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Purchasing from a lesser known maker?


peachykeen248
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If you like the sound, if you like the way it plays, and seems "sound"  construction wise and he gives a workmanship warranty , I'd say go for it.

Everything in life is about feeling, and feelings as we know can be good or bad, related to the violin every little drop of "good feelings" helps improve desire, desire is what creates results through driven practice.

The psychology of "names"  "name brands"  "regions"  and alike plays heavily into psychology , violin from Cremona good, made in China bad, that sort of thing

So on a personal level we all like to feel "special" somehow someway in our lives , and uniqueness  is often conflated with "special" be that a good special or a bad one. 

And so an opportunity has presented itself for you to "feel" "special" and "unique" about the "rare" not many of them out there violins made by this fellow, not only that, the "circle of feelings" becomes reciprocal, trust me, you have NO idea how good you will make this guy feel if you buy it from him, AND that if you do, it rebounds positive good feelings on his end, which makes him feel good, he continues to make them, driven by success, then as time goes by, suddenly your sitting on an instrument that is worth 3 times what you paid for it. 

really , play the instrument , and pay attention ONLY to how it makes you feel when you play it..,..you know you got it if it makes you feel good.

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On 8/4/2021 at 4:38 PM, peachykeen248 said:

I'm in the market for an advanced student/entry level professional instrument but with a limited budget. I have found a local (US) maker who does not have much of a reputation but has trained with good luthiers and has a few options in my price range. How much would you be willing to spend on such an instrument? Any advice?

If the maker will eventually become famous, I'd spend up to $23,070  (The 23 K is for the violin, and the 70 bucks is for the fortune-teller.)  ;)

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Thank you to all of you and sorry for my disappearance. I just joined this forum and have a cap on the number of posts I can make.

I apologize if I gave the impression I am looking for a collectible or a serious investment piece. I am primarily concerned with getting a good sounding instrument, I just don't want to pay a price such that if I posted details here I would be told I got ripped off. This will likely be a lifelong companion for me, but in the event I did want to sell it, it would be great if I could recover at least half my purchase price. Some appreciation would be even better but not required or expected.

I have no opposition at all to a factory-made instrument, or even *gasp* a Chinese instrument if I find one I like, though I haven't yet. My favorites so far are an old German instrument and this "lesser known maker" one.

On 8/5/2021 at 5:49 PM, bkwood said:

What is your price range?

I don't have a really well-defined budget but I've been testing instruments in a pretty large range of $2000-$7000. I'd be most comfortable <$4000 unless I stumble across something I just can't live without. I know this limits my options quite a lot. 

12 hours ago, Don Noon said:

There is no remote way to tell if a lesser maker is any good.  The instruments have to be evaluated on their merits.  However, if I ran into a a maker who has been "lesser known" for decades and has a lot of unsold inventory at a reasonable price, I'd wonder why.

They are fairly young, and making for just a few years.

9 hours ago, jezzupe said:

If you like the sound, if you like the way it plays, and seems "sound"  construction wise and he gives a workmanship warranty , I'd say go for it.

Everything in life is about feeling, and feelings as we know can be good or bad, related to the violin every little drop of "good feelings" helps improve desire, desire is what creates results through driven practice.

The psychology of "names"  "name brands"  "regions"  and alike plays heavily into psychology , violin from Cremona good, made in China bad, that sort of thing

So on a personal level we all like to feel "special" somehow someway in our lives , and uniqueness  is often conflated with "special" be that a good special or a bad one. 

And so an opportunity has presented itself for you to "feel" "special" and "unique" about the "rare" not many of them out there violins made by this fellow, not only that, the "circle of feelings" becomes reciprocal, trust me, you have NO idea how good you will make this guy feel if you buy it from him, AND that if you do, it rebounds positive good feelings on his end, which makes him feel good, he continues to make them, driven by success, then as time goes by, suddenly your sitting on an instrument that is worth 3 times what you paid for it. 

really , play the instrument , and pay attention ONLY to how it makes you feel when you play it..,..you know you got it if it makes you feel good.

