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When your luthier disses your baby

26 Feb 03 - 04:14 PM (#899404)
Subject: When your luthier disses your baby
From: NicoleC

Admittedly this is 90% whining, and only 10% question, but...

The only luthier I have local who's really a pro is very much an "orchestral" violin guy. Even though he did a nice job for a fair price, I'm really annoyed. He used every opportunity to insult my instrument. He didn't even want to shape my bridge the way I told him (halfway between an orchestral curve and a flat fiddler's bridge), but he did finally do it.

I LIKE my fiddle. I know it has things wrong with it and I know it isn't a prize possession. No classical violinist would want it, but hey, I'm a fiddle player. I know it's loud (aka "banjo killer") and I know it's not perfect (it was made in a factory) and yeah, it's kinda ugly. If you were 110 years old you'd have some scuffs around the edges, too.

I like that he pointed out construction flaws that affect the setup and playability, but am I out of line thinking he shouldn't keep telling me he doesn't like the way it sounds after I've told him I do? I may want to get some more work done on it, but I don't really want to go back to him at this point. What's a gal to do? Is this normal?


26 Feb 03 - 04:19 PM (#899410)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Beccy

Nicole- If you like it, ignore him. Unless it's one of those bad breath situations... you know- where you don't know how awful it is unless someone points it out to you ;-)

But seriously. If you like the sound your fiddle makes, it should make no difference what your luthier says. If the guy's a REAL craftsman, he may be an insufferable bastard as part of his job description. I know a custom guitar maker who is a royal pain in the ass because he swears it's good for business. I dunno- but play your baby 'til the catgut rots!


26 Feb 03 - 05:04 PM (#899445)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Bee-dubya-ell

Or, if you know his email address, email him a link to this thread and let him read this:

What's the problem dill-weed? Fiddlers' money ain't GREEN enough for ya? If it were me, I'd rather pack my instrument up and send it by UPS to this really nice guy in Tallahassee, Florida (who is also a really good fiddler, NOT violinist and understands that it's not necessary for an instrument to be a great violin to be a great fiddle) than to take it across the street to a snob like you!

Sincerely,

Bruce


26 Feb 03 - 05:09 PM (#899448)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Sorcha

LOL, Bruce! I like it!


26 Feb 03 - 05:11 PM (#899450)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Jeep man

What does disses mean? Seriously, I don' know. Jeep


26 Feb 03 - 05:16 PM (#899454)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Clinton Hammond

disses... street jargon for "disrespects"... It's the same as to shoot down, or to bad mouth...

From people who think there's an opposite for everything... that if you can 'respect' someone, you can also 'direspect' someone... English majors everywhere cringe at this kind of verbal abuse...

:-)


26 Feb 03 - 05:19 PM (#899457)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: denise:^)

Disrepsects--like, for example, when you go to a dulcimer workshop with your six-day-old hammered dulcimer, and the instructor--a highly respected and well-known dulcimer player--comes up to you and says, "Oh, you've got one of THOSE THINGS? Well, you'll just have to figure it out for yourself!! You couldn't PAY ME to play one of THOSE!!"

Oh, and don't forget the part where she rolls her eyes...

(I happen to have a very beautiful, well-made custom hammered dulcimer, with magnificent tone. Her problem was that I chose to have it constructed with the traditional Michigan octave tuning, rather than the modern "5th" tuning--so therefore, the entire instrument must be a piece of junk, right?)

I ignored her...

Denise:^)


26 Feb 03 - 05:22 PM (#899458)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: GUEST

...he did a nice job for a fair price...I like that he pointed out construction flaws that affect the setup and playability

Sounds good to me...


26 Feb 03 - 05:28 PM (#899464)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Giac

You say, "Look, just fix it and don't editorialize, I happen to love this instrument!"

Happened to me with my beat-up, but precious-to-me, 1950s Guild guitar. The luthier (only really good one in a 100-mile radius), said it wasn't worth adjusting the neck, and so on ... . "Humpf! I said."

