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thatcleverwind

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  1. Old thread but... in case others come across.. In my minimal experience, I have seen varnish completely alter the tone of an instrument, and would encourage you to research the topic and definitely avoid shellac. I stripped an old violin where the varnish had bubbled and gummed, and was just applied horribly in the first place. Having played it before stripping, part way through, and then as I was completing (I left some minimal edging traces because of personal aesthetic preferences - I wanted a "steampunk" violin). Initially, I intended to strip it clean and revarnish, but after playing it with the varnish gone, I fell in love. I oiled it with tung oil instead, which only helped the tone once it settled into the bare wood. The violin is circa 1890-1910 and is a hand made from who knows where (no label). It's not perfect and clearly was made by someone learning, but those imperfections just add to its beauty in my opinion, and its tone (even before the varnish was gone, but especially now) is something I adore. Google: varnish affects tone
  2. Is the opinion, their instruments are worth their price, and what is the retention of that value?
  3. The shop has indicated they have a meter. Tell me, how are you determining the frog to be broken? I asked about the fracture that appears and the response is it isn't a crack. Are you seeing another concern? I can replace the frog if needed.. as far as the stick itself? Ugh.. so frustrated. My gut is to pass, but it has all the specs I'm after (weight, balance point, age, etc...) and I am tiring of looking. I don't want to spend more than a few hundred for what I'm after at this point. I have too many little humans running around to invest more. I'm play modern, mostly fiddle and celtic, and really prefer tip heavy, light weight, longer bows.
  4. Thanks everyone for the replies. She is learning to play, and hopes to have it for her use as such. I can rehair the bow ($8 + 10 minutes), and have already discussed a new tailpiece and strings for her (so, maybe $60-$70 at her stage of development), shaping the bridge (5 minutes), and general wipe down. It's resonance is deep and sustained, even with the old strings and hodgepodge tuners. I hate the chinrest, but she has a cheap violin that has a rest she actually likes and can swap, or none at all (my preference). She's got a decent cf bow that brightens the present strings well enough, my wood draws the higher notes out well. It's got a couple surface scratches, but is otherwise in excellent condition, pegs included. I will share these comments: we live in a rural area where there are no retail stores for stringed instruments, nor are there any luthiers near enough to not make it a day trip. Comments are encouraging - she very well may end up with a nice, playable option for her journey, memories included. Anyone have a guess on the make of the bow? It's not a name I recognize at all. MAI _ _ _ O something? Also, as I can't reply in a comment "today", I agree, the bridge is out of place, but I suspect so is the soundpost. I have yet to make any modifications short of simply tuning and playing a bit to determine whether the sound was sufficient to bother.
  5. The OP is a she, and honestly, I guess if anything, reading these comments has done something wonderful for me: I again remember why I do what I do with music and students. I have a saw that begs to be given breath for its voice. A saw that was hanging on the wall in a shop that belonged to my 96 year old neighbor no less. It's rusty, the teeth are not going to cut a piece of bread, and it's handle is no longer solid enough to hold outstretched. Doesn't matter. She had memories attached to it, deeply important memories. She said her husband used it all the time, built their house with it, built furniture that was still in their home, etc.., and he played it. She asked me once whether I could even believe her recollection that he made music with thing. I laughed and said, "of course I believe you". I had already played the fiddle he'd left behind, in its small form factor that fit him, dense wood that was a mess of old varnish, and tight resonance that once you got the strings ringing, was unearthly (kinda like the saw). So, one day she meticulously retrieved the saw from its hook and brought it to me. She declared failure at finding the rope bow he used with it, but I have cheap bows that are a dime a dozen and great for when my children and young students decide to air fence for a few moments, taking a quick break to redirect energy that needs freedom from focus now