Just Sayin’

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  1. So a nickel mounted bow is inherently of lower quality than one with silver mounts by the same maker? Are nickel mounted bows a signal to the public that they are offering a lower-grade product? Because everyone has to get started in the business somehow, is it possible the master maker in their beginning years might produce more affordable examples of a superior quality product with less expensive metal parts while the playing characteristics remain more or less equivalent between nickel and silver examples? Or do silver (and above) mounted bows generally play and sound better than nickel ones?
  2. No VAT if importing to the US, however there are other charges as outlined above. In addition, there will be a use tax, which is collected by the state. So if you’re in California say, tack on an extra 9% +/- (whatever your county charges). Doesn’t matter if it’s antique or not. Expect a letter from the Franchise Tax Board, unless you pay it when you file your income taxes. The amount is based on the value of the contents listed on the bill of lading which accompanied the shipment. That figure is the invoiced amount from the auction house and will also include the shipping cost. Good luck getting them to reduce it.
  3. I don’t notice any lag with my StroboPlusHD. It is quite astonishing. I am curious as to which needle tuner you are suggesting is accurate enough to able to display to within 0.1 cents in real time? .
  4. IMHO any needle tune is a waste of time and effort. With any needle tuner you get what you pay for, which in this case is appropriate: nothing. If you are really interested in using a tuner to hone your and your students intonation skills then a high-quality strobe tuner which has sweetened settings should be a much-preferred way to go. Peterson has been making tuners for piano technicians since the middle of the last century. You can get the iOS app or the StrobPlus HD for your desktop. The accuracy is within 0.1 cents (1/1000th of one semitone). It registers in real-time. If you decide on the iOS version I recommend adding, for a few extra $, the Sweetening pack. The StroboPlusHD has a permanent place on the desk in my studio. Either way, as a professional you should be moving way beyond a guitar-specific needle tuner. Disposed of all of mine years ago. Peterson
  5. Very helpful and cogent post, thanks Michael
  6. I do about 70 gigs a year using that violin. Never, ever, have I experienced feedback. That’s because the tiny cable never contacts the top of the violin. If it were to touch the top = feedback. I suggest that if you’re experiencing feedback, that’s the cause. If you really want to experience feedback I do agree that acoustic violins with Piezo pickups do need a pre-amp if plugged into a guitar amp. I don’t do that. My gigs I plug into an input of the PA, dial in a smidge of reverb and I’m done. The OP wrote that they are No solid body electric is going to do that, IMHO.
  7. I have tried quite a number. Each year I’m hoping something reasonable will turn up at NAMM. Each year I am disappointed. IMHO they are all horrible. I believe the best solution is an acoustic violin with a Piezo pickup built into the bridge with small cable to carpenter jack. Retail around $150. Schatten 02, the one with tiny volume knob. The products that have the transducers that must ride under the bridge feet are not very good. Just get your luthier to fit it for your 2nd instrument. Mine is on a 1738 Wenger I picked up for $700 with a huge repaired soundpost crack. Doesn’t matter, great rich sound and fun to reference it when folks start going on about their 1954 Strat or whatever. Highly recommend the Sennheiser digital XS system for wireless connection to PA, pedal board, or amp. Introduced at NAMM two years ago. It is awesome, noiseless, and fits into your case. Only two parts to it. USB rechargeable. XSW-D
  8. iPad Pro with Apple Pencil (2nd gen) using OnSong and Airturn pedal. If you prefer scrolling instead of page turning the speed is configurable. Very useful. AirTurn was first to market but now IK Multimedia and PageFlip have engineered great alternatives to AirTurn.
  9. I have yet to see a carved scroll on an instrument which also produces a quality sound. Was there ever a time when they were popular with professionals? This could be the exception, however the market for them is small and at that price point tiny.
  10. Thank you Jeffrey for the deserved American additions to the list on this Independence Day!
  11. Here is the complete post by Martin Swan from 2018 linked by Henry Peacham on the subject of contemporary certifications. It is the most useful list I have seen.
  12. Jacob, your posts are always so wildly entertaining, I really enjoy them! Thanks for sharing your experiences.
  13. If the subject is acoustic guitars the biggest difference is that violins are constructed to be taken apart later for repair while acoustic guitars are not.
  14. 17 years ago I bought on eBay an early 18th century French violin with certificate based solely on the picture of the cert, as there were no accompanying pictures of the instrument! It turned out to be entirely legitimate and a very positive experience. I wouldn't be doing that on eBay today for sure. Good luck to those who try, as it can be an endless source of amusement. Please continue to share your stories, as they are a welcome diversion in this Covid time.