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mstein

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About mstein

  • Birthday 10/04/1955

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    Arlington

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  1. I have a 1905 'cello by Schetelig which my parents bought for me in 1968 as my first full-sized instrument. Although I bought a better one six years ago, I still have the Schetelig as a backup and loaner for out-of-town visitors.
  2. Quote: I have never been comfortable with sellers who block the IDs of their bidders. You can't get the email addresses of the bidders from eBay, so protecting the privacy of a bidder doesn't really make any sense. There are two innocuous reasons for blocking the ID. One is to protect people who do not use sniping programs from having their interest disclosed. E.g., pknorr - it's been remarked several times in this forum that any item he bids on is worthwhile. If the fact that he's bidding were disclosed prematurely, it would likely cause him to pay a higher price or even lose the auction since other bidders would be informed that this auction is a good one. While it's possible to avoid this problem with sniping, snipes sometimes do fail for technical reasons - computer crash, Ebay changing the interface without warning, etc. The other reason for keeping IDs private doesn't really apply to instrument auctions. Ebay provides a capatility to search by bidder. For some strange reason, there are people who would not want it known that in addition to their violin buying, they are bidding on an auction titled, "HOT ANIMAL XXX!" Some time ago I put in a suggestion to Ebay that they allow _bidders_ to make their IDs show as "private" in the bidder list, rather than giving that control to the sellers. I think it would be a good thing to add the bidder's feedback rating to the bid history even for private auctions - I have just sent that suggestion to Ebay. - Mike Stein
  3. Quote: I use AuctionMagic and have for a few years. Buy it one time (cheap..about $15) and use as often or little as you wish. Another downloadable standalone program is JBidwatcher. There is both a platform-independent Java version and a Windows executable. It is open source and free (there is a donations link along the left hand side of the home page). The downside is that every so often Ebay makes some sort of change to their format that breaks the software, but the author is pretty good about keeping up. I don't know how often Ebay does something to break the commercial services. - Mike Stein
  4. I went up yesterday. Since I'm a 'cellist, I did not find the lady as seductive as some others around here. There was however a very nice Gofriller 'cello, as well as some lesser celli and a nice selection of bows. After trying out a good selection of the bows, I made my way over to the Tariso viewing and tried out the Amati, Forster, Chanot, and Vuillaume 'celli, along with bows by Finkel, Barnes, Morizot, and Sartory. Well worth the train ticket.
  5. Just last week my 18-year-old German shop bow broke in the middle of a rehearsal. The tip split cleanly along the grain in the middle of playing a note. (Still waiting for a call back from a local bow maker to see if he thinks there's at least a chance of repairing it.) If I had not had a spare bow in the case I would have been out of luck for the rest of the rehearsal. Even worse if it had happened in the middle of the concert! - Mike Stein
  6. Quote: And by the way, I did change my ebay seller name from "anewminicooper" to Beautiful Stringed Instruments" because my Mini Cooper is 2 years old now and no longer new. I do have another new car but I didn't think "anewLandRover" would fit hence "Beautiful Stringed Instruments". Satisfied? Dear me, what happened to your Mercedes? Have an accident? For those of you who have no clue what I'm talking about, please check out this previous thread. At that time, our Mr. McD was talking about anewminicooper in the third person, and touting the seller's business. Some choice excerpts: Jacob: It doesn't look as if Saga supplies this viola, another e-bay offering by anewminicooper. Does anyone have an idea where he sources these[?] MrMcDario: If you are so anxious to know where they come from, then why don't you ask this seller? Better yet, instead of being to critical, why don't you actually buy something from this seller? I just bought the Vuillaume that I mentioned in my previous post. I love it! It is indeed authentic and my experierence with this seller has been perfect. He is very reputable and fair. I highly recommend him. I asked him where he gets his violins, like the Ebay ones, and he told me that he wholesales them and personally imports them from around the world. Jackc: Does anyone else here get the distinct impression that Mr. McDario drives a new mini cooper? MrMcDario: Last time I checked, my Mercedes was still in my garage. Mr. McD - would you care to explain this, um, little inconsistency? - Mike Stein
  7. Quote: Yes, a new, correctly made, instrument will do a good amount of it's perceptable "breaking in" over 6 or 7 months. Jeffrey, is it true that for the first 1,000 measures you should keep the tempo under quarter note = 55?
  8. ... but not the author of this Ebay listing. What word does one use when "hyperbole" does not even begin to describe the over-the-top sales job? I had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1st. Amusing cello listing I particularly love the instruction to take notes, as if the seller expected the listing to vanish before the end of the auction.
