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Thread: The “Cricket” Violin, by the Magic Fluke company, A Personal Review…

  1. #11
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    Nice to see you went "whole hog" on your order. I'll be very interested in your sister's take on the cricket, considering she's a professional.

    Having just messed around with some grover 4b tuners I wonder how well those would fit into the cricket. Getting them into the fluke was an exercise in gymnastics. The cricket headstock is narrower but the tuners look to be offset. While I'm sure the pegheads are really nice I could certainly live with high end normal friction tuners.

    In their email to me they mentioned that they should be releasing a case for the cricket in the next 2 months or so.

    So I do need to find out, is there anything wrong with a 7 or 8 year old starting out on a full sized violin?
    In order of play time: Martin OXK, Lanikai LU21B, Islander MT4, Rubin Sopranino

  2. #12
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    Hi Bnolsen,

    yes I'm very happy I went "whole hog". From past experiences I know I won't regret the initial extra investment.

    I hear what you're saying about the tuners. I mentioned it in my review. Grover tuners are fine, however I do prefer the mechanics of Pegheds, and in particular for a violin as to me FINE tuning is even more critical with a violin, and the bonus is Pegheds look like true quality violin pegs.

    Yes a case is coming and I'll be waiting to get it, and will update the review accordingly.

    As for size, I would imaging someone that young needs a 1/2 or 3/4 at sized violin at most. As holding a violin properly is an exercise in "yoga" to begin with, and the instrument really needs to fit the person properly. The investment in purchasing and\or renting a child sized violin is well worth considering, as is getting a trained professional teacher. Otherwise you risk doing more harm than good.. even dampening any initial interest if using the instrument ends up in discomfort instead of enjoyment.
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  3. #13
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    Here's an update... After 5 days with my wonderful little cricket...

    I found that once a violinist always a violinist. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to play as if I had been studying it recently for at least 2-3 years after 37 years.

    Granted my playing was horrible and out of tune, but I felt I had decent technique, posture and felt right at home....

    Since then I have compared it to my old violin which has 3 old strings and you know what the old violin of course sounds better, louder etc. But then again it was a good violin 37 years ago... I'm waiting for strings and might do a follow up to compare the sound with the cricket...

    Same with the bow.. It works but come on a 26$ bow is equivalent to a dolphin Uke at best... I found a used/new $300 Glaser carbon fiber bow at amazon for $80 which is on its way to me... That too I'm sure will make a big difference in my playing.

    In any case I would encourage anyone vaguely interested who studied as a child to, definitely give the cricket a try...

    For me I plan to play both the cricket and my old violin which I found after the fact. And either way I'm forever grateful to MFC, for it's the cricket that made me even think, contemplate then return to the violin which I now realized I missed so much. Besides that like the fluke or flea, the cricket would be the violin I would want to take on the road for its durability, and nice full sound...

    I've been very happy since I got it and feel strangely like "I'm finally home".
    Last edited by Olarte; 03-05-2014 at 01:41 PM.
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  4. #14
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    thanks for the advice regarding the bow, etc. Stupid uneducated me. Didn't realize violins use steel/metallic strings. I guess I could see how geared tuners could help there. viols use strings extracted from dead animals.
    In order of play time: Martin OXK, Lanikai LU21B, Islander MT4, Rubin Sopranino

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnolsen View Post
    thanks for the advice regarding the bow, etc. Stupid uneducated me. Didn't realize violins use steel/metallic strings. I guess I could see how geared tuners could help there. viols use strings extracted from dead animals.
    Ivan,

    I've just been thinking about this...

    Do you have a link for a site that discusses the different types and styles of bows, as well as the composition of different materials of the 'bow hairs'? Or is there just one single standard, and they are all made the same (probably not, but you never know)?

    I'd also like to check out the current thinking on Rosin, and if anything has changed in 35 yrs or not...ha ha...

    Also, how do you know if your bow is too tight or too loose when you turn the rod at the end?

    -Booli
    Last edited by Booli; 03-06-2014 at 10:26 AM. Reason: fat fingers
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  6. #16
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    Not really Booli, I guess I've been googling around. I saw a few reviews of bows and glassed stood out as one of the best brands. (Which my sister confirmed)

    Horse hair is definitely the standard on all bows the difference is in the weight, balance, type of wood, whether the adjusting screw is smooth, silver and leather wrapping Etc. I had settled doe a $70 glasser then found the $300 one from amazon for $85!

    It's a wood carbon composite which means it has an outer shell which present warping etc.

    Other sources are http://www.violinist.com

    And the violin geek podcast.
    YouTube channel
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    Instead of anticipating the goal, learn to enjoy the Journey for this is where we spend 99.9% of our time.
    The Journey is the reward...

  7. #17
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    Thank you Ivan!! This is a wonderful in-depth review. I appreciate your detailed verbal description; as a blind musician I appreciate that others love photos, but for me audio is king. Same with your written review, very detailed. I played violin once too, at least 10 years ago... If I play again, this will be the violin for me. Thank you again, you've put so much work and heart into this and it is appreciated!

    BTW the cricket sounds at the beginning of the video? Nice touch, made me laugh. Great work!!

  8. #18
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    Peaceweaver3 thank you for your kind comments. I'm especially glad that I did do an audio/video review and that in this way I was able to share my findings with you.

    It's comments like yours and supporters like you who will keep me motivated to jot down my ramblings into some cohesive order so I can share what I find with others.

    I'm working on my next essay about nail care which I plan to publish sometime next week.

    I look forward to hear the you and others have given a violin a second chance...


    Warm regards,
    Ivan

    Quote Originally Posted by peaceweaver3 View Post
    Thank you Ivan!! This is a wonderful in-depth review. I appreciate your detailed verbal description; as a blind musician I appreciate that others love photos, but for me audio is king. Same with your written review, very detailed. I played violin once too, at least 10 years ago... If I play again, this will be the violin for me. Thank you again, you've put so much work and heart into this and it is appreciated!

    BTW the cricket sounds at the beginning of the video? Nice touch, made me laugh. Great work!!
    Last edited by Olarte; 03-06-2014 at 03:32 PM.
    YouTube channel
    Personal blog

    Instead of anticipating the goal, learn to enjoy the Journey for this is where we spend 99.9% of our time.
    The Journey is the reward...

  9. #19
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    Hey Ivan,

    Once you get your violin-playing wheels lubricated - I've got a request for you...

    How about a duet with yourself on your Fluke and Cricket, for a song like:

    Fur Elise

    Pachelbel's Canon

    Over The Rainbow


    With those songs there's lots of harmonic context and musical space whereby the Cricket could do the melody, and Fluke could do the accompaniment, and you might even be able to work in some counterpoint, depending upon how you arrange the voicing for the chords on the Fluke...

    just a thought...no worries if you have something else in mind

    Booli
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post
    Hey Ivan,

    Once you get your violin-playing wheels lubricated - I've got a request for you...

    How about a duet with yourself on your Fluke and Cricket, for a song like:

    ...snip...

    With those songs there's lots of harmonic context and musical space whereby the Cricket could do the melody, and Fluke could do the accompaniment, and you might even be able to work in some counterpoint, depending upon how you arrange the voicing for the chords on the Fluke...
    Considering he's got almost the whole family he should do a family song...and find someone with a fluke SB to do fillin.
    In order of play time: Martin OXK, Lanikai LU21B, Islander MT4, Rubin Sopranino

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