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bass bar crisis

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What kind of major bass bar problem would have required the replacing of a 38mm wide strip of the entire top?  It's a Neuner and Hornsteiner viola c.1870  by the way.   Thanks so much in anticipation folks!

nhcrack2.JPG

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Probably was the easiest way for someone without the necessary skills to get the instrument going again. Bit of slab cut pine form the diy shop, sand it to shape, finish with ronseal window frame stain.

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I woudn't be focused as much on a "bass bar problem", as a home-brewed repair to major damage. The repair isn't great. but it isn't horrible either, as such repairs go.

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Thanks David.  I bought it recently and am very much in love with it's sound and setup (for the price).  I'm just wondering what the repair must have been about.  So maybe not a bass bar problem?

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sure looks like an intentional either 3 piece top or a two piece with the original seam not in the center.

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15 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

sure looks like an intentional either 3 piece top or a two piece with the original seam not in the center.

Could be, but the slab section looks to be only on the bass side of the center seam, while the rest conforms pretty well to more conventional practices.

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Just now, David Burgess said:

Could be, but the slab section looks to be only on the bass side of the center seam, while the rest conforms pretty well to more conventional practices.

I dunno, it's kinda curious as far as what you see out there. That is an interesting point, the varnish and it's uniformity strikes me as odd if it is a repair. But it does look rather old so enough time must have gone by for it to "gel"

Maybe the guy was just broke and trying to use up some old wood? 

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To put out an interesting perspective, would this have any sound implications, or did whoever did that thing think so?

not my own opinion but just a thought that popped into my head 

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To clarify what I am saying as a potential...

When the plate was put together, back when it first made, before it was carved, there were two pieces of wood that were not from a split, lets say "scraps", most likely billets,  they were joined in order to make a board big enough to get a violin top from, the original seam is therefore not in the center.

there may be a 3rd seam that is still good and not visible, but to me it looks like a violin built from two scraps put together with the seam off center that came apart at the off center seam, mot likely based on the different E/C emc rates

the workmanship seems a little too good to be a hack repair, the edgework is nice, the ff's are very well done and symmetrical, it would be very difficult to rip a violin in half and then reduplicate the features quite precisely as well as just lining everything up.

but hey who knows

 

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The difference in grain can't be original.  The way the finish has been destroyed is also noticeable.  The top was taken off and put back on with some skill though.

grain.jpg

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F holes, spot the difference :)  Also, it's not unthinkable that a job like this could be done without taking the top off.  A real amateur may have worked that way.  There isn't the slightest attempt of even fake purfling.

 

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This one is certainly an amateur repair but I have seen some thing similar although much, much better done by the Hills presumably because the damage had resulted in pieces of the top actually being lost. 

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On June 15, 2019 at 9:04 PM, Greg Sigworth said:

Just curious: Did you look on the inside. Is the bass bar even there. A slab section would have more stiffness to resist the pressure of the bridge bass side. Just wondering?

No. Just the opposite.

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Next week I'll take it along to some auction previews and see how the sound compares with other violas.  It's much better than the 3 I've already got at home.  It did cost a lot of dough considering.

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