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Rick Hyslop

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  1. Hmmmm...well clearly this person was not interested in your ideas or thought that they knew all of the answers already. This is never a good attitude for a student or a teacher ! r.
  2. Hey there David. I was really only remarking on the "spin" that most if not all businesses apply to their products. "World's best cup of coffee." type of sentiment. I personally never believe any of the hype generated to sell a product and as a rule I am more naturally inclined to pay attention to things which are understated. r.
  3. Hello all. I know I really shouldn't make this post, but this particular thread and the emotions it seems to have bred has been bothering me quite a lot. I used to post on Mnet for better or worse and I enjoyed communing with others who have similar interests. However, ultimately it was because of such over heated and often mean spirited arguments that I made a decision to stop visiting the site except for searching out specific questions I had, for which there is a great wealth of information and I am still extremely thankful. Unfortunately somehow I got sucked in to reading this thread all the way through ! I have no idea who the various players are regarding the advertised course, nor am I likely to take the necessary time to find out. I am surprised though that this topic has generated such a mountain of loathing. In the end I see nothing at all different in the actions and perhaps misplaced enthusiasms of the advertisers of this "course" than what happens in the world of business that surrounds all of us on a daily basis. I also can hardly imagine that this "entrepreneurial endeavour" will bring the art of lutherie to it's knees. Why then all the fuss ? I realize the liberal use of references to associations and unlawful use of images is completely uncool but these are the only points where I feel there is actually something to complain about. Can this man teach violin making ? I won't be one to attend and find out, but I feel that I have to step in where I see what is in my opinion not the best behaviour. Live and let live. Will this offered B and B violin making experience actually be harmful to anyone ? Not unless you sell your house to attend in the hopes that you will become the next Stradivari. Even if such people do exist, I doubt one could dissuade them from doing so any more than one could dissuade someone from dropping an equal amount of cash in order to sit on a cruise ship for a week. Personally, I take the time to look very carefully into any experiences which I feel may be beneficial to my life and only after such considerations will I act on it. In general this approach has worked for me. Would I attend this course ? No, it would not be for me. Perhaps it might work for someone else ? I wish everyone well in their endeavours, lutherie and otherwise. Sincerely. r.
  4. Maybe it was only in my copy or no one has received/bought their own copy yet ? It seems strange that there would be so many obvious mistakes with a featured instrument. Oh well I guess these things happen ? You would think though that someone would have caught such glaring errors. r.
  5. Hey there. It seems like there must have been a mistake or two or three made in the publishing of the measurements for the Rugeri violin featured in the Strad December 2014 issue. UB 279 mm MB 270 mm LB 193 mm LOB 284 mm r.
  6. Happy holidays Roger. Thanks for the early present in the form of the bass making thread. What a great gift ! r.
  7. Voldemort, I think that if you get caught playing around with these numbers at Hogwarts instead of learning your basic wizardry skills you could very well be expelled ! r.
  8. Hey there Michael. I know a little about guitar prices. During my life I have played in many bands and have owned some nice guitars. I however would be much more inclined to spend serious money on a hand made violin than a factory made electric guitar. This is not only because of a predilection for violins but the fact that an electric guitar's "sound" in my opinion has much less to do with it's construction. Bringing this thread back on the topic of brand name instruments, I bought a re-issue Gretsch guitar 3 years ago which plays and "sounds" fantastic ! It was one of three that I tried in the shop that day. I wasn't really in the market for a new guitar but the price was great and the instrument incredibly pleasing to play and I had an upcoming gig which could justify the purchase. This "brand" used to be made exclusively in the US and the original copies of these are somewhat expensive but nowhere near the frenzied pricing of Fender or Gibson. In my estimation the re-issue that I bought is every bit the guitar of any original Gretsch I have played. The interesting thing is that now Gretsch manufactures mainly, ( perhaps only ? ) in Japan and Korea. The Japanese made guitar that I tried that same day, same model exactly, was close to three times the price of the Korean one that I bought, yet the Korean guitar was hands down a better playing and sounding guitar. So when it comes to brandname instruments or just instruments in general, as I think you may have stated earlier, I suppose once you get over the "label" and country of origin, the "musicality" of the instrument is where the true value lies. Cheers. r.
