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Posts posted by dpappas

  1. On 5/10/2022 at 3:18 PM, Rustle said:

    I'm interested if you notice any benefit.  

    It took me a while to get this experiment finished.  I am not happy with the overall cut and fit of the bridge, this is my third attempt at bridge fitting so this is definitely not the final product.  The 38 mm bridge brought out more volume across all strings and more depth. It’s still the same violin with more “oomph” in the lower end and more power overall.  I’m going to take it to a professional to have them fit a narrow bridge.  Even my newbie job made the violin much better.  Thanks also to Jeffrey Holmes for mentioning this in other threads.   

  2. 1 hour ago, Josep Pampidó said:

    important asimetry in the thicknesses of the back, less clear in the belly. I wander if this is intentional,

    We will never know.  So many instruments from this era have been altered, their thicknesses reduced, etc.  

    unless this was a considered a pristine example, you can’t read too much into the intention of design, and just treat it as is.   If the asymmetry is important to the sound, either Steiner or someone down the line who altered it would know.   But they can’t answer the question for us. 

  3. David,


    I usually keep mine (a korfkerrest) at 9 and 3, but I've been experimenting with a tilt that lets the instrument sit flatter, at the same angle as if it is resting on my collarbone (see picture).  So far, no complaints.  


    I will say the korfkerrest is my preferred rest.  It feels like I'm playing without a rest, but my downward shifts are more secure and I don't have to support the instrument with my left hand.  It's very ergonomic.


  4. What a fun idea!  I am actually upgrading from my Bam case to a Musafia that will be here in a few weeks.  I'm beyond excited.    


    In the case I've got my violin, two bows that I alternate between randomly.  A cake of leatherwood supple rosin, my should rest, spare strings, peg compound, and four different mutes made by Weissmeyer and sons (their disc, viol, dual-tone, and Catrpilr (spelled correctly) mutes).  Nail clippers, the torx wrench for my shoulder rest, a DIY sponge humidifier, and a silk accessory bag made by daughter (it has a matching silk bag for the violin that I never use).


    Not shown, but also present are a few lens wipes (for cleaning my glasses or strings) and Apple AirTag in case I misplace my instrument.  It won't work for theft because the thief will get a notification that someone else's AirTag is with them if they have an iPhone.  

    image.thumb.jpeg.5f2ed413e0e00d38347ecc171c3b8edb.jpegMy new Musafia is a Superlegerro and I can't wait.  

  5. Many loaned instruments require the grantee to insure, at their expense.  The loans are often very clear on these requirements, as well as sometimes going as far as specifying luthiers authorized to work on the instrument, or requiring command performances.  

    If you think about it, if someone is giving you a high-end fiddle, and asks you to cover the insurance costs for something you might do to it, it's a fair deal.  It's not just for antiques.  In some cases, the owner pays the insurance, so it being "insured" may not be her choice anyway.

    The alarm not going off for an hour might be a technical glitch.  Let's not jump to conclusions.  

    Here is an example of requirements from one such foundation:




  6. Cars are expensive (buying one right now sadly) because production stopped for a while for the cars and their components, and because rental companies didn't update their fleets during the pandemic (which affects both new orders and the used market).  The used market drying up really drove demand for new cars.  

    Violins didn't suffer chip shortages and individual makers could still make, but probably not sell as well.  I can't see even factory/workshop violins suffering.  People still needed cars during the pandemic, hence the shortage.

  7. I'm in the opposite boat.  Narrow upper eyes (38 mm I think), and the BB is about 2 mm in from that, so even with the angle it's a good 2.5-3 mm in from the bridge foot edge.  So I ordered a 39 mm blank as suggested by Jeffrey and will spend a good deal of time working on that new bridge.  I'll need to fit a longer post to get it in due to the narrower 39 mm bridge foot spacing.

    I noticed on some of the dGs in the Biddulph book (I have the small edition) and some strad posters that even with narrow upper eyes and "innie" bass bars people stick to the same 42 mm bridges most of the time.  So I am not sure if I am chasing something for minimal to no change, but swapping a bridge is easy to undo.

  8. 1 hour ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

    Find geometric center line of the top. Ignore the effholes. Choose a skinnier bridge blank if need be to get closer to the bassbar and get the soundpost in to match. Unless it sounds good. Then leave it alone!

    Thank you very much!  I wondered if the bridge could be trimmed, or a new bridge cut, to get the feet closer to the bar.  

    it sounds okay now, but I can always put in a new bridge and see if it's better.  If not, the old bridge can go back anyway.

  9. I have a workshop violin that I like very much, but there are some issues with the bass bar placement and the symmetry of the violin (picture attached).  The bridge foot is 3.2 mm from the bass bar.  The sound post is 1.6 mm behind the bridge foot (North-South) and 1.9 mm inside the bridge foot (East-West).  The bass bar is further in I suspect due to the funky F-holes (this is a Scott Can 950 "copy" of the Ysaye).  The F-hole upper eyes? are 37.4 (bass) and 36.8 (treble) mm from the edge, but the neck is at an East-West angle, biasing toward the bass side (i.e. it's pointing to the base side).  

