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Intentional open seams on new violin..????!!!
Bought violin from an violin shop online based here on US. Two have seams.
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rheya
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March 31, 2015 - 3:12 pm
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I am back. I got another violin. This time I bought it from a US violin shop.

I told them about the open seams on my violin. This is the second time they sent me violin ... it has seams on them again.

Anyway, here's what they told me via email. 

"This allows more resonation in your instrument, and can appear that the corners are slightly open. It is an imperfection in handmade instruments, and is sometimes done intentionally."

 I was just shocked. I didn't know that sometimes seams on violins are sometimes okay and made intentionally... Is this true?

I will make more updates to see what they will do about this.

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Schaick
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March 31, 2015 - 7:24 pm
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Say what?  I would think that open seams would cause unwanted vibrations and buzzes!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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augustoad
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March 31, 2015 - 9:55 pm
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Can you post a couple of pictures?

Skype: augustoad Email: augustoaguieiras@hotmail.com Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)

 

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rheya
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March 31, 2015 - 10:22 pm
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augustoad said
Can you post a couple of pictures?

This first violin they sent me was on sale. I accepted that it has cosmetic issues but not with freaking holes/seams on it.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93033794@N06/16994604061/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93033794@N06/16994103422/in/photostream/

I decided to exchange it with a different model (last pic) and this is the one they sent me for replacement. It is supposed to be new.  I thought they were just dusts accumulated there but when I blew on it and wiped it. Tadaaaaa..

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93033794@N06/16994604371/in/photostream/

I've never been this stressed. 

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rheya
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March 31, 2015 - 10:34 pm
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Schaick said
Say what?  I would think that open seams would cause unwanted vibrations and buzzes!!

That's what I've also heard and read online. 

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Uzi
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March 31, 2015 - 11:07 pm
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Would you like to share with us what store told you this? 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Fiddlestix
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April 1, 2015 - 1:54 am
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@rheya: They're feeding you a line of b/s. One can look at the instrument and tell it's not new.

I have a 130 violin and the saddle on it is in like new condition compared to the saddle on yours. I def wouldn't deal with these folks again.

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BillyG
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April 1, 2015 - 3:18 am
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Hmmm....  don't like the sound of this at all.   I've never constructed a violin, but I've sure watched videos of professional luthiers at work and have a pretty clear idea of the skills and technique that go into it.  As for "open holes" at points in the seam - quote "This allows more resonation in your instrument, and can appear that the corners are slightly open. It is an imperfection in handmade instruments, and is sometimes done intentionally."    Well, I am just astonished.    I would have thought that during construction, the ribs would have been glued "all the way around" the top and bottom plate and clamped together until the adhesive cures.  I don't see how anyone could, at that point in fabrication, decide to leave a spot un-glued on the basis that it "would allow more resonation" (is there actually such a word?) - besides - any such spot "left unglued" would, as the parts were clamped, simply close up as excess glue was extruded under the clamping pressure.

I'm working hard to understand it really.

I also notice that there appear to be scratches (although it could be a effect in the photo) on the chin rest where the post enters - as if it had be repeatedly taken off and refitted many times - it certainly doesn't look new to me -

scratch.JPG

The apparent gap in the rib seam at the end-post is where the two rib pieces are butt-joined and, internally, there is a small block (both to permit the gluing of the two rib pieces together, and to strengthen that area once the hole for the end pin is drilled).   The apparent gap in this area is (to me) doubly concerning - first - it might just be really sloppy finishing which you could just about accept (well, no, I wouldn't), but secondly, it could point to the fact that the internal block has split following being drilled and having the end-pin forced in - leading to the parting of the rib-joint you see in your pic - 

eb.JPG

 

  Well - I could be completely off track about all of this, and without holding the instrument you should take all I have said with a large pinch of salt - but - the point is - to me, it does not look right at all, and I would have much the same questions about it.

  If I was the customer and was as unhappy and uncertain about the situation as you are, then, as a consumer, I would insist on my statutory rights of refund in your own country, and look elsewhere.  You should expect many happy years of playing on any instrument you purchase, so you want to have an instrument you are completely confident with.

  That's my 2-cents worth - but hang on for more feedback from other folks - there was a similar thread some time back where someone had what appeared to be hair-line cracks on the top and bottom plates, also with internal "strengthening cleats" glued along the two-part bottom plate - the "cracks" in fact turned out to be no more than an "open grain" on the wood, and the internal blocks (along the internal seam of the two backplate pieces) apparently "not uncommon and added as extra strengthening" - I was "fooled" by that one myself, and came away having learned something new - so as I say - do hang on for more feedback from other folks.....  And good luck with it !

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I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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DanielB
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April 1, 2015 - 10:38 am
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I have never heard of seams being left open intentionally "to allow more resonation".  If they were to list that as a "selling point", I don't think it would attract customers.

And the violins in the pics don't look either new or properly glued.  Age can be harder to tell for sure from pics, since the "traditional" (I won't call it "natural", because it isn't) finish on most acoustic violins is intentionally "antiqued" to give an appearance of age and sometimes even wear.  But this would be the first time I saw that taken to the lengths of scuffing up the chinrest where the metal clamp post enters it.  As a guess, looks more like a used and returned instrument. 

