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Playing my new Cecilio CEVN-1BK
Learning to play new strings
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MrYikes
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January 5, 2017 - 1:57 pm
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A violin is finished by first putting on a "ground" which prevents anything being absorbed into the wood.  Then they apply a colored varnish and they are done.  The best cheap violin is the mendini 300.  It can be had for $51 at certain times.  If you can find one used you can get a real bargain.  The other cheapies use plastic fb or pegs, some use basswood (which is like balsa wood).  My cheapie is a $30 plywood violin that is my most precious(they try to sell them now for $75).  I have done everything to it.  I recently scraped it down to ground and varnished it with a walnut color from walnuts I picked up off the road and melted rosin.  Then I wrapped the ribs with leather.  I am not afraid to try anything with that violin.  My second violin was free from a violin seller to keep me from saying anything about how they do business.  So I won't say how they do business.  It's also a plywood violin.  Then I have the 650 and FM's Soloist.  The soloist is everything people say about it.  It sounds beautiful.  I am almost good enough to play it.

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MACJR
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MrYikes said
A violin is finished by first putting on a "ground" which prevents anything being absorbed into the wood.  Then they apply a colored varnish and they are done.  The best cheap violin is the mendini 300.  It can be had for $51 at certain times.  If you can find one used you can get a real bargain.  The other cheapies use plastic fb or pegs, some use basswood (which is like balsa wood).  My cheapie is a $30 plywood violin that is my most precious(they try to sell them now for $75).  I have done everything to it.  I recently scraped it down to ground and varnished it with a walnut color from walnuts I picked up off the road and melted rosin.  Then I wrapped the ribs with leather.  I am not afraid to try anything with that violin.  My second violin was free from a violin seller to keep me from saying anything about how they do business.  So I won't say how they do business.  It's also a plywood violin.  Then I have the 650 and FM's Soloist.  The soloist is everything people say about it.  It sounds beautiful.  I am almost good enough to play it.  

I will have to research this in more detail when the time comes to start work on that. I will post a thread about my Cecilio CVN-500 at some point, with pictures, and ask for advice on the best way to fix the issues. They do not photograph well though. In my previous shoots, the violin looks near flawless, but in person, some details pop out that the camera is not seeing.

I just finished a photo shoot of my new CEVN-1BK, and will sort through them here in a bit, pick out a few of the better ones and post a few.

MACJR

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MACJR
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100_7237_r2sc.pngImage Enlarger

I really am not crazy about the skeleton violin look, but for a skeleton violin, this one does not look too bad, in my opinion.

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However, this bridge is a pain in my backside. It may not be clear, but that D string sits rather low for my preferences. By the way, MrYikes, I did write to Cecilio and they are sending me a new bridge. It was that easy.

100_7271_sc.pngImage Enlarger

Normally, just plain ebony pegs are fine with me, but I actually like these fancier ones. I do not care for too much ornamentation on the pegs, but these are nice.

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I am not fond of this style of chin rest, but it has been so long since I played a violin with any other style of chin rest, I have no idea which I type I would like best now.

And now, for something different. I have warned ya all, I have not been able to record a decent played tune yet. This one, The Clown, is the first play through of the tune I did today. I should have recorded a couple more passes, and then picked the best of the three, but this is the only one I recorded, so this is what ya get. Yes, I know, it is not played as well as it should have been.

I was playing this, "The Clown," with my new Cecilio CEVN-1BK (the one in the pictures above).

 MACJR

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MACJR
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At first, I thought the audio file failed to upload properly. Now I see that the file has to be download to play. Is there another option, so that it would play in the browser window?

MACJR

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intrepidgirl
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@MACJR : I love the pictures of your new instrument, very nice.  I should not look, as it makes me want to try an electric and I shouldn't do any more shopping right now. Great recording, it worked very well.  You sound just fine! Solid notes and good tone.  

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MACJR
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intrepidgirl said
@MACJR : I love the pictures of your new instrument, very nice.  I should not look, as it makes me want to try an electric and I shouldn't do any more shopping right now. Great recording, it worked very well.  You sound just fine! Solid notes and good tone.    

