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Ivan Viehoff

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Everything posted by Ivan Viehoff

  1. High quality concertinas are pretty cheap in comparison to high quality editions of most other instruments. Most professional musicians are going to have to find far more than £3000 to buy an acceptable version of their instrument for public performance. You can spend a lot, lot more than that just on a violin bow, let alone the violin itself.
  2. Scammers only expect to succeed in gulling the gullible. "Everyone" knows and recognises "Nigerian" scams these days, but still my inbox receives them regularly. You are at least doing a service to the gullible, who, sadly, are always with us.
  3. It's an ecological niche. Remove the current occupant and a new one will move in, there's so many waiting. When you are constructing scams that mostly fall on deaf ears, you have to be productive to get those occasional successes. One of the funniest things about 419 scams is that they are always so obvious. But it turns out that is actually the best strategy for the scammer. If you get a cautious individual nibbling on your bait, you'll never take them the whole way, they'll rumble you before you take their money off them. So make the scam obvious so that only the gullible people take the bait. That way you don't waste your time cultivating a mark who won't be taken the whole way.
  4. I found this very interesting map of the London Underground just the other day. Well it definitely seems to be the London Underground even if the stations have surprising names, perhaps names they could possibly have become. http://homepage.univie.ac.at/horst.prillinger/metro/m/londonundergroundmapgerman.html Taking my cue from that I'll play Totenschinken Hofstrasse
  5. I've mentioned its availability a number of times.
  6. The seller got £360 for it. Since that isn't very far removed from what 46-keys of a like quality have sold for, the seller must be considered rather lucky. Perhaps it's time to put my 46-key on ebay.
  7. You can verify from the pics of the concertina for sale that it has no low E in the LH. To make it easy, the names of the notes are on the heads of the keys, the LH end is shown in pic no 12 (only). Diagrams of 39-key Maccann key layouts in Maccan's own New Instruction Method and Gaskins chording book on concertina.com show no E, though Gaskins' wording gives some indication that this may not apply to every specific instrument. Every 46-key I have seen has this E, and it is shown in the diagrams in the same books mentioned above, though I think some early models may lack it.
  8. The reason that a 39-key Maccann isn't much more use than a chocolate teapot (and a chocolate teapot isn't totally useless, you can eat it) is as follows. It is such a compromised instrument that the price you can get for it is so low it isn't economic to overhaul it into good playing order. So none of them ever are overhauled into good playing order, except very rarely by mistake by someone who didn't realise it wasn't worth doing. So they are never really in sufficiently good playing order. A 42-key Crane has a much more useful selection of keys on it to be a useful beginners instrument than the Maccann, though the 35-key Crane is sufficiently compromised to be not worth overhauling. There is actually quite a big difference in philosophy between the Elise and the 39-Maccann: the Elise doesn't even pretend to be chromatic, it has a very limited selection of accidentals, so it does at least have a broad selection of white notes. Whereas the 39-Maccann is nearly fully chromatic, and it in having all those accidentals the range is very limiting, especially in the left hand. It has a low C to give the impression of having a broad range in the left hand, but the next note up is an F, so even to play a C-maj chord you have to have a high E. It is actually more difficult to make good use of this concertina than one with more keys, so it isn't really much of a beginner instrument.
  9. It's a 39-key Maccann, which is only slightly more useful than a chocolate teapot. He's actually got 8 bids up to £200. Do you think someone would pay that to cannibalise the reeds?
  10. He has now realised he is selling a duet, and he has apparently realised that these do not sell at the price of anglos. But he clearly hasn't researched the prices that 46-key Maccanns actually sell at, as he has reduced it only to £1950. That 58-key is much more interesting.
  11. Ivan Viehoff


    The new auction with the £4,600 price is here (he posts so he knows where to look next time). http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wheatstone-50-Key-Vintage-Anglo-Aeola-Concertina-C-G-/170954997883?_trksid=p2047675.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D11%26meid%3D4084378833523621385%26pid%3D100011%26prg%3D1005%26rk%3D2%26sd%3D170952544260%26 I observe that his arrangements for shipping it to you provide for €2,000 of insurance within Ireland, or £2,500 to UK. Which is the first time I've come across a dealer suggesting you should insure something for less than he wants you to pay for it. My explanation is that he has a target margin he aims to earn, where the base for that margin is his total acquisition and selling costs. So each time he pays for a non-selling auction, his target price for selling it goes up. Also there is general phenomenon in human behaviour called "loss aversion" - people so hate making losses that they may fail to follow a sensible policy of cutting their losses, and take a more risky course of action instead, in the hope of avoiding a loss. One of the characteristics of successful stock investors and professional gamblers is that they overcome the human tendency to loss aversion.
  12. Ivan Viehoff


    Didn't sell, now relisted with starting bid at £4,500. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Wheatstone-50-Key-Anglo-Aeola-Concertina-C-G-/170952544260?_trksid=p2047675.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D11%26meid%3D3894564161215125141%26pid%3D100011%26prg%3D1005%26rk%3D1%26sd%3D170947167606%26
  13. Ivan Viehoff


