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      Read the rules at the top of this page before posting.   12/30/16

      The rules are copied here for your convenience: The Auction Scroll is for sharing opinions on instruments listed and offered for sale online on this site or any other. It is for the civil exchange of ideas and opinions about the instruments themselves. The opinions expressed are solely those of the poster, and do not represent the opinion of Maestronet or its forum moderators. Personal attacks on individuals will not be tolerated and will result in banning from participation in the forums. For example you are free to state that in your opinion a certain instrument labelled such and such is or is not authentic. You can also support your opinion with facts as you see them, as long as you make no reference to the individual or company listing the instrument or use hearsay in your argument. You cannot say for example that such and such an instrument is not authentic because you know the individual listing the instrument is not trustworthy or you believe the company routinely uses false descriptions of its instruments. That will get you banned. Similarly, you can defend the authenticity of an instrument with the facts as you see them, as long as personal attacks and hearsay are not used. For example, you could refer to the shape of the f holes in support of a certain origin, but what you cannot do is attack any individuals that may hold a different opinion. This is a unique forum, so please abide by these rules to ensure it continues in its current form.
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BassClef

Took the Plunge - First eBay violin - toughts?

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BassClef   

I took the plunge this week and purchased a violin on eBay.  I am a complete newB when it comes to this stuff so I'd be interested in the opinion and judgment of the members of the Maestronet community.  I'm mostly wondering if I paid a fair amount for the instrument, whether it is in fact likely an Austrian instrument, what the chances are that the label is accurate, and any other information that you might offer me regarding my purchase.

 

I am not going to resell the violin, it's for my child who will hopefiully use it in a decade or so from now.

 

Thanks in advance for your contributions.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FINE-OLD-AUSTRIAN-VIOLIN-Eduard-Heidegger-see-video-ANTIQUE-VIOLINO-/310727462382

 

ab_137.jpg

 

EDIT - As eBay listings expire, I'm adding some screencaps below for posterity:

 

Heidegger-Violin-Ebay-Screenshot-1_zpsdb

Heidegger-Violin-Ebay-Screenshot-2_zpsf3

Heidegger-Violin-Ebay-Screenshot-3_zpsb6

 

Edit on 1/21/14 - I am going over the thread and reuploading all of the photos to the MN server in case my photobucket account and the eBay listings/photos  stop working at some point in the future.

post-66674-0-69609800-1390330080_thumb.jpg

post-66674-0-19006500-1390330088_thumb.png

post-66674-0-71170300-1390330091_thumb.png

post-66674-0-46659800-1390330094_thumb.png

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Well, for less than $400.00, you got a fine piece of "rubbish".  If you'd gotten it from me, you'd have paid 100 or so more, but gotten decent strings, a usable case, and a nifty Chinese bow.  It looks to me to be a Schönbach made trade fiddle, so, if made before WW I, technically it's Austrian.  Heidegger probably did sell it.  I read the ad and found nothing to truly nauseate me.  That scroll back fluting is a rare hoot, and whoever set that ragged-bottomed soundpost needs remedial discipline, but otherwise it looks like an upstanding example of low-end Saxon rubbishhood.,  The varnish is appalling, BTW, but one doesn't listen to varnish anyway.  If it sounds good, you got your money's worth.  Any decent student fiddle set with a distributor's label and all would have cost as much as or more than you paid, and wouldn't be over a hundred years old.  I do trust that you at least have beginning basic luthiery knowledge,.a couple of soundpost setting tools, and some sandpaper.  What they said in the the ad is a broad hint that it needs further setup for best sound..

 

They have a return policy, and Paypal's involved, so if anything is not as advertised, ram it somewhere sideways.  I really don't expect you'll have any trouble, though.

 

Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to the ranks of rubbish owners.  Please let us know how it sounds :)

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Heidegger in Linz was a Zither maker, who’s repair label is in thousands of rubbishy violins. I have never seen a violin BY Heidegger, and doubt that there is such a thing. With any luck, paypal should tell you to destroy it.
 
Hope you get the “moral” of the adventure.

 

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I'm afraid that the violin will be of very little use as it is.

 

Looking at your pictures, the fingerboard is loose, and probably misshapen, and the top nut is badly made. The bridge doesn't fit, and is of the poorest wood, and there are several bad cracks. The neck looks thin and narrow. The likelihood is that that the pegs don't work.

