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Strad O Various Jr.

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Everything posted by Strad O Various Jr.

  1. If a violin is 350mm and the sounding, stop, and neck lengths are standard I would consider it small 4/4, but I recently had a violin with short stop length, short neck length and 323mm scale and 350mm back, this borders more on 7/8 territory to me, but others might disagree
  2. Actually the presence of knots in the wood seems to indicate that other factors including tap tones were more important to the old builders than knot free perfection of appearance
  3. And yet the makers of those pictured historical violins most certainly relied on tap tones, and knocking on the wood. Makes some of these modern makers seem quite full of themselves if they prefer dead wood
  4. 99.999% of Guarneri labels are fake, usually cheap trade violins, the better models had the label of a dealer or maker, you need to post pictures but if I where to guess it probably not worth more than $200 tops as is, and would be worth a few hundred fully fixed up
  5. I think she's talking about the higher asking prices on ebay which in now way reflect the value as in the vast majority of cases they never sell, and are just listed at the too high price This comes from the delusion of many ebay sellers that a violin is worth what it was listed for by another seller, not what it sold for if it even sold.
  6. Well the violin was payed for and delivered to the owner today, the violin didn't come with a bow and I offered to sell him a Howard Core "brazilwood bow for $50 but he didn't want to pay for it. He said he wasn't going to play it after all the work I put into adjusting the soundpost for free to get the best tone out of the violin, so I gave him a fiberglass bow for free, and encouraged him to find players and get them to play his great grandfathers violin for him, I locked into a low price for the restoration and ended up working for roughly half my standard labor rate, but it was a joy and an inspiration to work on such a unique and decent sounding instrument, he also agreed to pay extra for a full write up on what we can ascertain on the provenance and internal "improvements" of his great grandfather, It was quite a joy to work on and I'm glad I got the job, I just hope someday he finds a member of his family to play the violin and appreciate it for its sound, not just its appearance!
  7. That should be a Mirecourt French violin?? IMHO I'm not really an expert but those corner blocks look like French style
  8. Well I moved the soundpost from 3mm behind the bridge to 1mm behind and that brightened it up a bit and made it sound more like a violin, less wooly in the bass, It actually sounds quite good now. The customer wants a safer violin case and I'm having trouble finding one this violin will fit in, even if the body fits, the carved head sticks up so far it won't fit most cases.
  9. Thank you Peter, that's what I was thinking too, and I'm assuming the Smithsonian example has a Derazey stamp but they don't actually say that. Bill, yes the violin came with H W Whites patented chinrest which doesn't seem to have any mechanism for tightening so it's pretty useless, but perhaps one of the first chinrest inventions dating back to 1874, I'm going to recommend putting a modern chin rest for playability and saving this relic for posterity. Well a just over week long restoration is now completed, new fingerboard, soundpost and bridge, it is strung up and playing, and while I'll say the tone is of a very good quality, it is totally a viola sound, not a violin sound, this is a big instrument, 361mm back and deep ribs, the lower notes are deep and sonorous but not especially bright in overtones like you would expect on a violin, very strong bass and good quality of tone, nothing objectionable if you like violas! Even though I was worried that the stop length being only 19 cm would make the sounding length short, the neck length is right on 13 cm and the sounding length with the bridge on the notches is right on 327mm So all in all a wonderful experience to work on this unique piece of history, and enable the family to pass on a playing instrument perhaps for generations to come, thank you for your interest
  10. If these people obsessed with string choices spent their time practicing instead of looking for new strings, their violins would sound much better
  11. Well I've been working on this fascinating violin for about a week, the top had to come off, and that is why we were able to take the inside pictures that appear to confirm the French construction, the top repairs completed I have glued the top back on with the clamps holding the neck back to correct the neck angle, a 2mm thick shim was installed between the top mortice and the neck to facilitate the correct neck angle, everything went smoothly and now with the gauge and the fingerboard almost ready to glue on it gives the perfect 27mm bridge projection. final fitting of the fingerboard, bridge and soundpost is most all of what is left, we should have it playing by this weekend and I will report back as I'm sure Violadamore wants to know "how does it sound". Would have liked to hear from Martin Swan and Peter Ratcliff as to whether it may actually be a real Derazey model violin, but I can't seem to get their attention. Cheers
  12. Here are the internal pictures, the wide corner blocks extend further into the c bout than the bottom ribs, which is a French feature I am told, the crazy bass bar and internal ribbing must be part of the HW WHite "improvements, you can see his label and the Duiffopruggar facsimile on the other side, what looks like a crack in the top block is actually a sliver of wood missing, no sign of any makers signature or stamp on the inside/ the inside of the top has been coated with something and the transvers ribs going across the grain aren't more than 1mm thick so I will leave them
  13. As the antique violin maker had no scientific testing equipment you can rest assured if they relied on anything, it was tapping on the wood, we were still being taught that when i was apprenticing in the 80s
  14. Well in the process of doing a neck lift, the top block came loose from the back so I had to take the top off, which will allow me much better access to the center join separation and allow me to reset the bass bar crack, it has a crazy bass bar that goes closer to the center at the bottom not the top, obviously one of this American guys "improvements. The corner blocks are quite wide as I said but the go further into the c bout section that the bottom rib section, just the opposite of Mittenwald construction, the liners are flush, not inset, I'll get pictures later
