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  1. This is not necessarily my taste, but I found these tail pieces for dirt cheap. I'm thinking of making an order, and giving them out as gifts https://www.exportersindia.com/siddhi-enterprise-company5089389/viola-tailpieces-3164854.htm
  2. I would surely ask one of my trusted luthiers in a neighborhood shop if I were in the US or Europe--but I am on a mountain top in the Himalayas--and find it easier to post here, than to make a phone call in the middle of the night to the US. I wouldn't do anything until the summer when I am next around good resources. I need a particular shape of chin-rest, which I have--but I am wondering what the sonic charge of different pieces would be. I guess I am tempted by the beautiful designs that I see, but I am reluctant to change anything if it's not broken.
  3. Yes, there are only a handful of people I would allow to do the refitting :-). I'm just wondering if it is too risky even for my expert luthiers, given my travel history to different climates--and my perfectly fit pegs that have never given me problems in the desert or the rain forest.
  4. I am considering buying a really nice matching tail piece/pegs/chin rest for my viola. I have nice parts on it already--although they are not all matching. This would purely be a cosmetic change--but since I am living in India--where there seem to be many nice sources of beautifully custom carved pieces of wood, I am considering it. Is there any reason why I should not do this? My pegs work beautifully--even through the extreme climate changes they have experienced. I am nervous to take out perfectly good pegs--that are probably original to the instrument--and replace them with something else just for aesthetic reasons. Is this just a bad idea? I have a few questions--what kind of wood are my pegs/chin rest/tail piece? I think my chin rest and tail piece are rosewood--but my pegs look like they are made from something else that is lighter in color. (pictures below) Is there any particular wood choice (for the pegs) that absorbs less moisture/swells less in monsoon conditions? I could leave the chin rest and tailpiece and just change the pegs to match--or I could leave the pegs and get a new custom chin rest and tail piece--or I could get all new elegantly carved pieces. I just want to know if it is a folly to do any of this--I can live with unmatched parts--and I don't want to change the sound of my instrument at all.
  5. I'm pretty sure my Erdesz is made from Canadian Douglas fir--so I was told by his ex-wife who also plays a similar instrument--and helped me get mine :-) I readily admit I cannot tell the difference myself--so I will definitely change my mind if I get expert advice
  6. Also, this is an example of something that happened within 3 weeks of arriving here last August.
  7. Last October the school hired a repair person from India--who was paid quite a bit--and yet we still have badly fitted bridges/unplayable instruments. He didn't bring his own supplies, and we didn't have all the parts that he would have needed to fix our problems. It was a surprise to me when he showed up. I want to make sure the next round of repairs goes better.
  8. Here is a photo of our typical views around here in the mountains of India--so taking offers on who wants to film the documentary now. We have some award-winning film directors near-by :-0 All joking aside--we are remote, but not without resources :-) In other news, we have the same issues with pianos. There are Steinways and Becksteins dying a slow death here. Photos_Library.photoslibrary.zip
  9. Oh yes, Violadamore, there we are. ;-) I appreciate everyone's thoughts so far, and I think there are some more great ideas that I can explore. I messaged luthieres sans frontieres, and they were interested in being able to teach someone, maybe us, how to do the basic repairs. The main problem it seems is we have a bunch of crappy instruments in crappy condition. If you looked at the links to the school, you can see it's a quite fancy international boarding school... so we do have a budget to deal with this. The problems that will reoccur are monsoon and mountain weather. If I get everything fixed up nice, all it takes is another monsoon and winter--and everything might be destroyed again. Monsoon is a serious condition here in India. I should show ya'll some photos of what has happened to instruments... I will explore the carbon fiber instrument possibility. Every student at the school is required to be in a music ensemble--so the string program is definitely here to stay. (The school is 160 years old, and it has always taught western classical music) I think we really need a temperature/humidity controlled storage room to keep instruments in too. That would be a priority before really investing in new instruments.
  10. Thank you so much for all your replies! I also have my personal instrument (an excellent Erdesz cutaway viola) and my husband's Alf viola that need some tender loving care. I have never had the responsibility of caring for 100+ student instruments before, and I am at a loss for making them more playable when there are obvious things wrong with them. I can put new strings on them, of course--but while I wait for an opportunity to bring in a repair person or luthier (thank you SO much David Burgess for the generous offer--and I will communicate with you more about that) I was wondering what else I can do? I looked at bridges that I can buy from different places--Aubert and Teller--is what I can find. It seems I can even buy "finished" bridges". Is it worth it at all for me to buy those things? If I were to bring in a repair person, what are some supplies that I should have on hand for fixing our problems? I have also already sent a message to "Luthiers sans Frontieres." Thank you for that suggestion Fiddle Doug.
  11. Greetings! I am teaching strings in a private school in India, (Woodstock International School) and we have so many problems with our school instruments! Many of our violins, violas, cellos, and basses, and bows are barely playable. I don't know if it is better to try to individually fix all of our instruments or order new "student" level instruments. Some of the problems we deal with are monsoon weather--humidity that does some surprising things to the instruments. We have bridges that don't fit properly, sunken fingerboards, improperly set up instruments, badly-fitting tail pieces, stuck/broken pegs, bows that have never been re-haired, open seams, cracks, things made from strange materials, and more. I have a budget to order supplies, but without a reliable repair person, I don't know how to get these things fixed. I need advice advice on what kinds of pegs/bridges/tailpieces I should order (I'm trying to get them from shar). I need a repair person who can come here, and I might need someone who can provide playable string instruments at a medium price range. Bonus: Does anyone know reliable resources in India/Asia for instrument orders or repairs? Thanks you so much, Larissa Brown-Sah