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GoPractice

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  1. You are all better men. Pascal, your initiative, intent, are good. This is certainly a great place to learn. Learn to rehair, Jean Pascal
  2. I love his work. I currently do not own one. But at a bargain price? Would it be possible to make this more of a game? Of those who visit these forums, how many can name ten living makers of their interest? I also love Bill Scott, recently popping up in a post. I currently own at least three ex- Weisshaar employee instruments but I paid what was necessary to acquire them. Chicago - Yes! locate one... How about a Buen? I worked for an investment "group" pre- internet, where intensive research was accomplished over the phones. Charts were made and discussions were intensive. Being a researcher, we were unable to express opinions unless someone pulled "us" aside to discuss the specifics. What would a Buen cost now and what would it cost decades from now? So charts? Specifics can be discussed. The early instruments by current restorers. Rare family members. Many of the women makers are severely overlooked. I can not tell you how makers have been discussed over Omelets. I stopped having breakfast meetings because the most aggressive investors asked for breakfast. Spinach, by the way unless over easy on Rye.
  3. Thank you for the photos. I hope to look at them in length a little later. The viola set up has me giddy.
  4. For those interested, there are utube videos with Maestro Yung Chin ( who will be there at VSA Anaheim this fall? ) where he speaks a bit about Pernambuco. Episode 2 is a bit about Mata Atlantica. I feel fortunate in having met him in various settings and witnessed a very informative re- cambering. Please do a utube search, if interested, with the keywords: Master bow maker Yung Chin wood I realize that I come across as being a jerk in most posts and, coincidentally, am in "real life." I remind myself daily that whatever one's craft in the arts, it is a brutal life. I made a student cry at their first lesson recently. I want to cry along with them but the seriousness and with respect to the student, I do not. When you mention "lucky," you mean skill? I am old enough to own boards of Pernambuco. They are still boards because there are very few bowmakers willing to discuss how they would layout the cuts. I have approached many even paying one. The process, unfortunately, can be very inefficient. I know where to cut, producing lots of waste. Would it make sense to cut a few other sticks? Should I have two nice sticks or five, six, seven, mediocre sticks? But you are correct that virtual luck is involved. I am nor skilled or smart enough to make better bows of bad cuts. But I am aware that I am not smart enough or skilled enough to be a maker of any kind. I leave it to the experts. With fairly sharp planes, the Pernambuco I use is at least 70 years old from seedlings. Generally, with "luck," the sticks were acquired from estates/ shops that were being closed in the 1970s but I paid a considerable sum to a "middle man" for the material. The wood is somewhat dry and it a wonderful sound during planing.
  5. There are many varieties of "Ipe" woods sold out there, but am often not sure which or where or origins of any particular bow wood unless I speak with someone very knowledgeable or to the maker. You are correct that the quality varies when it comes to producing a bow ( or any specified tool or irregularities in a spruce top. ) But am always surprised when a maker produces something wonderful out of what appears to be mediocre sticks. Also when a maker throws out a stick when nearly at dimension due to a flaw in the wood. In either instance, they are losing money. The area in Brasil is a narrow strip along the coast, a long bus ride from the airport. It is a relatively small area. There are bow makers there and I wanted to meet them, see their methods. If work picks up, maybe it would be worth flying down this winter.
  6. From a superficial standpoint, if you are interested, the amount is small. I went to see a collection for $100k usd for 4 bows. One might understand the pressure that is involved. The bows were excellent, but perhaps not what the potential buyer was looking for.... I am not funded. If it were possible, I might have purchased the bows. But my participation was on behalf of a buyer. Not to be mean, but one needs to decide what is realistic and what is not. Like the person that puts on their pants one leg at a time, I play only one bow at a time. I would have purchased the bows were it my money. But this year, the purchase is not to be...
