Jump to content
Maestronet Forums


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by miles

  1. quote: Originally posted by: priya I say if you want to buy a chinese cello buy it local, save on the shipping and have your local luthier put in a snappy label for you. Hi Priya, What is a snappy label? I would love to have my own name on my violin. I don't know about other people, but $500 on shipping I most likely won't buy it on eBay. The reason is that how do I know what I am getting once the package arrives. It is a drag to ship it back for a refund in case anything wrong with the item. Therefore, I think Priya's advice is sound one. Best luck.
  2. quote: Originally posted by: Michael Darnton I once owned a Montblanc, but I think their designs are Germanic ugly, and, because of that, overpriced (I don't like to pay a premium for ugly things.)<br /><br /> I am with you on the premium. So I had my debtor (i.e. my dad) bought me a Mont Blanc years ago. :-) The one he got was actually very classy and slim. Although it is 20 years old, it still runs like a charm. I had Cross and ?K Gold Parker. Not my favorite. Over a decade ago, a Swedish doctor I was studying under highly recommended the Pilot Varsity to me. It was very decent I thought. Being a poor student, I actually unscrewed the top, and used a syringe from our medical research lab to refill with my Mont Blanc black ink. Heehoo! I've made a "regular" pen out of a disposable! Up to this date, I still have these "regular" Pilot Varsity.
  3. Just came across an interesting article about doctors-patients, and I like its conclusion. Doctors achieving these targets are rewarded financially. This sounds unexceptional, but there are two snags. Even if a doctor and patient both agree that a particular treatment is not in that patient's interest, the doctor risks losing income if he does not carry it out and it is the subject of a Government target. And by concentrating on disorders that are associated with targets and extra income, the doctor may easily pay less attention to conditions that are not so favoured. We try not to be influenced in this way, but who can tell? Life is certainly more complicated than it used to be! http://news.scotsman.com/columnists.cfm?id=1718432006
  4. Then why buy, not rent? In addition, for a true beginner, why in the world would that person need an expensive violin to generate such hot debate in excessive commissions? I am sure factory/workshop made violins are pretty much the same among the same product lines, for example, Eastman Strings, Scott Cao and Knilling etc. If one is a true beginner, get something of that grade or rent one until one can truly play/appreciate a good violin. Part of the problem is people tend to have blind faith in certain things and people, but as CT said, "common sense should prevail." Use ones judgment, and don't be cheap--thinking one can get something for nothing. It's not going to happen.
  5. Nice! Jerry, how long have the two kids been playing the violin before they start this project? I would like to follow their progress with my own, but I've only played for about five months (with three months idling in between). I don't know for my level whether I am ready to do so.
  6. I still like Oded's suggestion the best: Refuse giving commissions, but tell the students to pay their teachers for their time. One (student) can cry for breached trust and all, but let us not forget that THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH. Seeking a lawsuit? The predictable winners are only the attorneys from both sides.
  7. quote: Originally posted by: falstaff As long as it doesn't hijack a discussion others may be taking seriously. Who cares about the so-called "others"? Half of this thread is pretty much hi-jacked by now, and everyone is sincerely happy for Michael's shop and his predictable success. You go, my fellow Chicagoan!
  8. quote: Originally posted by: falstaff What of a situation such as: my teacher recommends a particular bow-rehair guy. All her students avail themselves of that advice. My teacher then goes into the same bow guy for her re-hair. And he doesn't charge her, or charges her less. ..... If I go to a pub frequently. I show up one day with five friends. The bar tab is enormous. The bartender buys me drinks all night, on the sly, knowing he has me to thank for the big tip at the end of the evening. Or he buys the group a round. Corrupt? Technically, that's a kick back. But it's also good business. Chances are next time I have a party I'm going to show up at his bar. In addition to good business sense, I think it is also human relationship. Isn't it a virtue to express gratitude? As long as it is appropriate, I'd say enjoy it!
