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Giovanni Gammuto?????


Mike_D30

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Shoot, I was hoping to get off with out a scolding. I have only seen what is on line and from here I am making my judgments. Iaviolinist, I thought you were going to take your fiddle to a reputable shop for a verdict. I see rather you chose to believe mayofiddler who claims to be a maker but shows no more proof than the gentleman in question has to offer. Do you not give equal credit to the first poster of this thread? As far as having facts in order, I have followed both discussions and see little to persuade me otherwise. Im still looking for any facts at all, they ain't there, at least one's that prove who made your instrument. The $500 hand made small violin is still currently being offered on the gentleman's page.

Say, I was in Portland at the VSA conference and I did not see the gentleman's work , I guess he didn't get anything done for the competition.

Off the subject Mr. Gammuto appears, with a great deal more integrity, to be a very gifted furniture refinisher.

Honestly, my only reason for joining in the fray concerns current research I am doing for a forensic class on violin fraud. I spent my evenings in Portland reading the Harvey/Shapreau work. I am troubled by ebay, wether the gentleman is practicing deception, I have no idea, but I am curious.

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Well, if Bacon (or Mr. Bacon, whatever) doesn't believe I'm a maker, then that's fine. It doesn't alter the facts of my life or what I do and I certainly won't lose sleep over it. Worse things happen in life. The small cartel that sell the world's most expensive violins have never made a violin in their lives but nobody seems to object to their so-called expertise. So you can forget the fact I make violins if you prefer and if it suits your argument.

As far as I can see you won't believe anything an owner tells you, which possibly is fair enough on an internet forum if you had something to contribute yourself. However you admit you are operating on hearsay, so why not believe the hearsay of people who own the instruments in question? A very strange attitude for someone studying violin fraud. "I have no facts, so I'll just believe what suits my agenda." Hmmmm.

Never mind, I was only posting to protect the reputation of a good luthier. In the process you seem to have decided I'm a liar, a fraud and that I can't tell a Chinese violin from a non-Chinese violin. All of this apparently based on your desire to stick it to another maker. So that's two of us you have put down, are you planning to keep this up until you have no competition, or until people won't buy from you because they aren't too happy with your character?

Why not admit you were led astray by false information and call it a day? OK that takes some courage in front of your peers, but it's better than digging the hole deeper and deeper. Unless you buy one of the Gammuto violins and inspect it personally you really have nothing useful to contribute to this thread.

On another point, somewhere someone mentioned Yitaviolins. And when you look at the pictures on ebay I can see why they might think Gammuto violins superficially similar to some of the Yita models. However one of the many Chinese violins I have is a Yita and there is no comparison between that and the Gammuto when you have both physically in front of you. None whatsoever, other than model type.

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Thinking about it, now that I have mentioned the Yita violins, I have nothing more useful to add either. I've said all I can say on the topic. Some people will take heed of my comments, others will ignore them whatever I say. So in the spirit of hoping further pointless debate will end, I'm going to drop out here. Thanks to everyone for their responses.

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Good sir ,

Mayofiddler,(Gammmuto?), In your anonymous state you offer me little factually. Why don't you give us a business reference. My own experience is that I have a small group of "makers' who regularly bring in consignments of either their work or ebay /refurbished violins for consignment. They have been doing this for quite some time, and yet I see some of them easily deceived.

My reason to doubt your integrity was fed by your stereotyping Chinese instruments, I have a few in the shop that far out class The Gentleman's work in appearance, I also saw a number of hand make instruments in the recent VSA competition made by Chinese that were approaching the gold standard. By this I mean instruments that exceed at a minimum $15,000 in value. The gentleman's instruments are so obviously not in that ball park. My point is that in making a violin or two or ten for that matter has little to do with the ability to recognize a superior instrument. I am not sure what small cartel you are referring to but I do see it possible to be educated in the field solely as an appraiser and identifier of fine instruments with out being a maker. Being a maker can be beneficial but only if you have either had good training or been exposed to the master instruments and are extremely skilled .

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Shoot, I was hoping to get off with out a scolding. I have only seen what is on line and from here I am making my judgments. Iaviolinist, I thought you were going to take your fiddle to a reputable shop for a verdict. I see rather you chose to believe mayofiddler who claims to be a maker but shows no more proof than the gentleman in question has to offer. Do you not give equal credit to the first poster of this thread? As far as having facts in order, I have followed both discussions and see little to persuade me otherwise. Im still looking for any facts at all, they ain't there, at least one's that prove who made your instrument. The $500 hand made small violin is still currently being offered on the gentleman's page.