  7. Not sure if being skeptical helps. Not just about the future... I do not mind playing a Arcus CF bow, but it is ( generally ) not as good my other bows. It is awful to be stopped at any border crossing at any level. My experience, an owner of a bow ( a tool for performance ) when travelling. I had an ivory tip bow and feared that it would be confiscated. I would have had the tip replaced, happily, but that did not appear to be an option at the time. Not every agent is fully informed. Would it have been possible to have them understand the idea of, or principles behind exemptions? That was a century old bow, but for that agent, a tip plate that had streaks. Should we get to know the names of every airport/ station manager? I have not yet been to the region in Brasil. I planned on going over a decade ago before being side tracked by the then economic crisis. I have seen photos of the region and the community. Should I believe that they are good people? I have met a harvester. I believe that the locals understand the value of the resource they produce. Poaching is a different issue. I would be happy, even if the yields are tested for use long after I am dead, to encourage the growth of Pernambuco... And as much as I believe that some Romanian wood is superior, arguments about origins of wood from northern Italy and Bosnia can be argued at later date. Would Pernambuco from another region be as good? Might be better... My experience has been that other woods are improving. But even the "Ipe" that I see now is not similar to the Ipe that was used a decade ago.
  8. Thank you for posting. Should this discussion be better tiered, or explained, so it is clear to the end user what can be done? There are multiple concerns for those of us in different user groups. Is there more information?
  9. Nooooooo! Forums are helpful. Meetings are awesome. There are talks around meals and pools and hallways and parking lots that are both informal and informative. The specifics of many of these conversations, in passing, are a blur as they are not lectures. But the ones I remember of hearing or playing are almost priceless... Hopefully, when worldly events settle down, the ( a ) group can be resurrected. Other fun and informative events have slowly faded away due to the expense of travel and hosting events. I attended a fiddle camp at someone's remote property. One had to drive there, but the camping was only $20 a night.
  10. I missed your original link. I am glad to see the photos as the viola looks very nice. At first, the photos looked a bit distorted and the proportions mixed, but the last comment mentioned the shorter string length at the bridge. It is very difficult to suggest Permanents as it has rarely worked out as a solution for the player. I had several sets available at the shop I visited, but to the extent that most every option were tried, they were not all that great. These comments should also take into account that the instruments tested were problematic, either tonally or with volume. A traditional assortment ( or a complete set ) were not satisfactory for the player. The player was happy with the physical feedback from some string sets ( including the Permanent ) but at a distance ( given the player's skill level and instrument ) the instrument sounded fine but not great. Different cores offer a variety of tonal qualities. That's obvious. But there are other qualities that might be evaluated. Duration might be one. If it saves a bit of money, and one is happy with the sound, that is a good paring. For the example of the "traditional" Dominant player, on the whole, they prefer the strings after the "metallic" glare is off the sound after the initial install. I mostly desire the glare given a few instruments that have a silky warmth entirely within their range and sound less responsive ( expressive ) without that edge. Even with powerful modern bows. Those Dominants are given a week or two before donated to students. What I desire about the Dominant lower set is that they "breathe" and phrase a bit more naturally than other strings that might have tonal similarities without working to create that necessary in some slower many regional Baroque styled music. On these instruments, the Evahs for example, would be a less sensitive and require a bit more "force" to activate a particular sound. That desired tonal arc for the Dominants fades in a week or two. While I might get 3- 4 weeks out of a Pirastro set. I have had other string sets last longer ( Other Thomastiks, Helicore on an electric, Spiracore ) while gut sets are used for the weekend or two for the fear of breaking especially when the weather is extreme, Summer humidity and Hotel air conditioning. Note: I have not performed much with other string players for the past few years now. Working more with pianists, these years, they generally do not care how the instruments sounds. Or what strings are used. When they like something, they are complimentary. Pianists are remarkably patient. So have worked in a Piano Duo and Trio recently, but not a Quartet. Working with other species is far easier than working within the species. Almost immediately contradicting myself, I have some very sensitive instruments ( a cello in one instance ) where a new set of Spiracore lowers are so sensitive that thinking about a crescendo, has the 1st violinist complaining that the cello is too loud. Rather, me think, that the particular quality of the string makes it sound louder because the ( higher ) overtones are heard before the depth of the lower octaves. Once the string starts moving, it appears to immediately activate the upper overtones. There seems to be a bit of a lag where the supporting lowest overtones are heard or expressed. And with these particular instruments, the