Jesse's recent Mittenwald

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I thought it was French. Then a friend told me he thought it was Mittenwald. The one hing I know to look for on a Mittenwald violin is the one piece lower rib which this has. Then I asked another dealer friend and he said Mittenwald right away. For all I know, you could be right and its Saxony. the scroll is bigger han other Saxony violins I have had.


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Not bidding on it (one more string instrument in this house and we are officially a fire hazard) but I like something about it.

I've been thinking recently about how nice a violin without flames might look. This sounds silly but I went to a performance recently and one violinist was playing a really lovely violin, not at all antiqued and with a minimum of flaming and I just thought that it looked..clean.. My hardingfele has no flames..but it has enough other stuff on it to make up for it


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i don't know if you saw it or not, but we recently had a long

discussion here on level of flame on violins (started by a builder

who wondered what would be most marketable, i think)...

personally, i like a little flame, nothing examples, i

much prefer the look of Jesse's "Exceptional Contemporary (Italian)

Violin" to his "Mint Condition Antique French Violin" (although my

fav is the American one! *awesome* looking violin!), and i've come

to like the plain wood pretty well, so i like the looks of the

"Mittenwald/Saxon Violin" pretty well!


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One-piece lower ribs are hardly unique to Mittenwald. The issue I have is that I don't see the triangular centering mark on the rib. Many makers made it quite prominent, for whatever reason. That scroll also makes me think you were closer than you knew when you thought, 'French'. Did you ever have the top off this violin? Mittenwald linings and their fit into the blocks do have a certain look to them.

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actually, this auction doesn't end for a little over three more

days! (auction ends Monday evening)

for some reason, the auction period was originally set for 8

days...i don't know if that was to give plenty of time for people

to run across the listing, or what!  

i placed a bid on it several days ago, and will probably go higher

at the end...if you like, i will let you know whether i get it or

not (you can also just go to eBay and look, it's pretty obvious who

i am!


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Hi Cassi,

Since the auction is over. I think that I am free to make comment without

worry about its outcome being changed. The violin looks like one violin of my teacher, that is,

a French with a strong warm sound. Its color, varnish look French. Mt teacher told me that she got it from her violin professor years ago. Many professional violins like that. ( I am not an expert of violins, and take my commnet as of such )

Please let us know how you enjoy your new violin.

If it is mine, I would do a good job of cleaning the violin inside and outside

when it comes into my possession first time. Make sure everything fits

nicely ( neck angle?, bridge height?) and in good working condition (pegs, tailpiece?) . etc etc,...

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i got the violin! i'm not sure how long it will take to get it, but

after i get it and play it a bit, i'll fill you in on my experience

with it!

and yes, you're right about the inside! i plan to put the violin

through the dishwasher before i use it, and probably spray some

Raid in it afterwards to kill the rest of the spiders and such!

 (ha ha!)

thanks for your continuing interest!  


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Hi Cassi,

I meant carefully vacuum inside (not washing it, or sterilizing it). I hope your are kidding (wash it)

Are you? I start worry. Spiders and insects are usually very cooperative in nature. No need of

any cruel treatments. They never ,ever give me trouble. Believe me.

PS. I have just read some wise words of Bertrand Rusell: The theory that the white

tail of a rabit is a good design of target for hunters is appealling to many, but the rabits lovers

find it disgusting. (Bertand Rusell)

PS. I use " fiddle brite" from William Lewis, to clean.

Use hand to protect the f-hole from the nozzle of vacuum cleaner.

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yes, i was just kidding!  

also, i don't kill spiders or bugs, i just take them back outside

where they belong (or at least where *i* think they belong!)


and finally, the reason rabbits tails are white is because they

hold them up when they poop, so they don't get dirty!  


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Congratulations Cassi. The violin doesn't look at dirty. If you want to clean out the insides, put some uncooked rice inside, shake it out. I never bothered trying to do this with my violins and I have some old ones. Usually if you play it, all critters, if any will escape. By the way, I've never seen a spider take up residence inside any of my violins!

