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longrifles's Achievements


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  1. Ah Ebay. What a venue. I laughed, I cried, I was morose, I was ecstatic, I was wronged, I was cheered, I was tricked, I was satisfied beyond expectation. It's a real window into human interactions and one can find the entire spectrum of the human race represented. Negative feedback and retaliation. Often an unscrupulous seller or buyer will leave negative feedback in the hopes the other person will remove theirs through mutual agreement. Didn't used to be that option. Feedback once left endured forever. Now Ebay allows feedback to be mutually removed if agreed to mutually. Hence, the rats who know not their fathers now use that mechanism to get negative removed. They have a double incentive to leave retaliatory negative feedback - get back at your, and maybe get theirs from you removed. There is no way to prevent retaliation feedback. One can only hope that other folks review your feedback, and his, and see a pattern in his thus not hold his feedback on you against you. There is, though, an option to place additional feedback comments as follow up. That helps clear things up sometimes. It's just a matter of fact that "newbies" are cavalier about paying, about leaving negative feedback, and about describing things honestly. Most usually such jerks don't last long before they are banned/removed for non payment, for violation in terms of service for abusive or profane feedback/emails or the like. Said before many times, review feedback intelligently, make responsible decisions, don't get caught up in bidding wars or frenzy, and caveat emptor. If a seller is evasive at all, don't buy. If in doubt, better to not buy. If it seems like a really great rip off deal in your favor, then it's more likely to be a rip off on YOU.
  2. Paypal is now owned by Ebay. Ebay bought them out quite a while ago. The reason Paypal immediately unfroze your account on threat of lawsuit is because this past year they settled a class action lawsuit against them for doing exactly what they did to you. Apparently they did not learn their lesson, nor alter their practices. That will come back to bite them, as I am sure as part of the settlement they were required by the courts to cease such activity. It isn't really fair to say German, European, or American makers are inflating prices or over charging for their work when comparing to the Chinese shops. Very often the Chinese shops are subsidized by the Chinese government. Also, if you think the Japanese have cheap labor, the Chinese have virtual slave labor. The worker bees get paid peanuts. They are happy to have the peanuts. When you have nothing, peanuts look pretty good. Many, many music stores are selling Chinese violins with italian and german sounding labes and will NOT volunteer that they are Chinese violins to the customer unless asked. Another way around it is to take the violin in the white from China, graduate and set it up in the store, and put their own label in it. Handmade? Yup. Entirely handmade by them? Nope. European shops are doing the same thing. So, though there are fraudulent sellers on Ebay, and folks who walk the line pretty closely, I don't see a guy selling Chinese violins as Italian labeled without saying specifically they ARE chinese as hard core fraudulent any more than many, many music stores across the country. Some of these sellers clearly are liars and frauds. Some just don't know or care. Some write the listing vaguely or worded such that they can't be held accountable. As in everything from buying cars, vegetables in the farmer's market, and most anything else.........caveat emptor.
  3. Michael Darnton, you are a hard man! Maybe that's one reason I like you! Nobody sells a 5000 violin for 500 bucks. Particularly somebody who is primarily selling violins. That ought to be a tip-off right there. However, one hears positive things about the current crop of chinese violins. the mid range (300-700) being darn nice sounding well made violins equivalent to those you'd pay 3000 to 5000 for in local music shops. Those are, most likely, chinese made these days sub-contracted for and with italian sounding or german sounding labels in them anyway! So.............if you are getting the same quality violin for 500 that you'd pay 5000 for through a retailer.........where's the complaint? But as Michael says.......greed works both ways. If you think you are taking the seller to the cleaners, then it's more likely HE is taking YOU for the ride.
  4. Website links don't appear to be working Ron1. At least not for me.
  5. Looking for somebody - anybody - who can carve heads reasonably well for that baroque look on fiddles. I've tried, and I do okay sorta kinda, but cannot have anything turn out looking like the actual face/head I want. Does anybody know of anybody who is skilled at this that takes contract work for the neck only? Perhaps somebody who is beginning work, or needs work, or whatever? Somebody who maybe subcontracts for that kind of work? ANY ideas or leads on this?
