Al Cramer

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Posts posted by Al Cramer

  1. Your Dad sounds great &  putting his music out into the world is a righteous thing to do!

    I'm also interested in mic's for internet. It seems the one you're using goes for 300$. If I could only come up with 100$, could anyone make some recomendations? (apologies if I'm hi-jacking this thread -- if people think so I'll delete this posting).

  2. Gowan, many thanks for posting about JamKazam. Neither that nor JackTrip looks very encouraging, as regards software/hardware/connectivity requirements. I suspect we're going to have to do Plan B: stay outside, build a fire, get a 1.75 liter bottle of Allen's Coffee Brandy, and dust off some Quebecois & Metis tunes. Actually that doesn't sound so bad, except for the Allen's Coffee Brandy part (it's truly vile, but for whatever reason is an essential part of outdoor winter culture in Maine).

  3. Because of covid19, we've been playing outside with social distancing. But we're in Maine & it's getting too cold, so I'm starting to look into getting together virtually. Seems the big problem is network latency. So far I've found an app called "jacktrip" that's supposed to address that. Has anyone here used it? Are there other ways to do this?


    Many thanks & keep on keeping on...



  4. Bridge must not slant. North side (side facing pegbox) should be perpendicular to body of instrument. Also that bridge looks absurdly thick. Maybe neck angle problems?

    May I suggest: for each of the 4 strings, measure distance between center of string and end of peg board. Then compare those measures to the standard numbers as posted on many internet sites.

    Best of luck!

  5. I just wanted to thank everybody who responded to my question re sharpening (geigenbuaer, it was very kind of you to provide those links).

    Isn't it interesting how everybody has different ideas and practices? 

  6. Re this question of gouges: would anyone care to comment in their philosophy re sharpening? I come from a flute/pipes making background, where everything is lathe-oriented: you get used to stopping every 2-3 minutes and resharpen on a bench grinder, and rarely use whetstones. (Also you do things like use the edge of the bench grinding stone to turn normal gouges into incannel gouges). But I think the scroll carving world is very different!

  7. I just wanted to remind everybody that music is a healing thing. People are stressed out & anxious right now.  If you can share your music with others, it can really help. Remember the celllist in Sarajevo?

    Of course you need to be smart, and not create situations where people cluster together to hear you. That balcony singing the Italians are doing looks pretty good.

  8. GeorgeH, I totally agree. If I owned a multi-thousand dollar instrument, I'd be terrified of tinkering with it. I'd be terrified to even play it! (Have played some instruments like that belonged to other people. They were quite nice, though in a few cases I thought the set-up seemed a bit dodgy).

  9. This idea that players should be able to carve bridges and set soundposts  is interesting. I always thought it curious that people who play double reed instruments are expected to learn how to make their own reeds, but people who play violins aren't expected to fit their own bridges.  (My own experience has been: it took me a long time to learn how to carve an ok bridge. It took me twice as long to learn how to reed my Scottish small-pipes, and I was never able to make an Uilllean pipe reed that played a full 2 octaves).

  10. Some news re Lombardy --

    We live in New England, but my wife grew up in Milano and all her family's over there. Her sister reports that there are no shortages in the supermarkets, but the bookstores have sold out all copies of Manzoni's I promessi sposi . That's this big heavy 19th novel everybody used to have to read in high school, set in the plague years that killed off the Brescian school. Marisa says everybody is re-reading it.

  11. Delabo posted:

    On 3/8/2020 at 6:58 AM, Delabo said:

    Should a violin be sent by parcel post with the post up or down ?


    That's kind of what I was wondering about in my post. Up until 20 years ago, if you wanted a fiddle, you'd go to whatever pawnshops/music stores/violin shops/maker's workshops you knew about and buy something (or trade your Fender tube amp for somebody else's violin, which is how I got into strings). Nowadays, if you don't have much money, you have to work thru the net. If you have some experience with violins you can maybe find something that looks promising and it can be a win, though it's always a gamble. 

