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Everything posted by Nuuska

  1. And I wasn't angry nor felt I offended in any way. I just wanted to make my reasons clear, to avoid any "another-of-these-a**holes" feelings. Maybe I am, but then please feel free to tell me. ;-) I believe it is healthy to bring topics like that up in a community. H.
  2. I'm using a pseudonym for three reasons. 1. As a MD I'm in a business where it's extraordinary important to protect my privacy. This here is private for me, and it shouldn't interfere with what I'm doing the rest of the day. Same reason why my adress and phone number aren't to be found in the phone book. People (not necessarily only patients) will look you up on the www and confront you, eventually contact you via online forums, or at least learn more about you than you wished them to. I've had my stalking experiences. Thank goodness I'm not a psychiatrist or psychologist, at least. 2. If someone is hunting for my name in his search engine, I'd like my business site to pop up first, eventually followed by other professional informations like qualification or scientific publications. I would not want to find these covered with private stuff - for privacy reasons as mentioned above, but also for professional reasons. 3. It has already been mentioned, but I don't need to have any foreigner know what's in my flat. It's not a collection of old Italian fiddles, but still some nice gear. It's mine, and shall remain in my possession. I'm not anonymous to the community here, but for the rest of the world. If there was an option to decide that the full name was only displayed to MN members and couldn't be found via Google, there wouldn't be a problem. This way, any member here who will wish to learn about my identity will get the information via PM. If my "opinions" are downgraded because of my pseudonym, then so be it. As an amateur player and hobbyist tinkerer, I'm not here to explain the world but to learn, sitting on the lowest step of the food chain. If there is an opinion from my side, then only as a customer or player, and not as an opponent to an expert luthier arguing about techniques or identification. And I believe everyone will be able to live with this strategy. But I've seen posts from people hiding behind their pseudonym in order to insult or mislead others, so I also do understand the resulting discomfort expressed by the thread starter and others.
  3. Thank you all for your opinion, and also Michael for his private opinion. It's basically all what I had thought myself, and since there are other issues as well and not only the varnish, I definitely will have follow the good advice given. As a musician I mainly shop for tone and playability, but one should not ignore that sound is only one factor of many that determines whether it's worth a certain amount of money or not. And bad craftsmanship is bad craftsmanship, even if the result is somehow pleasing.
  4. Jacob, since this still is some substantial money and I wouldn't mess it up any further. What would this kind of job cost (+/-) if done professionally? It doesn't sound like major surgery, but a bit time consuming... I'm about 180km from your workshop, if I figured it out correctly ;-)
  5. It's around €5k, so thanks to my daytime job it isn't a big stretch. Still some substantial money, but I don't have to break the bank. In this range I've found plenty of handsome looking instruments with boring or hollow sound or other severe tonal issues. In this case it's a bit vice versa. But the more I play it, the more I like it. It's a viola, BTW - not easy to find something really fancy for that money. It's definitely easier with violins! And it isn't intended as my main instrument (although it definitely plays well enough to serve as such, but I already own a pretty fine viola), but shall be stored at another place where I happen to be quite regularly and don't want to bring an instrument every time, especially because the car will be parked in the freezing cold or hot summer sun for hours during occasional stops. I will have to perform on it from time to time, though. For this purpose, it's the ideal bang for the buck. But if I could improve it's visual appearance so that I could love it a bit more even from that aspect, it would be nice and highly appreciated. (Not that I'd expect this to maximize its financial value.)
  6. uncle duke, you mean it's not "dirt" that got into the varnish but just the varnish itself? And it will be leveling by itself over time? How long would you expect this process to take? (The instrument is about 12-18 months old now.) In fact, it's nicely figured wood, but since the varnish is rather dull the figures aren't highlighted. It looks a bit like liquid cream fudge... Maybe I got you wrong, but how could the lumps in the varnish enhance sound?
  7. Jacob, thank you for your kind advice. But how would I sand down all these bumps without too much thinning of the varni in between? (It's relatively thin on the top plate, at least.)
  8. Michael, I think you're right. There are a several oddities about it, and monetary value therefore isn't high, for sure it would be hard to resell even with perfect looking varnish. The varnish in general isn't very pleasing, rather dull and lifeless, which is a pity since the underlying wood is really beautiful. But regarding it from a players view and for what it is - an amateur built fiddle - it serves darn good as an instrument. From sound and playability, it's a professional instrument, even if it doesn't look like one. The fingerboard would definitely need some work. Compared to all instruments I tried and played yet it easily keeps up with anything in the €15k spheres. If I don't regard it as an investment but simply as a musical instrument for the next decades, it's the best I'll ever be able to get for what I'd pay. That's what makes me think...
  9. Here you might get an impression of what I'm talking about. It's a bit rough work in general, but definitely a good instrument soundwise.
  10. Will meet the instrument again in 1-2 weeks (both me and the current owner are out of town right now). I'll try to post pictures as soon as I'll have it.
  11. Arglebargle, mainly an instrument this time. But I have bought both in the past. I'm a tinkerer... Not claiming to do a pro level work by far, and my own "good" instruments would always go to a pro if there was more to do than the usual service and maintainance job. In this case I'll go slow anyway. And haven't decided to do anything at all. I'm rather looking for ideas, and if I learned there could be done something easily and minimally invasive (outside a complete revarnish) but needed some serious training, I'd hand it over. J-G, thank you for the warm welcome! I'm aware this here isn't a petting zoo, so I'm prepared for any kind of objection, and I'm willing to listen since this is part of why I'm asking, but it's good to receive something else, too.
  12. Duane, I certainly can stand the way it looks. Otherwise I would not consider a purchase. Well, if the maker would do a better varnish job, he could easily charge double price and more, so these are definitely minor issues. Nevertheless, I had good results with this technique in repairs of smaller spots, where the varnish had become melted. Since the wood filler protects the less prominent areas, less material is removed, and less retouching necessary. In this case, I wouldn't go for a revarnish but rather for a removal of the excess here and there. I expected answers like that, and it's what my common sense is telling me, but I guess I needed someone else to confirm. ;-) And I do admit some concerns about messing things up. Think I'll mess-up-varnish some ordinary wood planks for a test series.
  13. I'm in for a contemporary instrument. The woodworking part is very well done, the wood is quite beautiful, and it plays extraordinary well. Only thing is that the varnish is a little bit... too far from perfect. The varnish itself is nice, but it is applied uneven and looks like it maybe had been too thick when applied. As the price is good and the purchase will be made for myself as a secondary instrument, this is not a no-go, and you definitely need to come close to notice. Nevertheless, I'd eventually try to bring it to perfection. I was thinking about the wood filler method - applying water soluble wood filler, then sand the irregularities like drops and strands down while the filler protects the rest of the surface, then washing off the rest of the wood filler and polish or add a final layer of retouch varnish if necessary. I did this several times and it worked neatly on various surfaces (it is actually also used with cars where I learned about it) but only on smaller spots and not on almost a whole instrument. So I'm interested if maybe someone else will have a better idea. What would be your favorite approach for a job like this?