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About Navyasw02

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  1. What do you consider the characteristics of the top 10 percent makers and violins? My observation is there are a lot of good makers who are trained and make a good quality product, but those products are all the same. I have tried a handful of modern cremonese violins and the look, sound, and finish was indistinguishable.
  2. Any Japanese brand in particular you recommend? I live in Japan so I'll see what I can find locally. I was doing most of my shopping via us sites so far.
  3. I've already spent about 500+ on books to get started. Bought a workbench that I'll put together soon and now I'm pricing out the basics. I did find the wax pot after some googling, I'll give that a try. Everything else I'll just bite the bullet and buy instead of skimping. Definitely wouldn't skimp on knives, gouges, etc, but all the other "stuff" was starting to add up before I got that far!
  4. I'm putting together my list of things to buy to get set up to make a violin at home and having sticker shock before buying a single tool. Between the bending iron, mold and templates, various calipers, cradle, glue pot, and other odds and ends I'm pushing nearly $1000 already. I found some alternatives for the glue pot, but anyone have feedback on the quality of these items from Chinese dealers on eBay? Some are a lot cheaper. I don't want to skimp on the tools, but looking for some savings where I can.
  5. It all depends on why you're collecting. Are you looking for monetary investment or for playing nice looking violins with the investment potential being secondary to using them with their intended purpose? If you're looking at an investment vehicles either be prepared to spend serious cash on established collectable makers or spend significant, but less considerable cash on the great contemporary makers and wait for them to die. If you're just looking through bargain bins at auction, dealers, and yard sales you're better off day trading stocks because people with deeper pockets and more experience who do this for a living will leave you with their leftovers.
  6. Same here (also Japan). What gives??!!?!!
  7. +1 on Chris. Also Howard Needham in Silver Spring
  8. Not to mention access to Brian himself. I've reached out to him for information several times since buying the book and he is amazingly helpful.
  9. No idea. I received a refund check and drop notice with no explanation. I tried emailing and no response yet.
  10. Got dropped from my instrument insurance policy with no notice. Any recommendations for alternate providers? I was with Clarion. Thanks
  11. Based on the suggestions here I bought a Yita 16" T20 viola and threw in another $50 for a bow. Overall, not bad for the $330 I paid for the combination with shipping. I immediately broke the C string while tuning it up and replaced with Dominants. The strings it shipped with are more like metal dipped rubber bands than strings. The fittings are pretty cheap, but workable. I may modify the setup later on, but for right now it's good enough and certainly comparable in tone and playability to the Chinese made violas I tried at local shops in the $1000-2000 range. The bow plays like a $50 bow and has low grade hair, overall nothing particular special.
  12. I only used Peter Infeld and perpetuals. Adding on to this topic, anybody know where to get decent prices on strings online that won't charge an arm and a leg for shipping to military addresses overseas (FPO address)? My usual sites all want $10 to ship strings via USPS, all I need is for them to put in a Manila envelope and mail them, shouldn't cost nearly that much.
  13. Something is off with that scroll...