An American Violin by Rollin B. Davis, 1928
Old American fiddles are often regarded with less enthusiasm than many of their European counterparts, thought of as without tradition, or even amateur. In my experience, this is no more true of instruments from anywhere else. That is to say, a fine violin is exactly that, and putting lipstick on a pig won’t ever make it Kosher. Point being, fine American instruments are not a modern phenomenon, and I’m pleased to present this violin made by Rollin B. Davis in Wichita, Kansas, 1928.
Over 90 years later, I’ve breathed some new life into it with a comprehensive restoration, which included a new lower block, correction to and cleating of the center seam, subsequent cleanup and setting the outline of ribs in the lower bout, fingerboard planing, new upper and lower saddles, a high quality set of Hill style rosewood fittings with bone accents, Kevlar tailgut, dominant strings, and a French three-tree Despiau Superieur bridge.
It is a modest offering imbued with ample power, projection, and character. I find the sound profile to be pleasing, quite adaptive, and altogether even across the strings and upper registers. Tonally adjusted and ready to be played in.