My latest custom cello build is a commissioned cello for a young player. We are building a Stradivarius cello, providing him with a powerful, even tone to carry him throughout his music career. Stradivarius cellos are a great build, they are not only beautiful but have a fantastic range of power for a brand new cello.
As always all of my McDevitt made instruments are handmade with the finest selection of materials.
Featured in the selection of photos are the ribs being bent and glued. And the back selection of maple and rough cut out, ready for the arching to be started!
Collin-Mezin was the son of Charles J.B. Collin dit Mezin pere. His father was originally from Mirecourt but established himself in Paris and trained his son Collin-Mezin took over the family workshop after his father’s death in 1923.
Charles J.B. Collin was one of the leading French makers of the 19th century, Joseph Joachim played on one of his violins. He also won medals at three Paris competitions.
He generally made Amati, Guarneri and Stradivari models. He was also a bow maker. Collin-Mezin was fortunate enough to train under his father; most of his instruments were made for his father and followed his model.
Eventually he took on a more personal style of his own. This is a fine example of Collin-Mezin fils work. He lived from 1870-1934.
This has been the month of the cello! I had the opportunity to add a few more to the Fegley Collection this week. Quality cellos for sale under $5,000 are getting hard to find these days. With all of the inexpensive imports coming in I am happy that I can still purchase most of my inventory privately through players or retired players.
I added two German cellos to my inventory this week.
These cellos are in fine condition and are now available for trial! I also have an older American made cello by Joseph Kaye, a maker originally from Reading and made his way out to Pittsburgh where most of his instruments were a high quality and played in the local Symphony.
If you are looking for quality cellos for sale that won’t break the bank Fegley’s is the place to come…
A fine modern violin by Petko Zlatev Stoinov, this violin was made in 2002. Stoinov started his work as a luthier in 1993 in the town of Kazaniak, Bulgaria. He is a member of The Violin Society of America and makes fine musical stringed instruments.
He started as a woodworker in a yacht studio before he fell in love with violin making collaborating with Paolo Vitorio, later working with other Italian and American Luthiers.
This Petko Stoinov is a fine example of the makers work. Although it was made in 2002 it is in mint condition and was well cared for by the original owner. Made with a high-grade wood materials provided by the mountain ranges of Bulgaria, leaving his instruments with excellent acoustic qualities.
The back is fine two-piece maple with the flames slanting slightly downwards towards the edges of the instrument. The ribs and scroll match the back piece of maple making this Stoinov violin pleasing to the eye to match its excellent tonal qualities.
This Petko Stoinov violin is now available for trial at our shop.
Another year flies by and now we find that it is already 2016. I admit that while I love the holiday seasons I always look forward to getting back to “normal life”. Starting new adventures and getting back to work (where I belong). This is going to be another exciting year at Fegleys and we will be adding a Piano Tuning and Rebuilding page to the website.
It is only natural to start with the best of the best in the piano world, a Steinway & Sons “baby” grand piano. This particular Steinway piano is a 1951 Steinway & Sons Model S. It measures 5’ 1” long and has resided with just one owner, sitting in the corner of her living room for over 50 years before she passed away in 2006… This Steinway “baby” grand piano was played on daily and was well maintained and cared for before it fell into the hands of a certified piano tuner. That certified piano tuner happens to be my older brother Jason D. McDevitt, who also graduated from the North Bennet Street School.
This Steinway Model S was in amazing condition before he took ownership, but he took it one step further and decided to give the “baby” grand piano a complete rebuild. He rebuilt the plate, refinished the soundboard, and installed all new strings along with new damper felt, making this piano a joy to play! But that wasn’t enough; he took it one step further and polished the outside case of the piano.
Taking a dull/cloudy finish and returning it to the original highly polished finish that Steinway & Sons pianos are known for.