He complained, but he did fix it, and he did take my money. It still looks like a piece of junk, but sounds like a dream and, except for a slight discrepancy on the 6th string, is in near-perfect register. So There!

Mary


26 Feb 03 - 05:44 PM (#899480)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: McGrath of Harlow

Any "English major" - which I take it means someone who studied English as their main subject, not an oficer in the British Army - who took umbrage at "disrespect" would be lucky to have got through the course.

"Disrespect", as a noun, is a word that has been current for generations, probably centuries. Using it as a verb is relatively recent, but it is a very logical extension, very characteristic of the way the language has always developed.

The characteristics of a good violin and a good fiddle are likely to very different. Nicole might be wise to look around for someone who knows what he's talking about.

Here's a link to an inspirational picture book called Heart and Hands - Musical Instrument Makers of America, that I started a thread about a couple of months back.


26 Feb 03 - 05:52 PM (#899488)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Jeri

I'd seriously wonder if the fiddle had construction flaws that any other luthier would call flaws. The guy's a snob. Granted he may be a good luthier, but he's got a poor opinion of fiddles, probably because he doesn't know much about them. He may not want to, but the fact is he's making judgements based on ignorance. Frankly, I could really use a 'banjo killer'.

I've had an orchestral-type luthier work on a couple of my fiddles and the most he said was one wasn't ever going to sound great or be worth a lot of money (I knew that), but he understood one thing: people love their instruments. He didn't say nasty things about my fiddle, just fiddle music.

Respect: the act of being respectful.
Disrespect: the act of being disrespectful. Sounds like a perfectly good word to me.


26 Feb 03 - 05:59 PM (#899494)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Murray MacLeod

If the guy's a REAL craftsman, he may be an insufferable bastard as part of his job description

So very true.

I guess I am the exception that proves the rule....

Murray


26 Feb 03 - 06:01 PM (#899496)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Beccy

No offense intended, Murray. I'm sure there are some wonderful instrument makers and repairmen without artists' temperments. It's just that the ones I know are, well, jerks.


26 Feb 03 - 06:19 PM (#899510)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: NicoleC

LOL, it sounds like he's a normal luthier!

No, there really are construction flaws (other than the soundpost crack!). The button is a bit off-center and not drilled in exactly straight, so the bridge trys to pull out of alignment. There's a slight hump in the fretboard waaaayy up where I'll never play it anyway.

In other words, nothing to get too worried about, as far as I'm concerned.

The guy I bought it from is a real folkie guy that understands fiddles, but I didn't think he had the technical skills to pull off what was going to be a very tough peg job. He'll certainly be getting my regular business though!


26 Feb 03 - 06:40 PM (#899532)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Murray MacLeod

Beccy, I wasn't being sardonic, most (but not all ) repair people ARE total divas, the only way to treat them is to spell out what YOU want them to do to your instrument, and don't listen to the BS.

I once encountered one (running a successful business) who swore that he would never let any of his guys touch a fret wwith a file, only with a oilstone. I shudder to think what a refret would have cost at his shop.

Murray


26 Feb 03 - 06:47 PM (#899537)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Bobert

Sorry, Nicole.

I've got a great luthier that just came to town a few months back and is a certified Martin luthier and never met a guitar he didn't like. Don't matter if they are unplayable guitar shaped objetcs he will find something good to say about the danged thing.

This person is probably a borish person in every aspect of his or her life. Not Nicole's problem.

Bobert


26 Feb 03 - 11:51 PM (#899550)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Rick Fielding

Well personally...if he disses your fiddle again, I'd go upside his head!

Rick


27 Feb 03 - 12:23 AM (#899569)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: leprechaun

It's not the word disrespect that pisses us off, that's a real word. What pisses us English majors off is lazy gangsters who shorten the word to dis or diss. Like the idiots who shortened "raising children" by turning the noun "parent" into a verb. Yuck. What's next? Will "driving" become "carring?" Are all you folks "musicking?"


