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twcellist

Do any of these diminish the value of an instrument?

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I recently saw a cello that I liked made by a respected maker. The cello was made more recently and is in good condition. There were no cracks or repairs, but it was played professionally and so it showed some wear. There were some nicks to the varnish on the top and on the back where the cello rests against the chest there is wear and you can see it's tarnished the varnish. The person who owns it also said he had the bass bar replaced. Are any of these a concern with regards to the value of the instrument?

Also, if I get the instrument I'm thinking of putting geared pegs. I know there was a Strad article written up about why people aren't using geared pegs, but I also wanted to know if you put in geared pegs will this diminish the value in any way? What if I put in geared pegs, but keep the original pegs so that if I want to sell the cello later. Does that make a difference? 

Lastly, when I was changing to geared pegs my luthier said that my old pegs would no longer be able to fit. I still have kept them, but I assume should one want to put the old pegs back on they might have to bush the holes. On a new instrument does bushing the peg holes affect the value?

 

 

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Don't do the geared pegs thing. It is just not worth it. If you are having trouble, any shop worth its salt can make them work very well again. Geared pegs can definitely make an instrument harder to sell, as plenty of players don't want to mess with them, at all, so you're losing interest right off the bat there.

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58 minutes ago, twcellist said:

I recently saw a cello that I liked made by a respected maker. The cello was made more recently and is in good condition. There were no cracks or repairs, but it was played professionally and so it showed some wear. There were some nicks to the varnish on the top and on the back where the cello rests against the chest there is wear and you can see it's tarnished the varnish. The person who owns it also said he had the bass bar replaced. Are any of these a concern with regards to the value of the instrument?

Also, if I get the instrument I'm thinking of putting geared pegs. I know there was a Strad article written up about why people aren't using geared pegs, but I also wanted to know if you put in geared pegs will this diminish the value in any way? What if I put in geared pegs, but keep the original pegs so that if I want to sell the cello later. Does that make a difference? 

Lastly, when I was changing to geared pegs my luthier said that my old pegs would no longer be able to fit. I still have kept them, but I assume should one want to put the old pegs back on they might have to bush the holes. On a new instrument does bushing the peg holes affect the value?

 

 

IMHO, overall, bushed pegholes are a plus, they'd just be seen as antiquing.  Normal wear and maintenance shouldn't hurt the price any, either.  Modern planetary geared pegs are generally a plus as well.  Personally, I've come to love them, compared to individual fine tuners or Wittner tailpieces.  :)

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40 minutes ago, Porteroso said:

Don't do the geared pegs thing. It is just not worth it. If you are having trouble, any shop worth its salt can make them work very well again. Geared pegs can definitely make an instrument harder to sell, as plenty of players don't want to mess with them, at all, so you're losing interest right off the bat there.

Please share your player sample data with us.  :)

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Nothing to worry about. 

I have seen Knilling gear pegs recently and they work fine. It takes just more time to put a new string. For resale value thats a different issue but it should be possible to put normal pegs back if neccessary.

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19 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

IMHO, overall, bushed pegholes are a plus, they'd just be seen as antiquing.  Normal wear and maintenance shouldn't hurt the price any, either.  Modern planetary geared pegs are generally a plus as well.  Personally, I've come to love them, compared to individual fine tuners or Wittner tailpieces.  :)

Yeah I actually play my instruments and not just collect them.  From a practical standpoint once I switched to geared pegs I wondered why I had to put up with all those stupid tight and slipping pegs to begin with. For me it was huge game changer, especially because I’ve snapped my fair share of strings due to tight pegs! :wacko: At the same time I know the music world is slow to adapt new technology (as pointed out in that Strad article why people aren’t adapting to the pegs) so that’s why I’m wondering if geared pegs will destroy the value.

I’m not expert, but I’m assuming if the instrument is old and the pegs are original and/or the have intricate carvings then changing the pegs would definitely kill the value.  At the same time there is an argument that the geared pegs are easier on the pegbox and can help prevent cracks. So I guess this is a real debate. :mellow:

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13 minutes ago, twcellist said:

Yeah I actually play my instruments and not just collect them.  From a practical standpoint once I switched to geared pegs I wondered why I had to put up with all those stupid tight and slipping pegs to begin with. For me it was huge game changer, especially because I’ve snapped my fair share of strings due to tight pegs! :wacko: At the same time I know the music world is slow to adapt new technology (as pointed out in that Strad article why people aren’t adapting to the pegs) so that’s why I’m wondering if geared pegs will destroy the value.

I’m not expert, but I’m assuming if the instrument is old and the pegs are original and/or the have intricate carvings then changing the pegs would definitely kill the value.  At the same time there is an argument that the geared pegs are easier on the pegbox and can help prevent cracks. So I guess this is a real debate. :mellow:

One thing I have to add here from the standpoint of a restorer is that most shops don't know any more how  to install smoothly running pegs. It takes time and a bit patience to smoothen them in but then they ine can be turned so smoothly that you wouldn't need a tailpiece with 4 tuners. 

