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Found 83 results

  1. So, I'd like to thank you all in advance for potentially helping me sort through all of the general questions I have, and also welcoming me into this community(by allowing me to create a free account to quiz the people in the lifelong trade/journey about what I seem to have gotten myself into). Thanks again for reading. I am excited to become a part of this particular community!
  2. Greetings, all! I'm new to the forum, so please be gentle. I have inherited two instruments from my mother, one a Jacobus Stainer violin, which I understand to be late 19th century. The other is a viola that Google fails to provide any information on. The label reads as follows: Pauer & Kubesela, Op. 15 Poszony 1902 Any information about the origin of this viola would be appreciated.
  3. I have noticed recently that the neck/pegbox of my viola is slightly inclined towards the treble side. I have asked an expert and he told me that this is normal with string instruments. He showed me a violin that had the same kind of inclination. I live in a hot and humid climate (Corfu island. Greece) where tempetures in my room are around 28-31 degrees Celsious and humidity around 50-70%. I have posted three images. What do you think? Is something to worry about? Thank you in advance for your responses.
  4. I'm planning to make my first string instrument soon and as a violist (I've been playing for seven years now) I of course really want to build my own viola. After searching for a long time online I quickly find out however that there are so many more resources for violin and cello building for beginners as well as wood and hardware required to finish. So my question is; is it a better idea for me to build a violin as there are many plans, instructions and cheap hardware for it, or should I make a viola which I can play myself and be proud of? (with maybe a steeper learning curve and more things to work out for myself)
  5. Hello All, It's been a while since I've posted 'round here. Been busy with a new job this last year. School finally let out so I can breath again for a bit. Anyway, I recently acquired a nice late-18th Century Viola. It's labeled as Paulo Castello (S, not F) made in Genoa 1780. I don't have any illusions that it actually is one of his instruments (mainly because it doesn't look like any of his work) but it's still a rather interesting instrument and would like to discuss it here. I'll start off by saying that this viola has received a lot of attention from a previous luthier (or two). I'm a violist and can say, with decades of experience behind me as a player, that it sounds pretty amazing despite it's small size. The C string, in particular, is deep & resonant despite the narrow design of the body. Also, the A is also rather exquisite and exceptional. Actually, the instrument's natural resonant frequency seems to be right around 440hz. No joke, If you play an A anywhere near it, the whole body vibrates in sympathy. Tuning is quite the experience as when you tune the A to anywhere from 438-442hz, it just comes alive (never had a viola do that before) I'll include the vital stats below. I would like to draw attention to the "Thomas Smith" stamp on the bass bar. I'm guessing he's the one who did all the work on the instrument, but where when or where I do not know. I've not opened the top, but has discerned the the following repairs: -New Bass Bar -Multiple crack cleats -Edge doubling -Reset neck -Scroll graft -Soundpost Belly Patch -Soundpost back crack fill -General over varnishing I'm mainly interested in discussing the possible origins of this viola, as well as anything else that catches your eye. To my eye, it's a very oddly shaped instrument. Very widely-set asymmetrical f-holes with a narrow body. Although it's almost 16", the ribs are about the same as a violin (as is the neck width at the nut). I've taken lots of pictures, and will start with a few general ones to get things going. I can provide any angle you might need to discern details. Thanks in advance for your discussion, I've always enjoyed learning from everyone's experience. Thank you in advance for any insight you can give: Labelled: Paulus Castello fecit Genuae anno 1780 Back Length: 397mm String Length: 362mm Upper: 177mm Middle: 125mm Lower: 221mm Ribs: 29mm Neck Length: 143mm (measured from ribs to scroll) Neck Length: (nominal) 128mm Neck Width at Nut: 23mm F-hole Length: 73mm F-Hole ID (Upper) 51.5mm F-hole OD (Lower) 161
  6. So, I've been pretty timid about posting recordings of myself online. And posting solo Bach is especially scary, but this past weekend, I finally went ahead with it. BTW- It's about 10 seconds in that I realize I didn't tighten my bow enough. (whoops) And I'm dedicated to my attaca Allemande, so it isn't until the Courante that I tighten it. And by the time I start playing the Sarabande, my top two strings (gut) are thoroughly out of tune. I should've stopped to tune sooner than I did (just before the bourrees). Live performance...
  7. Hi guys - section leader here for a London non-pro orchestra that has programmed the Kodály next concert. Any idea how to lead a section to play the passage at 487 well? Syncopations are quite quick...
  8. I have been looking for a good student viola for my niece and came across this on eBay for $199 plus shipping. The label inside indicates it is a 15.5 inch viola which is what she needs. Label markings as follows, Monique V. PW-250 15 1/2" 2008 Adjusted in Grace Violin Shop I am not familiar with this label marking so are there any one who can help me with information on this so called Monique V viola? The strings look like Dominant strings. I have tried to contact the Grace Violin Shop but NO reply from them and probably I sent the email to the wrong email address inbox. Here are few photos. Thank you for your information.
