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milkpowder

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Everything posted by milkpowder

  1. For my education, why would one antique their instrument to this extent? It doesn't simulate natural wear pattern, unless there are those who like to rub around the f-holes or clutch the violin tightly and rub the bottom of the belly with one's thumbs!
  2. What a nice interview! Thanks for sharing.
  3. I also use a Hill style E adjuster (think it's made by Wittner) to maximise the afterlength and keep it relatively constant across all 4 strings short of using a tailpiece with integrated adjusters. I wonder if you, like me, use a string protector (https://www.thestringzone.co.uk/protective-insert-x8-for-hill-or-english-type-e-adjuster) to reduce the chance of string breakage at the hook? In the Warchal article, they interestingly point out that the better made loop adjusters utilise harder metal, and even though the edges are rounded, there is still enough tension at particular points of the loop to potentially cause problems down the line. On the contrary, cheaper loop adjusters use softer metal which allows the string to cut into the metal thus better distributing the string tension. It kinda makes sense. Either way, Warchal suggest a string protector. They're a pain to put on without tweezers (or just sometimes pure luck), but I haven't yet had a string break on me since switching to loop end Es last year.
  4. Although I haven't had to cut my strings to length, this is a neat trick!
  5. Indeed! I've had the violin for so long that I'd gotten used to it. Quite refreshing now that it has been removed. Here is a photo taken with the last set back in January. I believe it's not original to the violin. Wonder if you or anybody has any thoughts on who may be the most likely maker of the violin. It's been attributed to BS Fendt for the last few decades, but recently felt to be more likely a R Tobin. Someone English 1820/30s, possibly related or traced back to Betts! I welcome any advances!
  6. In January, I posted a thread asking for your opinion about re-touching the varnish on my violin, and thanks to your advice and recommendation (cheers Jeff), I have received my violin back from the restorer. I thought I'd show you her handiwork as I think it's a job well done! The problem areas were essentially where you'd expect wear and tear from playing - the treble side upper ribs and edges had little to no varnish remaining, and the top and bottom corners sustained a chips from my careless bowing. The varnish was retouched and the tip of the bottom corner replaced as it already had a previous cap on it. We decided not to replace the top corner so as to preserve the original wood so it was retouched. It was also noted that under UV the varnish appeared to be all original, with the exception of a rather heavy handed retouch on the treble side upper ribs so this was removed. All in all, fairly trivial work for a skilled restorer, but I'm really pleased with the result.
  7. Thank you for the lesson! It's interesting that the water content in wood will be similar the same RH at varying temperatures. One would assume that because there is a higher AH t in the atmosphere at 50%RH 70°F than 50%RH 0°F that the wood would also contain more water. Is it not the case that eventually, the water content in the wood would go up if going from 50%RH 0°F to 50%RH 70°F. I am under the impression that the change in water content in the wood is the reason why instruments which are suddenly placedfrom the former to the latter atmosphere, or vice versa, would experience swelling/open seams or cracking due to the wood contracting or expanding at different rates.
  8. I'm going to read this over and over again until I understand it! I don't know how digital hygrometers determine RH, but will the number shown be a fair representation of the actual dew point if placed indoors, or am I conflating RH and dew point... For the time being, I've bought a couple of digital hygrometers and an ultrasonic vaporiser (~6L capacity + built-in hygrometer) and left it running 24/7 aiming for a RH of 50%.
  9. Fantastic advice, exactly what I was looking for. When the situation in the UK improves, I'll embark on looking for an experienced restorer. Dwight, it's unlabelled violin that came with a 1950s receipt from Beares stating it is a BS Fendt circa 1830s. The scroll is by another maker. I've taken it to a local(ish) dealer with quite a bit of experience in British/H&S violins who was supportive of the attribution and dating. I couldn't tell you very much else, only that there were some physical clues (numbered markings/bridge) supporting it having gone through Beares and possibly Hill & Sons over the course of its life. I'm quite fond of it.
  10. Thank you for the advice. I especially take on board the comments about the protective nature of varnish. Attached is another photo and you can clearly see where the varnish has been completely worn down. I've had this violin for about 16 years and played a lot more over the first ten years - looking back at older photos I'm relieved that I haven't added any wear to the unprotected wood. I definitely won't be attempting any retouching myself! I anticipated colour matching would be pretty difficult to do well, but never considered the matt/gloss aspect as well. Am I correct in thinking that even clear varnish will darken the wood slightly?
