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Glasser composite violin?
Does anybody have any experience with one?
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Batto
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March 6, 2019 - 2:28 pm
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I have my old violin which I do plan on fixing up because I love its dark somber mature sound, but this also got me thinking that maybe I might want something thats a bit more resilient to humidity and stuff.

However its still a good chunk of change, and I'm curious to its sound because well between the human ear, youtube compression, and my speakers on my MacBook hearing the nuanced tones is a challenge.

Also just what do people think of them?

Frankly I keep on looking at it and the fiddler man concert deluxe because of it being a complete outfit for roughly the same price.

I really like dark sounding instruments, and I've noticed a lot of new instruments tend to lean more towards the bright side.

I don't know I'm on the fence and maybe its because I can't practice on anything right now that I'm looking at other things.

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Irv
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March 6, 2019 - 9:09 pm
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I purchased a Glasser carbon fiber violin a few months ago because I wanted an acoustically pure test bed for modifications (and no, @bocaholly , I am not going to submit it to the hih operation).  I got a cf chin guard for it because, well, why not.

 I saw no reason for it to have a Wittner tail piece with integrated fine tuners because it already has Knilling Perfection pegs.  I found a good deal on a metal Frirsz tail piece (unfortunately, not the skeletonized one) so that is going on.  And, of course, a Wittner Isny shoulder rest.

The luthier at Glasser did a nice job on it.  It has a name brand bridge and it is well fitted and heart carved (it is now roasted).  The sound post is mounted almost under the treble bridge foot, which is odd, but I am going to leave it there for now.

It is a heavy violin and comes in a well protecting cardboard shipping box without a bow.  It is my most expensive purchase but it appears to be a bargain for what I paid for it.  I have not played it yet.  Since you have expressed an interest, I will find some time in the next few days to perform a set up and try it out for you.  

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

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DennisS
Long Valley, NJ/Hobe Sound, FL
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March 6, 2019 - 10:20 pm
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I purchased a Glasser composite violin about a month ago from Fiddlershop as a back-up for my primary violin (made by Jonathan Cooper - a U.S. maker).  I played at an outdoor event here in Florida and didn't want to risk my more valuable fiddle to exposure to the elements.  That said - here are my impressions of the Glasser.  As compared to the Cooper, the Glasser:

- Has a pure, somewhat uncolored tone.  You could also characterize it as a little flat.  The Cooper violin has much more color and depth.  However, there are some pieces in which a pure tone sounds very good.

- Doesn't play quite as loudly as the Cooper.

- Is somewhat heavier.

- Is set up well and very easy to play.  I find the bridge on the Glasser to be more curved than the flatter bridge on the Cooper, which is set up as a "fiddle."  Do fiddles have flatter bridges than violins intended for classical music???  

The sound of the Glasser will vary significantly with the bow being used.  When used with a carbon fiber bow, it plays too softly (and really flat).  It sounds much better and louder with my Chinese pernambuco bows.

I really like the Perfection pegs on the Glasser.  I am thinking about putting these on  the Cooper and ditching the fine tuners.

I leave the Glasser on a sofa with shoulder rest installed so I can pick it up and play it often during the day.

Overall, I like the Glasser a lot and am glad to have it as a back-up.  However, if I didn't have a primary (i.e., a "good" violin), I'd save my money for that first and use your "old" violin as a backup.  

Good luck with your choice.

Dennis

If I don't have time for a short post, I'll write a long post - (adapted from Mark Twain)

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Irv
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March 6, 2019 - 10:36 pm
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Hi @DennisS and others.  Is your sound post very close to the bridge as mine?

I don’t know the model of strings that were placed on it.  Are they synthetic core?  Other makers of carbon fiber violins seem to want steel core strings.  Perhaps this is an attempt to give it more volume.  I noticed that the neck was set without much projection, which tends to reduce instrument volume.  Obviously, there can be no change in this regard.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

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DennisS
Long Valley, NJ/Hobe Sound, FL
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March 6, 2019 - 11:01 pm
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Irv said
Hi @DennisS and others.  Is your sound post very close to the bridge as mine?

