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  1. Not going to the T- 2 NY Dec 2023. But as always, interesting. Viewed it with a friend and he might go. Curious if the overall quality is improving, post- Covid. Stuff currently making it into shops is rather impressive or at the least educational. Saw several items that I played three decades ago. Posting because their Estimates are particularly generic this time. Has it become a big inside joke? Maybe just now noticing how generic the pricing has become.
  2. GoPractice


    Measuring devices are cool. But it very much matters how things are measured. Most inexpensive metrics in sound are truly one dimensional. Someday, we will have meters that measure age, taste, and relative distance to the "middle" of other universes, just by pointing at it. Whether it matters or not.
  3. Can not argue with different strings and post adjustments. Been on the fence about acquiring a cello for a student. Let's call it American, turn of the millennium. It is a relative bargain assuming there are negotiations on behalf of the student. With permission of the seller, strings will be swapped, post adjusted and even tailpieces replaced. The prices of these instruments are not a casual purchase. When it comes to the adjustments in regards to Belgian styled bridge, end pin, then you are correct in that these might be micro adjustments. The older player's abilities are far greater than that of a college student. My job is to be adaptive in what might be the better direction. And the cost of a replacement, much less and upgrade, is impossible or impractical. For the relative costs of 1- 3% of the overall value, the endpin and even a bridge, if it makes the player happier or bridges the difficulty into professional level work, the cost should be well worth it. With a $2k usd instrument, a 15- 20% investment might not be prudent, but if the changes are significant enough for the player, it might be their choice. A better set of strings costs more than some of the more affordable "boutique" end pins, though the cost is in the set and trying. With more generic clamping mechanisms, the swapping of 8- 10mm end pins should be easy. And improvements and changes are not synonymous. Many understand this. But subjectively, it is difficult to judge others unless they are students or friends whom I can be honest with my opinions. I have eaten shoe plenty of times. There are back stories, reasons, desires, needs, for players/ people to do what they do. Strings should be clean for most players. I do use and like some composite end pins, but in experimenting with hollow steel tubes, it might be argued that some composite pins are heavier. The "aerospace" hollow ti tubes, also vary significantly in weight. The actual pin is relatively stationary, so can be of any mass. The difficulty was that there were inferior composite endpins early on, generally too bouncy and bad fits, even though there were equally inferior steel or whatever end pins. I understand the skepticism of many. I am a skeptic. Thus the search. But I do want to better comprehend what I hear and feel. Certainly, there are individual ideals. This might be one of a shop's frustrations.
  4. Ok, cellists, reply. My answers will be general since the scenarios will be different. Make sure the assembly is fit well. At schools I use thin cork and paper templates as it is inexpensive. Sometimes the assembly works its way out if it was improperly fit, or the string tension mostly released. Most kids do not notice. I do have an old German reamer for clean up. 1. Many players have endpins that will not fit a protective cap. Of generic endpins, many kids may not have the ability to produce a difference in tone quality. I do play with the rubber cap, but carefully not to split it. 2. Clipping at the body vs the pin matters upon the fit of the assembly. We did these experiments in the shop several times a week for players at the time. This to illustrate if there is a change in sound. Mass but "bad fit" did very little to offer usable playing information. I used larger metal clips from the stationary store mounted with lead tape for these tests. 3. Putting it on a brick on the floor? Otto Musica used to make a cello stop/ resonator that did alter the sound for even the most basic player if it mattered. I have played at many garden parties. As the cellist was on the path rather than grass, dirt, mud, sand. Brick is better than any soil. Brick sounds worse than concrete path. The Stahlhammer will sink deep into soil. It's time consuming to clean. Yes, I tried several times. Assumed someplaces had better compaction. 4. This is an interesting question. As for pure tone variation, the old bear hug playing vs Tortellier? In teaching students to better understand arm weight, speed, manipulation and arc, especially in the lower positions, the end pins are longer. For third octave thumb position work, my arms are shorter and require a more vertical instrument position. Given my personal needs being a shorter player, I do over play in the bear hug to better control the upper octaves. And your suggestions might be correct, that the endpin type may not matter at this level of playing. But for those who are taller that have lovely "Swan Lake" arms the voicing of that treble voice matters. Not that I will sound ever like the greats, the pushed sound is better achievable. As it has an angry- er core to the sound it might superficially be perceived as expert playing, but to have the transition between cello, violin and some violinistic sound would be much more impressive. I find it much more difficult to change voices when the instrument is more vertical. Just me. The sucky one in the section.