  9. Hello to everyone this is De Paoli from Canada I would like to add more photos of tone wood and accessories that we have if there is an interest please let me know as we are moving from our present location over the next month and would like all this wonderful collection to go to luthier's hands! the next few posts will be of pics but if you request something specific i can post many more! thanks again for the interest!
  10. Good morning from Greece, I would like some advice on how I can remove fingerprints or dirt from my viola except for rubbing it gently with a dry cloth or using polishers that may damage the sensitive oil-based varnish of mu instrument. Is it good blowing hot air from your mouth and then quickly dry the surface with a dry cloth a good idea? I tried that and it works.
  11. jandepora

    Viola Bow

    Today I have a question about a bow that is with me since 20 years ago. Is my viola bow and I want to know your opinion. My teacher sold it to me like a real Bazin and I believed her... time later I began to think it was a fake and ´did not want to play with it. Now I am in peace with the bow. My question is if you think it is a Bazin, what member of the family and what is it real price, because I saw very diferents prices in bazin´s bows. Thank you as always.
  12. Hello from Greece, I've been lurking in this forum quite a time reading various topics and I've decided to register in order to ask your opinion about a matter. I have a viola made by german luthier Walter Mahr in 2012. It is a nice handmade instrument that has been in my possesion for almost a year now. It's an imitation of an old viola, it has some beautiful craquelure that were made on purpose by the luthier itself. The varnish looks delicate and soft and I have noticed some thin almost straight lines on varnish that are visible in certain lighting. They look like scratces, like if somebody scratched the surface with an ultra thin sharp object. Also there are some semi circular lines right under the strings between the end of the fingerboard and the bridge - I suspect that while wipping rosin off the viola small particles of rosin dust scratched lightly the varnish. Is this possible? Relative humidity in my room is usually between 50-70% while outside can be 60-90% as it is quite rainy place and an island. I attach few pictures. I will appreciate your comments and advise. P.S. This is the Ebay ad from which I bought the viola. There are also few pictures of the instrument there.
  13. Hello all, It's been a while since I've posted here. Life's been busy for me as I've started a new job teaching sculpture at a university in Michigan. Anyway, I've had the opportunity to renew my viola studies here under another professor and that, of course, has led me to seek out a new instrument. After much research, I've narrowed my search to Czech makers (as I love my early Juzek violin) and feel like I can get more bang for my buck in searching for a century-old instrument -my sweet spot in both sound and visual aesthetics. I've discovered a little-known (at least to me) maker by the name of Julius Hubicka. There seems to be a healthy representation of sales of his work on the various auction sites, at least for violins. Violas are a different matter; and that is why I'm writing here. I'm hoping some of you with either more experience in spotting similarities/differences in a maker's style, or better yet, actual experience with Hubicka's instruments can help me decide if a particular instrument I'm looking at might possibly be from the same maker. Before I get started, let me state the following: I'm not looking for an absolute authentication, nor am I looking for an evaluation. I realize without an instrument-in-hand, much will remain a mystery. (and I'm ok with that) Opinions are welcome, especially if you have meaningful experience with the maker or the details of the instrument I will post. I've always enjoyed and benefited from the opinions proffered here and respect the knowledge of those with more experience than myself. Here are the vitals: Label: Julius A. Hubicka No. 100 fecit Pragae Anno 1919 Measurements: Body length: 42 cm (16,53') Body width down: 25,5 cm (10') Body width up: 20,5 cm (8') Note: The seller is a respected violin shop. This is not an Ebay instrument. I've not seen two Hubicka labels alike. Some instruments seem to have brands on the wood near the label, others don't. His corners seem to be distinctive (to my eye) and his scrolls to a lesser extent. I will post a few reference photos in a second post for comparison. I've collected images of around 10 Hubicka violins and will post them as necessary. [/url]
  14. Good day! I'm in the market for a professional grade viola and I was browsing antique ones on Ebay for fun. I cam across a Johan Baptist Schweitzer Fecit Pestini 1833 viola. I know as far as violins go, there are a lot of fakes with the date 1813. However, I was unsure about this viola. It has a stamp but I don't know if I should trust it. I asked the owner about it through messages and he said "This is a viola I have bought in 1985 in Romania (Eastern Europe) for the equivalent of $7000 (in the local currency ). Since then,I had it evaluated by the Romanian reputed " Composers Association " and by the Romanian Patrimony associated with the "Magazinul Muzica " where I have obtained the permission to export it (actually carry it with me in the U.S.A.) The viola still carries a stamp(on the left side )stating what I just explained to you. It comes with a case to which is still attached the label from the airline Pan AM (One of the last flights of Pan Am !). Inside there is a label reading :Joh. Bapt.Schweitzer fecit Pestini 1833. The 33 from the 1833 is completed by hand ,in black ink. Also,right below that information,it bears a note ,in pencil,reading :Rep. M Hanganu,1990. Hanganu was a famous Romanian violin maker ,trained in the Reghin region of Romania,where some of the most valuable string instruments are still being made.. So ,Master Hanganu serviced my viola in 1990 (new bridge,strings)." If it is real, do you guys think it'd be professional grade or intermediate/advanced? Thank you for reading this!
