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Everything posted by Guido

  1. I have not seen a lower rib joint off centre like this before. Is this likely a one-piece rib that was shortened, or has it always been a two piece lower rib that was built rather strange like that? I don't have the violin at the moment, which would make things easier. So, for now it's just a lower rib joint curiosity for discussion.
  2. All other things equal, the flat simply increases the distance between the string and the board. It's like planning away from the fingerboard right under the string.
  3. Some older violas have a flat part of the fingerboard under the c-string like a cello. Does anyone know when that was a popular thing to do? And why it was done but isn't done anymore these days?
  4. That doesn't look too bad at all. I'd also think bullseye shellac will be your friend. It'll also help with the back. 1 Just clean the violin with a damp cloth and some patience. Don't use and wax/polish or cleaning agents yet. 2 Try your luck with bullseye shellac. It'll make the back pretty again, too. A couple of coats for the front. 3 Have him do his artwork onto the shellac ground, seal with another coat of shellac, but test first if the shellac doesn't solve and smear his work. 4 Make sure there is a soundpost standing straight when you look trough the treble side f-hole. If not, do not string up the instrument! Seek help. 5 A cheap bridge blank may only be $1 but fitting it to the violin is necessary and will cost about $100. Try to make use of the bridge you have. The feet look ok from a distance. Height and arching is hard to tell. 6 A Wittner tailpiece is a good idea. It'll double your investment in the violin ;-) but you also save the fine tuners and the strings will thank you. Don't buy the $3 Wittner copies. They usually don't work at all. 7 You can buy Chinese King Lyon synthetic core strings for $15 a set (they are not too bad despite what people say) or get some reputable steel stings at about the same price (maybe a little more). But don't buy the $1 a set Chinese steel strings. 8 Your pegs look as if they could be ok. You can work with soap and chalk if they don't turn smoothly. Be very careful with the soap - only use tiny amounts and wait a week before you use more if they are still sticky. It's better to have them too sticky than to have them slip and not hold. Most of the daily tuning will happen on the fine tuners anyway. P.S. Looks like violin from Markneukirchen ca 1920.
  5. Guido


    You may find that you learn something about a particular component only when you finish the violin. By then you will have made the same mistake 10 times.
  6. I thought so, too. But I suppose it does happen, in particular with instruments that wouldn't clearly be working tools of professionals. The previous owner of this viola was a violin player and he didn't use it much at all. He may have had it for a life-time. As an aside, I also have a violin from 1930 which was someone's new fiddle just before he died. The family kept it in storage ever since for several generations. Almost 100yrs old and really just as new. P.S.: The viola actually has one rather well repaired crack running down from the left f-hole to about the centre of the chin rest. I only noticed the cleats when I looked around inside with a mirror.
  7. According to www.luthiers-mirecourt.com "in urbe Cremonae" is the brand of George Felix Remy. They have him as late 19th century but every other reference I find is early 19th century. All auction results I find have instruments between 1820 and 1840. That's good enough for me. Many thanks, Martin, again. You are an invaluable asset to this community.
  8. I have got this small (385mm) Remy viola, with the triangular iron brand "in urbe Cremonae Remy". This may be similar: http://www.martinswanviolins.com/sales/small-mirecourt-viola/ , ca 1840. Does anyone know from when to when this particular iron brand was used? Or otherwise have a guess at the age of my viola? Also ca 1840? Just out of interest, there seems to be another Remy iron brand reading "à la ville de Cremone". Would anyone be able to put the two on a timeline?
  9. Guido

    flat neck angle

    I did contact the maker about any potential reasoning before starting this thread, but did not receive an answer. And it's not as easy as stopping by to say hello. We are on different continents (and there are other continents in between). Ok, when I said I don't have very much experience, that is certainly a relative term. I have done quite a few common repairs, just never dealt with a neck adjustment. I will try a gentle (i.e. thin shim) "New Yorker" and see how far I get with that. If I feel like I want more, I'll plane the fingerboard - it is reasonably thick. Just one question, again. I think Jerry mentioned it before: the relationship between projection/ bridge height vs. arching of the top plate. Would a higher arch call for a lower projection? And if so, are there any standard numbers for arching + bridge height (or arching + projection)?
  10. Guido