This may sound a bit "woo woo" to some but it captures my feelings perfectly. I am perfectly willing to purchase a factory or workshop instrument if that's the violin that chooses me, but I certainly feel better about the idea of supporting a craftsman I know and love.

2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

If the maker will eventually become famous, I'd spend up to $23,070  (The 23 K is for the violin, and the 70 bucks is for the fortune-teller.)  ;)

:) i'll send you the $70 if you can tell me.

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7 minutes ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

The key is to buy Burgesses. Plural. Twice a year he tried to buy them back (I suspect it is so he can sit them around the Thanksgiving table and feed them mashed potatoes) and you just keep making money THERE IS NO BUBBLE WHEN YOU GO BURGESS BABY

Sounds suspiciously like those crypto investment schemes ;)

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Though when getting a better instrument, which inspires and enables you to do more, progressing faster, that too is a type of investment. Not financial, but an investment in oneself as a musician.

For all the talk of financial investments when it comes to instruments and bows, I look at it in simple terms.
Do you want to become the best player you can in your lifetime? Or stay at the level you are, but with the knowledge that your heirs can sell your instrument for a bit more than you yourself paid for it?

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3 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

For all the talk of financial investments when it comes to instruments and bows, I look at it in simple terms.
Do you want to become the best player you can in your lifetime? Or stay at the level you are, but with the knowledge that your heirs can sell your instrument for a bit more than you yourself paid for it?

I can't speak about buying violins (for the obvious reason that I make them), but for guitars, the deciding factor is that I WANT it... good sound, looks good, and not unjustafiably expensive .  I have no illusion of becoming the best player in my lifetime, as that peak (which was never monumental) has passed long ago.  Holding value is only a bonus, but not the deciding factor.   Maybe for musicians with professional aspirations, the considerations would be a bit different.

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I find this a quite good article.

Your violin is your teacher, too: So get a good one

February 14, 2007, 11:28 PM · As of this month, I've been playing the violin for 30 years. My violin anniversary is February 18, to be specific. I know because I started on Melanie Mayer's ninth birthday, as did Melanie. She reminded me every year. So wherever you are, happy birthday, Melanie!

I've been playing on an excellent violin now for one year, and it has opened my mind in ways that nothing else could in the 29 years before.

 

http://www.violinist.com/blog/laurie/loofiddle.jpg

 

That's right, my nine years of violin instruction before college, four years in college, two years in graduate school, years of performing in dozens of orchestras, solo recitals, not to mention literally thousands of hours in the practice room – none of it taught me what a good violin has taught me.

One sees this phenomenon in small children: the child with a quarter-size violin who is ready for vibrato, for example. The child can do vibrato, even, but neglects it because he or she can't see the point. Then the child gets a larger violin that resonates, and suddenly vibrato makes sense and he or she can learn it.

The highest violin technique makes sense only on a fine instrument.

I've been looking back at pieces I played in college and reading the notes my teachers wrote in the margins. At the time, I played on a German factory violin given to me by my grandmother; it had been in her attic. For all her good intentions, though, it was a squeakbox.

"More tone!" implores my teacher from the page of a Brahms sonata.

"SUSTAIN" in the last movement of the Saint-Saens concerto.

"Darker sound on the G string" was a comment in a Bartok piece.

Even "LOUD" at the end of the Andante melanconico in Intro and Rondo Capricc.

Certainly there were requests that had more to do with the player than the instrument ("Stand straight! Relax left hand!") but I also saw much begging for a sound that simply was not possible or that took such heroic effort. I worked and worked and worked to make those things happen, and still the results were marginal. I barely have to do anything to make more tone, or a darker sound, on my current violin.

Without having ever played a fine violin, I did not even understand the completely different plane of playing available to me.

