There was a gentle tapping on my front door this afternoon shortly after I came in from checking up on my garden. I saw the back of the mailman walking away through the peephole as I approached the door and got a brief thrill of excitement as it dawned on me the significance of his brief visit.
There was a long, well-traveled box waiting for me on the porch as the mail truck made its smoky way to its next stop. Quickly bringing my prize inside I made a quick inspection of the box.
Inside was an ocean of packing peanuts that threatened to storm my living room floor with a tsunami of styrofoam. Carefully slipping a trash bag over one opened end of the box, I inverted the impending flood and vigorously shook loose everything from the box that was willing to leave.
With the peanuts safety in thrall, I drew the black case from it's snug confines and gave it the same cursory once-over as I gave the previously unopened box.
Opening the case revealed the hidden care with which the Viola was packaged for travel in the occasionally unfeeling world of the USPS. Cardboard had been carefully formed to protect against bridge collapse. Another piece served as insurance against a catastrophically unintended meeting of the minds between tailpiece and lower bout.
Finally extricating the CVA-500 from its full shroud of protection, I gently put it to my shoulder to pluck a bit of pizzicato. I couldn't help but chuckle when I realized that it was in a better state of tune straight out of a box from Florida, than my CVA-400 was when I played it earlier that afternoon.
I look forward to playing it often – and, every time I do – I will be reminded of the clever kindness and international efforts of my friends here at Fiddlerman.com who saw fit to buy it on my behalf.
Again, I thank you all.
Very cool post HC! !!!!
I would not have the foresight to take pics. I just opened the boxes and the case right a way to make sure my violin was ok. that is a very nice looking viola!
Now we just need to hear it. Lol.
I had hoped by now to post a video of me playing (around with) the new CVA-500, but it's sufficiently different from my CVA-400 to require more acclimatization. It seems that the angles for bow-crossings are shallower than with my 400, so I'm squeaking and honking my way through tunes I might've played with some greater degree of confidence otherwise. (note: "degree of confidence" is not to be confused with "degree of competence." )
Interestingly, I also discovered that the cases are fitted to each instrument individually, so that they aren't interchangeable. When I tried to place the 400 in the 500's case, I discovered that the lower bout on the 400 was too wide to fit in the hollow. Similarly, I can't just swap my shoulder-rest between instruments without a fair amount of adjustment. My son plays a 15 or 15.5 inch viola (I keep forgetting), and his shoulder rest fits just fine without any changes. Mind you, both instruments are supposed to be 16" models.
Interesting, isn't it?
Question: the ebony of the fingerboard looks very "dry." As ebony goes, it's a fairly low-end piece with a fair amount of brown marbling throughout. I think it would look better if it were oiled (boiled linseed or tung oil) or stained. Is this something that is just "not done," or am I OK to pursue this? I'm contemplating upgrading the strings, so that would be a convenient time for touching up the fingerboard.
I don't know much about dry Ebony but there are many different qualities of Ebony. Your CVA-500 has a real Ebony fingerboard where as your CVA-400 has a Rosewood, blackened fingerboard. That fingerboard may appear nicer but is more or less fake Ebony. (not sure if you are making a comparison)
Strange that the sizes differ though they are both 16"
That can't be good.
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