 

So much time is wasted, and talent frustrated, fighting against instruments like this. I think that you would do better , save money, and encourage your daughter much better if you were to cut your losses, go to a violin maker, and buy a violin. If you start with a 1/4 size, and work through to a full size over the next ten years, your violin maker will probably trade in the fiddles as you go along, and do his very best for you, and your daughter will always have a violin that is a pleasure to play. Violin makers and violinists need each other in equal measure.

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If the soundtrack is genuine, then like Martin Swan says above, it sounds very good. Unfortunately as Conor Russell says, it is likely to cost quite a bit to ensure that it works long term. I know several people who can get pegs to work no matter what, but how much damage does that cause to the peg box???

 

I'm not sure what $330 (£220 UK) would buy you elsewhere. At my repairers prices it would cost another £150 (ish) for strings,pegs,bridge,soundpost plus of course careful work on set up. I haven't even thought about any repairs it may need. Its difficult because £220 plus £150 will buy you a Stentor Conservatoire or the like, and take it from me, you don't want one of those (ok for kids). Best ask your local repairer for an estimate. 

 

I don't think that you can send it back as it was reasonably described by the seller. I think that the maker ususally made pottery as he obviously believed that the thing should be finished off in an oven by the look of it... 

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 At my repairers prices it would cost another £150 (ish) for strings,pegs,bridge,soundpost plus of course careful work on set up.

 

If my eyesight doesn’t decieve me, it has a crack in the belly which goes along the edge of the bass bar. Since it will have a “carved”, or in this price range “left over” bass bar, it would need work tantamount to demolition, which your violin repairer would certainly not do for 150ish pounds. Quite where our “online dealership” thinks one “could have done a lot worse” is a mystery to me, unless he means flushing $350 down the toilet.

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It actually sounds very good for a $350 violin - I think you could have done a lot worse. It's not going to end up in the Ashmolean though!

 

Martin, I've got quite a few of those for you. I'll contact you via your site... :wub:

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I left the bassbar crack out of my earlier discussion because of the seller's statement addressing it and saying "no open cracks".  Given eBay's views of false claims of usability, if BassClef receives the violin and finds that the crack is open and movable, the seller rather than the buyer is probably screwed.  I've gotten free merchandise on 2 occasions and several respectable partial refunds due to crap like that as well as returning stuff with hidden defects more than once for full refund.  Given all that, the chances are that the crack is soundly but unaesthetically repaired rather than open.  If that isn't true, refer to my recommendation in my earlier posting :lol:

 

If, as I assume, it is true, he's stuck with a violin with a horrible repaired bass bar crack unless he sends it back at his own expense on the 14 day return policy. :blink::rolleyes: He'll flog himself for that, we don't need to.

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I've just had a look at the bid history. There is one very determined bidder with no previous purchases to his name. Looks like you came in late Bassclef (usually a good strategy on EBay), I'm just concerned that some stoking might have gone on IMHO

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I've just had a look at the bid history. There is one very determined bidder with no previous purchases to his name. Looks like you came in late Bassclef (usually a good strategy on EBay), I'm just concerned that some stoking might have gone on IMHO

That's a whole 'nuther discussion.  People, always check the bid history before you get involved at a late point. I tend to sit on my shekels until sometime in the last 5 minutes myself.  The rest doesn't matter.

 

Another strong suggestion, always set yourself a bidding limit, and don't exceed it.  This is business, not sport or pleasure.

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I would be interested in how people define a bassbar crack. I would think it's a crack which can't be easily cleated because of the presence of the bassbar ....

Since this crack seems to line up with the centre of the upper f-hole eye, and the bassbar is not encroaching into the eye, it must be at least 5mm away.

I'm not saying it isn't an ugly crack but is it a bassbar crack?

The description states that the purfling is painted - very accurately apparently :rolleyes:

However, it also states that the back is made of flamed maple, which it isn't. 

 

Carl, I'm still waiting  :wub:

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I'm not saying it isn't an ugly crack but is it a bassbar crack?

 

Carl, I'm still waiting  :wub:

 
Yes, it is a bass bar crack.
 
Carl has probably gone out to look for a very big box!  :D

 

 

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FredN   

Not a good thing to say, but I wish more inst's were bought from such sources, the following review on MN is priceless and certainly very educational. fred

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Will L   

It might be instructive, BassClef, to know what convinced you to buy this particular violin.  It's not like you got rooked or cheated or lost a fortune, or anything like that.  But why buy a violin when supposedly it is going to be years before your child is ready to play on it.  Why did you HAVE TO HAVE this one now? This is a serious question, not intended to be or seem sarcastic.  

