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"Hopf" Violin Purchase


MaryS
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4 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

A cheap violin is a cheap violin, it doesn't magically improve when you totally destroy the intent of the maker, however ignorant you may consider them.

There was no "maker" of this violin, hence there is no "intent of the maker" to "totally destroy." It was quickly slapped together with poorly hacked-out parts. 

I agree with you that bench-made violins should not be re-graduated, and the intent of the maker should be preserved. Apparently, a large number of luthiers who worked (work?) on 17th and 18th century Italian violins did not share this philosophy, and I guess we'll never know if they "magically" improved them or not.

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Of course there was a “Maker”, if a wretched one.

The building method, leaving a carved bar, rather than glue one in afterwards, wasn’t for speed. It is in my experience quicker to “hog out” (© Ann Abour) everything, then glue a bar in, than it is to carefully leave material for a bar over. This was the traditional method from that area. The “feine Geigen” from this area were made using the same method. I showed a Seidel violin made just like that, that has the most exact measurements here for contrast https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/339564-seidel/

For the OP, I see no advantage in re-graduating the belly, since it has no apparent damage, and will still be a cheap violin whatever she does, far more important will be getting the neck on straight

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But no one has demonstrated any reason why a rough interior would sound inherently worse than a smooth interior surface, it's more of a fetish for the regraduator that they think smoothing it out will make it better, and since they only listen to the violin after they vandalize it, it's always better, or so they say.

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5 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

People make outrageous claims about how their presumably inept regraduation improved the tone, I can assure you that 99% of the time they never bothered to properly set up and test the sound of the violin before they "improved" it, that's why they will always be referred to as hacks, people that do more damage than good to violins.  A cheap violin is a cheap violin, it doesn't magically improve when you totally destroy the intent of the maker, however ignorant you may consider them.

I see what you are trying to say most of the times, but you use such drastic, sometimes binary/absolute terms.  

99% is alot of confidence.  How do you arrive at that figure?

9 out of 10 is 90%.  That means that at least 1 out of 10 may get it right.

If the violin is a trade instrument, and the general goal was to churn out product, what is the harm in the OP or anyone else using it to learn?

Automobile manufacturers make cars by the hundred thousands....many amateur enthusiasts try upgrading them and some succeed (at least by their own parameters of success) and some do not.  Lumping the OP into the 99% or 90% of would-be luthiers and matter of factly telling them its wrong....is wrong. IMO.

 

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5 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

So are you saying that a single "wretched" maker made that violin from start-to-finish?

With the help of a Schachtelmacher, a Halsschneider and perhaps someone who did the varnish, in about 12 hours, which doesn’t leave you much time to scratch around with your sandpaper

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1 minute ago, jacobsaunders said:

With the help of a Schachtelmacher, a Halsschneider and perhaps someone who did the varnish, in about 12 hours, which doesn’t leave you much time to scratch around with your sandpaper

I suppose that you are assigning the "maker" as the person who assembled the parts, and then either varnished it themselves or passed it on to someone else to varnish.

I'd also assume that the Schachtelmacher may have used pre-assembled rib-garlands.

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Maybe I'm out to lunch myself (happens) but I don't understand the confusion about the various 'types' of cottage/small factory made violins.  Or even the use of terms such as 'handcrafted' or 'handmade'.

Unless a machine pops an item out without any human help, there has to be a human involved.

And we've had numerous discussions about the use of cncs in violin making and how that affects the 'handmadeness' of the final product.  I suppose you could say that the use of a cnc to cut out the body and do the roughing out makes the final product 'only' 80% (or whatever) handmade?

But how many machines did the cottage craft folk use?  Any in those early years?  

So...for the sake of argument...say that one family or steady group, of say five, made violins.  Is that family considered a 'maker'?  Should we call them a 'small group' maker?  If more families/people were involved, should we call them a 'large group' maker.  If it's a factory (assembly line) instrument - should we call it a 'factory' maker?

And, of course, if only one person makes the entire instrument, then it would be a 'single maker'.

So...if Sam Z. has helpers...are his violins the equivalent of a 'small group' maker?  Or is that different because he oversees and tweaks the final product (versus bundling up a batch and hauling them off to a distributor).

What about the bits and pieces most luthiers buy?  Do we not worry about fittings and purfling...and only consider the body of the violin as the object of interest as far as categorizing goes?

But! What about the guy that makes violins entirely from scratch (ie. chops the wood, makes the purfling, makes the fittings, including the strings, etc.) instead of buying the various bits and pieces?  Would he be a 'single maker from scratch'?

...thinking, while waiting for IT to get back to me...about IT things that I have no idea about either...<_<

 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Rue said:

Maybe I'm out to lunch myself (happens) but I don't understand the confusion about the various 'types' of cottage/small factory made violins.  Or even the use of terms such as 'handcrafted' or 'handmade'.

Unless a machine pops an item out without any human help, there has to be a human involved.

And we've had numerous discussions about the use of cncs in violin making and how that affects the 'handmadeness' of the final product.  I suppose you could say that the use of a cnc to cut out the body and do the roughing out makes the final product 'only' 80% (or whatever) handmade?

But how many machines did the cottage craft folk use?  Any in those early years?  

So...for the sake of argument...say that one family or steady group, of say five, made violins.  Is that family considered a 'maker'?  Should we call them a 'small group' maker?  If more families/people were involved, should we call them a 'large group' maker.  If it's a factory (assembly line) instrument - should we call it a 'factory' maker?