Thanks, Intrepidgirl.   :)

It took a lot of blurry pictures to find a few good ones.   ;)

As for the recording, I am starting to get there, but I clearly need more practice time. I believe I have done that tune better, on the acoustic, but I have no recorded proof of that. Sigh.

MACJR

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Fran
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@MACJR if you put the video on youtube then you can embed it to this site.  It's a very nice looking violin :-)

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MACJR
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Fran said
@MACJR if you put the video on youtube then you can embed it to this site.  It's a very nice looking violin :-)   

Thanks, Fran.   :)

About YouTube, does that apply to audio files as well?

I have never used YouTube before, other than looking at a few videos now and then, but I used to avoid that as well. I had other things to do than spend all day looking at videos... that is, until I took up playing the violin.   ;)

MACJR

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MACJR
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Yep, the Prelude strings are definitely better than those Cecilio strings.

It was worth the time to change them.

MACJR

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Fran
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I record my video on my digital camera then move it to my laptop. Go to youtube and upload it. ThenI imbed it here

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MACJR
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Thanks, Fran, I will keep that in mind when I do a video.   :)

As for the post above, about changing strings, that was meant for another thread. I had one too many tabs open and lost track of which was which, and I did not look carefully enough to which post I was replying to.

The way it goes sometimes.

Anyway, I just finished changing out the Cecilio strings that came with my new e-violin for a set of D'Addario Prelude strings, which are much better.

I plan to upgrade to Fiddlerman, synthetic core strings in the next month or two, but for now, the Preludes will do. They do sound a lot better, and are easier to play, than the Cecilio strings.

MACJR

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MACJR
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intrepidgirl said
I agree about changing violins and the strings are different (just slightly).  So far I ahve three and they are all a bit different, which makes transitions interesting.  Gotta stick with one for best practicing, I find.  

Now that I have had more time to practice with the e-violin, over the last couple days I have been switching back and forth between the electric, Cecilio CEVN-1BK, and the acoustic, Cecilio CVN-500. I have found that switching back and forth actually helps me, not just with the new EV, but with the acoustic as well. Finding the differences has helped me compensate for them, on both instruments.

At least that is how it seems to me. However, it could also be that because I have my good days, and my bad days, it was just that the last couple of sessions were days I was going back up, rather than staying in that playing funk I was in for the few days before it.

Time and more practice will tell which is the case. I do like being able to switch between the two instruments though. The EV for its quiet practice, to work on those hard to play measures, repeatedly, until I get the measures down, without annoying the heck out of my neighbors, and the acoustic, with the mute on, to hear richer, smoother, tones that sound so much better, once I have smoothed out the tune I was working on.

MACJR

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coolpinkone
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January 12, 2017 - 3:40 pm
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I loved reading this thread.  There always has been a lot of conversation about the Cecelio (sp?) and Mendini.  I have a "novelty" 59 dollar pink acoustic Mendini.  Believe it or not, if I had needed to use it to learn the violin, I could have.  I had the bridge modified but not much... and some strings.  I have a youtube of a cheap violin sound sample, from a few years ago.  

I don't play that violin any more... I guess my point is that I could have if neccessary. 

Ramble Ramble.

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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MACJR
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coolpinkone said
I loved reading this thread.  There always has been a lot of conversation about the Cecelio (sp?) and Mendini.  I have a "novelty" 59 dollar pink acoustic Mendini.  Believe it or not, if I had needed to use it to learn the violin, I could have.  I had the bridge modified but not much... and some strings.  I have a youtube of a cheap violin sound sample, from a few years ago.  

I don't play that violin any more... I guess my point is that I could have if neccessary. 

Ramble Ramble.

Toni  

Nothing wrong with rambling once in a while. I do it more than enough, so it must be okay.   ;)

I was somewhat tempted to get a Mendini MV500 as a second acoustic violin, but the reviews are so mixed, and the negatives tend to carry a lot of weight with me, that I keep passing it over and consider other violins instead.

I do want a backup acoustic violin though. Something less expensive than my Cecilio CVN-500, but not too cheaply made. A simulated ebony fingerboard is not acceptable to me. I would consider rosewood, but maple fingerboards are not acceptable, to me. The Mendini MV500 meets the right specs, but I am not fond of its looks and worry that the workmanship may be too sloppy.

