Sign in to follow this  
Dr Watson

Expertise and all that......

Recommended Posts

"what an insult you lob at symphony violinists. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to gain a spot in a major symphony orchestra? But since you mentioned it, hearing a major orchestra section full of fine Cremonese instruments would be positively magical!"

Yes, my wife is in one here in Chicago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"what an insult you lob at symphony violinists. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to gain a spot in a major symphony orchestra? But since you mentioned it, hearing a major orchestra section full of fine Cremonese instruments would be positively magical!"

Yes, my wife is in one here in Chicago.

That makes your statement all the more baffling!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You misinterpret me my friend!

Being a symphony string musician is a VERY demanding job and the audition system is a nightmare. Many of my clients are symphony players or students preparing to take auditions. My point is that these musicians need instruments that fit the demands of symphonic playing - an instrument that can blend with the section, has a very wide range tonal qualities and volume dynamics, and is easy to play physically due to the large number of playing hours involved.

They need something that works, not a $500,000 fake Italian fiddle. I know players in the CSO who are using $6000 dollar old french fiddles and $15,000 instruments by new makers. They are in the minority's however.

I'm trying to meditate on how we value and price imstruments and how this process can lead to the type corruption that plagues the violin business. These are just ideas.

Hope this helps!

Best,

Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[sounds of munching and guzzling] Yeehaaa!  This here thread is gooder than watching Nascar!

 

Just felt like lowering my tone to the ambient conditions.  The postings by the two Erics are dead on and perfectly readable English.  Their points have frequently been made before, and ignored before  :P  :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a collector of fine instruments, provenance of the right sort has always been the starting point in any purchase I have made.

 

From my 35 years in the retail violin biz,  I think Eric pretty much nailed it, myself. When you speak primarily as a collector, you're definitely not speaking on behalf of the musicians I meet. I've seen some incredibly bad decisions made when players try to equate dollars spent and nationality with tone, most of them not being in the position to fully understand the very complex dynamics of violin status and pricing, which you also appear not to understand, either.

 

As Carl duly notes, Eric needs to remember when posting on Maestronet forum echo chamber that he's in an alternate universe from the real world of violin dealing, making, and use, which is much, much larger and different place than the dozen or so people who post here regularly live in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real world we live in being actual working shops in a major global center of the violin business? C'mon Michael, let's bring some sense and logic to this bizarro universe known as "Maestronet"! Together we can make a difference!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They need something that works, not a $500,000 fake Italian fiddle. I know players in the CSO who are using $6000 dollar old french fiddles and $15,000 instruments by new makers. They are in the minority's however.

I'm trying to meditate on how we value and price imstruments and how this process can lead to the type corruption that plagues the violin business. These are just ideas.

Hope this helps!

Best,

Eric

 

You hold onto these misguided attitudes and you'll never have a castle near Vienna.... Players need the best instruments they can not afford. The problem here might be your clientèle. Other people's clientèle is  just two corners away from playing Brahms with the BPO. 

 

BPO is booked with teenagers doing Brahms well into the next Century.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real world we live in being actual working shops in a major global center of the violin business? C'mon Michael, let's bring some sense and logic to this bizarro universe known as "Maestronet"! Together we can make a difference!!!!

 

Nobody is SO thick skinned to get to the other side of these bushes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Completely off topic:

Carl, my best friend is a granddaughter of the violinist Carl Stross. Are you a fan or otherwise related to that name?

Florian

 

No idea and I doubt : my German side of the family was (is) into heavy industry though some of my father's sisters could scratch piano, one of them quite well.

 

But thank you for the info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my 35 years in the retail violin biz,  I think Eric pretty much nailed it, myself. When you speak primarily as a collector, you're definitely not speaking on behalf of the musicians I meet. I've seen some incredibly bad decisions made when players try to equate dollars spent and nationality with tone, most of them not being in the position to fully understand the very complex dynamics of violin status and pricing, which you also appear not to understand, either.

 

As Carl duly notes, Eric needs to remember when posting on Maestronet forum echo chamber that he's in an alternate universe from the real world of violin dealing, making, and use, which is much, much larger and different place than the dozen or so people who post here regularly live in.

I know musicians that have made wise decisions when purchasing an instrument as well as many that have made mistakes. Your natter about "the very complex dynamics of violin status and pricing" is tiresome. If one gets the provenance and condition relative to price right the process is off to a good start. Perhaps their are other problems in the business world you are a part of that are too sensitive to touch upon, such as the value of expertise.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know musicians that have made wise decisions when purchasing an instrument as well as many that have made mistakes. Your natter about "the very complex dynamics of violin status and pricing" is tiresome. If one gets the provenance and condition relative to price right the process is off to a good start. Perhaps their are other problems in the business world you are a part of that are too sensitive to touch upon, such as the value of expertise.  

 

We ALL do. :)

 

Please, most respectfully, observe that you are replying "sideways to the point" :) . Michael Darnton's post was about something else. Of course, if " one gets the provenance and condition relative to the price right , the process is off to a good start". That's trivial. But a good start is not a guarantee for a good finish and your idea of good start might end up disastrously for somebody who needs to work with the violin. Michael Darnton was talking about trying to equate "dollars spent and nationality with TONE".  Perhaps THERE ARE other problems and if you are curious as to their nature, you should simply ask and avoid speculating and in particular, speculating negatively. The problem in the "other thread", in other words.

 

When you write : "More than one personal experience convinces me that violins (well certified ones) are pretty accurately priced according to their tonal qualities. On more than one occasion during the purchase process I have asked well qualified musicians to offer their advice.  Amazingly without fail, without knowing what they were hearing they have ranked the instruments absolutely spot-on, top to bottom according to price."