Wipe it gently with a damp paper towel, that ought to get most of the dirt off. I assume you know not to use any furniture polish or anything with alcohol in it. My father found out to his grief when he tried to clean his cello with rubbing alcohol that varnish dissolves with alcohol. Else why do they call it spirit varnish?

Again, enjoy your violin! And let us know how it sounds.

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Clare  (did i spell that right?),

i was just totally teasing yuen about the cleaning! i really expect

that coming from Jesse this violin will be in really good shape,

and not need cleaning and such! (although i may be wrong! i guess

i'll find out in a few days!  

i have heard of the rice thing before, but have never done it--i

usually just blow real hard into the f-holes, which may or may not

be very effective!  

i actually never use violin cleaner or polish (not even the

"Darnton All-Natural Cleaner-Polisher"!) ...i just wipe off my

instrument with a microfibre cloth after every use, and that seems

to work pretty well! although i've never actually *had* an

instrument a year yet, my plan is to take any that i have that long

in once a year to the violin shop for you say, this

one doesn't look very dirty, so i'll wait for a while to get it


when i get the violin, i'll let you guys know what i think...i'd

like to take it to my teacher to get her impression, but i know

she's going to be unhappy with me for buying another violin, so

i'll have to work up the nerve for that!  

thanks for your advice and interest!


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Howdy from the original owner of this violin; my name is Elisa. You will be SO pleased - it is an EASY instrument to play and has a clean, pure voice. And it's a LIGHT violin! I do not like heavy or thickish ones - who needs to work? We are supposed to be PLAYING!!!

I have enjoyed reading everyone's comments and hope to stay on here and soak up information.

Ciao for now,


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thanks for sharing your violin with me! it sounds really nice, i'm

excited to be getting it! although i bought it as a back-up

instrument (i guess it would be playing 'second fiddle'?), i will

not be too surprised if it becomes my primary instrument, and my

current one becomes the back-up! i'll have to wait and play it and

see how it sounds with the stuff i like to play...i really picture

using one for some types of music, and the other one for other

types, though, so they may share time!  

the light weight sounds great, too! my current violin is pretty

heavy, although i've built up enough endurance now (when i first

started playing, i could barely go for half an hour!) that it

doesn't really bother me (of course, i also don't play fours a

night like you probably do

so, any suggestions you want to share about playing your violin?

like what kind of bowing works best, what she doesn't like to have

done to her, or anything like that?

thanks again!


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This fiddle sings, really sings: it just carries your own expressiveness through it, so play what you love. I would have never parted with it, but I need a raunchy kind of fiddle on the low end - a growl on the G. Your new fiddle is a bit too fine for that, but on finer bluegrass pieces like Maiden's Prayer, it is spectacular. It is also a great swing violin! It has that litling quality that is so good for Irish music and is fabulous for classical, which is where everything starts, for me, anyway. (There are violins that are great for hoedowns but sound like hell for anything refined - those violins are NOT for me!)

I wonder if there's any way to put sound bites on this forum as a link? Then we could all LISTEN to the qualities we have such a hard time describing! But, hey, I don't even know how to put my photo on instead of the stupid default icon by my name.......


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thanks for the reply!

what did you get as a replacement? Jesse's eBay copy said that you
needed something with a much more commanding presence...

this may be too personal, if so please don't feel obligated to
answer, but i've never met a professional fiddler before, and i'm
curious about you! what kind of gigs do you play? what kinds of
music do you play? how did you get into this as a career? are you
able to support yourself solely through music? (this last one is
really personal, don't answer if it's too intrusive!)

finally, about your fiddle i bought! actually, a lot of the reason
i wanted this kind of instrument was to play what i would call
'traditional' music for lack of a better word (i know this has
become kind of a cliche, but "Ashoken Farewell" kind of

i do like to play some faster stuff (for me! i'm just a
beginner!) especially one called "Liberty," and i really love
waltzes (one i'm working on is the "Big Fairy Hill, Little Fairy
Hill" one, can't remember the Irish name!) and slow stuff (i've
been playing one called "Acres of Clams" for a long time, it's easy
to play, but i'm still not tired of it, *love* that song!)...i'm
also working on one called "My Love She's But A Lassie," which i
really love the second of!

