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New-to-me eBay Fiddle!
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damfino
oHIo, USA
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March 11, 2016 - 10:02 am
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So I've been wanting to find a cheap vintage fiddle on ebay to have something to play outdoors this summer... something I wouldn't worry too much about breaking somehow like I would my Ming or Concert.
 
So I found this guy at a good price and it arrived yesterday! He has his quirks.... 
 
The fingerboard seems to have been done by one of its previous owners, it wasn't done by a professional for sure. It's very thick and imperfect, hangs over the sides of the neck very slightly and has a bit of age on it, it has some weird splits here and there in it. And while it's thick and weird, I have no problem playing it in tune, so at least something was done right with it. 
 
The bridge is pretty much square, so that needs to be addressed, lol. The nut is old and wore out, so I might attempt to do that on my own. The end pin is a little small, so I'll have to address that at some point.
 
Otherwise, I can't find anything broken on it, seams are good, only a teeny tiny tight crack by one of the F holes.
 
I have no clue of its age. Previous owner said they got it about 5 years ago, and didn't know any of its history before that. 
 
Other than the bridge, I'm in no hurry to do any repairs. I'd like to have the fingerboard thinned out because it is a little uncomfortable for my hand. I also am not sure that it is worth putting much money into, since its purpose is to be something cheap to take outside, so I might never do that. 
 
It seems to have named itself Cletus. It is very much a little quirky old fiddle. In the end, it does have a pleasant warm tone, so I am happy with it.... I think its little odd quirks make me like it a little more, lol.
 
fiddle1.jpgImage Enlargerfiddle2.jpgImage Enlargerfiddle3.jpgImage Enlargerfiddle4.jpgImage Enlarger
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~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

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OldOgre
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March 11, 2016 - 11:39 am
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Congrats Mandy,

I doesnt look bad in those pics.

And I wouldnt worry over its small imperfection, the nut and bridge look find to me, and as you said you bought it not to worry about it so just play it.

Hope you have fun with it.

With violins there is no fretting over the music.

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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March 11, 2016 - 11:54 am
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Thanks! I think, since I'm not worried about messing it up, I might round off the bridge myself, since it makes it a little bit of a challenge to keep from hitting other strings, but it's little quirks don't bother me, I think they just add to its personality, lol.

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

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Fidelestre
Texas
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March 11, 2016 - 12:59 pm
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Cletus looks pretty good - would love to hear how it sounds!

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damfino
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March 11, 2016 - 3:41 pm
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Maybe I'll have to do my next video with this fiddle, after I fix the shape of the bridge a little 🙂 

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 11, 2016 - 4:54 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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It must be hard to play on just one string with that straight bridge. Congratulations on another fiddle. 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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damfino
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March 11, 2016 - 6:31 pm
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Haha, it's more than a little challenging 🙂 I plan to try and fix it this weekend. 

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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March 11, 2016 - 7:39 pm
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Well, Mandy, if all else fails it can always be used as a canoe paddle, if you have a canoe.  LOL,,,

roflrofl

 

Ken.

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Schaick
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March 12, 2016 - 8:21 am
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Fiddlerman said
It must be hard to play on just one string with that straight bridge. Congratulations on another fiddle. 🙂

That is how the old-time bluegrassers have their fiddles set up so they can more easily play multiple strings at once!!

LOL? Fiddlestix

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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damfino
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March 12, 2016 - 11:53 am
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haha Fiddlestix 😉

@Schaick Ah, that makes sense then... the person I bought it from claims to be a fiddler (never know with ebay, lol) and it seems to have been played quite a bit judging by the rosin on it, so the square bridge must have been for that purpose 🙂 

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 12, 2016 - 3:06 pm
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Schaick said

Fiddlerman said
It must be hard to play on just one string with that straight bridge. Congratulations on another fiddle. 🙂

That is how the old-time bluegrassers have their fiddles set up so they can more easily play multiple strings at once!!

LOL? Fiddlestix

I realize that this is the intention but it's not right. I've rarely heard an old time fiddler play more than 2 strings at once and 2 strings are just as easy to play no matter how much or little the curve. However, playing on the D or A by themselves is more challenging when the bridge is flat.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Schaick
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March 13, 2016 - 10:02 am
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Fiddlerman said

I realize that this is the intention but it's not right. I've rarely heard an old time fiddler play more than 2 strings at once and 2 strings are just as easy to play no matter how much or little the curve. However, playing on the D or A by themselves is more challenging when the bridge is flat.

It seems that any 2 adjacent strings would be easier to play on an arched bridge.

I found some more ideas about why the flat bridge in the comments following the very cool video - speed? and reduces arm movements = less tired after 6-8 hours of playing?  

So helps with string crossings?

http://www.vithefiddler.com/di.....nd-violin/

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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Fiddlerman
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March 14, 2016 - 10:02 am
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I would say that the string crossings on a traditional 42 mm arch is close enough that you barely need to move your arm anyway. I would think that one would get more tired if they never needed to adjust the height of their arm during long hours of playing. It's a good thing to fluctuate your position from time to time. As far as speed is concerned, I could imagine that this could be true but when making the change back and forth between two strings I always prepare myself with the closest angle to the next string. When traveling several strings it's a matter of movement and rhythm. I have never ever felt speed limited with the 42mm curve. 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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damfino
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March 14, 2016 - 8:12 pm
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Playing Bile 'Em Cabbage Down has never been easier than it is on this fiddle, lol. I can throw double stops into songs even when I'm not intending to 😉

I guess I can see that if all you're going to do is play two strings at a time, it makes some sense... you can still play a single string if you try, but you don't have to think at all to play two. 

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

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djroger
Milan, Illinois
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March 14, 2016 - 9:26 pm
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I'm battling to get the skill back for drones and double stops!  Long ago, I tried a flatter bridge as a test and didn't like it.  My biggest challenge is the A-D double.  I can't seem to get a consistent good tone.  The others I can do, but now have to "think" about it where it used to be automatic.  Not sure if it is from the injuries, the long absence from playing, or a combination of both...........

Something I have noticed:  My acoustic has a Teller bridge, replacing my old Aubert, which bowed.  The Teller seems OK and I didn't want to invest a bunch of $$ in case this re-visit-to-the-fiddle doesn't pan out.  However, it looks like it will pan out, after all!  Just LOTS of practice and a few work-arounds............. 

My $50 electric Cecilio from eBay has some kind of generic bridge and I don't like it.  I find it almost impossible to play consistent double stops on it and I'll probably replace it with something better.  Fitting it should be pretty easy since the pickup is flat.

A question for the experts:  Does the height of the bridge affect the ease of playing double strings?  I know the arch does, but what about the height?

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ElisaDalViolin
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March 15, 2016 - 11:06 pm
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I think I never saw a complete square-ish bridge before. Must be hard playing without either playing two strings at the same time (if not intentional) or doing some harmonic like sounds. But Cletus is a very nice looking violin! Congratulations 🙂

 
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