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Posts posted by Theghostis

  1. I’m considering making my first real bow upgrade since returning to playing as an adult. As I’ve never done any serious bow shopping, I’m interested in getting some tips on things to look for and to look out for. 

    I have a budget that’s going to primarily get me a Brazilian or German workshop bow. It could get me a previously repaired bow of a more reputable make, but is this like getting a violin with a repaired soundpost crack? Is it reasonable to consider a repaired bow?


  2. @Strad O Various Jr. I haven’t figured out a good way to measure it, but it looks like the fingerboard is .5 cm closer to the bass side of the instrument than it is to the treble side. But the weird bridge could also be throwing off my perception. 

    Edit: If I place the edge of a piece of paper alongside the fingerboard, the bridge seems centered with the fingerboard, but it’s obviously off center on the body.

  3. Since posting the other day I have shortened the tailgut and moved the soundpost. The soundpost is still definitely not it the right place but it is now closer to the bridge rather than about 1cm away. The e string has an overly ringing, piercing tone although the two lower strings sound pleasant. 

    I’ve also confirmed that the fingerboard is definitely off center which is disappointing. It looks like the neck is set off kilter.

    @FiddleDoug according to Pegheds Facebook page, they make a replacement for Caspari pegs. They still require removing the whole peg and bushing assembly. 

    @geoff1954 The fingerboard is off center. Given this issue, I don’t really think it’s worth a professional setup and it’s probably worth attempting to return it where I bought it. I did manage to move the soundpost closer to the bridge but I’m pretty sure it’s still not in the right spot based on the sound.

    @Strad O Various Jr. I’m pretty sure a setup will cost more than a couple hundred dollars where I live and given the off center fingerboard, it’s probably not worth it. The instrument doesn’t sound terrible but my bow keeps hitting the treble c bout which is likely because off the off centered-ness.

    @GeorgeH the Caspari pegs are kind of tight but I don’t think they are slipping . The fingerboard is definitely off center which is really disappointing so I’m not sure how much good a professional setup will do. The serial number inside the instrument looks stamped rather than branded. It’s not on a paper label. There is also a brand on the base of the neck that I can see looking through the end pin hole.

    @deansand @Dave Slight I agree a setup would be in order if the violin is worth it at all given the off center fingerboard. That’s a good idea to get a bridge made and work to copy it to try and learn more about fitting a bridge. 

    Thanks everyone for your responses.

  4. I purchased a 1973 EH Roth violin, 1700 strad model, that I suppose I'd say has a pretty poor setup, and maybe some other issues. I'm in the process of deciding if I should DIY the setup or take it into a shop for at least a student level bridge and soundpost or soundpost adjustment. If I did much fiddling at the moment, this might be a good instrument for that, but it's not going to replace my main violin.

    For context, I have minimal setup experience. I have done two setups on violins that I got in the white, and the setups weren't great. 

    The soundpost in the Roth is approximately 1cm away from the bridge foot, possibly a little further. I also have noticed that the top in the area around the soundpost and treble bridge foot seems lower and flatter than the same area on the bass side, like the arching has collapsed on one side. This could be related to the soundpost being so far from the bridge. Should I be concerned that the top will collapse more in this area and loosen the strings until I can either move or have the soundpost moved for me? Could something else be causing this? Should I have any other concerns around this fact?

    The bridge is an adjustable foot bridge and it appears to have multiple issues. It has very deep string grooves, especially on the e. On the treble side, the "kidney wing?" has sort of collapsed so there is very little space, but on the bass side, it looks normal. What might cause this? The bridge is also not centered on the body of the instrument and the strings are not centered on the fingerboard, but the strings are further toward the treble side while the bridge is further toward the bass side. The string spacing on the bridge also looks really off. I did install a Wittner tailpiece due to the horrible Caspari pegs, but I don't think I moved the bridge more to the bass side when I did this. It does look like I need to shorten the tailgut.

    On the subject of the Caspari pegs, does anyone have experience replacing them with either oversize perfection, Wittner, or the Caspari replacement PegHeds? From the research I have done, it looks really challenging to remove the Caspari bushings. The PegHeds sound like the best replacement solution if I can manage to get them without shipping my violin to PegHeds for installation, but then I have to find someone to install them/remove the Caspari bushings because I don't think I have the skill or equipment to do this without damaging the peg box. Given my issues with the bridge and soundpost, I think the Caspari pegs might be low on my list of concerns.

    I tried to capture some photos showing the bridge and soundpost placement. I appreciate any advice on setup, and whether it's worth it and I should pursue returning the instrument to the seller.



    IMG_3173 4.jpg



  5. @FromBassToViolaI've enjoyed reading this thread. That's good to hear that you have been able to resolve some of the issues you were having with the 4th finger. As someone with what others have noted are child-size hands, my modestly sized viola is quite a challenge (approx. 36.7 cm string length) to play as an amateur violinist and newly amateur violist.

    I also have the Karen Tuttle book, and while it's really interesting to read, I am finding it challenging to decide which of the advice in the book to incorporate into my practice. There is just so much content.

  6. 10 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

    Look inside through the f holes for comparison to see to what extent the flames are painted

    There’s not much obvious flame on the inside. Maybe just a little. I don’t know exactly what this technique of enhancement that Martin Swan found the French description for in the Laberte catalog, but there is definitely some wood enhancement via a varnish procedure on my violin.

  7. Thanks everyone for the feedback. I also did not know about “rouge brun entre les ondes.” Thanks Martin for sharing your expertise. 

