As of yet, I have only two violins. One is my first violin, an 1880 Hopf. The Hopf I have had since 7th grade. It is smaller than most full-size violins and the fingerboard is wearing terribly. It does, however, still make a clear, precise tone (slightly muted). The color is a very dark golden brown. The bridge I have has an .050" wing slot to accommodate a Fishman V-100 violin pick-up. If ever one of my bands needs me to play the fiddle in concert I can hook this violin up to an amp in an instant. The other violin is of normal size. It's color is a brighter orangish-brown. It has ebony wood trim on it. It has a brighter, louder tone than the Hopf and is still a beautiful sound. The most interesting part about this violin is its intricate relief-carving on the scroll which adds a unique touch to the violin. I had a Minneapolis Luthier alter the delicately carved and designed Aubert bridge's wing slot to accomodate my violin pick-up. The string sets I have on both of these violins are quite expensive, probably the most expensive set on the market for violin. They are all hand-made by Pirastro. The G and D strings are Olive: silver/gold wound over a gut core, non-rigid. The A string is a Eudoxa: aluminum wound over a gut core. The E string is an Olive: gold-plated steel. These sets are then replaced every year or less to maintain good sound from the instrument. This rather pricey string accommodation I can credit to one of my previous violin instructors. As for the rest of my equipment, I have a rather beat-up ProTech violin case that I would like updated to a Weber case. I have three bows. One is really old and ratty and needs a new frog and new hair. The next is a Brazilwood German baroque bow that's about $350. The last is a pernambuco Italian bow with sterling silver inlays, no nickel on this bow. I prefer the baroque bow for fiddling because it is heavier than the others, and the Italian bow for my concert violin.
Every year I participate in the regional solo contest to get scored on how well I can play. Last year I played Vivaldi's Violin Concerto in G minor. Unfortunately I scored one point under a superior rating. This year I participated in the same contest and performed the Rondo from one of Beethoven's three duets (originally for oboe and bassoon) with one of my orchestra's greatest violists. We scored a healthy superior rating, the highest rating attainable, for our very moving performance.
Someday I hope to adorn this page with pictures of my violins.
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