Bought the fiddle.

Edited: January 9, 2019, 4:51 AM · Maybe someone remembers my recent post on getting extremely emotional with a piece of wood... I was scouting for a new violin and this one caught my heart offguard completely.

Many people warned me against any rush decisions here and I took an advice. I let it sit and cool down for 3 weeks.

I visited the seller again with a violinist from Ljubljana philharmonic orchestra and a band mate (also opera singer), who is most discerning and technical when it comes to sound and production.

After a 2 hour test of 4 distinct violins and come 6 different bows we agreed that we found a gem, so I bought the fiddle.

Slightly better images here:

Any experts around that can at least speculate on the origin of this instrument?

Replies (34)

Edited: January 9, 2019, 5:02 AM · On one hand, those advices from experienced folks are sound advices. But on the other hand, who gonna judge you for how you want to live your life?

I had the same feeling every now and then when I think I found something really unique and treasure it, and want to share with the world, only to find the world disagree with you and seemingly rains on your parade.

If you feel happy with the purchase, and someone in real life that you trust agrees with you, thats all it matters, and congratulations! Enjoy your new purchase. Nothing feels like the exciment of getting a new toys we longed for!

January 9, 2019, 6:04 AM · Thanx for the thoughts.

And yes. The instrument needs an expert to set up the sound post (I set it up myself, so it's amateurish at best), perhaps a new bridge, although this one is playable and has a cool snobbish 'Tourte' sign on it. And most of all - new set of strings.

But it sounds - as my wife described it - Insolent, broad and in your face.

Bonus - I got an unbranded bow with it (whatever). I can not make an informed opinion on weather it's brazilwood or prenambucco, but it draws a bigger and bolder sound than my carbon JonPaul. It also seems to have a more vibrant and consonant attack and some richness in overtones that JP does not have.

As for the world raining on my parade - in the end what matters is if they can hear me in the back of the hall and if I have room to spare to do some phrasing - even better...

January 9, 2019, 7:40 AM · Tony, congratulations. And although I'm not a big fan of the aesthetics from the Maggini style double layer, this violin definitely does look beautiful!
I'd have the cracks cleaned and redone one day (a competent restorer will be able to make them vanish completely). Since you're from Slovenia - in case you were looking for a good adress in Central Europe, just leave me a PM.
January 9, 2019, 3:58 PM · Nuuska. Although I am not a fan of double purfling either - it kind of looks ok. The photos however do not do this violin justice.
It's flames are 3D. They switch shades of yellow, and brownish orange when you look at them from different angles.

I will first talk to mr. Musek in Slovenia about the cracks and setup, but if he turns me down I will surely contact you.

January 9, 2019, 4:21 PM · I like your enthusiasm and I do understand you perfectly. You're always welcome, and it's just a few hours from your place.
January 9, 2019, 4:28 PM · Happy as a pig in the mud! :) :) :) :)
January 9, 2019, 4:39 PM · It is great that you found a gem!

If you don't mind me asking, was the final price roughly the same or cheaper than the asking price?

January 10, 2019, 2:57 AM · Let's hear a recording!
January 10, 2019, 9:50 AM · Let's hear it live!
January 10, 2019, 9:50 AM · ... and also play it, hopefully... ;-)
January 11, 2019, 4:20 PM · I promisse I will. I have a set of fresh Rondo strings on the way (old ones are pretty terrible). I’ll do it in a studio with a proper mike too.
January 11, 2019, 6:18 PM · Some excellent fishing in the tributaries to Lake Bled. Slovenia is a beautiful country.
January 11, 2019, 7:20 PM · a copy of Brescian long model, with a sound post crack? How long is the body and vibrating string?
January 12, 2019, 9:09 AM · Regarding origin of the instrument: better photos would help, see

What Rocky says. If this is a longer violin - well over 36 cm length of back - value is less. Double soundpost crack that has only been glued from the top by the looks of it: devalues the instrument quite a bit as a good repair is costly. Hope you took that into consideration when buying.

January 12, 2019, 9:43 AM · Congrats! I would leave the set up as is, since this is how you loved it (even with your soundpost setting) so you get to really know the instrument before having a luthier "fix" it. Sometimes they can make things more correct, but it then sounds less good (or different). So glad you found your piece of heaven...
Edited: January 12, 2019, 11:04 AM · "I had the same feeling every now and then when I think I found something really unique and treasure it, and want to share with the world, only to find the world disagree with you and seemingly rains on your parade.

If you feel happy with the purchase, and someone in real life that you trust agrees with you, thats all it matters, and congratulations!"

Well, let's just be a little realistic: many people run out and buy musical instruments without bothering to educate themselves. And naturally, they get upset when their new prized possession is criticized.

I remember the day I brought my new violin--which "could have been Italian!" and had a great story "played in the Cleveland Orchestra for 50 years!" to my teacher in grad school:
"How do you like this violin?"
"I don't."

