up (or is it "down") the bloodline of my family - 14 instruments in all) with geared pegs of the brands named above.
  14. In my general neighborhood (within 30 minutes) there are Joan Balter in Berkeley and Sigrun Seifert in Petaluma, California. There must be many more. And I believe a woman does the instrument repair at Dolce Violins in San Rafael.
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