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  1. After rabbit-tracking onto older Maestronet threads about authenticating Roths, Ebay spam below appeared in our Inbox (obviously we're being tracked!). We are NOT interested, just curious if this would be one of signed-label G.del Gesus by Roth. Google search popped up two newspaper entries from 1928 about Mr. Yehle, violinist in Missouri, commissioning Roth to make instrument; and census data, names and dates, line up with current Kansas sellers. Again, not pursuing, only curious. http://m.ebay.com/itm/311379626941?ul_ref=http%3A%2F%2Frover.ebay.com%2Frover%2F4%2F0%2F8%3Feecl%3D1%26eesi%3DUS%26i%3D1a9c310c3bfIId4c17II13e453II1a9c30f4573II1%26eepc%3D%2F311379626941%26bu%3D43167978961%26segname%3DB0FE698-00%26crd%3D20150617140058%26emParams%3Di%26sojTags%3Demid%253Dbu%252Csegname%253Dsegname%252Ccrd%253Dcrd%26srcrot%3D0%26rvr_id%3D0&_mwBanner=1
  2. Missouri relatives, who know we're looking for a violin upgrade, enthusiastically alerted us of a March 14 "fine instruments" auction in St. Louis, sending us TV news clips, catalogue links, offers to go look, etc. Just curious why almost everything remained "unsold" (lots #40-118.. couple instruments went at or near "opening bid.") Were the estimates so far off on account of the wares? Midwest venue? http://linkauctiongalleries.com/auction-sale-results/?solecist=1011+++&viewtype=all&displaytype=Descriptive%C2%A4cyrate=US+Dollars-1&Display2=View&EMAIL=&b_e219247d96789bad51fabd6ec_a8d67f9796=
  3. That's so good to hear! Also, this seller did honor the stated return policy and gave a prompt, hassle-free refund.
  4. Same vendor, new product line: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-Professional-YCL-681-E-Flat-Clarinet-In-Used-Condition-No-Reserve-/351159195168?_trksid=p2054897.l4275 YCL681 sells new for $4K. The branding on this clarinet appears genuine (last photo has model #), but the targeted audience (well-intended parents of beginners) may not know additional features to check for authenticity. Should this happen to be another replica, "criminal simulation" of a registered trademark would seem to be riskier business than forgery of labels and stamps of deceased luthiers.
  5. RE: "It's back" (post immediately above) : ( Gasp! 'Need to get our buyer feedback written, and who knows what else. But first, here're remarks written before we noticed Alfredo Contino's reappearance on eBay. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ REFUND was credited was Pay Pal!!! Very thankful that seller honored 14-day return policy rather than pressing the issue that we read more into his Ebay listing than was literally said. Hope to keep our genuine appreciation for the prompt refund from standing in the way of our leaving helpful feedback for future customers. TO Violadamore! Re: Feedback. What a way you have with words! TO Greg F: WE OWN UP to buyer gullibility and culpability! Though we knew only fools hope to happen upon an overlooked 16-18th C Cremonese violin, we admit to still being a bit on the lookout for something more than a mass-produced VSO. Same day as our bidding folly, we'd traveled to a nearby city for repairs and, while waiting, dropped by a musical “thrift store” where about a dozen vintage instruments had been retired after a violin shop in another part of the state closed its doors (victim of Katrina, economic recession, online shopping for strings, and phone apps for metronomes/tuners). Neither the instruments nor their owner (we spoke via phone) seemed to be attempting to pull anything over. Prices were $500-1500 since the violins had already sat unsold for a while in the previous shop.. Though none seemed to be a clear improvement over the violin we had along, playing the likes of the Fried. Aug. Glass (with grafted scroll) led us to look bio info when we got home. And then we stumbled upon an interesting commentary on violin sound quality by Martin Swan which had an accompanying lengthy list of his personal tone evaluations. And next, just for fun, we cross-referenced a few soon-closing eBay items with the list...“What?!! A not-yet-antique violin (30's) by some luthier we'd never heard of but who had scored at least one pink rating!” With the seller also auctioning a “fine” bow, it seemed possible that its previous owner might have had a real musical bent! And there was a return policy ... Packing a family of seven for a week-long vacation left too little time to do the needed homework. The very next day, further Googling immediately put everything in a very different light! Egg on face! Lesson learned! TO Rick Hyslop; Czech violin is supposed (by Emile Baran in Atlanta) to be made by Ferdinand (or Freidrick?) August Homolka circa 1860 in Prague. This summer we feared a fingerboard replacement was looming, but now it appears that the violin may have another planing or so to go. This instrument is in pretty good condition, and the sound isn't limiting. On the other hand, at the time that we took the Czech violin to be appraised (2007), we were told “Don't even bother” re: our German-made instrument (no pedigree, repair scars, sweet but less-than-resounding voice). Probably very little trade-in value, though this violin likewise gets practiced five or more hours a day. After our eBay experience, we're more appreciative of what we do have! (Also, if we could get a refund on all the dollars spent on lessons, driving to lessons, and numerous other string-related expenses, we could upgrade pretty nicely, and afford who knows what else! But, would never trade back all the blessings of music over the years!)