  5. The values of most bowed stringed instruments will continue to rise, only if there are later generations to play and value them. Certainly, my experience has been that better instruments have kept me interested. The value of improvements and insights developed from newly chosen instruments is perhaps greater than the actual retail or selling value of most instruments. Not that there are ways to know about the future. There are analysts, scientists and dealers who could speculate. Just that life and economics do not apply to all instruments. Purchases should ideally made for the love of the instrument? I know nothing of these particular instruments, but Johnson strings should be able to offer reliable information that might potentially bolster the value of the instrument.
  6. ??? NFW. Changing to an new clime and language must be hell. Crap, he's a Canadian maker now.
  7. Dounis is out of my league now. Not that practicing is the best life, but with limited time, a nice even Db major scale would be nice. It's almost easier on the piano. Almost.
  8. The Special are special. Students hear about the books later in development and the fact they are interested makes me happier. I was always afraid to show anything to my teachers for two decades. I best prepared what the assignments were, but feared that if I showed them a side hustle that they would chastise for not staying on task/ target. Two teachers would not work on orchestral excerpts with me ( both having studied with Gingold ) but would discuss them outside the hour. Another two would task me with the score reading and the potential and then to play the excerpts as generically and cleanly as possible. Most of my teachers of any treated the Paganini Caprices as etudes and would only teach sections before moving on. They expected me to stitch the "etude" sections with the easier parts ( not easy. ) It was supposed to bridge what was taught in the Flesch scale books into musical ideas. Actually, they throwing me a bone as even Rode and Fiorillo posed difficulty in certain sections. It was strange to review older editions and see mad writing for about 5 lines and nothing virtually on the rest of the work. I mention this because being a slow learner, Dounis was a bit out of my league early on. A teacher actually audibly scoffed when the name was mentioned. But to his credit, he told me to go to the library and carefully examine every Sevcik book. That took like 8 weeks. We had a discussion that fluency was one aspect of playing, mechanics another and finally musicality, which is subjective. The first two was the chicken and egg situation. The third was if I wanted to eat. Making fun of Sevcik is easy and do not bother to introduce most ideas to students for a long while. There could be several long threads about the pros and cons. Is it possible to get hurt? Ultimately, the discussions were about making an etude an individual study, the short repetitive patterns in every key was to understand my own playing. In positions? The most valuable lesson was to not play a pattern 20x but to listen and feel, carefully, the textures and pitches. If one pattern is successful in a lower position, go to the upper positions. Pure interval changes are important, then we have key centered changes. Thus the viola might be the most important instrument in a developmental section. The hope was that having a level of technique - scales, arpeggios, rhythmic patterns, on and on - prepare us, encourage us to develop courage to try new things. And for fluency this is very much to Mahler. Like I need to credit Shotakovich's writing, but he followed many established rules making the pieces playable. Prokofiev, not as kind. When looking at Dounis, it requires a great deal of this unpacking of things learned. There is the physical stamina ( and skeletal/ muscular system and the intellectual one. But frankly, because I was defeated so early on, never spent time too much time researching the system or other works. Never having an entire summer to sit there and start at page 1, to see how much could be develop, the approach is still taking it apart. And I do suggest sitting, keep the playing compact and deliberate. Which leads to another type of playing. Ah, Ms Hahn... again, another discussion.
  9. "Mechanically" Mr Phillip's responses will be choked. "Physically difficult," but "careful" and mostly "thoughtful," might be the most concise reading... The learning arc is strange because the best might have a special channel to the brain when working. Sometimes the repetitive work is what the ordinary musician can initially manage.
