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Fiddle Mania!

Posted by bj on Friday, July 31, 2009

Last night I picked up that Jackson Guldan fiddle from my new luthier. He said he knew he could really make it sing. Boy Howdy, did he!

This baby has a DEEP and DARK, yet very resonant and clear tone that's balanced across the range very nicely. A strong bass with a low throaty growl, and a treble that's just wonderful, but very different from the sweet tone of my American fiddle, and maybe a bit more rough (in a good way) than my little French Fiddle. Comparable to my German fiddle in that regard. And oh my, is it ever LOUD. I will not have a problem being heard in a jam circle of 20 or so with this fiddle! And there's no doubt it's a FIDDLE, though Dee was playing it up the neck and says it's really nice up there. I wouldn't know.

And I haven't played her much yet to even open her up. If she sounds like this now, what's she gonna sound like when she's played in???

I had bought this (and three others) to fix up and resell. And I gotta admit I could use the funds a sale would bring. But sheesh, this is a FINE SOUNDING FIDDLE.

Jim says I should keep this one. I've heard that from three or four other people already (including Dee) and most of 'em said that before it was set up. It sounds so much better now, it's amazing.

I have two other Jackson Guldan fiddles though, and they're down with Jim now. One, the lesser of the two, will take very little work to make playable. He says that though it's somewhat plug ugly, with painted on purfling and a funky looking finish, it'll also be a great player. The nicer of the two does have some face cracks, but he said he likes what he sees on that one too, and it is repairable without taking the top off (YAY!) He really likes these fiddles, says they're easy to pull really great fiddle tone out of them, even if they're not "perfect" by luthier standards. I'm very inclined to believe him, now that I've heard what he's done with this one. I gotta say I am super impressed with his work. And he's a fiddler's luthier for sure.

So, the next question . . . do I keep her or do I sell her?



33 comments on “Fiddle Mania!”

FiddleCat Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @1:18:21 PM

I still say "Keeper"!!! this fiddle sounded really nice when I tried it before. But once it was set up correctly......WOW. Is it ever loud and clear!! Smooth and mellow. Very comfortable to play too might I add.

I have a few fiddles I play all the time. Some are comfortable and just feel right...others are hard to play and almost seem stiff and uncoroporative. This one is has a very nice feel to play it. I like it!!!

bj Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @1:25:35 PM

Yeah, well, it is a great fiddle. But I also have three other great fiddles. Do I really need four??? And if I decide I don't need four, I can't give up any of my present fiddles, I love 'em all too much!

M-D Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @1:43:15 PM

Stay on her, Dee!

Of course you need four. What kind of crazy question is that? :o)

Glad to hear the J-G fiddle turned out so well, though it's no surprise to you. Sounds like it's better than most, though. Always nice to find such delights. :o)

bj Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @1:52:02 PM

And I wonder why I'm such an addict . . . with friends like you all!

FiddleCat Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @1:53:51 PM

It's really hard to give up any fiddle. I have that chinese one I'm going to sell and at the same time I want to keep it. They all have different tones and sounds and feels which makes them have their own personalitys. I think this is why I have such problems selling any of mine.

If I was you I'd sit with them all laid out. With your eyes closed have someone hand each one to you to play. You have that ear training you can use to choose the nicest to keep.

bj Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @2:03:30 PM

LOL! Closing my eyes wouldn't make a damn bit of difference! I know them all much too well. And they do each have a different voice, all great but each has its times when it can shine. I can already tell this will be the one to play when I have the need for speed and volume.

bj Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @2:05:29 PM

Oh, and in all fairness, this fiddle had the ability to sound great, but would never have done so if it wasn't for Jim, whose magic touch made her sing. Jim REALLY loves to bring these JG fiddles to life, and he seems to have a knack for it.

curlyrayfan Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @2:10:04 PM

I think i would keep it...

bj Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @2:17:57 PM

I have a feeling my bank account would have been better off if I'd asked this question on the Truck Driver's Forum or the Web Geek Forum.

M-D Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @2:43:51 PM

Well, you know that's what friends is for, BJ. If we didn't love you, well. . . . What we're doing here is an intervention; trying to encourage you to make better decisions in your life, to see the error of the detrimental thinking! FAS (Fiddle Acquisition Syndrome) is not treatable, precisely because there's nothing about it that needs treating. See, such FSA behaviour is perfectly normal, even desirable! Anyone who says otherwise is obviously insane and misguided, so no point in believing anything they say. They're the kinds of folks who'll tell you war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. They may also be engaged in the business of Soma and Soylent Green; want you to think they really can control the economy via a lunatic theory of economics (you know, the one that caused all the mess); and, that they can actually reform things and cut costs. Never mind that every scintilla of evidence shows they've always done just the opposite.

So, now, whom to believe? Those of us who love you, and want you to be happy? Or, the neer-do-wells who'll tell you that FSA is an illness. Oh, and you'll know they're real scammers 'cause they try to sell you -- or force you to buy -- insurance for the treatment of FSA, even though it's an illness of their own making, one that exists solely in their own mind.

See, the choice is so clear! So very, crystal-clear! Throw your head back, walk proud, and announce to the world, "I have a new fiddle, dammit, and I feel good about it! Damn good!"

Cyndy Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @2:50:09 PM

Keep it. Keep it. How could you do anything but keep it?!