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7 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

One thing I have to add here from the standpoint of a restorer is that most shops don't know any more how  to install smoothly running pegs. It takes time and a bit patience to smoothen them in but then they ine can be turned so smoothly that you wouldn't need a tailpiece with 4 tuners. 

Can you explain how they should be properly done please?

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7 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

One thing I have to add here from the standpoint of a restorer is that most shops don't know any more how  to install smoothly running pegs. It takes time and a bit patience to smoothen them in but then they ine can be turned so smoothly that you wouldn't need a tailpiece with 4 tuners. 

Absolutely! I think many players have never seen or felt properly fitted friction pegs and think they are hard to use. If the pegs are properly fitted, dressed yearly and used properly then they are as good or better than any mechanical peg I have ever seen. 

There is a skill to using them which must be learned and if someone has snapped strings due to tight pegs they are turning in the wrong direction!  Always loosen the peg by going down in pitch and then press in slightly as you go back up so that the peg stops at the correct note. Another issue is that they work so well that players don't have to use them much and they will sometimes become out of round if they are not moved for long periods of time.

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51 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

Can you explain how they should be properly done please?

That's something I need to demonstrate in my workshop. 

One of the key point is to cut the holes in the pegbox absolutely clean. Often I precut it (so the hole is still too small) and fill the end grain in the hole, which became roughed up by the reamer, with hot glue and let it dry for 24 hours. If the next reaming roughs it up again I repeat it until the surface becomes clean 

the holes must touch the pegs something like 55 percent pressure on the inner hole (closer to the head of the peg) and 45 percent pressure on the outer hole.

correct 'greasing' is what I can't explain. You need to build it up in the hole and usually it takes me again several sessions. 

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10 hours ago, Porteroso said:

Don't do the geared pegs thing. It is just not worth it. If you are having trouble, any shop worth its salt can make them work very well again. Geared pegs can definitely make an instrument harder to sell, as plenty of players don't want to mess with them, at all, so you're losing interest right off the bat there.

I suspect you are speaking of the geared pegs that actually show the gears,  like a bass.  The modern geared pegs (pegheds) are a great alternative and do not diminish the value as they are completely reversible.  In the 20 years or so that I have been using them they have been well received by players, and I have never had to replace any back to standard pegs.  There is also the benefit of never having to deal with pegbox cracks due to the design.....

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The wittner geared pegs fit in using friction, so it’s reversible.  There are two strad violins with wittner geared pegs in them.  That article you mention is just pointing out people are slow to adapt.  If you want tuning stability and built in fine tuning, then install wittners. They are great.  

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I have several colleagues with geared pegs on the bottom two strings, and one colleague has an arrangement that involves removing peg entirely and instead there is a an Allen screw of some kind in the lower peg hole. I think it looks weird, but he did it to a 1787 Betts cello, and it doesn’t bother him a bit. I Loathe planetary pegs, even the high-quality ones I’ve seen have looked cheap,  but I admit to a certain traditionalism, so my bias may be unfounded. 

They are certainly unnecessary.

The other things you mentioned are just normal wear and tear, and shouldn’t affect the value of the instrument at all.

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33 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I Loathe planetary pegs, even the high-quality ones I’ve seen have looked cheap,  but I admit to a certain traditionalism, so my bias may be unfounded. 

I do not know if you are using the term “planetary pegs” as a brand or a concept, but I think maybe you loathe the geared pegs that you can see.....there are geared pegs out there that you cannot tell are geared pegs.  I understand tradition, and being stubborn, but you would be pleasantly surprised if you ever see/notice some of the top quality installations, many of which use wooden heads.

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Pegs, strings, bridges, and fingerboards, are all wear items on instruments. (kind of like brakes , tires, etc., on a car). If the instrument is played enough, they wear out, and have to be replaced. I would consider modern planetary pegs to be a plus (upgrade) for most instruments. Your luthier is correct that the old pegs would no longer fit (without bushing the peg holes), but if someone wanted to do that in the future, they could.

If someone mentions "tradition", you can tell them to get rid of modern strings, tailguts, and anything else that has evolved since Strad.

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4 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

That's something I need to demonstrate in my workshop. 

One of the key point is to cut the holes in the pegbox absolutely clean. Often I precut it (so the hole is still too small) and fill the end grain in the hole, which became roughed up by the reamer, with hot glue and let it dry for 24 hours. If the next reaming roughs it up again I repeat it until the surface becomes clean 

the holes must touch the pegs something like 55 percent pressure on the inner hole (closer to the head of the peg) and 45 percent pressure on the outer hole.

correct 'greasing' is what I can't explain. You need to build it up in the hole and usually it takes me again several sessions. 

