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Who are the most undervalued contemporary builders?

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1 minute ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Are you talking about Vuillaume self rehair bows? I thought it was Vuilaume himself who created the gossip about it by taking any opportunity to advertise it?

 

Nope, I am saying that a Vuillaume  branded bow does not have the same value as a Vuillaume branded bow that is certified as Dominique Pecatte. 

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Then I don't understand your point in context to the discussions undervalued makers. 

If experts say today one is a Peccatte the other is somebody else I wouldn't doubt that we look at two different makers. 

Peccatte is established in the view of the majority of players as a maker who crafted bows of superior playing qualities, the other maker apparently not. Thus the price difference.

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38 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Wasn’t Lupot a Strad copyist who didn’t use his own pattern at all?

Yes, and he tried to emulate the  strad  formula much more than probably anyone else in his times.

There is a huge progression in his work before 1800. It starts with abandoning the Stainer model he was making and then step by step getting closer and closer to his role model Stradivari. 

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26 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Then I don't understand your point in context to the discussions undervalued makers. 

If experts say today one is a Peccatte the other is somebody else I wouldn't doubt that we look at two different makers. 

Peccatte is established in the view of the majority of players as a maker who crafted bows of superior playing qualities, the other maker apparently not. Thus the price difference.

My point is, and has been, that history gels to truth.  Vuillaume obviously does not have a reputation only because of gossip, as the exact same product from his workshop varies based on the underlying person that made it, not his name plastered on the side, or his advertising.  It is not gossip that creates long term value, it is substance.  Hence, subjective and objective converge over time.

So your comment:

i actually would say that George Chanot 1 is a maker who despite his talents as copyist didn't make it (at least in comparison to his peer JBV) because he never got the good sound gossip from players.”  

Doesn’t hold water as gossip is not what builds value over time.

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5 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

My point is, and has been, that history gels to truth.  Vuillaume obviously does not have a reputation only because of gossip, as the exact same product from his workshop varies based on the underlying person that made it, not his name plastered on the side, or his advertising.  It is not gossip that creates long term value, it is substance.  Hence, subjective and objective converge over time.

So your comment:

i actually would say that George Chanot 1 is a maker who despite his talents as copyist didn't make it (at least in comparison to his peer JBV) because he never got the good sound gossip from players.”  Doesn’t hold water as gossip is not what builds value over time.

But the substance must be recognized by players who use the violin or the bow and it is about playability and sound. Without this sort of feedback from musicians it wouldn't go anywhere because a objective criteria as such doesn't exist.

 

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6 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

But the substance must be recognized by players who use the violin or the bow and it is about playability and sound. Without this sort of feedback from musicians it wouldn't go anywhere because a objective criteria as such doesn't exist.

 

Ahh, exactly!  Substance and gossip are not the same thing.

Yes, objective criteria certainly exists, that is how you can judge the playability of a VSO without ever trying it based on the measurements......that is objective criteria.

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4 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

Ahh, exactly!  Substance and gossip are not the same thing, and I would go as far as to say sound is not close to a universal.

My point is simply that the opinion of players is the driving force for prices because they create the demand. Lets forget the word gossip as I said above, and replace it with the better word evaluation. Evaluation comes from players and not dealers. If the name of a violin maker goes around amongst players it builds to a high percentage rate the good reputation of a maker.

In fact I know at least one maker I would not rank extremly high for the sound quality but the evaluation of players (negatively said 'gossip') made his/her name and price tag. As a matter of fact I met even a few musicians who admitted that they question the sound quality which was going around in the mouth to mouth advertising.

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29 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

My point is, and has been, that history gels to truth.  Vuillaume obviously does not have a reputation only because of gossip, as the exact same product from his workshop varies based on the underlying person that made it, not his name plastered on the side, or his advertising.  It is not gossip that creates long term value, it is substance.  Hence, subjective and objective converge over time.

So your comment:

i actually would say that George Chanot 1 is a maker who despite his talents as copyist didn't make it (at least in comparison to his peer JBV) because he never got the good sound gossip from players.”  

Doesn’t hold water as gossip is not what builds value over time.

 Jerry, I think you’re forgetting the distinction between “gossip,“ which is unsubstantiated rumor, and genuine assessment by competent experts. If a person succeeds in creating a false persona that results in a lot of instruments being sold, eventually he will be  exposed as someone with an undeserved reputation. Because JBV had so many people working with him, the quality was variable, but I would imagine that it never fell below a certain minimum standard because of quality control. And everyone knew each of those things.

