Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Manfio's Bench; My latest instrument...


Recommended Posts

  • 2 months later...
  • Replies 551
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

This is a new, 42 cm. (16.5) viola model, a bit bigger than my previous models. When we make a big viola, it is important to keep the quick response and the sound focus, you can lose these things with a bigger soundbox. Do you find a 42 cm. (16.5) viola too big?








Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

The proportions have me thinking of Tertis, but without the super deep ribs.

Perhaps because of the short corners and wide lower bouts...   but my model is more orthodox, I think. The Tertis model is based in low,, full but  unscooped and rather thin plates, with deep ribs. The Tertis model solved some problems such as response, C string and dynamic range, but the sound may lack warmth and colours. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
25 minutes ago, ctanzio said:


Interesting how the ridge lines (edges) come out lighter. Do you do something deliberate to get that effect, or is it just a natural outcome from the varnish and how you apply it?


Thanks! I do scrap the colored varnish in the scroll edges in order to highlight them.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info. I have tried making the ridge lines lighter by rubbing with fine compound to get a more "worn edge" look, but I could never get a look that I liked.

Scraping to get a more pronounced accent, sort of like inking the ridges but in reverse, is a nice look.

On your question about preferred viola size, speaking strictly as a casual viola player...

My arm span from finger tip to finger tip is 5'11".

I currently play a 15-1/2" viola which I can easily handle without a shoulder or chin rest. It has a pleasant, although somewhat quiet, overall tone, but the C string takes a lot of work to get it to sound.

I have played a 15-3/4" viola which was also comfortable with a shoulder rest. If I found one whose bow response and tone I liked, I would use it.

I did not like a 16" viola at all in first position. I had to contort my average sized hands to reach the notes. I guess if I played from higher positions I could make it work. But since my preferred instrument is the violin, I will leave such struggles to the professionals or those with outrageous finger spans.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some testimonials by players are poignant.... it is incredible how players suffer to find a good viola. 

As some of you may know, I’ve struggled with not having my own professional viola for several years due to the financial burden of buying a high quality instrument along with finding one that fits my large stature without being overly strenuous to play. I’ve lost many nights sleep worrying about how I would navigate the professional music world without having my own instrument. I was fortunate enough to be loaned instruments from the University of Illinois for 4 years of undergrad, by a fantastic local Cincinnati maker Damon Gray, my teacher, and other members of my studio throughout my Master’s at CCM.
There have been several transitional periods in which I would have to give back instruments, scramble to find another, and try to figure out how to play a completely different viola usually a few days before an important audition or competition. This led me to often injure my wrist, lose motivation, and even depression from feeling that I didn’t have my own personal voice and tone that I wanted to present to audiences.
This summer, I was presented an opportunity by a very close friend to look at violas in Los Angeles, California. I was recommended Benning Violins by an incredible violist and old friend, Johanna Nowik . I tried 30+ violas from different shops that day, but immediately fell in love with this viola by an extraordinarily talented Brazilian viola maker, Luis Claudio Manfio. This 16.3” viola named “Allemande” has a rich and powerful tone, is the most comfortable viola I’ve ever played on, and is absolutely gorgeous! I can't describe how much I love this viola and how grateful I am to officially own a Manfio Viola! Cheers to a lifelong companion!"
May be an image of 1 person, playing a musical instrument and indoorMay be an image of 1 person, playing a musical instrument and indoor
Edited by Jeffrey Holmes
Moved from Fingerboard
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...