From Rick Przybylski
Posted January 10, 2010 at 02:58 AM
Anyone know anything about Morelli violins? I found what appears to be a very nice looking violin in a pawn shop that says on the inside "Morelli Violins By Italian Engineering Serial Number xxxxx". The shop did not have a price on it yet and my google searches have not come up with much. It appears to be new or like new and very nice grain in the wood. I haven't starting playing yet so I do not know how it sounds but was curious of the quality of these violins. Thanks for any info...
Stephen McClellan here from McClellan Instruments & Bows in Toronto.... I know of the Andreas Morelli label with a circular brand above the label that seem to be Gagliano copies. I believe they were made in the Karl Herrmann workshop in Germany circa 1920. Hope this helps,. SM
"Andreas Morelli" (if that's the Morelli you're looking for) was a group of East Germans in post WW II Europe. I know they were producing instruments at least through the mid 1960s. Some of them were quite beautifully constructed (the instruments, not the East Germans :-)), but "Italian Engineered" or even inspired. Not even close. Sold by the pound, as my violin making teacher used to say. Great regraduation projects, though.
I do have a Morelli violin circa 1920 with this stamp in side (no label):
It correspons to the description by Stephen and Robert. I've learned that the Karl Hermann workshop also produced the Guarneri model with the stamp Andreas Morelli.
The Morelli I have sound quite nice, but it is a student violin and I have the difficult to bring out vibrato and to vary the violin tone. The "dynamic range" is also limited.
I concur with Robert on the regraduation possibility.
In fact, while open the violin for fixing the top plate center joint, my luthier found that its top and back plate were not correctly graduated (very irregular thick). He corrected the graduation as he could and the violin speaks much easier. The control of vibrato, tone, and dynamic range are clearly improved. My luthier told me that he couldn't match the tap tone of the top and back plate, because the original back plate is already too thin at some place.
Therefore "Sold by pound" - as Robert said - is good advice here. A heavier Morelli would get more wood (and chance) for a correct regraduation.
The "timbre" is sweet and very clean (no harsh at all) but slightly "hollow" and lack of "focus" . The power is also so-so. I guess this is because the original back plate is a bit too thin (?) and the top vs back plates do not matched together. It still is a student violin, but much better. IMHO, it won't be good for solo works, but a very nice second violin for playing with other instruments in a group.
The (Andreas?) Morelli violin you have seen is probably the new one, because the inscription inside is very different to mine.
I recall that I've seen new Andreas Morelli violins available at Music Basics, but can not give comments on them.
my 2 cents.
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