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Mendini MV 500 / 650 by Cecilio
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MrYikes
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May 5, 2018 - 8:08 am
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Irv, here are some pics of Vanessa showing the dots of fingernail polish I put on a violins fingerboard at (next to A string)d, g and d. Also I wanted you to see how low you can go on a chin rest over the tail.DSCN1382.JPGImage EnlargerDSCN1385.JPGImage EnlargerDSCN1384.JPGImage EnlargerDSCN1387.JPGImage Enlarger

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MrYikes
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BTW,  Vanessa serial is 200054288.

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Irv
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Hi MrYikes (and others).  Another looker.  

What are you using on the top surface of the chin rest?  It looks to be bubble wrap (which I think would be hot and uncomfortable).

By my calculation, there is only a 321 difference in serial numbers between our two violins.  That does not speak well for obtaining another example.  

You like your shoulder rest to be positioned in a similar manner as I do.  If you ever want to install a Isny, let me know and I can machine grooves in your existing chin rest to accept the Wittner mounting system.  Get a viola model as it provides longer mounting hooks. 

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

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MrYikes
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I use rubber shelf liner bought at walmart held on with double sided tape for the chin rest. I used to put it on the shoulder rest the same way. I love the stuff, but it will mark violin varnish if left on too long.
I use viola screws to mount a home made arm rest and tone gard on mandolin. I don't work on violins much anymore. Yesterday I removed a very stuck screw on an alto sax and drilled out another, soldered a key guard foot, replaced a few pads, felts and corks including a neck cork and adjusted its regulation.

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Irv
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Hi MrYikes (and others).  I have been reading good reviews about the Huayin (chinese) cello strings, which have a synthetic core.  Looks like they go for about $30 a set.  I also found that opera viola strings are only a few dollars more than a violin set.  I have several "e" strings already, so I think that I will get a few sets of the viola strings to have a couple of synthetic "c" strings for cheap.

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

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MrYikes
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Hi Irv, I have tried the Huayin violin strings, they were okay

for a couple of days then I had to take them off. I don't

remember if the H.I.H. brand I sent is Huayin. Opera has

several sellers, some of them sell steel strings as Opera

strings. You just have to make sure you are getting what

you want. I haven't checked but I'm pretty sure Alice also

makes cello strings, if you wanted another cheap source.
The thing about better strings is that the Jargar and Helicore

I have on the cello have been there for over a year and

sound the same today as when I put them on (well except

for the A string I broke and replaced). I have learned that

the well known brands are well known for a reason. I

enjoyed the time I spent searching for cheap strings and

violin products, it was fun, but nothing I found was

comparable to the higher priced items. And sadly I realized

that my time would have been better used if I had just spent

the time practicing. And yet finding the cheaper stuff allowed

me the freedom to experiment with it.  I'm sure you are having fun also.

BTw, it took me over 2 hours to post this. One hour this morning I tried but failed, then one hour now. It's one of those things where you get determined to accomplish something, even when what you are trying to do is not that important.

And then while waiting to get this posted I received a very full package in the mail.....thank you, Irv. What's in the bottle?

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Irv
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May 14, 2018 - 6:56 pm
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Hi MrYikes (and others).  I hope that the bottle did not break.  The bottle is filled with gell water spheres.  The top cap has a window of goretex (tm) fabric.  Remove the aluminum foil before use.  It is a violin case humidifier (home brew).  Goretex passes water vapor but retains liquid water.  The spheres act as a secondary safety feature to make sure that you do not have a case full of wetness.  Once spent with water, the spheres become small.  You can regenerate them by placing the spheres in distilled water, or they can be replaced inexpensively at a dollar store.  I am finding that a full bottle will humidify a violin case for about 4 months.  I am currently experimenting with larger bottles for guitar and cello cases.

I chickened out from sending you some of my home brew peg drops.  I use 1 oz booze "nip" glass bottles and I thought that everything else in the box would be ruined if the bottle broke in transit.  Next time for sure.

I am sorry that it took you so long to post the message.  No need to return the CD.  Pass it on to someone else if you do not like it.  

