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bsharma8

Lucky Buy?

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On 10/3/2020 at 4:54 PM, bsharma8 said:

So I spoke to the luthier again and he is assuring me its worth repairing. I also got this price list. I'm just confused at this point of what to do.8DD8A553-D56E-40A5-8325-1700BA189798_4_5005_c.jpeg.2fd4b2a20108f1f4c41bad14fe0ee88d.jpeg

While these prices might be perfectly reasonable for a high end violin, they are not at all reasonable for this cheap of a violin, there is significant doubt that the instrument will be worth $1200 when you are finished, you should be able to find a competent luthier that works for less than half this much.

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Just now, Strad O Various Jr. said:

While these prices might be perfectly reasonable for a high end violin, they are not at all reasonable for this cheap of a violin, there is significant doubt that the instrument will be worth $1200 when you are finished, you should be able to find a competent luthier that works for less than half this much. I should point out that the luthier cost for a tailpiece is $5 and for the chinrest $10, that just gives you an idea of the kind of mark up your luthier is working on.

 

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18 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

 I should point out that the luthier cost for a tailpiece is $5 and for the chinrest $10, that just gives you an idea of the kind of mark up your luthier is working on.

the chinese ones you buy might be

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Given the abundance of hulks sold by down-market auction houses I see a role for the "affordable" back-street luthier who'll stick your antique together and get it up and running at minimum cost. In fact I'd quite fancy the job

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"Do you think professional luthiers should work on a sliding scale, based on the value of the instrument? To true and refinish the fingerboard of a German violin is €150, a Gagliano €1500, and a kids violin €1.50,  for the same job?"

Would you charge  €1500 to fix a kid's violin?  What's the actual alternative?  

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There are a wide range of Chin rests and tailpieces etc. at various price points. The violin makers prices shown here do not shock me at all. One should realise that a properly trained violin maker paying high street rent has one price calculation, a DIY person working from home probably another. (although he won’t want to sell the material at cost either) A bill of around €600 for all the cleaning and set up work and material (inclusive of 20%VAT here) is not unusual, and is what I would quote too.

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7 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

Those prices are perfectly reasonable, and the luthier is likely describing exactly what needs to be done to put that fiddle in salable condition.

 

It would be helpful if an expert here would give an opinion on the violins real value, And by "real value^  I mean what the OP could hopefully resale for using one of the avenues available to them.

Now this person may have a retail establishment of there own and could choose that way to sell it. But its more likely to be ebay or Craiglist or a local auction house.

So how much is it realistically worth using one of those places  ?

 

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2 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

Do you think professional luthiers should work on a sliding scale, based on the value of the instrument?

That sounds logical to me.

I would not want to work on a very valuable Italian instrument unless I was being paid very well to cover the insurance costs and maybe court fees if I have a bad day and accidentally ruined a very valuable instrument.

And a luthier of that caliber is going to turn away low cost student instruments anyway as they have plenty of work at the high end.

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1 hour ago, Bill Merkel said:

"Do you think professional luthiers should work on a sliding scale, based on the value of the instrument? To true and refinish the fingerboard of a German violin is €150, a Gagliano €1500, and a kids violin €1.50,  for the same job?"

Would you charge  €1500 to fix a kid's violin?  What's the actual alternative?  

Indeed, it’s the question of context. If you take something cheap to a skilled and experienced luthier, with a good reputation, one can’t be surprised that the price will be the same, or more than the instrument could be worth.

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5 minutes ago, Delabo said:

That sounds logical to me.

I would not want to work on a very valuable Italian instrument unless I was being paid very well to cover the insurance costs and maybe court fees if I have a bad day and accidentally ruined a very valuable instrument.

And a luthier of that caliber is going to turn away low cost student instruments anyway as they have plenty of work at the high end.

The work will take very similar amounts of time, regardless of the value of an instrument. Seems unfair what you are proposing, that someone should expect to get paid less for their time and skill, if working on cheaper instruments.

At the gas station should you pay less for fuel per litre, simply because you have a cheaper car than the person at the next pump?

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1 hour ago, matesic said:

Given the abundance of hulks sold by down-market auction houses I see a role for the "affordable" back-street luthier who'll stick your antique together and get it up and running at minimum cost. In fact I'd quite fancy the job

Yes because all that matters to most on MN is how cheap something can be. Whether it’s any good doesn’t seem to matter at all, despite the fact you are trawling these auctions trying to find something “good”.