I hope that their talk about "handmade instruments" doesn't mean they charged you a lot for this one?   

Getting the same kind of flaw twice in a row could indicate that the place doesn't actually even look over instruments before just shipping them out to fill orders.

If you can get a refund and try somewhere else, it might be a good idea.  Or at the least if they will only do a replacement, try to insist enough that they will look through their stock and find *you* one that doesn't have the open seams.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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rheya
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April 1, 2015 - 12:00 pm
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Uzi said
Would you like to share with us what store told you this? 

Yes, they're supposed to be reputable based from reviews. It's Kennedy Violins. I am sorting this out via email with them before going out and giving reviews about them. They seem pretty nice but this comment from one of the staff told me was just something I never heard of.

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rheya
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April 1, 2015 - 12:07 pm
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Thank you. I am too focused on those seams I never noticed those scratches. I am actually the same person who had those previous issues you mentioned.

Also, I compared that chinese violin to this violin I purchased from US and it is a shame that the chinese one seems to have a lot better construction. Yes, maybe there are some cosmetic issues but obviously there are no open seams on it. The sides are soooo clean.

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Fiddlerman
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April 1, 2015 - 12:12 pm
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Can you get anything to pass through those seams?
It can sometimes look like there is an open seam when in fact the violin is glued. You can usually get a piece of paper to enter a seam to test. Those look so small that you may not be able to do so though. To make a violin by hand normally takes around 300 hours so the fast assembly line construction methods that the factory (workshops) have tend to result in less than perfect instruments. That is not to say that they are bad.

The claim that openings in the seams are sometimes done intentionally is not even remotely true. Just that statement in itself merits a return. Behind the end button for example, the seam wouldn't actually pass all the way through because of the block.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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rheya
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April 1, 2015 - 12:19 pm
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I contacted them right after the first incident and told them my concerns and wants for the replacement. They were actually pretty nice through the process when I was choosing the violin but reminded them last time that even if the violin is flamy or beautiful they can just send me a different one in case there are any problems with the one I chose.

I usually inspect things I order online the first day I receive them but I got too confident with this one, since they said it is new. I played it for days and the bow it came with produces kind of weird rattling sound. At first I thought it was the fine tuners and that's when I inspected the violin and saw those rosin-like dusts accumulated at the bottom and thought.."well let me just clean this up..." wiped it off with a cloth and that's when I found those seams.

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rheya
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April 1, 2015 - 12:32 pm
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@fiddlerguy: The first two pics I sent them was from the same violin they first sent me. I was able to put a corner of their business card in it. That is how big it was. I am not really sure but it sounded to me via email that they're blaming me for doing that.

I told them those seams were already there and I just wanted to show it them. It was big enough for a non professional luthier to see it.

At the end button I am concern of the sloppy job that they made there and my other concern is the seam on the bottom (the one that looks like a line of dust), it is not obvious in pictures but upon close inspection and help of flashlight. It would be more obvious that there's an open seam there.

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Uzi
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If it were me, I'd ask to send the instrument back for a full refund. BTW, good idea on the flashlight.  If light can pass through the seem is open. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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rheya
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April 1, 2015 - 4:38 pm
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@BillyG 

Thank you. I am too focused on those seams I never noticed those scratches. I am actually the same person who had those previous concerns you mentioned.

Also, I compared that chinese violin to this violin I purchased from US and it is a shame that the chinese one seems to have a lot better construction. Yes, maybe there are some cosmetic issues but obviously there are no open seams on it. The sides are soooo clean.

Edit: Those are not scracthes, I checked it again and they're actually just pencil marks.

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Christine (moonlitday)
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April 1, 2015 - 6:41 pm
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Hi Rheya, 

 

I could see this happening if you bought perhaps an older instrument. But this is supposed to be brand new? I agree with Uzi, I'd send it back for a full refund and shop elsewhere. Open seams not acceptable for a brand new instrument - and what's going to happen as the instrument ages? If you get a dry season are they going to expand more? The comment alone about it being normal and allowing more resonance is utter bs - or likely an untrained employee. Either way, I wouldn't be happy. Sorry you've had such a poor experience; this journey is supposed to be a fun one!

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ElisaDalViolin
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April 1, 2015 - 8:37 pm
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I don't like the look of it (especially below the end bottom) but worse than the seams, it's the comment itself. I agree with the others. Send it back for a full refund, if you can. I hope this will be solved quickly and in the best way possible. 

 
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micra
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April 2, 2015 - 2:50 am
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Well, their policy says that if it's within 45 days of receipt you can return for full refund for any reason.  I wouldn't keep it, and I wouldn't engage in any further business with them, either.  You already gave them a second chance, and their response was - putting it nicely - lacking.  

rheya said

I usually inspect things I order online the first day I receive them but I got too confident with this one, since they said it is new. I played it for days 

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rheya
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April 3, 2015 - 1:36 pm
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Uzi said
If it were me, I'd ask to send the instrument back for a full refund. BTW, good idea on the flashlight.  If light can pass through the seem is open. 

Hello Uzi, I don't think I see any light that pass through inside the violin. But I use flashlight to inspect the seems as it is more obvious. 

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