    flat neck angle

    That looks easy enough but I wonder if the New York neck reset is considered a bit dodgy? I imagine this requires the neck not being fitted very well in the tapered block mortise to start with? I might still try it but has anyone got a reference the 'proper' procedure? BTW, I have measured my projection as 23mm. So I should probably want to add about 4mm to that, or maybe as little as 3mm as my arching looks quite healthy. Also, 3mm added height to the bridge would be in line with my previous consideration regarding string angles. Is there a standard reference for the total height of arching plus bridge? And from where is it measured - with or w/o table thickness?
  11. Guido

    flat neck angle

    I has always been so low. The violin is essentially new (2013) and there are no previous repairs; string height is 4mm at E and 5.5 at G. I don't want to put a name out there because of the neck angle situation, but other than that, yes, it should be properly constructed. I don't expect any stupid glue. The sound question is probably of some relevance in terms of the power. If the instrument's performance is acceptable one might wonder if it is worth the effort to correct a neck angle. Surprisingly, the instrument doesn't seem to lack power. But still, a proper neck angle is likely to make it even better... I see it looks like it in the pics for some reason, but I have taken a straight edge to it and the fingerboard is fine, including a tiny bit of scoop. No previous repair, overhang looks funny in the original pics I agree. Here is another pic that should clear it up. No excessive overhand after all. And here are some angles that I have tried to measure in another picture I took: I think it becomes obvious from this that the nut is way too high and that it a clear case for neck pull back? I think 158' over the bridge seems to be the standard. With a 2-3mm higher bridge (make it 32-33) I'd aim for 77' + 81'. Even though I have done some of the more common repairs, I'm quite inexperienced by any standard. And I have not done a neck pull back before. Can someone point me to instructions or a guide or a previous thread to neck pull-backs?
  12. It might read "Franz Erbl", in which case you'd want to read this: http://www.violininformation.webs.com/tradeinstruments.htm
  13. I have got this modern violin. It is only a few years old, but has a very flat neck angle. As pictured, the bridge at the centre line of the violin is only 30mm high. What would you do? Try to 'correct' it? Put some gut strings and a baroque style bridge and tail piece on? Leave as is?
  14. Guido

    Violin ID

    ...try the full repertoire of mirrors and squinting first , before you have three beers (i.e. 3 litres of beer). At least the writing looks neat and clean - someone will be able to read it.
  15. Guido

