1980s Ton-Klar Dancla 4/4 Violin

Update 2020: New pics, video clip, updated text... now back to the original post...

I've worked on a couple of these pumpkin-orange, German-made, Lewis & Sons-distributed, Ton-Klar violins in the past. They're clearly intended for the student market and have a midsy, clean, crisp sort of tone to them (especially with the Super-Sensitive strings on it). Still, they were made with ebony fittings (board and tail) and seem to have come to the consumer decently-setup and ready to go. I'm pretty sure they mostly date from the '80s and into the early '90s. That's what all of their cases and case-candy have suggested. This one definitely looks '80s to me.

Work included: a setup, restring, and a new bridge -- it plays and sounds well. The nut width is a little wider than older violins and the instrument definitely feels sturdy and ready-to-serve.

Setup notes: have it setup for low, "fiddle height" and it plays nice and fast.

Scale length: 12 7/8"

Nut width: 7/8"

String spacing at nut: 11/16"

String spacing at bridge: 1 3/8"

Body length: 13 3/4"

Lower bout width: 8 1/8"

Side depth at endpin: 1 1/2" +arching

Top wood: solid spruce

Back & sides wood: solid maple

Bracing type: tonebar

Fingerboard: ebony

Bridge: maple

Neck feel: medium C-shape

Neck wood: maple


KHuang said…
I have a beat up Ton Klar Orchestra that was given to me as a free gift.

I took that humble little violin and essentially pimped it up. I even play Pirastro Chorda gut strings on it.

I love my TonKlar. This particular violin resonates incredibly well. The tone isn’t as refined as the tone produced by my 18th century instruments, but certainly the TonKlar is very powerful and smooth and balanced.

Often with a low grade student violin like a TonKlar Orchestra, the tone can be severely optimized by a quality bow. I have a short 19th century slightly swanheaded bow labeled “E A Ouchard” that I play on that TonKlar. The Ouchard still doesn’t make me sound like I’m playing a classic instrument, but at least the Ouchard gives the TonKlar’s tone a bit of refinement.