Category Archives: Violin Making

Todd Goldenberg Violin

My latest addition to my collection of violins is a modern violin by Todd Goldenberg, made in 2003. Todd began his career as a guitar maker where he studied with maker Rob Ehlers. He moved to Chicago were he intended to expand his training in the guitar world but he was hired by the Bein And Fushi firm and he has been making violins ever since.

He later moved to Michigan where he worked for nine years at Shar Music, working closely with David Burgess before opening his own workshop.

Todd makes fine violin, violas and cellos in his workshop in North Berwick, Maine. In 2006 Todd earned a silver medal for cello tone in the V.S.A. Competition. Todd taught at the North Bennet Street School. This is a fine example of Todd Goldenberg’s work.

This violin is available for trial at $12,500.

Todd Goldenberg Violin

Todd Goldenberg Violin

Todd Goldenberg Violin

Charles Collin-Mezin fils

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.

 

Collin-Mezin-fils

Gabriel David Buchstetter

Buchstetter worked out of Stadtamhof, Regensberg Germany circa. 1730-1780. He was the son of Christoff Buchstetter, a well-regarded maker. Buchstetter mostly delivered Stradivari models and was a fine craftsman.

His varnish was often opaque and thin, a very common use for the place and time. Buchstetter generally speaking always used a fine selection of materials. His Stradivari f-holes were well carved with subtle fluting at the lower wings.

The scrolls were known to be very distinctive with a long neck and deep/open throat.

This particular Buchstetter is a copy. It is a small viola measuring 15 3/8”. It has a violoncello style scroll with a named carved into the back near the button.

 

Gabriel David Buchstetter Gabriel David Buchstetter Gabriel David Buchstetter

Gabriel David Buchstetter Gabriel David Buchstetter Gabriel David Buchstetter

Guadagnini Viola Build

G.B. Guadagnini is regarded as the greatest violin maker of the second half of the 18th Century; his original style produced some of the best instruments in history. A great reason to copy the famous violin maker! Little is known about the training of Guadagnini.

There are insufficient amounts of information to connect the dots with but we will leave his training for a later discussion… Guadagnini wasn’t like most makers who practice their craft in the same location for their careers. G.B. Guadagnini started making instruments in Piacenza, before moving to Milan in 1749 following the great cellist Carlo Ferrari.

He learned much from Ferrari while adjusting his cellos molds. Guadagnini next followed Ferrari to Parma where he continued his craft for 12 more years. Finally, Guadagnini moved to Turin in 1771 where he met the famous violin collector Count Cozio.

Cozio later became his patron, and was responsible for the commission of some of Guadagnini’s finest works. The Count acquired the remaining articles from the Stradivari workshop from the maker’s grandson Paolo around 1774. Which rewarded Guadagnini with the opportunity to acquaint himself with the great master’s work first hand.

After this opportunity Guadagnini adopted Stradivari’s models more frequently and his labels reflect that period. I love copying Guadagnini’s work, his wood selection is unparalleled and his varnish is a brilliant red.

 

Guadagnini Viola Build Guadagnini Viola Build Guadagnini Viola Build Guadagnini Viola Build Guadagnini Viola Build Guadagnini Viola Build Guadagnini Viola Build Guadagnini Viola Build Guadagnini Viola Build Guadagnini Viola Build

Petko Stoinov Violin

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.

Petko Stoinov Violin Petko Stoinov Violin Petko Stoinov Violin Petko Stoinov Violin

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.

N. Audinot Violin

A fine violin by Nestor Dominique Audinot in 1898, also referred to as N. Audinot. Audinot was the son of Leopold Audinot and apprenticed with him in Mirecourt. Audinot also worked with Sebastian Vuillaume in Paris. N. Audinot’s are made with remarkable maple and are well built instruments.

This particular violin comes with paper work from well-known Philadelphia shop Frederick W. Oster Fine Violins. This Audinot is in fine condition and has a great tone!

 

 N. Audinot Violin  N. Audinot Violin  N. Audinot Violin

Stradivarius vs. Del Gesu

Although I build my instruments based from many different makers, I focus most of my attention making Stradivarius and Guarneri Del Gesu violins. They end up sounding quite different once they are completed but both have a great sound to them! The Stradivarius violins end up with a very bright, direct sound. While the Del Gesu has a warmer, mellow tone.

Here are two violins that I am currently building, one Stradivarius, the other Guarneri Del Gesu…

Can you tell which is which!?!

 Stradivarius vs. Del Gesu  Stradivarius vs. Del Gesu  Stradivarius vs. Del Gesu

 

Price- Violin Build Intro

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!

Guarneri Del Gesu F-holes

Guarneri Del Gesu f-holes! I love carving Del Gesu f-holes, although they are a different change of pace compared to carving Stradivarius f-holes, it is always nice to switch it up as a maker! In this post you will see the many stages it takes in order to accomplish a well-placed f-hole. Follow this custom build as I hand make a violin from start to finish.

This violin is being built for a college student who is looking to upgrade his current violin. He is looking for more volume and personality in his violin…

I am happy with his decision to play a Guarneri Del Gesu violin!

Guarneri Del Gesu F-holes Guarneri Del Gesu F-holes Guarneri Del Gesu F-holes Guarneri Del Gesu F-holes Guarneri Del Gesu F-holes Guarneri Del Gesu F-holes

 

Messiah Violin Continued

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!