crescendo starts in whisper before the chesti- ness of the lower frequencies are there to support the upper voices. On a long crescendo, the instrument might sound more like a 2nd violin, but an octave lower. A softer bow, grinding a bit, might bring out more of the lower partials. The short coming of the manufacturer's 2- axis graphs is that more information ( for some of us ) would be helpful. For marketing purposes, over- education creates a mental bottleneck, but generalized information might steer the consumer in the preferred direction. The offered 2- axis graph is a start, but with some expertise, a 4- axis might be a better starting point for discussion. Sensitivity and a plot of the workable durations are added into the mental notebook. Since there are very few absolutes in this area, players should also be necessarily wary or flexible, when it comes to data. I have measured string vibrations on a solid metal table and the amount of input at a variety of contact points. I like how some strings "feel" and measure, but the interaction with particular instruments, makes this a virtual exercise in futility. Even with solid body electric violins, the instrument's design works as a filter. I figured that some insights from testing might save some $$$s, but no. Discussions narrow the choices. In a shop environment, where the playing and instruments are observed, the suggested ( and probable ) choices can be further reduced. And to Mr Victor's point, the Permanents are used for the middle strings. He has tried a variety of strings to get to that particular solution. And one that is remarkable. Weich Dominant sets are rarely used, but they do offer options and are remarkable. Though I have not processed every word in Professor Beament's book, it came out at the right time. It was essential to many discussions I had with friends. Must have given away at least half a dozen. Anytime I see one in a used book store, it gets picked up.
  11. Mr Rosales, So much depends on the player's physique and shape. There is more that should have been mentioned. Fit is important in development. Violin is less the issue now, but viola is getting worse. As I grow older, quality of sound is more important than fit. Aside from the fact that the Mach rest I use is made of wood, I chose it because of the attached leather. Leather slides better than foam. I also have a shorter neck and more square- ish shoulders. The instrument needs to move in preparation for major musical changes. There appears to be very little benefit in having the rest further away given my shape. For some, the cantilevering of the rest, further away, might be preferred. I have a thick big skull with more sausage than brains. I can cantilever off the collar bone when need be. But a rest near the muscles of the shoulder also restricts movement of the instrument. I need the rest when locking in for the most difficult technical passages. 95% of performances require no rest. I might start with a rest, but will eventually move away. One instrument sounds great with the rest. One instrument, I am told, sound the best with a Wolf. SO what is practical? Leather slips and allows the quick and smooth change in position. There are other wooden rests that I like but the Mach worked and became available when I needed something different. The wooden Kun, tried in the shop, was more klunky. The curve of the Mach can be a bit aggressive. After a year or two of practice, three octave leaps become easier ( Sibelius, ) but playing chromatics in the 3rd octave, require some stability when replacing and re- replacing fingers. I do not use the Mach for the Sibelius or for most any playable concerto. Kun makes taller legs and they are replaced in an assortment of rests. The original Mach feet did not last very long, so were replaced with Kun feet. As luthiers, we can likely fit any legs to any rest. Frankly, I have no idea where the Mach might be... put it away in 2018 and now in a box somewhere. When I need it I will look or buy a new one. As designs go, the BonMusica rests are an assortment of modular possibilities and I do appreciate that aspect of construction. When prototyping, fixtures with various ranges might be created for "proof of concept" experiments, but for players, hopefully more choices evolve. I can not calculate the number of hours I spent ( shop hours- hundreds ) fitting BondMusica rest to students. The shop owner allowed us to be very helpful to the customers. Many teachers trusted us to achieve a reasonable fit and they had the veto power. We sometimes spent months with particular teachers. It is the shop's job to help the community and ultimately that was important to the owner. I had a student switch teachers during the pandemic, which is great as I do not mind and any progress is great. I chose not to teach via the internet. I did plenty of outdoor lessons. During the overlap lessons, they showed up with a BonMusica. At that point, it occurred to me that many of my fits were wrong ( no, being sarcastic, they were not absolutely not wrong ) or that the student just needed a change and a teacher that believed that the BonMusica rest would be the catalyst that would make a student's playing better. I add these comments not because that BonMusica is a bad rest and the teachers that use the rest are bad, but that change can be a good thing. Having heard that student play recently, there were no real improvements. So not sure the teacher's approach was credible or at least, that switching to the BonMusica did not make the better player. Being klunky does not make the rest any better. It is a solution, but given the elegance of the instrument a dipped, metal rest may not be the solution. I am grateful for the option, but in order, does it improve: comfort, technique, sound?