  11. Hi everyone. I've been lurking for a while and have learned a fair bit doing so. Wondering what the general thoughts are about retouching varnish that has either worn away from playing +/- artifically aged. My violin has wear on the varnish in particularly where the left hand touches the body of the violin to the point where it has lost its shine. I know ultimately this is up to me whether to have it done or not, but as much as I am an owner of this fiddle, I am also a steward of this instrument and my gut feeling is to leave it alone to keep its "originality". However, I can't help but want to restore the shine, and to an extent the colour, in particular on the table. Do others feel the same, or have reservations about revarnishing?
  12. By the way did you manage to get the Amber at some deep discount? At least in the UK it is priced just as much as a set of EP and therefore only marginally less than EP Gold/PI/name your 'premium' string set here. I thought you were looking for a cheap set . Did you get the Amber E as well? It sure has an interesting solution to whistling. What I like a lot about the PIs is the fact that they have quite a complex tone, which when I first put them on, tricked my ears into thinking it was a warm set of strings - a bit like Dominants on steroids. Actually, they are a little on the bright side, but because of the complexity/overtones gives the sound some sweetness. The platinum E is a good compromise between the round, brilliant, soaring sound associated with a gold E (e.g. Oliv E) and the sweeter/grainy sound from a (tin plated/silvery) steel E. String tension ~23kg works well on my violin. All in all a great set of strings and IMHO better than the standard EPs, which after so many years I have found to have a relatively unintersting sound. They are very bright, powerful and responsive though, but I only play for myself these days so don't have to cut through an orchestra or ensure the very last row can hear me. For that reason I also rate the EP Gold (silver G) very highly - all the benefits of the standard EP but with a more sophisticated tone, especially in the lower registers. The stainless E is just fine, too. Truth to be told, I think a lot of people (me included) have become a bit obsessed by these premium-priced strings. I'm a bit curious how I might feel going back to a set of Dominants or Tonicas (which I've yet to try). I'm willing to bet that my initial impression will be underwhelming, but initial impressions are usually highly unrepresentative of long term performance as strings (and brain!) settle in.
  13. Let us know how you get on with the Amber. Im curious as well. My impression, playing on a violin that is more mellow/sweet than bright (1830s Fendt), is that as long the strings have a quick response - good/appropriate rosin and condition of bow hair helps - it doesn't matter if the strings are on the warm or bright side. Clarity is more important. I've switched from Evah Pirazzi to Peter Infeld (P100 set) after 15+ years using the former. The PI has a more complex tone to my ears. I've also used the EP Gold which was pretty good, but neither the PI or EP Gold are cheap, although I've just scored three sets of PI (P100) for $90 as prices have come down recently. For a little less, Larsen seem to be a viable alternative. I've only used the Tzigane once but it was too long ago to recall.
  14. Certainly appears to be the case! It doesn't help that the charts use different terminology/axis. Most charts (see attached screenshots of Shar, Vionstringreview.com, Thomastik and Larsen) utilise a Warm->Brilliant scale on one axis, but the other axis varies. I wonder how string manufacturers test/design their strings off the violin or instrument ie. "pre-clinical" testing (I'm a physician-researcher!). Fast Fourier Transform may provide an objective means of analysis if performed on sound files recorded both on and off the instrument. Recordings can be made using a (binaural) dummy head, or at least a microphone embedded within an artificial canal with intact external ear anatomy. After all, a lot of what we hear is modified by the physical characteristics of our ears, not to mention how we perceive, remember and recall sound. Anyway, I digress! Suffice to say it remains essential to try strings out for yourself using the violin and bow that one intends to use the strings on. There are already a sufficient number competing factors on the instrument itself which (I'm only beginning to learn) affect sound production.
  15. I suppose you would try to obtain a verbal opinion first, and if thought to be worth pursuing plonk down 4-6% (uneducated guess) for a certificate. If it was felt to be utterly characteristic of Guad, would it be reasonable to forgo the dendro, or is nowadays the done thing for instruments of this value? As a potential buyer, would it be considered good ettiquette to request for the violin to be externally authenticated?
  16. Just took my calipers out (I would guess-timate +/- 0.01mm): PI E (plat) 0.26 A 0.65 D (silver) 0.62 G 0.77 EP E (gold) 0.26 A 0.69 D 0.69 G 0.78 EP Gold E (stainless) 0.25 Unfortunately threw out the A D G recently...
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