I don’t know the model of strings that were placed on it.  Are they synthetic core?  Other makers of carbon fiber violins seem to want steel core strings.  Perhaps this is an attempt to give it more volume.  I noticed that the neck was set without much projection, which tends to reduce instrument volume.  Obviously, there can be no change in this regard.  

Irv - Yes the soundpost is set very close to the bridge.  Looking at it carefully, the forward edge (toward the scroll) of the soundpost very nearly lines up with the aft edge of the bridge.  Comparatively, the forward edge of the soundpost on my Cooper is set about a quarter inch aft of the bridge.  The instrument comes with Larsen strings, which look to be synthetic core.  

While I really like the Glasser, especially for offhand practice, I would not recommend it over a wood violin if you could only have one.  Of course, who would be happy with only one violin!  As a test bed for possible violin mods, it's perfect.

Dennis

If I don't have time for a short post, I'll write a long post - (adapted from Mark Twain)

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Irv
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March 7, 2019 - 12:31 am
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Other cf violin vendors seem to go with Pirastro Chromcor as the string selection.  I might make a change to them if I find the Larsen wanting.  The strings are cheap enough.  I think that I have assembled enough accessories that I can mix and match to get an acceptable performance out of it.  Hopefully, they have been assembled with enough precision that results can be applied across instruments.   

The only fault I can find in build quality is the fingerboard projection.  Tertis moved the sound post outboard from the bridge to get more volume from his viola design.  We can be rather free in this regard since obviously we have no wood grain pattern to worry about.

It make sense that the bow selection is important.  Fortunately I stumbled upon a very nice German pernambuco bow that should fit the bill nicely.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

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Batto
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March 7, 2019 - 9:10 am
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So the Composite violin reacts heavily to the bows like an electric violin does? I’m really curious about one just because it might be a good back up. The main selling point to me is the plantery pegs it comes with, I wonder if the set up is critical to what sounds it makes?

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Irv
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March 7, 2019 - 9:54 am
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I have Knilling Perfection pegs on several of my violins and can tell you they do not add or subtract from the acoustics of the instrument, except that they allow the avoidance of fine tuners on the tail piece.  Extending the after string length and lowering tail piece mass does make an acoustic difference.  Glasser did not fully exploit the advantage since it chose to use integral fine tuners on the tail piece and therefore added useless mass.  

Carbon fiber is both the advantage and perhaps burden of this instrument.  It is completely stable and immensely strong.  The more expensive cf instruments (+$2000) capitalize on the strength of the material by making an extremely light instrument.  It has long been said that the best violins are so light that they are just able to accommodate the structural loads placed on them and not one ounce more.  Glasser chose to make a tank of an instrument.  This is likely the reason why they could offer it at such a reasonable cost.  And the reason why they are not flying off the shelves.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 8, 2019 - 2:07 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I agree with a lot of the descriptions above. It is as mentioned heavier than desired. In my opinion it's a bit boxy sounding if that makes sense.

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

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Irv
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March 11, 2019 - 2:10 pm
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Another data point.

Watched a YouTube video of someone with a Luis and Clark cf violin.  She paid a luthier to extensively move around the sound post to achieve the most even sound balance across strings.  He found it best positioned directly under the bridge.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

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Amateur
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March 11, 2019 - 4:27 pm
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I've been interested in the Glasser violin. My current violin is cheaper and this would be an upgrade.  I have no illusions that a $480 violin would have the tone of one costing $10k but I figured it may serve well for my purposes and would be a good platform for a pickup(or I may just buy one of the ones with the electronics pre-installed). Unfortunately, I haven't been able to see one in person. The only local shop won't deal with carbon fiber violins.

Glasser also sells the only 5 string viola that can be had for under 1k which also intrigues me. When the time comes I may have to give it a closer look.

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Fiddlerman
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March 11, 2019 - 10:14 pm
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They are very heavy. The 5 string is especially heavy.

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

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