new fiddle!

new fiddle!

Hey,
I’m currently looking for a new fiddle, does anyone have any good suggestions of makers and details, probably should be within Ireland!!🙂 Something with a rich tone, clear and good projection?
I was looking at a fiddle with the label saying it was made by Paulus Pilat from Budapest in 1887….anyone got any info on him is it likely to be authentic??it sounded great either way though!!
Thanks for the help!!🙂

Re: new fiddle!

If the Pilat is being sold by a major dealer or it has an appraisal certificate, then it ‘s probably authentic. Get an independent appraisal if you aren’t sure.

That fiddle would probably go for around $10,000. In that price range, you can have fiddles shipped to you for trial. That’s the best option, don’t worry about makers so much, just try out some fiddles until you find one that suits you.

Re: new fiddle!

Paul Doyle in Galway city. Affordable and good. Nice, nice man; you might have trouble getting out in under an hour as he’ll want to chat for a bit…

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Re: new fiddle!

Rab Cherry (Belfast), Paul Bradley (Galway)

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Re: new fiddle!

But be aware that any “new” new fiddle is going to take a lot of playing in before it starts to reach its potential - vigorous daily playing over a couple of years, for starters.

Re: new fiddle!

“But be aware that any “new” new fiddle is going to take a lot of playing in before it starts to reach its potential - vigorous daily playing over a couple of years, for starters.”

Yes, and you need to be careful to use good intonation to break it in right. I’ve never bought a brand-new instrument but I had to play in an old one after a varnish touch-up in the bridge area, and it was kind of fun to hear the tone improve over time.

I don’t know where I heard this, but I’ve heard that placing the filddle in front of a loudspeaker facing the cone and playing music through the speakers can help break the fiddle in. I haven’t tried it, and I don’t know if it’s true, but it seems like it might work.

Re: new fiddle!

So screetch, do you reckon If i put my new fiddle in front of a speaker playing my favourite fiddlers that it might pick up on their playing?
If I put it in front of slipknot the fiddle would probably self implode!
So, If I wanted to play Baroque would I play Bach and others At it? hmm interesting😎

Re: new fiddle!

I’m just passing along something I heard or read somewhere…I don’t really know if it works. But the idea is to get the wood and varnish to vibrate the same way they would when playing. So you’d probably want to use solo fiddle/violin music. I doubt that the style of music would make any difference.

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only kidding! but it does make sense. Im gonna give my fiddle a good dose of YM playing the S&P and see what happens.

Did you read about the dedamping on my link above, with the reverb, same idea ?

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“Did you read about the dedamping on my link above, with the reverb, same idea ?”

I read it but I don’t know what to think of it. I can’t imagine how it could work. But the cellist at the top of the page is pretty, so thanks for the link.

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Talking about new instruments (including new technology), how about this: http://www.luisandclark.com/ - it’s about carbon fibre violins, violas and cellos. Some interesting sound clips, but my impression of the one of the cello in the concert hall is that they may having been over-cooking the audio fx during the recording. If not, then that is one almighty cello - good for concertos but possibly not so much for general orchestral playing.
Violists seem to impressed by the sound, and one cello survived immersion in the Katrina floods for a fortnight, needing the strings, bridge and soundpost to be replaced to bring it back to its original sound.needing the strings, bridge and soundpost to be replaced to bring it back to its original sound.

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“needing only the strings, etc”

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The Strobal links explain some of the science and also the speaker idea. Though I reckon playing it JS is better than some sine wave!

Nice link lazy, impressive sounds certainly. very full and rich.

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Carbon fibre bows are great and fill a real need, as the Brazilian hardwood is scarce and expensive.

But I don’t see the need for the violin/fiddle body to be made of carbon fibre. I mean, maple and spruce aren’t exactly endangered.

Re: new fiddle!

“Yes, and you need to be careful to use good intonation to break it in right. I’ve never bought a brand-new instrument but I had to play in an old one after a varnish touch-up in the bridge area, and it was kind of fun to hear the tone improve over time.

I don’t know where I heard this, but I’ve heard that placing the filddle in front of a loudspeaker facing the cone and playing music through the speakers can help break the fiddle in. I haven’t tried it, and I don’t know if it’s true, but it seems like it might work.“
Oh, Stop it…

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Re: new fiddle!

