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Thread: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion needed

  1. #26
    Registered User Janos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Hi Roman,

    I don't know where you are located in The Netherlands. There are some good luthiers here. In Rotterdam there is Ad Vermeer: http://www.advermeer.nl. He is a great repairman. He studied building violins and knows a lot about mandolins, banjo's, dobro's and other string instruments.

    In Gemert you have Harry Boetzkes: http://www.hboetzkes.com/. He is a mandolin specialist.

    In Dedemsvaart there is the Fellowship of Acoustics: https://www.tfoa.eu/nl/. A huge guitar store with a great repairshop and a lot of knowledge.

    I am a professional mandolin player and these are the people I go to for repairs.

    Cheers, Janos
    New mandolin / double bass cd out! Check www.janoskoolen.nl

  2. #27

    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Janos, I haven't decided yet if i should disclosure the name of the "master". But if I will, you'll be surprised.

  3. #28

    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    I had some discussion with luthier in question.
    He agreed that he made a mistake. He suggested that I bring my instrument to him so he can fix it.
    In my opinion he made at least 2 mistakes. Damagin the finish (of circa 1924 instrument!) is one thing, trying to hide it from me is another.
    I'm not even mentioning the price of the CA bridge here.

    So i said I see no reason why he suddenly will be able to fix an instrument now while he cleary failed in the past.
    He agreed to return me the money I paid to him but no refund for damage or bridge. He seems to be more concerned about legal issues than about instrument itself or customer satisfaction. Well, it's his choice.

    On the positive side - now i have a good picture to test an eye and skill of a luthier. Next time I'll just show the picture of messed up bridge and ask - what's wrong with it?

    Another positive thing is Steve's (of Cumberland Acoustic) reaction - i have no words.

    Also, thank you everybody for advices and kind words - it really meant a lot to me.
    I'll keep you posted about my next steps.

  4. #29
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Keeping the name to yourself is admirable and totally up to you but, he inflicted unnecessary damage to a vintage piece through negligence and acted deceptively. He apparently has none of the honor you are affording him. Your choice but, I don't think I would but so gracious in "the public interest".
    Yes, ten points for Steve! I have never used any of his goods or services but, the fact that he's offered what he has shows what a stand up guy HE is!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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  6. #30
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    the work hurts my eyes!

    What a drag. . .

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '84 1N, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  7. #31
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Purely my thoughts after fitting a CA bridge to a once owned mandolin having never done it before - it's easy - IF !!.

    You need to be clear regarding what needs to be done to fit the bridge. For those of us who don't have easy access to the bridge fitting jig offered by Steve,i'd recommend sanding the bridge from 'side to side' as i did & as a few well known luthiers also do. Remove the saddle to keep the centre of gravity low,& if you take care to check at regular intervals,you'll do a good job in fitting the foot to the top of the mandolin.

    If you need to cut / re-cut the slots for 'whatever reason',use a sharp blade to cut shallow 'vee' shaped slots. I used a scalpel & cut the slots just deep enough to prevent the strings from slipping out of them. I angled the slots back towards the tailpiece very slightly. The strings soon bedded in & formed the slots to their own shape. I had no problems with buzzing, rattling etc. The effort was well worth it. The volume increased,as did the clarity of the G & D strings,making the mandolin as a whole sound much nicer, & hats off to Steve for his generous offer,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
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  8. #32
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    I know of two luthiers that also teach and they do some times have students do the work and then they check it out, in this case it seems that might have been what went down here and just maybe he was too busy to do a good check after the work was completed...

    I would take Steve up on his offer to send a new bridge but also allow the luthier to try and "fix" the old one....

    Willie

  9. #33

    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie Poole View Post
    I know of two luthiers that also teach and they do some times have students do the work and then they check it out, in this case it seems that might have been what went down here and just maybe he was too busy to do a good check after the work was completed...
    I don't think this is the case here.
    When i was at his workshop i've noticed that saddle is lying on the base so I asked him was it necessary to do it like this. Wouldn't it be more correct to leave some space between. He said that he was "going for a sound".
    During our phone call he admitted that he made a mistake and that he didn't know how to shorten the posts. His solution was to let them damage the finish and wood of the top. I wish he'd just called me and asked what I want him to do, but he's probably too experienced for this simple solution.
    Last edited by Roman Pekar; Sep-14-2017 at 12:40pm.

