9/09/2011

c.1890, c.1920, c.1930 Triple Fiddle Post


I figured I'd get these three fiddles, all bought together, and then all fixed together, all done in one post... and show them each piece-by-piece so the differences can be seen easily. First up is a c.1890 Amati copy, German made (they're all German imports, actually). These are all also 4/4 size.


This much redder, lower quality (but still built well) model is apparently a "Storioni" copy and dates around c.1920-30 judging by the case and goodies it came with.


This last one has much wider grained spruce for the top than the others and is also a much deeper body. It's also apparently an Amati copy, and this one probably dates to the teens or 1920s.


Here's #1 again.




#1 had the best-fit pegs "right out of the box." It also has a true ebony fingerboard, nut, and tailpiece with some (presumably replacement) generic hardwood (dyed) pegs.


#2, in contrast, has a very worn, "ebonized" hardwood fingerboard.


#3 has a very peculiar veneered-hardwood board that's wrapped around a core of pine (I know this from having to reglue the board). Totally strange to me, and very time consuming if the only benefit is saving a bit of hardwood. The other guess is that maybe this was done to save weight?


#1, you can tell, is more refined with nicer flamed maple for the back and sides, and on the top a tightly-grained spruce soundboard with a good, properly graduated plate.


#2 is the plainest maple for the back and sides, flamed here and there, but not evenly.


#3 has some decent flame here and there but it's wider and a little sporadic.


#1 with that pretty, subdued vintaged finish.


Note the spare flame "here and there" on the reddy.


#3 with the pretty flame that's wider and more random.














All of these have various wire, rather than gut or synthetic, "tailgut." This is how they came and it works just fine, so I left it.



These all came with cases and various string packs, broken or abused bows, etc. #1 had a very prettily-inlaid floral motif on the bow, but the bow itself is a bit beat.

Tonally, this is how they stand:

#1 is warm, sweet, controlled, and somber if desired. Good volume and makes a great cross-tuned fiddle or rosy-sounding violin.

#2 is clear, precise, and rather dry with good volume.

#3 is like #2 but much louder and would make a great fiddle, though the warmth on the bass end is nothing to write home about.

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