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Not a good thing to say, but I wish more inst's were bought from such sources, the following review on MN is priceless and certainly very educational. fred

 

Fred,

 

I have very mixed feelings. 

 

You are right; the reviews are very educational.  I feel as though I learn a lot by reading one of these evaluations. 

 

On the other hand, I am sure that they are quite rough on the Original Poster.   He gets honest information from experts, but it  comes across as mean spirited. 

 

 

 

Bass Clef,

 

If you are still out there....   These folks are not trying to be mean to you.  They are only trying to be mean to your fiddle.  You just got caught in the feeding frenzy.

Please accept this apology on behalf of my friends here.

 

Mac

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Please accept this apology on behalf of my friends here.

 

Mac

 

 
I have nothing to apologize for, neither have you any business arrogating yourself a remit to apologize on my or anyone else's behalf.

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Fred,

 

I have very mixed feelings. 

 

You are right; the reviews are very educational.  I feel as though I learn a lot by reading one of these evaluations. 

 

On the other hand, I am sure that they are quite rough on the Original Poster.   He gets honest information from experts, but it  comes across as mean spirited. 

 

 

 

Bass Clef,

 

If you are still out there....   These folks are not trying to be mean to you.  They are only trying to be mean to your fiddle.  You just got caught in the feeding frenzy.

Please accept this apology on behalf of my friends here.

 

Mac

I wasn't mean to Bass Clef or his fiddle.  I call my own Saxon fiddles "rubbish" poking fun at something Jacob said a long time ago.  I would feel that everyone would know this by now.  I see nothing else I said that could be taken wrong.  Mac, I'm not into newbie bashing, especially newbies bearing interesting rubbish for my perusal. :P:lol:

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Bass Clef may be new to this site but he isn't new to E Bay.Like many people before him he just weighed up the options and invested what is not a big sum in something that sounded good. I hope he gets a favourable report from a repairer as it sounds good in the clip and...he will have got decent value if additional work don't take the final cost above $500 IMO.

 

I missed the bit about it having new strings, bridge etc so there may be some costs that can be avoided. Good luck to him. 

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Reading back, I suppose that the views given might seem a little harsh. But Bass Clef did ask for our opinions on his violin and it's worth, so I hope that he won't be offended. His case is a fairly common one, and my replies reflect my views in general.

My view is fairly simple. By the time his daughter has grown into a full sized violin she should be way beyond this violin and what it has to offer. Learning to play is hard enough without having to struggle with a badly set up violin, and it's so important to do justice to a child's efforts by at least providing her with the tools to make the task as easy and pleasant as possible.

The trouble is that parents and very often teachers simply don't know what a good violin is. This is where a well educated violin maker comes in.

Regarding Ebay, most of the old crocks that crop up there are simply not worth having at any money. If they were worth restoring, surely they would be snapped up by the trade in order to make a profit. Every workshop has piles of these things that are scrapped or burned or just put to one side. I have a ton of them, because I find it hard to bring myself to throwing some old maker's work in the bin. I could sell them on Ebay I suppose, but I don't - I sort of take them out of circulation. In my view nobody will benefit from owning them, and I have a strong memory of my civics teacher telling us that 'a sale is a transaction that benefits both the buyer and the seller - anything else is theft'.

If Bass Clef were to put a couple of hundred dollars aside each year, and develop a relationship with a violin maker, he would surely be able to choose a better and more appropriate instrument for his daughter when the time came.

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Like Conor, I'm not sure if the child (who may have reached say Grade 6/7) would want this instrument, it all depends on what they had before in smaller size. A poor violin will hold someone back but - it did sound good for the money. On balance I would agree with Conor's view that saving up $300 each year if possible is a better strategy.

 

When it comes to getting 'value' from an instrument, people will judge things differently. If people believe that any new violin that you buy should resell at the same or higher price, they are on for a nasty surprise. No doubt if you buy from certain, well regarded luthiers, this may change (sorry Conor, I've no idea about your violins).  

 

Unlabelled Trade violins that are often described here as 'rubbish' are often found on display at Musical instrument shops for £500 plus and are priced a step up from Stentors etc. That doesn't mean of course that they are worth (at trade) that amount. To me EBay offers (at risk) the opportunity to buy a trade fiddle for much less than £500. I stress 'at risk'.

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