Say, I was in Portland at the VSA conference and I did not see the gentleman's work , I guess he didn't get anything done for the competition.

Off the subject Mr. Gammuto appears, with a great deal more integrity, to be a very gifted furniture refinisher.

Honestly, my only reason for joining in the fray concerns current research I am doing for a forensic class on violin fraud. I spent my evenings in Portland reading the Harvey/Shapreau work. I am troubled by ebay, wether the gentleman is practicing deception, I have no idea, but I am curious.

Para 1. I did, two in fact. Gammuto didn't go to Portland. He opted for triple bi-pass. Not a great option, but necessary.......
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The accusations, in my view, look pretty specific and verifiable. The defense rests on statements with no specifics.

This should be cleared up easily. The Gammuto website lists a shop address, and says visitors are welcome. Someone should drop in to watch the chips fly as he churns out the dozens of instruments that he hand-carves each year, judging by the quantity of instruments appearing on eBay and assuming that is only part of his sales.

However, he may be out of action for a while due to this unfortunately timed bypass operation. :)

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from the violinist.com website threads: 67 hand made instruments sold per year on average? Come on, people. Discredit this maker as a luthier. Applaud his business acumen. Somebody is buying his fiddles, even though there are precious few that seem to respond to these discussions that have visited his shop and responded to our pointed inquiries. I doubt john gammuto will grace us with a response that will put to rest his claim of selling hand made instruments that are not so much hand made.

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from the violinist.com website threads: 67 hand made instruments sold per year on average? Come on, people. Discredit this maker as a luthier. Applaud his business acumen. Somebody is buying his fiddles, even though there are precious few that seem to respond to these discussions that have visited his shop and responded to our pointed inquiries. I doubt john gammuto will grace us with a response that will put to rest his claim of selling hand made instruments that are not so much hand made.

I vote for Chinese. No reservations

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I vote for Chinese. No reservations

I really can't say because I don't own one of his fiddles and I have never played one. I will say this, I have followed the auctions of his violins from time to time for a pretty good while now and I always found it rather strange that he would sell his violins sometimes 3-5 times BELOW his "buy it now" price...sometimes even less than that. If I ever make it up to the NE (in the same town) I would love to go by his shop.

He does invite people to come by !!! In some of the more recent auctions he advertises Sitka spruce from Simeon Chambers. I could be wrong, but I thought Simeon only dealt in Engelmann spruce. I hear that Mr. Gammuto has recently had some serious health issues. This may be why he has not been on Maestronet to clarify his position on some of these questions. I do wish him a speedy and complete recovery !!

David Blackmon

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I still retain my curiosity , but will change my tune due to the Gentleman having a valid reason for not coming forth to explain himself. The Violinist.com web sight has chosen to discontinue the topic for now. This was shortly after some one in the trade, Mr. Dov Schmidt, stepped forth on his behalf.

http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=14923

Nothing however has answered the question wether the gentleman at times has practiced deception as far as selling his student instruments as something other than what they were. However if he did, he is neither the first nor the crux of the problem.

As far as the numbers game, it was been pointed out that as he sold many items on ebay , they might not represent his violin sales at all.

I truly feel the situation of ebay deception from established makers and dealers should be addressed by both the Federation as well as the VSA in America, and like organizations abroad. The Federation caries a set of guidelines worthy for adherence by all commercial violin makers and shops . As the Federation is off limits to all but the best makers perhaps the VSA should insist that it's members, that are in the profession, should follow these guidelines or at least something similar to retain membership.

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I find it interesting that the original post in the violinist.com thread, where Mr. Gammuto states his intent of letting his attorney handle the situation, has disappeared. At least if it's there, I can't find it.

Some of the other threads have been edited also. It seems like people got a little carried away over there.

I emailed Mr. Gammuto approximately 8 months ago and asked if his violins were made in China. His response: "I will not dignify the question about Chinese violins with an answer. That type of question makes my blood boil."

Although I definitely have my suspicions about the origin of his violins, I will give Mr. Gammuto the benefit of the doubt until further evidence is shown on the matter.

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Roan, that thread with the lawyer reference is here: http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=14884

I'm shocked by the amount of editing that's been done to the main thread as well as by what was chosen for deletion or retention.

Ages ago, when I was "goddess" over some very active, contentious online political fora, I learned that frequent pruning of that nature is very like having a highly visible police presence everywhere. It results in a community that's quiet, careful, and increasingly bland. Eventually very little of substance can be discussed, and nothing outside a narrow factual range, because those who like such an environment have such a strong aversion to uncertainty that they go off the deep end (as we see in that thread where several people get quite upset at the very existence of the discussion!)

