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carl1961

Jackson Guldan Violin (inside and out)

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Jackson Guldan Stadavarius Cremonenfis Faciebat Anno 17

when strung up with bridge and new string, this thing was (is) like a muted violin. 

top is 4- 4.5 mm thick every where, looks like white cedar wood

bass bar looks awful and looks like the same white cedar

no lining except the middle bottom ( so thats what you see from the f holes)

ribs 1.8 - 2.3 mm thick

end blocks and corner wood(filler) looks to also be the white cedar

back all over 3.8 - 4.1 mm 

this violin never had a chance from day one

top is arched higher than the back

real purfling but very little chanel around the edges 

back , ribs and neck is maple

 

you can tell it is a fast line constructed violin, with the ribs already premade

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Yup.  I regret to confess that I have one of these obnoxious objects in my collection.  They're a reminder that one can overdo process engineering.  One wonders if the Gilbreths were involved.  :rolleyes::lol:

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David Bromberg said, "The Jackson-Guldan factory made what I believe are the only violins ever to have been made completely by machinery. They made thousands and thousands of them, proving to me at least that violins should only be made by hand."

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I used to know a violin shop owner who had a saying about such instruments, 'very generous violin, has enough wood in it to make two violins!'

Another saying of his was about the harsh, strident cheap violins, that they could cut through a brick wall.

Probably neither originated with him, but I never heard them anywhere else.

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At one time Jackson Gulden experimented with ribs that had integral corner blocks, so the whole side was one piece of maple.  It took some tricky machining, but the whole piece could be machined by router or shaper.  I had one of those and they used dark finish in the corners so you couldn't see that the corners were end-grain!  Terrible instrument though.

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Well it's back together, after thumb plaining and removing a lot of wood, new spruce bass bar (from Simmon Chambers). well I dropped my phone and killed the screen ,with the grading pictures, so soon as I get the screen fixed I can post that. sounds a lot better. Did learn that the f hole notches or 5 mm off, that's why the bridge is where it is and I had to set the sound post to that position .  cheap set of strings, all I had to test with. Now to find it a good home. excuse the horrible playing!!

 

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regraded.mp3

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Good job! :)

I'm actually looking for something to practice some more hardcore restoration work! One kinda like that would be great! ...now if people will just stop driving up the price of broken violins on eBay... ;)

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Well done!  It now looks as nice and sounds as good as a Jackson-Guldan possibly can.  Be sure to insert a "Repaired by" label or inscription, so future generations will know who's to blame for its continued existence. :lol::)

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14 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Well done!  It now looks as nice and sounds as good as a Jackson-Guldan possibly can.  Be sure to insert a "Repaired by" label or inscription, so future generations will know who's to blame for its continued existence. :lol::)

Great advice Violadamore, I was able to save the original label (used a folded paper towel wet with hot water and squeeze excess water out and kept in on label until it peeled out) and on opposite f hole left date of regrade. I might could have thinned the top a bit more but chose to leave it at around 2.9 -3.0 because of the soft white cedar wood.

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On 7/29/2017 at 10:04 AM, violinsRus said:

At one time Jackson Gulden experimented with ribs that had integral corner blocks, so the whole side was one piece of maple.  It took some tricky machining, but the whole piece could be machined by router or shaper.  I had one of those and they used dark finish in the corners so you couldn't see that the corners were end-grain!  Terrible instrument though.

Medieval fiddles were made with one piece backs and ribs that were gouged out from one solid billet of wood which was very time consuming and tiring thing to do.  Sometime around 1500 some makers unfortunately abandoned this traditional fabrication method and they developed the cheaper and quicker method using separate thin bent wood rib assemblies.  

Now days with automated CNC machining we can  go back and use the old traditional one piece back and rib method and eliminate the bent rib cheap stuff. 

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Medieval fiddles were made with one piece backs and ribs that were gouged out from one solid billet of wood which was very time consuming and tiring thing to do.  Sometime around 1500 some makers unfortunately abandoned this traditional fabrication method and they developed the cheaper and quicker method using separate thin bent wood rib assemblies.  

Now days with automated CNC machining we can  go back and use the old traditional one piece back and rib method and eliminate the bent rib cheap stuff. 

accually the bent maple ribs or stronger and much less chance of cracks.

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Medieval fiddles were made with one piece backs and ribs that were gouged out from one solid billet of wood which was very time consuming and tiring thing to do.  Sometime around 1500 some makers unfortunately abandoned this traditional fabrication method and they developed the cheaper and quicker method using separate thin bent wood rib assemblies.  

Now days with automated CNC machining we can  go back and use the old traditional one piece back and rib method and eliminate the bent rib cheap stuff. 

Nice! :lol:

 

13 minutes ago, carl1961 said:

accually the bent maple ribs or stronger and much less chance of cracks.

If you're gonna run with this bunch, you gotta learn to recognize and appreciate sarcasm. :)

 

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Yes, your comments are very true and I apologize for being so cynical.  An argument can be made that bent rib instruments also sound better and are louder.

But to continue my mood I'll suggest that if you want stronger ribs to avoid the chance of rib cracks then the ribs should be made from bent plywood instead of bent curly maple. 

