In the center of Regensburg lies the violin shop ‘Geigenbauer Goldfuss’. The family-owned company has been building, restoring and maintaining stringed instruments that can be heard in international concert halls around the world since 1985.
Customers from Germany, Japan, Korea and the USA rely on the expertise of master violin maker Thomas Goldfuss, who is the third generation to run the company, originally founded in 1937.
At first glance, it’s clear that violin making requires the highest precision, attention to detail and meticulous dedication. At the long workbench, the employees are completely immersed in their work while Vivaldi sounds create an inspiring ambience in the background.
Exquisite precision tools are neatly lined up on the wall – cutters, chisels, irons, files and rasps, knives and planes, most of them from Japan.
“The Japanese levers and saws work on tension, which ensure more stability and precision at work,” explains Thomas Goldfuss.
Up to 220 painstaking working hours are involved in the production of a new violin. But repairs can also be very complex, depending on whether painting work is still required or only the pegs have to be fitted or the fingerboards have to be dressed.
For the latter maintenance work, entire orchestras are happy to register with Master Goldfuss during the summer break. “There is no violin that I cannot repair,” he explains, recalling the restoration of an instrument whose body had been broken up into several small parts that were kept in a shoebox. It took ten months for the violin to be completely restored. Today, young talents from the Mannheim Sinfonima Foundation play on it.
Quality light for precision work
The basic lighting in the workshop is carried out with 600mm FLOS Light Stripe light profiles on flush-mounted tracking magnet tracks. Its warm light with 3000 Kelvin colour temperature gives the room, characterised by white walls and warm wooden furniture, a pleasant brightness.
Equally important is a faithful colour rendering of materials, especially the different woods that are used in violin making – old Bosnian maple for the back, sides and neck, spruce for top, hoops and blocks, black ebony for fingerboard, pegs, tailpiece and chin rest or boxwood and rosewood. Thanks to the LEDs with CRI 90, even the finest colour pigments in wood are accurately displayed.
Vertical lighting and work area lighting are provided by FLOS Spot 150 spotlights, which are equipped with 22.5 W LED arrays. With integrated cross shielding, they provide glare-free light on the horizontal working level. In order not to create disturbing shadows, they are arranged in groups of three above the respective workstations. In addition, they illuminate the tool and material walls, the wall cabinets and boards.
They are also responsible for the external impact. At dusk and at night the light shines through the windows onto the square and reveals the interior of the workshop. The lights have a DALI interface, so they can all be individually controlled and dimmed. “The beauty of the system is that you can adjust it individually to your own needs,” comments Thomas Goldfuss, emphasising the added value of the new lighting system. W