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SOUND CUE: CARNIVAL MUSIC

 

POV: Impressionable couple in need of a cheap yet desireable old italian violin CUT TO: desperate hands clutching their last few hard earned dollars.

 

Crooked smile:

"Everyone can be a winner. It doesn't take any special skill. Step right up. Don't be dissapointed that you didn't give it a try ! Walk away with a real old Italian violin. Only 2 left. Be the envy of your local luthier."

 

Impressionable young man:

"Oh my goodness !!! This might be the chance we were looking for."

 

CLOSE UP: Man in red striped vest with a crooked smile wringing his hands with glee.

 

Crooked Smile:

"I have no idea what I actually have here but I was told they were all very nice old italian violins by the man who sold them to me. He was a retired orchestral musician who needed money to buy new silk pyjamas and a couple of nice cigars. I only have 2 left from his collection. One says Garneri the other says Amalfi. (ASIDE in a hushed tone) To be perfectly honest I shouldn't be telling you this but I would go for the Garneri it is just a few dollars more and he told me it was his favourite."

 

Impressionable young man:

"I think we should get the best one they have dear. " (Hands over their last penny)

 

CUT TO: Man in silk pyjamas smoking a cigar.

 

Silky:

"You know ever since I bought these silk pyjamas I feel like a new man. Cigar ?"

 

Crooked smile:

"No thanks. I don't smoke. If you want to keep living like that you better come up with some better violins and some better stories."

 

Silky:

"Relax, greed will prevail."

 

r.

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RE: "It's back" (post immediately above) 

: (   Gasp!  'Need to get our buyer feedback written, and who knows what else.  

But first, here're remarks written before we noticed Alfredo Contino's reappearance on eBay.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

REFUND was credited was Pay Pal!!! Very thankful that seller honored 14-day return policy rather than pressing the issue that we read more into his Ebay listing than was literally said. Hope to keep our genuine appreciation for the prompt refund from standing in the way of our leaving helpful feedback for future customers.

 

TO Violadamore! Re: Feedback. What a way you have with words!

 

TO Greg F: WE OWN UP to buyer gullibility and culpability! Though we knew only fools hope to happen upon an overlooked 16-18th C Cremonese violin, we admit to still being a bit on the lookout for something more than a mass-produced VSO. Same day as our bidding folly, we'd traveled to a nearby city for repairs and, while waiting, dropped by a musical “thrift store” where about a dozen vintage instruments had been retired after a violin shop in another part of the state closed its doors (victim of Katrina, economic recession, online shopping for strings, and phone apps for metronomes/tuners). Neither the instruments nor their owner (we spoke via phone) seemed to be attempting to pull anything over. Prices were $500-1500 since the violins had already sat unsold for a while in the previous shop.. Though none seemed to be a clear improvement over the violin we had along, playing the likes of the Fried. Aug. Glass (with grafted scroll) led us to look bio info when we got home. And then we stumbled upon an interesting commentary on violin sound quality by Martin Swan which had an accompanying lengthy list of his personal tone evaluations. And next, just for fun, we cross-referenced a few soon-closing eBay items with the list...“What?!! A not-yet-antique violin (30's) by some luthier we'd never heard of but who had scored at least one pink rating!” With the seller also auctioning a “fine” bow, it seemed possible that its previous owner might have had a real musical bent! And there was a return policy ... Packing a family of seven for a week-long vacation left too little time to do the needed homework. The very next day, further Googling immediately put everything in a very different light! Egg on face! Lesson learned!

 

TO Rick Hyslop; Czech violin is supposed (by Emile Baran in Atlanta) to be made by Ferdinand (or Freidrick?) August Homolka circa 1860 in Prague. This summer we feared a fingerboard replacement was looming, but now it appears that the violin may have another planing or so to go. This instrument is in pretty good condition, and the sound isn't limiting.

On the other hand, at the time that we took the Czech violin to be appraised (2007), we were told “Don't even bother” re: our German-made instrument (no pedigree, repair scars, sweet but less-than-resounding voice). Probably very little trade-in value, though this violin likewise gets practiced five or more hours a day. After our eBay experience, we're more appreciative of what we do have! (Also, if we could get a refund on all the dollars spent on lessons, driving to lessons, and numerous other string-related expenses, we could upgrade pretty nicely, and afford who knows what else! But, would never trade back all the blessings of music over the years!)

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Same vendor, new product line:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-Professional-YCL-681-E-Flat-Clarinet-In-Used-Condition-No-Reserve-/351159195168?_trksid=p2054897.l4275

 

 

YCL681 sells new for $4K.  The branding on this clarinet appears genuine (last photo has model #), but the targeted audience (well-intended parents of beginners) may not know additional features to check for authenticity. Should this happen to be another replica, "criminal simulation" of a registered trademark would seem to be riskier business than forgery of labels and stamps of deceased luthiers. 

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Regarding the clarinet, I do know something about woodwinds. I'm not aware of any problem with counterfeiting. This particular clarinet is an E-flat clarinet which is a specialty clarinet used in concert bands and sometimes orchestras. A beginner would typically start on a B-flat clarinet, of which many fine student models (and some not so fine) are available at low prices. I'd expect this price to go pretty high, and it again has a 14 day return policy. 

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Regarding the clarinet, I do know something about woodwinds. I'm not aware of any problem with counterfeiting. This particular clarinet is an E-flat clarinet which is a specialty clarinet used in concert bands and sometimes orchestras. A beginner would typically start on a B-flat clarinet, of which many fine student models (and some not so fine) are available at low prices. I'd expect this price to go pretty high, and it again has a 14 day return policy.

That's so good to hear! Also, this seller did honor the stated return policy and gave a prompt, hassle-free refund.
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