  9. And also people like me, who's absolutely clueless just cannot play even though I would love to...
  10. Congrats, Michael! The new shop is very inviting looking, and the same great location!
  11. quote: Originally posted by: Oded Kishony When a student brings their teacher to my studio to look at instruments I often advise those students to be sure to pay the teacher for their time. Oded Kishony I think Oded just touched the root of the issue. Most students (or parents) don't even think about it, taking granted that the teacher should spend their time for free. I was at fault as well. Although I never went to a shop to buy a violin with my teachers (only two teachers so far), my first teacher took me to a violin shop to rent a violin for me (he felt that rental was a better choice for me). We spent the entire afternoon for such task. Afterwards, I treated him to a nice restaurant across the street from the famous Glueckenspiel tower in Marienplatz, and we had a very nice dinner. But it never occurred to me that I should compensate him--not that I was cheap or could not afford. It just never occurred to me, especially everything was conducted in German. But my teacher was well-compensated with my tuition. So it wasn't too bad after all.
  12. Thanks a lot, Michael, for the insider's edition. Not only had you helped with advancing other fellow violin makers' career, but you also soon give out all the business side of secret. I suspect though the teachers at issue here might be of different type of crowds. In a thread, yuen mentioned his experience with his violin teachers--one being consistently on the phone during lessons and failing to engage the student (the teacher played his violin, and yune played his own as well). I cannot say for sure, but it would not come as a surprise if teachers of the unprofessional type would be gladly making higher commission at their students' own expense. I am grateful for my good luck with my violin teachers, who are professional players and have good reuputation of genuinely caring for students. For those who are not as lucky, I agree with Neil's (Option1) approach.
  13. quote: Originally posted by: falstaff No, the point was complete anonymity. It seems the poll option has been turned off. Although, oddly, adding a poll does appear when composing a message. Sorry, I missed the "fine print" until Cassi mentioned it. I thought you were asking for poster opinion. Agreed. Under such circumstances, total anonymity should prove to be the best policy. Can Jeffrey or Glenn turn this function on?
  14. It sounds interesting. Why don't you pose your poll questions and tally response anyway, Guy? After all, you don't know who I am anyway. That is as good as anonymous.
  15. quote: Originally posted by: Alan_Coggins quote: Originally posted by: Cassi i've seen so many articles and arguments about this practice, with people on both sides giving their opinions and lots of reasons why, but the question i've never seen asked, is, if getting a commission is only right and fair, and is in the overall best interest of the student, why not just disclose it? why keep it unknown to the student? cassi Yes Cassi - that's the big question isn't it. The other thing that never seems to be addressed is why, if the teacher is just being fairly compensated for their time and effort, does the compensation have to be proportional to the value of the instrument. Do they spend twice as much time and effort on a violin worth twice as much? I am a student myself, and got all my instruments so far without a teacher's endorsement. Therefore, I should be impartial in this teacher-compensation discussion. That said, I would like to pose a question: Should all retailers, salesmen/women and alike disclose their markups and/or commissions? Years ago when I was a student, my classmate worked at circuit city type of big retail store. I asked him what brand of laptop was the best. To my surprise, he replied, "I don't know. I only recommend the brand, which gives me the highest commission." This fella is by now a physician. The question raided regarding teacher-commission seems to mix two equal roles (teacher, salesman/woan) into a dominant one (teacher). Admittedly, teacher has a special place and value in our society (if not all societies). In a soceity built on the foundation of capitalism (to the extreme these days) what do we expect? If one is lucky enough to have a good teacher, one should be really grateful. Otherwise, buyer be aware as in any business dealing! [edited] I usually bring the violins, whose sound doesn't appeal to me right away, to my violin lessons. My teacher will briefly play them for me during my lessons, and comment on the sound. I then decide whether to return the violin based upon how it sounds when my teacher plays on it.
