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About Guido

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  1. Please don't invest in a set of new strings (or anything else for that matter). Not worth it.
  2. The outline/ model looks interesting. The upper block was replaced and the back still shows the shape of the original, which could well have been the island for a through-neck. It can also be seen against the belly. Shame about the sound post crack to the back. Maybe AT is one of the Thumhard family?
  3. Guido


    I guess replies will be slow as most people on this forum don't view violins as typical branded and marketed consumer products (i.e. they don't google the top10 violin brands under $3,000). What matters most is a quality set-up when you start out. This is usually not to be had from music stores stocking consumer brands. As mysticpaw said, a Markie with a good set-up might be an option. Find a luthier/ dealer and play as many instruments in your budget as you can. Cheaper plus upgrade might also be a good idea. If you learn half a year or a year on less than $1,000 it will equip you to understand what you are looking for when you upgrade to $3,000. If you are smart about the first one you might even get (all) your money back when you upgrade.
  4. I'm a numbers man and I've been looking at published data of the spread and it's progression. And I don't know what is going on. Is China a model of the wave and a predictor for us? On Jan 28 China had just under 6,000 active cases, and we are back to this level now after about 8 weeks with roughly a bell shape in between peaking at ca 58,000 active cases on Feb 17. New cases in China are few and far between now and it seems like its pretty much over. What seems strange is that the virus infected only about 0.005% of the population in China. Was this an extreme case of successful containment? Or is the virus not as contagious as commonly feared? Or both? As of now, in Italy about 0.09% of the population has contracted the virus, which is the greatest penetration of any country over 1,000 total cases. The tip of the iceberg? Or more damage being done by fear of the virus than by the virus itself? Early in the piece I heard a WHO dude in an interview on the radio. He (pretty much) said: "This is not the flue. It is not as contagious and we might be able to contain it." I guess the second sentence didn't fit with the media feasting on fear (and due containment efforts) and I never heard it again.
  5. As Blank face said. The violin still has it's original through-neck. The projection was raised by the wedge. That's a quick and dirty fix and maybe more often seen with this kind of violin as people didn't want to deal with a neck reset. The varnish looks like it could be original. By way of outline/ model, you could call it a Hopf model. I guess that's as much as you'll ever learn about it :-)
  6. Not a question of quality. You just said Bohemia for both, which could be Prague or Schoenbach; and by way of traditional building method I would think the step was more likely on violins from Prague than from Schoenbach. Of course it's just one feature and is of little relevance in isolation...
  7. The Bohemian one with the step looks more like what you may also see at Mittenwald violins. This kind of "step" provides some extra material for a future planning of the gluing surface, whereas the French "step" is often just a transition of the camber. If I was to have a wild guess, I'd say your Bohemian with the step may be built on an inside mould, whereas the other might not :-)
  8. Here is an example of the "step" that would feature on the majority of Mirecourt violins from the late 19th century onwards. I have never seen this on a Markie but it is not exclusive to French violins. It's also common on Mittenwald violins, for example, but look s a little different with usually more of a height difference between gluing surface and the upper edge of the pegbox.
  9. Yes, way out here in the middle of not much else. Got the violin in Germany though, where I am originally from and still have family.
  10. Never a good idea to look at a case when you want to know anything about the violin... of course. But what are the chances of finding one of those cases in mint condition? And then a violin inside in equally mint condition. That's a combined probability of about zero. Hence I showed them together. Of course nothing mysterious... but I thought something you don't see every day (or ever, really).
  11. I would say outside mould, yes. Clues for me regarding not being French are the lack of cleats on the back centre seam, and the missing "step" at the neck-to-pegbox transition. Other than that it's hard to describe but it "looks" German, not French. And the clue why not Italian is that I never find an Italian fiddle :-) Some of the clearer differentiators would be the varnish and the lack of branding, signing, labelling, inscribing all over the thing that any Italian would display.
  12. Nope. It's from the Lowendall vault :-)
  13. Guido

    Strad Saddles?

    We have discussed these and other saddles at length before... for people who are better with the search function than I am.
  14. I think it's a Markie, maybe from the 30s, with signs of a somewhat better quality (fluted ffs, scroll fluted to the bitter end). It came in a case which I assume would have been with the instrument from new. The thing is: both the violin and the case are still like brand new! And because I have never seen anything quite like it, I thought I share it here. I've got half a dozen of "those" pressed cardboard fake crock leather cases around and they are all beaten up. Never seen one without a scratch on it. The latches have some surface rust but other than that the case is like new w/o even slight storage marks. And the violin is pretty much the same. Apart from some fine tuner damage it is MINT! I had to look at it a couple of times to convince myself that it isn't actually a brand new Chinese instrument. The pegs are a 1:25 taper btw and don't look like what you see on new instruments.