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John Alexander

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Everything posted by John Alexander

  1. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But, mercy me, that is an ugly fiddle.
  2. You have good taste. The Carl Becker Sr. violin is absolutely beautiful. Very fine quality and sound. I wish it was mine!
  3. I played one that sounded really nice. It wasn’t in pristine condition and looked as though it had been played hard for many years. I thought it was way overpriced at $10k. The dealer insisted that the violin was one of the few bench made by W. Wilkanowski himself. He had another Wilkanowski for sale, presumably a workshop model for $4k. I didn’t like the sound or feel. The neck was rather narrow and the tone thin.
  4. I use a tiny piece of leather under the bridge.
  5. I trust Tarisio more than most of the podunk dealers out there. When they do give an attribution it is backed up and guaranteed. Even in the T2 auctions I have had good luck and positive experiences with the staff.
  6. Genetically modified mutant violas have come to exact revenge upon the violin world for centuries of demeaning viola jokes. Run for the hills!
  7. Perhaps Warchal strings are more delicate. I have never used string protectors and never broke an e-string at the loop. But I do change my strings out regularly.
  8. Interesting concept of adjustability on the fly. I’m curious as to how this may affect tone and feel. I commend the innovation.
  9. After filing down the screw tip I noticed a small improvement. I decided to go ahead and try the Gotz adjuster anyway. It was only $10 through Amazon and it installed easily. The quality seems quite good and the hook is pre-finished with no sharp edges. It fit perfectly and looks fantastic. The mechanism works smoothly and provides adequate adjustment. Not sure if my ears are deceiving me, but it seems to have improved the clarity of the instrument a bit. I am satisfied thus far. Thanks all for the input.
  10. The end of the screw appears worn. I don’t have a file and I imagine buying one would cost more than a new fine tuner. I currently have the Hill style. It looks as though the Goetz is similar in design. Has anyone used the Goetz versus the Hill?
  11. I did apply lubricant and that improved the ease of turning a bit. Bit it’s still tight and whatever reason it only has a very short adjustment.
  12. Greetings All, I need to replace my E string fine tuner as it is hard to turn and seems to have very limited range. I was shopping on Amazon for a Goetz fine tuner. But I’m not sure if this is the best available. Any advice is appreciated. TIA.
  13. Lucky it comes with instructions on how to fit the bridge. Not sure how one would mange that after putting everything else back together.
  14. That is interesting and a bit counterintuitive as ultimately the violin and bow are instruments for music making. I’ve been given some criticism for buying items from Tarisio without having played them. But at the end of the day I agree with your premise. Sound and playability are not as important in determining collectibility or price. However, I have found generally that more expensive instruments tend to sound better to my ear. I imagine the good sound is a likely byproduct of good making.
  15. Thank you Shelbow Thank you George
  16. Would you not agree there are sound characteristics that are universally desirable such as clarity, power, evenness, projection, and richness? Surely a good sounding instrument possessing such characteristics would fetch more if compared to a mediocre sounding one.
  17. Update... I received the bow yesterday via FedEx. As usual, Tarisio did a nice job with the protective packaging and it was delivered on time as expected. The bow itself is in excellent condition. The wood is nicely figured and has no cracks or scratches. The frog and button are also in excellent condition with beautiful pearl accents and polished metal. The craftsmanship overall appears to be very nice in my opinion. It is well balanced and feels weightless in the hand with easy off the string handling. It produces a very agreeable sound with rich overtones. I am pleasantly surprised by this bow as it has turned out to much more than I was expecting, especially given the price. I think I will be keeping it in my collection.
  18. Seems like a bargain for a Strad. Perhaps I should cash out my 401k
  19. Yes Philip perhaps after the pandemic has completely ended I will make a pilgrimage of my own! Do you know how the private sales work? Do they start at a particular price range?
  20. I’m not brave enough to buy on eBay. Seems like the Wild West - anything goes. I do feel quite safe buying from Tarisio.
  21. Germain, if I lived close to NYC I would definitely visit and try the items beforehand. But it is not possible for me to travel there so it’s a bit of a gamble. Tarisio has been very helpful with answering questions and providing sound samples and additional photos when requested. I’m sure nothing beats being there in person though.
  22. I don’t know about brave. Most would probably say dumb. Regardless, I am extremely happy with my purchase. The instrument sounds and plays wonderfully. I consider the price a bargain.
  23. Years ago folks would order instruments and bows from companies like Wurlitzer via print catalog sight unseen without playing them. It was quite common and people must have had good experiences because they did it for decades. Most of Tarisio customers are global and buy the same way. I believe they typically sell 2-4 million USD per auction. I reckon at least $20M in annual sales. They must be doing something right.
  24. Hi Martin, I appreciate your thoughts. I know you are a fine and knowledgeable dealer. I am sure you have an impeccable inventory of the best instruments and bows. I’m fairly certain my bows would not be up to your high standards nor that of your discerning clients. But I do believe there is a retail market for these items and they would bring a greater sum than what I paid in some cases and in others I would likely make a full recovery. There will always be a buyer if the condition is good and the price is right. Especially if the item is certified and historically significant. Regarding your value proposition, for the discerning client looking for the very best and willing to spend top dollar that is great. You utilize your expertise to scour the globe in search of rare treasures and present an exquisite collection at ultra-premium prices. I see the value and I respect what you do. But not every buyer is looking for that level of quality or looking to spend that sort of money. From an investment perspective, when I purchase an item from a high-end retail shop like yours I may never be able to recover my cost upon resale due to the top-end acquisition.
  25. Good question Martin. That was indeed my concern initially. Thus far I have purchased a total of 4 bows at auction. (3 at Fine and 1 at T2). The first was a fine antique French bow with certificate which I got for 1/3 of retail price. The second was another fine antique French bow with certificate. I paid about 1/4 of retail price for that one. Both of these bows were made by well-known and highly-regarded makers and play very well and sound great. I am quite satisfied with both purchases. The third bow was a contemporary maker VSA hors d concour winner great sounding bow but to flexible for my taste. I ended up paying a fair price for it based on the estimates. But I don’t think I got a bargain. I was not as disciplined in my bidding as I should have been. I would not have bought it had I tried it first. But I’ll keep it in my collection for now as it can be fun to fiddle around with. The fourth bow, the one in question which I purchased in T2, I am waiting to receive so the jury is still out so to speak. I also purchased a very nice violin by a top contemporary maker that sounds and plays amazing. I got that for about 1/2 retail. To your point Martin, it would be better and more certain to trial the finest examples from a good dealer like yourself and select my favorites for purchase. I have a very good and reputable local dealer and I have gone that route as well. I have also ordered from remote dealers and had items delivered for my selection. Honestly, those transactions have produced mixed results and I cannot say that one can guarantee 100% satisfaction with a dealer experience. The benefit of buying at auction is that the pricing is generally much lower (due to the risk factor). Of course one must remain disciplined in their bidding and knowledgeable regarding the value of the item and there is risk involved in sound and playability. I don’t think I would buy this way if I were a professional musician with very specific requirements. But I am a hobbyist and I am still learning as I go. I am a student and do not claim to be an expert of any sort. But it seems to me I have saved a great deal of money and have been satisfied in my purchases overall. I now believe the T2 auction is better suited for experts in the trade. There is more risk there for the inexperienced buyer. But I will most likely buy again from Tarisio fine auction.
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