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Showing results for tags 'what to change'.
I have been primarily making instruments for many years and am just now getting into more repairs and having to make decisions about when to "fix" stuff and when to leave it alone. In the recent thread about stripping varnish my thought was just don't. However some one asked if the replacement of necks and bars should be thought of in the same way and of course this was and is done fairly often in order to allow an instrument to play evolving music which didn't exist when the instrument was made. There are many times when one is repairing obvious damage but when faced with original features which are "wrong" for today's requirements these decisions create a dilemma. In the past month I have been faced with a decent French fiddle where the grads were thick and the bar small which I decided to leave as it was until I have had a chance to set it up and hear it and a historically important and very nice looking American violin which had a neck length of 135 mm with a slightly short stop which I elected to shorten to a more reasonable length for today's players by making an extended nut. In the past I have been guided by whether it was possible to modify an instrument in a way which matched modern specs but have also had times when achieving modern specs was impossible and I have elected to leave pretty outlandish stuff alone. At times I been very pleasantly surprised. In particular I was doing some crack repairs and set up work on a Pollastri violin years ago which had what seem like ridiculous grads which I am remembering as over 4 mm in the centre of the top and about 1.5 around the perimeter. Since the only way to achieve "correct" grads would have been have been incredibly invasive and expensive I suggested to the dealer who owned it that it was worth hearing before making such radical changes. As it turned out Mr. Pollastri apparently had his own ideas about sound as the instrument was quite adequate in the bass but had an amazing singing quality to the upper strings which had one of the violin teachers down the hall running into my shop to ask what kind of violin I was playing. So the discussion about revarnishing has got me thinking about when to do what. As a maker I would love to say just preserve all the old stuff as historical examples and buy a new violin to play on but something tells me that isn't going to work. Comments please?