  10. #34

    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman Pekar View Post
    And by the way, if you know really trusted luthier in Netherlands (well ok, I can even travel to Belgium/France/Germany) - please let me know. I need a new nut as well and this I probably can't do myself
    If you are just slightly handy, you CAN do many jobs yourself. It is a matter of having the right tools. Over the years I've managed to build up my tool collection. Invest in a set of nut files, and you can turn out a decent nut out of a bone blank, and given the quality of pro work you have available, that is the direction I'd go in.

    There is a lot of info out there. Start with Rob Meldrum's free e book, then go to Frets.com for Frank Ford's knowledge. I'd also visit the Rosa Stringworks YouTube site,maybe buy a cheapo mandolin to practice on.

    I've learned bridge setup, fret leveling and nut work from online sources, as well a crack repair. Go for it.
    Silverangel Econo
    Michael Kelly LSFTB

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  12. #35

    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    If you are just slightly handy, you CAN do many jobs yourself. It is a matter of having the right tools. Over the years I've managed to build up my tool collection. Invest in a set of nut files, and you can turn out a decent nut out of a bone blank, and given the quality of pro work you have available, that is the direction I'd go in.

    There is a lot of info out there. Start with Rob Meldrum's free e book, then go to Frets.com for Frank Ford's knowledge. I'd also visit the Rosa Stringworks YouTube site,maybe buy a cheapo mandolin to practice on.

    I've learned bridge setup, fret leveling and nut work from online sources, as well a crack repair. Go for it.
    I'm spending time on my family/kids, work and playing music with friends. If I add some other activity there I have to reduce time spent on previous items in the list and I guess it would be playing music. So my preference would be (if I'd had a choice) is to pay for luthier's work and spend my time playing.
    Also from my life experience I know that in each skill there're a lot of small things which are hard to guess if you never encountered this and that's why I'd prefer experienced person to work on my instruments.

    But taking into account my situation (and the fact that I cannot play my instrument anyway cause I need a new bridge first) I could start building up my collection of right tools.

  13. #36
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    From Roman - "....didn't know how to shorten the posts.". I'm really amazed that a luthier didn't know how to do something so basic as that.
    I had to reduce the height of my Weber bridge a few years ago. It had bottomed out,so my only alternative was to remove the saddle inc. the integral posts & to sand the 2 raised areas on top of the bridge foot where the wheels rest. Having reduced the thickness by about 3/32",i had to cut down the threaded posts which i did by clamping the saddle in a small vice & filing the posts down.

    That a so-called skilled luthier didn't know how to do a similar thing, & then to botch cutting the string slots is beyond belief. I'm no luthier,but in the past i've restored /renovated a few dozen banjos - a few in very poor shape,by using my common sense ( & the facilities that i had in my place of work at that time). If a banjo was in such bad condition that it was beyond me to fix,i left it alone.
    As i said,fitting a new bridge is simple if you think through what you're going to do before you do anything. In this case Roman's been badly let down by a luthier who's common sense should have told him to do exactly the same - leave it alone. There's no shame in admitting that you can't do a particular job. Contrast that with proving what an idiot you are by making a lousy job of it !,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  14. #37

    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for all your help, just wanted to let you know that I had a week-long heated discussion with luthier (and his financial advisor) and he's really concerned much more about legal point of view and do not wish to return me the costs of the bridge or refund the damage.
    So if you need to add one name to your black list of the luthiers - ask me about it.

  15. #38
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Ok, he's ready to be the southbound end or a northbound mule, I think the guy should be outed right here! It's the fact that he inflicted serious damage to an instrument, tried to disguise it then, is not willing to make it right when he's been found out?
    The guy is less than the honorable sort most often shared here. As my grand son might say"Blast him!"
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  16. #39
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    And with all due respect to the luthier, perhaps he should be given opportunity to convey his side of the story.

