...strangled... I just bought a 1935 violin off Craigslist that was repaired in 2004. A new coat of varnish or lacquer was applied over the belly and the repaired crack, in an overly generous manner. I curse the guy who did it! The varnish/lacquer seems especially thick at the base of the curves along the purfling. I can see a place where some pooled and evidence of 2 drips that were sanded down on the ribs. The bridge is one of those fat Aubert things with pivoting legs.
This morning I set the sound post and bridge- in a totally ignorant fashion. If I had sanding supplies, I would have sanded the bridge down to a fraction of itself, but alas, my sandpaper is 70 miles away.
The instrument sounds like my 1907 instrument, by the same maker, with a bad head cold. I know having someone put on a custom fit real bridge and setting the sound post will make a real difference in the sound, but --
The instrument hasn't been played since the 'repair' was done. Might it improve with playing?
Can removing a thick coat of varnish clean up tone? If so, what type of solvents would I try? Where would I find them? Or, is this a job for a luthier? I need to find me one...
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