and then while playing. I grabbed a bow with an inordinate wide ribbon, one with an annoying little end twist, and set (sat) about playing a saw - not something I'd ever done before. In a few moments, I learned the touch, she guided me on some tricks her husband used to make their own children laugh with, and we spent an hour just being, in the music, exploration, and memory. She died a few months later. She'd left a note for her children to send both his fiddle and the saw my way. They decided to regift the fiddle to a teen niece learning to play, but thought the saw should be tossed (and encouraged me to do so, but under superstitious presumption, brought it to me with the recommendation instead of just tossing it themselves). I love the thing. My kids love it. It echoes with the brilliance of life and the mysterious. Anyway, to all here, thank you. I would only use hide glue on a wood instrument, and I've restored enough that I have instruments that are uniquely mine. I managed to clamp the cello together with my cello stand (thanks to my husband for the brilliant idea) and some help from gravity. It has decent strings on it, didn't flinch when I tuned up, and growls deep as always. The D has never been my favorite no matter the string, but the A rings clear. It's not great for chops, but it's good for everything else and I can leave it around for my kids to play as they wish, students too. (Oh, and, the tapes comments... There are so many who could benefit from making their own music, if only they had the tools THEY needed to achieve their hopes. I refuse to not give a student exactly what they need for their own best learning experience. I've taught for 30 years, and when my students and I engage, we just play. We learn, we explore, and we enjoy. They define their own best path, and sometimes tapes (both for teaching, especially remotely, and for the student to use directly), or in this case, labeled notes and intervals utilizing color and shape to create association, along with constant support for ear development (not EVERY person can hear, some actually must have labels to learn placement), bring the ability to the person to make their music, their way, and rapidly. Music is breathing for me and I want it to be accessible, whatever the instrument, for any who wish to communicate within its language. And whether or not it should, this particular cello sings. Again. Thanks everyone.
  6. Update: I pulled out the hide glue and repaired accordingly. I have my cello back. It is sound, consistent, and except for what my thumb sometimes is aware of when playing a bit higher in register, it is as it was. It's even more valuable to me now, as not only have I learned a ton about cello construction, but it has another story in its grains. ...On a mission to give people the chance to find their music within, whether or not they have thousands of dollars to spend. It's a good cello. It's easy to use when teaching, and I don't have to freak out when kids are around. It's been with me for a long time. I like it and I don't care whether anyone else thinks it's worth anything in the grand world of String.
  7. A friend has brought this to me asking for input. They found it in her grandmother's attic while going through the estate these last few months. It sounds lovely, even with the old strings and rattley tailpiece. The pegs manage well, and I see no damage to it anywhere. The right f hole raises slightly and I wonder if it isn't a poorly placed soundpost, or just characteristic. Anyway, if anyone would like to comment. My friend would like to keep the violin as she's just beginning to learn to play, but family wants to make money off it. Bow too. I can't tell what the bow is.. it's octagonal, almost looks like it says "MATEVRO" or MATGIRO under the frog, deep wood, and winding is obviously no original. https://photos.app.goo.gl/pfbBo1A2YVmtwfzH7
  8. Ok, so while I realize these aren't exactly classified as "professional" bows, here's my reason for wanting it: its specs. It's the length, weight, balance point, wood, and age that I'm after, just not sure it's really worth what the ebay listing is asking for it. It's in excellent shape, is haired (new) and seems to be sound (according to seller who is sharing its luchhi velocity, so I suspect they might know something about bows at least (assuming the stated condition is as it really is). The seller is also offering return options if I don't like it. Here's my thought... it's probably worth it to me if it handles the way I suspect it will, but am I being ridiculous spending this on a Schroetter, regardless of whether it's old/new/otherwise? https://www.ebay.com/itm/324435027322?ul_noapp=true
