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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Gusetto/cornerless fiddle? leave ur feed back..


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/18482

Morris - Posted - 12/24/2010:  06:14:06


After reading many blogs on the cornerless fiddle I decided to purchase my second violin from Song Violins-China. I changed the strings,G-Obligato,D,A,E Prim mediuns.Very nice lows and highs. Double stops are better sounding to me and sound more definitive. I find it hard to pick up my old fiddle,V-750 1985.I purchased this new one on EBAY for$500. 2 days to get to New York. Customs held it for 4 days. Used mirror to see inside, to my surprise an excellent job!Fine sanding and carvings.Fiddle came with nice mongol hair bow & case. 3 week trial/money back. I did get a chance to play out with the band. Do you have a cornerless story?



Boy, I sound like a advertisement. I didn't mean too.


Edited by - Morris on 12/25/2010 13:13:48

eric marten - Posted - 12/25/2010:  05:28:27


In the mid 1850's William Sidney Mount of Stony Brook, NY invented a new violin which he called "The Cradle of Harmony" which was corner-less and also without cut-outs, designed to be cheaper and louder. Two specimens of it are still around, one in the Smithsonian, one in Long Island Museum (Stony Brook). The idea never really caught on with the public. He used a modification of it some of his paintings of fiddlers on Long Island.

Morris - Posted - 12/25/2010:  08:49:21


Thank you for the information. The Cradle of harmony photo. Listed for auction $3200.Original photo of design.(Black&White)


Edited by - Morris on 12/25/2010 10:52:18




Cradle of harmony

eric marten - Posted - 12/25/2010:  10:52:11


Interesting - reproduction (the image on the right) the original, obviously is not for sale, and also did not have a chin rest in the nineteenth century. If you google William Sidney Mount, you will find images of many of his paintings featuring fiddlers, banjo players, dancers, etc. from mid nineteenth century on Long Island.

The tune written out at the top of the page is "In The Cars of the Long Island Railroad" - an original composition of Mount. He left a legacy of about 500 period tunes written out (in standard notation)- not his compositions, but transcriptions of his friends, neighbors, and relatives' performances, from the 1840's through the 1860's.


Edited by - eric marten on 12/25/2010 11:00:17

Morris - Posted - 12/25/2010:  11:05:24


The maker of the violin I have described the fiddle as "Gusseto". I know it is not close to the original gusetto. But I think the violin maker is trying to capture the gusetto design.Maybe the balance in tone also. See picture of a 5 string design. I have the 4 string model.


Edited by - Morris on 12/25/2010 13:12:13



   

bj - Posted - 12/25/2010:  12:33:02


I've played janepaints' left handed cornerless, which she bought in the white from Gianna's, and it's wonderful, though I'm not very good at playing over the bass on it (I'm a rightie.) I'd love to have a cornerless, especially since I'm always tangling with those damned corners, but won't buy new chinese, I'll wait for an older one to end up in my hands.

However, I did have a conversation with a luthier friend of mine, and she told me that the old Guseto and Chanot types that she's handled that are old are, when compared with regular design fiddles of roughly the same age, in much worse shape structurally, and surmises that it's a design fault and that they just aren't as well equipped to stand up to the rigors of all that vibration. Now, that's just one luthier. I don't know if others have had the same experience.

fiddlepogo - Posted - 12/25/2010:  14:06:20


quote:
Originally posted by bj

I've played janepaints' left handed cornerless, which she bought in the white from Gianna's, and it's wonderful, though I'm not very good at playing over the bass on it (I'm a rightie.) I'd love to have a cornerless, especially since I'm always tangling with those damned corners, but won't buy new chinese, I'll wait for an older one to end up in my hands.

However, I did have a conversation with a luthier friend of mine, and she told me that the old Guseto and Chanot types that she's handled that are old are, when compared with regular design fiddles of roughly the same age, in much worse shape structurally, and surmises that it's a design fault and that they just aren't as well equipped to stand up to the rigors of all that vibration. Now, that's just one luthier. I don't know if others have had the same experience.



Well, that makes sense to me. From what I've picked up about the nature of things, corners (on anything, and when well contructed)
tend to add rigidity, but curves are much more flexible. It's partly due to chinrests, but on old fiddles, the place that seems to be most subject to warping is along the curve of the lower bout. And on a Chanot type (I hadn't heard the term Guseto before),
the whole thing is curves. However, it seems to me that the design could be tweaked to have more stability... maybe.

