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Thread: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

  1. #1

    Default Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    I think as a life-long guitar and ukulele player, the aesthetic appeal of an F style is hard to ignore. (A new look when I open the case.....like when I gasp every time I open my 5 year old Telecaster case!). I understand about the "bang for the buck" too. It occurred to me, what if they changed the shape of a violin and made it sort of rounded without the scroll, but it played played the same? it's hard to imagine anyone rushing out to buy one. I suppose eventually someone would, and down the road, the "bang for the buck" would factor in too!

    Anyway, I'm excited to join your club and your cafe!

  2. #2
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    Violinists are far more conservative about aesthetics than mandolinists—you would lose your shirt.

    A rounded body wouldn't work. The C-bouts of a violin, the ones that curve inward, are necessary so you can reach the strings with the bow. Without them, you would be hitting the edges all the time. You occasionally see a violin without the points, but it's rare. There have been a few designs other than scrolls used; lion's heads or people's heads mainly. They probably take more time and skill to carve than a scroll does. I have been told the scroll (or an alternative) is necessary for balance, but I don't know if that is true.

    A few makers are bending the parameters. David Rivinius's violas are designed for ergonomic reasons. I love the way they look, but not everyone does. Anne Cole plays with tradition, and her instruments are lovely. All in all, though, there is far more variation in mandolin design.

  3. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    My main fiddles are completely pointless.

    Most people, including fiddlers don't even notice that they are odd. I do like they way they sound for fiddling. They were all designed and made in 1915 and patented.
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    Jim

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    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

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  5. #4
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    Well Jim, I ain't never those before! Very cool.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Louise NM View Post
    Violinists are far more conservative about aesthetics than mandolinists—you would lose your shirt.

    A rounded body wouldn't work. The C-bouts of a violin, the ones that curve inward, are necessary so you can reach the strings with the bow. Without them, you would be hitting the edges all the time. You occasionally see a violin without the points, but it's rare. There have been a few designs other than scrolls used; lion's heads or people's heads mainly. They probably take more time and skill to carve than a scroll does. I have been told the scroll (or an alternative) is necessary for balance, but I don't know if that is true.

    A few makers are bending the parameters. David Rivinius's violas are designed for ergonomic reasons. I love the way they look, but not everyone does. Anne Cole plays with tradition, and her instruments are lovely. All in all, though, there is far more variation in mandolin design.
    Thank you for this!!!

  7. #6

    Default Re: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    My main fiddles are completely pointless.

    Most people, including fiddlers don't even notice that they are odd. I do like they way they sound for fiddling. They were all designed and made in 1915 and patented.
    WOW. Very cool and interesting. Thanks!

  8. #7
    Barn Cat Mandolins Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    My main fiddles are completely pointless.

    Most people, including fiddlers don't even notice that they are odd. I do like they way they sound for fiddling. They were all designed and made in 1915 and patented.
    Wow Jim, I sure like these. I am usually drawn to instruments that are a little out of the ordinary anyway, and these three are gorgeous. The dark one looks especially attractive to me. How difficult was it to come up with three of these rare gems? Thanks for showing us them!
    Purr more, hiss less. Barn Cat Mandolins Photo Album

  9. #8
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    Joshua Bell played a corner less Stradivarius violin early in his career.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  10. #9
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    Here is one I made awhile back.....

    Sounds great, I still have it.
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    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  12. #10

    Default Re: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    You haven’t mentioned your budget, but if you are just starting out I would encourage you to go for playability and tone and you definitely can stretch it more on an A or flattop to get you going. And if you buy used and get a decent deal you can often get most of your money out when you trade up to something or towards the scroll. I promise if it doesn’t sound good, feel good, or play good when you open the case and see a scroll it probably won’t excite you too much regardless of what it looks like.

  13. #11
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    Sorry, did not mean to hijack the thread! Just buy an Eastman 315 and enjoy the start of the journey.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  14. #12
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by paulcw16 View Post
    It occurred to me, what if they changed the shape of a violin and made it sort of rounded without the scroll, but it played played the same? it's hard to imagine anyone rushing out to buy one...
    You mean like this?

    https://luisandclark.com/product/violin/

    Looks (quite) like a violin, plays like one - but it's not fragile, you can play it in the rain or 95 degrees full sun, and you could probably stand on it. I have one - it just works (once the luthier sorted sound post and strings out), and it sounds great. They make cellos too, and they're good too. Someone willl probably make a similar mandolin soon (I hope...).

  15. #13
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    Or perhaps a fiddle like this?Click image for larger version. 

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    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
    2017 Ratliff R5 Custom #1148
    Several nice old Fiddles
    2007 Martin 000-15S 12 fret Auditorium-slot head
    Deering Classic Open Back
    Too many microphones

    BridgerCreekBoys.com

  16. #14
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Newbie Trying to Make a Choice

    Have a look round this site - Tim Phillips Violins in UK, he makes every non standard fiddle shape you can think of (and some mandolins):

    https://www.timsviolins.co.uk/instruments/salvador/

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