The Goat Rodeo with Yo-Yo Ma

Whether you’re a performer or an enthusiast, being exposed to new music broadens the mind and soul.  Here’s something you may enjoy.

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Violin – Berlin c. 1895 – $6500

This instrument is typical of the violins emanating from Berlin at end of the 19th century. They were often antiqued. Although this particular fiddle is over one hundred years old, it is still in excellent condition. Ironically, it would have looked virtually this old the day it was made. This violin was acquired from the estate of a deceased German conductor living in Roswell, Georgia. It was purchased along with a French bow from the same period. It is valued at $6500 based on what we know; it was built in Berlin c.1895 and held in the possession of knowledgable music professionals.

Many players and collectors prize the instruments made in Berlin during this period. They often have a unique personality as compared to instruments emanating from the Markneukirchen or Mittenwald makers, two other major centers of German making at the turn of the century. The tone is warm and balanced with an even production of overtones on the low and high end that do a great job of supporting the primary frequency. While it has a strong projection, it lacks the scratch or crunch common to instruments built to project at high levels.

It is built in the style of a Stradivarius. The varnish is a deep orange brown and speaks to the antiquity and the time period of which it was made. The materials are of exceptional quality. The one-piece back is beautifully flamed with matching ribs. The top is made from an alluring piece of spruce with very even growth. The ebony fittings are of the highest quality and are comfortable to the touch, giving this instrument a comfortable feel the moment you rest your chin.

This violin is a joy to view, hear and play. We invite you to visit our shop and experience this delightful gem.

Click the links below the gallery to view large, zoomable pictures in a separate window.

 

Large View of Front

Large View of Back

Large View of Side

 

Five things that determine violin string height, making your instrument easier (or harder) to play

Five things that effect violin string height making your violin easier or more difficult to play…

 

There are many factors that determine how beautiful a stringed instrument will sound when it is played, but there are also several factors that determine how easy or difficult it will be to play at all. One of the most crucial elements is how far the strings are from the fingerboard.  Here are five things to look for that effect violin string height.

1. Bridge Height

The bridge plays an important roll in the playability of a violin. Here are a few things to note when examining the bridge. Is it warped? When looking at a bridge from the side, it should be straight. If it’s warped at all, that will not only affect the string height, but also the sound of the instrument. The wood should be hard. If you can dent it with your fingernail, you’re probably in for a replacement in the near future. The strings should be evenly spaced in a uniformed fashion. Make sure that your bridge is initially set by a professional luthier to ensure it is adjusted to fit that individual instrument.

2. Nut Height

The height of the nut should be ½ the thickness of the string. Example: if the string is 2mm thick, the point where the string makes contact with the nut should be 1mm from the fingerboard. Some players and luthiers differ on this philosophy, but this is a good rule of thumb. Keep in mind, it is common for the strings to cut into the nut over time. If your strings are too close to begin with, you’ll be in the shop within a few months needing costly adjustments.

3. Fingerboard Scoop

Every fingerboard has a “scoop” much like a skateboard ramp. One way to check this scoop is to put the edge of a ruler against the fingerboard or hold down the string at the nut and end of the board. Look to see that the curve is smooth and even throughout the whole fingerboard. Also check that there is the same amount of scoop for the bass and treble strings. It should be around .5mm at the center of the board.

4. Fingerboard Smoothness

Smoothing a fingerboard is a tedious process, challenging for even an experienced luthier. When you put your eye over the scroll of the instrument and peer down the board, it should be shiny like a black mirror and free of bumps and divots.

5. The Height of the Strings

Finally, you can simply measure the strings. On a violin the treble side should be around 3.5mm and the bass side should be around 5.5. A viola should be approx. 4mm treble and 6mm bass side. Cellos around 5.5 mm treble side and 8.5-9 mm bass side.

All five of these factors combine to determine how far the string is from the fingerboard for any given note. Too close, and the string will buzz when played; too far, and the strings will be difficult to push down. The ultimate test of any instrument is to play it. Try playing any and all levels of instruments and you’ll quickly start to see, feel and hear the difference. There is a reason some instruments sell for $95 and some sell for $95,000. Regardless of the cost or sound of your fiddle, take it to a skilled luthier for examination. Many times a few minor adjustments can make it feel like a new instrument.

 

Upcoming events

There are a lot of really great opportunities for enrichment and involvement.  Here are a couple of upcoming events worth supporting.

 

Katherine Irwin Thomas hosts Celtic Fiddling Series at Beau Vinci Violins

Katherine Irwin Thomas, Celtic Fiddler and Director of “The Atlanta Irish Music School“, will be hosting a four part series.  Each event is a lecture, demonstration and workshop.  Please bring your violin or just your interest in Celtic culture!

  • Saturday, December 1st, 2:00 p.m., “Rich Traditions of a Celtic Christmas” A festive exploration of the music of Ireland, Scotland, and Brittany.
  • Saturday, January 12th, 2:00 p.m., “A Scottish Musical Tribute” Regional fiddle styles of Scotland featuring the poetry of Robert Burns.
  • Saturday, March 2nd, 2:00 p.m., “Kick UpYour Heels with the Irish Jig” A celebration of music and culture surrounding St. Patrick’s Day.

All workshops will take place at Beau Vinci Violins in historic Alpharetta, GA.

Please contact us to reserve your ticket, or purchase directly at: beauvinciviolins.com/store.

Celtic Fiddling Series at Beau Vinci Violins

Grand opening was a grand success!

Over 60 people attended our grand opening/open house!

The day featured an unbelievable performance by Eugene Ahn, followed by an inspiring master class and lecture with Dr. Michael Heald.  After refreshments, we heard a performance from Emily’s studio and sampled some exquisite instruments from Reginald Williams collection. Thanks you to DDK portraits for the fine photography and thank you Metro-Atlanta for such a heart warming welcome.

House warming party anyone?

We’re all moved in and we love this house! It’s was built in 1930 by Alpharetta’s first family physician. That family still owns the building and is proud that it has become Metro Atlanta’s premier violin shop.

We are fortunate to share this space with Alpharetta’s DDK Portraits.  Kirsten Kowalski, DDK’s owner, is the brilliant eye behind the lens.  Check out some of her work at: www.ddkportaits.com.

We’ve decided to celebrate our July 10th opening with a joint open house on August 18th, 2012 from 10am – 3pm.  We will be showcasing our work/collection and much more.

- Dr. Michael Heald, professor of violin at University of Georgia, will be giving a master class at 11 am.

- There will be student performances throughout the day.

- DDK portraits will be offering discount coupons and raffling off two holiday family portrait sessions for 2012.

- Beau Vinci will be be raffling gift certificates and other door prizes as well.

In addition to all of this, downtown Alpharetta is a great place to spend a Saturday morning.  There is a weekly farmers market.  Click here for more details.  There are also a number of great shops and restaurants.  Click here to read more about what’s going on in Alpharetta.

We want to meet you and hear your thoughts.  Stop by, say hello, have some refreshments, attend a masterclass, view some great photography and try out some of the finnest fiddles in the southeast.  We look forward to seeing you!

Beau Vinci gears up for grand opening!

Get ready Metro-ATL! Beau Vinci Violins is gearing up for our grand opening some time in early August. We are currently accepting appointments if you would like to schedule a consultation.

Recent developments include finalizing our location, launching our website, and much much more. Stay tuned!