June 1, 2013 at 03:43 PM · Is anyone else having trouble accessing the Maestronet site?


June 1, 2013 at 04:24 PM · I did for the last few days, but now it is working.

June 3, 2013 at 01:05 AM · Working OK five minutes ago.

June 3, 2013 at 01:16 AM · Isn't that the AOL of the violin world?

June 3, 2013 at 05:00 AM · Nate I fear "armchair violinists" are a large part of the audiences of the more athletic sort. As the French say, "don't spit in the soup"!!

June 3, 2013 at 05:14 AM · And Nate, where there are armchairs, arm rests will get used...

June 3, 2013 at 12:43 PM · Nate maybe you are talking about "the Fingerboard" blog, I don't know as I don't check that. But "the Pegbox" and "the Auction Scroll" have some very knowledgeable dealers and makers contribute including makers that do some quality research.

But maybe names like Roger Hargrave , Bruce Carlson, Jacob Saunders, Ben Hebbert, Jeffrey Holmes, Don Noon, David Burgess to name only a few don't mean much to you. Some makers like Marilyn Wallin use pseudonyms there.

June 6, 2013 at 01:28 PM · "And that list consists of about .05% of the top makers, dealers, authorities in the world."

I'll guess it's at least 200 times that figure. Not everyone posts under their real name.

June 6, 2013 at 04:08 PM · What's Maestronet?

June 6, 2013 at 05:09 PM · David I was wondering about that. And not everyone posts regularly for example C. Reuning. But I'm sure a lot of luthiers and dealers keep tabs on what's going on there. And are enjoying Jacob's crusty reactions.

June 6, 2013 at 08:03 PM · Hendrick, from my conversations with various people, I'll guess that at least 75% of the people in the luthier trade read it, or are furnished with highlights by others ("it" being the luthier geek subsections). seems to have a lot more activity involving players. I enjoy 'em both.

Regarding Mestronet, one well-known expert (who has never posted) was rather amused by a thread which asked what would happen to the state of violin expertise once he has passed away. You just never know who's reading stuff. LOL

June 6, 2013 at 08:14 PM · I signed up on Maestronet a long time ago because I wanted to ask a question, but I never did receive the email you have to get before you can start using the site, so I gave up. (Yes, I checked my spam folder, both in Outlook and on AT&T's web mail).

The same thing happened with another non-violin forum I tried to sign up for that was supposed to send out an email. In that case, I even contacted AT&T (my internet/email service provider) to find out if the site was blocked for some reason, but it wasn't. I never got it working.

Did anybody else here ever have this problem with Maestronet?

June 6, 2013 at 08:38 PM · I think there's room on the Internet for all of us!

June 7, 2013 at 11:23 AM · "I hoghly doubt 75% of the people in the violin trade even read English, let alone maestronet!!"

That's not quite what I said, but thanks anyway.

Even when I was in China, some makers and students who didn't speak English brought up some of the content.

June 7, 2013 at 12:53 PM · So I'm accused of trolling in murky waters using a red herring am I? Or am I just being baited?

Geez-- it was just a simple question.

June 7, 2013 at 05:33 PM · You may have noticed that the question doesn't matter much. What matters is what people feel like posting.

June 7, 2013 at 06:27 PM · Well, I for one have found the Pegbox part useful, with questions and answers on "fiddling with fiddles" that I just don't find elsewhere; a genuine and refreshing inquisitiveness..

June 7, 2013 at 06:46 PM · Didn't you like all the phishing analogies?

I just hate using smiley faces.

June 7, 2013 at 06:47 PM · M.L. Scott perhaps Obama and the NSA accidentally erased the e-mail from Maestronet, after reading it.

June 7, 2013 at 08:07 PM · One issue with blogs like Maestronet pegbox is: it is hard to know the level of expertise of the posters unless they give their real name and you can figure it out. Or if you have been following the site for a long time and you get an idea from the responses whether a particular person is taken seriously or not. For example " Addie" seems to be a poster with at least a reasonable background. Maybe she is a luthier , or a dealer, or a violinist dealing on the side: who knows.