  6. Ebay charges you listing fees whether it sells or not. EACH time you list it. Then a final value fee based on the total price it sold for, if it sells. Bidding and then retracting without cause will get you banned from Ebay.
  7. Another baby boomer here. Loved the cartoons back in that day. Ahhh......the 50's. Anyway, back then it was my mother who gave to me a love of classical and folk music. She had some huge collection of albums Greatest Classical Music of the World or some such title with long playing records two for each composer and if I recall there were 12 composers? Think there were 24 records in the set. Then she also had records for russian, jewish, irish, scottish folks music. Nope, we weren't jewish or russian but she had em. I loved em. So, essentially, I was more connecting the classical music from the cartoons to classical albums rather than the other way around. Isn't it funny how, back then SO MANY television shows and cartoons used classical music? Masterpiece theatre, Lone Ranger, and so many others. Guess what genre it is NOW for TV series shows, movies, and even cartoons and kid shows half the time. Rap. Guess that's a little statement about the times then and now, right there, isn't it?
  8. I break mine over my son's head, then have a better known maker fix them. Oh wait! That was another thread by another poster! And since my son lives in Pennsy and I live in Wisc my violins would have to have terribly long necks! Honestly......I'd sell, donate or keep depending on the violin, sound, and sentimental attachment.
  9. I have two chestnut trees that I planted in our yard. The nursery I got them from stated that American chestnuts (the edible kind, not the horse chestnut kind that's probably along that sidewalk) was the largest and sweetest of the chestnuts. It was an industry in itself that provided a major part of the GNP in that day. Many of the six board German chests were made of planks of chestnut wood. Grew so big one board could do one side of a blanket chest. Then some genius in some college (don't you love how they think they can do better than nature?) thought he could make our trees hardier by bringing in the chinese chestnut tree and making a hybrid. When they did, they brought the chestnut blight into the country. Within a few years, ALL American chestnut trees had been blighted and were dead. I was told by the nursery who would like to see a revival of the American Chestnut that no American chestnut tree now lives longer than maybe 15 years if lucky, before it's taken with the blight. These trees in the article are truly a rare find. Another story of how universities can screw things up. One genius thought maybe gypsy moths would be beneficial for some reason. Brought them in. Decimated the trees in Pennsylvania. The eco-nuts wouldn't allow spraying. So they brought in these huge horse flies which were supposed to eat the larva of the gypsy moth. Musta been off their diet. Did nothing of the sort. Gypsy moths flourished and took whole forests. The flies? Destroyed the tourist trade in the mountains. They became virtual clouds of flies and could bite like the biggest size hypodermic needle used on horses. Ahhh....academia. And we are going to let these guys screw around with HUMANS?
  10. Ya know, I'm beginning to think this is a snobbish name game thing. The Strad. English. Gotta be good right? Some fella from the midwest. Gotta be hick. The Strad just HAS to be better. Right? But listening to it all, Strad has lousy customer service, treats customers rather arrogantly, makes it hard to order, and once gotten these posters aren't full size, need jiggling and tinkering around when trying to draw up a pattern that can be used (thus inducing human error etc), and cost as much or more. The beginner is likely to wind up with a violin shaped object not correct in dimensions etc with a Strad poster just as he is told he will end up with in using this - or any - set of plans from Ebay sellers Scotlandd and Bezdez. On the one case, it's assumed the two Ebay sellers have "made up" their own patterns and specs as to graduations and archings which aren't exact. On the first hand, we're told we should "correct" the Strad posters which aren't full size by making up our own patterns and templates by "adjusting" for the inaccuracies of a poster which isn't full size nor very clear in notation because it's a photo and not a plan/blueprint. Oh, but they are taken off REAL violins. There's the difference! Yet noboby knows which of the other plans have been taken off plans, or jiggled around and fudged by the seller from Strad posters which need jiggling around and fudging. Somehow I get the idea if it's Bezdez and Scotlandd doing the jiggling and fudging from a Strad poster then it's going to be wrong, but I'm told if it's ME doing the jiggling around and fudging from a Strad poster it's going to be more accurate and correct, right? Something doesn't compute here. It's starting to smell like snobbery as to name brand - Strad poster is better than an actual full sized plan from Midwest. Nike is better than some no name brand sneaker. Both sneakers made in China in same factory. Pay twice as much for the Nike. Here's what I'm trying to say. A guy like Michael Darnton might be able to go from a Strad poster and make a pretty accurate and very nice sounding violin. He's made many, many violins and gone through the learning curve. A beginner, even going from one of those posters and making his own plans and patterns from them with all the interpolation needed, is NOT going to make the same violin. For that matter, all of us here could work from SAME set of plans, and I'd just bet the quality and sound of violins made would NOT be the same - it'd be a range from violin shaped object making a sound, to sweet Strad selling for 25,000. I kind of rebel against the notion that a beginner is going to make anything OTHER THAN a violin shaped obect which makes a sound as his first endeavors. I also rebel against the notion that a poster (photo) of inexact size needing tinkering, interpolation, and being reduced to a drafted plan by ME is going to somehow be better than a plan derived from a Strad poster or other available information by somebody else who at least HAS drafting skills and machinery.
