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  1. Thank you for the update! Do you teach?
  2. Recording is a valuable tool. Use a smart phone. Record the e- string or g- string to start. Listen to the file. Play a simple piece. Listen for the phone ( mic ) placement and see if it sounds hollow as in too much room, or too much noise ( instrument ) and work on placement. Critical listening might make a difference. Take your time. Try weeks or months later. Microphone placement is a big deal, if not everything. I never assume the engineer knows. If it takes more than 20 minutes to mic a string instrument, the 2nd engineer might be padding the billing. With a smart phone, we listen for rhythm and pitch then tone. For an ensemble, if it's not possible to play together ( pulse, nee rhythm ) pitch won't matter. I learned this too late in life. Rhythm has subsets of downbeats, upbeats, flow and the 2 measure, four measure and eight measure patterns. Music is still about phrasing and rhythm/ structure is poetry. Pitch might be about the groupings of harmonies and how the melody nestles itself in the overall message. Record for fun. Listen and make adjustments. It is so easy with the phone. Never sounds perfect; work on sounding tolerable.
  3. Not sure how to address this post. With senses, there are experiences that we try to explain with words. Sound, Taste, Eyes. Touch is another. Touch and taste must be the earliest? The chemical and existence? Isolating one aspect of the speech is not fair... The address pre- dates the book, but Rebecca Rischin's book about the Messiaen quartet can be of interest to some. Not the novel of a similar name. I read some of Rischin's book, but it remains on the shelf waiting. When rehearsing the work in my early 20s, the pianist would complain that I had no sense of the time and space. The complaint was legitimate. I did not understand then, unable to really count, what the work was. I quit that particular ensemble because other violinists might have done better, but that group never performed. It's was not in the black on dots on lines. It was about something else that I lacked at the time. The brain is full of usable and useless data. It took this address in the context of an introduction to bring me back to the fact that regardless of how much one might know or is able to produce something resembling music, that our journeys are put together with our brains. Now, the work is a struggle, perhaps art. It's a work of sadness? struggle? happiness? At one level, it is just noise, sound, disruptions in space. Paulnack's like so many reminders in life, for me, might be about approaching it thoughtfully.
  4. If we are to believe that our brains are incapable of multitasking ( not arguing here ) our brains are always leaping forward to the next vital passage or technique. This can be an issue at times. If other players are not nice enough to share observations, this can go on for years. Nice rooms flatter us. Or constant mindless work. Vibratos, intonation, tone, shifts, bow changes are all masked over by a friendly room. For the pro, we develop bad habits if thoughtful and considerate people do not point out the "obvious." As a "pro" I still take an occasional lesson and at least speak to or play with other professors. Music Unions are generally useless as there are fewer protections for paying practitioners. Often there are no workshops and one is on their own. The younger generation might change this. But as odd quirks develop, sometimes our minds gloss over small things. They develop because of pain, of lack of practice or old age. To Mr Fine, not at your playing as I do enjoy the posted recordings. But there are those of us, old timers who would never consider recording themselves because they have a regular paying gig. They should find a friend and do it.
  5. Warranties are good. The best are less conditional and the manufacturer/ producer/ artisan, does the best to correct the issue. But that is also dependent on the intent of the "owner." I own quite a few items where, as the 2nd owner, the warranty is not viable. I understand, sort of. In many cases, the manufacturer should not be able to slither away from the original warranty. I have to disagree for many instances. There is the rule of "reduced returns." Just because an additional $2k is spent, there is not necessarily a $2k improvement. One might yield less in the greater spending. But for the pairings that occur in real life, I do like the idea of the option. Some shops have this option regardless of equipment. Not going to discuss what certain dealers might think, but when business is lean, upgrade/ trade ins are not helpful. There are differences where an exceptional dealer can defend the work but is at the mercy of a broken string. I know what to do with a broken Tungsten string, but when the customer complains... I realize that bow purchases are different to a degree, but I have been in the position to defend broken wood bows. Carbon bows break less frequently, but then there is customer satisfaction. Which is far more subjective. In theory, I could continue to upgrade between rehairs. Not on a whim. Corporations, publicly traded entities, governments make decisions thoughtfully and strategically. I know of of Luthiers in the guitar realm who allow trade- ins at full value on the first ten instruments of a new line. The limit of x instruments make sense, as some bugs may not be fully worked out when the first few, of a new model, are produced. I do not know the owners of many of the general European bow making industry. Certainly not those of synthetic bows. I did have a heated discussion with a representative of a Righetti bow, but there was no resolution, then and now. The business approach is cool. Synthetics are stronger than wood until they start to fail, decades from now? But Synthetics generally do not increase in value. If anything they maintain or fall. I am sure like any other form, a collectible will increase in value. Your information is helpful. But as an old man, my guess is that I do not complain enough, because I have been burned by many warranties and rebates. It's not fair to many, because as a corporate dude, my brother yells at a lot of people on the phone. Thus, a happy user of internet services and subscriber and awards recipient. I am still trying to locate a modem from my apple 2. Instead, uniformed teenagers behind fast food counters cower at my rath. On occasion, I play a bunch of Philip Glass. That has them reduced tears. Worker shortages? I might make up a percent or two.
  6. This is a very friendly strategy for the manufacturer. Synthetic bows do not break at the same rate as wooden bows. When a manufactured model starts to fail, the whole series will be done in x range of years given temps and humidity. But for the short term they destruct less. I am whole heartedly interested in synthetics. If I could figure out a way to mineralize and texture a nylon thread to become the new bow hair, I would. If I could make epoxy porous, I would. But the back yard experiments have produced gunk. Manufacturers measure risk, and that is important to their survival. They are trying and however grateful I might be, get the upgrade path in writing.
