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Hi! This is my latest viola, Madalena, 41.8 cms, the instrument pictured in the corner shaping and scroll carving tutorials. The photos are, again, by Andrès Lepage, I told him he would make some money in

the VSA Convention, taking pictures of instruments there. The final sound test will be tomorrow on

the stage of our State Orchestra.















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Thank you Mauricio! What about the tournè?

I wanted more focus in the sound, so I reduced the archings to 19 milimeters and reduced the rib height a bit too, reduced the scooping a bit and left it with more wood on the back, and it worked. I'll meet the viola naipe in some hours and have their feedback about the sound.

There is no huge difference in sound compared to the 17 inches violas, but it's a question of personal taste, this smaller model will find a wider public, I think.

I've posted a tutorial about corner shaping, I don't know if you have seen it.


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Originally posted by:

Thank you!

Frits: I choose the strings in the set up process, depending on the sound. In this case the C and G are Evahs, the D is Chromcor (a rather cheap string, but sounded great with this viola) and the A is a Larsen.

How do you make that selection?

Of course you'll hear the difference in sound but is there a certain methodology you apply?

How do you know you have the best?



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Hi Manfio

Great viola!!!

I specially like the front, the texture is lovely and it looks

alive and interesting.

How did you tackle the edgework? Fluting to the edge and rounding

it off or flute to a scribeline marking the highedge or another

option maybe, looks nice and works really well with your purfling


Please post about your soundcheck, are you going to take a 17 inch

viola along for a direct comparison? Could you please install a

webcam so that we can listen to your viola testers playing it?

Just kidding, would be interesting tough.

Your f- holes look quite upright, from previous works I remember

you cut them in similar fashion before. Is it for tonal reasons you

lay them out this way?

Nice work!!!



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Hi krugwaffle! Yes, this is the neck and scroll pictured in that tutorial, also in the corner tutorial.

Frits: I start with a standart set of Larsen A and Evahs for the rest. The Larsen A is quite a good string, I think. I used Dominats with a Jargar A on the past but changed to Evahs and a Larsen A because it's a commom choice among professionals with an aggressive approach.

I'll change things depending of the the sound (I'm a player also) and on the opinion of players I trust. As a matter of fact I work closely with Andrès Lepage (a professional player who plays one of my violas) in the set up and we also compare the instrument we are working with with other instruments I've made in the past. Comparing is important because you may find that the instrument is sounding good alone but not all that good when compared with another one.

When I find the set up is good I take the instrument to the viola naipe of our State Orchestra and have the opinion of the naipe in a stage test. That's what I've just made and the players will change the Chromcor D for a Larsen one, because he told me the bow contact point of the Chromcor was different from that one of the Larsens. I just left this viola there to be played for some time in the orchestra and have more feedback.

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Hi Martina! Thank you on your kind words!

The texture in the front is the result of the use of the scrapers on the spruce, but there is texture also in the rest of the instrument. The oil varnish enhances this feature.

The edgwork: I flute to a scribeline marking the highedge, the final result is mostly given by the gouge, but I use also a shaped scraper. Over the purfling mitre I use a much smaller gouge.

The upright f holes are a feature of Andrea Guarneri violas and they follow the arching, I try to keep them parallel to the ribs (when viewed from the profile) as suggested by Sacconi.

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Thank you!

Matt: oil varnish attracts lots of dust, so I use some MICRO MESH 1500 ligthtly, or some tripoli with some oil betwen coats. After the final coat I use some tripoli with violin white polish, but even so a lot of texture in the varnish will remain.

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