June 7, 2013 at 09:58 PM · I wish I knew that much.

June 8, 2013 at 12:06 AM · Tells you how much I know.

June 8, 2013 at 12:36 PM · [QUOTE=Hendrik]One issue with blogs like Maestronet pegbox is: it is hard to know the level of expertise of the posters unless they give their real name and you can figure it out. Or if you have been following the site for a long time and you get an idea from the responses whether a particular person is taken seriously or not. ... [/QUOTE]

But that's the way of it anywhere. There are a number of posters on that write very well and sound very authoritative. And then it comes to light that they're enthusiastic beginners and have played all of two months

While I appreciate the enthusiasm and the learning curve, they sometimes also offer 'off' advice...

I agree with for everyone on the web...and read everything with a bit of least until you confirm the information passed on...

June 8, 2013 at 01:02 PM · Yes, and use lots of LOLs and emoticons so people know that you are often pulling their legs.

June 8, 2013 at 03:42 PM · I love emoticons...they help to keep the message clear...AND they're adorable...


June 8, 2013 at 10:43 PM · Sometimes you can get good ideas from "nobodies" and lousy ideas from "professionals" (and often the "professionals" don't even agree with one another anyway). I think good advice is good advice whatever the origin and like to trust but verify.

June 9, 2013 at 12:09 PM · 'Nobody' is a nobody. We're all important...and our opinions are valid given what level we're at. However some beginners manage to sound like experts...and they're not. (Not yet anyway...:D )

And yes, some pros give out poor advice too.

Which brings me to a question: When does someone become an 'expert'?

June 9, 2013 at 03:59 PM · Possibly when the other experts say s/he can join the club?

I discovered a usefully pragmatic definition of "expert" several years ago at a committee meeting at work, when the chairman turned to me and said, "Trevor, you know more about X than anybody else here. Can you give us your opinion?" So Muggins had to come back from his reverie and do just that.

June 9, 2013 at 07:10 PM · I am still more interested in the "truth" (which is not always absolute), rather than who says it or how. You are really talking about an issue of trust, but that does not negate the person saying something and is a personal dilemma.

EDIT: I do personally like the sentiment that "nobody is a nobody" but if the value of what someone says depends on who they are perceived to be rather than the content then I think you must admit the possibility that someone may be regarded as a nobody.

Also, perhaps it is just me, but I don't personally understand why people have to keep stating on this site things to the effect of "be careful to whom you listen" as opposed to discussing/debating the content itself, unless it is an admission of impotence (and I really do not mean that to be rude).

June 10, 2013 at 08:05 AM · "Also, perhaps it is just me, but I don't personally understand why people have to keep stating on this site things to the effect of "be careful to whom you listen" as opposed to discussing/debating the content itself,..."


Time constraints, perhaps? Thorough answers to some questions would require writing pages and pages, or maybe a book.

There are also one or several on any forum who will seemingly debate something endlessly, with such a large emotional investment in their position, that it can seem pointless to attempt to engage on a practical level. Or perhaps they are just conflict addicts.

In contrast, there can be many on a forum with a strong track record of providing solid information, demonstrating admirable processing skills and learning curves, both pro and amateur. One certainly does need to be careful about sources of information, and I believe that good sorting skills are essential, particularly on the internet.

Since Eric Meyer was the original poster in this thread, I'll use him as an example: I, personally, would tend to give extremely high credibility to anything he has to say about instrument accessories. Not only does he have a lot of historical research in his background, but he has had extensive interaction with, and feedback from a lot of high-level restorers and makers who have used his products.

On the other hand, you might get some guy on a forum who insists that the tapping pitch of a peg needs to be the same as the pitch of the string that's wound on it. Probably not worth taking on. Physicists here will immediately see some inherent problems with the idea. Sorting skills.

