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Mozart

Garrett Pate Violins

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Do any owners of Garrett Pate instuments have anything to say about the allegations made on this discussion board that he uses "white" violins on his less expensive St. Cecile models? See discussion entitled "Pate violin review".

Just curious. I have e-mailed Garrett twice, but no response.

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I have asked the question on a previous post, but no one ever said that he did or did not use "white" violins. Using a "white" violin is not a crime. Many violins known as "shop violins" start out as "white" violins. Well known violins such as Doestch, Klier and Dunovs supposedly start out as "white" violins. Actually, I have violins with my label in them that start out that way.

george

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If my viola was a "white baby" It wouldn't have taken as long as it did to to get to me. He doesn't answer my e-mails anymore. He owes me a chinrest clamp because the one on my viola snapped out of the socket. He said he'd send me one, but I've been waiting since June for it. frown.gif He did send me back my makers papers though.

-Archinto-

P.S.

Garrett, if you're reading this, please send me that piece. It should hurt to know that the varnish on this wonderful viola is turning greenish around the chinrest.

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This is what Garrett told me last year about his instruments. He wrote to me after he had seen one of my posts on Maestronet.

"As for the instruments there are various levels of quality. The lower the

level os quality the less work I do personally. I import instruments in the

white and unassembled parts. The Ste. Cecile instruments are imported as

white roughed out, tacked together instruments . I disassemble them to a

certain point and graduate the tops, backs, trim the lining and the corner

and end blocks, install and cut the bass bar yada, yada, yada ... you know,

all the stuff that is on the web page.

For the professional quality instruments, I import the parts as pieces and

assemble the instrument after crafting the sound determining elements. The top level

is an instrument 100% made by my hands from scratch of old, old interesting

wood. I don't make many like this in a year. The Ste. Cecile line and the

student line are roughed out in China. I am experimenting with shipping wood

over but the quality of the chineese wood and drying process is geting so

good that it will soon not necessarily make sense to do so. The professional

line varies as to source and location of vendor. The market for high quality

parts is pretty dymanic."

I hope this helps.

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Thanks for all your replies. I own one of Garrett's "Pro-line" or "Concert Soloist" violins that I purchased in November 2000. I really am extremely happy with the quality, appearance and especially the tone of my violin. It is a work of art. He estimated approximately 250 man-hours of work went into making the instrument. Even in light of what has been said, I am more than confident that my violin was worth every penny I spent.

Although, it is a little disturbing to hear that his St. Cecile line is made, in part, with "shop-made" parts. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see this mentioned anywhere on his website. If, in fact, he uses "white" parts to manufacture his lower-end violins I would think that at least this should have been disclosed to those who purchased his St. Cecile instruments. Was it?

Another question, isn't asking $5,000 retail for what is essentially a "shop-made" instrument a little pricey?

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Garrett said last year that it wasn't just the St. Cecile line that was made with white parts, but also some of the professional quality instruments. The old version of the website did include this information. Garrett was very honest and open regarding this.

It would be really useful though if Garrett could post here to clear up any queries. As George says, using white violins is not a crime! I think that the majority of comments on Maestronet have actually been in favour of Garrett's instruments.

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Well, The varnish is flaking in some areas, I had to do TONS of work on it to get it comfortably playable. I won't be able to replace the fingerboard without breaking something. That, and the sound isn't quite what I'm looking for. A chinrest clamp is missing that Garrett said he'd send to me, but didn't (maybe y'all could help me get it!) I was able to play an Osnes viola while mine was hanging in the shop. It's ALOT better than mine.

When the time comes that I make my own viola, I'm going to sell this one. It's hard to do glissando and hit ANY harmonics other than mid-string. It smells funny too. As far as I know, Garrett wasn't making pro line instruments etc... when mine was made. It's a decent instrument, but I could make a better one, and I'm only a beginner at the craft.

The after experience of dealing with this guy was a nightmare. It took about 7 months to get back my %! makers papers, and they weren't even corrected!!!! mad.gif

-Archinto-

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Mozart,

If I had known that he made his secile instruments from "whites", I wouldn't have bought mine. I was under the impression that it was handmade from scratch. I would've waited until I could make my own viola, or until I found a different maker. I'm kinda tired of the strad and guarneri models too. I'm going ot base my viola on a maggini! It's gonna RULE!

-Archinto-

I bought my secile viola for $1,500 from him. Special violin maker discount I guess...

[This message has been edited by Archinto (edited 02-22-2001).]

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Archinto, from what I hear, $1500 for one of his St. Cecile instruments is a really good price. This holds true even if all he did was take "white" pieces, regraduate the top, glue the pieces together and varnish it. The price is consistent with Andrew Victor's reply in my post "How Much is Too Much?"

Although, it sounds like you had to spend additional time and money to get the violin into playable condition. This shouldn't have happened.

