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  1. Hi everyone, Topics about octave violas have appeared on this forum in the past, such as Viola to Chin Cello and "Octave Violin" & "Octave Viola"; however what is now available on the market appears to have changed. I have a Yamaha SVV-200K with a vibrating string length of 373 mm, which the Electric Violin Shop modified for me to be able to play on the Super Sensitive Sensicore Octave Viola strings and tuned exactly like a cello. Initially these strings were fine; however within months, they would repetively snap by themselves inside the case (either at the ball end or the peg e
  2. Hi everyone, In late 2019, I decided to upgrade to a better viola. Fortunately as I have long arms and fingers, I wanted to try playing a larger instrument and that was when I stumbled upon someone selling his 17" viola. He was a retired man of very tall built and former professional player in an orchestra. The label states "Peter T Gallacher” from Edinburgh back in 1942. I tried looking this up, but could not find much information about the origins of this viola other than it originated in the UK and the previous owner brought it to here in Australia decades ago. Would anyone here h
  3. Joseph Curtin introduces an innovative viola featuring a player-adjustable neck angle, an integrated chinrest, and micro-mutes that modify the brightness and power of the sound. https://youtu.be/uB_2x-ga0qk
  4. Hi! I am new to this site. I’ve been trying to find out what the line on my viola top plate is called. You can see it in the picture attached under the left f hole. My teacher couldn’t recall what it is called, but he says that good instruments have unique things like this that reinforces certain frequencies and provides better resonance. I don’t know how true that is, but I’d still like to find out what this line is called.
  5. https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/instruments/viola/earliest-joke-1714/ A demotion to the viola section for being out of control!
  6. What are your favorite things you've heard a luthier say? My favorite was when one day I was showing an instrument of mine to luthier Nick Frirsz. He looked it over for several minutes with a rather inquisitive expression and said: "Well, it's pretty cool. It was made by someone, who was sitting next to someone, who knew what they were doing." I got a big kick out of this and will never forget it. I still have the instrument, which has since been restored and is really quite exceptional, and I think about that line all the time.
  7. Instead of continuing the hijacking of a thread by a fellow violist with the same name, I thought maybe I can indulge my fascination with da Salo violas (and violas, in general) in a new thread. I just discovered Amihai Grosz who plays a 1570 Gasparo and it has got to be the greatest viola I've heard. Short demonstration: Also, look at that wide grain. So... there's not much to this thread, I guess. I hope that others might post their favourite sounding (and looking violas), modern or old, to get an idea of what is out there. Looking at you, Mr
  8. I have a viola without label which has a stamp inside the back. The attached photo shows the stamp. Does anyone know something about the stamp and maker? LOB = 420 mm I bought from a person in Canada some 10 years ago, but I lost the receipt. Pictures of bridge are uploaded. However the stamp on the bridge is hard to read.
  9. I acquired a full size viola few years back and the label inside was blotted out by ink. However the name penned by ink "Charles S Sweet" is still clearly visible. I presume he was the maker of this viola but I am not able to find anything on the web about this maker. Is there any one of you experts knows anything about who is this Charles S Sweet and like to share with me? I will be very much appreciated. Thank you very much.
  10. I am about to get started on making a small viola (15.5"). I am wondering what differences there are between using poplar and willow for the back. Any insight is greatly appreciated.
  11. Hello All, Can any of you identity the chinrest in the pic that is attached? I’m looking for a side mounted large cup Flesch shaped viola chinrest that has some coverage over the tail piece. I have tried a center mounted Flesch but it placed me too far center.The chinrest in the pic looks like exactly what I need. Thanks George
  12. Hi everyone, Dumb question from a violist who has played for awhile but has never done any customization: I want to switch out the Wittner tailpiece for a Hill style on my 15in viola. I found the one I'd like for the price I want on Shar (it's not my main instrument and I'm not going to be performing any solos; just teaching my kiddos but I want it to match my boxwood Teka chin rest, so it doesn't need to be anything crazy expensive). It says "full size", so will it be okay for my instrument? Thanks everyone! I'm learning new things every day!
