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  1. https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/346336-cremona-the-dark-future-take-2-on-cremona/
  2. I'd vote against putting a pickup on an acoustic. Acoustic violins with piezos are still very prone to feedback and the bridge with an embedded pickup generally don't sound as good (unamped) as regular bridges. The "angry bee in a jar" sound of a single crystal on an acoustic doesn't sound great amped either. If you are going full electric, go full electric, otherwise get an onboard mike. I've used a few pickups on acoustics but the best by far has been the Barbera Twin Hybrid on a solid body electric (the bridge will be about 99% of your tone): https://www.barberatransducers.com/violinpickups.html You should also get a pre-amp, the impedance of piezos don't match guitar amps (99.9% of the time) and sound like crap without. I like the Fishman Platinum Stage: https://www.fishman.com/portfolio/platinum-stage-eq-di-analog-preamp-pro-plt-301/ I realize that this is beyond your budget but it's hard to get something satisfactory for $500. A fiddle, a pre-amp, and amp that you want to play will run more.
  3. Holy crap are those a pain in the ass to tune...so sweet once you are there but damn...
  4. Speaking from only a tonal point of view (not a fan of geared pegs functionality) I have tangential experience. I use a clip on tuner which weighs 45g and I definitely notice a difference in tone. The bass tends to fatten up and have more solidity to it but the trebles suffer and the fiddle tends to lose a lot of its airiness. Response might be a little faster? I notice the same effect on my electric and my acoustic violins. Granted this is a lot more weight added than geared pegs but if there is an effect with 45g it might scale down to a smaller weight increase. Fender makes a "Fat Finger Sustain Enhancer" for guitars: I tried it on my electric mandolin and found all of the same issues with the tuner on my fiddles. I lent it to some guitar and bass (electric) playing friends and none of them liked it. I think it may only help a crappy instrument. https://shop.fender.com/en-US/accessories/miscellaneous/fatfinger-guitar/0992180100.html
  5. So Zuger is Einstein?
  6. This reminds me strongly of an episode of This American Life, "A Little Bit of Knowledge." https://www.thisamericanlife.org/293/transcript Act three is the most germane, here's an excerpt: [Non-Physicist Guest]: So I sat down, I got out my books and started reading. Of course, I never got to the invention because I found something else, something that I couldn't understand, couldn't resolve. And I think something much more important, because it's something every Nobel Prize-winning physicist missed. [Host]: I told [him] I'd run his work past a trained physicist. This turned out to be more difficult than I had expected. A scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory replied to my email with a curt, please don't waste my time again. The head of the Physics Department at the University of Miami dropped [his] research paper like it was radioactive. He receives one of these papers each week, he said. It turns out, there is a whole community of people out there who also claim to have disproved Einstein's theory. So persistent are these outsiders that John Baez, a Professor of Mathematics in California, felt compelled to publish the crackpot index. It's an online quiz you can take to see if you are, by his definition, a crackpot. There are 35 items in the index, including 10 points for each favorable comparison of yourself to Einstein. 10 points for each claim that the theory of relativity is fundamentally misguided. 10 points for claiming that your work is on the cutting edge of a quote, "paradigm shift." 10 points for each statement along the lines of, I'm not good at math, but my theory is conceptually right. Here's Baez. [John Baez]: I'm sure that I've seen at least 100 different crackpot theories. I will get emails from people asking me to help them work out the details of their theory. And so it's sort of like saying I'm good at music, but I just don't know what the notes are supposed to be in this piece. If you could just write down the notes, I could come up with a great piece of music.
  7. For Skype lessons in the virustimes, I got a couple of cheap clip on lights and clipped them onto a pair of mike stands. They are less than $10 a piece and you could probably rig something that would work.
  8. I don't have any calluses on my violin fingers, I play very lightly. I had to quit playing mandolin because then I started to get them. I didn't like the loss of sensitivity in my violin fingers. No hickey either (I do use a shoulder rest), I agree with Gowan that it probably has to do with skin sensitivity and a habit of clamping down with the jawbone on the fiddle. Might also have something to do with an ill-fitting/wrong model chinrest for the player's physiology.
  9. The Musing bows are nice. They are stiffer and lighter than woodesque carbon fiber bows like JonPauls and Codas, but not as stiff nor as light as Arcus bows. It's kind of an intermediate step between the hardcore Arcus and the wood-like bows. I do like the stainless steel mountings. I had a couple of Coda Classics and a GX as my main bows for several years and found that the equivalent JonPaul models are better. I don't know what the secret sauce is but I like JonPaul's better, they feel a bit more...coherent or competent if that makes any sense. I had JonPaul Vetta as my main bow for a few years before switching to Arcuses. I've had students compare Musing, Arcus, and JonPaul bows and usually the choice is the Arcus, then the JonPauls get selected. I think if a player likes light and stiff bows, they usually go for a full-on Arcus instead of the Musing. Almost all of my students who opt for an Arcus get the P or the S models. The difference between an Avanti and a Carrera is pretty much what you would expect for the price jump, better playability, easier handling, better response, better tone (this last one depends though). Some people like the flash of a horn frog and button on the Carrera. The Vetta is a big jump up from the Carrera. The fit and finish of JonPaul bows is nice.
  10. I taught a master class and one of the people there had an all mahogany violin. I didn't play it but I recall it had a really sweet sound that stood out from the other instruments, made me perk up. I liked it. No idea about power or projection of the instrument.
  11. I've had a bunch of students with them and tuned their fiddles a bunch of times. I use a strobe tuner every time and could never get any geared peg to tune as precisely as fine tuners.
  12. That was the first thing I did