  6. THANKS FOR THE REPLIES!! The violin is on its way “home”! We want our money back, but certainly don't like putting an imposter violin back into the hands of a seller who doesn't describe it as a copy. We won't yet give up hope for a refund. Another seller--who just might be the same as ours, judging by goods, descriptions, photo lighting and background--gave a refund a while back to a similarly disgruntled buyer. Hate to pander to our seller via “Positive Feedback” since high ratings led us to make assumptions. Looking through eBay feedback, found instances where some accusations of forgery/counterfeit/branding were categorized as “Neutral”! Also, another surprising observation: many buyers who appear to have unwittingly purchased pricey “replicas” are happy enough with the violins and bows received! TO VATHEK: Now we won't feel so badly about not recognizing the painted purfling from the pics! TO RICK HYSLOP: We'd love to upgrade through a shop, but a few visits to our teachers' recommended dealer in (far-away) Atlanta left us convinced us that the gulf between trade-in and sound upgrade is beyond our means. Our current two violins came from a closet and a newspaper ad fortyplus years ago. Our son (conservatory) has a violin appraised as having some worth due, not to its sound, but to its being the supposed work of some maker in Prague. Our more pressing problem is a 75+yr old, German-made, San Francisco-sold, violin with some nice tonal properties but little projection. In the 70's Bearden's in St. Louis did repairs and removed two glued-in-penny-halves from inside; in the 90's, a relative “had the plates planed” before passing the soft-spoken instrument along to us. A WI dealer (at last year's all-state), insulted it by saying ”maybe some fiddler would want it.” Finally, nearly a decade ago, our Czech violin was given the “gift” of a fresh setup while we were visiting relatives. How dismayed we were when the result was an instrument horribly “hoarse”! After carrying it to around to several area folks whose tinkering availed little, upon the advice of a faculty member in La, we mailed the violin to a shop in the very same Indiana town as our current ebay seller! (BTW, they fixed up the Czech violin!) Wonder if these luthiers, five miles from our seller, have any interest in hearing our concerns? (..assuming they're neither supplier nor bi-vocational!) Now that we are aware of how rampant this same problem is on eBay, is it really best to just let the matter rest?! Although we'd heard that labels could be suspect, we didn't know to be wary of branding. Don't some states have laws on the books to dissuade vendors from such misleading tampering?
  7. I'm having a problem creating a direct link, but the following can be copied and pasted on a search engine to open the auction page: http://m.ebay.com/itm/351141882732?nav=SEARCH Thanks for input!
  8. With two violinists in our family both in need of instrument upgrades, our family bought an ebay violin that needs to be returned by Friday. How should we document our dissatisfaction with this instrument in case the seller doesn't follow through with refund? In rush to get off on week-long trip with five children, trusting seller’s 14-day return policy, we bid on what we thought might stand chance of having nice voice since seller’s only other current merchandise was a “quality” old bow, leading us to suppose that instrument had once been used by a sincere musician. We've politely communicated to seller that we wish to return. Seller so far has been courteous and asked no questions. Issues: poor sound, painted purfling, no corner blocks, etc. We live hours from any luthier who might certify any of these observations. Of course, we realize that a potential problem in the return is that the vendor might argue that he did not misadvertise these. However, this seller appears to us to have a veritable history of similar intent to deceive. In addition to being mislabeled, the violin has been convincing branded on the button. A day too late we discovered ways to check past offerings by this seller who we are now convinced is an expert in branding, We also believe we’ve found at least one other name he uses on ebay to perpetrate the same “fraud.” Our seller purports to ship from Canada and has shipped in past from Hong Kong, but we have street-viewed the suburban house (IN) which matches his current return address. By the way, the seller used only his last initial in the return address. As a stretched family, we can’t take this much further but feel some responsibility to prevent others from being similarly misled by this individual. If we pursue a refund, how can we prevent him from rebaiting the trap? (Being recently out of town leaves us in a tight time crunch, but the car trip was opportunity for much Googling. Learned a lot about violins! Appreciated reading related posts on this site. Also happened upon another pretty odd though perhaps purely coincidental point of overlap between our seller and one that was “unplugged” a whiile back ..not sure whether it's appropriate to mention the particulars) Still amazed that we fell for this! We repeatedly turned down a relative’s offers earlier this year to help us move our youngest into a full-size cello via ebay (we said we wouldn't even consider buying without firsthand checking the workmanship, tone, playability! After months of searching, we finally found decent student cello. On a trip to NO have its open seams repaired, we killed time by stopping in a junky guitar shop and perusing their recently acquired consignment collection of old violins (items that had been sitting for years in violin shop that just closed in another part of LA). After trying out evidently old instruments, two with grafted scrolls, we didn't find superior tone,but did find too much encouragement to look around!
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