I use model aircraft 0.8mm birch 3 ply plywood for my ribs.  It bends very nicely and I'll bet 300 years from now they will still fly.  

So: do you want traditional cracks or do you want to avoid them?

I are a injuneer and whenever I see failures over and over again I think the design/material selection is no damn good. 

Old Zinfandel

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On 7/31/2017 at 1:21 PM, Violadamore said:

Well done!  It now looks as nice and sounds as good as a Jackson-Guldan possibly can.  Be sure to insert a "Repaired by" label or inscription, so future generations will know who's to blame for its continued existence. :lol::)

Now this is funny!

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On 7/29/2017 at 9:04 AM, violinsRus said:

At one time Jackson Gulden experimented with ribs that had integral corner blocks, so the whole side was one piece of maple.  It took some tricky machining, but the whole piece could be machined by router or shaper.  I had one of those and they used dark finish in the corners so you couldn't see that the corners were end-grain!  Terrible instrument though.

 

7 hours ago, carl1961 said:

Cheapjack, is that a Jackson Guldan

Yes, I meant to quote violinsRus on my post but my mind wandered. Your J G is less terrible.

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Gee, maybe enough of us here to start a Jackson-Guldan owners club.  That would doubtless be a room party of note for the VSA conventions.  :lol:

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Sorry to say Carl's Jackson will have lost much of its market value as a result of its decal having been ruthlessly stripped off the back.  It's an essential feature, and probably irreplaceable-- unless Jacob S. has a pile of them in a drawer somewhere. :)

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2 hours ago, J-G said:

Sorry to say Carl's Jackson will have lost much of its market value as a result of its decal having been ruthlessly stripped off the back.  It's an essential feature, and probably irreplaceable-- unless Jacob S. has a pile of them in a drawer somewhere. :)

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I can just print yours and use that LOL (don't tell anyone!)

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3 hours ago, carl1961 said:

I can just print yours and use that LOL (don't tell anyone!)

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Let this be a lesson to all of you,  NOTHING is too obscure, bizarre, or economically unpromising to fake.  :lol:

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3 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Let this be a lesson to all of you,  NOTHING is too obscure, bizarre, or economically unpromising to fake.  :lol:

Man... You make me feel bad now! Glad I only temporary stuck it on. It really looks better OFF and not covering the flame;)

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Jackson Guldan History

Joe Wiese from Columbus Ohio here. 

I taught school (my day job) with Anette Daniels, daughter of Luke Daniels who passed away a few  years ago.  Luke Daniels owned the Jackson Guldon Factory.

Timelines and specifics I'm not sure on but the bottom is essentially correct to the best of my knowledge.

Luke bought the Jackson Guldan company in the  1960's if I remember correctly.  Anette told me the factory used to carve the violin plates decades before. Under pressure of cheap Japanese imports the company could not financially compete.  There were a lot of German craftsman working at the plant. In order to save jobs they converted from carving plates to bending them in molds. At least the tops.  The backs, I"m not sure.   Anette told me her father Luke was politically active trying to get tariffs on the violin imports in order to keep the business.  In the end the factory could not compete with cheap imports.  Familiar story today in our business as so many others....

Anette told me that when the company folded they were burning violins and wood.   I have some of the wood left over from the factory in bundles.  It is about 5mm thick, 5 inches wide, 15 inches or so long.  Not book matched.  Some is cut very well, others are skewed a bit.   Honestly I can't use it for anything. Often linings.

She also told me her brother has some of the old molds and tools and has bent some plates in his kitchen.  I believe both her and her brother are still alive.

I almost never have posted here, but with all the grief (deserved,  yes) the Jackson Guldan violins get, I figure it should be mentioned their (later) inadequacies were due to keeping American craftsmen working. It was an American company with people who, from my understanding, knew how to build, but did what they had to do, in order to make a living.  Also it was my understanding the Luke Daniels was a good man. 

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When my father-in-law passed in 2018, my wife and I took home several of his instruments, including a Jackson-Guldan fiddle that had belonged to his father. The instrument had been well taken care of and is in very good condition.

Judging from what I've read here and elsewhere, this one is a high-end model, with flamed maple back and ribs and a tight-grained top. It's lined (an apparent aberration from most J-G's), and the ribs appear to be multiple pieces, as opposed to the one or two-piece formed ribs I've read most often about. It doesn't seem to be as heavy as those instruments, either.

As an old string player myself, I get it when people turn their noses up on student instruments. I have an appreciation, however, for the upper-end models from the mid-twentieth century by makers like Karl Knilling, which, back in their day, could turn out a formidable German-made fiddle for a modest outlay of cash.

Such is true of this particular Jackson-Guldan. It's a shame that most of the rap on these instruments was earned by the thousands of lower-end student instruments that are still floating around. It's kinda like judging all Fords by the Pinto (if you're old enough to remember.) 

My wife's grandfather was not at all a man of means, but he was a highly-regarded fiddler in northwest Arkansas. I have no doubt that the price had a lot to do with his choice of a J-G, but he wouldn't have purchased it if a better option had been within a reasonable reach.  Plain and simple; it ain't a $10,000 instrument but it sounds good.

 

 

 

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Edited by moproducer
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