Brad H

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  1. I agree, and I suppose it is because some folks know how much crap is peddled there so ALL Ebay purchases must be suspect. Plus, musicians are told not to try to find an instrument on Ebay, and are sometimes derided when they bring their purchases to a shop. So, as a dealer, when I tell a potential customer, "I got this great fiddle on Ebay", they may be less enthused than if I had bought it through a major auction house.
  2. Back when I bought my first fiddle on Ebay in 1996(?), Ebay was completely different - it was actually an auction site. Most everyone started their listings with an opening bid of $9.99 because higher starting prices and higher reserves accrued higher seller fees. By doing this, Ebay was encouraging sales. There seemed to be much less competition and many great deals to be had. Unfortunately (for me), I was just learning about fiddles and I didn't take advantage of some great opportunities because I didn't know enough to bid aggressively on the good stuff. Today's Ebay is more of a store than an auction site. I would bet that upwards of 80% of the violin listings don't sell because of the ridiculous asking prices. As Jacob said, you do need tall waders and lots of patience - which I have mostly lost - to sift through the muck and find a decent offering. And you can bet that that one decent offering will receive attention from lots of folks worldwide.
  3. Agreed. The side view also gives an indication of overstand and neck angle. But no picture can tell you plate thicknesses. I don't mind if they are too thick, but would rather steer clear of violins with overly thin plates; I haven't been successful in this with some auction violins.
  4. Lula, I would start local and then expand your search as needed. If you are moving up from a 305, you will probably need some time to train your ear on the qualities of better violins; playing lots of violins which are available within a day's drive will give you that experience, plus you might meet some interesting folks in the process. I have no idea how complete or accurate this webpage is, but it gives violin makers in each province. Canadian Violin Makers
  5. I don't, but will bump it up to give it some more exposure. Maybe if you gave your price range, you might receive suggestions of other makers, both in Europe and elsewhere.
  6. I think the Ebay seller just placed the order in my name, using whoever's credit card....but am not sure.
  7. 13 grades, with No. 13 priced at $40. Here is a No. 4 currently priced at $3500 And, an even nicer Masakichi Suzuki from the 1920s
  8. Some of the 1910-20s Masakichi Suzuki (Nagoya, Nippon) violins can be good student instruments - I am not sure how this brand was connected to other Suzukis I have had a few and, besides plainer maple and low overstands, the construction was good and tone can be quite decent. I think they also made them from 1941- 43 at even higher grades. Somewhere I picked up an excel file with Masakichi violin grades by price and year (starting in 1907) - , I can send it to anyone interested.
  9. Michael, what I hope to learn from you (and David) is why each group of players have their string angle preferences.
  10. I am hoping for some more details.....What was your method of increasing the string angle? Were the comments you received related to tone? To ease of play? To other preferences?
  11. Is there a right string angle? I know it is given as 158 deg, but is that based on tone, or just the way things worked out with typical construction specs? Does every violin perform optimally at 158 deg? Or, do some perform better with angles of 157 or 159 based on arching shape/height and plate thickness? In other words, does a thick plate with a strong arch perform better at 157 deg because it needs extra downward force to drive it?
  12. I have trouble making violins with overly thin plates sound good with any neck angle. But, I would agree with that statement. Why would it be beneficial to deliver extra force on a thin top that is inherently more prone to receive and transmit vibrations? Complicating the analysis of the factors involved - neck angle, overstand, arching height, saddle height - is the effect of changing bridge height and mass, i.e., did the change in tone result from the string angle change, or reduction in bridge mass from a lower bridge (Don's previous experiment with saddle height opened my mind to this).
  13. I will wager that the string order originated from one of the Ebay sellers, and that they mistakenly placed the order for you instead of the actual Ebay buyer. Since the Ebay seller presumably paid through some type of fraud, they didn't bother to contact you about the error. You might call up Shar and have them investigate....the more info they have, the better able to tackle the problem.
  14. If it seems too good to be true....it is.
  15. The fact that they have positive reviews means nothing. The buyer got their strings so they are oblivious to the probable credit card fraud perpetrated by the "seller". Please explain how an Ebay seller can buy strings from Shar for $65/set, sell them on Ebay for $34/set and make a profit....unless there is some type of fraud going on. Again, the SHAR rep I spoke with thought the sellers were using stolen credit cards.