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Schweitzers and Solid Backs


kelly13
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I own what people tell me is a 100 year old

Schweitzer (copy) with a solid moderately flamed back. This one has been regraduated at some point, and people comment that it is much warmer and more open then most of the breed. Some people say most of them are on the bright side. This one is not. It seems to be a good bluegrass instrument. The high E seems a little out of balance (ie: loud) however at least it has a flute like tone on the E. Mine seems to be quite sensitive to changes in setup and hardware, and even temporarily lost it's tone and sounded very choked after soaking up too much humidity at an outdoor bluegrass event. A few days later the tone came back. I am curious also as to what makes it a "Schweitzer" and how many German makers copied this type of fiddle.

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We had a Schweitzer (copy probably) which, for the price (we paid $200 at an antique shop) was an okay student instrument. It was much more responsive than the typical music store instruments and had a pretty decent tone. We used it as a second instrument for a short period and then sold it for $800.

As for one-piece backs, makers are still making them. My mother's violin has a one-piece back and it is new.

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I have never seen a Schweitzer copy that I didn't like. They all sound very nice and have a real strong tone. They look good too, even with all the fake repairs (adds the character that i really like). I still search Ebay for them and I just bought a 3/4 size one, just to have around. Although the Schweitzer's came in different grades, most are way better than a student instrument. I know that there are a few of them in the orchestras around here.

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I have had two Sweitzer violins . Both bought

28 years ago. They have solid backs. I should say copies since orginal Sweitzers are fairly valuable. Many copies were made somewhere near the end of the last century in Germany. Two different appraiser value them as worth between 1000 to 2500 depending on condition and how well made they are. My better looking one has been regraduated and sounds better than it did before. It was always pleasant, but not really clear or powerful. The other one does not look as well but is much more responsive and better sounding. I have seen others and they vary.

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I had a Schweitzer that was my grandma's, it had a solid back, a great finish, and a nice tone, and was appraised at 3K. I am debating on trying to buy another Schweitzer, because I liked the one I had (it is in major disrepair now).

I know that there are still violin makers that make those with solid backs, but I want to know when the trend changed from solid backs tobookmatched ones. Earlier, all violins had solid backs, but now, most violins have two-piece backs. When was the change?

kelly

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