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1 hour ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

I should point out that the luthier cost for a tailpiece is $5 and for the chinrest $10, that just gives you an idea of the kind of mark up your luthier is working on.

Really.... Your prices might work for the very cheapest of fittings from China or India only.

https://www.hansellviolins.com/english-i-937-p.asp

https://www.hansellviolins.com/guarneri-1454-p.asp

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

 

Really.... Your prices might work for the very cheapest of fittings from China or India only.

https://www.hansellviolins.com/english-i-937-p.asp

https://www.hansellviolins.com/guarneri-1454-p.asp

 

 

Wrong these are actually top level fittings from the best wholesale supplier in the USA IMHO, the cheapest stuff is less than half that price, your prices are full retail hand made stuff of questionable value

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3 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Wrong these are actually top level fittings from the best wholesale supplier in the USA IMHO, the cheapest stuff is less than half that price, your prices are full retail hand made stuff of questionable value

Hansell's are based in England. You're right about the the first part though. Hand finished to the highest standard, as I can personally attest.

 

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2 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

i'm sure the luthier in question charging $45 is using the same quality of parts that I am talking about, its at least a 300% markup, industry standard is 100%

The luthier in question believes that the violin was made by Heinrich E. Heberlein Jr. Which you point out is a fictitious label. And your opinion is in line with what many other posters say. I agree with you.

I also doubt very much that the fingerboard would need to be planed. It's hardly even been played and even though it's a cheap Czech instrument, it will most likely be ebony. The bow does need re-cambering, but to me this is a 5 minute job. And how long does it take a skilled luthier to carve and fit a new bridge and sound post?

 

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26 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

i'm sure the luthier in question charging $45 is using the same quality of parts that I am talking about, its at least a 300% markup, industry standard is 100%

You have absolutely no idea of the quality of parts the luthier is offering.

You are simply guessing they are the same as you use.

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1 hour ago, Wood Butcher said:

You have absolutely no idea of the quality of parts the luthier is offering.

You are simply guessing they are the same as you use.

Aren't you putting your own interpretation on what Strad o is saying? I'm not sure exactly that is though?

Wouldn't you put cheap but good parts on a cheap but good instrument? And expensive parts on an expensive instrument?

Isn't that standard practice?

 

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12 minutes ago, sospiri said:

Aren't you putting your own interpretation on what Strad o is saying? I'm not sure exactly that is though?

Wouldn't you put cheap but good parts on a cheap but good instrument? And expensive parts on an expensive instrument?

Isn't that standard practice?

 

Their issue seemed to be that tailpieces must cost only $5, and chinrests $10, and that they were being marked up 300%. I was making the point that not all fittings cost so little, and they have no idea what quality the luthier has specified.

Personally, I’d want decent quality parts, but not the most expensive for a student grade violin. 

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2 hours ago, sospiri said:

The luthier in question believes that the violin was made by Heinrich E. Heberlein Jr. Which you point out is a fictitious label. And your opinion is in line with what many other posters say. I agree with you.

I also doubt very much that the fingerboard would need to be planed. It's hardly even been played and even though it's a cheap Czech instrument, it will most likely be ebony. The bow does need re-cambering, but to me this is a 5 minute job. And how long does it take a skilled luthier to carve and fit a new bridge and sound post?

 

Almost every violin I get in the shop from this era needs fingerboard planeing, either the curve is wrong (not 42mm) and/or the dish is too much or too little, or simply excessive wear. Although charging $150 for this seems excessive.

As too the $5 tailpieces these are the better grade, till you get into things like Bois de Harmonie etc, I guess you could pay extra for German made parts from Dictum, but I hardly think the functionality or appearance would be superior in any way.

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Tail pieces and tail guts are part of the set-up and take experience and time to select, install, and adjust properly in concert with the bridge, sound post, and nut to optimize tone.

This nit-picking over what are very reasonable luthier prices in NYC is ridiculous. 

It is even more ridiculous considering that the OP states in that "Someone was clearly selling something they had no idea what it was. I was able to buy it for $150." Perhaps we should discuss the ethics of that.

 

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