  12. Thank you for the thoughtful effort. I am also grateful for Maestro Peak's efforts as his instruments offer an option. Glad to hear that he is thriving. There are quite a few people I know who benefit from the output. I can see a bit of Whedbee in the Peaks. With your info, will have to find a Digiuni model to try. I have not spent anytime with a Digiuni so will have to research a bit. There is an interesting photo of a 1991 Matsuda at the String House in Rochester. Last time I visited the Eastman School, my visit to stores were proportionally spent mostly at ones with guitars, Bernunzio's and the House of Guitars. With friends, so short on time, were drinking in the parking lots of the guitar stores to catch up. No excuses. Genesee and Labatt? The last time we were together was in Frankenmuth, on a trip headed north, trying to get chicken. Saving a few $$ starting in the parking lot. We were pathetic and poor. These are the memories we choose at times, not the soul breaking hours of practice and rehearsals. It is also in these travels, that the most interesting instruments were encountered. The House of Weaver instruments have also been a benefit to so many. I own at least two cellos and several violins from the shop. Shops were near the house I stayed at on trips to the area and could not resist visiting the other Eastman.
  13. Idiocy. Mariss Jansons conducted this Tchaik set, not Jarvi. A Russian school conductor, marvelous. Way more precise than Jarvi. At Oslo and Pittsburg and back to Europe... Studied with Mravinsky ( thanks wiki ) who had some of the most on the edge string performances in the Tchaik 4. Listening to Hurwitz's Tchaik 4 video... faulty memory. The stupidity of parsing recordings by label and rattling off at the keyboard. Sorry folks - thanks for reading the correction.
  14. No, if you enjoy playing cello, the comments are related. A cellist friend describes the Versum strings as "Yummy." A few, all female, are more renegades than my male friends and they choose to play far more esoteric choice of strings, like the variety of gut core strings available. One who uses mostly Gold labels creates the most textural sounds. I love listening to her warm up. The tone would appear to get louder and fuller but never sounded strained or choked. Great French bow, great French cello... The D'Addario Kaplan line is also interesting as it sounds full and forgiving without too much edge. Clear. Yes, I have been looking for Obligato- esque strings that last. The Obligatos for viola are certainly not the loudest string set. Generally, the a- is replaced with a Larsen. Have you tried bowing with a bias towards arm weight? Not trying to sell you on the idea, but you likely have long arms. As a bow control exercise, one slows down the bow to the point that the strings are groaning, say below the balance point on a down bow. When watching the strings, they vibrate chaotically. Be sure that the groan is similar each time it is reproduced. Increase the bow speed a bit, where the pitch of the open strings becomes more defined. What is important in this technique, is that the pull be uniform. Do not accelerate the bow; keep the velocity constant. Relax both set of fingers. There will be a point where the tone is choked but fuller, if not "fatter." This exercise is a bit like working with stepped dynamics and the same bow velocity might be tried for a dozen strokes at a time. Then stop, take a break, re- focus. Start with the groan again and step up to a slightly faster velocity. Increase the used bow length an inch or two. Keep repeating the process until most of the bow is being used, say 60-65%. Keep bow arm inline with the bow or slightly lower, wrists should be as relaxed, but when doing this alone, it will feel funny. Having a bowing coach helps. Producing bad sounds is a bit stressful. The tone should be fuller and somewhat louder after a week or two. I have done similar exercises with scales and double stops, getting closer to the bridge. For years. The point of this exercise is not necessarily to apply pressure to the strings, but to learn how to draw the string amplitude more horizontally and to work on string activation across the strings. The reason I offer this suggestion is that Obligatos are forgiving and sound very nice at lower volumes, say given a particular quality and familiar bow. It has a very nice "functioning" range. Other string sets have a better working range at larger, orchestral volumes. Some longer string sets on large violas feel, perhaps less sensitive, though the sound is throaty