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Jackson Guldan Violin (inside and out)


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On 3/21/2020 at 2:12 AM, moproducer said:

............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.) ..................

More than old enough.   I'd rather compare the solid-garland, milled out J-G's (like the example that I own) to the Edsel, instead. :lol:  I owned a Pinto, and liked it. 

I haven't yet gotten to play one of the traditionally constructed J-G's, but they certainly look much better than the solid-garland ones.  :)

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Got one in the shop at the moment labelled "Guldan Special". Pretty conventional construction, well figured maple, very fine grained top, somewhat garish varnish. It's not outrageously heavy, maybe a little, but no worse than a lot of things. It's certainly better than the majority of Jackson Guldan production, especially those things with the First National institute decals. An acceptable student violin.

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On 8/1/2017 at 9:34 PM, Marty Kasprzyk said:

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.  

My students have occasionally launched one, the aerodynamics are somewhat poor. They don't have good endurance when used as light sabers either.

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On 12/30/2020 at 9:52 AM, Woodland said:

Anyone here remember Wolfgang Ritter of the Chicago Guitar Gallery on Wabash? According to Wenberg he worked at the Jackson Guldan factory back in the day. He was a German violin maker who transitioned over to the guitar trade and closed up shop and retired back in the 80's. 

Wolfgang Ritter owned the Chicago Guitar Gallery in the 60s & 70s.  Wolfgang was a violin maker, who emigrated with his wife Gigi to the US with two suitcases, and little else.  He built the Chicago Guitar Gallery into a major music store and sold equipment to major acts that toured the area; The Turtles, Rolling Stones, etc.  He lived in Palatine, Illinois, until he retired and closed the business.  A wonderful man and wife.  They were my next door neighbors.

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On 8/10/2017 at 10:01 AM, Joe Wiese said:

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. 

Thank you for your kind words Mr. Riese.  Luke Daniel was my grandfather, Annette is my aunt (my mom Joan was her older sister).  I'm very proud that my grandpa once owned the JG factory and tried to keep it alive.  I wish my mom were still here to share some of the stories about the factory, as the details are already fading from my memory.  I have a few artifacts from the factory- my grandpa made my dollhouse out of wood from the factory's closing that he had piled to the rafters in his garage.  I also have one of the violins that they sold to just be decorative objects, and unfortunately a heavy box landed on it and did a lot of damage to the face!  If anyone on this board would be interested in repairing it just for looks, I would be so appreciative.  I am passionate about the violin, studied it in my youth, got busy with life and didn't play for years, and am now getting back into it through my daughter who has been taking lessons for 4 years.  I am interested in buying a J-G to play, ideally one that came out of the factory during the time my grandpa owned it!  If anyone can give me any guidance I would appreciate it.

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On 8/9/2017 at 6:22 PM, Violadamore said:

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:

Does one need to be a member or, will an oddly dimensioned J-G viola get you a seat at the table?  I have a skinny yet, surprisingly, heavy 16" viola (LB = 9",  MB = 4 7/8, UB = 7 1/8"). I shelved it, about 15 years ago, immediately after it was set-up.

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