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Desert Rat

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Everything posted by Desert Rat

  1. Who's making THAT assumptive leap? However, the fact that composers largely abandoned the harpsichord after the development of the early piano is a good indication of the keyed instrument Bach would likely have chosen to express his ideas.
  2. I haven't scoured the posts for an answer to this, but when I hear that the "purist" approach is to play with no vibrato, my gut reaction is to ask, "Says who?" Has someone found a stash of 8-track tapes from the eighteenth century? Is the notion that vibrato was anathema to players in the 1700s founded on solid evidence? The fact that someone famous whined about excessive vibrato in a letter from the period doesn't carry much weight, with me. Famous people today still whine about all manner of things... Play it how it sounds best, whatever that means. After all, if you want to be TRULY period correct, you'd be playing most of Bach's work as background music, anyway.
  3. Old post, but ever-present question. I've always wondered why people conflate neck length with the need for a shoulder rest. (I suppose it may be the fact that people with long necks often have narrow and sloping shoulders...) But, the reality is, assuming you need a shoulder rest because you have a long neck is akin to having stairs installed in your home because your neighbor's house has two stories. The "need" for a shoulder rest (or pad) is a function of the interface between the shoulder and the center back of the violin. Neck length is a separate issue. At the tailpin, the violin rests on the collar bone near the sternum, NOT the shoulder. To fill the gap between the underside of the jaw/chin, choose a chinrest of the appropriate height and shape for your individual morphology and comfort. Whether, or not, you use a shoulder rest has no bearing on comfortably filling the space between your jaw and collarbone. This is a job for the chinrest, which establishes a fixed point from which the violin pivots and twists. After choosing a chinrest, THEN, with the violin AND left shoulder held in playing position, check for a gap between the shoulder and the back (underside) of the violin, as well as the preferred tilt of the violin (top facing the ceiling vs. facing forward). Filling the gap between the shoulder and the underside of the violin, and adjusting for tilt, is the domain of the shoulder rest. Neck length has very little to do with it.
  4. I haven't posted here for a while, but, I lurk. As classical guitar has been my primary instrument since age 13, this thread caught my attention. Before I could make any recommendations, I'd ask a few questions: - Do you have practical constraints that dictate when you can play? (Strange practice hours, thin apartment walls, sleeping/studying housemates, office environment, etc.) - How tall are you? Are your hands unusually large or small for your height? - Do you envision wanting to fingerpick with your right hand, or using a pick/plectrum exclusively? - What kind of music originally stirred your interest in guitar? Is that the style you'd like to focus on?
  5. I've always seen the solid form of these peg "adornments" referred to as, "olives." http://www.dov-music.com/proddetail.asp?prod=1904 Rat
  6. Robertson's is definitely worth a visit, assuming nothing has changed since I was there about eight years ago. They have what appears to be a purpose-built, free-standing, two story building with a nice performance hall and an elevator. I happened to be there when all the principals of the company were away to an operal festival in Santa Fe, and one of the 'bored' staff offered to give me a tour of the place. Ask to see the Bass and Cello rooms on the second floor. Quite impressive. I was told that the really expensive violins are kept in the basement. Also, if you're into guitars, the Pimentel & Sons workshop is (was?) nearby. Again, I happened in on a slow day, and one of the very friendly sons kept feeding me guitars to sample. The dad's work was my favorite, but not quite what I was looking for at the time. Rat
  7. Slightly off topic, but I've often wondered: why is the name of this wood frequently spelled using all capital letters?
  8. I agree. Bach is like liquid, audible mathematics, and I think Hahn's precise, clear, and restrained style is perfectly suited for it. Are you aware, however, that this recording has been around quite a while? It's from her 1997 debut CD, recorded when she was just 16. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/Partitas-Violin-Sonatas-Hilary-Hahn/dp/B000025JNV/ref=sr_1_17?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1378999587&sr=1-17 Rat
  9. Can you provide a link to the sellers profile on eBay? I'd like to take a look at his history/offerings but I can't find a seller by the name "Old Foggy". Thanks.
  10. Thanks, again. So, it could be that Bobelock discontinued the model #1014 (or whatever it was called) in order to reintroduce it as the #1050 Corregidor which then morphed into the #1051. Anyone else remember if the #1014 (?) was discontinued at the same time the original Corregidor was introduced? Just an excercise in curiosity, really.
  11. Thanks Gerald, but that's not it. The interior cavity of the 1050 had straight sides and a shovel-shaped head space. The case I'm remembering had the same body contours as the #1017 and either a spade or clover-shaped head area. Below is a picture of the old #1050 Corregidor:
  12. Greetings, all. I remember that Bobelock used to have a case that sold for the same price as the #1017, but instead of having two long storage compartments alongside the neck, there were two smaller compartments and a more form-fitted cavity for the head of the violin. I imagine it was discontinued because buyers were opting for the greater storage capacity of the #1017 over the more interesting design of its sibling case. Was the discontinued model designation #1014? Attached is a picture of a fractional instrument for sale on eBay that got me thinking about this (not sure if it's the same model I remember). Thanks.
