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European tonewood suppliers?


Lusitano
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After a few hours of looking through various EU tonewood supplier websites, I came across several posts on many websites regarding scammers and falsely advertised wood which have put me off from buying anything from anyone without recommendation from proper luthiers first.

I am in need of "master grade" highly flamed european maple (naturally aged 10+ years, sufficiently large enough to produce a 1 piece back as well as matching ribs and neck for a full sized violin) as well as european spruce of the same calibre (naturally aged 10+ years, master grade tonewood), any reliable supplier suggestions?

 

Oddly enough, pricing for these wood samples is all over the place, no one seems to have clear references and most of their websites have extremely odd ways of contacting the suppliers. I have seen various posts mentioning density measurements but I have yet to find any supplier who lists such things on their website along with the pictures of the blanks up for sale? What exactly is a reasonable price point for a bundle of wood with my specifications?

 

Another issue which is giving me a severe headache is ebony. No supplier states the origen of their ebony, how old is it, if it has been aged naturally or if there has been any sort of dye added which leaves me suspicious. When asked, the ones who responded seem to only have Indian ebony and regarded it as a better species than gaboon or madagascar/indonesian versions. Thoughts, is Indian ebony truely better or is this a marketing ploy? Oddly enough, I have yet to find any seller who has the gabon variety for sale yet I see many luthiers work with such wood, is there some secret way of getting this timbre XD?

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Ebony varies greatly in quality regardless of where it comes from. It takes a long time to season properly and most large wood dealers will initially kiln dry it somehow even if only partially. Indian ebony is popular at the moment because other sources of good grade wood from Africa , Madagascar ,etc... have become scarce.

Indian ebony can be excellent though ,as can Cambodian, Vietnamese ,etc... But for things like fingerboards it has to be well seasoned and stable.

I bought ebony regularly from a well known Spanish tonewood dealer it was often fantastic quality, but the last lot i bought was not seasoned properly and it all cracked and checked .I wont be buying from them again,as when i complained they didnt even bother to respond.

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I am in need of "master grade" highly flamed european maple (naturally aged 10+ years, sufficiently large enough to produce a 1 piece back as well as matching ribs and neck for a full sized violin)

 

Mainly on the "natural aged 10+ years" in that quality I have to say good luck to any who are still dreaming about this to get it from a wooddealer.

Maybe you find a maker who like to sale some seasoned pieces to you, but i have my doubt.

The prices on maple here in europe falling rapidly the last years since Romania has became a member of the EU.  Nice wood but still fresh.

Maple from the karpatian mountains

post-1262-0-36875300-1362913747_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

....... and tons of marketing ploys.

 

Welcome to the world of Violins!

 

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It is good remembering that unseasoned, fresh wood, was used by Guarneri del Gesù, who also used tops made with mismatched halves.

 

And that Rocca made violins with American maple back in 1850, it seems there is no problem with the violin Paolo Borciani played with his Quartetto Italiano.

 

Many Italian classic instruments were made with wood that would be considered unsitable such as knotty wood, wood atacked with worms, etc. 

 

Sound is up to the maker.

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Like a lot of things in violin making, there's not an exact science to this. The best thing to do is to try a couple places, see what you like, what you don't like, and stick with the dealer who works best for you.

It's a good practice to stock up on wood anyway, so you can age it yourself. Buy lots of wood early on, and then by the time you get to using it, you'll know its been aged.

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My wood samples are collected through botanical catalogues we have available to the research faculty,  even though they are extremely precise in terms of quality assessment they lack musical intonation information and quality. Basically speaking, I order lab samples which are not dried enough,old enough,  have no mention of flame patterns, overall musical density (taps) and are intended,and primarily suited, for scientific research only. Real tonewood is difficult as nails to get through such means, I need quality aged stuff not scientific all purpose specimens

 

I do have some boards I collected but they are no the grade I want on a violin nor are they european, hence my search for quality ebony, european top grade spruce and highly flamed maple.

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Some years ago I bought some nice wood from a dealer in Hungary. I have known him for many years and bought wood from him on a regular basis. Each time he gave me a receipt on headed notepaper with a European tax ID number. About three years later tax inspectors came to do a routine check. (Every ten years in Germany if you have been good.) They discovered that the number was genuine, (I had checked its authenticity on line) but that it did not belong to him. I contacted him and he made some excuse about changing his business at the time. He then sent me another receipt. This also turned out to be someone else's number. This second attempt got the tax people suspecting me. I got a private detective and a lawyer to look into it. (€ 1500) They could do nothing. The German tax authorities were not interested, even when I found out that he was still not only selling in Germany (and throughout Europe) and still using fake ID numbers. They said that the responsibility was mine to make sure that such companies (traders) are legitimate. Eventually even though they accepted that this man was the crook, I was forced to pay  €11000 for all the wood that I had set against tax over the preceding years. Expensive wood and he is still in business and still doing the same trick. So this is just a warning to double check everything. I was double pissed off because not only did this cost me € 12500, but at that time Machold was defrauding tax authorities across the world for millions and nothing was or is still being done about it.  