Let me know if you like the roasted violin bridges and I will send you some more.  I just got 50 to roast.  I am looking to obtain some "Cinderella" Chinese bridges but I don't find any on eBay.  It looks like I can obtain them from the manufacturer but the minimum order is 500 at a cost of about $0.20 each.  I am tempted.

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

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Irv
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Hello again MrYikes (and others).  I am confused.  You mentioned above that you would like to obtain a Fiddlerman soloist violin.  I was looking up old posts (I think concerning black bow hair) and I thought that you mentioned that you had a Fiddlerman Soloist.  Did you own one in the past?  

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

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MrYikes
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Hi Irv, I still have the FM Soloist. When I want to sound good, I pick her up (Maggie). She has a very delicate tone, very good wood, very light varnish. I feel she is too good for me, but I try. Vanessa (the Mendini 650) is what I use for daily practice. I feel I can be more casual with her.
The maple bridges look fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!! as do the cello sound posts. The bridges have a very nice clink when dropped on the glass table top. The ebony bridges will be worked onto violins in the near future. I have not seen or heard about them so they are a real treat. My violins sit out on my practice table 24/365. I take the cases outside once a year to air them out but that is the only time I touch them. I do appreciate your work in the design of this bottle.
Here is a thought for you: the diameter of a sound post is limited by the width of the f hole. If the hole was larger would a luthier use a wider sound post? Thinking that the larger post would present less danger to cracking the top? and if so, why not use a plate of wood(like a bridge) instead of a post. I have used 2 sound posts at the same time, but wasn't impressed with the results. You might have better results. I have also put a sound post (a short one) under the tailpiece, thinking about capturing more of the tail vibrations. With less expensive violins, I have felt at ease doing these types of experiments.
About the cd: she can play violin. She can play double stops. Her tone is very good. I feel she is auditioning for a position in the remake of Red Violin. But I can't dance to it. My wife is listening to it right now. I'm sure she will say, "Why don't you sound like that?" What shall I tell her?

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Irv
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May 15, 2018 - 4:00 pm
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Hi MrYikes.  I think that the roasted maple bridges sound really good when dropped (except for the first batch that I sent to Fiddlerman's Shop, when I autoclaved them following directions provided by the Internet.  They flopped around like noodles).

I was looking around for some with the ebony insert for the A and E strings, but I think that I am all out of those.  I bought a bridge with a machined slot in the center of it part way through the wood.  I am going to machine some more using the purchased one as a pattern and roast them.  

What number reed do you use on your saxophones and what type do you play?  I remembered a old French reed company that routed a hole part way through them and that they played very well indeed.  I can make some up for you to try.  I wonder how a roasted reed would sound like?  Do you play the clarinet?

Speaking about getting more sound out of the tailpiece area of a violin, look at the latest Youtube video by Rosa String Works where he is working on a Gibson mandolin.  It was manufactured with a wooden plate glued to the top plate in the tailpiece area.  It was provided with its own f holes.  You should be able to find it in the first five minutes of the video.

Regarding sound posts.  I have no idea why my roasted violin sound posts were so dark.  I think that the mottled areas you see on the cello soundposts were areas where I did not get all of the water out of the wood.  I am working on the use of thin wall carbon fiber sound posts with swivel ends for better wood contact.  

If you wanted to get a larger bearing area for the sound post, I think that you could make a hole on the center rib portions to put them in and the holes would also emit more sound.  I don't think that I would try that on your FM soloist!

I found a heavy plastic nip bottle and I will use that to provide you with some home brew peg drops.  Unfortunately it is tinted so you will not be able to see the suspended gold leaf.

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

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Irv
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May 15, 2018 - 4:12 pm
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Hi MrYikes again.  Look at my post on the second page of this thread (above where I posted the photos of the MV650).  In it, I describe how I now configure the bridge.  It is easy, looks great, and does not require using a chisel or a plane.  If you find it confusing, please let me know and I will start a separate thread with photos.