  15. Some wood just rings a lot better than other wood, that's just a fact, no matter what all the naysayers say!!
  16. Took the violin to a top local expert on Sunday, all he would say is it was probably French but he couldn't be certain (he didn't have an interior light to see the corner blocks like I did) and that he was of the opinion that the Duiffopruggar design was also made in Saxony, of which I have seen no evidence. Strangely I discovered an extremely hard to see neck scroll graft probably original to manufacture, the clear evidence is a heavily flamed neck and a no flame pegbox as well as a very fine join line for the graft, wouldn't be able to show it in pictures with my focusing skills. Strange things have gone on with the neck set, the neck has caved forward with someone's help setting it deeper into the top, which means a very shallow neck angle and bridge height and there is a big gap between the top and the ribs right next to the neck (like 5mm instead of 2mm overhang), but normal spacing between the back and the ribs, so the ribs are caving forward at like a 15' angle which has to be worked on, also found the center join is separated under the tailpiece So more work needed but the customer seems to want to have it done right so that helps. Oh and while the neck will end up being 13cm, the stop length is only 19cm so the bridge might have to be moved south to get a proper string length
  17. i think the picture is post 1860s and on paper as it is very thin and glued on top of the original varnish at a slightly raised level with clear varnish over it. it may or may not be original to manufacture, and may be the maker of the violin or a picture of this H W White character that "improved" the violin in 1889. I couldn't find any picture of Honore Derazey online, it may be him, it is not Vuillaume, he was clean shaven and looked different in surviving pictures
  18. Smithsonian Derazey scroll My violin scroll, once again my focus and lighting is not quite as good as the Smithsonian picture, however it appears to the the quality of carving of both examples is similar in quality, quite impressive carving, could have been the same workshop different workers or the same carver years apart, Derazey was a large workshop and would have employed multiple luthiers I believe
  19. Sorry I'm using an SLR camera and its inbuilt flash, I have no better source of light, some people seem to get better results with their cell phone, I don't have one, sometimes I can use sunlight, but I took these pictures at night, my dad says to try switching on the autofocus, I've been manually focusing through the viewfinder which is very difficult in low light Here's what outdoor pics look like, autofocus doesn't work so its still really hard to focus and the new Nikon programs don't allow you to edit pictures to stand up straight, be brighter etc
  20. Yes the String doctor violin looks very similar, same fleur de lis corners, same applique carving at the top of the back, similar carved head and similar wider symmetrical corner blocks, no one's proposing the ivory pegs are original and they quite possibly were sourced from Markneukirchen by this H W White character, the white inlays on the back of the scroll and the button are definitely not original, they're not even Ivory, might be plastic? As To Derazey Duiffopruggar models these were not his top of the line or most expensive instruments, his workshop would have put more care into his Stradivari and Guarneri copies, I believe As to the inlayed castle on the back, this was commonly employed in Markneukirchen/Schoenbach but I think they got the idea from earlier French Duiffopruggars which date back into the early 1800s
  21. Most of my evidence that it is French is not the same usual corner theory, although it certainly fits within the realm of French, but rather the identical nature of the decorative features and especially the human head itself being identical to the posted Derazey example in the Smithsonian, unless your supposing Derazey imported the parts from Markneukirchen unfortunately there's no good enough reason to take the top off unless to milk the customer, he just wants playable but is not a player, so the two cracks in the top are not open and will not negatively affect the tone in any way, although one very short crack just to the left of the bass bar could have been lined up a bit better.
  22. What you see at many high end shops is they are basically pushing Chinese violins at the student and intermediate level, so when they have a decent Markneukirchen violin they price it really high so that their high profit Chinese violin sounds better for the price, you also see this with commissions, they take in violins they have no intention of selling at high prices just to make their cheaper violins sound like bargains, I know one local violin shop that has Stradivari made in Germany violins listed for $4500, that's just nonsense, but it makes an overpriced Chinese violin for $3000 sound like a bargain. Now if the German antique was priced at $1000-1500 realistically, The Chinese violins for more wouldn't seem like such bargains which would defeat their whole business model which is to market heavily marked up new Chinese violins.
  23. i posted this thread to get professional opinions, you seem to be making up differences that aren't really even there, or aren't significant
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