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Nat N

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  1. All, I've been given the opportunity to attempt a repair on an old, much abused double bass with multiple issues. The particular one that I'd appreciate help on is the generally collapsed arch on the top plate of the bass, specifically centered on the region around the bridge. ( A thought that I had while writing this, but did not inspect when I initially looked at the instrument is that the top plate collapse is significant enough that the soundpost may have pushed the back of the instrument out.) I view this as a great learning opportunity because the instrument is owned by the music department of a local college, and is one that they periodically rent out to students. Of the basses in their possession, this is the lowest quality, in the poorest condition, and so they don't want to spend the money to have it fixed by someone who has the proper experience to correct the problem, but I convinced them to let me take a crack at it, and if it fails, they are ok with that. My initial research would point towards a cast and sandbags method. I'll admit that I've never done any cast/counterform work before, so doing a full cast of a bass top as a first go seems a bit over my pay grade, but I'd only be out the cost of the casting materials and I'll try anything crazy at least once. So what would you recommend? Thank you!
  2. Thanks everyone for the information and discussion! I got in contact directly with Sam, and as Don had mentioned, he very clearly stated that the instrument is not one of his. Sad, but not surprising. I suppose this is the modern equivalent of that Strad that everyone's great uncle has in the attic. Next steps will be removing the Sam label and doing some research to find out anything about the previous owners or actual maker. It is a lovely sounding instrument. Very sweet tone. Not especially powerful, but I think a good choice for ensemble work. Before I removed bridge and etc, we had let a friend who plays with a number of regional orchestras demo it for a few days and she fell head over heels for it, knowing full well that the label was dodgy at best. So after we've done what we can to find out its history, the violin will shortly have a good home. Maybe this isn't as strange as I think, but it continues to puzzle me that the violin is very well made, was very well set up, but then the act of "forging" was fairly half hearted. My suspicion is that the person who built the violin, and the person who inserted the label are two different people, but that remains speculation.
  3. Greetings all, My wife recently purchased online a rather fine looking violin. This will expose my ignorance, but when she said that it had Sam Zygmuntowicz on the label that did not immediately mean anything to me. I did some research on Sam Z, got a bit excited, and then got suspicious. Some basic research on Tasario listings showed some discrepancies between what I had and some of his patterns in labeling. I attempted to contact Sam Z directly, but the email I had gotten from a friend is no longer active, and my attempts to track contact information down have not gotten anywhere. So I present to you a series of photos for your consideration. Regardless of who exactly made it, is a very nicely made instrument with some fine wood selection and a lovely finish. Could it possibly be one of his? I suspect the answer is no, but I'd appreciate your consideration. My biggest three doubts are 1) No serial number or brand anywhere on the interior of the body. I put a camera inside and looked around and found nothing. It would appear Sam Z has done this on some of instruments, I don't know if it is all 2) The date and location flip on Sam's label. All of the labels I've found have the location, then the year, this one is flipped. 3) The fact that some random person on the internet was selling it. And finally, and I recognize the uncomfortable nature of the request, I would appreciate some contact information for Sam Z. If someone is passing off their work as his, he may want to know, and if this instrument looks to you as possibly one of his, I'd want to get verification from him if at all possible. Labels Upper reads Joseph Guarnerius fecit Cremonae anno 1735 Lower : Samuel Zygmuntowicz 2001 (2?) ~ New York Measurements Body Length 355mm Narrowest point at c bout 110mm Widest point 209 Overall length 582
  4. The back is 355mm. Overall it has some very petite aspects, see photos for what I mean.
  5. Hey all, looking to get a bit more information on this much abused fiddle. I got this instrument in with a mixed lot, so no idea on provenance. It was in pieces, but actually sounds pretty good for being in such rough shape. I’ve decided to leave the finish mostly as is, as it part of the charm See below for label. I’m looking for any information on the maker, as well as confirmation that this was made in Kilmarnock, Scotland and not Kilmarnock, Virginia. Happy to provide additional measurements or photos.
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