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Landolfi

Best contemporary luthiers

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Who would you consider as the best living luthier?   Are their fiddles better than those from the 17th or 18th century?   My friend tries to get on waiting list to purchase Sam Zygmuntowicz's violin which is like 4-5 years now.   Is it really worth it as far as the quality and the sound of the violin.

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15 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Nick's are great too. Get one now before we have to raise our rates!

He. Thanks for the kind endorsement! Hopefully we both develop some kind of friendly rivalry. Until one of us dies from plague/consumption/cholera/insert other antiquated illness at the ripe old age of 46 or something lol.  

But they would then be barred from this category... :(

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I've heard that some violinists have actally preferred violins from Don Noon to Strads!

But while I suspect that all these replies are valid, I would love to see serious, reliable replies here that I could rely on for accurate information which I could use as a foundation in the search for more knowledge.

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There are so many great living makers. As you may know finding the worlds best luthier could be as challenging as finding the best food on earth. Just to name a few  other famous luthiers with a similar price tag: Greiner, Gregg Alf, Joe Curtin, Martin Schleske. Then you should look at the hors concors list of the VSA. There are about 30 makers which should compare pretty equally to the named. 

I am shure that buying a ‚big name‘ does not mean that the violin is going to sound exceptionally better than the other violins made by the worlds top 150 luthiers. But it can have a big reselling advantage.

What you can observe on the modern violin market is that clients very often consider the most popular makers being the best.

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I hope it was understood that I was being light-hearted in my self endorsement above. I am not so hubristic as to think myself one of the best. Haven't been doing it long enough! I have had good instruction and continue to study hard and work hard, and am proud of what I'm doing. I hope someday to earn a place in the Pantheon, but there's a long road ahead. 

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Quite rightly, nobody here seems to consider themselves sufficiently authoritative to make such a godly judgement. How about we start with regional eliminators? Who would we consider the best living luthier in China, Cremona, France, Germany, the rest of Italy, Japan, UK, US..? Thanks, Bill, for the Kazakhstan entry.

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1 hour ago, JacksonMaberry said:

I hope it was understood that I was being light-hearted in my self endorsement above.

Oh, yes, I fully understood that, and I hope my posting did not create any other impression.

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1 hour ago, Bill Merkel said:

Lewlkrtkjer Aksadfk in Kwekrr, Kazakhstan is quickly becoming recognized internationally.

i heard he quit violins and only makes octobasses these days B)

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Surely this question is totally unanswerable in a meaningful way.

Most of the big names, are past competition winners, sometimes multiple medal winners. These makers can obviously work to a very high standard, and produce consistent results.

There are likely makers who tried very hard when entering a competition, and made something for it, which might have been different to what they normally did.

You may have someone who makes stunning instruments, but has never entered a competition, and so in a sense are unknown to a wide audience.

A top restorer could make some world class instruments, but as they are in demand for restoration, maybe only make an instrument every few years.

Or a maker operating in a geographical area where there are no great players, so the word is not spread.

And all of this before we argue about tone etc... :blink:

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7 hours ago, Landolfi said:

Who would you consider as the best living luthier?   Are their fiddles better than those from the 17th or 18th century?   My friend tries to get on waiting list to purchase Sam Zygmuntowicz's violin which is like 4-5 years now.   Is it really worth it as far as the quality and the sound of the violin.

Realistically,  your question is destined to remain unanswered.

Even if, narrowing the field, I had to say who is the best living Cremonese violin maker I could only give a partial answer, as it is not realistic to think that I have known, seen and heard all the instruments of all Cremonese violin makers.

In fact I am not even aware of all the names of those who work here, let alone at worldwide level!!

I advise you to make your choice based on the violin and not on the violin maker name, if you've tried Sam's violins that hit you positively order from him, 4 or 5 years of waiting list are not so many for a supposed  top maker..... in fact I am surprised that his waiting list is so few years.
 

