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Testing out a couple of old violins
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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Anja
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June 9, 2023 - 4:03 am
Member Since: June 6, 2023
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IMG_20230608_203402.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_20230608_203350.jpgImage Enlargeretiquette_stradivarius05.jpg348367542_691285462808108_7379668950290452092_n.jpgImage Enlarger

 

On Wednesday I had meeting with a guitarist a bit closer to me, he had an old violin with suitcase and bow that was ready to be played, but he never came to it to play it. He asked 300 euro for the complete set, said he only knew the violinist who he bought it from assured him it was an old decent violin.

When I arrived, it took me a bit of time to get it in tune using the tuning pegs, but then it appeared as a very nice brilliant loud and very easy to play violin, very comparable in sound to what I already had.
Then all of a sudden this man noticed I was playing folky and he told me he had a bluegrass fiddle as well that he got from some ambassador. The fiddle itself was kept as decoration and stood there for years in a corner. I plucked the strings and then said somewhat surprised: this one is pretty well in tune! I could reach perfection by only using the four fine tuners ! The fiddle had a very nice set of easy to handle fine tuners on it and the sound was completely old time which made me smile but it played less easy than the first one I tried because you easily had two strings same time. It had a yellow label inside saying 'Memphis Bluegrass. Memphis, Tennessee. Also for this one he asked 300 euro.

I didn't buy however, because there was a meeting the day next with another seller who said to have a JTL violin for sale, on the other side of the country.

To make a long story short:
I drove all the way from the province of Limburg to Ghent and spent 5 hours in the car yesterday to look at this violin. I think I am now in possession of a JTL Stradivarius model from 1907, at least that is what is claimed, but honestly: had it been a "brandless" violin I would have wanted it too!

I immediately fell in love with the sound and the seller himself, because I told him that I wanted fine tuners, put another tailpiece with four fine tuners on it. He first let me listen while he played it himself and then I got to hold it in my hands and my heart suddenly started beating much faster, I was nervous and shivering while playing, but even while shivering a beautiful sound came out of it even with me, a more open and louder yet less sharp sound than my current violin.
I will take it to my own violin maker next week and will definitely ask his advice also regarding the strings, the seller did report to me that Thomastik Pirastro strings in his opinion were the best fit for this violin.
The violin reportedly came from the seller's father, who was also a musician and once bought it very long ago, I suspect in Slovakia, as the seller was Slovak and his whole family played various instruments, mostly style gypsy music he said. This violin was always neatly stored back in the case and sounds just blissful even with the old strings on it.
I paid a very reasonable price and got the old case and bow with it.
The violin smells old and at the moment I am playing on it and I am not letting go of this one in any case.

In the attachment a sample of me playing my newest fiddle.

This yellow label is inside underneath and below another label that says something like Charterhouse London and also Jerome Thibonville Lamy & co

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Mark
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June 9, 2023 - 5:11 am
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Anja

Congratulations, sounds good.

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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ABitRusty
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June 9, 2023 - 8:47 am
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Congratulations Anja!  

I like what youre playing.  What is the name of the tune?  sounds like something in AEAE or calico..  it has a really good ringing resonant ( probably wrong word) to it.  sounds cool, almost nordic.

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Mouse
June 9, 2023 - 9:05 am
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Thanks for sharing your adventure, Anja. It is great that you have a violin you love. Sounds great.

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

Please ignore any typos. My typing ability on a real typewriter did not transfer to these device key pads.

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ELCBK
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June 9, 2023 - 10:10 am
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@Anja -

Congratulations! 

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stringy
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June 9, 2023 - 3:18 pm
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Anja
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June 9, 2023 - 9:10 pm
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62-maggots-in-the-sheep-hide.pngImage EnlargerABitRusty said
Congratulations Anja!  

I like what youre playing.  What is the name of the tune?  sounds like something in AEAE or calico..  it has a really good ringing resonant ( probably wrong word) to it.  sounds cool, almost nordic.

  

It's supposed to be Maggots in the Sheep Hide, but my version is a bit different  so I call this one Maggots Somewhat in The Sheep Hide ;p

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ABitRusty
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June 9, 2023 - 10:45 pm
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thank you @anja !  That is a new one.

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Anja
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June 16, 2023 - 6:07 am
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Today I took the old violin to my regular luthier. Although he couldn't tell if it is really a 1907 JTL strad model , he told me I hadn't been ripped off: the instrument is in a reasonable to good condition. There is a thin line in the nerf below the tailpiece that was worrying me, but according to him you see this more often in old violins; it's the line between the two pieces of the front and he said that I should keep an eye on it but that it wasn't a big issue at the moment. He also said there was a weird bridge , which however can be replaced and that a cleaning wouldn't hurt for there was a lot of rosin all over the front that was old.

Tomorrow a Belgian expert in French violins , a luthier who happens to live closeby, will estimate the violin on its value and will hopefully give more answers on the big question: Is it really and old JTL?

I feel excited.

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ELCBK
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June 16, 2023 - 4:55 pm
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I found some interesting info on J.T.L. violins - Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy (J.T.L.)

I'd still keep in mind this was a 'company' of many luthiers - making copies of great violins.   

The [J.T.L.] company grew quickly, and at its peak it reached annual production rates of over 150,000 instruments produced by more than 1,000 luthiers. (Wikipedia) 

I'd have to wonder about quality during years of production like this, but I hope you discover great things about your new violin! 

Best of luck! 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/8c/15/1b/8c151b04d81748ca44f2612715f31ffb.gif

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Anja
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June 17, 2023 - 1:19 am
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I also read this, I am supposed to have a JTL stradivarius model if I may believe the labels inside :

 

https://www.princetonviolins.c.....us-violin/

 

There are better quality copies of Stradivarius instruments made by famous makers like Roth, Heberlein or JTL. Instruments of this caliber are highly sought after and prices are steadily rising. 

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