I understand now why some conservatories and universities make fine instruments available to students. I used to think that if one played well on a bad violin, one would be way ahead of the game when stepping up to a better one. That if one was "spoiled," playing on a Strad in college, one would never figure out how to make do with something lesser. It's not true. If one plays on a fine instrument, one knows what to seek in any instrument, and one also knows its importance.

All those years of fighting a bad instrument cause frustration; they block out what could be; they prevent the exploration of one's fullest potential as a musician.

I am grateful to at last have an instrument that allows me this; even if I'm destined to be a very late bloomer! But I would implore parents, schools and young musicians themselves: get the best instrument you can. Get the one that will awaken you to your fullest potential!

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A colleague is looking for a cello, and for the last several weeks a group of cellists have gotten together to play the instruments that passed the first round and earned a trip to the house.

We played cello quartets, each quartet several times: the cellos being passed around and each player playing the same part so we could hear the sound as part the group, under the ear, and how they felt to the player. Very interesting( And one of the most enjoyable things I can think of.) My friend evaluated the cello on trial, but the other cellos in the group as well, for comparison purposes.

One cello really sticks out in my mind, with a solid, meaty complicated and powerful sound. For me that would be my choice and stop looking. My friend is not completely convinced, and is still looking. And that’s ok.
 

When I bought my own instrument, was definitely not love at first sight, or sound. And I still don’t find it the most beautiful instrument I’ve ever seen, but the sound grew and grew on me and now I will have nothing else.

So love at first sight can sure work, but can also grow slow and strong. I think my friend will come around to this cello, but if she wants love at first sound, that’s ok too.

Reading this, I don’t think it’s any help to you at all, but it might be so I’m gonna share anyway. Good luck in your search.

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55 minutes ago, MANFIO said:

I find this a quite good article.

Your violin is your teacher, too: So get a good one

February 14, 2007, 11:28 PM · As of this month, I've been playing the violin for 30 years. My violin anniversary is February 18, to be specific. I know because I started on Melanie Mayer's ninth birthday, as did Melanie. She reminded me every year. So wherever you are, happy birthday, Melanie!

I've been playing on an excellent violin now for one year, and it has opened my mind in ways that nothing else could in the 29 years before.

 

 

That's right, my nine years of violin instruction before college, four years in college, two years in graduate school, years of performing in dozens of orchestras, solo recitals, not to mention literally thousands of hours in the practice room – none of it taught me what a good violin has taught me.

One sees this phenomenon in small children: the child with a quarter-size violin who is ready for vibrato, for example. The child can do vibrato, even, but neglects it because he or she can't see the point. Then the child gets a larger violin that resonates, and suddenly vibrato makes sense and he or she can learn it.

The highest violin technique makes sense only on a fine instrument.

I've been looking back at pieces I played in college and reading the notes my teachers wrote in the margins. At the time, I played on a German factory violin given to me by my grandmother; it had been in her attic. For all her good intentions, though, it was a squeakbox.

"More tone!" implores my teacher from the page of a Brahms sonata.

"SUSTAIN" in the last movement of the Saint-Saens concerto.

"Darker sound on the G string" was a comment in a Bartok piece.

Even "LOUD" at the end of the Andante melanconico in Intro and Rondo Capricc.

Certainly there were requests that had more to do with the player than the instrument ("Stand straight! Relax left hand!") but I also saw much begging for a sound that simply was not possible or that took such heroic effort. I worked and worked and worked to make those things happen, and still the results were marginal. I barely have to do anything to make more tone, or a darker sound, on my current violin.

Without having ever played a fine violin, I did not even understand the completely different plane of playing available to me.

I understand now why some conservatories and universities make fine instruments available to students. I used to think that if one played well on a bad violin, one would be way ahead of the game when stepping up to a better one. That if one was "spoiled," playing on a Strad in college, one would never figure out how to make do with something lesser. It's not true. If one plays on a fine instrument, one knows what to seek in any instrument, and one also knows its importance.