27 Feb 03 - 12:34 AM (#899574)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Bee-dubya-ell

I was taught that while "respect" is both a noun and a verb, "disrespect" is a noun only. You don't "disrespect" someone, you "show disrespect for" them.

Don't even get me started on "incentivize"....

Bruce


27 Feb 03 - 12:56 AM (#899583)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: NicoleC

Um... Grammar Police, did it occur to anyone that the choice of the vernacular was deliberate?

Besides, I don't think it's particular to "gangsta" talk, since my grandmother uses it way up in the Appalachians, and has been for as long as I can remember.


27 Feb 03 - 01:44 AM (#899599)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Cluin

And when did "source" become a verb?


27 Feb 03 - 10:54 AM (#899633)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: mooman

All subjective! There are people who have "dissed" my guitar and mandolin (both luthier-made instruments). One guy who dissed my guitar really liked the mandolin. Another says its the best guitar he's played.

Don't take too much notice Nicole if he does a reasonable job even if he is one of those prima donna types. You know you like it and value it and that's what matters.

When I was doing instrument repair full-time I learnt very early on that even the scruffiest beaten-up instrument can be someone's pride and joy and tried to treat both it and them with due respect. Even when telling them that a repair might be a tad expensive, people would often rather pay the money for the emotional value they had invested in the instrument. I even took great pride myself in doing "undoable" repairs on instruments rescued from the refuse tip (a great way to learn for any aspiring repairman or luthier by the way!) and occasionally got an bigger buzz for selling them for a reasonable price to a satisfied customer!

All the best

moo


27 Feb 03 - 11:01 AM (#899640)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Nigel Parsons

Bobert: your local "certified Martin luthier", his surname wouldn't happen to be 'King' by any chance??? *BG*

Nigel


27 Feb 03 - 11:21 AM (#899666)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: GUEST,Les B.

Boy, it must come with the territory - we've got a couple of piano tuners in our town who are both crotchety old bastards: "delusions of Godhood," I guess! They know you can't call in someone from a 100 miles away.
So what is the difference between a luthier and a repair-person ??


27 Feb 03 - 11:27 AM (#899681)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Rick Fielding

They're two different animals Les. A luthier builds (lute like) instruments, and a repair person criticizes your fiddle.

My repair guy is Bruce Dowd (at Glebemount and Danforth in Toronto) and he's absolutely friggin' wonderful! Explains everything, works alone, charges less than the music stores for a much better job, and if you need the axe for a gig in quick time...he has it ready!

Rick


27 Feb 03 - 03:11 PM (#899900)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: JohnInKansas

It's quite obvious this guy would much prefer to work on a well built instrument than on one with "problems," and he probably really believes that you'd benefit from having a "better" instrument. (In all likelihood, he'd prefer you to have one he sold you?)

I think you should take a day to spend with him, while you have him show you all of the "better" instruments he thinks you should have. Let him play them for you, and play them for yourself - but be sure to make him play a good amount of "your kind of music," (and apply your best skills to showing how he's "not playing them in the proper style" - if that's the case.)

After you've wasted his entire day (having fun for yourself, of course), you'll have the option of telling him "I really like my old one best" (or you may actually have found that you like one of his too.)

More seriously - You've described enough "minor faults" in your instrument to fully justify him in recommending that you consider something "better," and it probably is much more difficult to work on your instrument than on an instrument that's in good shape.

He also probably gets lots of requests for "special" bridge shapes from people who don't know what they need, but think that some special shape will compensate for their lack of practice - and who will blame him if it turns out that their "special shape" doesn't improve their playing.

Until you spend enough time with him for him to learn that you do know what you need, he's just defending himself on the assumption that you're "just another amateur" who doesn't know any better. (After all, you have an instrument that probably looks to him like it might have come from a garage sale(?))