But just know that you're a bad influence on the rest of us! (just teasing you) Here I was happily thinking that I could make do with my Chinese fiddle for some time longer and then you go posting about how much you love ALL your fiddles and now I'm starting to itch to go fiddle shopping again. (laugh)

mudbug Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @4:02:27 PM

Sell it. You only need one fiddle. OK, anouther for a spare. Otherwise you end up exibiting really deviant behavior ( better known as cross-tuning), which people resort to, to justify their FAS!

bj Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @5:24:17 PM

Um, I'm a crosstuner . . . and I just started learning tunes in Calico tuning . . .

Hello, I'm bj (HI BJ!) and I'm a Fiddleholic . . .

M-D Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @6:00:21 PM

See, ajisai is conflicted, not quite sure of herself, but she's still redeemable. She just needs a gentle nudge. Mudbug, on the other hand, is in need of therapy, and an intervention of his own. Right now, the Ministry of Truth (read: Lies) has him all turnt around back'ards.

bj Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @6:08:49 PM

Meanwhile, I've got two more JG fiddles at the luthier. Do I really need THREE Jackson Guldan Fiddles??? Hey agisai, did you say you were looking for another fiddle?

M-D Says:
Friday, July 31, 2009 @7:09:52 PM

Nah, sell them other two. Spread the FAS around! It's normal! It's healthy! It's the right thing to do.

Mandogryl Says:
Saturday, August 1, 2009 @4:18:10 AM

M-D has it nailed: FAS. Common among those of us obsessed. I am not there yet and cannot claim membership since I only have a fleet of two. My suggestion is to "try" to divide your instruments into two groups: Yours (the keepers), and those of whom you've picked up along the way for trade.
Or, if you have an area that you can dedicate, maybe you can try doing your own set-ups. Hmmm...maybe not. Removing the neck of an instrument, or the such, is not for the faint of heart.
At least you have a pleasant dilemma to solve.

brya31 Says:
Saturday, August 1, 2009 @4:22:23 AM

Ok BJ keep it here's why. You said your a cross tuner so to save you the invconvenience of having to tune up and down your current fiddles, now you can have one GDAE one at AEAE one at ADAD and one at GDGD <-----I really have no idea if this is right, but hey its a darn idea, now keep them at all, I have given you good reason, hehhe ; )

FiddleCat Says:
Saturday, August 1, 2009 @9:30:01 AM

That's too funny Brya....but smart thinking...lol

bj Says:
Saturday, August 1, 2009 @2:55:02 PM

You are all SUCH bad influences! But after playing it all day, on and off, I've come to the conclusion that it's so very nearly as good as what I've already got, but . . . it's not better than the fiddles I already have. I'll play it in for a couple more days and give it more of a chance, but this fiddle will probably be sold.

deckda Says:
Saturday, August 1, 2009 @4:13:46 PM

No rash decisions!
Better let me hold on to it while you think things through.

M-D Says:
Saturday, August 1, 2009 @7:22:44 PM

Have you cross-keyed it, BJ? Might be that it's even better in an alternate tuning, better than one of your other fiddles. ;o)

FiddlerFaddler Says:
Saturday, August 1, 2009 @7:56:13 PM

Unless you sell it to me, you should definitely keep it. If do you sell it to me you will have the satisfaction of knowing that it is in the hands of someone who appreciates it as much as you do.

bj Says:
Sunday, August 2, 2009 @8:55:54 AM

I've got it in GDGD now.

If and when I decide to let it go, it'll be in the Classifieds and posted on the forum. So if any of you are serious about looking for another fiddle, keep an eye open.

brya31 Says:
Sunday, August 2, 2009 @9:36:01 AM

ajisai........the above post is a hint from the fiddle gods. You have been lookin for a while and bj is an honest person.

Note: I am not in any way an associate or sales agent of bj

M-D Says:
Sunday, August 2, 2009 @3:28:02 PM

There's your gentle nudge, ajisai. :o)

bj Says:
Sunday, August 2, 2009 @3:38:56 PM

Jane volunteered to record me playing this thing. She's much better at recording than I am. I'll post a sound file when we get to it, which will be a few days or so.

FiddleJammer Says:
Sunday, August 2, 2009 @9:03:06 PM

Really, now, y'all are sounding like cross tuning takes more than the few minutes than it actually does. Quit yer belly-achin' already. I'd rather change my tuning than tote around 4 cases. :-)

M-D Says:
Sunday, August 2, 2009 @9:44:38 PM

Note to self: Terri is in denial, having concocted an illusory rationale to help her suppress the natural tendency of FAS. Strongly recommend a re-education program immediately, if not sooner.

FiddleJammer Says:
Monday, August 3, 2009 @10:41:01 PM

In fact, I recently got a second fiddle, so I know what I'm talking about. Really. :-)

bj Says:
Tuesday, August 4, 2009 @3:32:20 AM

And it sounds different than the first one, doesn't it? That was the start of FAS for me . . .

M-D Says:
Tuesday, August 4, 2009 @4:59:26 AM

Unh-huh, NOW the truth comes out: closeted FAS. Denial, or not, you're on your way to the expression available only to those enraptured in the natural freedom of FAS, Terri. You'll only need two double-cases, though. That way you wont have to tote four cases. ;o)

bj Says:
Friday, August 7, 2009 @9:10:13 PM

http://www.fiddlehangout.com/classifieds/detail.asp?ID=2533&cid=1004

I'm selling this fiddle.

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