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There is the bass-bar to consider, too. That runs under the area of the G string, glued to the underside of the top plate (if you look through the F-hole you will see it). So the G string gets the bass-bar, and the E string gets the sound post.
On a journey to learn the fiddle since July 24, 2015
Hello steveduf (and others). I was thinking about what I could offer you in the form of assistance in case your daughter wanted to play that instrument, but it looks to me (thank you for the pictures) that less is required than I originally thought.
By comparing the picture of the violin's back and one of my violins (determining handedness was never one of my strong suits), it looks to me that the peg configuration conforms to a standard right handed violin (with the g peg nearest to the nut). In case that I am wrong, I do have a peg shaver and could make some maple bushing so you could convert it. I think that you would only have to bush the knob side of the peg box. That would save you half the work.
The second problem is the bass bar. Since you can obviously remove the front plate it would seem to be possible to remove the existing bass bar (either by heat or chiesel) and create a new bass bar on the opposite side. I think that it would be neat if you used a piece of torrefied spruce to mimic the age of the existing bass bar. If you provide me with the dimensions of the brace, I could roast a couple for you. Since you only need one, it would also be economic for you to purchase one through Stew Mac.
It looks to me that the tail piece is 3/4 size. I recently experimented with doing this to improve the tone of a Mendini MV 500 and I liked it. To get the full effect, I would recommend that you remove the fine tuners on the G, D, and A strings and get a piccolo fine tuner for the E string.
If you decide to take on the project (and I would rather play an instrument than just look at it), please let me know if I can be of any assistance.
i appreciate your generous offer. We love and keep working on them. Sometime I’d like to talk to you and pick your brain on some things.
whoever had this violin played it a lot fairly recently. The pegs and fingerboard are newer and ebony, newer bridge. the old tailpiece with the e string fine tuner is in the case. The strings are a decent set. And there is a Glasser composite bow that needs rehaired there also.
Mackenzie and I have way too many instruments at this moment. We started picking up instruments to donate to her school. We donated some last year and we now have quite an accumulation of strings for kids in our area who want to be in orchestra but can’t afford an instrument. Probably fifteen or so violins, mostly 4/4 but a few smaller fractionals. Four violas, a 14, 15, 15 1/2 and a 16. A 1/2 cello and today just got a 4/4 cello that needs a bridge. For this reason I might keep this a lefty just in case we need one.
i do the woodworking for the most part but am teaching Kenzie as we go.
She does all the cleaning, polishing and setting up. She is getting quite amazing at it.
we are going to start rehairing bows for the school and ourselves. I think this would be good for us to learn. I have a kilo of white Siberian stallion hair on the way and 100 grams of black Siberian also
Mackenzie plays a Gliga Vasile Maestro in school, it sounds amazing...
her bow is a Leon Pique that came with an older violin we picked up. She also has an inexpensive Cecilio Electric she plays around with.
her collection of her own violins is over twenty right now. I will get into those another time.
Hi steveduf (and others). I likely have an equal number. I am arranging an evening lecture at the local library entitled "The Joy of Inexpensive Chinese Violins" where I can show a "violin shaped object" up through some nice violins, the bulk of them Cecilio or Mendini. I think that I could also entitle it "When Did This Hobby Become an Obsession?" And I got two more on the way (another Mendini MV 650 and a Cecilio CVA 500 that I am going to sand blast with baking soda to white and try to refinish).
I am thinking that I will take the same route and provide some to the local schools.
I am glad that you are going to "the dark side" and purchased some black hair. I am finding that I am only applying rosin about once every other week to my bow with it and it is very easy to play.
Hi steveduf (and others).
I think that picking up a used Cecilio solid body electric violin for about $50 on eBay is a wonderful inducement to practice for a young student. I believe that they come 3/4 and 4/4. I like the yellow (natural varnish) model over the others since they can't use body filler to cover blemishes. The piezo pickup should be installed over the g bridge foot and I replace the plastic bridge boot with a wood one that uses double sided tape in place of random screw fasteners. The bridge should be cut for proper radius and string height.
