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EH Roth cornerblockology


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I recently purchased a 1937 EH Roth production 1714 Strad model (one of the lower models) which uses the Brand name Oscar C Meinel instead of Roth, the Roth company has confirmed to me that Oscar C Meinel was a trade name used on genuine Roths. I was somewhat ridiculed on a previous thread when I said that Roth violins often have liners inset into corner blocks. Well this violin has the liners not only set into the corner blocks from BOTH sides, but also set into the top and bottom blocks, and the liners go in square full width, not to a point like Mittenwald liners, also the c bout ribs are feathered into the lower ribs, so that the lower rib makes the termination, not joined in the middle like one would expect for an external mold, so its more than likely this was built on an internal mold. This isn't the first Roth I have seen with liners going into the bottom blocks, but I must admit I haven't had the top off most of the Roth's I have worked on.

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20th C Markneukirchen instruments regularly have the linings let in (square) into the top and bottom blocks. This is IMHO not a good idea, since the “bulging out” of the rib by the bottom block problem is only worstened. I presume that this rib construction method was a result of the “Schachtelmacher” moving from the old built on back method, to the outside mould. If you ask Mr Roth, the next time you speak to him, I expect he would confirm to you that they use the outside mould

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1 hour ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

the c bout ribs are feathered into the lower ribs, so that the lower rib makes the termination, not joined in the middle like one would expect for an external mold

I wrote in another recent thread:

The order ribs are attached are the same way either inside or outside mould and therefore the mitre looks very similar. This can be observed at every ordinary Mirecourt trade violin.

Here is a Schönbach violin with similar mitred rib joints and equilateral corner blocks.

IMG_r5020.JPG

IMG_r5020r.JPG

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6 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Well this violin has the liners not only set into the corner blocks from BOTH sides, but also set into the top and bottom blocks, and the liners go in square full width, not to a point like Mittenwald liners, also the c bout ribs are feathered into the lower ribs, so that the lower rib makes the termination, not joined in the middle like one would expect for an external mold, so its more than likely this was built on an internal mold.

Can you post pictures?

6 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

If you ask Mr Roth, the next time you speak to him, I expect he would confirm to you that they use the outside mould

That would be quite surprising.

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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

Because I have never seen a Roth with a one piece bottom rib, and I assumed that he was following the Italian style of using an inside mold. 

There seems to be some confusion.

”Italian style” can be any possible way of construction, depending of regional school and period. 
Assuming you have Cremonese construction in mind it means inside mould, usually with one piece lower rib, assymetrical corner blocks , C bout linings mortised in the corner blocks and nailed on necks. 
Outside mould construction usually has a divided lower rib and symmetrical corner blocks with mitred rib joints (typical example: 20th century Mirecourt work). That’s what Strad O is describing, with the idiosyncrasies of ribs inserted all the way into the blocks (not in the C bouts only) and what I pictured above.

So there’s absolutely no contradiction between Roths using an outside mould and divided lower ribs.

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10 minutes ago, Blank face said:

So there’s absolutely no contradiction between Roths using an outside mould and divided lower ribs.

Thanks for the clarification.

Do you think Roths were made using an outside mold? Heberleins? Fickers?

It would still surprise me if they used outside molds, but I suppose that is because of my own set of assumptions.

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50 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Thanks for the clarification.

Do you think Roths were made using an outside mold? Heberleins? Fickers?

It would still surprise me if they used outside molds, but I suppose that is because of my own set of assumptions.

Most of the production at Markneukirchen has transitioned from BOB to outside mould at some time. There have been long threads about this and the likely timing. My take-away was (and it could be wrong) that the majority or almost all violins were outside mould after about world war 1, some probably earlier.

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On 1/15/2022 at 5:49 AM, Strad O Various Jr. said:

 Well this violin has the liners not only set into the corner blocks from BOTH sides, but also set into the top and bottom blocks, and the liners go in square full width, not to a point like Mittenwald liners, also the c bout ribs are feathered into the lower ribs, so that the lower rib makes the termination, not joined in the middle like one would expect for an external mold, so its more than likely this was built on an internal mold. This isn't the first Roth I have seen with liners going into the bottom blocks, but I must admit I haven't had the top off most of the Roth's I have worked on.

I have had the frequent occasion to have had a decent amount of better Markies and Roth tops off.  I have seen exactly what you are describing, more times than not.  From what I have seen, commonly the squared off linings into the CB's, but  about 1/2 the time do I see the squared off linings going into the top/bottom blocks.  FWIW........

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On 1/16/2022 at 1:33 AM, GeorgeH said:

Thanks for the clarification.

Do you think Roths were made using an outside mold? Heberleins? Fickers?

It would still surprise me if they used outside molds, but I suppose that is because of my own set of assumptions.

I didn’t examine so many of these, but surely there was a tendency during the between the wars period to outside construction in the better shops; this allowed more precision when producing larger numbers of clearly defined models, while building on the back leads almost always to differences between back and top plates. OTOH bob was still used in GDR times.

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I ran production and trained workers for decades, and one thing I know for sure is that it's a WHOLE lot easier to swap labels than it is to get production workers to do some thing different (as in move heaven and earth!). I also have a 30s Oskar Meinel, a 20s Roth and a ca. 1913 Roth in my shop.  I'll dig out the bore scope and see what I can see, but it will take a while, since I'm buried in deadlines ATM, and the fiddles are in boxes. The early Roth is getting worked on, though, so is available.

We've seen plenty of evidence of outside procurement among a lot of makers, so it's probably not to be ruled out, but Roths are really common around here, and I haven't seen or noticed much variation in methods among ones from Markneukirchen, although my sample base isn't huge. Haven't spent much time with post-WWII examples.

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On 1/15/2022 at 9:38 AM, jacobsaunders said:

If you ask Mr Roth, the next time you speak to him, I expect he would confirm to you that they use the outside mould

So I did ask Mr. Roth this question, and he kindly replied:

"To your question about our moulds.
We still have and had both versions to this day."

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9 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

So I did ask Mr. Roth this question, and he kindly replied:

"To your question about our moulds.
We still have and had both versions to this day."

can you clarify what he is referring to with "both versions"? Is that inside and outside mould?

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6 minutes ago, Guido said:

can you clarify what he is referring to with "both versions"? Is that inside and outside mould?

Yes, both inside and outside moulds.

The questions I asked were "do you know if the Roth Company used inside or outside moulds to construct their violins? Have they used the same method throughout their history?

 

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