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5 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

My point is simply that the opinion of players is the driving force for prices because they create the demand. Lets forget the word gossip as I said above, and replace it with the better word evaluation. Evaluation comes from players and not dealers. If the name of a violin maker goes around amongst players it builds to a high percentage rate the good reputation of a maker.

In fact I know at least one maker I would not rank extremly high for the sound quality but the evaluation of players (negatively said 'gossip') made his/her name and price tag. As a matter of fact I met even a few musicians who admitted that they question the sound quality which was going around in the mouth to mouth advertising.

You made my point better than I did before I posted my comment.

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21 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

My point is simply that the opinion of players is the driving force for prices because they create the demand. Lets forget the word gossip as I said above, and replace it with the better word evaluation. Evaluation comes from players and not dealers. If the name of a violin maker goes around amongst players it builds to a high percentage rate the good reputation of a maker.

I think that has merit, but this sort of popularity can be short-lived... a passing fad, if the experts and dealers don't eventually come around to supporting it.

Aren't there quite a few makers who once generated a buzz among musicians, who have faded into oblivion? Maybe the sound qualities didn't last... I don't know. But a highly experienced fiddle technician might be in a better position to evaluate the potential longevity of the sound and playing characteristics of a fiddle, than a player, and also see the potential for future mechanical or structural problems.

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7 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

I think that has merit, but this sort of popularity can be short-lived... a passing fad, if the experts and dealers don't eventually come around to supporting it.

i guess this is largely a question of what price tag is involved. 

But I suppose there is good mouth to mouth advertising going around for David Burgess. 

However, as I have never seen one of your instruments in Japan, maybe it would be harder to sell them here because the mouth to mouth advertising is built up for other makers. 

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28 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

My point is simply that the opinion of players is the driving force for prices because they create the demand. Lets forget the word gossip as I said above, and replace it with the better word evaluation. Evaluation comes from players and not dealers. If the name of a violin maker goes around amongst players it builds to a high percentage rate the good reputation of a maker.

In fact I know at least one maker I would not rank extremly high for the sound quality but the evaluation of players (negatively said 'gossip') made his/her name and price tag. As a matter of fact I met even a few musicians who admitted that they question the sound quality which was going around in the mouth to mouth advertising.

Yes, gossip is a word that gets us off the rail.  

Certainly a player’s opinion can be the initial driving force, that is the subjective evaluation. However, we cannot negate the objective evaluation. For instance, let’s say there is a viola maker that players really love the sound of her/his instruments ...every player that tries one buys it because they are not expensive, they are easy to play, and they sound great....subjective.  Objectively, the viola plates are very thin, the strings are too low, the bridges are way too open, and the necks are set with very little mortise.  This Objective evaluation comes from the workbench. 

So the players can certainly be the driving force, to their own detriment, but the long term viability is not in the hands of the players, ultimately it is in the hands of the maker who works in objective criteria.

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1 minute ago, Andreas Preuss said:

 

However, as I have never seen one of your instruments in Japan, maybe it would be harder to sell them here because the mouth to mouth advertising is built up for other makers. 

I reckon so. Isn't the fetish for contemporary Italians pretty strong in Japan?

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21 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

 Jerry, I think you’re forgetting the distinction between “gossip,“ which is unsubstantiated rumor, and genuine assessment by competent experts. If a person succeeds in creating a false persona that results in a lot of instruments being sold, eventually he will be  exposed as someone with an undeserved reputation. Because JBV had so many people working with him, the quality was variable, but I would imagine that it never fell below a certain minimum standard because of quality control. And everyone knew each of those things.

Yes sir, “gossip” was not my word and misplaced I suspect.

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BTW Andreas, this is also a discussion that could easily parallel new copy instruments vs new non-copy instruments.....you know, if we really want to shake the bushes..

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18 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

BTW Andreas, this is also a discussion that could easily parallel new copy instruments vs new non-copy instruments.....you know, if we really want to shake the bushes..

It is impossible for a true master to truly copy another master. No matter how hard he tries, or She for that matter, there will be something individual in the copy.

David Caron(I mention him most often because he made my cello, I know his work, and he is my friend, but I’m sure this also applies to countless other competent makers.) Loosely based his pattern on Del Gesu, but it is uniquely his own.

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1 hour ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

My point is, and has been, that history gels to truth.  Vuillaume obviously does not have a reputation only because of gossip, as the exact same product from his workshop varies based on the underlying person that made it, not his name plastered on the side, or his advertising.  It is not gossip that creates long term value, it is substance.  Hence, subjective and objective converge over time.

