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About Felefar

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    Looking ar rocks, and fiddles, and other interesting stuff

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  1. I suspect that many experts decide on whether or not it is pernambuco or merely brazil wood by the general quality of the bow - if it is a good bow, it is pernambuco. If not, it is brazil wood or "fruitwood". I have a very pale L Morizot bow, very thick, and a very dark (almost black) slender L Panormo bow. They are both pernambuco, according to the experts.
  2. Cut it out on good 100g/sq.m paper. The weigh the paper on a precise scale. 1 gram is 1/100 square meter or one square dm. 0.01 gram is one square centimeter, which is about the limit if resolution on this. Before modern computerized nethods, mineral distributions in thin sections of rocks was determined in a similar way, using tin foil instead of paper. When I was a young geology student I printed photos on thick photo paper, cut out all the grain shapes and sorted them according to mineral, and weighed the heaps. I only did this once, to prove that my alternative computerized version gave the same result, but it still works for a one-off - at least on simple shapes. Come to think of it, good tin foil would be better...
  3. Furniture makers (at least in Scandinavia) use steam forming, steaming the wood under pressure and then bending it to shape. I imagine that is a bit of the same as using an iron, except that the steaming is done in a separate step?
  4. They do. Wood shrinkage and expansion with changes in humidity have to be taken into account when building any large wood construction. Space needs to be left in for differential expansion.
  5. Dutzenarbeit is the work of a dozen makers, each specialising in one component as opposed to one maker making every part himself. It does not necessarily mean lower quality.
  6. I'm planning a trip to Voss to show it to a fiddlemaker, as luthiers don't know what to make of it.
  7. This one rings on all tones, on all strings, and changing the tailpiece made no difference. I have decided to try to sell it to a fiddler who wants to avoid the hassle of tuning nine strings on a Hardanger fiddle.
  8. Since I have been in a choir since 1986 when I joined the local opera choir, I think I’m qualified to answer this: You are wrong, on every count. The things you have listed are technical challenges, but they do not make a piece more difficult to sing. Decending scales and intervals tend to go flat. Repeated notes in a narrow range get tiresome after a while. Composers forgetting that singers need to breathe. Fortissimo on very deep notes. Those are my main «problem identifiers», not technical challenges which can be overcome with a little more practice but the things that make e.g. Beethoven’s 9th equally painful to sing every single time.
  9. I have such a violin, or rather a fiddle. I have no idea why, but is sounds like a Hardanger fiddle even if it has only the normal four strings. I believe the back is of black alder, apart from that I know nothing.
  10. Felefar

    C.F Hopf?

    I'm more used to Hopfs looking like this:
  11. You could also make a broad-shouldered "German" model: This one is just a hair over 38cm, yet sounds like a "proper" viola.
  12. The "beard rash" where it has been played without a chin rest makes sense. The rest of the wear makes no sense at all! Even wear going UNDER the bridge is not possible on an instrument with strings in place, so that is not natural playing wear. Also I note a lack of "high position wear" along the treble side of the fingerboard? And it is worn on the bass side of the upper bout? I don't think this is natural wear.
  13. I was in Chicago two weeks ago, and managed to drop in on Darnton and Hersch. Michael Darnton fixed an open seam on my daughter’s violin almost while we waited, and she and a friend got to try out a dozen or so violins at the lower end of the price list - as well as three very different ones neat the upper end, since we were there. We also got her favourite bow rehaired by John Norwood Lee, and I got a tour of his workshop.
  14. I have written certificates on 19th century camera lenses, and my certificates are accepted - at least when it comes to 1860-1890 German optics (including Swiss and Austro-Hungarian).
  15. The neck looks like ash, very light wood with marked anual rings. And no radial rays worth mentioning. So not a standard «the usual», maybe Hungarian ?