If he's good, and conveniently located, you can learn to live with his lack of social skills, and he will, most likely, learn to respect your wishes. If he's seriously impaired in this department, it's just an opportunity for you to practice "dealing with difficult people."

Of course, if he's really just an a..hole... (your decision).

John


27 Feb 03 - 04:16 PM (#899949)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Sandy Mc Lean

I don't attempt to play fiddle in public but I have one, that many would class as junk for closet playing. It is an old, rather beat up but sound Skylark made in Kwangchow, China. It is fitted with a four machine tailpiece, a Dresden bridge and Dr.Thomastik strings. I bought it second hand about 10 years ago for about $100 . By the amount of fingerboard wear it has seen a lot of playing.
My point is that this thing with this setup really sounds pretty good. Friends who play better than me are impressed with it and I love it's tone. The strings cost me half as much as the fiddle and I paid as much again for the bow but the combination seems to work. It is no Strad. but then again I am no Buddy MacMaster either.
                              Sandy


27 Feb 03 - 05:06 PM (#899993)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: NicoleC

Interesting comments, John. I guess my beef isn't with pointing out specific flaws -- always useful to know, and it's his job, right? -- but with the numerous comments like:

{Insert look and tone of disbelief here.}
"So, you really like this instrument?"
"Yes, I do."
"Really?" (Pause.) "I don't like your E string."
Neither do I, but I'm experimenting with some different E's right now.
"Well, I'd replace it."
(Duh, didn't I just say that?)
"How are your bows?"
"They're good; recently rehaired."
"Well, let me see them anyway."
(sigh)

Said violin had a *really* flat bridge on it. It was doing wonders for my bow control and precision, but it was just too darn flat. Despite explaining *why* I wanted a bridge flatter than an orchestral arch without being so extreme, he still argued with me. I didn't think about folks coming up with their own quirks. I suppose that's normal thinking to a do-it-yourselfer folkie type, but abhorrent to classicla training.

Maybe classical players are all looking for violins that sounds exactly alike? Come to think of it, I recently went to a session where there were a bunch of Suzuki players, and you couldn't tell one player's violin from another by tone. But fiddlers and bluegrass players (who's opinion I do trust and some of whom would have gladly sold me another instrument) like my fiddle.

Hmmm. He did insist on showing me how pretty the new Chinese instruments were and talking up how good the Chinese manufacturers were getting. It didn't occur to me that they were for sale -- you may be on to something there!


27 Feb 03 - 05:12 PM (#899999)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Don Firth

I wonder how many luthiers have said to Willie Nelson, "Why don't you get rid of that piece of junk? It's scratched up, beat up, written on, and there's a bloody great hole worn in the soundboard where a pick-guard is supposed to be. And besides, it's a classic with nylon strings. Don't you know that country musicians don't play classic guitars with nylon strings? And on top of that, even though it's a classic, you play it with a pick, fer Gawdsake! Surely by now you can afford to buy yourself a decent guitar!"

I wonder what Willie would say. . . .
(But I think I have an idea. . . .)

Don Firth


27 Feb 03 - 06:16 PM (#900046)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: JohnInKansas

Yeah, but Don - Willie's got that way gettin' him famous, and I'm told the factory did argue with him about fixin' the top one time when he took it in.

There are times when you have to answer someone's obnoxious questions with something like "and have you looked at your fat ass sir, it's looking awfully big? - Is it still under construction?" but it's also well to consider whether someone potentially useful "can be trained," especially if you haven't dealt with them enough to know how stupid they're determined to be.

John


27 Feb 03 - 08:33 PM (#900120)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Rapparee

Gee, here I thought this was a song.

WHEN YOUR LUTHIER DISSES YOUR BABY

When your luthier disses your baby,
Oh yeah...oh it's really bad....
When your luthier disses your baby,
Shows he's nothin' but a cad....

If it's not a song, it's sure a great title for one.