 

Ok I'm going to start arm-waving.

You have cited two examples - Vuillaume shop bows and Vuillaume shop violins - as proof of the same notion (though I haven't quite understood what that notion is).

And yet here we have one of the central absurdities of the violin trade.

A Vuillaume bow is identified by the maker who is supposed to have made it, and priced accordingly. Those values, incidentally, are pretty random and are only fully understood by taking on a lot of nuances. There are many great Vuillame stamped bows which are fantastic, but worth next to nothing because no one is quite sure who made them ...

Vuillaume violins are all priced the same in spite of significant variations in style and more importantly tone. No-one wants to know if their Vuillaume was made by Maucotel or Barbé or Derazey.

Vuillaume violins are a hugely successful commercial product, supported by great marketing and a powerful personality. Many are indifferent, some are awful, a few are superb.

The only way I can see to account for this extraordinary inconsistency is that Vuillaume was himself (at least for a while) a violin-maker, and it's possible to attach his persona to the violins, but not to the bows.

And it's not just Vuillaume - the entire trade is in a complete mess about judgements of quality and pricing, and operating any number of parallel and mutually inconsistent systems.

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11 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Ok I'm going to start arm-waving.

You have cited two examples - Vuillaume shop bows and Vuillaume shop violins - as proof of the same notion (though I haven't quite understood what that notion is).

And yet here we have one of the central absurdities of the violin trade.

A Vuillaume bow is identified by the maker who is supposed to have made it, and priced accordingly. Those values, incidentally, are pretty random and are only fully understood by taking on a lot of nuances. There are many great Vuillame stamped bows which are fantastic, but worth next to nothing because no one is quite sure who made them ...

Vuillaume violins are all priced the same in spite of significant variations in style and more importantly tone. No-one wants to know if their Vuillaume was made by Maucotel or Barbé or Derazey.

Vuillaume violins are a hugely successful commercial product, supported by great marketing and a powerful personality. Many are indifferent, some are awful, a few are superb.

The only way I can see to account for this extraordinary inconsistency is that Vuillaume was himself (at least for a while) a violin-maker, and it's possible to attach his persona to the violins, but not to the bows.

And it's not just Vuillaume - the entire trade is in a complete mess about judgements of quality and pricing, and operating any number of parallel and mutually inconsistent systems.

Speaking of JBV, A well known young violinist I know by the name of Shannon Lee, recently switched violins. She had been playing on a Vuillaume that was apparently a Maggini copy( but not really) to a slightly smaller and later Vuillaume. The new violin suited her much better and she used it to place fourth in the recent Queen Elizabeth competition( with a borrowed Maline bow, too) I asked her who made the two instruments, and she blinked a couple times and then told me she did not know. I think she was very surprised by the question.

 

PS If anyone is interested, the cover picture on Shannon’s website shows her with her old Vuillaume. The photo is clear enough that experts might recognize it.

Edited by PhilipKT
Addendum

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I reckon so. Isn't the fetish for contemporary Italians pretty strong in Japan?

Fetish? You can call it like this. 

I would more largely say that each music culture has its own preferences which can't be measured objectively, not even with thickness graduations neck angles or neck mortise depth. 

Here, not contemporary Italians are en vogue but more precisely contemporary Cremonese. In this sense you could actually say that most of the Japanese makers are undervalued in the sense that they make instruments in the same style but don't reach the prices of contemporary Itsluan makers.

 

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

Ok I'm going to start arm-waving.

You have cited two examples - Vuillaume shop bows and Vuillaume shop violins - as proof of the same notion (though I haven't quite understood what that notion is).

And yet here we have one of the central absurdities of the violin trade.

A Vuillaume bow is identified by the maker who is supposed to have made it, and priced accordingly. Those values, incidentally, are pretty random and are only fully understood by taking on a lot of nuances. There are many great Vuillame stamped bows which are fantastic, but worth next to nothing because no one is quite sure who made them ...

Vuillaume violins are all priced the same in spite of significant variations in style and more importantly tone. No-one wants to know if their Vuillaume was made by Maucotel or Barbé or Derazey.

Vuillaume violins are a hugely successful commercial product, supported by great marketing and a powerful personality. Many are indifferent, some are awful, a few are superb.

The only way I can see to account for this extraordinary inconsistency is that Vuillaume was himself (at least for a while) a violin-maker, and it's possible to attach his persona to the violins, but not to the bows.

