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Bruce Molsky discusses and demonstrates his primary fiddle.

by Teja Gerken
August 04, 2016

Multi-instrumentalist Bruce Molsky, Peghead Nation Old-Time Fiddle instructor, knows a fine instrument when he sees one, and so it was love at first sight when he encountered his Bruno Stefanini fiddle more than 20 years ago. A former apprentice to the great Italian builder Otello Bignami, Stefanini is a violin maker based in Bologna, Italy.

In this video, Bruce talks about the fiddle, and about how Bruno’s brother, Rafe Stefanini, a renowned old-time fiddler and banjo player himself, brought three Stefanini fiddles to the US around 1993. This one stood out because it had a similar resonance to his voice, and Bruce was looking for something he could sing and harmonize with. It’s built in the Bolognese style, but with a flatter bridge than a classical player would use. Bruce strings it with D’Addario Helicore strings, which he says “sound really good and are really stable.” He amplifies it with a DPA lavalier mic that he hangs in back of the bridge.

To hear more of this fiddle and to learn fiddle with Bruce, enroll in his Old-Time Fiddle course on Peghead Nation today.


Category: Instruments & Gear

Comments and Discussion

Posted by bruce_molsky on
It's an old model now, no longer made, which hangs from the strings between the bridge and tailpiece. DPA has a new (and much better) model now, the 4099, which has a similar sort of mounting incorporating a gooseneck. Much better feedback threshold and better overall sound. There are other good products out there as well, such as Bruce Bartlett violin mic. Schertler makes a contact mic which has a good reputation. I haven't heard that one in action. Also worth checking out is the Skyinbow fiddle pickup. which has an ingenious chinrest mounting that includes a preamp. It charges by attaching a 9v battery for just a minute, which gives 20 hours of use. It does require drilling a small hole in the bridge - sounds really great for a pickup.
Posted by david falkowski on
So, which DPA mic are you using and how do you "hang" it without attaching?
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Jul 01, 2020
The songwriter and multi-instrumentalist performs an original song live in the Martin Museum, on a 1942 Martin D-45.

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