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Andrew Victor

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Everything posted by Andrew Victor

  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!
  16. I have done it - and it worked. Once for a consignment cello bow once for a new Musafia violin case. For the bow I probably only saved 5% For the case I had a price in mind and he met it. I had done a good bit of buying bows, strings, luthier service and two cellos from the shop over the years and I had brought students there for them to rent instruments and some purchases. It never occurred to me to consider even asking for "teacher kickbacks" but years later I wondered if that was what these might have been.
  17. I see "the arts" as pathways to our human "inner selves." Support for "the arts" makes them more widely available and when that exposure is available to young people as part of their overall educational experience it provides potential pathways to better lives and a better society. In the community where I lived 30 to 60 years ago our community orchestra was one of the beneficiaries of the annual United Fund drive. Perhaps I should add that we were a community orchestra composed of amateur musicians (at least, musicians whose incomes did not come from music - other than a few music teachers) and our small income from the UF and other donors went entirely to paying for our professional conductor who, over the years, came from other cities 100 or more miles away. I moved away and left that orchestra about 30 years ago, but am glad to see that the conductor we hired (following auditions when I was president of the orchestra association) is still the conductor (and still making that weekly commute).
  18. I have not bought any bows or cases item from a fiddle shop this century without haggling. It has paid off. I have not bargained on string prices or the instruments I bought because I thought the prices listed were fair and OK for me for what I was getting.
  19. They seem to be in Slovakia (country code: 421) and have an internet presence and advertise some low-price violin cases on line.
  20. Try this: https://violininformation.webs.com/tradeinstruments.htm
  21. A believe a good technician will rehair a bow with consideration of the stick stiffness. A softer (i.e, more flexible) stick should have less hair than a stiffer stick). I think there an optimal stretching of the hairs of a tightened bow for best performance, although it will depends on the kind of bowing one is doing. Askenfelt has published the Young's modulus of bow-quality horse hair which will can be used tor elate stretching to bow stiffness. My "experiments" about 22 years ago convinced me that about 0.5 mm of strain per meter of hair is about the right amount of stretching for optimum tone. My crude measurements of hair stretch vs.force agreed with Askenfelt's.
  22. Some instruments are indeed finicky! One of my 16-inch violas has been tolerant of every set I have installed since I bought it in 1973 - even a set of Spirocores that I selected specifically to match the tensions equally (as nearly as possible) to test a statement by James Beament that that was not good (in his book "The Violin Explained"). It was good, is good! My other 16-inch viola is very picky and works very well (at least, best ever since I boubht it new from the maker in 1996) with Pirastro Permanent D & G strings and Dominant Weich A & C. This balances the tensions in a way suggested by a violist working at at Ifshin Violins who played it and suggested that sort of balance of string tensions for this instrument.
  23. About 58 years ago, the first time I ever heard the great Schubert C major quintet, I was sight reading the 2nd cello part and when we hit "B," the passage in the first movement starting at measure 58, I started to tear up so profusely that I had to stop playing and wipe my eyes. (Maybe it was just an excuse to play it again.) I have played that music a number of times since (eventually all the parts, most recently, viola) and the harmonies of that melody always get to me, although never again that strongly but always recalling that evening so long ago.
  24. I was instructed to play with a "low-side thumb" in first position and a "higher-side thumb in 3rd position" and allowed to "fly-free" above that. I was young and smaller in those years, however I have tended to keep playing those ways. But sometimes I vary it, especially as increasing age continues to limit what my body can endure. I have noticed that Perlman plays with his thumb a bit higher, perhaps to compensate for his large hand and fingers. I played under a concertmaster for 16 years who definitely played with her thumb under the neck and had a lovely vibrato. She had small hands. A very good teacher would work with students to optimize all things about their violin-playing posture including all things about their left and right hands, violin position, chinrest, shoulder rest, etc. Such a teacher would notice everything that was going on, even muscle strain under the skin, and notice those things right away. Poorer teachers often try to mold their students in their own image no matter how much it ill-fits some students. At least, that is my opinion. If you are an adult trying to work this out on your own, all you can do is experiment until you find what works best for you. The teacher route can be much more efficient - but it has to be the right non-parochial teacher. I think the path you are taking by using all possible means to observe what others do is admirable, but let your own body parts instruct you!
  25. Can you work it out from this?: https://s9.imslp.org/files/imglnks/usimg/1/12/IMSLP458289-PMLP743725-LysenkoPieces.pdf
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