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Calling violin experts - WDYT of this violin
To buy or not to buy?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Anemonefish

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:43 PM

My DD has been learning violin at school this year. She's had a school violin on loan for the year but if she wants to continue next year, she needs to have her own violin. I was going to look around for 2nd hand ones, but I just had a quick look on eBay and found this one:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/VALENCIA-SV112-...=item43b51bc1cb

Violin experts, can you please tell me if this is an OK brand to buy for a beginner?

I know absolutely nothing about violins (other than that I can't afford a Stradivarius!), and I think DD's violin teacher has finished for the year so I probably won't be able to ask him about it. So, if there are any violin experts out there, can you tell me if this is an OK brand to buy for a beginner. I don't want to spend too much as she'll probably need to upgrade to a full size violin in a couple of years (plus we are a little broke at the moment), but I'd rather spend a bit more than this for a better one if this one is crap.

#2 livvie7586

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:52 PM

I know nothing about the brand OP, but i always preferred to try mine out before i bought them (in saying that my first full sized was brand new, but i was told i was very, very lucky to get a great violin out of the brand).

personally i'd go secondhand, only because you can actually see the violin before you buy it (or buy it instore, again it means you can see it), it also means (at times) you can get a great violin for a cheap price (my main full size is well over 150 years old, and with repairs cost under $1000, not that you are looking for something that expensive, but i know mine is valued at much more than what we paid)

#3 ms.g

Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:59 PM

I'm going to say the same as Poet. We bought DD hers from a specialist violin maker. He sells a few types (not all made by him) and will trade in if you bought from him, so trading up to a larger size will not cost as much.
The process to choose one was amazing. We booked an appt. DD got to hear a woman in the store play a few of them. She then chose 4 to try. She had to play each one and eliminate the ones she did not like. We were able to choose the most comfortable shoulder rest and the case that she wanted and they were happy to 'pick and mix' from what was there.
She ended up choosing a second hand violin which was the same price as a new one, but was "three times as good" in quality and reputation. Having watched the whole process, we were happy for her to choose whichever she wanted. I'm sure we could have asked them to only bring out the cheaper ones, though.
It cost $450 or so for hers, which was certainly not the cheapest. I think there was one for $150 there. I am happy knowing I can trade in for the next size up.
If you're in Melbourne I can recommend the place. original.gif
ms.g

#4 BlondieUK

Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:05 PM

Calling Quill.......Quill!.....Quill!!   wink.gif

#5 Anemonefish

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:19 AM

Thanks for your replies. Unfortunately, living in a regional city, we don't have much of a choice here. There's only one music store that sells violins and they only have one that is in my price range (around $200). I did some online searching and didn't find any 2nd hand violins locally.

I've decided not to get the eBay one, it does seem too cheap, and I agree that it's probably best to see/try before we buy. My DD is still at the stage where she can't get a beautiful sound out of her violin yet, but she enjoys playing and I don't want her to be put off by a crap violin. She still has her school violin, not sure when they have to give them back, so I'll keep looking for a 2nd hand one, perhaps even in Brisbane (we'll be visiting family there in Jan), failing which, I'll just get a new one at our local music store.

#6 =R2=

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:56 AM

If you're in Brisbane, this shop is great at outfitting children with brand new violins. They give great advice with selecting an instrument as they all play a stringed instrument.

Simply For Strings

We got DD's second hand from a friend but she bought it from here:

Mau Music

Mau Music are more a general music store though so not sure of the depth of their expertise with the instruments that they sell. We're very happy with the Stentor student violins though as a brand (DD plays a 1/2 size Stentor Graduate). DH has been playing violin and viola and is a member of the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra (amateur orchestra) and he was very happy with the quality of the violins and sound from both places above.

Hope that helps.



#7 Quill

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:24 PM

Hi OP.

You can try the Gligor brand, which retails at about $450.00 for a 1/2 size violin outfit. Usually a good broad tone.  

The next brand down would be a Franz Josef, which should retail for $320.00 or so. The tone won't be quite as good, sounds a bit like a tin dingy. F Post placement can be pretty awful, as can the bow stick quality, which often has a bad warp of the stick.

JS Bach brand retails for $150 - $200. Bad tone. Bad bow quality. Awful F Post positioning. Lots of issues with the peg movement. It won't matter what strings you use - nothing will improve it.

For a young violinist, while it might be tempting to go the really cheap violin, ultimately it's a false economy. There's no resale value in cheapies. If your child is serious, you'll get about 6 months of okay use, and then the child will be so frustrated with the awful sound quality they may give up - no matter how talented.

If you have any more questions, I'm happy to advise.

Cheers

G

Edited by Quill, 24 November 2012 - 01:41 PM.


#8 barrington

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:31 PM

DS's violin teacher has recommended either Simply for Strings (link posted by a PP) or Animato.






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