Morris - Posted - 12/25/2010:  18:03:09


The whole thing makes more sense to me also. I noticed that extra curves on manufacture items are meant to give the product more strength. The corner-less body would be more delicate.

I will be changing the bridge. I will try using a Aubert,Teller & Ecolier.

Thank you all for your input.

berg - Posted - 12/26/2010:  02:32:01


I have tried a couple of cornerless/chanot/gusetto violins - one from a Norwegian maker and one from a japanese maker..
Both where excellent dark/woody in tone and very light instruments..

I have also tried a corneless 14" viola made for children but it had such a nice sound and I though that could be a good model for a five-string fiddle - 14" is almost the same as a 4/4 violin in lenght..

mudbug - Posted - 12/26/2010:  04:12:30


I think the wood on your's is beautiful, but there's something about them, visually, that doesn't appeal to me.

giannaviolins - Posted - 12/26/2010:  07:08:49


My current cornerless design is using laminated ribs in one version (2 ply) and reinforcing bands (like guitars) at likely weak spots in another. Otherwise, the instruments should be strong. I'll make prototypes this year, have a few other products to clear out of the way.


I hadn't seen that 1850s design, thanks! Interesting.

giannaviolins - Posted - 12/26/2010:  07:08:49


My current cornerless design is using laminated ribs in one version (2 ply) and reinforcing bands (like guitars) at likely weak spots in another. Otherwise, the instruments should be strong. I'll make prototypes this year, have a few other products to clear out of the way.


I hadn't seen that 1850s design, thanks! Interesting.

Morris - Posted - 12/26/2010:  07:12:53


I purchased the 4 string model. The varnish is more clearer. See my original photo below and click photo to enlarge.


Edited by - Morris on 12/26/2010 07:18:30



   

fiddleiphile - Posted - 12/26/2010:  07:32:43


Morris, check this out on ebay. type in( The 18th Century Nicolo Guseto Violin Sp. Ed 4/4 #6972). This instrurement is sold by "old- violin-house". Over 5400 sales with 100% positive feedback. I purchased one of these about 6 months ago. What a beautiful and amazing insturment. It was set-up and sounded so beautiful I have'nt changed a thing, not even the strings. It also came with a very nice case and a Way above average light,balanced bow. This was my 7th violin and definately my favorite. LOVE IT!!! I've stopped ripping off bow hair on those damned corners when I get to rockin'. Jerry

Be sure to pull down the close-up pics at bottom of page.

oldtimer - Posted - 12/26/2010:  10:24:05


I have been a cornerless enthusiast for years and I have had several. There is a very nice inherent tonal quality in the shape. I think the Chanot/Gusetto design never caught on for one reason: our ingrained close-minded image of what a fiddle should look like.
Here's one of mine:



stay tooned....
Glenn Godsey

berg - Posted - 12/26/2010:  10:25:56


I like the look of the Old Violin House fiddles much better than the Song violins. IMO the varnish looks cheap like it is sprayed on..

bj - Posted - 12/26/2010:  15:47:47


quote:
I think the Chanot/Gusetto design never caught on for one reason: our ingrained close-minded image of what a fiddle should look like.


Glenn, your friend and mine, Jane, says about fiddles that they always sound their absolute best right before they're ready to completely shake themselves apart. So maybe my luthier friend was right?

Morris - Posted - 12/26/2010:  17:55:39


quote:
Originally posted by fiddleiphile

Morris, check this out on ebay. type in( The 18th Century Nicolo Guseto Violin Sp. Ed 4/4 #6972). This instrurement is sold by "old- violin-house". Over 5400 sales with 100% positive feedback. I purchased one of these about 6 months ago. What a beautiful and amazing insturment. It was set-up and sounded so beautiful I have'nt changed a thing, not even the strings. It also came with a very nice case and a Way above average light,balanced bow. This was my 7th violin and definately my favorite. LOVE IT!!! I've stopped ripping off bow hair on those damned corners when I get to rockin'. Jerry

Be sure to pull down the close-up pics at bottom of page.

Yes, I did get a chance to see this store before and today. Thank you for your help.

OK, Here are the results from my bridge set up. Teller Aubert,ecolier,
The original could keep the low & high balance better. Teller is much to light a wood. The others to heavy and dense. The original falls in between, with weight and density.

I did change the sound post for a better grain match on the spruce top. This improved the projection.

