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Are you satisfied with your fiddle? Tell us about it.
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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 27, 2011 - 7:12 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Is anyone truly satisfied with their instruments? I think that I've been searching for a better violin my whole life. Even a few years after buying my present violin I was looking for a better one. Lord knows that I have borrowed and played on much nicer fiddles. I was at one point testing violins priced between 100 - 300,000 dollars at a time where my orchestra was paying mortgages for instruments to encourage the purchase of better instruments for the orchestra.
Luckily I never took the step of buying one since I have since then given up that position.

Right now I am playing on an excellent Swedish contemporary violin made by Jan Larsson and bought 22 years ago. The main problem with this violin is that I have to work much harder to produce the same sound that comes easily out of an old sweet Italian fiddle. 

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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John Thornton
USA
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January 27, 2011 - 8:52 pm
Member Since: January 27, 2011
Forum Posts: 22
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Hello fiddlerman, Just cruised by v.com and saw the link to your new website. Glad to be here, around real people.

There's nothing more satisfying than to find a fine old Cremona, or any fine sounding violin for that matter. I've invested a pile of money so big it would take 2 banks to hold it all, and have gotten hold of some real sweet hearts over the past 40 years. Why, I might even post a few pictures in the 'for sale' section, if you don't mind my offering someone else a chance to own one of these treasures. Due to a serious injury to my right shoulder it is quite painful trying to play. So… perhaps…. someone might appreciate the chance to acquire a nice fiddle from a plain old country boy with a taste for excellent quality.

 

Thanks,

gdg.strad

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 28, 2011 - 12:05 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Hey GDG.strad,

Welcome to the forum. Very happy to see that you found Fiddlerman.com.

You are more than welcome to post your fiddles here, Violins for sale. This forum is about a week old so the content is low for now but Fiddlerman.com gets around 80 visits per day and that number is rising quickly. Where are you located? 

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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John Thornton
USA
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Members
February 8, 2011 - 8:08 pm
Member Since: January 27, 2011
Forum Posts: 22
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Hey now,

I'm in Brewton, Al. 30 miles or so north of the Naval Air Station at Milton. 

Really wish my fiddles could be satisfied with me, but that will never be the case.

A Guarneri del Gesu can be very forgiving of the un-skilled musician, but only if played very carefully.

John

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 8, 2011 - 10:10 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

WOW!!!!

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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John Thornton
USA
Member
Members
February 8, 2011 - 10:22 pm
Member Since: January 27, 2011
Forum Posts: 22
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Hey now,

If I can figure out how to post pictures, or send them via PM, I'd be happy to let you take a peek. One or two of these 'Italian sweet-hearts' have in fact slipped through the cracks. I was very fortunate to have been standing under those cracks, when it happened. No joke.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 9, 2011 - 12:09 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Everyone can now post pictures. Just press reply and use the icon up in the toolbar that looks like a tree on the left side of the film icon.

Look forward to seeing the pictures.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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John Thornton
USA
Member
Members
February 9, 2011 - 12:40 am
Member Since: January 27, 2011
Forum Posts: 22
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Fiddlerman said:

Everyone can now post pictures. Just press reply and use the icon up in the toolbar that looks like a tree on the left side of the film icon.

Look forward to seeing the pictures.


Your file size limit is quite small, but maybe this will work:
                       Front views of my 1741 and 1742 Guarneri fiddles. Image Enlarger
The 1741 has been 'certified' by Jed Murphy, of London. Website: http://www.atelierviolins.com

Jed is the ONLY competent, and honest, violin appraiser I have met with in my entire life.  He is a graduate of the violin making department (London Guild Hall) and is, in my considered opinion, the very best restoration expert living today. To my knowlege, the fiddle of 1742 has never been seen by any dealer, nor has it ever passed through an auction house. The power in the tone of either violin will peel the hide off a bull elephant, and I'm not joking.

John

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 9, 2011 - 8:44 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

You're lucky to have two great instruments. For most people, finding the right instrument is a painstaking endeavor and owning one of those is just a dream.  Congratulations Smile

PS. How big of a file size do you think would be reasonable?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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John Thornton
USA
Member
Members
February 9, 2011 - 10:34 am
Member Since: January 27, 2011
Forum Posts: 22
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Thanks. Fiddles like these should have been found and bought by people who really need them. But something is amiss…..the people who need them the most simply refuse to believe they could possibly exist outside of  a big-name dealer's shop, or a bank vault, or some rich man's castle on a mountain in Switzerland. What irony!