  9. Quote: No, I think your all-or-nothing approach is the simplistic one: I'm not asking them to look at every item. You provided a link to the Reuters story which lambasted them for allowing genuine items to be listed that were illegal to sell from the lister's home country. How, praytell, are they to know whether any item is illegal in that way without looking at it? Even confining themselves to the jewelry, antique, coin, and book categories (any of which, it would appear, could have items banned under the British law), that would still require an examination of what looks to me to be at least half a million current auctions on the US site alone. But it gets worse. A far more pervasive problem is the trademark and copyright infringement area. That is: fake Gucci bags and illegal copies of CDs, videos, software, and DVDs. That adds many more items to the supervision requirement. The only way I can see to stop that is to completely shut down the used recorded media marketplace. That's a loss for people who bought legal media and are now trying to sell it legally. Quote: I'm saying that a venue that has so much fraud shouldn't be permitted to exist, period. You are conflating two separate issues. Issue #1 is fraud (selling fake items, or selling items with no intent to deliver). Issue #2 is the one mentioned in the article you linked to at the start of this thread, namely selling genuine but illegal items. For fraud, I'm frankly surprised Ebay hasn't started its own escrow service to solve the problem at a profit. Require all sellers to allow the buyers to use escrow at the buyer's expense, and present an automatic "pay by escrow" choice to the winner of all auctions. Ebay gets the escrow fees (escrow.com is no more than 3.25% of sales price, albeit with a $25.00 minimum) plus the "float." This won't solve problem #2, however, since the recipient of a genuine but illegal item, or a pirate DVD, is not likely to file a complaint with the escrow service. - Mike Stein
  10. Quote: It's not technology that's indifferent; it's the folks at Ebay who don't care what's happening on their site beyond making what appears to be a nominal and totally ineffective effort. As I've said before, if Ebay was a local bar, it would have been closed down long ago by the police, and the neighbors would be delighted. I'm sorry, Michael, but I think you're being simplistic. I've read that Ebay has at least six MILLION items listed on any given day (and some sources say more). Going with 600,000 new items a day, by my computations it would take over 300 full-time employees to spend fifteen seconds doing an initial call-up and evaluation of each item - and that doesn't even begin to address the staffing required to do a more detailed investigation of anything that raises a question. The overwhelming majority of items on Ebay are not controversial in the least, and Ebay makes it possible to sell them without prohibitive listing fees to pay for the overhead of Ebay taking full responsibility for the accuracy and legality of all listings. It's all well and good to blast Ebay for not doing enough, and I'm prepared to listen to arguments that they should be quicker about dealing with specific complaints from users about sellers. But when it comes to investigating listings before they even go up (which is what it sounds like you are now asking for), it's much harder to design a system that would be effective without making at least some current listings cost-prohibitive. I'd like to hear you make a constructive suggestion, and describe the type of effort you would be satisfied with as being more than "nominal" and "ineffective." Then let's cost it out and see how much it would add to the listing fees. - Mike Stein
  11. Quote: Not all violins from that town are either factory or shop violins or Roths. There are some fine, master-made instruments from there. My first full-sized 'cello was made in Markneukirchen by Ernst Schetelig in 1905. He has a one-line entry in Henley. Nice tone, though the response and projection would not be up to the standards of a first-rank orchestra professional. - Mike Stein
  12. Quote: 1. Sure it was MORE THAN CALLED FOR! He may not write policy but he carries it out which is just as bad. And yes, a real man can pick his wars. Who are you foolin'? Well, yes, I must admit that technically you are correct. He can choose his wars - if, that is, he's willing to go to jail for refusing an order to report. Once you've signed up for the Guard or Reserve, you see, there are significant consequences involved in trying to pick your war. But I'm sure you knew that. By the same token, however, if you are paying taxes, then you too are supporting that war, aren't you? You _could_ choose to go to jail or live below the poverty line rather than pay for that immoral war. Surely someone of your tremendous intellect and erudition must be aware of the war tax resistance movement. Since you belittle the fellow for not choosing jail over deployment to Iraq, I must assume that a "real man" such as yourself is either in voluntary poverty (how do you afford your Internet access, though?) or refusing to pay his federal taxes. I guess you are only posting here until the IRS catches up with you and you are put in a cell where you can no longer post to Maestronet. Surely that must be the explanation, you courageous, manly man, you. Quote: DUH! He obviously didn't write our insane policy regarding Iraq, he just carries out our insane policy in Iraq just like a PAWN. And oh- if pawn is too complicated a word for you then get your GED. If you are paying taxes without resistance, and thus paying for this immoral war, then you too are a pawn. If "hypocrite" is too complicated a word for you, perhaps you too need to look into that GED thingie. Or go to that OED thingie, and look up the words "petard" and "hoist." Then look in the mirror. HTH. HAND. AH.
  13. mstein

    St-Cyr

    Quote: Has anybody dealt with Brice de St Cyr in Manhattan and if so what is your experience dealing with him? I've purchased books and one lower-end cello bow from him. The bow was OK, not fantastic - but then again, I wasn't looking for a Peccate for $150. I suspect it's Chinese, and while not specifically advertised as such neither was it represented as being anything better than it was. I've visited him in his shop; he was nice to talk to. - Mike Stein
  14. mstein

    eBay cello

    Quote: the Miremont cello looks EXACTLY like one I've seen before; that's why I'm wondering about it...it seems highly unlikely that such an "obscure" maker would have copyists... I'm thinking it's in amazingly good condition for an instrument supposedly 122 years old. ("It was owned by a little old lady in Pasadena who only played it on Sundays.") As for obscurity, I am by no means an expert, yet I've still managed to come across a number of obscure makers' labels, both old and modern, attached to instruments they never made. Though if you mean a true copyist - a student or other later maker who thought highly of the original, set out to reproduce it as faithfully as possible, and labeled it not to deceive but rather to indicate what it was patterned after - perhaps not. - Mike Stein
  15. Very striking instrument regardless of authenticity. Decorated cello labeled Vuillaume - Mike Stein
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