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PhilipKT

Most expensive new instruments?

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7 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Hard to know. I have been solicited by a few players for big discounts, in return for what they could supposedly do for my reputation. Maybe some makers go for stuff like that, and maybe it works.

I’ve always wondered if that goes on. Famous player goes to famous maker and says, “why don’t you present me with one of your instruments for free, or for a fraction of its value, or for a large collection of signed photographs that you can then sell or something like that?  And in return I will say wonderful things about it, and about you, and about your dog, and about your family. And people will flock to you with money in their hands.“

 I hope you tell them to go to hell. But first get a list of all the violin makers to whom they have already broached the subject and find out how many acquiesced.

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2 hours ago, gowan said:

Another question.  People drool over an instrument previously owned by some famous player but did that famous player really play the instrument instead of the GdG or Strad they generally concertize on?  I think famous soloists acquire "copies" of their main instrument  to use in outdoor concerts or in unfavorable climates but otherwise use their GdG or whatever.  I suppose that is some kind of endorsement for the copy since it was actually used, not just put into a cabinet and kept there until it is sold under the rubric "ex-ABC" type of sale.  However the question would be does the famous soloist actually prefer the copy over the original.  Obviously Tetzlaff could fairly easily acquire use of a named GdG or Strad but it seems he prefers the Greiner.  I heard an interview online with Perlman at his summer camp for young people.  Of course Perlman was holding a violin and the interviewer asked whether it was the Soil Strad.  Perlman said no it was his "summer violin" and he played a bit on it and said "Sounds pretty good, eh?"  So good enough to play in humid conditions.

Or, do they concertize on these instruments and leave their GdG/Strad in the case (and also in the program)?

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15 hours ago, Herman West said:

Zimmermann plays on loaned Strads. He famously had to return the Lady Inchiquin in 2015 and after a wait got the General Dupont Strad.

 Zimmermann did get the Lady Inchiquin back

I am intrigued too by this....

Players commissioning top flight contemporary makers or bench copies of their 'Cremonesi' then not using them in concert.

What ever happened to all the talk about 17th/18th cent. instruments being 'played out' and no longer serviceable?

 

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6 hours ago, Omobono said:

I am intrigued too by this....

Players commissioning top flight contemporary makers or bench copies of their 'Cremonesi' then not using them in concert.

What ever happened to all the talk about 17th/18th cent. instruments being 'played out' and no longer serviceable?

 

Maybe wishful B.S. only goes so far?

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6 hours ago, Omobono said:

What ever happened to all the talk about 17th/18th cent. instruments being 'played out' and no longer serviceable?

I think the bigger enemy to those old Cremonesi is over-restoration.

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On 5/31/2019 at 8:24 PM, AtlVcl said:

As an example, L. Harrell doesn't play the violin, but he makes a fine living on a modern cello by a maker only a few cognescenti would recognize.

I was curious, so I Googled. An early result revealed that he currently plays an instrument by Christopher Dungey, after having played a 1720 Montagnana and a 1673 Stradivarius - the result being his Wikipedia article.

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I hadn't really thought much about the economics of making instruments before. This article (https://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0413/081-luxury-instruments-maestro.html#42f5120b53f1) from 2009 says Zygmuntowitcz was selling violins for about $53k, and that he only did six instruments a year. Not saying that isn't a decent amount of revenue, but with an apprentice and a five story brownstone in Brooklyn the pay is probably less than a junior trader makes, which is kind of depressing. I could see how this would push some makers to get a bigger workshop and hire more workers to sell more instruments including lower grade ones. 

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Joe Curtain either. I heard, post Genius Grant, he drove an ancient Toyota to the VSA convention, and stayed in some Budget Inn or something like that. I respect that tremendously. Joe posts his prices online. $48 for his best, $24 for composite ones, no corners, experiment stuff.

Most guys don't post prices. 

Also, the top of the top makers don't make a lot of them. And they have serious overhead. Ziggy's brownstone. Must be nice. I'm a little bit envious but he's pretty charismatic. When people have that money for a new instrument, they're going to buy from someone who seems successful. He knows that brownstone is as important as actually making awesome instruments.

Curtain knows that the Genius Grant is as much demonstration of his mastery as he needs, ever. He probably wouldn't drive a Lexxus if someone gave it to him. And some customers will get that, of course.

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On 6/2/2019 at 10:04 PM, Bill Merkel said:

I don't think inflating your own auction prices would work.  If we can figure it out, someone with $100,000 to spend can. 

I saw similar tactics happening in mandolin market few times in the past. Most notably when a maker emerged out of nowhere (I've been around for two decades and never heard of the name - I've been perusing web for other builders for many years searching for interesting ideas) with hefty price sold through respected dealer site (with description how great the instrument is etc.). The maker had brand new classy website claiming he and his father have been around mandolins for decades, though his own workshop pics showed that all fixtures and tooling in the views were virtually new. And all pictures of instruments were of the same two instruments in various stages of completion. The instruments themselves showed some imperfections that are common to beginners (shaping of the neck starnsition to headstock or heel etc...) what his pics showed was tooling ciopied from several known makers and CNC. The pics on the dealer site were quite a bit adjusted to get rich looking color and contrast as well.

