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About KB_Smith

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    Chantilly, VA - a Washington, D.C. suburb

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  1. How do you photograph the inside of a violin? OP photos look like a straight shot up the center, through the end button hole, but then how do you take the photos of the treble side corner blocks?
  2. then see their list of fine French violins in their inventory before you make too quick a judgment about their business. I owe you an apology Blank Face. You are absolutely right. You made no judgement about their business, simply an observation that this music shop is more specialized in wind instruments, which you saw from their eBay post about a violin. I assumed you were making a judgement on their business because of your reference to eBay. I've seen so many cautionary and negative comments on MN about any violin sold on eBay, I erroneously connected dots in my mind that should
  3. Yes, it does seem they are about band instruments. But they have a separate departments (and perhaps stores) that specialize in guitars (E.M. Shorts Guitar Shop) and violins (The Wichita Violin Shop). Yes, they have an eBay shop, which may sullen their reputability in some eyes, but they also sell on Reverb, direct online from their own internet store, and of course in their brick & mortar store. They are self-professed specialists in French violins and also sell violins from Italy, England, Germany, and USA. I'd encourage you to read their violin page here and then see their list of f
  4. The label in this instrument actually says: “Fini sous la direction de/Caressa & Francais / Luthiers du Conservatoire / 12 Rue de Madrid a Paris / 1952.” So that translates to “Finished under the direction of Caressa & Francais ...). I spoke with the guy who runs the violin shop who sent this to me. His father, the violin shop owner, personally bought this violin in the 1990s in France. He has seen 1000s of violins and has no reason to believe it is not authentic. He also said the bridge that is on it right now was cut by a luthier who worked at W.E. Hill & Sons in England for
  5. Found these on Tarisio Cozio Archive. So I guess they each had their proprietary label. Still, I think they both may have produced some trade violins out of the shop with the Caressa & Francais label to take advantage of the brand recognition and popularity, but I have no evidence of that beyond the label in the 1952 violin I currently have in hand.
  6. Henri Francais and Albert Caressa started the business in 1901 and ran it together until Hneri retired in 1920. Albert Caressa continued the business until he retired in 1938. Henri Francais' son, Emile, actually married Albert Caressa's daughter and worked as a shop foreman for Albert until albert retired in 1938. Then Emile took over in 1938 and ran the shop until 1984. After he stepped down, the business folded. The question in my mind is could Maison Albert Caressa, who actually had his own label, also have continued to use the original Caressa & Francais label on some of the violi
  7. I think in the $4,000-$5,000 price range, there could be many violins with less familiar or ginned up trade names that were made for violin shops that wanted an exclusive brand name only they sell. There are hundreds of violins available in that price range in violin shops around Washington DC.
  8. I made the mistake of asking about Johann Anton Stark violins. Should have started a new thread for that. And this Stark violin is not $9k, like the Roth I took out on trial that started this thread. The Stark is $4,500.
  9. LOL. Yes, I thought the same thing, but I don't think that is the case. Although there are no photos of the violin n the 2017 MN thread referenced above, only the one photo of the label, there were apparently photos on the craigslist post to which the OP provided a link (which is no longer active). Blank Face commented "I'm doubting that the heavy damaged violin is worth the effort," implying that violin did not look to be in very good shape. This violin is in perfect condition. So, if it is the same, someone must have done a phenomenal restoration.
  10. Yes, you make perfect sense. When I tried 8 different violins in my local violin shop, we played them off in pairs, eliminating one violin each time. So we eliminated four violins on the first run through, then eliminated two more from the remaining four. I could not only hear clearer tones and resonance, but I could feel the difference under my my fingers and under my bow. The bow just seemed to glide more easily on these final two instruments and did not produce nearly as many wispy or scratchy sounds. I don't know how much that has to do with the set-up (what strings are on it, how far
  11. Moving of from the original topic... Yesterday I checked out a 1924 Johann Anton Stark Markneukirchen violin on a trial. When I originally tried about 8 violins at my local violin shop, and got it down to two violins I thought played and sounded best, this one was the second choice behind the 1936 Roth we've been discussing in this thread, and half the price. I know nothing about Stark, and the only actual reference to him I could even find online was to a very short MN thread here. I literally can't find any other online reference to him as a violin maker or mention of his instruments
  12. By the way, there was a lot of discussion in this thread about the hard and shiny finish on this violin. I think part of the problem is the lighting I used to take the photos. Just like I am not a very good violinist, I am also not a trained photographer and don't have professional lighting. So, I positioned the violin right next to an open window with the morning sun streaming on it. The glare was intense and washed out the violin in several spots in my original shots. So I moved the violin back a little from the window and turned it at an angle to cut the glare, but I could not eliminat
  13. I emailed EH Roth a second time, describing some of the concerns raised in this MN discussion about this violin (including the finish, the new look of the wood inside, and particularly the brand anomalies). I asked if he is certain this is an authentic Roth instrument and received this reply back from Wilhelm Roth: Dear Mr. Smith, Thank you for your e-mail. Thank you for your mail and the beautiful pictures. These are original Ernst Heinrich Roth I instrument. We can give you information about your instrument, so far as we can. In our archive documents we can see,
  14. I am not an expert, but I trust many of you who are. I am not even a "serious player." I'm still quite the novice, but I can afford a better instrument than the low-quality violin I bought to try to learn this amazingly difficult instrument. So I want to progress, and I can tell I need a better instrument to do that. I wouldn't know the "right price" to pay for a violin, and so that is why I asked for opinions and advice on MN. I got plenty of input, which I appreciate, and I followed the majority advice. I guess Sospiri did not read through this thread. I think I've said at least 3 time
  15. I built a new home in 2005. We ordered cherry cabinets because I loved the rich red-umber color or the cherry cabinets we saw in the model home. But when they installed the new cabinets, they looked very light - almost blonde. I complained to the builder that they had installed the wrong cabinets. He told me they take time to darken. Sure enough, six months later they were much darker and within a year they had that deep red-umber color. I wonder if violins also darken with time so the original "transparent brown" varnish appears much darker as the instrument ages?