  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. Please come to The Amati Exhibition on Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th being held at the Langham Hotel in London. The Amati Exhibition showcases the very best antique and contemporary instruments and bows. Now in its fourth year the exhibition is an invaluable networking event for the stringed instrument community. The focus for this year is to reintroduce a more relaxed and informal feel so rather than a host a concert we are delighted to be joined by Trio Isimsiz for Sunday’s drinks reception. They are going to play Dvorak’s piano trio in F minor and the last movement of Schumann’s piano trio in G minor. On Monday there is an ‘Open Stage’ session where musicians from YCAT (Young Classical Artists Trust) and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama will perform with instruments chosen from the exhibitor’s tables. Our instrument highlight this year is a cello by Giovanni Grancino, Milan, 1696, generously loaned from a private collection courtesy of J & A Beare. The cello has survived in a remarkably pure state with unpolished naturally worn varnish. Entrance on both days is free. For more information please contact Charlott on +44 (0)20 7099 7114 or visit the exhibition page on our website. Exhibitor List Adam Whone Violins Allianz Amati Auctioneers British Violin Making Association Caballero & Graswinckel Chaconne Chris Halstead Colin Adamson Fiddlease Florian Leonhard Fine Violins Gaspar Borchardt Helge Netland Lark Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin Mark Jennings Matthias Kayssler Newark School of Violin Making Noel Burke Paul Shelley Peter Oxer Rod Ward Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Sunrise Thwaites Turner Violins Ulf Johansson Ulf Kloo William John
  17. Hey there I'm not sure if this topic belongs in this forum but I guess I'll go for it I've had my viola for a few years now and as pretty as it is, I managed to put a few ugly scratches on it, (by accident of course). there aren't that many but they're kind of obvious. To me, anyway. I like to consider myself an artist, particularly skilled in swirly doodle looking stuff, and I was curious if it would be safe to use acrylic to paint swirly doodles on my viola. I've read several articles regarding painting on the bodies, so I'm definitely aware of the effects heavy painting has on the wood and the sound quality of the instrument. However, I don't intend to cover the entire instrument in paint like the authors of the forums and articles I have previously read, I just want to do some extremely simple and light designs that are just dark enough to cover the scratches, which are mainly in one main area on my instrument. The color would be similar to that of the instrument: a reddish brown color. Nothing fancy. I was wondering if it would be too damaging to the wood or affect the sound greatly. If so, are there any safer alternatives?
  18. I decided to weigh the "violin" bows my mother sent recently. Although none of them have the rounded-edged frog, the "Bausch" weighs 68g and is slightly shorter than my known violin bows. The "E. Sartory Paris" bow is also slightly shorter than my violin bows and weighs a hefty 71g. Are these violin bows or viola bows? My known Hill violin bow weighs 61g and is a scant cm or so longer.
  19. Not one, but two in the latest Bromptons Auction!
  20. Hi Strings experts, my viola friend just won this auction from eBay and sent me this link to solicit my opinion. I thought you experts may be able to help me out. He thinks it is a good viola but from what I read on this maker died in 1915 but the label says 1921. I am no expert but there must be someone in this wonderful Maestronet that know much more. Is there someone who want to share your thought on the maker, the viola and the price etc. I told my viola friend I will take it up with the Maestronet experts and get their opinion. Thank you.
  21. Hi, I want to build a viola and I ask you all an advice: in your opinion today what is the size most in demand by musicians? thank you Levin
  22. Hello everyone So after a long time I wanted to experiment a bit , I bought my first viola today!! In fact it is very cheap and viola but I would like to try to make it a little better , and buy a good bridge, because the seller told me that this is the most simple bridge. I am considering purchasingn Aubert Viola Bridge "Deluxe " But there are lots of kinds of sizes. Does anyone know what the height of the bridge fits my viola? 54 mm46 / mm48 / mm52 / mm? Dimensions of the instrument: (under the link on eBay) "Korpusgröße ca. 40,0cm Gesamtgröße ca. 66,0cm Mensur ca. 36,5cm Zarge ca. 4,8cm "
  23. This is a reboot of a previous thread I started in the Scroll. (link: I purchased this instrument recently, and I'm interested in restoring it, as it seems a worthy instrument. It has seen moderate to heavy intervention in the past, so previous owners of the instrument have felt the same. Linked below are photographs I've taken. If anyone wants to see something in specific, I'll do what I can! Here's a link to my complete Photobucket album, with 24 pictures. Dimensions are as follows: Body is 520mm or 20 1/2" Overall is 850 mm or 33 1/2" Rib height is 55mm or 2 1/4"
  24. Hello all, I bought this instrument from eBay and received it the other day. For starters, I apologise for not posting images, but I need to make ten posts beforehand. Nine to go. Once I am permitted to post images, I have a large number of high-quality photographs of the instrument, which I will then post. I intend to restore this instrument, as I believe it is worthy. However, I would very much appreciate any and all observations about it, especially about provenience and appropriate restoration. Thank you in advance!