    My bridge should probably nudge 1.5-2 mm to the treble side, to better balance over the bass bar.  The instrument is 2 years old, so it's varnish marks on the bridge are pretty much as is.  With the fingerboard already off, the string balance on the fingerboard will be noticeable.  I am not worried about playability, I'm more concerned with a balanced tone.

    Would moving the bridge be a terrible idea?  Of course, if I don't like the sound, I can move it back.  I'm just wondering if this bass bar, which is further "in" than usual, is a long-term red flag.  





  10. On 3/29/2022 at 12:14 PM, Rue said:

    It's more a process of elimination.

    If it has that distinct 'Chinese varnish' smell...I'd say it's from China.

    If it doesn't have that distinct 'Chinese varnish' smell...it could still be from China...^_^


    p.s.  If I were an Eastern European maker of decent violins, I might be a tad irritated to have my work summarily dismissed as being Chinese...given that it's still being used as a pejorative. :ph34r:

    Fair enough, I agree with the converse/inverse statement.  

  11. 19 minutes ago, Rue said:

    I would guess East European too.

    I have one made in Romania - and I have a fractional Gliga.  I have a couple others from China.

    But...how does it smell?  Chinese instruments (in my experience) have a distinct (unpleasant) smell.  The odour does dissipate, but it takes a while. ^_^

    In modern making, the techniques overlap.  There are makers around the world using methods that mimic all approaches.  


    As to the smell matching a country, I can't imagine that all workshops/factories in China using the same varnish, etc.  It's as nebulous as saying violins from country X have a "country X sound".

  12. Andreas,

    I assume you mean nylon stretching vs Kevlar knot compression.   I have seen nylon stretch quite a bit over time, it seems the be the major and only drawback as a material.   

    The softness of the tailpiece wood makes sense.   I might set up a rig with strings and a hanger just to decouple from the instrument and see what frequencies are impacted.  

  13. Don,


    that makes a lot of sense from what I’ve read here.   Generally I agree shorter tailgut is better (and probably that major factor in moving a tailpiece, more than afterlength effects).  I wonder if the strad pet pro tailgut, which is titanium wrapped Kevlar, would be good vs the nylon, if both are super short.   

    thanks for the detailed answer.  I was going to measure the fat end vibration but haven’t had time. 

  14. I understand that tailpieces can vibrate quite a bit and that, if the frequencies are in playing range it can potentially sap power.   

    I touched my tailpiece (boxwood, 12g, 5 mm gut length with 54 mm after length, nylon) while playing and I was surprised by how much it vibrates.   I put some clay (8g) on it and the instrument gets darker/mellower.  I wonder how tailgut length/stiffness would impact things.  

    I’m not looking for a change, just some understanding.  

  15. Hello everyone,

    My violin is not expensive but it is mine and important to me.  I need my soundpost refitted, as I like the tension and the sound, but it's pretty far "east" that it's lifting the treble wing about 0.5 mm.  I posted about it a year or so ago and the general consensus was that it needed to be corrected, but wasn't an emergency.

    (the original thread):

    I have a local shop, but it's "okay" for setup work and I don't have 100% confidence in the setting/fitting of a new post, or optimum placement of the current post.  My options are (a) drive eight hours to albuquerque to Robertson and Sons, or consider mailing my violin somewhere for setup work.  


    Given the changes that can happen during shipping, is it even worth sending it away for work?  Thanks!

  16. The rising prices and lofty/mystical attributes heaped on JBVs these days has to be, in part, because the gold standard antiques, Italian instruments of the 18th century, are becoming unattainable in price.  So now there's a French Sound because the old "italian sound" is too expensive.

    The way I hear people talk about Vuillaumes is how they used to talk about Guadagnini in years past.  But those are going for bank asset amounts now.


  17. 21 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

    Seems like a good explanation as any.  

    I've read that most really good instruments have a wolf note.  Its an indication that the instrument is reaching its limits of sound output while still being playable.  

    If you have many wolf notes it probably means the body is flopping around too much at a mode's resonance peak and it is probably too light and not very stiff--plates and ribs too thin, low stiffness wood.  The instrument is loud but hard to play.

    If you don't have any wolf notes it might mean that sound output could be increased by making everything less stiff and lighter.  An argument could be made that the plates should be thinned in multiple small steps and the violin repeatedly assembled and tested and then stop thinning before wolf notes begin to get unmanageable.

    Like David said the vibrating string feeds vibration energy into the body.  This increases when there is a good impedance match between them and this should be avoided.  So heavy tension strings and a light instrument body is the worst--it might be very loud but wolf notes would be difficult to handle.

    Conversely a light tension string with a heavy stiff instrument body will not have a good transfer of vibration energy from the string to the body because of the large impedance mismatch.  The sound output will be low with out any wolf notes.

    It should be pointed out that a wolf note can happen at a mode's resonance peak that is not particularly loud.  So an admittance curve is better than a sound radiation output for identifying problem peak. 

    For my own personal instruments I try to break up large resonance mode peaks (which is often where wolf note occur) into more but smaller peak resonances.  This might produce more but less powerful wolf notes.

    The strongest of these wolves is called the "leader of the pack". 

    Marty, would that mean that a slightly shorter/longer sound post in the same location would impact wolf formation as well since overall stiffness can be affected?

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