This Steinway “baby” grand piano would not only look great in a church, concert hall or another living room where space is a premium but would fill the room with a rich, powerful sound of a much larger piano. The asking price for this rebuilt one-owner 1951 Steinway & Sons Model S “baby” grand piano is $18,999 and is available to play by appointment.
I started making another violin this month. It is a commissioned build for one of my clients who purchased a viola from me a few years ago. I love building violins with a particular person in mind.
It allows me to build the instrument with their personal style of playing in mind.
In this instance we are building a Del Gesu violin, he currently plays on a 200 year old violin that has a dark, mellow sound to it. We decided to stick with a Del Gesu style over Stradivarius because it will have a darker, warmer tone compared to the Stradivarius violin, which would produce a brighter, more direct sound to it.
Follow me as I build this violin for my client! A violin build from start to finish!
The Guadagnini cello is suntanned and ready for some varnish! The hard part is making sure to let your instruments get a nice base before jumping into varnish work… Easier said than done because you have this beautiful instrument in the white that you just spend endless hours making and perfecting.
Then you need to wait to work on it once you are done. It doesn’t seem fair, but patience is the key!
Allowing the instrument the proper time in the sun allows for the varnish process to go quicker and more smoothly.
Here is ‘Evergreen’ the Guadagnini 7/8 cello I have been hand making with a nice suntan and the first ‘ground coat’ prior to varnish. I am anxious to see how this little cello ends up sounding!
A few more weeks of varnishing and cure time and this thing will be ready to sing!
As I work on this current violin build I will continue to give updates on my progress! Or at least I will try to force myself to sit down and write a blog every week or two…
This build has been quite challenging, it is hard to match perfection that was built so long ago. This instrument is just a few months shy of being 300 years old! So take that into consideration when seeing pictures of the original!
Attached are photos of the f-holes being carved, I always have an extra sharp knife when planning my attack on the f-holes. Stradivarius f-holes are extremely precisely cut and lay on the instrument beautifully. I draw on one f-hole at a time letting them lay just right before finalizing both f-holes to make sure that they are straight and I have all of my proper measurements according to the original.
I always carve about 95% and make myself walk away from the work. This allows me to return with a fresh set of eyes, seeing things that I would have never saw if I continued to stare at the f-holes trying to finish in one sitting… Enjoy!
As I continue with the 7/8 Guadagnini cello, I like to update my clients about the progress that has been made. I am very interested to see how this small Guadagnini cello model will throw the sound. I am use to making Stradivarius model cellos so it should be an interesting experiment to say the very least. Since the last blog about the 7/8th Guadagnini cello I have been moving right along.
I plan to update the blog with one final post after I varnish the cello and set it up!
I have to be honest when I say that this Guadagnini cello build has been quite different from what I am use to. I normally focus my handmade cellos on Stradivarius models. Stradivarius instruments were made with a precision that left his instruments quite remarkable and refined. Guadagnini instruments dance on the boarder of a rough build, making his instruments with haste, leaving behind many signs of tool marks, heavy outlines and edges.
Most musicians aren’t familiar with the Guadagnini name, they mostly hear of the Stradivarius and Guarneri instruments. But as players become more educated, the Guadagnini name has grown tremendously in collectability and with players around the world!
My latest violin build is another Stradivari copy… I know, surprise, surprise!
But he really was ahead of his time. The craftsmanship that you see in his work is truly incredible! And as a modern violin maker it is truly inspiring. I was fortunate enough to see a handful of Stradivari violins and get to study them first hand.
When you are up close and personal with an authentic Stradivarius violin it is almost an out of body experience!
For this violin I decided to copy the famous “Messiah” Stradivari. It is in truly remarkable condition for its age! Made in Stradivari’s “Golden Period” in 1716. It is one of the more famous Stradivarius violins in existence!
It is in near mint condition, making it ideal for a modern maker such as myself to copy, showing little to no signs of wear! I am having a lot of fun on this custom violin build, I am anxious to hear it once it is set up…
It should have a bright, powerful tone that can power through to the back of a concert hall!