  9. Eric, I think I may have completely misunderstood where you were coming from and further more the title of the thread should have helped to clue me in ! I guess I found something provocative in your statement. I agree with you on what you have stated above and I suppose it is partially these realities which may have initiated my comments. I am not certain that the wealth of a dealer immediately signifies "abuses" but of course it is possible. The thing that gets me down is the gap between reasonable financial success while still keeping things small and personal. Cheers. r.
  10. I am of course well aware of this fact Martin. My point was simply that the profit margin for a single maker is very different from that of a business who produces violins in a production line manner or those businesses which sell these instruments. I also know that there have been many other scenarios of how instruments have been manufactured and retailed in the past as for example the Mirecourt and Markneukirchen manufacturers and subsequent points of sale. I too think that it is interesting that I, and I am certain there must be others, have this feeling regarding the "lone" maker, but I wouldn't say that I personally am vilifying the idea of "ye olde shoppe". To clarify my feelings, using a Fender guitar as an example, I can accept that it was made in a factory by any number of individuals and that it is clearly a mass produced item bearing a brand. When it comes to an instrument with a label inside signed by one hand indicating an individual and personal involvement in its creation then I could find it somewhat misleading. If one considers an item outside of the violin world for a moment like the work of a writer for example, it is clear to me that we as a society have always had a predilection for the individual creator in the way we praise and celebrate the individuality of authorship. In the same way, a bespoke item has always held more value in our society than something which was "mass produced" and in my opinion rightly so. Stradivarius' "shoppe" and the factories of Mirecourt are of course completely different, but perhaps the modern concept desiring a single author is a slow motion knee jerk reaction to the facelessness of what began as the industrial revolution. I think it might simply come down to the fact that as human beings we seek humanity in everything we engage in, so when there is no "personal handshake" that comes with a product which suggests it, we might feel confused or even alienated. I realize that this thread was started in regards to the OPs experience in a violin shop and that my comments aren't exactly within the topic of this thread, however Eric stated something which I felt was not completely correct. Eric has subsequently clarified his thoughts and I will post my reply to him after this one. Sorry if this is a long winded response, and I don't expect a personal detailed reply from you. Cheers. r.
  11. Hey David. Should these people actually be called violin "makers" then ? I guess in my last post I was thinking of the individual like yourself who make their own instruments from start to finish. I know that there are many different approaches and models of shops and I am not making value judgements, I am only clarifying that in my previous post I meant a one man business creating hand crafted items. For me once there are many other hands involved creating the product it becomes a different thing. r.
  12. Explanation ? Compared to who or what ? I don't know of any super rich violin makers. In fact many of those that I know repair as well to make ends meet. If by high profit margin you mean money going out on material in comparison to money coming back in as the sale of a violin, sure I guess it seems high profit. Then you take into account cost of the shop, tools, general upkeep, insurance etc. plus the skilled labour costs involved in producing a hand made instrument and it doesn't really seem all that high to me. You should know this though as you run a shop, (which by the way looks very nice from the pic you posted a while back). If it takes 100 hours to produce a violin and a maker gets paid only $20 per hour for his labour then the cost is $2000 just for labour. (I would put the per hour skilled labour at a much higher rate though.) Once you add in the other costs and the various uncertainties it seems about like any other business to me. That is to say, it is difficult and requires a great deal of drive and patience and even perhaps some luck. A dentist on the other hand, now there are some high profit margins. Or how about the profit margin on a cup of coffee ? Where I live there are at least 10 independent coffee shops in 5 minute walking distance and they have been going for years now, clearly able to pay rent and staff and generate a profit and with little else than a good espresso machine, coffee and milk. Of course these are just my outside views as I am neither a dentist nor a barrista. r.
  13. Hey David. Do you find that the aluminum saddle adds a great deal of "brightness" to the sound or that it will perform in pretty much in the manner that you would expect to get from a regular fitted ebony saddle ? EDIT: A better question would be what are the tonal differences if any between this and a regular fitted saddle ? I just assumed some added brightness. r.
  14. I am going for one word answers today as though this were some sort of Rorschach test. It is also makes for very succinct replies ! What do you see here ? r.
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