  13. My mother recently passed and I inherited this viola. I dont know much about it and would like to know its value.
  14. Luis Claudio Manfio has an idea that there should be a book dedicated to violas with 25 good classical violas. Below I have generated a draft list. I first generated the list of 12 luthiers first - only luthiers in the Po River Valley (Genoa/Bologna and up) + Stainer with 3 or more violas listed on Tarisio's Cozio database are included - all born 1660 or before except I also included G.B. Guadagnini (born 1711). So the luthiers list are: 1) Andrea Amati; 2) Pellegrino Di Zanetto; 3) Gasparo da Salo; 4) Girolamo (Brothers) Amati; 5) Giovanni Paolo Maggini; 6) Jacob Stainer;; 7) Andrea Guar
  15. I'm hoping to take my viola on an international American Airlines flight - it's in a contoured, standard size BAM case. I've never flown alone with my viola before (I flew in 2014 with my violin as part of a chamber orchestra tour) - would this be possible? If so, does anyone have suggestions for things I should I know/prepare for? Thanks!
  16. Hello folks, Some of you may be familiar with my longish-threads about viola bow buying. You all gave me some sage advice and really helped me understand what my goals are. Rather than continue one of those threads, I would like to start a new discussion based on where those trials (and your advice) led me. I discovered through much comparison that I really can't find an equal for my Georges Tepho bow. Its sound is unparalleled. While a smidge on the heavy side at 72g and in need of a rehair (which might change the balance a bit) It would seem the problem is me. I would like to be worth
  17. I think this viola looks interesting. What are your thoughts? https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F113795126199
  18. Hello to all We are selling a large collection of aged tone wood for violin, viola and only one piece for cello the collection dates back to 70's and 80's. Pieces are mixed canadian and european - the Luthier has passed. We would like to sell as a lot however would consider selling in bundles the list of what we currently have. Violin tonewood - $25 each solid pieces - 175 joined - 135 carved violin plates - $25 ea 1/2 pieces - 30 Viola tonewood : 30 pieces $30 each Cello - 1 piece and 4 bridges - $100.00 Scrolls : 20 roughed in
  19. Viola pr0n...Sorry I couldn't spend more timesetting up. It was not exactly crowded, but everyone stood in front of the instruments and talked, not conducive to good picture taking. Masterfully played and commented on by Richard O'Neill. Very well done. 17 Violas. More later.
  20. Dear folks, I am looking for the Gibson Viola Strad poster. I think its P111 Is there anyone out there that might have one they would be willing to share with me, I am happy to pay for it or I can copy it. I started a Gibson viola years ago and lost the poster in a move. Thanks in advance! Frank
  21. My familie's home was just diagnosed with a bed bug infestation. We are having a professional exterminate the home, but I do not know if I need to do anything for my viola. I figure I can leave the case in my home when they do the extermination, but I cannot and will not leave my viola. They heat up our home past 130 degrees Fahrenheit. My question is this, do I need to have my viola cleaned/what do I do to make sure bed bugs are not hiding in my instrument?
  22. I have a viola labeled as a Stefano Scarampella. I assume it has been mislabeled but curious what people think.
  23. Hi there I realise that there's been a lot of discussion around set-up for instruments - but most of what I have read relates to violins and cellos and not a lot of specific viola advice. As violas vary even more than violins, I'm asking for tips from viola makers / experts for my situation. My viola is quite rich and dark sounding, which is lovely on it's own but not useful when trying to cut through in ensembles. It's not quiet but not as powerful as I would like either. There are a lot of resonances and overtones. I used to have a more strident instrument which cut through but didn't h
  24. Hi All, I am a high school student looking into purchasing a high quality viola. I am interested in instruments ranging from $12,000 to $20,000. I currently play a $4,500 Erdesz copy made in Washington, D.C. in 2016. I am open to any suggestions of shops/makers, though these would preferably be located in the mid-atlantic/northeast U.S. Thank you!