My first post here. I'm looking forward to learning from folks!
I've been learning fiddle repair for the last year or so from a maker nearby. I've been honing my skills on a variety of old trade fiddles, most of which have been in pretty rough shape with tops that were poorly graduated. Anyway, I just picked up this G. A. Pfretzschner fiddle through FB Marketplace and, from what I understand, G. A. Pfretzschner wasn't the name of an individual but was more like a trade/marketing name.
Inspecting the fiddle I see that, unlike other trade instruments I've worked on, it has corner blocks, an independent bass bar, and the top looks to have been more carefully carved than others. I'm wondering what others know about these fiddles. After not being played for fifty years or so according to the previous owner it needs to be played in, but so far I'm quite happy and surprised by its tone.
These older trade fiddles can range in quality by a lot. These were made I think in Marneukirchen where a lot of he trade violins came from. And the shop with kind of like the JTL brand from France. I have played some that are awesome and some that would be great for students and some that would make great fire wood. So it all depends. If it's blocked and has an independent bass bar it sounds like I higher end mode. Did you take the top off? Cause sometimes they did put in fake blocks. But it's a really pretty fiddle.
You know, I'd forgotten that sometimes they put in fake blocks. I've not needed to remove the top so I can't say for sure that they're real. In any case, it sounds nice and will only get better with playing.
Be careful with the 'playing in' phenomena. There are many myths to it.
The truth of the matter is that string tension is your biggest factor. The vibrations of playing (or tonerite ) are only a small piece of the puzzle.
Weak/open glue joints will allow the wood to flex more and give a false impression of the settling-in period.
Also, our ear will adjust to the particular fiddle we play, and our brain adds automatic filters that can make us think it is the fiddle when it is not.
I hear what you're saying. There are certainly many factors, including playing time.
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