  7. Might be wrong, but the Prodigy and Conservatory are more related. The release of the XX products were a different range with the visual weave. Just mentioning as they "generally" play differently. Here in the US, there are used Prodigy bows that are in $xxusd that might require rehairing. Compared to an absolutely generic synthetic bow, I recommend the Prodigy as that model was engineered to play a particular way. Ranking raw sticks is a bit of a problem. The ranking methodology makes a difference and we assume that Mus/Arc know what they are doing. I doubt that they will disclose to the public what they do. What is most important, is that once the bows arrive that you play them, not neglecting your other responsibilities. You might even make a ranking matrix. Rank 1 - 5, the skills attempted and the results. When do they arrive?
  8. I do not think so, necessarily, but possibly. My father would take these weekend business trips on occasion and we drove along the coast and the Sierras and the desert plains. He loved music would meet up with players along the way. There were also instrument collectors along the way, but that was in passing. The players would show what they owned. I just recall being shown instruments that did not mean much to me, but did recall hearing interesting names. I can not recall ever purchasing one, but do remember sitting on aluminum folding chairs on concrete slabs playing into the wind. I was on an upside down wooden fruit crate. I think it was possible to buy a fiddle or a guitar for $100 back then. Players played. Priorities were different. So my memories were likely better than the truth, but it was a place where the melodies were passed around and I got to know what a Jam Session was about. You know the joke about the upright bass student where on the third lesson, he came home late because he was gigging. Well, when I was tall enough, that was me. At one point, our paths should have crossed. My dad was the relationships person so must have known more people than I would remember. From classical to bluegrass, if I was not there to meet people, at least I could pass the time looking around for lizards and lost pennies in the parking lot or around the structures. There were many Alligator Lizards for pets. They were the slowest.
  9. It is surprisingly helpful. It might help to have balanced playing over the long run. There are also positives. Better characteristics should also be listened for and worked on. But it should also not restrict one's playing. We also learn to listen to, and evaluate our playing. Do not become the zombie or slave to any particular process. We work and progress at many levels. At first, it is disorienting. One might listen to their own voices too. Along with my angry resting face, I have an angry normal voice. Someone once told me that my helpful voice sounded creepy. Now "Bulginess" is just curious.
  10. Would love to corner, sit down and chat with Mr Victor one of these days. An incredible amount of experience and knowledge. There's like one or two dealers separation from meeting. Or mutual friends from Ridgecrest past.
  11. Product lines are interesting. I worked in an assortment of manufacturing ( resulting in widgets ) and any process is not perfect. The best engineers try to maximize yield, but there are fringes. The higher the expectations, more units on the fringe. Many in the GX line was impressive. Escent ( sic ) and the Marquise are new, and people I respect for their knowledge like them. And many had said the same for the GX > SX > NX lines. At one shop, I jokingly asked if it were a M. de Sade, and the guy literally stared me down. ( Obviously an old guy. ) *cough* I would like a mute. There were some NX series bows that were of excellent value. As we near $1kusd, the GX is a more difficult sell. The Coda feel is that there is an American bowmaker bias, not necessarily because that they are an American company. It just feels that way playing them. Perfect for me but not everywhere. The Arcus, European? Not sure yet. I like mine, but have put less than 40+ hours on the bow. I have paid, so it is all mine. Not sure they solve the stiffness issue with the compensation of weight. Fun to play. A student recently tried several full silver, newly manufactured German bows. She liked them. ( one very much. ) Ultimately, they were tried against far more expensive ( 4x - 10x ) bows and the less expensive bows did very well during the trial over several weeks. Her playing improved. And with much coaxing ( spending time ) on the more expensive bows, improved further. I was there just as a consultant and guided the student through the choices. The parents who heard the playing ultimately chose a far more expensive bow. I would argue that these particular production bows were excellent. The one she liked was better than the other two. Strangely, it was difficult to sway her from a production bows. The bow purchased was also excellent. I agreed with the parents that the more expensive bow would likely improve technique and playing over the next few years, definitely through the teen years. I am not the student's teacher, nor do I know the teacher. My take on the production bows were that they behaved very well. When pushed ( not pressed, tugged, think arm weight ) they were not the higher quality and premium "German" bows, but many aspects of student playing were executed well. Safe, comfortable, nice sound and excellent balance. Timing improved significantly. We asked for a few Nurnbergers and the new production bows played better in her hands. It does help to have an advocate, but at this price range, the risk always appears reasonable. If on the 2nd day of ownership, there is an adverse affect ( allergy ) to the bow, then the loss would be like trying to privately sell a newly purchased car off the lot. But in half a year's time, there is a better understanding and "grasp" of the bow. There would not be much of a financial loss for experimenting at xxx digit pricing. Many of us would prefer not to take any loss, but not me. It's the reality of tuition. Would maybe also advocate for an understanding with your shop. Trades in the future?
  12. Either! The pegbox might wake some up. I am sure the Michigan makers know about the event. If I were anywhere near Rochester or Detroit, would buzz up there in a minute. So happy for your original post! Have not been to an American makers event for ages. Would love to attend were it possible.
  13. Get a supple, but reasonably firm synthetic bow. That is for the feel. It is easy to make a stiff synthetic bow, but far more complex and difficult to find one that loves the string. Can't be there for the sound, but if it feels right, the player will get the strings to max amplitude. I have only told my most thoughtful students this, but a bow should love the instrument and the instrument also love the bow. What is the interface? The hair, the rosin, the string.
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