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About crowandcactus

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  1. Ha, I know, I’m just wondering if it’s a German or backwoods American VSO
  2. Picked this up for 40 bucks for the machine heads (probably the coolest I’ve seen after they’re cleaned up!) Just wanted to affirm that this is a cheap pretty much worthless fiddle otherwise, I’m just guessing a bottom of the barrel Strad copy or something. It’s been messed with and the old repairs are bonkers (but kinda cool to me). The maple is plainer than mayonnaise, but I just like instruments that exude folksy history. I’ll clean it up and get it working either way, just for kicks. No label but fully blocked. I was actually hoping it was a “pioneer” fiddle someone had elbow-greased out of local woods but I think I’ll be disappointed. Anyhoo, any info is appreciated! Happy trails!
  3. Well amateur American is exactly what it is, do you think anyone would venture to pay 350-400 for it? It’s an instrument, it plays, it looks nicer than an old basketball... I assume that the intrinsic value is more than zero. Is it so subjective as to be completely arbitrary to say until money changes hands?
  4. Picked this up for a song recently, I can’t find any information on the maker. Seems pretty nice on one hand and pretty woodshed-ish on the other. I’d appreciate any guesses on value as it’s not turning out a great instrument for me, but the sound is really pretty good. Tailpiece pin needs some attention, block isn’t cracked though. Has a receipt for over 500 in repairs circa 2010, so someone believed in it to that extent at least but how wisely I can not say. Label reads: Pattern taken from a genuine Stradivari— Made by Harold Sinclair Sr. at Tetlin—Feb 1962 Thanks in advance!
  5. Sorry for the staggered replies, I’m too new to post directly. The dark coat is beneath a clear coat, which is separating in places. I don’t think the clear coat is original and I’d definitely like to keep the dark varnish in good shape. Does denatured alcohol ruin oil varnish (if that’s indeed what the darker stuff is)?
  6. Just gave it a preliminary set up, did the nut bridge and tuners, just a once over. The fingerboard is wild, it’s a darker wood surrounding an eye-shaped stick of lighter wood running the length of the neck. The darker wood runs the length of the tongue, but its weird. Almost like a truss rod of wood. Two piece fingerboard? Anyone? no telling what she’ll sound like til she settles in but I do detect some underlying sweetness.
  7. Im sure it is, I recently saw another identical fiddle with just the dark finish. The clear coat is obviously a previous owner’s attempt at adding a protective finish (a third fiddle was for sale with these two, an A. Shroetter with its finish completely stripped which I passed on, but clearly the owner had a thing for tinkering with his instruments—bless his soul). It’s hard to see but the clear finish is definitely an after-sale addition. I’ll have to try the alcohol approach—denatured I think? The lower varnish appears oil but I could be off base. Will experiment. Only the pretty nice flaming is almost invisible either way so ??? Got for 20 bucks so I can’t imagine a loss.
  8. No, no bow was included unfortunately but the case it came in did have a piece of rabbit fur in it to cushion the back. Shmancy!
  9. A second piece from this garage sale type deal, a pretty handsome little instrument whose label is long gone (pictured is the glue stripe, in case that gives any clues). Has seen better days, a crack in the peg box (bass side) seems to be glued and pinned, and seems stable although not the most professional repair. Just wondering probable country of origin, general design characteristics, probable arbitrary name of long dead luthier on label, age, etc. Just a basic attic ID, if you will. Anything pointing towards set up advice if at all possible (likely darker or brighter tonally, yadda ya) would be great. Many thanks! PS I apparently can’t get the hang of how the uploaded crops these photos, I hope that what’s here is sufficient. The order is haphazard because of retakes.
  10. Just an old factory instrument, looking for a very ballpark price range (my guess 4-600? with set up?), and how to address the numbskull shellacking job. Can it be steamed or blistered loose by chance? In places where it’s lifting naturally it isn’t adhering to the (I assume) original varnish. The varnish underneath is pretty handsome and while perhaps a little over the top antiqued would be a better fit both tonally and visually without the clear coat. Any thoughts appreciated! Pictures are slightly less thorough than they could be because I think this piece will be easily recognized. Has a very attractive sound! Pic with pen shows where I managed to separate a small area of the clear coat.
  11. Thanks for the input everybody! I'll take my valiantly amateurish tomato soup violin with pride. I am myself very charmed by the northwestern "cultural heritage" present in this guy. I'm trying to track down more info on the makers life, I'll report if I find anything. And I think the pioneer fiddlers who started out with thread for strings and cedar shakes for bodies wouldn't stick their noses up at this so neither will I... Until I bump into its limitations. For now tho it'll do for busking and barn dances. Thanks again for the input!
  12. Thanks for the input Duane. About what did you sell them for? Not much in the world of violins could still be a whole lot to a ragamuffin like me
  13. Hello! I picked up this fiddle recently and was wondering if anyone had a notion of the maker, style, province of woods, ideas about the finish, or any other thoughts to shed light on this mysterious old fiddle. The back shows a surprising amount of figure when moved around in the light, is this what's known as quilted maple? I can't find any information on the (supposed) maker, but am excited that it may be of some native northwestern woods. Any and all thoughts about this instrument are gratefully appreciated. Thank you!
  14. Ah, good to know. What level of workmanship does this look like to everyone?