June 10, 2013 at 10:50 AM · I do not disagree with your third paragraph as it refers to the information content someone provides. I also think one can only really protect oneself from misinformation (or seek opinion) but I think "caveat emptor" goes without saying and isn't itself a counter argument.

I don't think an in depth explanation is usually necessary, just a statement of disagreement and pointing people to why is enough.

I understand what you say about "emotional investment" (that too is not an argument for or against anything). I used to have a PhD in something or other....., so don't mind cogent argument and once had a very nasty experience with a professor who had an emotional reaction to being proved wrong, even though it prevented him publishing nonsense.

On the other hand it can get irritating when someone, rather than pulling you up on a fact, just says...well you know, especially if they do not necessarily know more than you do.

I remember one of my first forays on here when an idea was dismissed out of hand because dictionaries are useless "crib sheets" or something and a 60 page mathematical treatise involving advanced group theory was thrown in by someone I am pretty sure had never read or understood it. It was at least a good read and I still refer to it :-).

June 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM · "I don't think an in depth explanation is usually necessary, just a statement of disagreement and pointing people to why is enough."

I agree that this works with most people. With a few, however, their interaction history shows a propensity to mischaracterize or ignore the explanation of "why", and continue on with their argument. Or they might move on to adamantly assert something else which is also pretty well disproven. This can lead to a form of debate (arguing) which is really low on "bang for the buck". When one believes there is an extreme history like this, it can be a convenient form of shorthand to simply advise readers to,

"Be careful about your sources", or "check out what both sides are getting in terms of results".

June 10, 2013 at 07:09 PM · "The biggest problem seems to be people who would have you believe they are experts when they are not, regular readers seem to be aware of these fakes, but first time posters are usually oblivious of who to believe."


Not unlike any open forum. That's why the emphasis on sorting skills.

June 10, 2013 at 09:23 PM · When you guys talk about physics are you speaking as experts or "fakes"?

Not trying to be rude, it would not be my chosen word. Just trying to flesh out the argument.

EDIT: for physics you may read DAT if you like ;-)

June 10, 2013 at 11:14 PM · I think David makes a good point; any information you get on the Internet requires some sorting skills, whether it's on this forum or Maestronet or any other, whether it's about violin or something else entirely. For example the Internet can get you quite terrified and convinced you're dying, over a simple mole on your nose.

June 10, 2013 at 11:36 PM ·

June 11, 2013 at 12:25 AM · Well, here you can click on anyone's name and see their credentials. As long as they are truthful!

June 11, 2013 at 01:01 AM · What if their teacher really did tell them that (whatever it was)!

Even scarier. I've seen threads (not just here) from people learning only a couple of years wanting to teach and being encouraged to do it.

Even Carl Flesch talked about professionals with a peculiar "idée fixé" which they may propagate to students and his own teaching was Russian hold and finger stroke at bow changes, the former which did not take off as he thought and the later which he apparently later regretted emphasising (I think I heard that last bit here, so it might be wrong or bs :-.)) BTW that is a mole on Smiley's nose.

....and don't get me started on economists.

maybe we should start a thread only for experts to advise on SR's and see the fur fly.

June 11, 2013 at 01:18 AM ·

June 11, 2013 at 03:44 AM · Eugenia you do realise that the founder of Alexander Technique was himself a violinist/physiotherapist/psychologist/doctor?

No, wait, he was just a Tasmanian actor!

According to wikipedia a Dr Ernst Jokl, Director of Physical Education to the South African Government, and a writer on the physiology of exercise called his technique 'a dangerous and irresponsible form of quackery' for which he was sued for libel by Alexander. I am sure there would have been others saying "be careful who you listen to".

It is an interesting article if you haven't read it.

It took an actor to come up with such an advance! Luckily for you and many others I guess, some professionals even took him seriously.

This is why I truly believe it is best to target the ideas rather than the proponent, even if that can be difficult. That is really all I mean to say.

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