Michael Darnton tribute


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I've watched this forum only sparsely the last couple of years and on reading through a few posts about setup was surprised to see a less than favourable comments about M.D. Actually I have been overjoyed on recently discovering that he is indeed posting to this forum again after an absence on reaching a milestone # of posts (was it 10,000?) and at the time calling it quits "forever".

I rerouted a trip through the U.S. a few years ago, spent $32 in downtown Chicago parking fees just to meet with him and plead for his return. I found him to be exactly as unassuming and generous as his numerous posts, many of which have become standard reference material for luthiers and violin lovers all over. He is an international treasure. It is Maestronet's extremely good fortune to have someone of Michael's character and experience willing to share his opinions, expertise, and even off the cuff remarks. I hope he continues to post for a very long time to come.

I do have one legitimate beef about Michael. (WHAT?) While in his shop, he let me try out a very fine old instrument (Rogeri?) which blew me away. Power, projection, ease of playing, the voice of experience. I surely should be its next steward! I had my wallet open to give him my credit card but had to decline when the price tag turned out to be about $645,000.00. I have often thought about that instrument, but now realize I couldn't even afford the sales tax, insurance and tune-ups on such an instrument, never mind the purchase price. So, the beef? Well, really, in hindsight there is none. He allowed me to play an instrument such as which would never happen in my circle of acquaintances and I am grateful.

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I found him to be exactly as unassuming and generous as his numerous posts, many of which have become standard reference material for luthiers and violin lovers all over. He is an international treasure. It is Maestronet's extremely good fortune to have someone of Michael's character and experience willing to share his opinions, expertise, and even off the cuff remarks. I hope he continues to post for a very long time to come.

Nice huh?

I believe that there are many people here, perhaps most of the people here, that share your enthusiasm regarding Mr. Darnton and his common sense contributions.

Most of the negative comments originate (I believe) from posters who “know “ much more about the subject than he does...…

(guffaw!)

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Most of what I have learned on this forum comes from just a few people. I hope my academic arguments aren't seen as personal attacks by them. That is not how they are meant, anyway. But even too many academic arguments can be enough to make highly knowledgeable people want to quit posting.

So, I'll say it plainly, so that they know... there are some highly knowledgeable, highly experienced people who contribute to this forum. Those pearls of wisdom, seemingly cast before swine, eventually become incorporated into the understanding of those who (eventually) realize the value of pearls. It's not wasted effort, just because some of us among swine cast back a bit of our own filth from time-to-time.

Thank you.

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...some of us among swine cast back a bit of our own filth from time-to-time.

First, I want to echo the praises of Michael. His willingness to share can be but indicative of his integrity as a maker and his brilliant benelovence as a human being. I'd like to offer my best wishes for years of continued work! May you produce your finest violins over the age of 80!

Thank you for that above quote. There is a culture of an "in" and "out" group, where the "in" group maintains this holier-than-thou persona in which they'd have you believe that their hands are virgin of filth. Conversely, those in the "out" group are labeled as too tainted to make any real contribution on par with the "in" group.

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Thank you for that above quote. There is a culture of an "in" and "out" group, where the "in" group maintains this holier-than-thou persona in which they'd have you believe that their hands are virgin of filth. Conversely, those in the "out" group are labeled as too tainted to make any real contribution on par with the "in" group.

Really? Is that what we have here?

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I recall a thread from years ago in which Michael suggested that most violins respond positively to lower tension strings. After switching my Evah Pirazzi to 'weich', the tonal quality of each example in my small violin collection improved so markedly that I was truly astounded. Thanks Michael.

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Yeah, Mr Darntons posts are the most valuable here and he also seems like the nicest guy. Too bad the search doesn't work worth a s**t anymore , so I can find his posts on subjects when I need them. Can't have everything right? Why not, I bake cakes and eat them don't I?

Scott

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Really? Is that what we have here?

Thank you.

Tell me, how often do people take a man of Asian descent that posts regularly seriously? Granted, a hammer is much...but in the posts where he gives some pretty nifty insight he is categorically ignored. If one is unable to observe this phenomenon in practice, I seriously doubt if they can see the distortion in perception.

But anyway, this post is about Michael.

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I too had a wonderful and vary eye opening experience one afternoon at Michael's shop. I learned more in that 1 visit than in the previous year combined. To say he holds back is hogwash. If i had the resources i would be at his summer workshop every year.

I too got to play some AMAZING instruments though i was never told the cost, i can guess. And i got to see some vary cool fractional size instruments that i would never have gotten to see otherwise.

All this is to say a big thank you for everything.

Jesse

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It is Maestronet's extremely good fortune to have someone of Michael's character and experience willing to share his opinions, expertise, and even off the cuff remarks. I hope he continues to post for a very long time to come.

Absolutely. Should Mr D ever make it to Oz there are a number of people who would be very happy to buy him his beverage of choice.

Tim

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Thank you Michael!

There are some people with experience making, and some people with experience handling the great instruments, and some people who can communicate clearly and effectively, and some people with a probing curiosity and evident love of violins, but...

you are among the extraordinarily rare elite that combine all these virtues with an openness and generous sharing.

Cheers! :)

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Rather than focusing on one person, how about tributes to all the people here, not necessarily in the pro trade, but some with foundations outside the trade which enable them to take their blinders off (that's a challenge for me too) and contribute from their area of expertise? I've learned things here from psychologists to welders, not necessarily in that order.

And how about threads also in tribute to all the people deep in the trade who post here, like Jeffrey Holmes, Roger Hargrave, Bruce Carlson, Eric Meyer, Jacob Saunders, and a few people out of the Francais shop (some anonymous) who contribute consistently stellar stuff? Their posts may not be voluminous, but they don't need to be, if one is a little tuned in.

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Was there ever any doubt?.. MD is the best. When I look for information on violins I usually include the name Darnton in the search. When I find his advice I read it 10 times to grasp every nuance. Every week I check his blog for new info or a new chapter in his Mag.

Thanks Michael for putting up with dummies like me.... hope you will continue to share.

You are the Wikipedia of violins... only much more accurate!

Cheers!... Mat

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I have very much enjoyed this forum for all the knowledge and wonderful contributions. I can not imagine my building without access to all the information and measurements I have found here. oh and Michael when is that book going to be available? I have been reading it as it has been posted and would love to have a hard copy

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