and dark. Obligatos can be pulled to play louder, and drawing out that warmth can be rewarding. But they can also fade in quality rather quickly when constantly overworked. When I ( conceptually ) play the string from above, "pushing" into the Obligatos, the sound becomes smaller, almost crushed. Trying to mentally work out why the initial set of Pirazzis on your instrument were so bright. I do appreciate all the efforts Wittner puts into their products. Are the afterlengths adjusted on your instrument? Some "power" and immediacy can be lost behind the bridge. For Folksy viola parts as well as some aggressive work, I have grown fond of the Savarez Cantiga line. When accompanying wind instruments and vocals on viola, the Kaplans have been silky. Neither are particularly powerful... Played a Mozart Clarinet quintet at a house party on Kaplans and the sound was very well suited as it blended but was clear at lower volumes. Various strings prompt me to behave, not to overplay. But these were on smaller instruments, mostly a 16 1/4 or 3/8. I have friends that sound wonderfully expressive with the Thomastik Pi strings. Musical strings that are dynamic and appear to have a reasonably wide, if not forgiving, contact point making for a decent range of tone. Some are not used to the set's inherent tone. I have yet to try a full set. Metal cores in a variety of Larsen string sets... If you already have a secure bow pull on the strings, or do not want/ need to change bow strokes ( understandably a task ) then disregard the suggestions. It is expensive, experimenting. I am waiting for some seasonal sales before working on optimizing some smaller instruments. Hopefully soon? Have to get them set up before school starts again in August.
  15. No reply yet. I am not that qualified to give you an answer, as your goal is to go to school. But can offer one perspective. You have done some research, which is good. Try mining this site a bit more for additional opinions. The Derber, Courtnall? then Shipman? The Strobel books are inexpensive, so worth the read, regardless of what techniques are adopted. There is a bunch of general helpful bits of data in the Strobel series. The Courtnall, when inexpensive or purchased used, is a quick reference. Given the crazy pricing, the Derber is the best bet. I still recall images on certain pages of the Courtnall, though the book has been misplaced. I often used the book to explain instrument construction to students. Books can be entertaining, educational or thought provoking. I am of the opinion that knowing something is helpful. The Shipman is an interesting read, but likely not as helpful when preparing for school. But when it comes to employment, perhaps starting on and thinking through some minor repairs is a good thing. But I caution that knowing a little something can lead to mistakes - I have made many. The knowledge developed through books can offer a solid point of reference. Additional knowledge builds the depth and complexity of a process that is repeated many times, in most instances. Just a warning, that some instructors have methods that suits them well and that particular methods may be vetoed at other shops. I see it is as additional learning, but the process of re- learning, and repeating that process fast can be frustrating. How many dozens of times did it take to tie a good knot fast? So who you learn from might make a difference. I did not go to a violinmaking school. My circumstance did not allow that opportunity. But I see a lot of product coming out of the schools, and that output can be mixed, I am sure for many reasons. Not that the school is bad, but that skills required take time, like bowed string playing. Learning on the job, there were those who were helpful and others who were indifferent. In deciding to go to a crafts school, one will have to decide on which approach will be the most helpful in the future, if the skills will become your career path. Maybe it won't be the career, and that takes a bunch of pressure off... As important as the books might be, viewing videos is helpful. Though the actual information as to the why is better found in books. But the sounds, the smoothness of work, the strength of the cuts are more readily visible. At one shop, a friendly guy gifted me a knife with good steel and an old stone. There was no Derber or Courtnall book then. Until I was able to sharpen a knife or clean a brush reasonably well, I was not allowed to touch any instrument or wood. The first time, I tried carving into some Gabon ebony endgrain, it was a shock.