  13. I'm nobody to these makers, and have no credentials, so I'm not worried about upsetting anyone... Initially, after just 15-20 seconds of each clip, I thought the Krutz was the easy winner. After going back and listening to the clips in their entirety multiple times, and thinking about the sound the way I do when I'm auditioning fine headphones and loudspeakers, I concluded that my first impression was in response to the Krutz' relative sweetness in the treble. (After all, it's the LACK of a certain quality that most people associate with good violin tone. What is that quality? Screechy-ness!!!) Now, to my ear, the Curtain and the Kleverkaus were easily the most 'open' in their sound, and both possessed the best clarity in the bass register. The Kleverkaus sounded like it had the potential to be harsh, however. For me, the Curtain wins out for combining openness and clarity with a sweet singing treble. The Bailly I heard as third in openness, but also unique in its slight nasal quality. Pleasant sounding, but I think it might get tiresome for the player. I still like the Krutz, and would probably rank it second or third overall, depending on how its [potentially] lower clarity stacked up against the Kleverkaus' [potential] brashness. The Gliga lives up to its reputation by being relatively 'dark' sounding, with noticeably weaker clarity on the bass runs. I've had both guitars and violins like this. One of them a Gliga. I sold it. So, there's my untrained opinion based on five short youtube videos of marginal audio quality with questionable variable controls. You're welcome. Rat
  14. Was this a violin from "Yitamusic" in Shanghai? They make surprisingly good student instruments that ship with strings that look like that. They hold the bridge in place during shipping, I suppose. Otherwise, I found them to be pretty awful substitutes for even the cheapest of recognized nylon strings. Corelli Crystal or D'Addario Pro-Arte would be an improvement. Rat
  15. Because violins are expected to have corners by those who would buy them. Over the 400+ years, corners have become one of the essential elements defining the visual character of the instrument, along with the scroll, color, and general outline. The fact that you have to describe an instrument as a "cornerless violin" proves that it's missing something that a violin is expected to have. Some people like the look of cornerless violins. I think they look like unfortunate mutants. Rat
  16. Beginners usually are playing on cheap, overly-bright instruments. Also, they typically lack the bowing and intonation skills required to make pleasant sounds consistently, which can be discouraging. As such, strings that produce a less 'edgy' and quieter sound is appreciated by all who are forced to listen (including the student!). When you combine those desired features with a requirement for high manufacturing quality, wide availability, and low retail cost, there are two clear choices: D'Addario Pro-Arte' and Corelli Crystal. Both sets are available from Southwest Strings for under $23.00 US. The D'Addario's are also available in fractional sizes.
  17. I'm just an armchair enthusiast, but I'd like to add one more vote/guess for "New Chinese", and I don't mean that as a disparagement. The varnish and wear pattern are VERY similar to those on the Jay Haide l'ancienne instruments, as well as some of the nicer Chinese stuff you can find on eBay. (It even has a crooked fingerboard and 'therapeutic' bridge, just like my own Jay Haide!) Of course, they're all intended to look real, so the similarity is no proof, and I don't remember seeing the wide squarish upper f-hole wings on much Chinese stuff. But what makes me think Chinese are some of the details of the antiquing: 1) There are a lot of 1/2" scratches all over the instrument. They seem too consistent and evenly distributed to have come from normal use. They even appear in protected areas that would be difficult to scratch by accident, such as along the bass side of the fingerboard and the pegbox cheeks. 2) As has been mentioned, with the level of player wear to the varnish, one would expect to see more top damage to the treble c-bout and possible to the treble corners. 3) The removal of the varnish along the outline of the instrument, both front and back, appears to me to be too thorough and consistent to have come from natural wear. Bear in mind that I'm just a hack making guesses for fun. Regardless of it's origin, it's a very pretty instrument and obviously the product of much skill and careful attention to detail. I hope it can be made to play and sound as well as it looks. Rat
  18. Just curious... I think I know about the "DG" part, but what does the "U" stand for in, "DGU?" Thanks.
  19. A shoulder rest. [grins mischieviously] Rat
  20. I have had this same problem with several sets of strings, including the 'old' Tonica, Violino, Obligato, Corelli Crystal, and Thomastik Infeld Blue. I don't remember seeing it with any of the D'Addario strings, but I may be mistaken. (Not much experience with Evah Pirazzi: I can't stand the sound of them under my ear.) I could usually avoid having such a string break while being brought up to tension by slathering it all over with graphite and gently lifting the string near the nut to help "ease" the unravelled area over the groove. Once up to pitch, there were no issues, as the problem area was always outside of the vibrating string length. This could come from faulty string winding, but I more apt to blame it on something weird with the violin nut. Rat
  21. As for the waterproof/airtight feature: is this a good idea? I've often wondered if having a totally sealed case has the potential of 'shocking' the instrument with more sudden changes in humidity. Even air conditioned spaces can vary wildly in relative humidity levels. Is it safer in the long run to allow the instrument to aclimatize more gradually in a more breathable case? Just wondering... Rat
  22. I agree that, in terms of ultimate protection, top-flight cases offer surprisingly little improvement over what can be had from Shar or SW Strings for around $100. (Especially considering that $1,000,000+ instruments are sometimes the cargo.) I have often read/heard the 'rule of thumb' about players spending 1/3 to 1/2 the value of their fiddle to acquire a suitable bow. Where is the similar old saw when it comes to cases? My $2,000 violin resides in a $230 Concord case, which is 11.5% of the instrument value. I can't imagine what functional features would cause a case for a $3,000,000 violin to sell for $345,000, but would it be unreasonable for a touring player like Joshua Bell to spend even $5-10,000 to protect his incredibly valuable instrument? Honestly, in a world of $13,000 Koetsu phono cartridges, I'm surprised that such ultra-high-end cases don't already exist. Rat
  23. A driver's license or voter I.D. will suffice. Local residents are happy to comply. Rat
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