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Sep 20, 2019 - 7:23:11 AM
57 posts since 9/17/2017

I have 2 violins, one is an old Maggini copy, probably from sears catalog back in the day. It sounds awful. Used to think it was my lack of skill but it is not all attributable to that. Tried many of the suggestions from this and other forums but nothing has made much of a difference in the overall sound.

The other fiddle someone gave me and it sat around for a long time because it had no bridge, the sound post was loose, and it has several large repaired cracks in the top and back. It also has a label in it that reads "Refinished by August Germunder & Sons New York -1909". From what I can determine from the interweb, this music store specialized in importing unfinished violins from euorope and varnishing them or old violins and refinishing them. Never having carved a bridge or set a soundpost, I finally gave it a whirl. When I got done, I was suprised at how much better it sounded than the Maggini copy. Even my wife and banjo buddy remarked on the improved sound, unsolicited.

I had great difficulty setting the sound post and it is currently sitting in fairly steep angle but it sounds pretty good to my ear and I'm a little afraid to change it.

I was wondering if the fiddle might be of an original better quality than some of the unfinished violins this music store may have worked on. I'm assuming the label is not bogus.

Sep 20, 2019 - 2:06:33 PM

1505 posts since 12/11/2008

Enjoy the quest. Tone is King!

Sep 21, 2019 - 2:24:43 PM

849 posts since 1/25/2008

Gemunder violins have a very good reputation, whether they were ones that they made, or imports that they worked on before sale. I'll bet it would even sound better if you had a real luthier do a bridge, soundpost, and proper set up.

Sep 24, 2019 - 6:56:23 PM

57 posts since 9/17/2017

Thanks, I have considered that. Can anybody recommend a good one in central Indiana? Bout how much for a proper setup?

Sep 27, 2019 - 1:59:12 PM

849 posts since 1/25/2008

Set up costs would depend on what needs to be done. Takes a hands on look. Kind of like calling up a garage, and saying "how much to fix my car?". Minimum probably $100.

Feb 15, 2020 - 2:23:33 PM

18 posts since 3/4/2018

It would be worth having it looked at by a knowledgable Luthier.
George Gemunder was one of Americas great violin makers, and did varnish a lot of violins. I have had a varnished one like yours, and it was a great violin. And yours May still have some real value, because of the name. I also had a high end Gemunder, it was amazing.

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