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  1. Does anyone happen to know the original (or current?) body length, or any other dimensions, of the Maggini viola listed in the Cozio archive as "Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Brescia, date unknown, Viola: 59839"? I doubt it would be acceptable to try to post copyrighted photos, so perhaps this question is just for those with access to Cozio, unfortunately. It is not particularly elegant looking, and might not have drawn my interest, except that I just played an inexpensive new instrument that as far as I can tell was inspired by that viola. It played and sounded *far* better than I could have imagined for the price. The new instrument is made in a wide range of sizes, and I was just wondering how big the original might be. The one I tried was 15-3/4", and to someone who has never been a fan of small violas, it was shocking how good it was. Or for that matter, the same question about this da Salo: "Gasparo Bertolotti 'da Salò', Brescia, date unknown, Viola: 49143" I would be thrilled if anybody knows these instruments and could give me a clue as to the actual dimensions.
  2. 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 end) unless I loosened them a few tones down during storage. I did subsequently have the octave viola examined by two different local luthiers here; the second who further smoothed out the grooves in case the strings were being pinched and resulting in breakage. Although Super Sensitive kindly sent me free replacements, they did snap and I currently have one full spare set and a spare C and D string. I had a look for alternatives online. D'Addario only makes octave violin strings. From memory I found these 1/10 cello strings online, but quite frankly they are rubbish to play on and the vibrating string length is too long for my octave viola. These 1/16 cello strings were even longer than the 1/10 cello strings; hence I didn't even try them on. Any tiny adjustments either via the pegs or fine tuners results in an unusually large change in the pitch of the string. Without any viable options left, my octave viola was left sitting in the case unplayed for several years. Recently having started practising regularly on my acoustic viola, I curiously decided to check out the current market situation for octave viola options. The Sensicore options have seemingly completely disappeared from Super Sensitive's product catalogue, which makes me wonder if they have been discontinued. Larsen recently released their Aurora line of cello strings, the smallest size which is 1/16 with a vibrating string length of 420 mm (this information was accidentally omitted from their information PDF; hence I had to ask them via e-mail what the vibrating string length was). Currently I have e-mailed Pirastro and Larsen to see if they can make custom extra small cello strings with a vibrating string length of 373 mm, but I have yet to hear from them. I figured it would be cheaper to get custom strings rather than a custom-made large electric viola with a vibrating string length of 420 mm. I can probably play a massive viola since I have long arms and fingers though, but I have not seen any viola in Australia thus far that is bigger than my acoustic viola. Or as my friend says, just buy a good, old fashioned cello and learn how to play it, hahaha! Does anyone else here have any tips or ideas? 16 March 2021 Jargar has replied saying they were unable to help. D'Addario replied saying that they have actually acquired Super Sensitive and there are currently discussions on which strings they will continue manufacturing. I have yet to hear back from Larsen, Pirastro or Thomastik.
  3. 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 have more information about this viola?
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/instruments/viola/earliest-joke-1714/ A demotion to the viola section for being out of control!
  7. 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.
  8. 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 Dwight, I was following your viola thread when it was being made, and still no sound clip! I'm so interested in hearing it!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. So, as some of you might know, I was recently looking for a viola, and bought one on Ebay. Now before I go on, I just want to make it clear that I am in no way trying to "plug"(?) a specific seller, or promote any seller. I thought it might be useful for some who is also looking for a new viola. I'm posting my thoughts on the Viola as an instrument, and not the seller. I bought this viola from Yitamusic on eBay, and I must say.... I am absolutely amazed by the its sound. The auction described the tone as Deep and Open, and that is exactly what it is. Warm, deep, soothing, open. I put new Warchal Karneol strings on right away, and it goes extremely well with this viola. The sound is loud, and the setup is great. The nut is very well shaped, the bridge feet fit to the instrument, and the soundpost is adjusted to fit to the arching of the viola. Overall I'm happy with the setup. I might, maybe, reshape the neck at some point, but might keep it as is. Still deciding. All in all, this was an absolutely excellent buy, and for the price, is a fantastic viola. I would say it is suitable for beginners, intermediate, advanced, and would even go as far as say it would suit a professional player. I'm not sure if I would classify it as a "Solo" instrument though, although someone who plays well could make it work. The varnish is applied well, and is not at all too thick, as you might see on some cheap instruments. The viola is 16.25 inches. Keep in mind, when buying a viola or violin like this, the bridge wont be on the instrument, and the soundpost will be down. Just saying. I will try to get a sound clip on tomorrow. Thank you for reading.
  12. 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.