    Violin ID

    Would be good to see the corner blocks in plan view given that you have the top off.
  16. It's hard to tell from the photos but to my eye both neck angles look ok-ish. Changing neck angle is a bigger effort than what might be warranted. What you may want to measure and compare is the string clearance above the fingerboard at the end of the fingerboard. There is a bit of a range to what people prefer or may chose to better suit a certain style of playing or genre. I generally like about 3.5mm at the e-string and about 5mm at the g-string. That's probably on the low side of things and adding 0.5mm on both sides would probably be closer to the middle of the road. You can also draw up a 42mm radius circle on a piece of paper (or print with a computer if you can print to scale (but make sure and measure your print)), cut it out, cut it in half, slide it up the bridge underneath the strings and see if they follow that arch. As Conor said, neck angles have increase over the centuries. Most old violins have been adjusted to modern standards though at some point. Sounds a bit odd that your teacher would play on a very low neck angle unless it is a dedicated baroque set-up/ instrument.
  17. There was a recent thread with ViolinMum discussing the purchase process of an Ender violin. A lovely read with a happy ending. It appears that good trade violins (not necessarily the exceedingly rare masterpieces) can reach $5,000 retail and at times even a little more here and there. The vast majority would be under $2,000 retail though. In a private sale I'd aim for about half of what I'd think the violin would retail in a shop setting. What you are selling here is not the instrument; it is the sound of the instrument. You'll get near nothing for the instrument (which will happen on ebay). You HAVE TO get a buyer playing it, if it performs as you say. Local classifieds work for me. In your situation though I'd definately go back to the $4,000 guy on comission. Tell him he can lower the price to $3,000 if he has to for an interested buyer. What a bargain :-) Besides, if it stacks up in sound quality with the other instruments in the pirce range that he offers, a player (not a collector/ investor) will buy it. I'd think he'd only take it on commission if he thinks he can sell it, so I'd give it ago.
  18. There was a thread on modular rays in wood a few weeks ago. That'll be helpful if you can find it. Not sure if SG and grain are something that people consider...?
  19. I'm not capable of playing the typical wolf tones up high on the g-string in any meaningful context, so I have little experince in this department. This one here makes what I think is a wolf tone at 440Hz on all three strings - the open A being the worst (I suspect an open string might be more inclined that way). As I added BluTack to the bridge it gradually reduced - its not an on-or-off situation. Even now with the thick bridge, it is tamed but not completely gone. I'll take some pictures and take more measurements later.
  20. Well, first of all. This was done on a rather poor instrument that weighs 485g w/o chin rest and the fingerboard isn't even ebony. The sound was nasal and mute. That was with a bridge that was 4.3mm at the feet and well fitted by a luthier. The bridge that improved sound quality and power now is 5.1mm at the feet (not thinning the blank I used at the feet and the belly area). Bridge height and ankle placement are the same or at least very very close. Possibly, a bridge thickness somewhere in between might be even better - my main driver here was experimenting with the wolf tone at 440Hz. I just found it curious that a thicker bridge made an instrument louder, where the opposite usually seems to be the case. So I thought maybe a 'stronger' bridge may be better suited to heavy instruments with rather thick plates. I have another instrument that may be a candidate for this and will try this relationship (w/o going to these extremes).
  21. Guido

    French ID Help

    Thanks everybody. I suppose this is all I can hope to know about this violin. Happy. The upper back has repaired worm damage. It doesn't look quite as bad in real life as in the picture. Also, there is no damage to the inside at all. The worm or whatever it was has apparently stayed close to the surface. Maybe just a question on value. I intend to offer this one for sale and would put it slightly above the average Markie. The sound is a notch better than many of my Markies. It'll probably depend very much on the particular instrument but would one generally price Mirecourt trade a notch above Vogtland trade? Also, would the repaired worm damage lead to much of a discount (assuming it is well repaired and sound)?
  22. I had a strange experience recently where a thicker bridge made an instrument noticeably louder. This violin had a nasal sound and a wolf tone at 440Hz (thank you very much). I was battling the wolf with BluTack and tamed it with a chunk of BluTack right on the belly of the bridge. So I took a rather thick bridge blank and only tapered the sides and the top (so it wouldn't look as bad) but left the centre and the lower part of the bridge including the feet as thick they were. That has tamed the wolf, but also made the violin sound much louder and less nasal. Win-win-win. Unfortunately, it's a little ugly and it's just not what we do, right? I am under the impression that the plates of this violin are rather thick and that the stronger bridge was more effective for that reason. Maybe 'heavier' instrument generally benefit from stronger bridges, rather than the beautiful and elegant ideals that we tend to strive for. Maybe worth trying with the 1930-1970 steel string proof instruments. I thought I put this out here because there seems to be a perception that a thinner bridge will make an instrument louder. Maybe that only works where the plates of the instrument are reasonably thin to match.
  23. I adore Perlman. The 'editor/ shredder' had me fooled and I thought Perlman may have put this on as a parody of sort (he does pull some silly facial expressions in the shredded version - but maybe they don't look out of place with the real performance). Oh well, I'm so naïve.
  24. Gee, I had now idea he did this. What's the story? It's a little bit like dumb joke that's too long though.
  25. I thought I would be able to tell by now. Cornerblockology and all. I even read the complete plunge thread in it's epic elaborations, not long after joining this forum. Here I am, still half blind.
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