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What instrument is everyone playing?


Stephen  Fine
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I play on a George Craske dated 1840 by William Hill - they sold them off when Craske died. I've no idea how it compares with his best violins but I like it. However, it doesn't seem to like Pirastro Eudoxa A or E which squeak unpredictably so for at the moment, I've gone back to Dominants for the A and E.

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My fiddle is quite new, 1999 I'd say, and the cheapest one I found (yes, I'm a beginner). Yet I love it and sometimes, just sometimes, manage to get such a pretty sound out of it smile.gif

It has the label 'Niccolo' inside, but nothing else. I'm sure it is a cheap brand but does anyone know about these violins or have one? It would be nice to know!

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laugh.gif Heh heh, well, I still use my $600 German manufactured Knilling, the one that wasn't exactly designed to project... it's got a sweet tone, though, which is why I've been sentimentally attatched to it... I'll keep it, but I think that after six years of playing on it, it's time to upgrade...

[This message has been edited by MarvyMei (edited 01-02-2000).]

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Ooooh ... Wouldn't I love to know!!??

I'm playing a beautiful darkish wood violin with a dark tone, played by my husband's grandfather in the 1880's, give or take a decade. But I have no clue of its origins, maker, or the like.

My teacher, who herself plays a magnificent instrument, thinks my violin is quite good. I have purchased a new bow recently, but I plan to play this instrument for the long haul.

Thanks be to the ancestors, eh?

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I play a gorgeous ~1700 Amati-style "Hartrain" English violin.

It (and the 1688 Strad I tried) are the only violins I've ever played that don't fight me when I play Paganini Caprices or big hefty concerti like the Brahms. I also had access to a Gagliano, but that violin didn't have the Amatise sweetness.

I bought this violin for "13"

Thirteen HUNDRED, not Thirteen THOUSAND.

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I have about 40 violins, but as a player I gravitate towards a 1767 Havelka and a 1803 Mattheis Hornsteiner. Although some of the old German copies of Amati, del Gesu, and Maggini also get to have their day once and awhile, and I have some truly eccentric older (1870-1940) American violins that sound pretty good to my ear.

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My fiddle is a Strad style - sort of - it has a "makers" label that reads Giacomo Zanoli - don't I wish!!

Its got "GERMAN" brand on the bottom rib beneath the end peg, so I'm prety sure it's c. 1920-30. Two-piece flame back and matching neck; carefully grafted scroll. The tone has been variously called "brilliant," "concert," "dominant." I find the quality of tone to be sonorous, without stridency. It plays easily and is very responsive. Various "priced" at 3K+. Otto Hoyer bow makes it sound rich!

If only I could play as well as it sounds!

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I started out twenty eight years ago with what I have been told is a German copy of Jon

Baptist Sweitzer made about 100 years ago. I bought another one about twenty years ago which looked very much the same, but had a bigger and sweeter sound. I had it worked on this last summer and the sound is a good as the violins (about 80) I played on last summer which cost less than 10,000. The other instrument has been regraduated, but doesn't as yet sound as good as the other.

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I started out twenty eight years ago with what I have been told is a German copy of Jon

Baptist Sweitzer made about 100 years ago. I bought another one about twenty years ago which looked very much the same, but had a bigger and sweeter sound. I had it worked on this last summer and the sound is a good as the violins (about 80) I played on last summer which cost less than 10,000. The other instrument has been regraduated, but doesn't as yet sound as good as the other.

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>>I play a gorgeous ~1700 Amati-style "Hartrain" English violin.

It (and the 1688 Strad I tried) are the only violins I've ever played that don't fight me when I play Paganini Caprices or big hefty concerti like the Brahms. <<<

HuangKaiVun,

Just curious--

What's "Hartrain" violin?

Also, the 1688 Strad--was that an Amatise or a "Long" Strad?

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Good questions, Mark_W.

My violin is an old (no antiquing), amber colored, slightly undersized violin with real nicks all over its surface. It has high arching that had been caved in once but pushed back out. On its back at the button, there's a beautiful black leaf-shaped inlay with a faintly written "HARTRAIN" written there. Who or what "Hartrain" is, I don't know.

I recently asked my restorer to put a few coats of clear varnish on the instrument, as it had virtually no varnish. Afterwards, the color deepened and the tone mellowed (no more headaches from too many good vibrations).

The 1688 Strad I tried was "Amatise". I really liked it; it had a soprano core but also had viola-like darkness. It sold for $1.8 million recently. Were I a big-time soloist (I'm not), I'd want THAT violin.

The biggest difference between the Strad and my "Hartrain" is the viola-like darkness. Otherwise, the angelic purity, soft yielding nature, and ability to project with minimal bow action are basically the same.

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Okay, I don't regularly play on... but I have played several Beautiful Strads, A Couple Del Gesus, a Villume and some beautiful bows in my life so far. I would have to say that my favorite was a strad (I'm not allowed to say it's nickname--but it is quite famous) Next, I found the Villume QUITE NICE, it's silky smooth, dark tone was Incredible.

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