Thank you Andreas :)

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3 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

I do not know if you are using the term “planetary pegs” as a brand or a concept, but I think maybe you loathe the geared pegs that you can see.....there are geared pegs out there that you cannot tell are geared pegs.  I understand tradition, and being stubborn, but you would be pleasantly surprised if you ever see/notice some of the top quality installations, many of which use wooden heads.

I assumed that planetary and geared referred to the same thing. I’m not referring to the ghastly metal things that adorned so many cheap instruments long ago, but the modern equivalent. Those I’ve seen have had plastic heads. Wooden heads would look better, of course, my own feeling is that they just aren’t necessary. But if someone likes them, that’s fine.

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3 hours ago, FiddleDoug said:

If someone mentions "tradition", you can tell them to get rid of modern strings, tailguts, and anything else that has evolved since Strad.

People who speak of tradition in this way do have a point but they miss a significant point which is that tradition starts for a person when they enter the Art. For me, my string “tradition” began in 1973. That’s the baseline. Four real pegs and two fine tuners. Now I have four pegs and four fine tuners because that’s how my cello sounds best. 

If my own timeline had begun in, say, 1800,  I am pretty sure that I would have thoughts on how to play older music, but I would accept the evolution that required modification of instruments for a lower pitch, etc.

planetary/geared pegs succeed in accomplishing a desired goal, But they are not necessary, so I don’t use them.

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17 hours ago, Porteroso said:

Don't do the geared pegs thing. It is just not worth it. If you are having trouble, any shop worth its salt can make them work very well again. Geared pegs can definitely make an instrument harder to sell, as plenty of players don't want to mess with them, at all, so you're losing interest right off the bat there.

Frankly, this sounds like nonsense. I think many players like things which make life easier, and Wittner pegs don’t alter the instrument at all, so why would they lose interest off the bat?

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13 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

Frankly, this sounds like nonsense. I think many players like things which make life easier, and Wittner pegs don’t alter the instrument at all, so why would they lose interest off the bat?

You are correct, but I prefer regular pegs and would want them on an instrument I was considering purchasing. Just personal preference.

However, people who liked them wouldn’t think twice about having them added. So it might be easier to sell with traditional pegs than with geared pegs.

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I have put them in for people with arthritis problems as well.  The pegs are geared 4 to 1 so they are much easier to tune.

To each his own.  Before I saw the Pegheds I was dead set against any mechanical pegs for all the common reasons.  The fact is, none of my former reasoning applies to these.

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Geared pegs are reversible. None of the things that you mention would devalue the instrument.

If you like the cello and the price, purchase it. If you want mechanical pegs, have them installed. Worst case is that you need to bush the holes in order to go back to normal pegs if the next person wants them removed.

I usually tell customers that people have been making some sort of mechanical peg to replace the friction pegs since the mid 19th c. We install them, and the next generation removes them when they fail and replace them with friction pegs. A well fit friction peg is a joy to use.

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1 hour ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

I have put them in for people with arthritis problems as well.  The pegs are geared 4 to 1 so they are much easier to tune.

To each his own.  Before I saw the Pegheds I was dead set against any mechanical pegs for all the common reasons.  The fact is, none of my former reasoning applies to these.

I don’t disagree with anything you said, and once a person learns how to use them, they are no different than fine tuners. However, “personal preference” is an entirely valid reason, All else being equal. I like the resistance the peg makes as I attempt to turn it, and I like the feeling of “screwing it in place” as I tighten or loosen it. I like the feel of solid Ebony, and I actually wish my cello had Ebony pegs instead of rosewood, but the maker has forbidden it, Haha

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1 hour ago, duane88 said:

. A well fit friction peg is a joy to use.

Yes, exactly, I just touched on that in my own comment. But yes, exactly. And no, I cannot explain it. It just is so.

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On 10/20/2019 at 4:24 AM, nathan slobodkin said:

Absolutely! I think many players have never seen or felt properly fitted friction pegs and think they are hard to use. If the pegs are properly fitted, dressed yearly and used properly then they are as good or better than any mechanical peg I have ever seen. 

There is a skill to using them which must be learned and if someone has snapped strings due to tight pegs they are turning in the wrong direction!  Always loosen the peg by going down in pitch and then press in slightly as you go back up so that the peg stops at the correct note. Another issue is that they work so well that players don't have to use them much and they will sometimes become out of round if they are not moved for long periods of time.

Wow... I see this has become a very spirited discussion regarding the pegs! :P

I just want to comment that for me I just love the geared pegs because 1) they're easy to use,  2) they seem to hold tune better and not be so temperamental with the humidity and weather changes, and 3) I don't have to worry about having to bring in the cello all the time to get the pegs adjusted. I know just before I switched out my pegs the A string popped several times when I was in the middle of playing and it just would not stay in place. The next thing I know I turned too hard and the string snapped. :wacko: Obviously I'm sure that's was a time to take it to shop. Oh well...

 

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