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Moving of from the original topic... 

Yesterday I checked out a 1924 Johann Anton Stark Markneukirchen violin on a trial.  When I originally tried about 8 violins at my local violin shop, and got it down to two violins I thought played and sounded best, this one was the second choice behind the 1936 Roth we've been discussing in this thread, and half the price.  I know nothing about Stark, and the only actual reference to him I could even find online was to a very short MN thread here. I literally can't find any other online reference to him as a violin maker or mention of his instruments.  One would think with thousands of them out there, some would pop up online either for sale in XYZ violin shop or on eBay, or in some discussion forum. 

I  also just received about 15 min ago a 1957 Roth VII-R, which is a Strad 1722 reproduction from the EHR Master Line of violins (a step above the Conzert Line violins from which the 120-R hails) and a 1952 Caressa & Francais Paris violin to try.  I unboxed them and they are acclimating to their new environment.  It's 35 degrees in D.C. today and the instruments are quite cold from several hours in the UPS truck.  I don't know how long to wait before trying to tune and play them.  I might wait till tomorrow. 

I think I'll be busy for the next week doing a "fiddle playoff."  

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9 minutes ago, KB_Smith said:

Moving of from the original topic... 

Yesterday I checked out a 1924 Johann Anton Stark Markneukirchen violin on a trial.  When I originally tried about 8 violins at my local violin shop, and got it down to two violins I thought played and sounded best, this one was the second choice behind the 1936 Roth we've been discussing in this thread, and half the price.  I know nothing about Stark, and the only actual reference to him I could even find online was to a very short MN thread here. I literally can't find any other online reference to him as a violin maker or mention of his instruments.  One would think with thousands of them out there, some would pop up online either for sale in XYZ violin shop or on eBay, or in some discussion forum. 

I  also just received about 15 min ago a 1957 Roth VII-R, which is a Strad 1722 reproduction from the EHR Master Line of violins (a step above the Conzert Line violins from which the 120-R hails) and a 1952 Caressa & Francais Paris violin to try.  I unboxed them and they are acclimating to their new environment.  It's 35 degrees in D.C. today and the instruments are quite cold from several hours in the UPS truck.  I don't know how long to wait before trying to tune and play them.  I might wait till tomorrow. 

I think I'll be busy for the next week doing a "fiddle playoff."  

You stated earlier that you are a "novice" and that you want an instrument that will help you improve.  This is good.

Personally, maker, label, year...these are not the end all for me.

Sound is high on my priorities list.  So, if you find a violin that sounds great to you, that is a good start.  However, you should get a second, and possibly even a third opinion as to sound.  Some violins sound great under your ear, but not so much at a distance.  

Lastly, but in my humble opinion, just as important as sound, a good violin needs to be "playable."  I don't know the exact/corrrect term.  There are many violins that sounded great to me but they did not play well under my fingers.  So, if you want to improve, you should look for an instrument that plays more easily.  Am I making sense?  Who knows. I just dabble in the dark arts, not a pro by any means.  

Good Luck!

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5 minutes ago, violinnewb said:

Lastly, but in my humble opinion, just as important as sound, a good violin needs to be "playable."  I don't know the exact/corrrect term.  There are many violins that sounded great to me but they did not play well under my fingers.  So, if you want to improve, you should look for an instrument that plays more easily.  Am I making sense? 

Yes, you make perfect sense.  When I tried 8 different violins in my local violin shop, we played them off in pairs, eliminating one violin each time.  So we eliminated four violins on the first run through, then eliminated two more from the remaining four.  I could not only hear clearer tones and resonance, but I could feel the difference under my my fingers and under my bow.  The bow just seemed to glide more easily on these final two instruments and did not produce nearly as many wispy or scratchy sounds.  I don't know how much that has to do with the set-up (what strings are on it, how far are they from the fingerboard, etc.) or how much that has to do with the instrument itself, but it was instantly apparent how much better both of these violins felt to play and sounded.  The shop owner agreed these two sounded the best to him standing across the room.  And while I doubt he would disagree with my selections when he sees a potential sale in the works, I think he was giving me his honest opinion.

My wife also commented on how much better I sounded the other day.  When I told her it was a $9K violin I was trying out, she choked.  Nonetheless, that was affirmation that the better violin sounds better not only under my ear, but also to the listener across the room.  I also used that violin in my weekly lesson last week and the Stark violin in my lesson yesterday.  My instructor, a professional violinist in both the DC and Baltimore orchestras, agreed I play and sound better on both of these violins than my current counterfeit Alexandre Delanoy I bought on eBay (no surprise there).

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58 minutes ago, KB_Smith said:

 

Yesterday I checked out a 1924 Johann Anton Stark Markneukirchen violin on a trial. 

Johann Anton Stark, Markneukirchen isn’t to be found in the German violin making literature. I looked him up in the Zöbisch book, also Drescher (Lüttgendorf III), who had access to the archives of the VDG (German violin making association). I have never heard of him either. One wonders if he were a name made up by some American importer, like Jusek, perhaps the American colleagues might know?

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40 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

One wonders if he were a name made up by some American importer, like Jusek, perhaps the American colleagues might know?

Couple references to a "Johann Starck" from 18th century is all I can find. And this:

 

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14 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Couple references to a "Johann Starck" from 18th century is all I can find. And this:

 

Curios that the “24” of 1924 is printed rather than handwritten. What odds are there on the OP’s “Stark” being from 1924 too?

