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Doublestop

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  1. quote: Originally posted by lwl: Because, Doublestop, I think there are good reasons to believe that Gregg Alf is a substantially better maker than Scott Cao is, with a lot of experience making bench copies (I believe either he or Curtin has done copies of 7/8ths or "ladies' violins"). I thought you were talking about the time factor in your original post. Totally different issue if you thought Alf is a better maker, although there are some on this board who may argue with you on that point. I believe Alf (and Curtin) is a better name than Cao. But for a player, tonal quality is paramount and it can be such a subjective matter. From an investment standpoint, you are probably right about Alf.
  2. quote: Originally posted by lwl: Scott Cao's 7/8ths are student-quality instruments, I believe. And for his custom craftsmanship, you're going to be waiting months. If you had significant amounts of money to spend, which S_W appears to have, and you wanted something custom-crafted, it might make more sense to have someone like Gregg Alf copy an older Italian 7/8ths (there are some terrific ones; my teacher has a marvelous one with every bit of the power of a full-size). I don't see the point. Why would one expect a customer-made Greg Alf to come in quicker than a Cao? Alf violins are also in high demand, I believe. In addition, last time I checked, Alf is in Michigan; Cao is in the same state as S-W. For 20K to 50K, one has a lot of options in terms of a custom 7/8 violin. The key is to find a maker whose tone and workmanship you like. For that, one has to invest some time and effort, in addition to money.
  3. The February 2001 issue of The Strad has an article on how to select a violin. It also listed some price ranges for various "grades" of violin. May be a good reference for you. [This message has been edited by Doublestop (edited 01-31-2001).]
  4. Vocalise Op 34 No. 14 by Rachmaninoff is a hauntingly beautiful and melancholy piece. Grave (In the style of W.F. Bach) by Kreisler weighs heavily on your soul.
  5. I wonder how many of the posters on this subject, other than Mr. Darnton, know the costs and risks involved in running a business. I figured a very modest 500 sq. ft. shop in a typical midwestern city will cost at least $75,000 a year in overhead expenses. That is, the spread between sales and cost-of-goods sold has to be at least that much before the owner sees a dime of "profit". Now, consider the same modest shop, how many cheap student violin sales or rental, sheet music and strings sales, occasional appraisal and repaid jobs will it take for the owner just to cover his overhead expenses? The bottom line is: very, very few people get rich running a small business. Most are just trying to make a living. Given the total risks and costs involved, the profit margin on one single transaction should not be judged by the un-involved as being fair or unethical. And when an occasional "bargain" comes by, can one begrudge the dealer for taking advantage of it?
  6. I got the tape after the initial posting last year. I have to say that I found it rather useless. The narrative and the attached booklet were not at all clear nor instructive. I felt like I spent $40 or $50 bucks to get a tape of some guy playing Preludium and Allegro, and the picture and sound quality weren't even that good. I was totally disappointed.
  7. quote: Originally posted by donuel: Do you recall the circumstances of the unprecedented bail out of a Hedge Fund 2 years ago? This was not how it was suppose to work , rather it was how it did turn out. It required an unusual action by Alan Greenspan as I recall. Please feel free to correct . I do re-call the "bail out" of Long Term Capital fund two years ago. That fund ran into a severe liquidity problem because they made some wrong bets. Due to the large positions it had in the market, if it was forced to liquidate assets over a short period of time, it would have caused tremendous havoc and real damage to the market as a whole. Hence, the Fed gathered up brokers and investments banks to piece together a short-term loan for the hedge fund so it has time to liquidate its holdings in an orderly fashion. In the end, all the brokers and I-banks were repaid in full. It did not cause tax payer any money. Of course, the orderly end-game was not reported in the popular press because it was not bad news.
  8. I miss Al Stancel. He was the true definition of an old master: kind, gentle, cheerful, helpful and straight forward. Contrast Mr. Stancel with some of the young master-wanna-be, I miss him even more.
  9. quote: Originally posted by Lydia Leong: In that case... I'm curious what else you tried, other than a Tadioli, when you bought your Matsuda, Doublestop, and why you picked it. I have heard friends use Matsudas to do concertos with orchestra, and don't recall any projection problems, by the way, so I'm perfectly willing to believe your instrument carries well -- I'm just wondering if the Tadioli does as well, though it might not be obvious under the ear. Good point about the sound under the ear! The Tadioli may carry just as well. I picked the Matsuda based on hearing and playing one that belongs to my teacher. I also did some research on American makers who have built certain reputations such as David Folland, Francis Kuttner, David Gusset, Greg Alf, Scott Cao, etc. BTW, I did NOT buy my teacher's Matsuda. I commissioned one from the maker directly.
  10. quote: Originally posted by mlbouquet: Doublestop, I think you acknowledged owning a Matsuda here back in January, unless I'm misunderstanding your post. http://fingerboard.maestronet.com/ubb/Foru...TML/000278.html I get the impression that you're doing a little cheerleading here, and I think that we will all benefit when everyone tries to make a full disclosure of their affiliations. This is not to suggest that your opinion isn't valid. Mark No intention to lead any cheer here. I only wanted to see how others feel about this one particular maker. As noted in my original posting, I was looking for other's opinion and experience. And please note my one comment on the Matsuda was in my response to Ms. Leong and it was not what I would call glowing as I tried to be objective. I also own a no name old violin, a Jeandel bow, a Messing bow, a Sartory bow, and a couple Musafia cases. I have a Wolf shoulder rest as well as a Kun. I use Dominant strings. My teacher was a classmate of Perlman's under DeLay and Galamian. How's that for full disclosure?
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