7/08/2012

c.1900 German-made Amati-label 4/4 Violin


I picked up this nice full-size German "trade" violin this morning. It was, luckily, in great condition and only in need of a good setup, cleaning, new strings, and replacement chinrest and E-string fine tuner.

Because they're excellent value and have excellent tone, I use John Pearse "Mezzo" strings standard on violins. They're essentially Thomastik Dominant copies and on this violin give a great, husky, loud, and balanced tone.


Amazingly, the whole instrument is crack free and free of old repairs. The original finish shined right up with just a minimum of effort.


The friction pegs work "well enough for government work." The scroll isn't fancily-carved but still looks nice.

Ebony nut and fingerboard.



This instrument has a nice medium-amber color to it. The (original) bridge is fitted well enough but has a slight tilt-forward to it. It's nothing to worry about yet but in the future it will need to be replaced (but, one can say that about any violin bridge, for that matter).


Good ebony tailpiece. The fine tuner is vintage stock from my parts bin, as is the center-mounted old-plastic chinrest.


Bogus label.



While the flame on the neck is scant, the medium flame to the sides and back is ample enough and looks great.




Pretty enough!



Good neck set.


I generally play two fiddles "out" or in jam group, to get alternate tunings, and I was very tempted to swap this in for my current "second fiddle" as it has such a loud, balanced tonality. It's certainly bold and big-sounding for fiddle or lead playing but since my "first" fiddle is very similar in tone I decided to retain the current "second" since it has a different tone.


The action is quick and fast, but with a new (taller) bridge this would also be more suitable to classical musicians who seem to prefer (not as a rule, though) higher action especially on the lower strings.


Oh, right, I also swapped out the original gut tailgut for some new nylon tailgut. It's simply more stable so I do this "standard" these days.


It comes with a beat-up, but cool old wooden case. Impractical for carrying all your gear, but it looks lovely in the home.


The top of the case has a long crack in it.

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