  16. There was a cranky old shop owner ( actually, as a child most seemed cranky and opinionated ) my father would take me to, from time to time, until I was about twelve. There were so many shops back then. The shop was fascinating because it was surprisingly large for one man and he would be in the dark corner among piles of instruments. I do remember playing a hexagonal bow then. He often showed something of interest and quizzed me on details. I was still playing fractionals then. The hexagonal bow was difficult to handle. Not because it was 4/4 but that it felt different in the hand. It would be of interest to see how the OP bow feels in the hand. Playing it, I did not notice the bow was hexagonal but he pointed it out later. There was another bow I came across, where it was a hexagonal >> octagonal hybrid. It was mostly "hexagonal" from the tip for about 10cm, then the rounded wisp developed into a wedge becoming the 7th and 8th facet. I assumed it was a shaved down octagonal that had some damage to the top of the tip. Sounded fine, but looked very strange.
  17. I have several Bon Musica rests of various sizes in boxes. Hate them. Maybe that is too strong. They are very useful, but tend to lock players into specific positions. They are very useful for students learning to play very difficult literature. Or more clearly, useful for players learning difficult literature. Have not been able to set them up to optimally support the instrument. Fit becomes the issue. Sound on a particular note, is sometimes optimum in one position. Depending on the work, and let's be real, most people take at least a half a year to get comfortable with a piece, unless one is Sarah Chang, Ms Hahn or Ms Mutter or some of the more gifted players developing after the pandemic. The length of some necks have a bit to do with comfort or playability. I am not necessarily in the wood sounds better than plastic camp, but whenever possible, the students play on some form of wood. But whenever this is not possible, metal, the Wolf products among the groupings, becomes the secondary tier. I recently ordered the Korfker as it will have to be added in the arsenal. I like the Mach for myself on very technical works, but generally do not use a rest... I have replaced the Mach feet with Kun feet at times. the parents will freak out when their kid needs a Korfker. Ok, had my say. The further the Bon Musica is from your neck, the more it might fit across your chest. Though there is a ribbon of metal, I would resist distorting it too much. The one thing for certain, is that the rest is adjustable to your heart's content assuming one is patient enough to try the positions. What I mean is that the fit of the rest is shallower the further the upper part is on the shoulder, unless locked in at 70 degrees off center works. I start some playing at 45 degrees off of center axis and work towards 70. For most students, the low g- string is better at 45 while the upper octave work is better approaching 70 assuming the arms the willing. To answer your question, I start shallow at 8:30 and 3:30 which might move closer to 9:00 and 3:30... Where would you like the shoulders to be? This is another discussion to be had...