  13. I have a viola labeled as a Stefano Scarampella. I assume it has been mislabeled but curious what people think.
  14. 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
  15. We are located in Windsor On Canada - We still have an amazing collection of tone wood for violin, viola, and cello - both 2 piece, single pieces and jointed pieces spruce and maple - most pieces are from 1974 - 1980's accessories include bridges, fingerboards, etc wood blocks for scrolls molds ribs scrolls roughed out tone wood roughed out bows (brazil wood - various sizes) hanks of horse hair for bow rehairing tools 6-14 terrco marlin violin carver (backs, fronts and scrolls can be easily reproduced here) and so much more We are very limited in time as we no longer have the storage - please contact me for viewing can be purchased by large or small lots Inquire please!!!! I can post close up pics of any specific pieces
  16. 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!
  17. My mother recently passed and I inherited this viola. I dont know much about it and would like to know its value.
  18. 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 Guarneri; 8) Giovanni (Brothers) Grancino; 9) Giovanni Tononi; 10) Antonio Stradivari; 11) Matteo Goffriller; 12) Giovanni Battista Guadagnini. 4 steps follow: include the most "famous" viola of each of the 12 makers ("famous" as in referenced by most sources in the Cozio database); include the most famous uncut contralto viola for each of these 12; try to fill out the range of viola sizes from 15" through 19" at 1/4" intervals as much as possible; and lastly include some "discretionary" adds. The dates below are mostly from Tarisio's database which I feel is a bit shaky, but oh well: 1. Andrea Amati "Charles IX" c.1564 Cremona at Ashmolean; LOB 469.2mm (~18.5") 2. Pellegrino Di Zanetto 1580 (?) Brescia at Chi Mei; LOB 468mm (~18.5") 3. Gasparo "Nathan Gordon" 1580 Brescia with NY Philharmonic; LOB 436mm (~17"1/4) 4. Gasparo "Kievman" c.1580 Brescia ; LOB 392mm (~15"1/2) 5. Maggini "Joyce" 1600 Brescia at Fondazione Pro Canale-Milano; LOB 426mm (~16"3/4) 6. Maggini "Dumas Tenor" 1600 Brescia; LOB 424.5mm (~16"3/4) 7. Maggini 1600 Brescia with Austria National Bank; LOB 413mm (~16"1/4) 8. Gasparo c.1609 Brescia at Ashmolean; LOB 443.8mm (~17.5") 9. Girolamo (Brothers) Amati "Stauffer" 1615 Cremona at Museo del Violino Cremona; LOB 411mm (~16"1/4) 10. Girolamo (Brothers) Amati "Wittgenstein" 1620 Cremona; LOB 430mm (~17") 11. Girolamo (Brothers) Amati c.1620 Cremona at Royal Academy of Music London; LOB 449.5mm (~17"3/4) 12. Andrea Guaneri 1664 Cremona at National Music Museum South Dakota; LOB 482mm (~19") 13. Jacob Stainer "Baron Knoop" 1670 Absam; LOB 424mm (~16"3/4) 14. Andrea Guarneri "Conte Vitale" 1676 Cremona; LOB 419mm (~16"1/2) 15. Jacob Stainer "Hammerle" 1678 Absam in the Herbert Axelrod collection (?); LOB 398mm (~15"3/4) -- note: I am not sure if this is uncut; I want to only include uncut models 16. Antonio Stradivari "Tuscan-Medici Tenor" 1690 Cremona at Istituto Cherubini Florence; LOB 478mm (~18"3/4) 17. Antonio Stradivari "Tuscan-Medici Contralto" 1690 Cremona at Library of Congress; LOB 412.2mm (~16"1/4) 18. Giovanni & Francesco Grancino 1692 Milan; LOB 420mm (~16"1/2) 19. Andrea Guarneri "Primrose, Lord Harrington" 1697 Cremona; LOB 413mm (~16"1/4) 20. Giovanni Tonini c.1699 Bologna; LOB 417mm (~16"1/2) 21. Giovanni Grancino "Max Aronoff" 1707 Milan; LOB 429mm (~17") 22. Matteo Goffriller "Funkhauser" 1710 Venice with Dextra Musica; LOB 406.7mm (~16") 23. Antonio Stradivari "Gibson, Saint Senoch" 1734 Cremona; LOB 411.5mm (~16"1/4) 24. Giovanni Battista Guadagnini "La Parmigiana" 1765 Parma; LOB 381mm (~15") 25. Giovanni Battista Guadagnini "Villa" 1781 Turin with Dextra Musica; LOB 402mm (~15"3/4) Right now there are no ~15"1/4 no ~18" violas; and from second half of the 18th century C.F. Landolfi, P.G. Mantegazza and L. Storioni are missing. Please suggest what classical violas you would swap into the list and what you would swap out! For me, I am tempted to swap in a C.F. Landolfi 1758 Milan with LOB 388mm and swap out G. Tononi's.