Thank you all for your input, you made my venture fun.

oldtimer - Posted - 12/26/2010:  20:50:04


About stability. A fiddle is a glued wooden box. Any wooden box, curved or cornered, is stable as long as the glue holds. Old hot animal glue used to last roughly 20 years...when the glue weakens, the box collapses, no matter what shape.

This fact brought me my greatest fiddle bargains in the 1960's. Folks would bring down the old family fiddle from the attic, open the case, and find a pile of pieces. I bought the pile for $18, glued them back together and easily obtained a magnificent fiddle. That is the story of the one that Norman Blake talked me out of a few decades back.

stay tooned....
Glenn Godsey



giannaviolins - Posted - 12/26/2010:  21:27:28


I've had older instruments with what appeared to be original glue joints in some places. Or at least from the first restoration, probably the 1820s. I can't see why hide glue would fail so soon. Certainly many instruments from the 1920s have never been apart and still have good joints.

I have observed a number of violins with warped ribs, accompanied by warping in the associated plates, but you're dead on with joints having failed by those places. Generally from clamping something onto the instrument or possibly from neglecting a failing joint.

On the cornerless design, the area of the rib where the curve goes from concave to convex feels weaker. Where a corner would normally be. That's the area possibly to worry about warping. I'm interested in flexibility and stability over the long term. A 2 ply laminate would seem to offer advantages in that area. Certainly would against shock and bangs!

I'm tempted to get some of these Asian cornerless, see how they stack up. Probably don't need another project!

fiddlepogo - Posted - 12/26/2010:  23:48:51


quote:
Originally posted by voodoo

I've had older instruments with what appeared to be original glue joints in some places. Or at least from the first restoration, probably the 1820s. I can't see why hide glue would fail so soon. Certainly many instruments from the 1920s have never been apart and still have good joints.

I have observed a number of violins with warped ribs, accompanied by warping in the associated plates, but you're dead on with joints having failed by those places. Generally from clamping something onto the instrument or possibly from neglecting a failing joint.

On the cornerless design, the area of the rib where the curve goes from concave to convex feels weaker. Where a corner would normally be. That's the area possibly to worry about warping. I'm interested in flexibility and stability over the long term. A 2 ply laminate would seem to offer advantages in that area. Certainly would against shock and bangs!

I'm tempted to get some of these Asian cornerless, see how they stack up. Probably don't need another project!



Wouldn't it be possible to do some "internal corners"... sort of a reversed corner block at about the place the corners would be???
The size would have to be increased ever so slightly to keep the internal volume of air correct.
And an uncarved spot would have to be left in the top and back as a resting place/gluing point for each "internal corner".

I don't know why, but I actually like the smooth, sleek look of the Guseto/Chanot designs.

giannaviolins - Posted - 12/27/2010:  04:27:04


Internal corners = vertical piece of lining sized wood from lining to lining, as in guitars.

I like the design, too, but find the complexity of a standard scroll perhaps too contrasting.

fiddleiphile - Posted - 12/27/2010:  05:46:29


The cornerless I bought was'nt very expensive. It does feel very light and delicate, probably why it sounds as beautiful as it does. If it blows up in my face it will surely sound good doing it. I'll just buy another and wear a face shield next time. I could use a little plastic surgery anyway, to look as good as the new cornerless violin.

Morris, you said "I did'nt mean to sound like a advertisement". I did'nt either I just really like the design and tone of the instrument. If yours blows up let me know. I'll start wearing the face shield sooner. I can't really afford the plastic surgery. It would take too much money out of the fiddle aqusition fund!


Edited by - fiddleiphile on 12/27/2010 06:30:21

bj - Posted - 12/27/2010:  07:05:36


quote:
Old hot animal glue used to last roughly 20 years...when the glue weakens, the box collapses, no matter what shape.

This fact brought me my greatest fiddle bargains in the 1960's. Folks would bring down the old family fiddle from the attic, open the case, and find a pile of pieces.


Glue failure caused by excessive heat, AKA Attic-itis. That may have happened a lot more down in Texas, Oklahoma and the Southwest before air conditioning became the norm, even on fiddles that weren't stored in the attic.

DougD - Posted - 12/27/2010:  07:21:38


Just for comparison, there are several Chanot model instruments, including a five string violin/viola, at the National Music Museum: orgs.usd.edu/nmm/Violins/Chano...list.html

Nice looking instruments, although it seems they had trouble deciding on the peghead shape too.