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9 hours ago, Landolfi said:

Who would you consider as the best living luthier?   Are their fiddles better than those from the 17th or 18th century?   My friend tries to get on waiting list to purchase Sam Zygmuntowicz's violin which is like 4-5 years now.   Is it really worth it as far as the quality and the sound of the violin.

it would help if you could define the phrase "best luthier", or even better "best violin".

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25 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

I agree. Not that it couldn't be amusing to see people try. :)

well, McFlugelstein just made it into my top 3 :lol:

Anyway, it's stil an interesting question if we are purely talking about sound. We talk alot about the secrets, designs and qualities of the old masters, but who today can actually get close to that sound? Assuming that the old Cremonese sound is what we are after...

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33 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

I agree. Not that it couldn't be amusing to see people try. :)

Well David, if we agree, I'll make your name and you'll do mine.

Ooops, I thought this was a personal message!!:D:lol::rolleyes:

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25 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:
 

Well David, if we agree, I'll make your name and you'll do mine.

 
Ooops, I thought this was a personal message!!:D:lol::rolleyes:

It might be too risky for me to do that right now, with all the accusations of "collusion" we have flying about over here,  even though you are not Russian. :lol:

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I think in an art related profession it is strange to talk about 'best' luthiers. Like in performing arts almost every luthier has his own artistic strengths which define the style and sound of his/ her instruments. 

(Didn't you want to ask who is the most expensive violin maker today??)

People should stop to think about violin makers like long distance runners. There is no one the 'best' being the fastest runner. 

Violin making history shows that some luthiers popular in their time (because they stand out in the media) become completely forgotten 100 years later. Who knows today Paul Kaul?

i wonder often how musicians will view my creations in 100 years. If I am lucky people will remember my name for what reason ever. 

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well, we could start and take a stab by listing some of the more "popular" maestronetters, some of whom are even on this thread.  No one from Kazekhstan---:-oD - but includes, in no rank order, David Burgess, Davide Sora, Manfio (so good, we only know him by one name!!), Michael Darnton, Roger Hargrave.  I may have even left off some.  

I have never experienced  Viola d'Amore's retreads carefully reworked and improved masterpeieces,  :lol::ph34r: but I understand they are a bargain and sound great, though I am uncertain of resale value.  I am told many think highly of them!  

Locally, there is G. Michael Fisher, and Mario Miralles, to name some that command a high price and a long waiting list ( at least for Miralles).

Because  I have never seen a hijacked thread on maestronet, let me ask a peripheral question.  Why do so many good to great makers live where (it is normally) cold, even frigid? (Much of the US is in the middle of an unprecedented heat wave.I am blaming kompromat and the Russian collusions...)

 

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29 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I think in an art related profession it is strange to talk about 'best' luthiers. Like in performing arts almost every luthier has his own artistic strengths which define the style and sound of his/ her instruments. 

(Didn't you want to ask who is the most expensive violin maker today??)

People should stop to think about violin makers like long distance runners. There is no one the 'best' being the fastest runner. 

Violin making history shows that some luthiers popular in their time (because they stand out in the media) become completely forgotten 100 years later. Who knows today Paul Kaul?

i wonder often how musicians will view my creations in 100 years. If I am lucky people will remember my name for what reason ever. 

Well said.

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23 minutes ago, l33tplaya said:

well, we could start and take a stab by listing some of the more "popular" maestronetters, some of whom are even on this thread.  No one from Kazekhstan---:-oD - but includes, in no rank order, David Burgess, Davide Sora, Manfio (so good, we only know him by one name!!), Michael Darnton, Roger Hargrave.  I may have even left off some.  

 

 

To add a few of the great posters here: Don Noon, Christian Bayon, Melvin Goldsmith who's violins can also be heard on Youtube (my only source for sound samples sofar). I havent heard a Hargrave yet and only recently heard a small sample of a Darnton which he posted here. I don't think found an Andreas Preuss yet too, but i suppose his lightweight violin can soon be admired :)

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