All those years of fighting a bad instrument cause frustration; they block out what could be; they prevent the exploration of one's fullest potential as a musician.

I am grateful to at last have an instrument that allows me this; even if I'm destined to be a very late bloomer! But I would implore parents, schools and young musicians themselves: get the best instrument you can. Get the one that will awaken you to your fullest potential!

This is exactly why I teach my kids about instruments from the first day. I have started kids on half-size instruments, and the very first day we talk about sound quality: what to listen for, what is good or bad, what is meaningful to them.

Not an hour ago I got off the phone with a fellow who is trying out a very nice Nurnberger violin bow, and we discussed how all of the students show up at lessons with carbon fiber crap and have never even considered anything else.

My friend is a bow snob, as am I, and has three very nice bows. I asked him if he taught his students about bows and sound and feel using his own bows, and he answered-to my surprise-a little haughtily, “No, I never let my students touch my stuff.“

I think that is a terrible shame.

Edited by PhilipKT
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15 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

This is exactly why I teach my kids about instruments from the first day. I started kids on half-size instruments in the very first day we talk about sound quality what to listen for what is good for his bad what is meaningful to them.

Not an hour ago I got off the phone with a fellow who is trying out a very nice Nurnberger violin bow, and we discussed how all of the students show up at lessons with carbon fiber crap and have never even considered anything else.

My friend is a bow snob, as am I, and has three very nice bows. I asked him if he taught his students about bows and sound and feel using his own bows, and he answered-to my surprise-a little haughtily, “No, I never let my students touch my stuff.“

I think that is a terrible shame.

Yes, it is an acquired taste, and teachers should talk about sound quality and playability. In general the experience of young players is limited to their own instrument.

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2 hours ago, Don Noon said:

I can't speak about buying violins (for the obvious reason that I make them), but for guitars, the deciding factor is that I WANT it...

Of course. That's why stringed instruments bearing some resemblance to the outline of a female have been popular for centuries. :lol:

It ain't rocket science. ;)

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4 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

We played cello quartets, each quartet several times: the cellos being passed around and each player playing the same part so we could hear the sound as part the group, under the ear, and how they felt to the player.

Your cello quartet played da spalla?  Did you take pictures?  I hope no one's neck got impaled!

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2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

MN erased my "dinky member" title too. :)

Funny thing: Since then, Violadamore has been showing a lot more interest. :lol:

Thanks for reminding me.  :ph34r:  :P

2 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Can’t WAIT to see your mutual Facebook page…

Don't hold your breath.....   :lol:

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17 hours ago, MANFIO said:

I find this a quite good article.

Your violin is your teacher, too: So get a good one

February 14, 2007, 11:28 PM · As of this month, I've been playing the violin for 30 years. My violin anniversary is February 18, to be specific. I know because I started on Melanie Mayer's ninth birthday, as did Melanie. She reminded me every year. So wherever you are, happy birthday, Melanie!

I've been playing on an excellent violin now for one year, and it has opened my mind in ways that nothing else could in the 29 years before.

 

 

That's right, my nine years of violin instruction before college, four years in college, two years in graduate school, years of performing in dozens of orchestras, solo recitals, not to mention literally thousands of hours in the practice room – none of it taught me what a good violin has taught me.

One sees this phenomenon in small children: the child with a quarter-size violin who is ready for vibrato, for example. The child can do vibrato, even, but neglects it because he or she can't see the point. Then the child gets a larger violin that resonates, and suddenly vibrato makes sense and he or she can learn it.

The highest violin technique makes sense only on a fine instrument.

I've been looking back at pieces I played in college and reading the notes my teachers wrote in the margins. At the time, I played on a German factory violin given to me by my grandmother; it had been in her attic. For all her good intentions, though, it was a squeakbox.

"More tone!" implores my teacher from the page of a Brahms sonata.