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

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MrYikes
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May 16, 2018 - 7:23 am
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Hi Irv, in the past I have used a small portion I cut out of the head of a dollar store tambourine to protect the bridge from cutting by the E string. But I got tired of getting super glue on my fingers and also realized that my bridges were not so valuable as to need protection. I make bridges the same as you but without a jig. It helps me keep my focus when my fingers are that close to a moving belt sander loaded with a course belt. I put enough belly on the cello bridge that it looks like it is bending backwards.
I play at playing tenor and alto sax using china Lade 2 1/2 reeds that I sand down to my playing level. I also have rico and vandoren and a bunch of plastic reeds. Because my "chops" are not built up yet, I wear myself out on soft reeds. Plastic reeds are what the industry is heading towards. The prominent Signature is $40 per reed. The oboe reed is $140, but no one likes it or uses it. Methinks thar be gold in them things. I also have a clarinet, but seldom play it...just don't like the sound (even though I play Moonlight Serenade and Rhapsody In Blue which have clarinet solos).
I have trouble watching videos here. I have 3kbs download speed so I have to wait to go to the library to save videos and then watch them at home but I seldom go to the library.
I thought those dark posts were ebony. They are that dark. Are those for 1/2 or 3/4 sized violins?

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Irv
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May 16, 2018 - 8:21 am
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Hello MrYikes.  You play the same range of reeds that I used to play (I played 1-1/2 on a Bari).  I will send you an "experimental" set of reeds of unbored, unbored but roasted, bored, and bored and roasted (2 or 3 each since there is some variation among reeds).  

I thought that I would not like to play the clarinet but the one I have has a wonderful, woody, tone.  It is too bad that they don't make a similar instrument with the fingering of a sax/flute.  

At one point, I wanted to buy a flute pitched to either Eb or Bb to be consistent with the pitch of the sax.  I believe that I found some on eBay that were pitched to Eb, but I never purchased one. 

I have not miked the violin sound posts yet but they were represented to me as for a 4/4 violin.  They certainly look like tooth picks next to the cello sound posts.

The video I mentioned showed a versi tone producer.  I gather that they were patented in the 1920's by a violin manufacturer (versi, which I never heard of).  In thinking about it last night, the mass and the inertia of the thing would tend to reduce vibration in the top plate, which I don't think is a good idea.

I am currently on eBay purchasing various styles and materials of 3/4 violin tail pieces.  Amazing how few of them are auctioned. I want to use them on 4/4 violins to see what they sound like.

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

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Irv
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Hi MrYikes.  I went through my reed drawer and found the box of my favorites.  They are called Charpen and they are french.  If you ever see some on eBay, pick them up.

I think that I will attach a reed on either side of a glass laboratory slide to keep them from warping when I roast them.  Wish me luck.   

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

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Irv
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Just purchased a MV500 that may look better than my MV650.  Will report back upon receipt.  Will wonders never cease!

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

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Irv
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Hello all following the thread.  My "new" Mendini MV500 came in today.  I only purchased this since I got it for less than a good "e" string (full disclosure, I did pay $20 for shipping as well).  Serial 201303833.  The Cecilio labelled bridge was installed backwards (label facing the finger board) but otherwise difficult to tell the issue since the bridge height of the g string was equal to the e string.  The bridge (and spare) are well fitted to the top plate but very thick.  

The sound post is about 7 mm behind the bridge and is almost at the center line of the instrument.  I will try it there but I am likely to move it.

The front plate is a very nice piece of spruce (like my MV 650) and the back is well figured.  Both plates are one piece.  The violin has a very nice finish similar to the MV 650.  The neck appears to have clear finish on it.  One bow still has the plastic wrapper on it and both have no rosin on them.  It came with a new Hill dark rosin and a bunch of beginner accessories (all in wrappers).  Stock Cecilio metal strings.  I question if the violin has ever been played.  

Plans for it.

I have run out of Knilling Perfection pegs and I don't want to pay retail for them.  I will either use the ebony pegs that came with it or replace them with a better set I took off a Cecilio CVN 800.  It is about time that I start using some of my home brew peg drops so I can do a report on them.

I don't have any more Wittner Isny shoulder rest bases, so I will see if I can get another one from Wittner.  I do have an ebony old style Flesch chin rest that I can mount on it.  I have a 3/4 ebony tail piece that I would like to try, but I will have to utilize a piccolo fine tuner for the "e" string (which will lessen the utility of the ligher tail piece for now).