A few off-the-cuff thoughts about carbon-fibre instruments …

One very important point about these carbon-fibre violins/violas/cellos/basses is that they are virtually immune to damage (think aircraft holds). The only replaceable items are the standard wooden bridge and soundpost, and the strings.

Note that Luis and Clark use non-slip internally geared pegs http://www.pegheds.com/ (something I’d seriously consider for my cello).

It appears that the playing-in period of these instruments is pretty well the playing-in period you’d need for any new bridge or set of strings.

I’d expect these carbon-fibre instruments to be significantly more powerful than their wood counterparts - something that would attract the soloist - and I strongly suspect this desire for more power is being demanded by the major orchestras and recording companies, and is in turn being driven by the increase in power of today’s orchestral brass and woodwind.

Regarding tonal quality, we all know that the better carbon-fibre bows are “almost” (but not quite) the equal of the best wood bows. I think you’d find that the carbon-fibre instruments, too, have their own distinctive tone colour, but not sufficiently different from the best wood instruments to be disruptive in ensemble playing.

The cost of these instruments - like carbon-fibre bows, are very significantly lower than a wood instrument of similar tone quality. Up-and-coming young musicians who can’t yet get hold of or afford a soloist-quality wood instrument would surely be interested.

One possible drawback about carbon-fibre instruments and bows, that I haven’t yet seen discussed, is the longevity of the material compared with wood. The carbon-fibre matrix includes specialised resins (probably epoxy), and what I would like to know is whether these are going to degrade over time, possibly altering the strength and tonal qualities of the structure (not necessarily adversely). Are we talking about a time-scale of years, decades, or centuries? If it’s decades or more then I don’t think many people would be all that worried if the instrument is going to last for a lifetime of playing before it packs up.

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The “Pegheds” tuning system for violins, violas, cellos, and flamenco guitars, is described in detail in U.S. Patent No. 5,998,713.

Re: new fiddle!

“Oh, Stop it…”

What do you mean, Farr?

Re: new fiddle!

lazyhound, I don’t know anything about Pegheds, but I do remember some people using Caspari pegs back in the day.

Mechanical pegs may be a big improvement for cellists, but for violin/fiddle standard friction pegs aren’t really a problem, if they are well-fitted and not too worn down. Once you know the up-down/down-up way to turn the pegs and how to push them in right, it’s easy. Much easier than it seems.

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Id be interested to hear how different players could make a carbon fiddle sound, they say they are very similar to each other. Out of my price range though😎 sigh…

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So far, I’ve only heard soundclips of acoustic carbon-fibre instruments (on the LuisandClark website mentioned above), and if all the instruments are made identically you’d expect them all from one maker to sound pretty well the same. However, there is plenty of wriggle room here - changing the strings can make a big difference to the tone (as everyone knows), as also can changing the bridge and soundpost. The bow itself has a big impact on the tone - it is 50% of the instrument-bow combination. And finally, never ignore the skill of the person playing.

There aren’t many carbon-fibre acoustic violins and cellos around at the moment - Luis and Clarke seem to make far more cellos than anything else, presumably because of the demand for a good affordable substitute for a decent wood cello which would otherwise be priced out of the market for many players. But as time goes by we can expect to see more and more c-f instruments coming on the market (as is now happening with c-f bows), and prices will drop accordingly.

As with all these things there will doubtless be superb top-of-the range instruments which the likes of Yo-Yo Ma would be happy to use (apparently, he does in fact use a Luis & Clark cello for some purposes), while at the other end there will be instruments sold on street stalls and directed at the tourist trade and beginners who don’t have good advice behind them - and we all know what unplayable disasters some of those instruments can be!

I agree with Screetch that properly fitted fiddle pegs shouldn’t be a problem for tuning, but tuning cello pegs can be close to the physiological limit for some cellists, which is why I’m sure some rely on steel strings and micro-tuners when they would prefer to use good quality gut/synthetic tuned from the peg. I have seen one or two elderly lady cellists tune with external machine heads fitted to their cellos (same sort of thing that double bass players use).