about those sound bites: i know there is a way to post them, as
several people here have done that...however, it would have to be a
sound bite of *you* playing it, *not* me! i barely have enough
confidence to play for my teacher, much less for everyone to hear!
although i guess i could do like another Maestronet member, MANFIO,
did with a viola he built--he had a professional player record it!
(and it's *most* excellent--i go back and listen to it from
time-to-time!  here's the link: "ftalternatingbarlinklarge" href='

and finally, about you icon, i don't know how to load in a picture
(although if you posted that as a question someone would certainly
help you!), , but i *do* know how you can stop being a spiky-haired

here's one way (i probably have far over-simplified it for

1)  log into Maestronet

2)  click on the 'Message Boards' tab at the top of the

3)  click on the 'profile' button, which has a little yellow
person on it

NOTE: here's how to find the buttons: under the tabs, there is a
banner that changes for different ads, and below that are the
'buttons,' which run from about the middle of the page over to
the right side of the page

4)  scroll to about the bottom of the profile page, look for
the "Author Icon" entry

5)  click on "View All", and you can select a new icon that
you can identify with better, or that you feel describes you

if you want to try it, there is also an "upload your own author
icon" item that seems to let you find something on your computer to
upload and use!

hope this help!

it's been nice meeting you!


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Check out Mel Bay for pieces of this sort. They publish every style for violin/fiddle except classical, to my knowledge. Well, maybe not Hardanger or whatever the Norwegian style is called. I learn a lot of stuff by listening to Cds of great players. Of course, the ideal situation is to have the written music (would bowings and fingerings be too much to ask, too?) AND a recording.


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Ha, I am lusting after Jesse's present 1961 vintage fiddle! I have not yet got a replacement, as I have some other financial obligations first.....

I play almost anything, but my focus has been on learning bluegrass for the past 17 months. I have a great ear and can tell which key a song is in and what the chord changes are, but that's relative pitch once you know your key, right? I was trained classically in public school, then developed a drug problem for years, went through a year of music school and was offered a full scholarship but couldn't kick the drugs, kept struggling with my demons and ended up in Nashville - started playing country (when in Rome...), moved to NYC to get into a REAL drug rehab (when in Rome........) and got all kinds of gigs, particularly wonderful theater orchestra pit jobs, still struggled with demons but got clean from the drugs, got married, played in a blues band in NYC with husband, have a wonderful son, moved to rural upstate NY and bought a horse farm, stayed with horses for a dozen years - foxhunting, riding FAST horses and just loving it, got divorced (too much horsesh*t), struggled for a number of years to stay alive and raise a sane son, met present boyfriend who brought me to Florida, went to a country music jam session in Florida and was told about a bluegrass jam session, went and decided to learn bluegrass music. The rhythms and speed are different from anything I have ever done. I have a natural ability with playing swing - it just comes to me, so I like to do that, too. Bluegrass is a whole different thing. But the challenge keeps me interested. And there's a TON of music for us fiddlers!

I don't make a living at music now and don't know if I could in Florida, but I get paying gigs in country clubs and other settings here and there. I'd like to be in a good band with a lot of drive. My loves are blues, swing, some jazz, some country and most bluegrass.

The classical thing is fabulous but just too serious for me. I HATE a silent audience and LOVE it when they stomp, yell, whistle and war-whoop for more! And I love the interplay between a few real good musicians in a band or a jam as opposed to solo work or orchestral.

One of these days I will get my photo on this site, but for now, I will leave the nerdy nebish icon.

I hope my story can help someone who struggles with life as I have - thankfully, music is still a wonderful friend and solace to my soul. A lot of musicians struggle with the same issues, and I think it's a matter of tapping into that sensitivity we have and channeling it right into the music - no sidetracks. The boyfriend tells me I ain't wrapped real tight, but I'm OK with that now. Be weird but keep on playing!


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