There's also a similar violin model by Johann Georg Stauffer, in whose shop in Vienna the young C. F. Martin supposedly trained: orgs.usd.edu/nmm/Exhibitions/B...ffer.html

berg - Posted - 12/27/2010:  09:29:12


quote:
violin model by Johann Georg Stauffer
that is one weird looking shape..

oldtimer - Posted - 12/27/2010:  10:09:26


quote:
Originally posted by fiddleiphile

The cornerless I bought was'nt very expensive. It does feel very light and delicate, probably why it sounds as beautiful as it does. If it blows up in my face it will surely sound good doing it. I'll just buy another and wear a face shield next time. I could use a little plastic surgery anyway, to look as good as the new cornerless violin.

Morris, you said "I did'nt mean to sound like a advertisement". I did'nt either I just really like the design and tone of the instrument. If yours blows up let me know. I'll start wearing the face shield sooner. I can't really afford the plastic surgery. It would take too much money out of the fiddle aqusition fund!



Yes, my first cornerless cost $65 new and the tone is wonderful. Since then, I have acquired several more Chanot/Gusetto style fiddles and each one has had impressive, rich tonalities. I have played many cheap cornerless fiddles, and each has had remarkable tone at bargain prices.

My first is from 10 or 12 years ago, and it, along with the others, is still very structurally sound, and a pleasure to play.

stay tooned....
Glenn Godsey

fiddlepogo - Posted - 12/27/2010:  16:27:12


Glenn, Glenn,

You're giving me a case of G.A.S.
Guseto Acquisition Syndrome!!!

And the wife is already saying things like...
NO MORE INSTRUMENTS!!!!

bj - Posted - 12/27/2010:  21:05:09


Doug, thanks for the links. I do like that violoncello "scroll", seems to fit the sexy sleekness of the instrument shape better. The backward scroll is just . . . weird.

Though I think maybe Jessupe has the right idea.

fiddlehangout.com/myhangout/ph...?id=17669

fiddlepogo - Posted - 12/27/2010:  22:21:24


quote:
Originally posted by bj

quote:
Old hot animal glue used to last roughly 20 years...when the glue weakens, the box collapses, no matter what shape.

This fact brought me my greatest fiddle bargains in the 1960's. Folks would bring down the old family fiddle from the attic, open the case, and find a pile of pieces.


Glue failure caused by excessive heat, AKA Attic-itis. That may have happened a lot more down in Texas, Oklahoma and the Southwest before air conditioning became the norm, even on fiddles that weren't stored in the attic.



Attic-itis seems REALLY common in California, too.
I have a friend who has his grandpa's Guarnerius copy- and it's in pieces.

Morris - Posted - 12/31/2010:  12:41:24


Well This week has been interesting. Thank yall for your great input/output.

The gusetto sounds more alive when tune to open FCGD. One full step lower than standard GDAE. Why? Im not sure. Maybe less tension on the spruce top allows for better sound vibrations. Or less damper effect on the bride. Or maybe its just me thinking that it sounds better.

This is my last post for 2010, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

mswlogo - Posted - 12/31/2010:  13:14:59


Bradivarious also makes cornerless violins. He said the corners are purely decoration and he is said he is thinking of dropping the cornered ones (but I think that would be a mistake).

I like them with corners too even if they have no function. The photo's don't do justice and even the cornerless one looks very nice in person.

bradivarius.com/forsale.html

giannaviolins - Posted - 12/31/2010:  15:51:39


I find cornerless with standard F holes & scroll a bit of a mismatch, although I don't know what would be better!

fiddlepogo - Posted - 12/31/2010:  16:46:57


quote:
Originally posted by voodoo

I find cornerless with standard F holes & scroll a bit of a mismatch, although I don't know what would be better!



I kind of know what you mean... I've had that impression too- especially the scroll for me.

The maker whose link bj posted doesn't use standard f-holes... but his would take some getting used to.
Also, I think I read somewhere that the shape of the f-holes creates tabs called wings that vibrate like a reed...
and most different hole shapes don't have those.

One thing that could be done would be to leave the notches off of a fairly conventional f-hole shape for a kind
of elongated S.
For the scroll, how about a Nautilus shape??? Similar to the conventional scroll in a way, yet smoother...
and smoother is what is needed to complement the smoothness of the Gussetto's curves, IMO.

fiddleiphile - Posted - 01/05/2011:  06:01:26


My Gusetto style has J holes instead of F holes. It did'nt take long for me to get used to. I just hung it up beside the other 6 I own. It simply draws your eyes to it! The sound is even more beautiful than the vision.


Edited by - fiddleiphile on 01/05/2011 06:15:32

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