And it's not just Vuillaume - the entire trade is in a complete mess about judgements of quality and pricing, and operating any number of parallel and mutually inconsistent systems.

Actually, I only cited the bow example to counter the argument that Vuillaume was successful due to the “gossip” of players.  Hard to sell that theory when the same product goes for less as a Vuillaume with a Vuillaume brand than a Pecatte with a Vuillaume brand; which you seem to agree with.   Everything else you cite rings true and pretty accurate, and also jives with the notion that instruments are not priced according to how they sound.

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18 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

Actually, I only cited the bow example to counter the argument that Vuillaume was successful due to the “gossip” of players.  Hard to sell that theory when the same product goes for less as a Vuillaume with a Vuillaume brand than a Pecatte with a Vuillaume brand; which you seem to agree with.   Everything else you cite rings true and pretty accurate, and also jives with the notion that instruments are not priced according to how they sound.

Damn, can't we have an argument ...?

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39 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Damn, can't we have an argument ...?

Sure, you guys drive on the wrong side of the road......

and that is called soccer........

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3 hours ago, martin swan said:

Ok I'm going to start arm-waving.

You have cited two examples - Vuillaume shop bows and Vuillaume shop violins - as proof of the same notion (though I haven't quite understood what that notion is).

And yet here we have one of the central absurdities of the violin trade.

A Vuillaume bow is identified by the maker who is supposed to have made it, and priced accordingly. Those values, incidentally, are pretty random and are only fully understood by taking on a lot of nuances. There are many great Vuillame stamped bows which are fantastic, but worth next to nothing because no one is quite sure who made them ...

Vuillaume violins are all priced the same in spite of significant variations in style and more importantly tone. No-one wants to know if their Vuillaume was made by Maucotel or Barbé or Derazey.

Vuillaume violins are a hugely successful commercial product, supported by great marketing and a powerful personality. Many are indifferent, some are awful, a few are superb.

The only way I can see to account for this extraordinary inconsistency is that Vuillaume was himself (at least for a while) a violin-maker, and it's possible to attach his persona to the violins, but not to the bows.

And it's not just Vuillaume - the entire trade is in a complete mess about judgements of quality and pricing, and operating any number of parallel and mutually inconsistent systems.

I believe that in the case of Vuillaume violins, the relative consistency of the workshop and the ease in which they can be identified (even by a relative novice) has a great deal to do with their continued market success and stability (in terms of value)... no matter who was chained to the bench at the time they were produced.  Some may be better than others, but the standard was well maintained.  

I hope no-one starts throwing fruit, but I feel about the same way about Sartory bows. There are certainly other prolific workshops I feel similarly about, but I'll try to avoid pissing anyone else off at the moment.

Vuillaume bows are a slightly different subject... It appears that, within certain parameters, the makers were left more or less alone to exhibit their own "style" and ideas.

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2 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Fetish? You can call it like this. 

I would more largely say that each music culture has its own preferences which can't be measured objectively, not even with thickness graduations neck angles or neck mortise depth. 

Here, not contemporary Italians are en vogue but more precisely contemporary Cremonese. In this sense you could actually say that most of the Japanese makers are undervalued in the sense that they make instruments in the same style but don't reach the prices of contemporary Itsluan makers.

 

Sorry, I should have specified contemporary Cremonese.

But that's kind of a weird thing, since only a very few of the contemporary Cremonese makers have successfully emulated what was done in the "golden age" of Cremona making. It's been quite a while since I judged one of the Cremona Trianalle Competitions, but the general consensus  at that time was that many of the submitted instruments looked like clones of each other, quite separated from what was done in Cremona in the past, and perhaps suffering from excessive inbreeding.

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30 minutes ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

I believe that in the case of Vuillaume violins, the relative consistency of the workshop and the ease in which they can be identified (even by a relative novice) has a great deal to do with their continued market success and stability (in terms of value)... no matter who was chained to the bench at the time they were produced.  Some may be better than others, but the standard was well maintained.  I hope no-one starts throwing fruit, but I feel about the same way about Sartory bows.  There are certainly other prolific workshops I feel similarly about, but I'll try to avoid pissing anyone else off at the moment.

I heard a rumor (from a reputable source) about a del Gesù that was apparently in fantastic condition when Vuillaume got it - but he revarnished it and labeled it (and sold it) as his own work, according to a prominent London dealer.

I know several makers and dealers who have similar feelings about Sartory; you are definitely not alone.

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