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I'm shocked by the amount of editing that's been done to the main thread as well as by what was chosen for deletion or retention.

I was surprised too.

Jeffrey seems to take a lighter touch, maybe doing a little work behind the scenes (phone calls to posters) if he thinks things are getting really out of hand.

It's interesting that some our most heated debates (which Jeffrey could have edited or shut down) have generated ideas, content, and direct quotes for Strad Magazine articles.

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Concerning Mr. Gammutos VSA entry, until recently he had photos of the violin and under the violin was a paragraph saying that he had an offer for that instrument so he sold it. There was no mention at that time of health issues.

It's worth noting that health issues can arise very quickly and without prior warning, as I recently learned firsthand :)

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Those were my thoughts at the time too, Mr. Burgess. It would make more sense to garner the attention and recognition of peers at a competition then to waste such a valuable instrument through a private sale.

I commend those who choose to take the high road on this issue concerning Mr. Gammutos violins but there does seem to be a case for both sides. There is a trail of inconsistencies concerning his hand made instruments.

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I was surprised too.

Jeffrey seems to take a lighter touch, maybe doing a little work behind the scenes (phone calls to posters) if he thinks things are getting really out of hand.

It's interesting that some our most heated debates (which Jeffrey could have edited or shut down) have generated ideas, content, and direct quotes for Strad Magazine articles.

Yes, Jeffrey (cover your eyes, Jeffrey) definitely seems to remain relaxed and unbothered by uncertainty. Fortunately, that's a more common attitude of mind than the authoritarian one, though, as we've seen, the assertive, demanding nature of authoritarians and their frequently over-the-top reactions tend to make them highly visible. And destructive. :)

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Well, I swore I wouldn't reply to this thread again but it's still dribbling on. Maybe this will help fizzle it out, maybe it won't.

I have defended his violins vehemently because I own one and I know what it is *not*. So enough of that. But I have been in contact with him for a long time, long before this thread or the other on violinist.com ever appeared. He is the one of the most friendly, generous and helpful people I have met. Maybe I shouldn't, but I can tell you that he used to run his furniture business with his son, who eventually took it over. John used his time to move into violin making. His son was killed, it is not up to me to tell you how, and not long after that John had his first heart attack. You can imagine what happened with the furniture business after that And you can imagine why John might not want to go back to it and might want to clear all memory of it from his home and workplace.

The cynics amongst you will of course mutter "How convenient." Nothing I can do about that. I can tell you I am a first class cynic myself and I am happy with how I came by this information. I know I won't convince certain posters, but hopefully waverers will at least consider this.

As to whether I am Mr. Gammuto in disguise as one person has suggested, then might I in turn suggest you look at my posts. Check the spelling. I am European. I put the letter "u" in many words you don't and I use "s" where you would use "z". If you are so paranoid that you think Mr. Gammuto would think of this and proceed with such a deception, and be endlessly consistent with it, then you are beyond help. Remember my comment about culture. Sooner or later someone American would slip up and put a "z" in a word that a European wouldn't.

Now, that really *is* that. No more from me. If John is reading this I hope I haven't overstepped the mark.

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I was amazed by the selective removal of information in the Violinist.com discussion thread.

I now expect to see many versions of the following discussion:

My quartet of pegs are named Harriet, Henrietta, Helena and Hortensia, what are yours called?...

I can guess what would happen to the person who replies: Sodom, Gomorrah, Syph and Gonorrhoea....

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I was amazed by the selective removal of information in the Violinist.com discussion thread.

...

I did enjoy the exchange between our Jeffrey and Laurie Niles (violinist.com owner) where Ms Niles misleadingly claimed that the discussion on violinist.com was more truthful because they required their posters to register under their "real" names whereas MNet posters can use whatever login ID they choose. I call BS. (Just an edit to add that that particular took place in the v.com attorney thread rather than the very heavily edited one).

The reason I use quote marks around "real" is that there is no true check on the veracity of the names posters use on violinist.com and it's just as easy to use a fake name as it is here. Ms Niles conveniently forgets a once prolific poster on her site by the name of Sue Donim - say it a few times. :)

And no it wasn't me. As a very amateur violist, I've got nothing in particular to hide and I'm just as traceable back to the real world through my Option1 identity and website signature as I am by my real name on violinist.com. :)

I have to add that I love the fine line being trod, both here and on v.com, by David Burgess and his humourous, subtle and perceptive comments. Way to go, Mr B!

Neil

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