  10. Ok, play hardball. Given names like Josh and Rodney, my money is on Rodney's daughter, in silver. So many aspects of our lives are sampling. I do not drive C8s like the royalty here. Being the guy that might get 3ft off the line in a Prius, I am a bit more cagey about purchases. Does Josh have a kid that makes bows?
  11. Not fair starting with the stamped pic. Is the second bow a Morizot frere?
  12. I understand your suggestion. But this may not answer the original question. Unless one has experienced this problem, it can be very frustrating. Of course, I am inaccurate, but do not want people to notice. They can say whatever they want about me, the person, but the playing needs to be deliverable. And this not playing for three years has made it difficult. Having worked with different materials, the hands were cleaned with or inadvertently exposed to cleaners that wipe out any usual bio- material off the fingertips. For some with thicker or coarser skin, it takes longer for the hand oils to make it to the tips. When I was younger, thicker and harder skin never was an issue. But periodically over the decade, there were times that the edges along the nails or the pads would harden depending on the hand work. Aside from not washing my hands an hour before playing, I also have a hand massage and stretching ritual before warming up with the instrument. Everything is super gentle and check for possible stress. With enough nervousness the hands develop a "usual" feel. On extremely rainy day performances, one might have to embrace the moisture but wash without soap. I also have an older bow that does not have a protective sleeve on the stick and it holds ok. Softer hold and fingers a bit more over the stick helps. If there is a personal luthier that suggests a drop of this or that, use it and blame them if something goes awry. I do put a dot in the center of the palm, rub both hands ( as one would ) and then gently rub tips into those palms to soften or elasticize the skin. Is this not a luxury? My godfather ran his hand through a belt sander at work and complained on occasion about playing. He would warn be about safety then make fun of my playing. I never understood how little kids fiddled with mittens out in the cold. Tip well this season. The left hand poses issues also. No creams unless my hands were demolished laboring in dirt or something that removed layers of skin or ( some ) solvents, very cleaned, and not touching instruments for a day. I can barely play twinkle after being beat.
  13. In an earlier discussion, some decided that gold fittings were used with the "best" sticks. Sure. When this occurs, it is not an overcharge. Not sure how other players filter bows when they are displayed at the shop, but I almost always start with the lowest price. I used to display them lowest to highest left to right. Rosin to the left of the bows along with an open cloth to wipe the bow. A cleaning cloth to the right of the bows to wipe the frog/ button. I do appreciate fine work and some gold work might be exquisite. But these items become more collectible. It can also a bit distracting. One of my outside stand partners had a tortoise/ gold bow which was very visibly different. It was surprising how many people came to talk to her about her bow. Of course she was also extremely attractive and the bow an excuse to speak to her. I told her it was overpriced, but it was wonderful bow. Her husband buys her stuff. As someone who occasionally drops and mars bows, silver is practical. I am ashamed to say that I refit a new silver frog on my old french nickel bow. The newer bows being ordered are in white gold as I do like the contrast. The up charges are sometimes necessary. Some better makers no longer offer tiered pricing. If there are no or unique inlays in the frog then a gold button is nice as it draws attention to the craft. But again, these become collectible. In a shop, the bow you imagine playing in the future does not matter if it is gold or silver.
  14. Without introducing more voodoo, many ( many ) of my friends own Sartory and related bows. The hardcore players still use their Nurn and Pfretz as they do have more core and security in their sound ( even if they own a Sartory. ) But I think it is generational too. My older friends are practical and have quite a few medium priced bows while the younger crowd has one maybe two high priced bows. As auditions have devolved in gladiator battles, the best weapon might have been critical. Here's the voodoo. Sometimes a nicely owned and loved Sartory can be phenomenal. Better than a majority of old French like perhaps some newer instruments playing better than a majority of Strads? That great Sartory was likely selected by a loving owner who then passed it on to another appreciative player. There is a Sartory owned by a friend that would be worth acquiring. We tend to come across instruments and bows in passing.
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