If you substract tax, case and bow, I paid double (approximately $3000) for one of his Concert Soloist violins. As I said above, I honestly feel that I got my money's worth, but I do wish he would have been more forthcoming about using "white" parts. At least insofar as they may have been used to make my violin.

I really do think he should either reply personally to my e-mails, or post a reply on this board if he wants to clear-up any confusion.

To tell you the truth, I almost purchased a shop-made instrument from Southwest Strings, or International Violin Co., but they were about $1000 MORE than Garrett's price. And I know that those instruments weren't nearly as sensitive, or beautiful as my baby. Perhaps it really shouldn't matter whether a violin is made, in part, with "white" parts, as long as you are pleased with the tonal and aesthetic characteristics of your instrument?

Having to place a monetary value on our instrument is probably one of the most difficult challenges (mentally) we could face as musicians. If your instrument constantly challeneges you, and helps you improve technically as as a musician, then it is worth -- (in dollars) whatever you were willing to pay for it -- (in true value) much, much more.

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quote:

Originally posted by Archinto:

-Archinto-

I bought my secile viola for $1,500 from him. Special violin maker discount I guess...

[This message has been edited by Archinto (edited 02-22-2001).]

Archinto:

Check this out...

Bidding was yanked @ $302.00 on Feb 19, 12:26 PST

and the viola was then listed for $3,999.99 http://cgi6.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?...33&ed=982614660

http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?V...item=1410659233

It has been relisted @ $1,749.99, no bidders as of yet. http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?V...item=1411798694

Initially, I was very ENAMORED & quite captivated by the intricate & elaborate workmanship of the Ste Cecile des Thiemes, and now of the La Madonna viola.

I am now beginning to wonder "WHAT"S UP?" crazy.gif with the selective e-mail response by luthier Garrett Pate de Nashville.

[This message has been edited by warrior (edited 02-23-2001).]

[This message has been edited by warrior (edited 02-23-2001).]

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quote:

Originally posted by warrior:

I am now beginning to wonder "WHAT"S UP?"
crazy.gif
with the selective e-mail response by luthier Garrett Pate.

Tenor1:

They are quite impressive instruments, no doubt! Why the lack of response by Mr. Pate I ask?

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I actually bid on that instrument just to see where the bid would go. He cancelled at the last minute and emailed everyone. He said that he could NOT let the viola go for $600 or $700 and wanted to know if I was still interested. I think he is a stinker for having a no reserve auction and no honoring it. Not that I would have bid enough for it. BUt now I don't think I have respect for him since he did that. Either it is no reserve or it isn't. Put a minumum or reserve on it.

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Let's be fair to him guys. Circumstances might have lead him to needing cash and then had a change of circumstances. If it takes 250 hours to build an instrument we cannot begrudge him a decent price for his efforts.

I don't know him, at all, but lets hope his life settles down. Please don't execute him without knowing the details. I feel the explantion is due to the people with legitimate bids and not to US in this very public forum. We all deserve our foibles, now and then.

[This message has been edited by Tenor1 (edited 02-23-2001).]

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I understand he makes wonderful instruments and I don't doubt that for a minute. But I think it better to put a minimum price on your items rather than pull them off at the last minute. I am NOT saying anything is wrong at all with his instruments. I have heard many good things about them. At one time I contemplated getting one for my son. I have bid on a couple and had they been at the price I wanted to spend at the time I would have bought one too.

[This message has been edited by rainyann (edited 02-24-2001).]

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It does not take 250 hours to build a violin especially if you are using premade "white" parts. I timed myself once and it took me 75 hours three years ago. My building techniques are more complicated now so it probably takes around 125 hours but I don't think that it takes anyone 250 hour to build a violin.

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One of the cornerstones to any successful business is how you treat you customer. What happens after euphoria of the "pretty" instrument wears off and you have legitimate concerns & I'll be "PC" and say "challenges" with the instrument now? Should you or should you NOT be able to address these concerns in a PROMPT, EFFICIENT, and TIMELY manner? Obviously, if I have the ability to put on and take off my esteemed product on an auction website whenever I deem necessary, I must have the capability to send off e-mails to those loyal patrons who initially purchased my product!

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quote:

Originally posted by warrior:

One of the cornerstones to any successful business is how you treat your valued customer. What happens after the newness &euphoria of the "pretty" instrument wears off and you have legitimate concerns & I'll be "PC" and say "challenges" with the instrument now? Should you or should you NOT be able to address these concerns in a PROMPT, EFFICIENT, and TIMELY manner? Obviously, if I have the ability to put on and take off my esteemed product on an auction website whenever I deem necessary, I must have the capability to take a few milliseconds of my time to send off e-mails to those loyal patrons who initially purchased my product!

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If someone puts an item up for auction without a reserve then surely they accept that it might go for a low price? Hmmmm

Quite a few Maestronet members seem to have bought instruments from Garrett. Did any of you receive an email from him offering to make you an instrument (without you contacting him first)?

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