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Just got an old German trade fiddle, a Stainer copy for Christmas

Posted by EricBluegrassFiddle on Friday, December 30, 2016

Been wanting one of these for a while now, mainly because I am such a "Fiddl'n Paul Warren" lover ( fiddler for Flatt and Scruggs ) and he played an old Stainer....or is it Steiner? Anyways, got it for a steal and it's in one piece unlike previous ones I looked at. Its in great condition for its age, and has no cracks or major damage that I can see although its dinged and worn pretty good, somebody has really used this fiddle over the years. It has a two piece back and "Stainer" is stamped on the back under the button like is typical with these copies. Now, it doesnt have the "bulbuous" arching like I have seen on other Stainer copies.....you know that boat like tubby look. I mean, it has the high arching but not as high and exaggerated as other trade Stainers you typically see. It's very "dainty" ....its long and narrow, waist is narrow, ribs are not really wide...generally its long and narrow for a fiddle. It is also super light! Is this thing made of balsa!? Lol! It has a darke matte kinda finish...cause its so old and on the label, which also seems old...has the Typical faked"Jacobus Stainer Pope Omnipotentus/Maximus mumbo jumbo on it and says 1716 on it. The back and sides have some nice striping and figure in it and the top is solid, seems like solid quality Spruce and Maple. Heres what's funny, the f holes, while long, are a tiny tad bit askew, one is a bit higher than the other. Next, the scroll to me is very dainty and squinchy, small and it does have a slight "twist" in it but the beck and fingerboard seem straight and level. The fingerboard is pretty worn though. The tailpiece...well lets just say it totally sucks....we'll leave it that, although it has a nice "Aubert" bridge on it, but I'll put a Wittner composite on it right away! It does also have what appears to be either an open seam or bad repair or both on the lower bout just to the lower right of the tailpiece and end pin on the back where it meets the rib that may need some attention. Now for the sound: "I expected a nasaly, raunchy kinda tone but was actually quite surprised! It's bright like I expected ( which I like cause I DONT like warm and mellow ) but not harsh and has a nice touch of sweetness to it as well, especially on the E string. It's also probably the fullest sounding fiddle I have, my wife even noticed that. It's likewise very comfortable to play. All and all I am happy with it, it really is a fiddle with some good "character" worn and worked into it but its solid. I will post some photos soon.



1 comment on “Just got an old German trade fiddle, a Stainer copy for Christmas”

EricBluegrassFiddle Says:
Saturday, December 31, 2016 @6:13:36 PM

Took it to the Violin shop and had a composite wittner tailpiece installed on it...I really like it

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