It all started when someone posted on well respected mandolin related web about the great mandolin he saw yesterday, and it was the best in there even compared to holy grail and that famous players were there and agreed etc...  He posted again and again claiming how great the instrument was and later admitted he bought it. I checked site of the maker few times since them and it looks like he didn't make too many instruments in the 2 years after the flashy start, his site show very few new pictures, perhaps three- four more instruments built.... not much, but he has history of pricing of double of some very good established quality makers.

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On 6/2/2019 at 4:04 PM, Bill Merkel said:

I don't think inflating your own auction prices would work.  If we can figure it out, someone with $100,000 to spend can.

I've spoken to many people who had no idea something like this could be done. And some art galleries which sell contemporary stuff have admitted doing this, on occasion,  to support the prices of artists who they represent. If the price of an artist they represent tanks, so do their commissions and sales volume.

There is no shortage of strange stuff and psychological manipulation going on in the art and collectables market.

I think it's better to be informed, than be a victim, but that's just me.

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On 6/1/2019 at 3:47 AM, martin swan said:

It's worth bearing in mind that although most people regard auctions as the place to get a bargain, it works the other way too. In fact it can be argued if not demonstrated through logic that most people pay too much at auction ...

If two buyers are keen on an item for which there is a single opportunity, they will often pay well over the fair market price.

In the case of a living maker with a long waiting list who has a well recorded online price history, I suspect people pay a lot just to jump the queue. And then the act of bidding gets the blood up - these are not sensible prices.

My husband is living proof of this...<_<

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1 hour ago, Rue said:

My husband is living proof of this...<_<

I know I have paid too much on occasion. My best online auction gambit is to swoop in with a very high bid about a second and a half before the end. Usually this works great and I get what I wanted, and usually before anyone has time to get into a bid war to bring it up to my max. But there are those times that someone else did the same thing, and I bid higher. :blink:

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On 6/1/2019 at 9:04 AM, Herman West said:

 

Tedi Papavrami is a touring and recording violinist who used to play a contemporary instrument for many years (a Christian Bayon) but recently he seems have caved and switched to Stradivari.

He plays on my instrument since 15 years, after few years playing the "Reynier" Stradivari , he is back playing my violin............. but I´m not one of the most expensive maker! :lol:

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On 6/5/2019 at 8:03 AM, Urban Luthier said:

Here is a nice cello by Frank Ravatin on Tarisio with a guidance of £25,000–40,000. 

Ive played a few Ravatins...Caron’s are better. Marginally more expensive, however.

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22 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Ive played a few Ravatins...Caron’s are better. Marginally more expensive, however.

Since you have been posting here you must have mentioned Caron positively about 30 times.

How do we know you are not in the pay of this maker? :lol:

Maybe you ARE David Caron ....

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24 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Since you have been posting here you must have mentioned Caron positively about 30 times.

How do we know you are not in the pay of this maker? :lol:

Maybe you ARE David Caron ....

Oh Martin, I may very well be David’s biggest fan, but you’d understand a bit more if you understood the agony I went through with my first cello. It was being eaten, it had worms, and not just a few, and when I told my teacher about it he did nothing. He sold me that wormeaten cello. He Told my parents to give him a bunch of money and he would find an excellent cello for us during his annual trip to Europe, and such was the power of his personality and our own naïveté, that we did so. And he got me a nameless cello, worth not a third of what we had paid, that was being eaten. I used to have nightmares about opening my cello case to find a pile of sawdust. In 1986 I played the Shostakovich concerto on a televised master class with Rostropovich, and I borrowed a colleague’s cello because mine was so inadequate, and after my performance, when I took my place in the audience, my teacher cursed at me for not using my own wormy cello. I do not mean to praise David too much, but you would be probably a little bit more merciful with me if you understood those years of agony.

The cello I have isn’t the best in the world, it may not even be the best in my orchestra( actually, unless the guy with the De Barbieri is playing, yes it is) but it is a constant source of joy to me, And every time I play I remember the difference between what I had, and what I have.

But I take your point and I’ll be less effusive in future.

mea culpa 

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37 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Opinions may vary.... ;)

Yes, absolutely. I would love to play one of your cellos. I’m sure I would have the same opinion as everyone else.

 

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5 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Oh Martin, I may very well be David’s biggest fan, but you’d understand a bit more if you understood the agony I went through with my first cello. It was being eaten, it had worms, and not just a few, and when I told my teacher about it he did nothing. He sold me that wormeaten cello. He Told my parents to give him a bunch of money and he would find an excellent cello for us during his annual trip to Europe, and such was the power of his personality and our own naïveté, that we did so. And he got me a nameless cello, worth not a third of what we had paid, that was being eaten. I used to have nightmares about opening my cello case to find a pile of sawdust. In 1986 I played the Shostakovich concerto on a televised master class with Rostropovich, and I borrowed a colleague’s cello because mine was so inadequate, and after my performance, when I took my place in the audience, my teacher cursed at me for not using my own wormy cello. I do not mean to praise David too much, but you would be probably a little bit more merciful with me if you understood those years of agony.

The cello I have isn’t the best in the world, it may not even be the best in my orchestra( actually, unless the guy with the De Barbieri is playing, yes it is) but it is a constant source of joy to me, And every time I play I remember the difference between what I had, and what I have.

But I take your point and I’ll be less effusive in future.

mea culpa 

Do you still use the nickel for a wolf tone eliminator?  If so, how do you attach it?  One of my son’s cellos has a wolf that can’t seem to be eliminated from standard weights. The 5 gram nickel idea seems to be something that may work.

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