Cattle prods. " A fiddle! How utterly, utterly quaint!" ZAP! (Yeah, yeah, I know cattle prods are electric, but I don't think you can get an acoustic one.)


27 Feb 03 - 08:36 PM (#900122)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Troll

The world is full of sanctimonious prigs. Ignore him Nichole and find someone else; someone who can understand that this fiddle is your BABY and that you love it.
If you are in the Tampa, Fla. area, you can't do better that Charlie Jirousek in Safety Harbor. I take all my stuff to him and it's a 2 1/2 hour drive for me. He's knowledgable, reasonable, and sensitive. And he plays some of the best 12-string blues...

troll


28 Feb 03 - 02:41 AM (#900291)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: leprechaun

It's not your fault Nicole. You're young and it's in your job description to mangle the language.

And I'm like, hip to your trip about that dude that was talkin' smack about your baby. Like, he shoulda shown more respect, you know?

I mean like, what, is he buggin'? That's really wack.


28 Feb 03 - 03:32 AM (#900323)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Seamus Kennedy

I thought a Luthier made Lute-like instruments.
Shouldn't he be a Fiddlier, or a Violier?

Seamus


28 Feb 03 - 01:49 PM (#900515)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: McGrath of Harlow

You can do anything, but don't step on my Blue Suede Shoes.

Except in this case, it's your fiddle.


28 Feb 03 - 06:46 PM (#900714)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Gloredhel

I've had three piano tuners say of my piano, when first glancing at it, "That company makes crap pianos." One said, after tuning and playing it, that despite the company making crap pianos, this one was assembled by someone who knew what he was doing.

Three professional pianists, not looking at the piano but just playing it, said "This has great action. Nice tone, too. I love this piano."

I think there are instrument-repair snobs everywhere. Some are nice guys, some are prejudiced (one of the tuners who looked at it was my cousin who works for Steinway--needless to say, my piano's not a Steinway), and some are just jerks. But if the jerk fixes what's wrong better than the nice guy, I'd probably go back to him.


28 Feb 03 - 07:07 PM (#900725)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Sam L

Nicole, I was going to ask before you mentioned the chinese things, Is the guy connected to a store? Because at the guitar shop here it's plain they always diss everything they don't own and sell. They want to buy cheap, sell higher. It's got to be a policy, it's so routine. And same at the antique rug store where I work--if you want an appraisal, say it's for insurance replacement value, because if the owners think you want to sell it, you get a different answer. (Naturally they can't buy things at a retail replacement price, when that's what they'll sell it for. If you go in expecting it, it rolls off easier.

   The other thing is, if he doesn't like the sound, it's probably just because he doesn't like it, that's what his musical tastes are about. Do classisists want everything to sound alike? Do they want ballet dancers to look alike? Yes. Although the little differences are big to them, yes, they do. That's what classical is, an ongoing, ever-changing, variable tempest in a teapot about the Ideal. But it does produce good sounds too, despite the irrational craziness of it. The intensity of it can't miss, it's compelling, in exactly opposite the way the intensity of a good untrained artist can't miss, and is compelling. For some music I happen to love dead strings with thin tone. It's a sound. And I'm not all about any ideal one-size fits all sound. It turns out all those classical, timeless white sculptures were actually brightly painted, back in the day.

A Martin Luthier dissed my baby--he nailed a list of grievances against it up on my door. But I'm not Catholic, what do I care?


28 Feb 03 - 07:22 PM (#900734)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: NicoleC

He's not connected to a store, and I don't even know if he DOES sell stuff, but most folks who work around instruments seem to end up buying and selling at least some eventually. Either way I wouldn't buy from him anyway -- if he thinks mine is so bad, then he's unlikely to stoop to selling anything I might want :)

While shopping, I had a chance to play what was billed as a decent instrument (it was apprentice made); great for a mid-level conservatory player. I thought it was... uninspiring...