  11. Look folks. I'm not an expert. I'm a beginner. I stated that. I'm giving the benefit of the doubt. I didn't "miss a point" I got the point....which was that I saw no statement Michael had SEEN a set of these plans. His assumption was that the plans would be wrong, since the claims of the man sounded extravagant. He could be right. I respect Michael very highly. He could also be wrong. Moreover, one set of obscure plans might be wrong, others might be right. He might be getting measurements from Strad posters also, and where none exist, he might be "winging it". Thing is, we are ALL making assumptions more or less. I have no ax to grind nor interest in the seller. Even if the plans I have are wrong, I'll discover that eventually. In the meantime, I'm making a violin. Getting experience. Learning. Even if it turns out to sound like crap, I learn. Hmmm. Grads might be wrong. Try this differently the next time. Go elsewhere for plans. Whatever. I'm not going to be making a 25,000 dollar violin anytime in my lifetime anyway. One can hope, but realistically ain't gonna happen in the time I have left. One learns in anything and everything he does, or he's completely dead upstairs, which I'm not. If one feels reluctant about buying from the seller and that inner voice is telling you to forgo, then forgo. Don't let me convince you. But, for my own self, I'm not convinced to NOT give it a shot by somebody - however respected - who has seen NONE of these plans and is going from the gut. I'd be more inclined to avoid avoid avoid if Michael had said he'd checked out and compared even ONE of these plan sets to another verified as accurate set. Didn't read that anywhere. So what point did I miss again?
  12. Possible, but I doubt it's shill bidding. If you check the bidding record, he had placed his high proxy bid something like four hours before the next higher bidder, and proxy bidding took over. I don't believe that's the way shill bidders work. Unless, of course, the second highest bidder is now contacted and offered it for his highest bid because "previous bidder refused to complete the auction" but we'll likely never know that.
  13. Maybe as to his claim to fame in making them, but that doesn't indicate quality of the plans themselves. As I said, they looked fine to me. Wasn't looking to buy a fiddle from him, just make one of my own. I'd guess the only way to know for sure would be to compare his plans with what's in the Strobel and other books mentioned. Did that. Comparable.
  14. I've gotten a set of plans from him. They look perfectly workable to me, a beginner. Seven sheets in the set, for an Amati 1628. Plans include graduation increments top and bottom, templates for the archings, and a template for the mold, as well as full sized templates for top and bottom, bass bar, neck and scroll, etc. All are full size and cleanly done. Bear in mind, my beginner status. These plans look just fine and all I need to build an exactlng replica of this violin. As to whether the graduations are exact, and from whence they came, can't speak to that. I also bought a three model package (Strad, Stainer, and Guarnerius). The Stainer and Guarnerius plans in the set were comparable, but the Strad model was not. In the three model set, only at most three pages per model and in the case of the Strad, only one page. Still in all, I lean more toward Stainer and Guarnerius so I got what I was hoping for.
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