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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.  

Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular race.  The soul emanates equal and eternal from bodies different in shape and color.  It is sufficient to say ‘Man’ to comprehend therein all rights.                                                    — Jose Marti 

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

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DennisS
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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.

Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular race.  The soul emanates equal and eternal from bodies different in shape and color.  It is sufficient to say ‘Man’ to comprehend therein all rights.                                                    — Jose Marti 

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

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DennisS
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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.

Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular race.  The soul emanates equal and eternal from bodies different in shape and color.  It is sufficient to say ‘Man’ to comprehend therein all rights.                                                    — Jose Marti 

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

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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.

Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular race.  The soul emanates equal and eternal from bodies different in shape and color.  It is sufficient to say ‘Man’ to comprehend therein all rights.                                                    — Jose Marti 

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

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Fiddlerman
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March 8, 2019 - 2:07 pm
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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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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.

Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular race.  The soul emanates equal and eternal from bodies different in shape and color.  It is sufficient to say ‘Man’ to comprehend therein all rights.                                                    — Jose Marti 

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

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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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TheLuckPenny
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March 4, 2020 - 8:50 pm
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For the Glasser composite violin - anyone have a recommendation on strings for it? I'm due for a string change, and looking to improve the tone on mine, make it brighter and project more. 

I bought the Glasser from Fiddlershop last summer and have been super happy with it - it is just what I expected, both the pros and cons: Stays in tune. Durable as can be. Good price, given the build quality and setup. On the down-side, it has a muddy or muffled tone - it is not bad at all, but bassy to my ear and doesn't project well.

I have the stock tailpiece on it, with (not really needed) fine tuners. I would swap it out with something lighter if someone recommends it. Any ideas welcome!...

Thanks!  -Brian

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Irv
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March 4, 2020 - 9:44 pm
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@TheLuckPenny and others.  I own two of them but I have not played them much and have not experimented with them at all (yet).  

You might try the NS metal strings by D’Addario.  Cheap enough.  

I completely agree with your assessment of the tailpiece on the glasser.  My first thought would be to try a 3/4 sized harp style using boxwood as the material.  Look up my thread on making a bungee cord sound post retainer before the change.  I use kevlar cord material to hold the tailpiece on the end pin.  

Please let me know what you decide because I will be going down the same road in the near future.

Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular race.  The soul emanates equal and eternal from bodies different in shape and color.  It is sufficient to say ‘Man’ to comprehend therein all rights.                                                    — Jose Marti 

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

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bocaholly
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March 5, 2020 - 9:02 am
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@TheLuckPenny  

I was at Fiddlershop the other day with a buddy who also bought a Glasser from them last year. We ran into Felix... master luthier and now head of the workshop... and he suggested Evah Pirazzi greens. The Glasser originally came with Larsen strings. The EP greens definitely focused the sound and - to some extent - cleared up that "bell ringing under water" sound. 

Don't get me wrong, I like bells ringing under water just fine. It's just not the sound most folks are looking for from a fiddle!

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Irv
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March 5, 2020 - 12:39 pm
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@bocaholly .  Thank you for pointing me in this direction.  I see a gold version and another without any colour designation (except for the Fiddlerman Shop).  I am colour blind.  Is the green description assumed if the word gold does not appear on the package?

Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular race.  The soul emanates equal and eternal from bodies different in shape and color.  It is sufficient to say ‘Man’ to comprehend therein all rights.                                                    — Jose Marti 

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

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bocaholly
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Irv, this is the item: 
Evah Pirazzi green violin string set

This is the Evah Pirazzi gold set version.
NB: The "gold" set comes either with a gold OR a silver wound g-string. The gold being pricier is really warm. Great on my Sima, too warm for already warm fiddles... so say some.

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AndrewH
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March 6, 2020 - 8:19 am
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Irv said
@bocaholly .  Thank you for pointing me in this direction.  I see a gold version and another without any colour designation (except for the Fiddlerman Shop).  I am colour blind.  Is the green description assumed if the word gold does not appear on the package?

  

Yes. "EP green" refers to the original Evah Pirazzi strings that have been on the market since the early 2000s, and any mention of Evah Pirazzi without a color descriptor always means green. Evah Pirazzi Gold is a fairly new introduction, released in 2012. They have very different characteristics. EP green is probably the brightest sounding synthetic string on the market, EP Gold is warmer than average. (A large percentage of EP Gold users switched to it from Obligato.) Both are noted for projecting extremely well.

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AndrewH
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March 6, 2020 - 8:24 am
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That said, I'm surprised EP greens are in the conversation if we're talking about playing on a budget -- among the well-known string brands they are almost certainly the most expensive to use, per hour of playing time. They're at the upper end of the price spectrum, and they don't last very long; they "burn bright and burn fast" so to speak. (The Golds are more expensive but also last significantly longer.)

It may be worth trying Vision Solo, which has been described as the "poor man's Evah Pirazzi"... still more expensive than most strings, but much more durable than EP.

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Irv
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@AndrewH and others.  I reread the thread and I did not find any reference to doing this on the cheap.  The glasser cf violin is an interesting product but has well documented tonal limitations.  Since I obtained my examples rather inexpensively, I am willing to spend a little money to experiment.  I am disappointed in the lack of longevity associated with these strings.  

Projection seems to be an associated issue and I wonder if a heavy string set would be advantageous.  The structure certainly could handle them.  

Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular race.  The soul emanates equal and eternal from bodies different in shape and color.  It is sufficient to say ‘Man’ to comprehend therein all rights.                                                    — Jose Marti 

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

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