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Greetings, First post here from Ithaca, NY. Maybe a little long but the details seem important. I’ve got a violin I acquired about 15 years ago that I need to decide what to do with. It’s not very responsive and hard to draw out a good tone. It’s actually not bad on open strings but stopped notes especially on the G & D strings really suffer – another player aptly described it as having a stuffed nose. A couple of luthiers worked on the setup many years ago. The bridge is currently placed on the f-hole nicks (about 192mm) and the latest sound post position is shown below. No joy. We also tried the bridge at 195mm with commensurate post adjustment. LOB = 359mm Fingerboard projection at bridge a little low = 25mm. I struggled with it awhile trying to play it in, but eventually set it aside and have a couple of other daily players. BTW, I’m an old-time fiddler, not a classical violinist. The label identifies it as William Lewis & Son with Geo Nicholas Einsele as the maker. But no date entered on the label…odd. I’ve looked at the other MN threads on Einsele / Garimberti and Chicago violins. This violin doesn’t seem to have the characteristic model or varnish of an actual Einsele. Whether this is one of the Garimberti violins that were imported in the white and varnished by Einsele is an interesting question. Maybe it’s neither? The varnish is very even and gold toned with no wear (the streaking that shows in the pictures seems to be an artifact of lighting and iPhone camera). But it has the look of having a heavy clear coat, applied even over top of various surface imperfections. The “clear” aspect of the varnish is heavy enough to smooth the sharpness of features like the f-hole nicks (see pic below). I've wondered if it's damping the sound. https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/337815-the-beckerwm-lewischicago-sound/&tab=comments#comment-752461 https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/304978-ferdinando-garimberti-violin/ The violin has also been sadly modified with an “Acoustical Bass Bar” patented by Adam Szymanski (presumably in 1966 by the label). I found the patent. Odd shape. So, my questions are… Any thoughts on actual provenance? Ideas about improving the sound? It has been tried with a couple of types of strings, reasonable bridge/soundpost adjustments, and the original classical tailpiece. Opinions on replacing the bass bar? I’ve seen the recent thread with concerns about replacing an original integral carved bar, but I’d say this differs because the original has already been replaced and it’s unanimous that the instrument is a dog. Thanks for any thoughts. Identifying pics below. - Tom
Hello all, I picked up a William Lewis and Son Viola for a song a while back. I know it's just a student instrument but I think it might be pre-WWII and I'm curious if anyone can offer any more information. I'm including a link to a photobucket album that may help. I tried to get a good picture of the label which I believe to be origional and correct. I also believe the Lifton case is origional to the instrument and may help determine when it was made. I'm not trying to sell it, just trying to find out what I can about it. I'll be happy to answer any questions you have and if more pictures are required just say so. http://s249.photobucket.com/user/loweapline96/slideshow/Lewis%20Viola Thanks in advance for any help, Keith