    GeorgeH, I am not completely sure what work my violin needs, but the fingerboard has some problems. It looks really wavy which I attributed to wear, but my teacher thought someone did a bad job trying to plane it. Other than the fingerboard, I hope it doesn’t need more than a few adjustments. I might try to get a photo of the fingerboard in case some of you here have some ideas.

    I really hope everything is ok with the neck set. Someone did work and retouched the heel of the neck and scroll, and the state of the fingerboard makes me a little nervous about the quality of any other repairs  Additionally, the neck has been varnished with a clear, shiny varnish. I can see some of the clear and brown retouch varnish on the sides of the fingerboard so this appears to be a recent addition.


    Yoshiki, I also had seen that reverb listing. There are actually two active ones on that site currently, one from the same shop as in your link and another from what appears to be a private seller. 

  8. You could try practicing exclusively in front of a mirror, putting all your focus on the position of your wrist. I’d imagine that during the process of trying to change this habit, you might also need to change what you are playing so it allows you to put all your focus into this new hand shape. 

  9. I agree that the flaming on the back and ribs is really weird looking. The flame on the neck and scroll looks natural but I also believe the back has some enhancements. I’m not sure it’s totally fake flame, but it is possible. Where the varnish on the back has chipped off it does look like there is some natural flame underneath whatever has been done via varnish. 

  10. Thanks for your response. While I know this is not a fine violin, I'm partially asking about its quality because I'm considering having some work done. I want to start considering whether it might be worth it. I'm looking forward to hearing if people have opinions on my violin, as I've read through some other threads on French trade violins that were quite interesting.

  11. After reading quite a few older threads here on French violins, and perusing the luthiers-mirecourt website, I am curious as to what those of you on this forum will say about my violin. The primary question is, is my violin actually French? If it is, how are Laberte workshop violins, and this particular model generally regarded?

    Here are some initial photos. I can take additional photos if key features are not pictured or if anything is too difficult to see. If the photos are too large, let me know and I can reduce the size. 

    I believe the pegs to be original to the violin, or at least look very similar to what I'd expect on this violin. The tailpiece and chin rest that came with the violin were also rosewood and were both stamped "Germany" on the underside.

    I tried to measure the length of the back and am not sure I am getting very accurate measurements, but it appears to be somewhere around 35.7cm



    DSC08810 copy.jpg

    DSC08811 copy.jpg

    DSC08791 copy.jpg

  12. Now I’m wishing I had started a thread about my violin and not my viola, as these questions about setup as well as information on string tension are quite interesting. I think some people on this forum would have some great thoughts as to what ails my violin.


    @Hierony now I’m going to be tempted to make changes to the setup of my viola, however that could lead to more problems due to amateur setup attempt failures. I probably couldn’t really describe a lot of elements of the setup in writing but I notice some interesting things when I look at it. 

    The viola is a Carlo Lamberti Tertis model. It looks like the bridge used to be about 3mm closer to the tailpiece based on an imprint in the varnish. It has four screw in type fine tuners, three of which appear to be titanium. The string after length is only about 4.4cm. The bridge is about 3.8cm tall however I was having difficulty figuring out exactly how to measure it, so that’s only an estimate. 

    I made an error regarding the A string in my original post. It’s a Jargar, not a Warchal Amber. I also notice that the bridge protector may be a little too far over the bridge. 




  13. Thank you to those of you who responded to my post. I was locked out of the site for a full day because of a password mix up so wasn’t able to reply when I intended. I was hoping to hear a little bit about string tension and why violin strings may or may not be ideal for my tiny viola. It’s interesting to hear more about the specific string tension.

    I wonder if the higher tension has anything to do with why the core is exposed between the winding on the D string near the bridge. It sounds like it would be worth trying some real fractional viola strings sometime to see if the work better than the current mix.

  14. Are there any key differences between the A,D,G strings intended for a 14" viola and 4/4 violin strings? I have read some older threads about viola strings and finding the right combination for particular instruments, and have seen some potentially good suggestions for short scale viola strings.

    I am asking because my 14" viola is strung with violin A,D, G strings and a regular viola C. The A is a violin Jargar. the A,D,G are violin Warchal Amber. The C is a viola Warchal Amber (the shorter of the two Warchal viola sizes). I feel like my viola sounds a bit harsh which may be just a factor of its small size, its make and my playing ability.

    Would short scale viola strings have any benefits over violin strings? The vibrating string length of my viola is 33.9cm with the way that the bridge is currently positioned. I only rarely get out the viola to attempt playing through some movements of Bach Cello Suites and that probably won't change any time soon since I'm currently trying to improve enough on the violin to play in amateur groups once the pandemic subsides.


  15. I was given an old, unlabeled, violin that would like to use to start learning how to do some repairs. Someone put small pins/nails (maybe sewing pins?) into the fingerboard to serve as finger placement markers, and I am looking for tips on how to remove these pins, then fill in the holes if the fingerboard still looks usable (it does have wear). I removed the fingerboard, which was not attached very solidly, and the nails do not go all the way through. Does anyone have any tips on how to remove the nails and what to use to fill in the holes?

    I can get more, better photos of the instrument this evening. 

    fingerboard nails.png

  16. Guido, the pins on the back don't cut into the purfling at all. I think the purfling is real but it is harder to see this than on my older stainer copy so I am not sure about this. The lower rib is not one piece. There is a seam at the endpin. 

    I am going to take it to a luthier soon for evaluation and setup. 

  17. Thanks for taking a look at my photos and providing some insight. I have a feeling that my dad paid more for this instrument than it may be worth. WorksAsIntended, as long as I am using the instrument, it does look like getting a new bridge may be worth it.

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