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Thread: Remined of yet another cool thing about Frank Solivan

  1. #1
    Registered User Bill Bradshaw's Avatar
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    Default Remined of yet another cool thing about Frank Solivan

    The recent release of new Frank Solivan music reminded me of another strength of his, beyond fantastic musicianship and creativity.

    Some years ago at a festival in Buffalo, Wyoming, I asked him to check out my Kimble F that was for sale at the time. He graciously said yes, strummed it a bit, and asked if he could raise the action a bit.

    Hey, he's a pro right? What could go wrong? Of course, go for it. No biggie.

    Well to my amazement, no detuning, no little pliers, no help at all. He just grabbed the wheels with his fingers and raised the action on a fully strung up instrument! I was dumbstruck.

    He saw the look on my face and casually remarked "I have strong fingers".

    I guess so!

  2. #2
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Remined of yet another cool thing about Frank Solivan

    Similarly I had a reputable luthier look at my fiddle. He grabbed the bridge which was at a slight angle, and straightened it, without detuning the strings. I almost needed my spare pants.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Remined of yet another cool thing about Frank Solivan

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    Similarly I had a reputable luthier look at my fiddle. He grabbed the bridge which was at a slight angle, and straightened it, without detuning the strings. I almost needed my spare pants.
    I have three fiddles made by a local luthier. He does the same thing. I always turn away when he does it.
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

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    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Remined of yet another cool thing about Frank Solivan

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    Similarly I had a reputable luthier look at my fiddle. He grabbed the bridge which was at a slight angle, and straightened it, without detuning the strings. I almost needed my spare pants.
    I do that with my fiddles (new strings and constant tuning can pull the bridge slightly) but its always a little nerve-wracking when I do.
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    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Remined of yet another cool thing about Frank Solivan

    Quote Originally Posted by ccravens View Post
    I do that with my fiddles (new strings and constant tuning can pull the bridge slightly) but its always a little nerve-wracking when I do.
    I watched my luthier pull the top off a fiddle, it was shocking! A thin hot knife, a little wiggle, and crack, off comes the top.
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    Default Re: Remined of yet another cool thing about Frank Solivan

    "Strong fingers" or no, always advisable to first drop the pitch by at least the amount that increasing the bridge height will raise it. Minor adjustment of the tilt on a violin-type bridge...no sweat. This will not change the string tension on the top appreciatively. A friend (bass luthier) attended a Charles Mingus show way back and could not help but but notice the bad angle on his bass bridge when Mingus was sound checking. Keeping in mind Mingus's reputation as potentially ornery, he was hesitant to say anything, but eventually sounded on him, pointing out the inequity. He asked if he might correct it for him and Mingus relented. He grabbed the top of the bridge and yanked it into position and Mingus was grateful and delighted to have it made right.
    too many strings

  7. #7

    Default Re: Remined of yet another cool thing about Frank Solivan

    Back to raising mando bridges. On cheap instruments I confess to resorting to using a flat blade screwdriver as a lever to lift and hold up the saddle while I spin up the wheels (under full string tension).

    An aside on Frank: I believe it's him that built his first mandolin using Roger Siminoff's book. He may have even recorded Coldspell with it. I don't know what he's play these days.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Remined of yet another cool thing about Frank Solivan

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    I watched my luthier pull the top off a fiddle, it was shocking! A thin hot knife, a little wiggle, and crack, off comes the top.
    Violins are constructed to be taken apart. It’s part of their design.
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

  9. #9

    Default Re: Remined of yet another cool thing about Frank Solivan

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Roy View Post
    Back to raising mando bridges. On cheap instruments I confess to resorting to using a flat blade screwdriver as a lever to lift and hold up the saddle while I spin up the wheels (under full string tension).
    I do that on all my mandos and they aren't cheap. I use a very large screwdriver. Just a little twist of the screwdriver releases enough tension to spin the wheels to raise or lower the bridge. At one point I saw Joe Cleary of Campanella mandolins sold an ebony wedge to fit between the saddle and base to adjust bridges. Same principle, just a bit more elegant.
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