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  18. #40

    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Quote Originally Posted by fscotte View Post
    And with all due respect to the luthier, perhaps he should be given opportunity to convey his side of the story.
    I'm 100% agree with this. As much as I want to be objective, my instrument sustained damage and I lost some money, and this of course could affect my point of view.
    But I've sent link to this thread to him at the very beginning. I don't know what else can I do.

  19. #41
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Point well taken.
    As the images have been posted and damage clearly shown, I might think the luthier in question might feel a need to post his side of the story as well. The name has been dropped in the other thread so, it seems the opportunity for his defense is there.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  20. #42
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Guys, while I am not a moderator or anything, I think it's a good idea to remind you of the forum rules before you go down this path. I'm pretty sure Scott doesn't want the Cafe used for public disputes between a customer and a business.

    Grievances, personal and corporate: The Cafe discussion forum is intended to be a nurturing community. While it is fair game discussing vendor corporate policies, public malevolent harassment of individuals, including posting names, email address, or any other personal contact information will not be tolerated. For example, a concern about a manufacturer's warranty policy or a reseller's return policy is permissible. Using the forum to malign or leverage personal advantage in a conflict is strictly forbidden. Though intent or motivation are not always provable, the moderators reserve full right in deeming whether or not comments made are consistent with policy, and may take action to edit, delete, or when necessary, revoke posting privileges.
    Keep that skillet good and greasy all the time!

  21. #43
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Good point, I will refrain from further comment on this one.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  22. #44
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Absolutely spot on Tobin - but i got the impression that Roman was asking our advice regarding what he could maybe do to gain some recompence for the damage & loss of cash. He hasn't named the luthier - i did PM him myself to warn him off that (i think he knew anyway). Other than consult a lawyer - is there much else ha can do ?,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
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  23. #45

    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    Absolutely spot on Tobin - but i got the impression that Roman was asking our advice regarding what he could maybe do to gain some recompence for the damage & loss of cash. He hasn't named the luthier - i did PM him myself to warn him off that (i think he knew anyway). Other than consult a lawyer - is there much else ha can do ?,
    Ivan
    I hope I didn't break any forum rules and my intention was to get an advice on the quality of the job. I trust my eyes but it's nice to have an expert opinion. I'm not getting compensation for damage but I got money I paid for his job back.

    The only thing I'm looking forward now is finally play it and finally record some video for the cafe So I'll try not to revive this thread unless I have some

  24. #46

    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Okay, it looks like we are about to enter Phase Two of this ordeal. I just sent the replacement bridge to Roman. I forgot that it was originally a bit of a custom bridge, having a mandola bridge base, coupled to a mandolin bridge saddle, and a pretty low overall height, esp. for a mandola bridge base (which are usually quite a bit taller). However, we did the lowering this time and I included shorter threaded posts. All this to make good-and-sure nobody jabs the posts into the top this time. Shouldn't be a problem though, as it sounds like Roman has found a better person to take it to this time, even if it does involve a trip to Germany.

    Here's how the bridge looked right before I boxed it up and sent it off to Oegstgeest . . .

    Click image for larger version. 

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  26. #47
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Stars in your crown for the good will Steve!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  27. #48

    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Well Tim, I don't know about that, but I do know that Roman notified me the other day via e-mail that he had received the replacement bridge I sent him. So now I guess we are waiting for him to get the bridge and his instrument to his new repair-person. As I recall, he is in Germany, and Roman is in the Netherlands, so this may take a bit of time.

    Fingers crossed, just for luck!

    Steve

  28. #49
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    No steve, you earned points by being a "stand up guy" and sending replacement parts for something which was damaged by some third party's poor workmanship. You get those goodwill points no matter what!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Default Re: Have new CA bridge installed by luthier - expert opinion need

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    No steve, you earned points by being a "stand up guy" and sending replacement parts for something which was damaged by some third party's poor workmanship. You get those goodwill points no matter what!
    Absolutely wish more businesses weren't just doing enough to get by and would try real customer service. Steve you have gone beyond the call of duty. I wish you happy returns for your service.

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