Not a good day, especially with amount of money I had spent.

As a piano technician, I run into this all the time: someone runs out and buys a piece of junk, often because it's old or has a nice back story ("my great granny brought it in a prairie schooner in 1871!) or nice wood. Then I have to tell them how much it will cost to make it play.

I have no comments on the violin in question because I haven't played it. And I try to be diplomatic when facing a poor piano decision in the home. All I can say is that one should do some research about what it is you're buying. Most people probably spend more time online researching vacuum cleaners or toasters than musical instruments, which they often buy on simple gut feelings or looks. Unfortunate.

Edited: January 12, 2019, 1:44 PM · Hendrik, there is nothing wrong about long pattern - some of them sound really nice, especially in lower register. I have a soft spot for those....
January 12, 2019, 1:48 PM · I played one for years, was about 36.5 cm LOB, I loved that violin too. But long pattern violins go for less than their regular size siblings.
January 14, 2019, 2:40 AM · Rocky: I measured the body length of the body. It's 35.8 cm. So the body itself is not really "long pattern". The fingerboard is about 3mm shorter than my other violin, however the distance between nut and bridge is about 5mm more. So - it feels very manly (large) when playing it, although the body is normal length and it's quite narrow.
Edited: January 24, 2019, 4:14 PM · If anyone is interested what I fell in love with - here is some raw (untampered) recordings I made tonight in our studio.

Microphone: RØDE NT2-A
Audio interface: Tascam iXZ

I recorded 1 single take of each (all mistakes and shitck included) on an Ipad with Garage Band software.

The default effect is 'Nice Room' or something, so I left it in and it's 'nice' or whatever.




January 24, 2019, 5:53 PM · Cool recordings. Nice-sounding violin. I liked your Chaconne more than your Elgar. :)
January 24, 2019, 8:42 PM · The playing has very nice reverb - an indicator of a very good violin. But I'm not sure how much the recorder contributed to it. I think you should also play and upload your previous violin sound (same pieces) so people can compare.
Edited: January 24, 2019, 9:27 PM · I like the "attack" - the way sound starts. The violin speaks like the one with a good lineage..... it also has the depth and what I call "the immediacy of the sound" (could be also due to a very good recording). Seems balanced. Well, tovariš Anzlovar, it appears that you did find your treasure chest over the rainbow!
January 24, 2019, 9:43 PM · Very nice tone! I thought I was listening to David Garret!
January 25, 2019, 1:27 AM · And this sound was more or less the reason why I bought a cracked violin.
It sounds “adult”. I started sounding like one of the big guys.

Of course - after a couple of weeks with it I relize it does not only amplify the good stuf. It makes my poor bowing technique quite glaringly obvious - say Elgar show that perfectly. And of course - intonation. Because the playing lenght of the string is some 3 mm longer - i need to rewire my brain.

But BOY does it react. It’s like a Ferrarri. If you are not accurate you will find yourself in the ditch immediately.

Edited: January 25, 2019, 2:28 AM · Oh, some of that “reverb” is deffinately digital (garage band offered that as default). I just used less of it than the software default setting.
The studio is a treated room, so it’s extremely dry and the violin would sound very dry and lost in it...
But I was some 3 feet away from the mike (slightly more for chaconne), so it’s you can hear the high pitched hiss that is present on all strings.
Oh, and it’s not the surface noise of the bow - my other violin does not have this component in it’s sound.
Edited: January 25, 2019, 4:53 AM · In Elgar Salut, I also couldn't discern when you changed between A and E strings ... Unlike many other violins where the E shoots brighter to my amateur ears. Very warm and even across, this violin. I think it's a very good violin that can sing.
January 25, 2019, 6:03 AM · to me the violin sounds a bit boxed up?
January 25, 2019, 6:33 AM · jean - could be. I have just experienced this listening on a set of closed earphones. I did not have this feeling on open back earphones...

Perhaps the soundpost setting is a bit far to the back. In any case... I need to first get the cracks fixed properly. Then positioning the soundpost should be less problematic...

January 25, 2019, 9:59 AM · Tony, your excitement is contagious. :-)

Congratulations on getting the instrument of your dreams.

January 25, 2019, 10:14 AM · Tony if there are still cracks that need to be fixed then I have not said anything!!
January 26, 2019, 10:39 PM · Seems like a really nice sounding violin. Now you can do what I did when I started playing expensive violins and realize how much of the problems were you vs the violin itself :)
Edited: January 27, 2019, 6:39 PM · Tom - don’t remember. We also play a mashed-up arrangement, so I throw in bits from Perlman’s rendition as well as mixing the 1st and 2nd violin. But the accompaniatto part is real, I remember learning it from a score... perhaps imslp has something...

Found it, or at least something similar.

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