Ethan Ford Heath

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About Ethan Ford Heath

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  1. Ethan Ford Heath

    Does anyone NOT build Strad? And if not, why?

    Only to judge from the little slice I see at work, Yo-Yo Ma played his Moes and Moes with us, (which sounded really good), Ning Feng has played on a Greiner and a Zygmuntovich (as well as a Strad), and Sol Gabetta I *think* may have been playing her Fasser at least one of the times she played with us. Kim Kashkashian also has a Greiner, and plays it in public... according to Greiner. I suppose there are more, but we don't find out about every soloist's instrument.
  2. Ethan Ford Heath

    Factory instruments reworked, sold as new artist instruments

    You might want to have a look at these articles, regarding the Chinese "coming to Cremona": Went to Cremona in 1983. Cremona turns up in most of those mini-bios. Off the top of my head, I know of one young Chinese maker, Su Qi, currently working for Francesco Bissolotti. She is making instruments under her own name, as well.
  3. Ethan Ford Heath

    Help me choose a viola, Please!

    What? We use the C string all the time! Was that supposed to be a joke?
  4. Ethan Ford Heath

    Warped one-piece back wood

    Thank you all very much for your suggestions. Does anyone have a favourite wood-water-content tester to recommend? (And yes, I was talking about slab-cut blanks, not finished backs).
  5. Ethan Ford Heath

    Warped one-piece back wood

    I am sorry if this has been covered before, but I haven't been able to find any answers by searching. What is the best way to deal with one-piece backs that have a bit of warping going on? A local luthier suggested weighting them down until flat, but wouldn't they just warp again when you took the weight off? Or is planing the warpage away just likely to release tensions that causes new warping? Thanks in advance for any answers.
  6. Ethan Ford Heath

    Help me choose a viola, Please!

    Unless you are really tall, I suggest the smaller one. At your age, development of (particularly left hand) advanced technique and repertoire is vital, and will be more easily obtained on the smaller viola, all else being equal (although that is not a given...) Learn to get everything out of the smaller viola by experimenting carefully and methodically with the balance of bow contact point, speed, and weight, (and articulations, and artistically varied vibrato...) and your bow arm will be able to adapt to a bigger viola someday, if you choose to go that direction. I speak from experience; I played a fat 17" viola from age 13-20, and a 17-3/8" da Salo-model for the next 25 years. Looking back, I wish I had had a more standard 16 to 16-3/8" viola during my training. FWIW I am 6' 2-1/2" tall.
  7. Ethan Ford Heath

    CT Scans - Costs, Crowdfunding, etc

    And Yitzhak Schotten's Linerol viola, converted from Viola da Braccia. That would be an interesting resource for adventurous viola makers.
  8. Ethan Ford Heath

    CT Scans - Costs, Crowdfunding, etc

    How about the Ex-Michael Tree Dominicus Busan? Does anyone happen to know who is playing on it now?
  9. Ethan Ford Heath

    CT Scans - Costs, Crowdfunding, etc

    So could the plates be laser scanned to generate a 3D printer file or CNC file to be shared? I like this idea, but especially if some of the most important violas could be scanned. E.g. Amihai Grosz's Da Salo, the Primrose Andrea Guarneri, the Mahler Strad (specifically), the "Duport" Maggini, the "Edwards" Da Salo and the 1757 Guadagnini in the collection of the Royal Academy of Music in London; James Dunham's Da Salo... Just the beginnings of a wish list!
  10. Ethan Ford Heath

    reivew of 'Gone' by Min Kym, book about stolen Strad

    I don't disagree with any of the preceding comments about prodigies and soloists sometimes perhaps having a limited view of the potential of new instruments. However, it is not invariably like this. A quite well-known violin soloist and international competition winner has played with my orchestra quite a few times over the years. The first couple of times he came to us he was playing on a Greiner, and sounded great. A few years later he came back and was playing on a Strad. He sounded great. A few years later he returned, playing on a Szygmuntovich. He sounded great. In fact, although memory can be a tricky thing, I think the Szygmuntovich was my favorite... so far. I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure this individual is in a position to have the loan of something very expensive if he wanted to and found something to his liking. I can also think of two well-known cellists who have played with us in recent years on modern cellos, by Moes and Moes, and Filippo Fasser. Just an observation.
  11. Ethan Ford Heath

    Wood porn

    If you wanted to copy a viola that has quite possibly never been copied before, how about the ex-Michael Tree c. 1750 Domenicus Busan? Yes, it is 17", but there are still violists out there happy to play such things. The sound he got from it was one of my inspirations for becoming a professional violist. Or the Busan played by Bruno Giuranna; I don't know anything about that one, but would not be surprised if no one has ever copied it.
  12. Ethan Ford Heath

    Andreas Preuss Super-Light-Violin Project

    I don't know anyone who has tried one of these, but I hope to get up there at some point to try one myself. By the way, the necks are removable, which could be a real boon for touring or even occasionally traveling musicians, if the case could be made small enough to evade the attentions of the gate agents and flight attendants. <>
  13. Ethan Ford Heath

    Christian Bayon's Bass Bar In the Feb. 18 Strad

    I must admit, as a complete amateur and ignoramus, I have sometimes wondered whether it would work to make a bass bar as a proper beam, with a thin shear web connecting the top to a beam the same or similar profile of a normal bass bar, but perhaps 1.0cm wide, 0.3cm thick. The idea being stiffness with lightness. If he puts the wide end of the bar up, away from the top, that would have a roughly similar effect, I guess. I always assumed that since no one was doing it it must be just my own stupid idea that would not work.
  14. Ethan Ford Heath

    Berlioz, Paganini and the biggest viola you’ll ever see!!

    I would love to have a set of those drawings! That would be fun to try to make.
  15. Ethan Ford Heath

    Bonmusica Shoulder Rest?

    Most people who care in my orchestra are using Mach One or the Pirastro Korfkerest. One of my section mates showed up to work this week with the new viola model of the Pirastro. I have used Mach One and more recently the Mach One "hook" models, but will probably give the Pirastro a try, if my colleague thinks it is an improvement. Second the notion of getting a tall chinrest if you have a really long neck, and keeping to relatively small shoulder rest heights. I have a couple of chinrests that a local luthier added wood to (on the instrument contact point) to make them taller. I think they helped me get through a period of strain in my neck and upper back. I still have one on my violin (which I rarely play), but for orchestra and the viola have gone back to a standard chinrest which is merely one of the taller ones.