  19. 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!
  20. 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 worthy of my Tepho and get better at both using the whole bow, playing at the frog, bow distribution in-general, and my intonation. Through my many trials, and had the chance to try a cheap generic carbon fiber bow. While it was inferior in all ways, I did notice that it handled surprisingly well. So, I decided to check out the contenders. I tried the following Carbon Fiber bows: Coda Bow: Luma, Diamond GX, Marquise (x2) JonPaul: Bravo, Avanti, Carrera (flexible) Arcus: P6, M6, Musing C2, C3, C4 (x4), C5 (all round sticks) The first thing I learned is that the lighter the bow, the better I played fast passages, but often sacrificed tone quality. (they sounded thin). For example, the Arcus P6 came in at only 58g (!!!) and was demon on the strings. It actually sounded decent - kinda like a pure tone as opposed to the multiple overtones from a Pernambucco. I discovered that I could better hear my intonation though....My problem with it was that 14 gram difference made it extremely hard coming back to my Tepho - kinda made it feel like bricks and that was a deal breaker (that and the $2.5k price...) The heavier bows played and sounded more like wood, and that includes the JonPaul Carrera and the Codabow Marquise. They were 71g and 70g respectively. The Carerra was the flexible version and was too soft for my instrument - but it sounded great. The Marquise is better balanced with a slightly stiffer stick and a similar good wood-like sound, but not nearly as precise as the lighter bows. The balance was good and it would make a great single bow for a player or for me it would make a nice true backup to my Tepho in terms of performance in public. With it being 70 grams, the weight difference is negligible and I could go back and forth between it and my Tepho without huge adjustments. The middleweights that were contenders for me were most of the Musing line of Arcos bows. Coming in at between 62g-63g each, they had better tone than the P & M Series bows, but could also play fast passages with ease thanks to their good balance and stiff sticks. I determined that the C4 was the best of the line in terms of sound/value. I would describe its tone as being very clear (similar to the p6), but having more character. Not a bow for public performance I think (especially compared to my Tepho), but not bad at all. I think what I like about this bow is it allows me to work through difficult passages during practice with relative ease. Kinda like playing the viola with a violin bow, but one able to really pull tone out of the bottom two strings. I noticed right away that I did not have to worry about my bow arm when playing with it and could focus on my intonation, fingerings, bowings, etc.. Also, for what it's worth, It doesn't sound so great as to "seduce" me with luscious frequencies (like my Tepho) and I inevitably wander away from the mast to familiar tunes. Rather, I can stick to the business at-hand. It may be my imagination, but after playing for some time with the Musing C4, and then coming back to my Tepho - while I did notice the extra 9-10 grams - I found that it had unlocked difficulties I had had from before and I could play them now suddenly. I do realize this is also the definition of practice, but there was something about the idea of having a "workout" bow that has begun to grow on me. Truly and honestly, I have only one real concern and that is why I am writing today. Many of you can see further down the road than I and I would like your thoughts on this. If my ultimate goal is to play with my Tepho the best I can, am I doing my self a service or disservice by practicing with a lighter, more nimble bow? My greatest fear at this point is no longer being able to play with the Tepho because of the weight. That would be a disaster. It just sounds so good on my viola. My other option is the Marquis. It sounds great & plays great if not as nimbly as the Musing C4. It's closer to my Tepho in terms of balance ad sound, but no where as easy to play as the C4. I kind feel like it's more like a full-size spare tire. You know - get a flat and you can change the the tire without all the speed and safety concerns of a donut. I don't think it is giving me anything as a "workout" bow other than keeping the miles off my Tepho. It does play nice at the frog though and I was able to play better on some difficult passages, but not sure if that's a good enough reason to buy it for my stated purpose. Thoughts?
  21. 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
  22. 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 and 20 refined - $20 each 3 neck blocks - make me an offer - as seen in the pics Ribs - many many ribs in a variety of lengths - please inquire as I am not sure how many you would want for violin they range from 4" - 12" (over 600 pieces) for cello they are 5" wide and range from 14-24" about 25 pieces dozens of assembly spools(handmade) - would consider an offer Moulds - I currently have about 6 different ones as seen in the pictures - $50 each Please send me notes with your inquiries - I will consider all reasonable offers on pieces as well as the lot - we will adjust the pricing for purchase of the entire lot - please inquire!!! shipping presents challenges - however i am open to appointment times and will gladly help you load!! We are located in Windsor Ontario Canada thank you!
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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?
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