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Thread: Matt Umanov Guitars (NYC) to Close

  1. #26
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Matt Umanov Guitars (NYC) to Close

    When did this thread become about Elderly?

    We're talking about Umanov's closing. Someone's experience with another dealer is not just a hijack, it's totally out of bounds.

    Several good posts on experience with Umanov, who sure wasn't cheap, but apparently had some of the old "stop in, hang out, play some of the merchandise" vibe. I think of Harry Tuft and the Denver Folklore Center, Stu Cohen at Music Emporium, John Bernunzio and Dave Stutzman locally. Places you can meet local musicians, talk about the music scene, maybe make friends and get a dollar off on your next pack of strings ("good customer discount").

    Got a call from a guy yesterday; his daughter had given him a concertina as a present (wonder how she really feels about Dad?). He asked Dave Stutzman about it -- along the lines of "Whatthehell do I do with this?" -- and Dave suggested he call me, for sage advice, since I play concertina as well, and Dave knows, basically, nada about concertinas. Long story short, he has an Anglo*, I play English,* so I referred him elsewhere. Point being, if you've spent enough time in a particular shop, the owner knows you, and that's a good thing. Even if it means fielding concertina questions.

    Which is why I raised the point about how these shops are extensions of a particular owner's personality, and when that person retires or gives up running the place for whatever reason, many of them don't survive. Which is a pity.

    *Different fingering systems; don't ask.
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  3. #27
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    Default Re: Matt Umanov Guitars (NYC) to Close

    Hey Allen, long story short, discussion about Umanov's precipitated bringing up the names of other stores, which opened the door for some with an apparent axe to grind. As for my own participation in that sub thread, I strongly felt that there needed to be a defense of and a counterpoint for the things that were being said about a particular business. Stuff like that which was posted cannot go unanswered. But Scott has wisely brought an end to all that. I'm sure everyone is grateful for that.

    I have been to NYC a couple of times but was never able to fit a trip to Umanov's into my schedule. Unfortunately it looks like I never will. However, I did make the trek to Manfolin Brothers and saw Les Paul perform twice!
    Don

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  5. #28
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Matt Umanov Guitars (NYC) to Close

    Along the lines of Umanov and inflated "NYCity prices," I recently purchased a very nice Apollonio 12-string guitar from the estate of a friend here in Rochester, who departed much too early via cancer. He had bought it from another owner, a Hudson Valley folkie who ended up with it after a divorce, and wanted to sell it. She had it, and two/three other guitars, appraised as part of the divorce settlement, apparently by Matt Umanov.

    As a result of the appraisal, she valued the Apollonio at $4K, and my friend bought it from her at slightly less than that. I offered my friend's sister $2.5K for it, and bought it at that price. Funny thing is, Nick Apollonio sells them new for $2.4K! So Umanov's appraisal was wildly high, and I got a (very lightly) used 12-string for a bit more than I would have paid for a new one.

    Oh well, I got an excellent hard-shell case, a stand, and a mounted internal mic, so no complaints. But it does point out that Matt U was not a "low-baller" when it came to instrument prices.
    Allen Hopkins
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    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
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    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  6. #29
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    Default Re: Matt Umanov Guitars (NYC) to Close

    Hmmm.. me thinks this has something to do with appraised value vs actual value, aka street price. Umanov was simply doing a formal appraisal. Now, granted some research into what the new price for the same thing would have been better, but we see all the time different "values" for the same instrument. Take our Classifieds for example. More and more we are seeing things like "I'll take 1600 cash for this, but I am open to trades. Trade value is 2000." So, we have appraised value (for insurance purposes as well as divorce settlements), trade value, book value (according to the standard reference books), and of course market value, what someone is actually willing to pay for it. We see the same thing in the non musical world too. Many times we see on Antiques Roadshow something like "at auction it should bring 15-25 thousand dollars, but I would recommend you insure it for a minimum of 50 thousand". So, the value of the instrument is kind of a fluid thing.

    Since it was an appraisal, Mr. Umanov probably was erring on the high side because he assumed it was for insurance purposes, where valuation is often, shall we say, optimistic. In the case of the Hudson Valley Folkie, it would seem that she failed to realize the difference between appraised value and real value.

    By the way, Hudson Valley Folkies would be a great band name!
    Don

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  8. #30
    Registered User Tom Haywood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Matt Umanov Guitars (NYC) to Close

    Great person and great store.
    Last edited by Tom Haywood; Oct-06-2017 at 8:40pm.
    Tom

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Matt Umanov Guitars (NYC) to Close

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    However, I did make the trek to Manfolin Brothers and saw Les Paul perform twice!
    I am assuming that those are two separate events, unless you saw Les Paul play twice at Mandolin Brothers?
    Jim

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  10. #32
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    Default Re: Matt Umanov Guitars (NYC) to Close

    Um, yea, sorry for my clumsy grammar. I should know better.

    I saw Les Paul perform twice at the Iridium Club in Manhattan. The trip to Mandolin Brothers in Staten Island was a separate event.
    Don

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    Default Re: Matt Umanov Guitars (NYC) to Close

    I too am somewhat sad to see this store go. However it is not due to the financial pressures of NYC or the hard times of a bricks and mortar store. The owner simply wants to retire. He owns the building so rent is not an issue.

  12. #34
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Matt Umanov Guitars (NYC) to Close

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevin View Post
    I too am somewhat sad to see this store go. However it is not due to the financial pressures of NYC or the hard times of a bricks and mortar store. The owner simply wants to retire. He owns the building so rent is not an issue.
    Wonder if he has tried to sell the business to someone else? If he owns the building I assume he would like to liquidate that also for his retirement?
    Bernie
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    Default Re: Matt Umanov Guitars (NYC) to Close

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Fagan View Post
    Then when Andy Statman's name came up....
    In about '74 or 5 there was a little piece of paper tacked to a post in Matt's store that read, "The Brooklyn College of Bluegrass Knowledge," and a phone number for Andy. From that number came a few years of lessons with Andy, including one at 1 AM after he was done with a gig. Still not a day goes by that I don't think of that genius musician and great teacher.

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