"SUSTAIN" in the last movement of the Saint-Saens concerto.

"Darker sound on the G string" was a comment in a Bartok piece.

Even "LOUD" at the end of the Andante melanconico in Intro and Rondo Capricc.

Certainly there were requests that had more to do with the player than the instrument ("Stand straight! Relax left hand!") but I also saw much begging for a sound that simply was not possible or that took such heroic effort. I worked and worked and worked to make those things happen, and still the results were marginal. I barely have to do anything to make more tone, or a darker sound, on my current violin.

Without having ever played a fine violin, I did not even understand the completely different plane of playing available to me.

I understand now why some conservatories and universities make fine instruments available to students. I used to think that if one played well on a bad violin, one would be way ahead of the game when stepping up to a better one. That if one was "spoiled," playing on a Strad in college, one would never figure out how to make do with something lesser. It's not true. If one plays on a fine instrument, one knows what to seek in any instrument, and one also knows its importance.

All those years of fighting a bad instrument cause frustration; they block out what could be; they prevent the exploration of one's fullest potential as a musician.

I am grateful to at last have an instrument that allows me this; even if I'm destined to be a very late bloomer! But I would implore parents, schools and young musicians themselves: get the best instrument you can. Get the one that will awaken you to your fullest potential!

I do not find it a good article AT ALL.  Just a combination of wishful thinking and pretentious word salad. Here's the pudding :

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, MANFIO said:

Carl, I think she is an amateur, not a professional player.

That's not how she presents herself :

"my nine years of violin instruction before college, four years in college, two years in graduate school, years of performing in dozens of orchestras, solo recitals, not to mention literally thousands of hours in the practice room – none of it taught me what a good violin has taught me." 

( apparently tuning wasn't one of those...) 

I don't want to hog the thread with what's pretty irrelevant but if you take the time and read her article critically you'll find a lot of holes in it.

To put it mildly.

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56 minutes ago, Carl Stross said:

That's not how she presents herself :

"my nine years of violin instruction before college, four years in college, two years in graduate school, years of performing in dozens of orchestras, solo recitals, not to mention literally thousands of hours in the practice room – none of it taught me what a good violin has taught me." 

( apparently tuning wasn't one of those...) 

I don't want to hog the thread with what's pretty irrelevant but if you take the time and read her article critically you'll find a lot of holes in it.

To put it mildly.

Her basic point is entirely valid. You have to teach students about instruments and equipment as soon as they start. Otherwise they will grow up with a huge gap in their training.

Remember, one does not need to be an excellent player to be an excellent teacher. The skill sets are different. 
And it is also true that one does not need to be an excellent player in order to be an excellent thinker. Whether she plays well or not is completely irrelevant to her point, and she makes her point quite well.

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44 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

1. Her basic point is entirely valid.

2. You have to teach students about instruments and equipment as soon as they start. Otherwise they will grow up with a huge gap in their training.

3. Remember, one does not need to be an excellent player to be an excellent teacher. The skill sets are different. 

4. And it is also true that one does not need to be an excellent player in order to be an excellent thinker.

5. Whether she plays well or not is completely irrelevant to her point, and she makes her point quite well.

1. It's not the "basic point" . It's the wishful thinking and the word salad.

2. What does that MEAN ? Beginners take a ( long ) while to be able to tune the violin and an even longer while figure out is not in tune. It takes 2-3 years for a beginner to tell a violin is better than another short of the case the former is an atrocious plank.

3. Early on, probably not. Later, opinion is very divided on that one. The fact there are excellent players who make for bad teachers means nothing.

4. I strongly disagree with that if what you meant is thinking how to do fancy, artistically informed things on the violin. 

5. That's the problem. She does not make the point. She just says stuff. There is quite a walk from that to her making a point.

In the end we all know a better instruments allows for more possibilities in expression. Would be nice if somebody would take the trouble to actually demonstrate it instead of all that vague prose.

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