    But for setup -- especially soundposts -- I don't see how this net stuff can really work. I don't doubt that maestros like David Burgess can set the post perfectly and ship the thing with strings slacked 2 whole steps down and it all works out, but when we buy stuff off ebay or, that's not who we're dealing with. 

  12. I'm bewildered by the complaint that the soundpost was down.  I thought that a good setup used minimal soundpost pressure for un-slacked strings? So if you loosened the strings for shipment, the post would fall and the recipient would have to go to a luthier to reset the post (or buy some tools and do it herself?). 


  13. I would like to apologize to everybody for complaining about morgana. It never crossed my mind that someone would choose to mimic trigram based  stochastic sentence productions  in posting here! Sorry again -- I've no right to complain about anybody.

    Having said that -- I really enjoyed the interchange between Senseis  Swan, Noon, and Burgess re the crushing of wood fibers. It kinda relates back to my questions about the wood used to make  soundposts. 

  14. The Maggini looks an awful lot like the one I bought from Reverb for 325$ and spent lots of time setting up, replacing pegs, and reworking/shimming the fingerboard.  I really love the result -- rich dark tone, a great fiddle for what I play (mostly Celtic and jazz). It really rocks in 5th position -- e on the d string makes the top e ring like a bell. I was surprised that Conor Russel wrote they're disliked in Ireland: here in New England the session and French players like them.

    Re fix-up:  have you considered starting slow? You could just ignore the crack in the Maggini for now and work on setup. Get yourself 5-6 bridge blanks, some sandpaper, an exacto knife with the curved scimitar style blade for thinning; then read some of the stuff on the net about fitting bridges and have at it. Some deal with sound-post: the fitting tools required cost little and you can them from Fiddlershop. Next step would be fingerboard, then pegs... none of this stuff is impossible to learn, you just have to spend a lot of time noodling around.

    Though I should add -- if you're new to the fiddle as a player, this is probably not the way to go. If you're going to try setup, you need to have your ears tuned in and your fingers need to know what a decent instrument feels like. But it works the other way as well: I found that doing setup seemed to make my playing better, not entirely sure why...

  15. That looks like a really nice fiddle for 275$ ! Wonder how it sounds...

    I know absolutely nothing compared to the people who regularly post here, but did want to mention: you might want to consider replacing the pegs with "Perfection Planetary Pegs" (or the Wittner version thereof). You can do the work yourself: set of pegs is 75$, plus you might need a peg-reamer (around 30$, cost + shipping from Chinese suppliers on ebay). If you did that, you could get rid of all 4 of the fine tuners, plus relieve all the stress on the pegbox (I really love that beautiful repair).

    If this interests you, check out the postings in Maestronet/Fingerboard re geared pegs. Players love them but it's a controversial topic as regards authenticity, respect for tradition, etc..

  16. If I might ask a more general question about notchless f holes (which I have never seen before): am I right in thinking the notches play no role in the response of the instrument, and are just there to cue us players into where to position the bridge? Thanks!

  17. Could someone please comment on the wood? I'm really intrigued by the back, because the upper region looks flamed but the lower looks almost quilted. Also the wide grain of the table is very cool. People say this is Markneukirchen/Schönbach ca. 1900: I didn't realize that those makers used such interesting wood!

  18. Violadamore, thanks for for your explanation of fluted f-holes. I did some googling and think I now understand what you wrote. I read through a great 2010 thread  in Maestronet where people like Don Noon were trying to figure out how much the fluting affects the sound. (Results were  inconclusive).  But at least I understand Martin Swan's observation

    On 1/23/2020 at 4:34 PM, martin swan said:


     One should always be wary of fluted fs on revarnished fiddles ...

    Fluting means more hands-on-work, so factory instruments wouldn't have it but individually made axes might; so if you took a factory job and carved some fluting prior to revarnishing, people would think it more valuable. Have I got this right? It is difficult for me to believe that anyone  involved with this noble instrument would stoop to such shenanigans, but I am beginning to understand that scams are an ancient and revered part of the violin biz.