And, of course, if only one person makes the entire instrument, then it would be a 'single maker'.

So...if Sam Z. has helpers...are his violins the equivalent of a 'small group' maker?  Or is that different because he oversees and tweaks the final product (versus bundling up a batch and hauling them off to a distributor).

What about the bits and pieces most luthiers buy?  Do we not worry about fittings and purfling...and only consider the body of the violin as the object of interest as far as categorizing goes?

But! What about the guy that makes violins entirely from scratch (ie. chops the wood, makes the purfling, makes the fittings, including the strings, etc.) instead of buying the various bits and pieces?  Would he be a 'single maker from scratch'?

...thinking, while waiting for IT to get back to me...about IT things that I have no idea about either...<_<

 

 

 

 

Too philosophical for Maestronet. If it was made, we can safely presume that there was a maker, after all, it didn’t grow from a seed

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On 12/1/2021 at 2:09 AM, jacobsaunders said:

I would warn about the screw through the button. This most lightly shows that the through neck came adrift at some point, and a handyman thought that that would be a brilliant solution. The chances that the handyman screwed the neck on straight are slim. This will mean (before you make a new fingerboard) that you should remove the screw, get the neck apart, and glue the neck in straight. This won’t be as easy as it sounds

A small update: The screw in the neck has been removed and I plan on fixing it. Though, according to my measurements, whoever put the screw in must have taken their time. It was not off by a significant amount. Kudos to them. Thankfully, we have a Luthier here from time to time who said they can guide me along the way, but the tips you guys have given will help while they're away. 

I've done a little bit of work on the finish to bring it back up to some sort of beauty (if you can call any part of this violin.... beautiful), that is going fairly well. 

 

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7 hours ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:

 

I would consider it evidence enough that cleanly finished violins have consistently come out on top for 400 years.  To my knowledge, no celebrated and respected maker did interiors as bad as this Hopf (which is fairly tame as far as these things can go).  Do you think they were wasting their time?  If we accept your hypothesis that graduation has no effect on the sound of a violin, then what on God's green earth does?  Why do we even bother with any of this if it doesn't matter?  

I am NOT advocating for regraduation!  

If you really believe rough interiors are on par with smooth ones, then you should save yourself some time and leave your new instruments' interiors beaver chewed.  

Your assumption that no one has ever played a violin before and after regraduating it is incredibly far-fetched, and it's concerning how much your argument is based on it.  

The point I am making is no one has clearly demonstrated that a rougher interior surface has to sound inferior to a smoothly finished surface, only that a rough finish presumably takes less time, I've restored several baroque transition violins with rough interior that sound quite good, it was more of a style of making than a glaring sign of inferiority. In fact there is a famous harpsichord maker, Keith Hill, that deliberately carves the inside of his soundboards roughly because he claims it is better for tone, I know a lot of amateur violin restorers are totally convinced that they know better than the original makers, but I'm not buying it, if you want to regraduated a violin, make it yourself, then your theories will sink or swim your reputation as a regraduator.

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1 hour ago, Al Cramer said:

MaryS --

Congrats on the screw removal. If you're curious about how through-neck violins work, Brad Dorsey (another Olympian) posted some great photos in this topic:

https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/327352-identifying-through-neck-violins/

 

Al- thank you so much for that link! That actually answered almost every question I had. 

Another question, what do you guys suggest for repairing the lovely mess the screw left? Would I need to graft a new button up top or would filling it do? I want what will look best while still being sturdy. 

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MaryS... first rule of restoration is replace what is missing and remove nothing of the original that exists... ie.. carve a piece to replace the missing wood in the screw hole ... trying to match the grain of the original. Not easy, but you will be delighted with the results if you take the time!

good luck!  Mat

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"The point I am making is no one has clearly demonstrated that a rougher interior surface has to sound inferior to a smoothly finished surface, only that a rough finish presumably takes less time,"

You're really missing the point! It's not the issue of rough vs. smooth. It's more often the issue of a 5-6mm thick top vs. a 2.5-3mm top. Has anyone demonstrated that a thick top damps sound? Absolutely!

"In fact there is a famous harpsichord maker, Keith Hill, that deliberately carves the inside of his soundboards roughly because he claims it is better for tone"

He claims it? - and therefore it must be true.:lol::lol::lol:

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On 12/3/2021 at 2:51 PM, Strad O Various Jr. said:

But no one has demonstrated any reason why a rough interior would sound inherently worse than a smooth interior surface, it's more of a fetish for the regraduator that they think smoothing it out will make it better, and since they only listen to the violin after they vandalize it, it's always better, or so they say.

They weigh over 100 grams. They were roughed out in a matter of minutes. They sound as rough as they look

A well carved belly from Schönbach/Markneukirchen typically weighs 70 grams and has a pleasing sound.

I'm not advocating regraduation, just stating the obvious.

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14 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Congrats on a good job.  How does it sound?  :)

It sounds better than I thought it would, but not as good as I would have hoped (If that makes sense). 

I'm actually going to give this to my boyfriend as a Christmas present. He's wanted to play for quite some time. It would be a good starter instrument for him with some sentimental value to it. It's wrapped up in the case (with a boveda, of course), so after Christmas I'll upload a video of how it sounds! 

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