Ethan Ford Heath

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  1. Ah, for rental instruments; I had missed that. Possibly the average renter of student instruments does not play 5-8 hours a day, hence does not wear out strings particularly quickly. But you say in the same service Tonicas don't last... hm, dunno. Where are you? Is this in a city by the ocean, hot, humid, with lots of air pollution? Any of those make not a great environment for strings. If it's just cello we are talking about, string breaking is pretty rare. Our principal did break one recently, but he's a big, strong guy and bends the cello to his will.
  2. Hm... this would be the exact opposite of my advice based on my experience. I liked Helicores on the viola I played from 1990-2015, but they often began breaking after as little as two weeks. And no, it was not the nut, nor the bridge, nor my fingernails. Often the D-string would break under the 3rd finger G (in 1st pos). I had to give up Helicores because my music director was so annoyed by the breaking strings. Dominants last better, but do begin to unravel. Evah Pirazzi Golds, although notorious for beginning to sound dull after a short time, are actually quite physically robust for me. I haven't had one unravel or break.
  3. There's always David Rattray himself, of course, in Kirkcaldy. I know he's happy to make new instruments!
  4. Several people in my section use a bit of nice leather attached with simple double-sided tape to the chinrest. After a few practice sessions it molds to the chinrest quite well. Strad pads absorb sweat. The problem is the extra height, distance, (pushes the instrument a tiny bit away from your neck), and the "separation" from the instrument. Meaning that the immediacy of that jaw bone-to-wood connection is lost. But I used one for many years, due to viola hickey problems. Eventually I found a chinrest shape that works for me, and threw away the Strad pad. Have you seen this website?
  5. What does freezing do, cause cracks and splits...? or is there an acoustical issue of some sort?
  6. So many beautiful instruments, and so many great makers; it's almost overwhelming. Thank you very much for doing this, it is really helpful for those of us who cannot be there. I like both antiqued and new finishes, wouldn't want to choose between them. I am sure they are both very difficult in different ways. I have tried without luck to find the website of Patrick Barden; does anyone know it?
  7. I wish... If someone would take good photos of the violas (or even play them a bit for a basic phone recording), I would be very grateful.
  8. In my experience, getting access to great classical instruments to measure, photograph, CT Scan, and "bridge-hammer" is rather difficult! The amount of expertise, time, money and connections that would be required to realize our dream viola book would be very considerable. In two cases of great famous da Salos, when I asked the players if a mutually agreed-upon expert could study and copy their instruments, they each said that there was only one maker they trusted, and no one else, no matter how famous and reputable, (I suggested several esteemed possibilities), would do. That would I suppose be fine if I had only wanted to buy a viola (I did), but I also wanted to try to make those models myself, the way a GDG violin fan can copy the Plowden or whatever. One of the in-the-know makers did say he would be happy to share data on that viola with me, quote, "why not"? But that was some time ago... perhaps he had second thoughts. :-) P.S. I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to get the Venetian instrument data CD-ROM that Reunning put out some time ago, as recommended by (IIRC) Not Telling. Is anyone willing to share measurements/thicknesses/arching of the ex-Tree Busan, from that source or anywhere else?
  9. I don't know if this is a Cross or not, but it is quite similar looking to a Cross cello I see regularly.
  10. To be honest, although I don't recall seeing anything there before, I could have forgotten. It has been a while since I used that bow regularly.
  11. The other thread going on just now about the sale and valuation of damaged bows made me want to ask this question of the Pegbox's assemble experts, but I didn't want to get too far from the OP's question, so decided to start a new topic. Say a well-known old shop in the USA had a bow on consignment for four years, e.g. an Arthur Barnes-made W.E. Hill & Sons with an ivory frog, and was notified that the owner (me) was coming in to take it back. "Great!" said the shop, "it will be here for you". When the I arrived in the shop, there was some confusion about where the bow was, but it was finally located sitting on a desk in the office room. The shop staff person, who had only met the me once, four years before, and had definitely not been in the work force when I first visited them in 1989, did not ask for any I.D. or even ask my name, but hurriedly put the bow in the my case, saying "O.K., you're all ready to go then"... Somewhat surprised, and wanting to take a look to ensure it was actually the right bow, I took it out of the case, only to find, on the side of the frog facing in to the top of the case, a significant chunk of the frog missing, from the bit right by where the thumb would go in a normal bow-hold. After having this pointed out, and hemming and hawing for a while, and not answering the questions "when did this happen, how did it happen, who did it, and why didn't you notify me", the shop finally agreed to pay for it to be repaired in another shop, and gave me a hand-written letter to that effect. The missing chip was nowhere to be found. Feeling that that was the best I was going to get out of a bad situation, I satisfied myself with 10 minutes playing a Goffriller viola (nice) and went on my less-than-merry way. 45 minutes later the shop called and announced that they had indeed located the chip of ivory, so I reversed direction and picked up the chip. I have four questions for the Pegbox experts on this: 1. Is this normal practice for a shop? Did they behave correctly? 2. Should I have asked to be compensated for any reduction in value of the bow due to the damage? I should note that it had a bit of a crack in a different place already, and the stick has some finger-wear. 3. Is it true that it is basically impossible to do a repair on ivory that will hold? and 4. Is it possible to sell bows with ivory frogs these days? The idea of paying $2,000 for a new frog, just so I can travel with and use (or sell) the bow is not appealing.
  12. A bit of searching suggests that that CD-ROM may be as rare as hen's teeth made of gold dust. sigh.
  13. That is good information. Thanks, Not Telling!
  14. Me too... or even a good copy. Or even just the technical specs needed to have a go at making a few copies of it myself.