  16. I don't really have a problem with "market" determining the price. However, I DO have a problem with the make-up of the "market". The dilemma is no difference from that of "democracy without sound education"--lie, darn lie, and manipulation. quote: Originally posted by: Banzai Adam Smith warned that the interests of merchants and manufacturers are "to deceive or even to oppress the public". Informed consumer consent is about as real as so called "free trade", as illustrated by recent "free trade agreement" talks in 2003 between the US and Australia. Australia's health care system is one of the most efficient in the world, and thusly talks regarding US pharmaceuticals stalled over Washington's concern that Australia follows "evidence based" procedures. Indeed, "in order to charge the Australian government a high price for a new drug" US pharmaceutical corporations "actually have to provide evidence that the new drug has demonstrable benefits [which] is considered to be a barrier to trade by the US." US drug industries also object to the requirement that the companies "must demonstrate significant clinical advantages" and "satisfactory cost effectiveness", as well as to Australia's "overriding focus on cost-effectiveness" in general. US pharmaceuticals denounce these practices as "insidious" as they interfere with the right of deceit that is central to really existing markets. US pharmaceuticals state that they prefer a system "in which they have the freedom to market their products and set prices according to the market's willingness to pay." Australia, to them, engages in unacceptable market interference in insisting on honesty and ethics. (K. Lokuge and R. Dennis, "Trading in Our Health System?" Australia Institute, Discussion Paper no. 55, May 2003.) (Smith, Adam, "The Wealth of Nations") Anyhow, invoking market populism to bolster the inherent fairness of the violin industry is not a convincing argument. As referencing my two replies, I do not agree with the OPs contentions of a "mafia" spoiling his big sale...but the socialist in me has to rebut paens to the the Almighty Market, and a foray into prescription drugs provided that opportunity.
  17. quote: Originally posted by: Salieri ...but unfortunately it seems that anyone who wishes to learn something about instrument making from the masters who post here will also be forced to suffer the likes of you and Songman5. Sad, indeed. As wolfnote pointed out, if you hang around long enough, you will/should know who the masters are. Stick to these and ignore the rest as you wish. You are entitled to skip posts. But, sorry, I don't like to be represented without my permission.
  18. Hi Rich, Thanks for the link. It looks kinda like the sibiling of my avatar--should we call it a Mongolian little dragon d'amor (some Chinese call snakes little dragon) so that we can take care of the dragon part? I think we "lived" clsoe by. I don't think they had outdoor bratwurst (except for near Christmas season) when I was there, but they had a lot of hot Marconi (spelling?) vendors; I usually filled up on them. And I also like Bratwurst a great deal. Believe it or not, when my colleagues and I were having lunch at work, I usually was the only one, who ordered Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut (my German colleagues usually had Oriental food). If you get the chance to fly to Chicago by United at O'Hare, I think course C either 12 or 22 had excellent Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut. I don't know whether they are still there, but it is certainly worth checking it out.
  19. Thank you so much for the link, Shirl. I would like to buy the bracelet with piano keys on their homepage photo, but could not find the item number or section. If I have that bracelet, no one would know that I am trying to "cheat" in my music theory class.
  20. It also looks like Mongolian to me as well. However, the site sratcy rosin referred does not seem to be very typical to me. Chinese along with it minorities like bright color and dragons. I saw no dragon head in the "traditional" instruments part. When I lived in Munich in 2000-2001, my Isator river side apartment was within 10 minute walk to Marienplatz. On weekends, I always had my breakfast there and strolled around. There were always musicians performing in the platz area, and I immediately recognized a group, who dressed and played instruments very similar to the Chinese. From their CD I bought, I realized that they were Mongolians. Their string instruments and their attires had dragons. To portray Chinese (and minority Chinese) with dragon feels like eating turkey without gravey...
  21. I would love to have violin DVDs. So I think DVD (or video) is great as a gift idea. May not be the art of piano, but just great pianist. But you may want to make sure your students do not already have the title--Nothing is worse than getting two DVD of the same title, like my birthday gift.
  22. Suppose there is an annual inflation of 3% for the past 18 years, which reflected the time and value relation. 79KGBP would be about 134,500GBP today, if my math is correct. Therefore, 91KGBP is still a great bargain if everything else being the same. However, there was an economic slow down in the US in 1988, and it got worsened in 1989 (Old Bush Admin, Gulf war). I remember my one-year CD was at over 10% inerest rate in 1989.
  23. I have watched a few coda classic auctions (even some conservatory as well), and I cannot agree with oldgeezer more.
  24. quote: Originally posted by: Erika I'm going to eat some of my words here. Kudos to your husband, and thank you very much for eating your words, Erika. i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif' alt='face-icon-small-smile.gif'>
  • Create New...