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December 28, 2014 - 6:46 am
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
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I'm putting this in the breakroom, since the part I'm showing is a guitar part and not a violin part.  But the point of the post holds true also for violin parts, expensive or humble.

One of the gifts I got this holiday was a set of D'Andrea Tone Pins that I wanted for one of my acoustic guitars.  Right out of the package, not too impressive.  The abalone wasn't as pretty as it could be, and the brass was a little rough as it came from the factory. 

But the two on the right, I took a few minutes each to smooth with some fine (800) sandpaper and then buff a bit.  The 4 on the left are how they came brand new out of the package.

Tone_pins.JPGImage Enlarger

 The two I picked to start with were some of the worst, and they cleaned up nice.

My point here is that parts of a musical instrument, whether they are replacement/upgrade parts you are putting in or parts that came with the violin when you buy it, often they didn't get as much attention and elbow-grease as they could have at the factory or etc.

It applies to violins too.  Maybe the screws/knobs of the fine tuners don't look as nice or shiny as you'd like.  You can take them out and take some very fine sandpaper to them to knock off the rough edges and buff them a bit with even a piece of an old t-shirt and get them that little bit nicer. 

Maybe the tuning pegs on your inexpensive violin are actually ebony, but just don't feel as nice and smooth to your fingers as the ones on a buddy's more expensive instrument.  A little fine sandpaper or steel wool and maybe rub in a tiny bit of beeswax and spend a few minutes buffing them shiny with a soft cloth and heck.. They might actually feel nicer than the ones on your buddy's violin.

And good shop where you could have gotten such things put in, they also get pieces that are a bit rough as they come from the factory.  If they have serious flaws, they'll return or discard them, and if it can be fixed properly, they may do that.  But even if it was "right" straight from the factory or vendor, if they're a good shop they'll give it at least a buff and polish to make sure that when you get it, it looks as good as something from a jewelry store.  That is workmanship which is always a part of quality.  It is part of what you are paying for.

But at least if you are a person who is so inclined, some details of workmanship are also things you can do.  It is a part of taking pride in your instrument(s). 

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"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

California, the place of my heart
December 29, 2014 - 3:33 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4176
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Very good point Dan.  

Those look so shiny and pretty. What a huge difference.

Awesome article. 

Cheers and Happy Monday.


Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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