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Some years ago I bought some nice wood from a dealer in Hungary. I have known him for many years and bought wood from him on a regular basis. Each time he gave me a receipt on headed notepaper with a European tax ID number. About three years later tax inspectors came to do a routine check. (Every ten years in Germany if you have been good.) They discovered that the number was genuine, (I had checked its authenticity on line) but that it did not belong to him. I contacted him and he made some excuse about changing his business at the time. He then sent me another receipt. This also turned out to be someone else's number. This second attempt got the tax people suspecting me. I got a private detective and a lawyer to look into it. (€ 1500) They could do nothing. The German tax authorities were not interested, even when I found out that he was still not only selling in Germany (and throughout Europe) and still using fake ID numbers. They said that the responsibility was mine to make sure that such companies (traders) are legitimate. Eventually even though they accepted that this man was the crook, I was forced to pay  €11000 for all the wood that I had set against tax over the preceding years. Expensive wood and he is still in business and still doing the same trick. So this is just a warning to double check everything. I was double pissed off because not only did this cost me € 12500, but at that time Machold was defrauding tax authorities across the world for millions and nothing was or is still being done about it.  

 

Yes, I remember your pain. You might still have a case against your accountant. I don't know about German tax but my accountant will not allow me to claim wood as a business expense other than that which I use in a year. Any surplus that I amass has to be treated as stock & can't be claimed as an expense until used or lost through woodworm etc (God forbid)

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Yes, I remember your pain. You might still have a case against your accountant. I don't know about German tax but my accountant will not allow me to claim wood as a business expense other than that which I use in a year. Any surplus that I amass has to be treated as stock & can't be claimed as an expense until used or lost through woodworm etc (God forbid)

I believe that that depends upon weather you have chosen the cash method of accounting for small business or a double bookkeeping with an anual inventory. Since it seems to concern a fake VAT number, were one to assume a 20% rate of VAT, then Roger has bought 66thousand Euros worth of wood (????), so it all seems a bit Spanish to me. Quite what it has to do with Machold escapes me too. Since M. spent years making truely horrific losses, I can scarcely imagine that he would have had much of a tax bill.
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Even if you don't report it as a business expense, you still have to pay VAT or have a resale permit, n'est pas??

 

When a "private" person ring on my door from any other EU-countrys and wanna sale some nice pieces of wood he carry under his arms for cash against a simple handwritten reciept....

it would run under a VAT-free business expense. But sure you get in trouble if this happens every week.

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Hi,

Perhaps the most reliable suppliers in Europe are these:

this supplier

They are rather expensive!

Regarding ebony or other hardwoods you can only guaranteed partly seasoned wood. It is best to season it for a year or two before you use it!

Yes! Andreas Pahler is great. I think he will be at Mondo Musica in NYC. He usually shows up for the VSA competitions.

 

I also agree to stock up on wood and let it season. Time flies and before you know it you added several more years to the wood.

 

Mike

 

 

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I believe that that depends upon weather you have chosen the cash method of accounting for small business or a double bookkeeping with an anual inventory. Since it seems to concern a fake VAT number, were one to assume a 20% rate of VAT, then Roger has bought 66thousand Euros worth of wood (????), so it all seems a bit Spanish to me. Quite what it has to do with Machold escapes me too. Since M. spent years making truely horrific losses, I can scarcely imagine that he would have had much of a tax bill.

Yes that calculation would be about right over the ten year period. I am, unlike some people, a full time maker. In this period I made something over 160 instruments including several cellos. This is 160 sets of the finest quality wood to replace what I was using, plus some extra, including the bass sets (see blog). And the guy who sold it was Hungarian not 'Spanish', and are you seriously telling me that Machold, whether he ended up making a loss or not, did not avoid paying tax to the tune of many millions. Come on Jacob, I hope that this is all a jest.  

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I cannot believe this! But anyway here is a german site wich could help

 

http://evatr.bff-online.de/eVatR/

Thanks but it is now too late I was just giving a warning to others. Your site might help them, but you are wrong not to believe this. It is the responsibility of the buyer every time. I had even checked the numbers on the official site, but these sites are difficult and it is not easy to see who actually owns a particular number. 

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Yes! Andreas Pahler is great. I think he will be at Mondo Musica in NYC. He usually shows up for the VSA competitions.

 

I also agree to stock up on wood and let it season. Time flies and before you know it you added several more years to the wood.

 

Mike

I also recommend Andreas Pahler. I've dealt with him a few times. He is willing to help out small makers with personal service. He deals good product, and ships it fast with the right documents. in this case you do get what you pay for

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