Maybe it is all classical vs. folk taste. I have no idea what goes into building a good sounding orchestra -- I like classical, but I don't have any desire to play it.


28 Feb 03 - 09:21 PM (#900801)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Sam L

Well, my college guitar guy was a classical zealot, and he really believed his classical methods were better for every idiom and style, even if he really didn't understand or appreciate them. I was young and impressionable, and it took me a while to go back to chasing the noises that messed with my head. And I liked some classical--especially the old lute tunes that are really antique folk, I think. If you try to play the sounds you like, at least you are trying to share a real feeling for something, you don't sound like a student, turning in an exercise just for a grade, while worrying ...Is giving a rat's-ass going to be on the test? And that's the worst criticism, to me, the saddest, most un-musical, dis-artistry of all. Not even genuinely TRYING to share any real feeling about anything--the opposite of folk, imho.

People composed for orchestras, and wanted to have a clear idea of what sounds they were composing for and with, in symbiosis. If you aren't playing that stuff, what do those strictures and standards and that clear idea of a particular sound have to do with you? Not too much. You can make good art out of anything, any sight or sound. Why chase fake art because it has associations of Prestige. One of the earliest American aesthetics in architecture began with making fun of Americans living in fake European Chateaus. Houses that nothing to do with them, or them with their houses. Play with your baby.

Your luthier was probably trying to impress you because you are, probably, unbeknownst to yourself, an unmitigated babe, and a smart, spooky fiddle-babe on top of it. That messes some people up in the head. I'm not making it up, women get lots of odd condescension from music tech guys, meant to impress them, but which pisses them off. I've seen lots of threads on music sites about women being especially dissed in music stores and repair shops. I remember the first time I read about it I thought--so that's what that funky atmosphere is! Guy funk!

   Being too particular about "growing" a language as messed up and dirty as english is silly. That train left a while ago. "Diss" is so much better, novel, useful, un-obvious, and evocative an invention than "parenting" it disses "diss" to compare "diss" and dat.


28 Feb 03 - 10:26 PM (#900825)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: NicoleC

LOL, Fred! I know that psychic guy funk! It used to amuse me to go into places like Guitar Center and mess with their heads by asking nonsensical technical questions to see how well they covered up lying about the fact they didn't actually comprehend what I asked. (Call it revenge for losing gigs because it was too wierd to hire a chick sound engineer.)

Now I find the male-ego-condescending thing just... tiresome.

And you know what? People who actually know stuff and can play their instruments usually aren't the culprits. Now that I am really trying to learn play, I consider myself fortunate to have a cheering section of good players around.

Everyone should have their own cheering section, right? :)


01 Mar 03 - 12:10 AM (#900884)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Sam L

Yes.

But don't be cruel, it's a mangled-ego-male-condescending thing. It must be tiresome, and unattractive, but, sometimes with a little love, and our own cheering-section, too, we do grow up. A little. Kind of like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree.

A local fiddler babe I once tried to get to play with me said "But I'm probably making it sound like I'm better than I am". And I said, "But I'M TRYING to make it sound like I'm better than I am"! It was one of those rare moments when I accidentally say what I really mean.

   Anyway, I'm so happy you know the funk I meant. It's a life-goal of mine never to utterly alienate a fiddler.

Now I wonder if English majors can deduce what I meant by "probably". Probably unmitigated or probably unbeknownst. There is a correct answer. The truth is out there.

(Novel, Useful, and Un-obvious are the U.S. patent office's criteria for worthy inventions.)


01 Mar 03 - 03:32 AM (#900946)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: leprechaun

Yeah probly. 47% of high school graduates can't pronounce libary correctly.


03 Mar 03 - 08:42 AM (#902287)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: HuwG

I once read a job advertisement; the Derbyshire County Library Service (UK) was recruiting "Libertarians". I never did find out whether that was a typo, the Spell-Checker going mad, or a mangled pronunciation over the telephone somewhere.




