Summertime these last few years has brought me extra hours to try new equipment for my violin studio. Opportunities to try strings designed to reproduce the sound of gut strings, for example; or to try the latest in E strings which arrive looking as if someone has taken a small curling iron to them (before putting them on the instrument)! Trying to use the latest steel strings, or electronic instruments. And get a load of these new pegs which eliminate the use of tuners on the tailpiece!
This summer the centerpiece of my excitement has been the carbon fiber instruments made by MezzoForte from Werther, Germany. I've been using both the painted and the unpainted versions. The sound is clean and even from top to bottom and the instruments project well amongst traditional instruments within any violin section. The depth of color the instrument produces is very satifying under the player's ear. Our Cumberland Trio plans to use the unpainted (black!) version of both the violin and the cello in performing the Shostakovich Trio #2 (e minor) this coming season.
I've been using the painted version for outdoor orchestra concerts this summer; and really enjoyed not having to run for cover when it started raining! The instrument is elegant and blends well with others in a violin section in terms of sound. Audience members will not recognize the "disguised" carbon fiber violin from the others in the section. You can also puchase a "hybrid" version which has a port for amplification, so the instrument can be used accoustically and electronically.
And of course, these new carbon fiber instruments withstand travel and weather. Humidity still affects the strings and the natural wood bridge and soundpost, of course; but the body of the instrument is completely unaffected. So the overall effect remains consistent in sound production from one day to the next. The instruments cannot be easily broken or cracked by careless or rough handling by baggage agents. People take them on camping trips, transport them through cold or heat. They have no seams that can "open" and cannot be cracked in the same way as the traditional wooden instruments. Ever get caught in the rain, heat, or cold having to play for an outdoor wedding? Ever had to take your "beater" instrument to play outdoors because some bride thought it would be "cool" to have her wedding in a cow pasture? These instruments will deliver beautiful sound as your "outdoor" instrument!
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1350 Riverbend Dr, Kingsport, Tennessee 37664, United States
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