I have just received a couple of sets of "Opera" brand perlon strings that I would like to try.  

I will roast the existing bridge (and spare) and reshape them to that similar to what I did with the MV 650.  

After all that, if I am not happy with the sound I will replace the existing sound post and try a roasted one in a position more in line with the "e" string foot of the bridge.

Here goes!

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

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Irv
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To MrYikes (and others).  Further thoughts on the diameter of the violin sound post.  I read a couple of books on the physics of the violin a few months back.  In one of them, an analysis was performed on the loading of a violin sound post using strain gauges.  As I remember, only a few pounds of load was placed on a properly fitted violin sound post.  Since it is acting in compression, a very small diameter spruce sound post would be capable of this load.  

Of greater concern are the thin top and bottom plates, which act in shear.  Obviously, good contact is required to equalize load as much as possible.  I thought of using 4 mm diameter carbon fiber thin wall tube with larger diameter spruce end plugs (for better plate connection points).  I purchased the material (which is very inexpensive from China because it is extensive used in hobby radio control planes) but never got around to trying it.  

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

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MrYikes
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May 22, 2018 - 9:40 am
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Hi Irv, you are really getting a collection there. Best of luck with them. Did you receive the package I sent?
A sound post fracture in a top plate is a difficult repair, so having a wider base would be a good thing, but through the years luthiers have probably tried every conceivable device to obtain the optimum sizing including a wider f hole so as to be able to install wider posts. But I found it fun to try it myself.
I will look for Charpin reeds, thanks for the info.
I'm working on designing an octave mechanism for alto sax using brass. One alto came without it. And I may need to do some soldering on the french horn. At a certain frequency I hear a buzz. I have to spin all the pegs in the violins today as the humidity has really spiked. If I don't spin them they will be really stuck.

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Irv
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May 22, 2018 - 11:06 am
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Hi MrYikes (and others).  

First off, I did receive your kind package.  Many thanks.  

I purchased two acoustic cellos in need of sound post repairs.  The first has a small crack in the maple back plate.  The second has a plywood top plate with a hole right through it.  I am going to take some photographs on my attempt to repair the second one since it is going to be interesting (I saw nothing on Youtube for guidance on this repair).  In both instances, I am going to make use of a very thin (perhaps 1/32") 2 ply maple "plywood" material that I obtained in the local Woodcraft store as an internal patch.  It is made by the Sauer & Company and is packaged in 3 each sheets sized 8.5" by 11" and costs $16 US.  I got both cellos very inexpensively on eBay but I had to waite a long time and watch the long march of lowering price points (about 1/2 year in each case).  I got both from the same seller (music store shipment returns).  It is interesting to me that no one else was interested to do this type of repair for what looks to be very nice student cellos.    

I am not going to take a plate off the cello in either repair.  If I were, I think that it would be rather easy to epoxy a layer of carbon fiber reinforcement in the sound post area.  The resulting surface may be too slick for the wood post to wedge against, I don't know without experiment. 

Good luck with your octave key fabrication.  I always wanted to try "lost wax" investment casting, but never had a suitable project.  My reed instruments were Couesnon, which used an extremely thin layer of lacquer that did not like heat.  Every solder touch up caused a large blemish in the lacquer.

Good news from Wittner.  They immediately responded to my request and they are sending me another Isny shoulder rest base and support clamps (for free).  They seem to be an extremely responsive and nice company to deal with.

I am going to do some roasting today for your reeds and my violin bridges for the MV 500.  

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

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Irv
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Hello MrYikes (and others).  I just completed roasting a batch of new Rico 2-1/2 tenor sax and new Xin Zhong 2-1/2 clarinette reeds.  I bored out some and left others "as is" for a comparison.  I also will send some unroasted reeds with and without bores so that you can do a complete comparison.

No idea how they are going to tasted but they sure should be sanitized.  They roasted very dark (like the violin sound post).  I attempted to keep them from warping by securing them to glass microscope slides.  It seems to have worked.

Please let me know what you think of them.  One wonders if this has ever been done before.

I will also send you a roasted violin bridge with ebony inserts on the D and E strings.  

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under different conditions.  Mark Twain

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