 

the only flattering supposition I can make is that either you are incredibly lucky or you have purchased only two violins. 

 

Correct me if I am wrong, please : you ARE equating money with tone ( condition and provenance being right ),

are you not ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The claim that instrument performance and original carcass market price before setup have any direct relation, IMHO, falls more in the province of theology than of acoustics.  :P  We've been over all this both on this forum as well as on The Pegbox hundreds of times, and no consensus is ever reached.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me be a bit abstract, and talk about violin makers and chefs... I know that a well trained chef can cook a steak so it's medium rare, just a bit bloody, just the way I like it. More to the point, if he's good enough, he can do the same whether its a 8oz or a 12oz steak, and whether he's cooking on gas, electricity, barbeque and can cook it just as well if its a hot summers day, or if the gas is at low pressure because it's christmas and people are roasting turkeys. To me, that's what a violin maker does to.

 

As a result, I see the value of a particular violin maker rises because their violins are generally of the same consistency. Sometimes you get a better one, but I can think of very few times that you can charge an appreciable premium because it is better. What is true, is that it will sell faster. Sometimes you get one that isn't quite as good. Occasionally you surprise yourself, and it sells all the same, because it works to someone elses taste, but in the end, the bottom line is that it will be harder to find someone to buy it for it's retail price if it is outperformed by others. At that point, the question is how much to discount it in order to make it worth its money. But the principle of how to price it has to start with an assessment of what the average violin by that maker should sell for.

 

To me, that's a great way of thinking about price. There are other layers as well, and much of the decision making process (especially for a dealer) has to happen in the first moments of seeing a violin. There are plenty of instruments that I think are crazy for the price - that I simply can't put my heart into - and therefore I choose not to sell them. Either because I fundamentally believe you can do better with something else, or because it's not a good enough example to justify the price you would have to charge. But at the end of it all, the fundamental driving point is the understanding that a rule-of-thumb value has been established through an understanding of how a particular maker's works generally sound.

 

I hope that is clear, and not too mumbojumbo...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We ALL do. :)

 

Please, most respectfully, observe that you are replying "sideways to the point" :) . Michael Darnton's post was about something else. Of course, if " one gets the provenance and condition relative to the price right , the process is off to a good start". That's trivial. But a good start is not a guarantee for a good finish and your idea of good start might end up disastrously for somebody who needs to work with the violin. Michael Darnton was talking about trying to equate "dollars spent and nationality with TONE".  Perhaps THERE ARE other problems and if you are curious as to their nature, you should simply ask and avoid speculating and in particular, speculating negatively. The problem in the "other thread", in other words.

 

When you write : "More than one personal experience convinces me that violins (well certified ones) are pretty accurately priced according to their tonal qualities. On more than one occasion during the purchase process I have asked well qualified musicians to offer their advice.  Amazingly without fail, without knowing what they were hearing they have ranked the instruments absolutely spot-on, top to bottom according to price."

 

the only flattering supposition I can make is that either you are incredibly lucky or you have purchased only two violins. 

 

Correct me if I am wrong, please : you ARE equating money with tone ( condition and provenance being right ),

are you not ?

Dear Mr, Stross,

 

Your snide supposition was off-putting and hardly worthy of a reply. Just let me say that the number of fine instruments I own or have owned in the past would most likely be greater than the total you have had in your hands during your lifetime. 

 

Well certified and fairly priced violins in the higher price ranges typically posses greater tonal complexity and quality. In lower price ranges the bias toward instruments of a particular origin exists. This may at times impede proper consideration of instruments of other origins. 

 

My comment regarding provenance/certification does bring us back to the origin of this thread as well as the now locked "Rumor has it..."  thread.  Expertise is the foundation of the stringed instrument business. The experts that have withstood the test of time are few in number. Their firms continued to carry on after their departure at least until the public began to realize that that the expert was an individual, not something inherent in the company brand.  

 

This is at the heart of the two recent threads. Questions remain surrounding the posts by RH, misleading statements still found on the Beare website relating to the role Charles Beare continues to play in the company, the identity of the current signatory on the Beares certificates, and the rufusal of Mr. Morris to address any of these concerns. The failure on the part of the current Beare regime to clarify the situation is what is "dangerous for the business" as it shakes the very foundation on which the continued health of the violin trade stands. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well certified and fairly priced violins in the higher price ranges typically posses greater tonal complexity and quality. In lower price ranges the bias toward instruments of a particular origin exists. This may at times impede proper consideration of instruments of other origins. 

 

This is an interesting statement, and I'd like to have you explain it further, or develop it.  As it stands, I don't understand it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One way to understand it might be that high-priced violins are inevitably Italian, generally Cremonese or North Italian - there can be no geographical bias since there's no competition in that price range.

Because "Italian-ness" is associated with the highest quality, people with smaller amounts of money also tend to look for Italian violins. In fact their money would be far better spent (from a strictly musical point of view) on the best 18th and 19th century instruments from Prague, Budapest, Vienna, London, Paris .... but geographical prejudice wins out.

Is that what you are saying?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One way to understand it might be that high-priced violins are inevitably Italian, generally Cremonese or North Italian - there can be no geographical bias since there's no competition in that price range.

Because "Italian-ness" is associated with the highest quality, people with smaller amounts of money also tend to look for Italian violins. In fact their money would be far better spent (from a strictly musical point of view) on the best 18th and 19th century instruments from Prague, Budapest, Vienna, London, Paris .... but geographical prejudice wins out.

Is that what you are saying?

heart_glowing.gif

post-66674-0-52938200-1417033716_thumb.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.