  9. I prefer lighter weight bows for violin and cello, however, heavier for viola.
  10. Hum.... I think I'd like to know whether the opinion is if it would hold if I repair it. (See images; I removed the neck, it's a clean break.) - Brad, given the clarity of the break, do you still think I will need hardware, or can I glue it successfully. I have (and know how to use) hide glue, will make clamps if need be, etc... It's worth it to me to fix, for my reasons. The general opinion may be it's not a great instrument, but it's resonance is deep and it is consistent. It wasn't $40k. But frankly, even if I'd spent $40 on it 20+ years ago, or 2 hours ago, if I had enjoyed it as I have, it would be worth repairing if it's possible. Additionally, thanks for input on the tapes, I have to assume the general perception of musical ability is at play in that comment, presumptuous as it is (along with a few other comments here). As a lifelong musician, an instructor, a composer, a producer, and person who can play just about any instrument set in my hands, in any environment, without the need for a piece of paper or otherwise, I feel rather confident of what works for me and those with whom I interact in learning environments (including this instrument). Especially since I am continually refining... Much like with this repair, I create a path that results in joy and wonderment in my life, especially where music is concerned (which is everything).
  11. It's older than 1998. Scherl & Roth, Germany. Two piece back, not a student cello. It was a few thousand $. I use it for teaching. Any hope? The entire neck has come unglued from the block (still lodged but loose), and the button is cracking. I don't live anywhere near a luthier (3-4 hours at best, if they're still in business). I have repaired violins. Not this bad. Cosmetic repair isn't a high priority at this moment, but structural is (because I still want it to play). It has a fair amount of my history within its grains. Yes, it fell. And yes, I'd left the endpin extended because, heh, I didn't want the neck supporting the instrument. The height of the chair back I'd rested it against (where I was somehow sure it would be safe temporarily) was such that I needed to raise the height of where the neck met the chair. Yes. I know.
  12. Greetings everyone. Not certain this is the best forum, but thinking perhaps it's a start. I have purchased two older, turn of the century violins, one is a factory build, the other seems to be a handmade project by someone learning their craft. I've reglued seams, set sound posts, reattached the cord/wrap for the tailpiece, and carved out the tailpiece such that it will receive modern ball end strings, but otherwise have tried to not alter either instrument. Each came with some setup, some gut strings, some wound, some steel. Bridges on the handmade one were unset (this one had two in the case), the other factory make came fully setup (and it's a tiny bridge, like 1/2 size for modern makes). They have their original bows and cases, accessories, etc.. even the original sound post I think for the handmade one (it's quite different than a modern post, so I set the more modern post). I'm just learning... so please bear with me. On the handmade, with either bridge that presumably had been used with the violin (one looks newer, one obviously well used and cut in deeply, and an entirely different wood than present day bridges), and with either the original set of strings, or new Tonicas, when I play the G, all is mostly well. The D? Sometimes I can get the entire string to voice, sometimes it just screeches. The A? Ha! Nothing but dead air or screech until about the C/C#, and then we're mostly fine. The E? Comically silent or jumping harmonics from the nut forward, until about an octave up and then we magically get sound. I've not dealt with this before, having only played professionally setup (new-ish) instruments. So, I had a video taken while I was playing and, with a hunch on the harmonic showing up (this is inconsistent, but it did during the video), directed the cameraman to pan the length of the fingerboard while I played runs and glides. From what I can tell, the strings are already quite low (which I love by the way), but the A, and especially the E seem to lie flat on the bridge end of the fb the moment they're depressed, even a half step from open. Ok, so going with this new found theory, I set a taller bridge. I'll bet you can guess what didn't happen. - Same problem, slightly different flavor, but same problem on the A and E, and sometimes the D. G is a happy lark and deep, resonant, and round (and consistent, btw). Is it the nut? The fb? The angle? I decided a few months back to begin learning how to restore these old, otherwise discarded instruments, mostly because I enjoy the process and it's fun to hear what they can do once put back together (and they're all so different, it's fun stepping back in time). I am in a remote area so no mentorship options.. just learning on my own, youtube, and forums/contact with lovely others who already have refined their craft. Perhaps not surprisingly, right out of the gate, I have an anomaly I can't even figure out what to ask in order to find the answer online. I great appreciate your responses. This little instrument, though not beautiful by any means, and (in)consistent with about an 8th grade woodworking project, has an incredible voice and is comfortable to play (even through the screeching), so I feel it's worth my time and investment to figure it out. Thanks! Angie
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