In the Mendini line, I am very attracted to the MV 500, which I believe comes in 1/2, 3/4 and 4/4 sizes. I picked up a used 4/4 one on eBay for $10 ($20 shipping) that is a very pretty instrument. Somewhat low projection and, as a result, it is not an overly loud instrument. I put a 3/4 tailpiece on it (without fine tuners since I use Knilling Perfection pegs) and it has a very full lower harmonic component to the sound. It is like putting 96 keys on a piano in place of the normal 88. I also have an MV 650 (soon to be two), which has much more aural color than the MV 500 and it is a very loud instrument. Unfortunately, the MV 650 is no longer made.
The Cecilio CVN 500 is a well made instrument, but I just cannot be excited in the dull pistachio colored finish (not quite a paint) they put on them. An interesting variant is the 14 inch body CVA 500 viola strung as a violin. The extra rib height causes a very rich tone for a violin that has to be experienced to be believed. One of those with a 3/4 tailpiece should be outstanding. I currently have 3 of them because they were so inexpensive on eBay (I doubt that they are much of a viola). I am going to attempt to refinish one this summer.
I also have a Cecilio CVN 600 and CVN 800. Built like tanks and heavy. Ideal for a football player.
If the violin can be purchased cheaply enough and/or the parent has the resources, I really like Knilling Perfection pegs and the Wittner Isny shoulder rest. Although I have not put any on an instrument yet, I am very encouraged with the new D'Addario Ascente strings for student use.
Hi steveduf. Do you have a younger child that is in need of a violin? I did not know that Cecilio made a 12 and 10 inch version of their CVA 500. I just got one (have not measured it yet to tell if it is a 12 or 10) and, although the case is well worn and the fabric is fraying, the violin itself is in excellent shape (except for a few finish scratches from the fine tuners under the tail piece). The bow is just about out of hair (wood, but it does not look to be a Cecilio). The back and sides have some figure to them and the finish, although mildly pistashio, is actually not bad.
Small sized violins are notoriously "squeaky" and bright but I have high hopes for this one. I purchased it for the purpose of stripping the finish to white and refinish it with a mixture of Tru Oil (a gun finish) and oil pigments, but now I am reluctant because it looks to be such a strong player. Just tapping the plates makes me excited.
The ribs look to be oversized to the scale of the rest of the instrument (a little tubby), but I don't think that it would offer a difficulty for the child. D'Addario is scheduled to produce Ascente violin strings in fractional sizes this July, and I am going to put a set of them on this one as soon as I can. It certainly looks like it can chooch.
Hi OldOrge (and others). Look about two submissions up from yours and you will see my opinion regarding the CVA 500. Yes, it is a viola. But I purchase the 14" model (and now a smaller one) inexpensively and put violin strings on them. I think that the larger ribs give them a nice tone as violins.
I don't normally name violins, but Tubby is an apt name for the little one I just got.
Hi steveduf (and others). Brought out a ruler today and it has a 12" body. The bridge was about 1/2" forward (toward the finger board) than it should be. When I moved it back, the sound post was exactly the position where it should have been (I find the sound post position somewhat random on Cecilio/Mendini violins). I just purchased a 2/4 ebony tail piece and a 3/4 modified ebony flesch chin rest for it (I think I may skeletonize the tail piece). I think that I can put a full sized set of Ascente strings on it if I go with a 1/2 size tail piece, with a piccolo fine tuner on the e string (D'Addario seems to want more for their fractional sized strings than full sized sets, for some reason).
String height on the bridge is about perfect (very nice foot fit as well), but I will roast it and drastically reduce depth (by about 1/2).
By the way, I plan on making a couple of sets of the bow rehair jigs I previously told you about after I repair a cello. I will send you a PM when they are ready.
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