Right now, I am looking, and considering, the Cecilio CVN-EA (the E does not stand for electric in this case - not sure why the heck they have it there when it could cause confusion). I am not sure how well the CVN-EA was built either, but I like the looks better than the MV500, and it gets better reviews, although there are not enough good reviews, with enough useful information, to be sure that it is any better than the MV500.

The pluses so far, for the CVN-EA, it looks nice, has a better than you would expect case for the price range, the price is less than $100 at Amazon right now, and it has an ebony fingerboard and pegs. Although you get the deluxe Cecilio case, there are no other bells and whistles thrown in, except a shoulder rest (that I will never use). I think the bridge does not come with string slots, but that is okay, I can add those myself.

Anyway, still thinking about it. It might be better just to wait a while and save up for a higher grade violin, for when I am ready to advance beyond the CVN-500.

But a cheaper violin, that is not too cheaply made, could be a good testing instrument, to try new strings on, and learn a few luthier skills with.

I will think about it some more. I cannot budget one in right now anyway, but maybe this March, I could. I could buy, at the same time, and then test, those Fiddlerman Strings and Bow on it.   ;)

MACJR

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MACJR
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Forgot to mention, that I did look at some of the colored violins. I was leaning towards a Cecilio CVN-Black, or a black Cremona SV-130 (I see the price jumped up on those now though), but then decided to go for the CEVN-1BK electric violin instead, which is also black.   ;)

I think I made the right choice. I got a black violin, and it plays very quietly when I do not want to make a lot of noise.

MACJR

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MACJR
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One thing I noticed, after changing from the cheap Cecilio strings to Preludes, right away the electric/silent wasn't as silent as it had been. It was still quieter than an acoustic violin with a mute on though, so I figures all was okay.

However, lately, perhaps I have been starting to play a little more aggressively, or the strings have opened up a bit more, and now, that electric/silent violin is not silent at all. It is still less loud than an acoustic with a mute on, but not by as much. Perhaps it is a bit of both. I have been gaining speed and playing with a bit more passion lately.

Enter the mute. After placing a mute over the bridge of the electric/silent violin, it is back to being quiet again. Maybe even quieter than it was when it had those cheap Cecilio strings on it. Good then. Back to playing with a little more oomph!

MACJR

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MACJR
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Well, my brand new replacement cello bridge arrived in the mail. I just found it in my mailbox today.

Problem is, I do not own a cello.

The package says it is a "CEVN - BRIDGE: 4/4," but that is not the bridge that was inside.

Oh well. I am learning to adapt to the less than desirable shaped bridge on the electric violin as it is anyway. I may just buy a better bridge at some point. One thing I know for sure though, that cello bridge ain't going to fit.   ;)

MACJR

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MrYikes
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Picky, picky, picky.

 

Lol.  yeah, stuff happens.  another email should fix it.  Or you could cut off the legs and spend 10 hours reshaping and make it work.

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Fiddlerman
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MACJR said
Well, my brand new replacement cello bridge arrived in the mail. I just found it in my mailbox today.
Problem is, I do not own a cello.

The package says it is a "CEVN - BRIDGE: 4/4," but that is not the bridge that was inside.

Oh well. I am learning to adapt to the less than desirable shaped bridge on the electric violin as it is anyway. I may just buy a better bridge at some point. One thing I know for sure though, that cello bridge ain't going to fit.   ;)
MACJR  

Did you get that CEVN from us? I am sure that Cecilio made the mistake but man, that sucks. Though you did get a more valuable bridge. LOL

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

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MACJR
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Fiddlerman said

Did you get that CEVN from us? I am sure that Cecilio made the mistake but man, that sucks. Though you did get a more valuable bridge. LOL  

No, sorry, not this time. I bought this one from KK Music Store, through Amazon.

I have read quite a few complaints about KK Music Store sending the wrong replacement parts. Turns out this is a big issue for them, after all.

This misadventure did convince me to go through Fiddlershop for my next instrument purchase though. I think I will go for that Cecilio CVA-600 you have listed, but it will be May before I can buy it.

As for the cello bridge, it may be a more valuable bridge than a violin bridge, but without a cello, and no plans to buy a cello, just how valuable is it to me?   ;)

MACJR

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