New strings (Corelli Crystals) and possibly an octave violin strung like a viola

And I’m giving some new ones a try — they’re cheap enough that I can do that. Savarez Corelli Crystals. Johnson described them as mellow, warm, and rich, so they sound like a good possibility. I’m going to work downwards from the A and see how they sound. I don’t mind my C or G string (that much), so if these are as “mellow” and “rich” as the website claims they are, then I might end up with Corelli Crystals on the D and A, and Obligatos on the G and C. I’m frankly curious about warm gut, but I’m not good enough to play on gut at this point, not at all. (Not without geared pegs, anyhow.)

And they were only $36 for a set, so it’s worth a try. I can always just go back to a full set of Doms, which sound pretty good on this thing.

I do not know how fiddlers stand it with steel strings on the whole thing, up high, right next to their heads. My own A string feels hideous at close range.

We’ll see how it goes at any rate.

I’m also still having fun improvving on this thing. Improvving is a snap and a half on a single-note instrument! It’s cake! I’m having so much fun with it! I’m also amusing myself with all the triplet rhythms I keep going for. Yep, I listen to a lot of Baroque music. Does it show? 😀

I also contacted a rather nice seller from a luthier named Gianna Violins about working up an octave violin with viola strings. I let him know what I was after — a quiet, dark, dusky, chamber-music sounding viola with the easier playability of a violin, and asked whether an octave violin might be a good way to achieve this. He agreed that it would sound good and be worth trying. As magnificently gorgeous as the NUVO Baroque is, it was reported on a fiddle forum to be very nice and very loud. In other words, maybe not ideal for me.

I’m also rather amused in general because I sent him this link and said, “At the risk of sounding like a weirdo, this is what I want it to sound like. Clean but dusky and a bit oaky, chamber-musicky.” I thought that his last name was Gianna or something — that he was a paesan.

Turns out his name is — wait for it — Steve Perry. Seriously. The luthier is named Steve Perry. And I didn’t find this out until after I sent that link.

So I’ve got that going now. Although I’m also still going to wait for the pochette and see how that goes, because that luthier, Don Rickert, also makes octave violins, and if the pochette is very good, I can go with him as well. And he also does rosing, which would allow me to get a nice scarab on the back side of the upper bout, with a dark chianti-and-chocolate varnish.

Both make lefties.

So there’s that going on, although if I do it, it’s not until the first of the year.