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1 hour ago, KB_Smith said:

Yes, you make perfect sense.  When I tried 8 different violins in my local violin shop, we played them off in pairs, eliminating one violin each time.  So we eliminated four violins on the first run through, then eliminated two more from the remaining four.  I could not only hear clearer tones and resonance, but I could feel the difference under my my fingers and under my bow. 

Uh oh!
You have placed yourself at risk of a diatribe or two from people who claim that great instruments are not easy to play (which is often not true), and that clear-tone potential needs to be sacrificed for some sort of poorly and vaguely-defined "complexity", which it does not.

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On 1/27/2021 at 6:56 PM, GeorgeH said:

No, it is not lacquer. I have played a number of these instruments, including the one I posted, and I have not found a bad one yet.

In fact the one I posted in this threat was remarkably resonant, focused, and responsive, low to high.

I agree.

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33 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

What are the odds it is the same violin? 

LOL.  Yes, I thought the same thing, but I don't think that is the case.  Although there are no photos of the violin n the 2017 MN thread referenced above, only the one photo of the label, there were apparently photos on the craigslist post to which the OP provided a link (which is no longer active).  Blank Face commented "I'm doubting that the heavy damaged violin is worth the effort," implying that violin did not look to be in very good shape.  This violin is in perfect condition.  So, if it is the same, someone must have done a phenomenal restoration.

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15 minutes ago, KB_Smith said:

LOL.  Yes, I thought the same thing, but I don't think that is the case.  Although there are no photos of the violin n the 2017 MN thread referenced above, only the one photo of the label, there were apparently photos on the craigslist post to which the OP provided a link (which is no longer active).  Blank Face commented "I'm doubting that the heavy damaged violin is worth the effort," implying that violin did not look to be in very good shape.  This violin is in perfect condition.  So, if it is the same, someone must have done a phenomenal restoration.

I don't recall anything of this "Stark", but assume that it was just what I described, some wholeseller labelled piece of cottage industry product. Therefore the violin you have now is supposed to be exactly this, too.

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On 1/25/2021 at 6:22 PM, GeorgeH said:

Below are pictures an authentic Roth model 120-R c. 1925 as certified by the Roth Company. Color and lighting photography are not great; the color of the scroll does, in fact, match the body.

roth_top_back.jpg

roth_scroll_profiles.jpg

roth_ffs.jpg

This might be an authentic Roth low grade model, but there are also uncountable numbers of identical violins out there labelled with another dealer's label. So there's nothing specific "Roth"-ish with this sort of instruments.

OTOH it has in my eyes no resemblance with the OP, what confirms to me (once again) that there's something very dodgy with it, no matter what the actual Roth firm is telling about it.

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The EH Roth firm and family made violins over generations. They are probably the only 'manufacturer' selling 'types' of violins at a high quality. Many of them have an excellent sound. This is why they are still in demand. They are usually well made and have an attractive oil varnish,  though not the style that is in fashion now, but nice. Their value comes nowhere near their counterparts from Italy, from that time often with a spirit varnish of lesser quality (Bisiach, more so Gadda and may others). In this sense the EH Roth firm violins are  good value for players, nobody will ever hear that it is not Gadda. In fact, I remember some with an excellent sound. 

Why would anyone fake a HR Roth? The name is not Italian, the varnish not so attractive, too much red, the workmanship nevertheless challenging, the value too low. Why then not stick a Gadda label in? Or even try Fagnola?

I just can’t see how anyone would attempt a fake Roth and get a stamp made with the same bugs the original Roth stamp has. Too much work.

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3 minutes ago, uguntde said:

Why would anyone fake a HR Roth?

This is an absurd question. A short look into Ebay can teach you that every name from any source is faked, including brands etc. Even the Roth website is writing about fake Roths.

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4 minutes ago, uguntde said:

I just can’t see how anyone would attempt a fake Roth and get a stamp made with the same bugs the original Roth stamp has. Too much work.

You seem to be the ideal victim for every professionel faker.;)

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1 minute ago, Blank face said:

You seem to be the ideal victim for every professionel faker.;)

So far all I bought turned out to be what I thought it was ^_^ and gained value. And I do have a good idea  where some expensive fakes came from, even the likes of Fagnola, which made it uncontested through auctions.

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11 minutes ago, uguntde said:

So far all I bought turned out to be what I thought it was ^_^ and gained value. And I do have a good idea  where some expensive fakes came from, even the likes of Fagnola, which made it uncontested through auctions.

A Fagnola might be examinated much more carefully than something alleged to be "just a cheaper German trade", where some naive buyer is questioning "who the hell should fake such a maker". That's exactly the well planned trap you will fall into with this kind of considerations. Beside that a 9K sale isn't what I would describe as cheap and insignificant.

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1 minute ago, Blank face said:

A Fagnola might be examinated much more carefully than something alleged to be "just a cheaper German trade", where some naive buyer is questioning "who the hell should fake such a maker". That's exactly the well planned trap you will fall into with this kind of considerations. Beside that a 9K sale isn't what I would describe as cheap and insignificant.

I agree that the price is too high, especially for this one. Nevertheless, I have seen Fagnolas described as genuine that were crap.

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