I took my favourite £60 second-hand Yamaha to a friend who runs Fretworks. I expected him to fall over laughing, but he was kind enough to say, "Nice instrument". Once we had fixed a loose strap boss, he showed me a Yamaha FJ-345, formerly used by Van Morrison. He had to take it off me; I was about to drool all over it. This is one way to be sarcastic; imply, Paul Hogan style, "That's not a knife; this is a knife".

My friend did have a laugh over my £70 Gremlin, with a soundboard pulled so far out of shape by heavy strings, that it looks like an archtop. There was a lad still at school in the shop, strumming away wistfully on an Ovation Adamas; he looked at the Gremlin (GR2919B, which is a bowlback design), and I could see him wondering if a paint job would fool the audience. I had to back out of that deal; it wouldn't be fair to the poor lad, or his fingers.

One day, I may replace the top on that Gremlin, but I am now saving the £400 for that Yamaha FJ-345. It may take a while; the old wallet is screaming for mercy already.


03 Mar 03 - 10:45 AM (#902359)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Sam L

When your baby and your baby's baby break your baby and then your luthier disses your baby.

   It was a while back, but I can only begin to talk about it now. I lost a good gibson to an accident when my wife and daughter, my baby and our baby, cracked the headstock of my baby. I had to walk out of the house, twice around the block, get in the car and drive aimlessly for awhile before I came back. It was my fault for standing it behind a chair, and anyway, I didn't want to yell and cuss and be a jerk around my family--I try to vent that stuff into cyberspace, on you people, to keep it out of the house. Sorry.

   Anyway. It's a tough repair, and the luthier spared no opportunity to encourage me to buy another guitar. "Those were really the dark days of Gibson, you know" and so on. I've put off deciding whether to try the repair, or buy something. been playing a cheap beater since then.


03 Mar 03 - 11:29 AM (#902407)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: denise:^)

Finally getting around to your question, Seamus--
Luthiers make *stringed* instruments! So if you made a lute, you would be a luthier--or if you made an autoharp, hammered dulcimer, guitar, harp, fiddle...etc....

Denise:^)


03 Mar 03 - 12:05 PM (#902447)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: Walking Eagle

I wonder what he would think of Uncle Dave Macon's banjo, or Huddie's big 12 string?

Grammer police? Lep--children are reared, corn is raised. heh heh.


03 Mar 03 - 12:40 PM (#902471)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: GUEST,Geordie

I once took a twenty year old appalachian dulcimer to a "luthier" for repairs; he showed great disrepect and announced that it was a piece of shite and that he would not know where to begin to fix it as it was so poorly made to start with. He had made this selfsame instrument twenty years earlier and was humbled greatly when I pointed this out to all of the customers in his shop.
I hate dialogue as a verb.


03 Mar 03 - 01:34 PM (#902514)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: HuwG

Thanks to the thread monitors, for unscrambling my earlier disasters.

Incidentally, Fretworks must be the only music shop I know which is part-owned by a genuine Doctor of Divinity. All I can say to that is, don't let that fool you; the man is a very sharp musician, craftsman and entertainer.


03 Mar 03 - 07:26 PM (#902775)
Subject: RE: When your luthier disses your baby
From: CraigS

I think your luthier is trying to tell you that your money would be better spent on another instrument, as politely as he knows how, simply because from his point of view, this fiddle will never be tonally correct and he can't do anything about that. That's how he looks at it. In guitar terminology, he can't imagine Andres Segovia playing the Recuerdos de la Alhambra on a National Duolian. I have a VERY old record of Enrico Caruso from the days when bowed instruments did not record properly - he is accompanied by a plectrum banjo, rather than a cello. If the repairman can't understand that there are horses for courses, you can try explaining that you are not seeking that dense classical tone he seeks. As long as he gives you what you want, keep going back - but let him know there's another way of looking at it. As for the banjo - the band have persuaded me to play the damn thing when I wanted to put it in the dumpster!