I'm not sure what file size limit would be appropriate for a forum. Some allow very large images,  but that might depend on the volume of traffic, or advertisement I suppose.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 9, 2011 - 6:32 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717
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I believe that some of them exist outside of the dealers shops but I can't find one anywhere. Wink

I just added the capability of uploading pictures when you let me know that it couldn't be done on my site. Therefore the default is the size available.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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John Thornton
USA
Member
Members
February 9, 2011 - 10:33 pm
Member Since: January 27, 2011
Forum Posts: 22
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Well it looks like a couple have found you! I also know about other fine violins of similar quality which are in the hands of gentlemen who play quite well. But one man, who doesn't play at all, may well have in his possession The Crown Prince of all violins. If it isn't a Guarneri del Gesu, then Jesus made it himself.

Deciding which is "the finest of the fine" in tone quality is an event that would be like nothing ever heard before. That sir, is a natural fact.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 9, 2011 - 11:44 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717
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Where does that fellow live? Maybe he needs someone to take care of his fiddle.

I would do it with pressure, I mean pleasure. 

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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John Thornton
USA
Member
Members
February 10, 2011 - 12:30 am
Member Since: January 27, 2011
Forum Posts: 22
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The family lives in Texas. The story behind the violin is bone chilling, but cannot be verified to a certainty. Sometime ago it was 'tone-tested' against two very famous golden period Stradivaris, in a major concert hall. The 'artiste' first played the Strads, then rather causally, almost disdainfully, started playing the 'pretender' or so he must have thought. Instantly every one listening jumped from their seats, ran back down the aisles to the entrance doors and literally went into raptures over the tone it put out. And that was with old strings on it, and one side of the belly's lower bout being seperated from the ribs. They forgot about the Strads, real quick.

Then the folks learned about me, February of last year, eBay as it were. Made contact and asked if I would examine some pictures via email. I consented, got the images,  took a peek, sent my response and the first week of April two of the brothers travelled to see me with fiddle in tow. When they got here, we visited for a spell and I asked them to open the case.  I opened one of mine at the same time and their eyes almost popped out of their heads. Needless to say we've become very good friends since then…

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 10, 2011 - 9:20 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717
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Sounds exciting,

Thanks for all your posts.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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dogs and fiddles
Member
Members
February 13, 2011 - 1:03 pm
Member Since: February 13, 2011
Forum Posts: 4
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Nice thread guys.  Interesting conversation.  I would love to have the chance to paly a Del Guso someday.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 13, 2011 - 1:41 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717
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Thanks Susan,

I've had the privilege to play on the following instruments. A Bergonzi, Testore, Stainer, a Guarneri with a rebuilt belly, Joseph Gagliano, Giuseppe Fiorini, a Bernardel that I almost bought, and MSO's Stradivarius. I must admit that I have played on less expensive instruments that are equal and even better than a few of these. The Bergonzi was my favorite. While I was intensely searching for a fiddle I tried about 20 violins in the $150,000 - 200,000 range about 2-3 years back and gave up. Many of them were close buys but I chickened out. None of them were 100% perfect for me. Some had the qualities I wanted in one sense but not the other.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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John Thornton
USA
Member
Members
February 13, 2011 - 3:42 pm
Member Since: January 27, 2011
Forum Posts: 22
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Hi Susan,

Finding and playing upon a del Gesu is much easier than the 'public' has been led to believe.

And to Maestro Pierre Holstein,

You're a highly trained, highly skilled professional musician, comfortable with performing in many different venues and styles of music: so maybe the fiddles are the 'privileged', huh?.  Now, I must ask a question of you:

What kind or type fiddle do you believe would fully meet your expectations regarding tone?

John

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 14, 2011 - 1:01 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717
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That is a tough question John. First of all, I have played on and found many instruments that suit me. I guess my economy has been the greatest problem. When I was searching for a fiddle a few years back, I was employed full time by an orchestra that was paying to lease our own private instruments. In other words, if I owned a more expensive violin the orchestra would pay me more every month. I figured how much I could spend on a fiddle based on what added income I would get from my work. Problem is that I gave my position up to move with my family back to Florida. I can't afford such a great instrument anymore. I can only dream.

As far as what type of instrument would suit me, I would say that a bright open sweet powerful fiddle with very fast action. I tend to prefer bright to dark sounding fiddles. It is also important to me that the instrument CAN play extremely soft since I love to exaggerate dynamics.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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John Thornton
USA
Member
Members
February 14, 2011 - 12:51 pm
Member Since: January 27, 2011
Forum Posts: 22
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If you've played any very early modern to contemporary fiddles that  were better sounding than the so-called Strads in the MSO, then those violins were not made by Antonio Stradivari. When you're ready to try the best fiddle you have ever heard or will ever hear, send a pm with your telephone number.

John

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