  18. Thank you for the details. If you are not performing, the strings sets should be for you. That might suggest that output is not a premium. That is my only legitimate observation. But since I am typing. I do not want to second guess your luthier, but possibly the tailpiece length? Is this an a- tuner only? Not having heard or played your instrument or hung out on a Monday afternoon, it is a bit difficult to guess. Vibrating freely and warmth in tone are two different things, but both sort of force us to play into the instrument. Which can be a pleasure? Is that what you'd like? My advice is not of substantial value as I am more likely to play Dominants on a viola rather than Spiracore, but have used the Spiracore on the cello, and being a bit old school, like the silver. Young guys like Tungsten and on some reasonably set up cellos with muted lower end, it can open things up. The choice of the Karneol a- is interesting. The Larsen is more similar to the Jargar so am not sure what to suggest. As for the tonal "matrix" or the graphic that the manufacturers offer.... It is a guideline but the tonal color varies considerably. Highly instrument dependent... there are other qualities like sensitivity and stability that are not mentioned in the graphic. A cube? A 3D model? Would be a challenge to manufacturers at a conference to prepare a presentation. Shoot out at NAMM, or at the next VSA conference? For 17+ instruments, the Helicore is actually a go to string. They have offered longer lengths and do take a while to settle. At the shop I was at, this is where I started. Did I mention that it takes a bit to settle? On a 16.5 1930s Italian viola and a much later American viola, both instruments loved the Obligatos but would only last about 100 hours. Currently not performing but the Pirazzi, c- g- d- medium tension tends to get used on a living maker viola for about 200 hours ( when performing. ) The currently matched bow is beastly and can be used to play cello. It can drive most strings on the viola but, the Spircore can be a bit rough, either having too much dynamics or wobble. There is a Canadian bow in the mix and it has me playing a bit everyday. The current instrument, I am told has a feminine voice. A very chest- y alto voice, when played against a piano. There are violists who would like that Tenore voice and though my instrument comes close to the Carreras quality, I have rarely come across the Pavarotti tone, which I would get a bank ( home ) loan to purchase. Is there an alto operatic voice that is ideal? I am, if anything in my playing is of value, trying for clarity. That implies a bit of harshness and brightness, fighting with the other three. I have to say that there is a bit of overdrive in the tone, which I am starting to embrace. How do you envision ( with your ears ) the sound? What pieces are you playing? Would you like a mini cello?
  19. Not close to Tarisio. Thousands of miles away. Ironwood? Fine for viola, perhaps even good, given how Ironwood can feel. The profile of the head is attractive; it sucks me in. But the other end is a mix. I did not bother to read the certificate but presume a baguette. This is one I would definitely play and examine... the Peccatte is also one to look at.
  20. This morning is a bit buzzy today. Not sure how many responses you will get. We all struggle with different issues when photographing instruments. I have been the shop photographer, an assistant to a house photographer for shops and have also contracted work for shop websites. The shop owner wants to sell product, so the photographs need to be accurate, but interesting, hopefully showing off the bows better attributes. Obviously playability and sound can not described without words. But the cameras back then were not as high resolution as they are today and photoshop was used. My most recent bows have been photographed by an archivist and the shots are clinical. It is relatively expensive. Flaws are visible and question whether it would be valuable to most shops. For experts and makers and researchers, it is fascinating. Not sure what happens, but takes more than a week. Lighting and color were the biggest issue. For lighting, diffusers were absolutely necessary. For color, I tried to standardize a process but inevitably some image processing software was required. In the older days, working on Apple products, there were ways to get fairly accurate color. There was a way to "calibrate" what was visible on screen, but for me, I adjusted for output ( data. ) I set up a physical station using small Ikea furniture on wheels ( inexpensive and portable ) making most set up nearly identical for any previous session. I could leave up the lights, or have an approximation of how they should be placed. Most shops were interested only in the tips and the frogs. Polished bows can have "hot spots," especially with LED lights, so facets, radii can cause unattractive stripes and swaths of white. At one point, a less expensive camera, like the iconic Nikon 900series cameras or the Canon Sureshot was enough for shop photos. Internet resolutions did not have to be that high... The prep work is often the most difficult part of having to do many bows. The bows have to look nice. The space should be dust free. The bows have to be prepped to have a standard tension where they look similar. There are microfibre cloths, brushes, vacuums, silver polish, polishing cloths... I prepped most of the bows for the photographer. This made the process much faster but the photographer ( still ) would see flaws in either the monitor or the viewfinder and it took a bit more time in discussing how to achieve the best shot. Most Cameras do have an "out" where a cable can be connected to a desktop or a laptop. Before the shot, if the image is larger ( say 20"+ monitor, ) it is easier to see flaws or shadows on a larger screen. A "grid" makes up a background work- surface when centering the bow. The bow is elevated up to 25cm over the background most of the time. Once the bow is centered and tilted to avoid any glare, a gray ( or any color ) background is placed over the grid. I try not to move the camera once mounted in place. Keeping records is immensely important if there are many bows. I kept a notebook and scribbled notes. The archivist had a spreadsheet. Taking the photos used to be far more easier than the time it took to color correct, but once the correction settings are set, "batch" or multiple processing is possible. Photography, like other hobbies can become an obsessive pastime, at least for awhile. I have an assortment of Canon lenses as they take time to acquire and to discover that I might not have needed it... but lenses do distort images. I had several ( not one, or two ) parents go out and purchase better Sony cameras when they became interested in photographing instruments. The point being that from my experience, full frame sensors and longer focal length lenses appear to reduce image distortion. But frankly, I think a Sigma 100mm macro lens gets used for most of the photos. Pro-sumer optics is remrakable. The current phones easily exceed the early digital sensors. Better lenses focus better, but unless one has great eyes, ( not great looking but functional ) that output to the larger monitor was essential for me. But generally, setups need to be customized for specific use. I have a photo station and image processing software. Neither is necessary. And capturing the 3D aspect of the heads/ tips is done with the more creative aspects of lighting and different photographers see different things.
