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MANFIO

Is theTertis model still used by makers?

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I'm sure someone more expert will answer, but I do know that the Tertis model is rejected by the C.A.S. as unsound.

Tertis was known to have believed a bigger viola is a better viola. Absent a 21-inch instrument that would have to be played cello fashion, there is no compelling evidence for this theory either.

Mark_W

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Thanks, Michael, for validating these beasts!

Mine is eleven years old. It is wonderful. The tone is ALWAYS remarked upon (but then, so is the appearance). It projects beautifully and has great warmth and nobility--a true tenor sound. At 16 3/4", it is nevertheless remarkably easy to play--easier than my 16" viola.

The maker, Ray Bastien, unfortunately died very prematurely a couple of years after I puchased mine. His daughter set up a web page about him web page if you are interested--quite a story. His violas were especially good.

Here's mine, in the foreground: ray3.jpg

It won awards for tone, BTW.

Jane

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"So much for the CAS :-)..."

I'm inclined to agree in some points. They've conducted a huge amount of research over the decades, but I don't think they've necessarily taught fine makers anything better than they knew before. I read C. M. Hutchins' 1981 article on mode tuning (in 1981, then being a subscriber to Scientific American) and was impressed. Perhaps that was the beginning of my interest in violins. In the years since, I've come to believe that what works works. We're assisted by science in many ways, but it's never been a decider of what appeals to us esthetically. It may help us avoid the worst errors in constructing a violin, but it won't provide us a template for a perfect one.

Mark_W

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Heya MANFIO,

Read some of the posts. My Tertis viola was made in 2000 so I guess it's kinda new. I bought it in Japan last year. I'm having difficulty in playing it though (especially in high positions!). But it sounds great I have to admit. It's lower registers could be compared to the cello's--really robust and powerful. However, since it's too fat (for lack of a better term) my technique suffers so I'm planning to sell it and get myself a Scott Cao from Mr.George Behary. My viola teacher loves my Tertis viola and I guess I'll sell it to her. I don't think she intends to play it though. Guess she'll keep it as part of her collection.

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What do you consider "fat"? The ribs, the upper bouts or both?

As a maker (and I love making violas) I can say you that it`s difficult to make a small viola that sounds good and has the so called "viola sound".

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Hello! Found this old Tetris topic just now.

I'm starting to build a Tetris model viola, but I'm only 5'7" (1m 70cm) tall and I'd like to make it 16"... I'm a violist and I want to play it! 

Do you think it will sound nice (and not too bright) or I have to choose another Guarneri or Amati model, to achieve an acceptable good 16" instrument?

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So much for the CAS :-) The ones I've played have been really fine instruments, though entirely ugly. I don't know any modern maker who makes them, though.

 

If it worked for Tertis,  why not something that borrows from both camps.  Most of my violas have had slightly pear-shaped bodies, but not to the Tertis extreme.  The idea was to make the lower bouts somewhat larger in order to keep the string length down.  I like 14.5 inches for a string length,  although this may mean slightly less tension in the strings.  They have all turned out well although the C string usually needs a "Stark" if I use Dominants.  (I use Dominants as a standard like many other people.) I have short fingers and played various of my violas many years in orchestras.   I did not have to struggle and even was able to switch to the violin easily.

 

In the end,  does it seem that small variations in shape make a difference?  Perhaps for violins,  but I might need convincing here also.  What the shape may do is effect the arching if one wants to make these all curtate cycloids.  (The central height of the CC and its length determine the shape once you know how many cycles are to span the width.)

 

For my CNC program,  I put the one-cycle small end of the CC at the purfling and the height at the elevation of the longitudinal arch.  This latter I determine with a formula which looks graceful to me,  and also looks like most other violins that have a top which is more flattish than the back. 

 

(I think this was intentional and not due to comrpression creep.....  If the top was shaped like the back in the beginning,  I don't think there is really enough wood to give what we see.  Also,  a nice longitudinal arch I see in a lot of ancient examples seems much too regular to be the result of a random warpage. 

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Thanks, Michael, for validating these beasts!

Mine is eleven years old. It is wonderful. The tone is ALWAYS remarked upon (but then, so is the appearance). It projects beautifully and has great warmth and nobility--a true tenor sound. At 16 3/4", it is nevertheless remarkably easy to play--easier than my 16" viola.

The maker, Ray Bastien, unfortunately died very prematurely a couple of years after I puchased mine. His daughter set up a web page about him web page if you are interested--quite a story. His violas were especially good.

Here's mine, in the foreground: ray3.jpg

It won awards for tone, BTW.

Jane

Hello Jane

I can't open the photo or the webpage. I googled and did not find the site. I'm very interested in Ray and yor viola..

-Ernie

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Hello Jane

I can't open the photo or the webpage. I googled and did not find the site. I'm very interested in Ray and yor viola..

-Ernie

 

 

That post was from 2002...so the photos may be gone...

 

With this thread resurrected after 12 years, Jane may be gone too. ;)

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With this thread resurrected after 12 years, Jane may be gone too.

Nah, she was last here on the 7th.  Still recovering from the jet lag?  :D  :)

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Probably had as much to do with Richardson who made them as Tertis himself?

(Jacob's father Wilfred Saunders made them too... at least I seem to recall seeing one).

33_zps0d95088b.jpg

A Richardson - 1953 - 42.7 cm - from tarisio.com)

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Nah, she was last here on the 7th.  Still recovering from the jet lag?  :D  :)

Wouldn't three days be a conspicuous absence for some people here?  :lol:

 

Edit: Didn't have you in mind.

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Me neither, I'd like to build one just for the hey of it. Are drawings or dimensions available?

 

On this Capicchioni book I saw a photo of the original Lionel Tetris sketch, I could take a scan next weekend if you can't find anything better here ;)

 

http://werbemittel-shop.biz/viobk/product_info.php?language=en&products_id=30

 

I'm also cutting a 16" mould

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Me neither, I'd like to build one just for the hey of it. Are drawings or dimensions available?

The book "Viola Making Plans" by Harry S. Wake 1975, published by H.S. Wake Publishing, Glendale, California has many. full size drawings of everything you need. 

 

If you can't find a copy I could send you mine.

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