June 11, 2009
Look at this beauty, y'all! It's my new Mussehl & Westphal. Located in East Troy, Wisconsin, they have been making saws for 80 years. I bought a kit which included a Tenor Musical Saw, A Musical Saw Instruction Packet, A Felt Tipped Mallet, A Dowel Practice Bow, A Special String Bow, (they don't lie when they say 'special'. More about this later) Extra strings for the "Special" Bow & A Carrying Case. Oh, and for 4 extra bucks, they engraved my name on it!
The saw is really nice. 2 octaves and made from English Steel. It's shorter and thinner than my Sandvik Stradivarius, Making it easier to handle and higher pitched. Has a good looking handle on it too. There is one little tiny thing that i don't like. It's the engraving of my name. It's cool, but it would look much nicer if it was placed under the saw logo instead of off to the side. I'm not sure why they did that. But, on the whole it's fantastic, so i'll get over it.
Click on the images to zoOM!
The kit is interesting. I would never use the practice dowl-rod bow, or the mallet, but i like having them since they are traditional saw playing gadgets. I was going to say that the "Special Bow" would only be a good idea if you happened to be a mountain woman living in a remote area with no music store or internet connection and postal service in the vicinity. But actually, there is nothing wrong with the bow part, it's the rope that ain't workin' for me. The saw sounds fine, but you hear the braid of the rope rubbing against it and that is distracting. Maybe if you put some horse hair through it, and i'm assuming any true mountain woman would surely have a horse, then it may be alright. Me, i'm stickin' with my cheap violin bow, thanks. Also included were 3 pages of lessons and one page of photographs demonstrating the techniques of holding & playing the saw. Another interesting addition was a newsletter, from 1983! Very cool. Typed, with xeroxed photographs, made on a copy machine. You know, before computers. Sweeet. Oh, and i loved that there was a hand written note included from Mary Kay Wallace Dawson, the current owner of Mussehl & Westphal. Another bonus was a CD full of, uh, sawing.
Lastly, there was the sweetest little cake of rosin. Sweet? Yes, i know, that makes me sound like a looney, but if i'm lyin', i'm dyin'. This is cute! "Paganini Finest-Solo Rosin in Cork Case" Take a look for yourself... So, that's the Mussehl & Westphal Saw Kit. It cost me 130,- dollars. (Plus the postman tagged me for 35 euro's import tax..CRAP!) Which comes to 113,- euro's in total. My Stradivarius Sandvik was 120,- euro's all by itself, so i think this is a really good deal for a complete kit. Plus, it's got sharp teeth and they say that you can saw with it and not damage its' musical qualities...bonus!
I know what your thinking..."What the hell does it sound like?" Well, i'm sorry, but i haven't recorded myself on saw yet. But come to think of it, you might want to pop your head out the window. I wouldn't be surprised if you could here it from where ever you're at right now. It's a very penetrating sound, in a pleasant way of course. In any case, I'll be posting some media soon. Until then, go visit my favorite saw player , Mr. Teeth and hear him sawing away in space! Or see him here with The Hot Potato Syncopators. Man, i just love them taters!