  21. Maestro Martin Swan might have insights into the more precise story of the instrument. The author, Helena Attlee, was inspired by the instrument to write the book of this title. On my list to read.
  22. Thank you. As these iconic instruments come to auction over my lifetime, it's an opportunity to re- examine them and other associated instruments. Have a look at legends. Not like watching Joe Theisman on a Sunday afternoon on ESPN, who was great, but to recall the myths. The half truths. I stopped reading the newest Strads the past few years ( certainly since the pandemic ) and instead started ( re- ) reading older journals. I notice that the reading was somehow more exciting back then. It's easy for me to get stuck in the 90s as it was an era of transition. I found an auction update in an older Strad that listed one of my "winners" which is still owned. Not so notable, except that I never read it, never noticed the comments. Now a much older man, had I noticed, the instrument might have been sold. My excitement is that there are individuals, still interested in instruments. The Hellier might be an instrument to visit. Like Halley's it comes around once in awhile. But what amazes me now, is that the current proximity is across wires and silicon and quite clear. Not a defuse cotton ball in a semi- black sky. No need to breathe on it or turn its pegs. Mr Law's response triggered the thought that those interested, still exist. And am grateful.
  23. In working with metal, sometimes the friction caused by the non- precise insertion of the slide can distort some metal, especially when at a fraction of a mm. It ends up binding and creating a wave of sorts. Because the metal is actually thinning ( stretching, ) it mostly will not come apart at the corners. So there might be distortion on the metal facets of the slide. The distortions can be corrected, but sometimes, the soldered corners might have already been damaged, if the installation was rough. I am with Maestro Dorsey on replacing an irregular fit/ oversized metal slide, when that is the better solution. Let the customer know of the options and see if they are willing to *upgrade* the slide. I do not know of any hardwoods that expand over time. Are there any that attract water? Without actually seeing the metal slide though, if the fit is supposed to parallel, all facets and angles should be checked, as you have done. I also agree with Maestro Griffiths. The paper on the flat surface is safer. Strokes biasing a wedge. Possibly work the point off of the corner of the slide, that this is a production bow. Materials get clogged in the corners and slide is no longer truly parallel. I also have a non- textured narrow flat burnisher that is used like a chisel to clean out the channels. Paper on stone, with the slide on a block to get the correct or slightly lesser angle. Files will work on the frog. Might run a pick ( or a brush ) in the channel to dislodge possible build up along the channel. Get that pencil from Kindergarten class with the 6- 8mm lead and run it on the surfaces. If the slide goes in and out with double stick tape, that's a start.
  24. Is the 1941 Sacconi copy on display in Cremona? I remember having seen the photos of the more recent copy by Stefano Conio but can not remember details. The Greffuhle ( 1709? ) was a different form? I do not have a Strad book close by.
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