    Upwards. It's really lucky for him he hadn't had any bids yet, he might have been at risk of selling it for too little money.
  14. Ivan Viehoff


    Another bizarre technique he has employed is cancelling the auction part way through because he didn't like the way it was going, hadn't got high enough fast enough for his tastes. On that occasion he advertised it with a low minimum bid and thus actually attracted bids. On every other occasion he has only advertised it with high minimum bids, more than he originally paid for it himself on ebay, and he has not got a single bid each time he has done that. You'd almost think he didn't want to sell it.
  15. Ivan Viehoff


    One of his particular novelties is readvertising it at a higher price each time it fails to sell. He has presumably paid so many ebay commissions for failed sales he feels he needs to sell it for more each time it fails to sell. You wouldn't think a 1920s C/G Aeola needed any protection from a high starting bid, would you? It's bound to obtain attention and sell at a fair price, the only question is what the fair price would be. Since we hadn't seen it for quite a while, I tended to assume he'd managed to off-load it elsewhere. He has this term. So do many respectable sellers. "This item is for sale elsewhere and may be withdrawn from here if there is a higher bid elsewhere." I've only sold about 3 things on ebay, but one of my auctions was taken down by them because I had such a term on the grounds that it was an infringement of their rules. Maybe they tolerate it in sufficiently established sellers.
  16. C Staff doesn't really work as a musical joke, because it's called a C clef http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clef and C staff is not even how people say it casually. The singing teacher at my school, Mr F Sharp, now that's another matter.
  17. The first bid came with just 14 mins to go.
  18. The Fugue in C major by Shostakovich, from his 24 Preludes and Fugues, is written on just the white notes. I can't think of any other piece of "serious" piece of music written without an accidental.
  19. I presume the seller's note that he is "unfamiliar with this kind of instrument" was an attempt to discourage questions. But someone already asked a question and got a polite and useful response.
  20. As well as the large offsettings in the 4th column, there is also some smaller offsettings in the 5th and 6th columns, though cols 1, 2, 3 look pretty straight.
  21. A general feature of financial crashes is reductions in asset prices. It isn't just houses, and stocks and shares, it tends to be just about everything, including concertinas. The exception, perhaps, is gold and government bonds of governments we believe won't default (the leading economies didn't default even in the Great Depression - UK, USA and a few other wealthy plaices haven't defaulted for at least 200 years), because this remains the final thing that people flee to mistrusting all other assets. It takes a long time for the other assets to recover their prices, and in the case of assets that went through a bubble, like housing, nothing like those peak prices may be seen again in our lifetime.
  22. The function of dealers is to connect buyers and sellers who would otherwise find it difficult to find each other, often because they are not buying and selling at the same time. So they gamble by buying stuff that they think they will eventually sell for a sufficient profit. So in normal mode a dealer would buy anything that that was going "cheap" in relation to what he was accustomed to be able to sell it for, on the assumption that a customer would come along eventually for something like the "usual price". His only constraint would be the amount of capital he has to lock up in stock, and what he thinks the overall volume of the market is. In a weakening market, a dealer will find his sales slowing, and also, he might have actually accelerated his purchases, because he kept on finding himself the only person willing to buy at a price he thought a bargain. Finding himself thus overstocked, if he is rich enough, or more accurately liquid enough, he can gamble it will all come round in time, hold on to the stock, and hope to make a lot more money than trying to sell now, if indeed the market turns in time for him to survive the reduced income in the mean time. Given the crash has been going on since 2007, he may have even tried the "hold on and wait" tactic for several years already. If you can't just sit there and wait for the market to recover, you have to turn your stock into cash at a reasonable speed at the price the market can endure. He may even be engaged in the process of trying to find out what that price now is.
  23. To get back to the original point, the fact that Algar failed to sell the Middle C-55 key Maccann at £900, nor £850 at last check, is perhaps a strong indication of how very weak the Maccann market has become in present economic conditions. A few years ago he would have had little difficulty getting £1300+ for it. I bet some people who paid such sums for their 57-keys are feeling twinges of regret. Though this particular concerting does have a marketing problem. I must confess I lost interest as soon as I saw "55-key" and never even got to the end of the line. He should really have called it a "57-key with 2 keys missing" or a "Middle C-55-Key", to get its wonderful advantage clearly up front. Btw, I don't believe estimates of only around 70 Maccannics. I've come across a few here and there in folk groups and Morris dance troupes. So they can't really be that rare.
  24. I read an article recently suggesting that scammers need to be fairly obvious about it to be successful. The point is that if you are obvious about it, any enquiries come from the gullible who are more likely to move on to have their money extracted from them. If you are less obvious about it, the enquiries are much more numerous, and many contacts will lead nowhere as the less gullible start to smell the smell, thus wasting a lot of the scammer's time. Though of course on ebay very obvious scams are removed byu the managemetn before they can go to completion.
  25. You've got this the wrong way around as far as this forum is concerned. For me the surprise takes the form "Prominent concertina expert turns out to be household name software writer."
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