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VIOLINSMART ???
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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cancelx07
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October 24, 2013 - 3:30 pm
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Hey all.

So, I've decided to get a new "cheap" violin. Straight up, I'm definitely only in the $70 market, one for me and one for brother.

 

So right away, I'm not up to standard with the general consensus on the forum that all is worthless garbage under $300, but that's just where I am.  Actually my brother made a $70 Mandolin out perform my $500 custom, so, not sure I follow the $$$ tells it all.  Hoping the same is with "some" violins.

 

In fact, to buy one from a local store it's $400 for plywood.

I'm looking at an online store and ebay store now called VIOLINSMART.

They have an ALL SOLID WOOD Violin, Maple back/sides, Solid carved Spruce Top with ROSEWOOD Pegs and Chinrest.  The Fingerboard I've seen listed as dyed hardwood, and also rosewood (I'm trying to find out now for sure).

 

Anyway, not sure the linking rules, so I won't.  

It's called an ARIA1851 MV02 Rosewood Violin

 

IF anyone could give me practical thoughts.  It IS intended to be a student violin.  I realize I could want to replace it after a year if I find I can actually "play" the violin somewhat well.  I DON'T want an unplayable dud.

??

Thanks

 

UPDATE:  The Fingerboard is dyed Hardwood.  Ok, that's a draw-back, but the Pegs are Rosewood instead of generic hardwood or maple. And it's a solid carved top. So, at least 2 plus.  And the price for it with digital tuner, case with humidity gauge, etc.... is $57 (regularly $150)

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RosinedUp
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October 24, 2013 - 5:36 pm
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First thing to know is that $57 probably is the regular price.  You're not likely to find somebody selling something like that by mail for $150.  So don't get in a hurry because of that supposed "special".

Second thing is that everything on it is going to be about as cheap as possible.  You could expect one or more of: fine tuners that break, a chinrest that falls off, a crummy bow, bridge and/or sound post that are out of whack, and the cheapest possible strings.

All that said, you can get and keep something like that in playable condition, and can learn on it.  But it will/would take some learning and work, and you should expect to pay a little money along the way.  BTDT

The better your instrument is, the easier it is to learn to play.

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wookieman
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October 24, 2013 - 5:37 pm
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I bought two Violinsmarts for my kids.  They actually seemed higher quality than the cheapo that I bought myself.  That being said, my kids haven't really done anything with them (unfortunate, I know), so I can not speak to much of anything else.  The ones they got seemed to have real rosewood fittings, not the painted fittings that mine has. 

Bottom line, if its all you can afford, its all you can afford, and it will get you started.  Mine got me started.  Now that violin is my practice luthier skills violin.  So it is still a valuable investment.  My first "luthier" task on it will be replacing the nut. 

You will however, not be completely satisfied with it.  If you're going to purchase it, just understand that it is unlikely that you will not want to upgrade soon.  That's all, it's still ultimately up to you.  Many will tell you to stay away from those things, and I understand where they're coming from.  But who knows what you'll get.  Try the fiddlershop too.  For just a couple more bucks, you'll get a violin from the fiddlerman and you'll have someone to call if it doesn't work out.  http://fiddlershop.com/instrum.....-886012577

 

There is no failure, only results.

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cancelx07
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October 24, 2013 - 5:46 pm
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Thanks guys.

Yeah, I expected the "piece of garbage" reply, harder to learn on.  I know all that as I said.  

And looking at Fiddlerman's shop, even his starters still only use maple Pegs which is the main problem with a generic violin...keeping it in tune. No matter how much it costs, if you have fairly unstable wood pegs, it's going to be a problem.

That's why I've been only looking at violins with Rosewood Pegs (less pricey than ebony), and solid spruce top... the two main things responsible for sound and staying in tune (used a wide brush on that statement).

 

Comes down to... I have $150 TOTAL, and that's to get it shipped to Canada.  I sold a solid body electric so I could buy 2 "ok-ish" acoustics, one for me and one for my brother for Christmas.

I don't expect to be playing concerts, I just want the tunes to sound like the tunes, and not fall apart.

 

Compared to all the other Cecilio, Mendini, etc... $50-90 units, this seemed to at least have a decent looking build, more positive reviews than bad, Rosewood Pegs and Solid Spruce top.  The same thing from Cecilio is about $200 and usually endorsed by many.

 

Can't really find anything else, thus looking for reviews/

 

Thanks again

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StoneDog
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October 24, 2013 - 8:23 pm
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If your just starting > anything should do. Those that want to play the flute should go flute a phone > or whatever you call it. Just to see if the interest is there. It things happen then one should go for an upgrade. Thats what I think. > I have a very cheap viddle > someday > yeah > someday I'm going to up it. > and when I do the >

http://fiddlershop.com/instrum.....-886012577

Thats where I am going.

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Ginnysg
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October 24, 2013 - 9:05 pm
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I say buy what you can afford.  My first violin was a cheapie.. but it was enough to learn the basics, play a few songs, and let me know I could play.

Since then I've done a few things to my cheapie, and it actually makes a nice backup violin.

Violins for Christmas!  That's great!

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 24, 2013 - 11:29 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Welcome to the forum cancelx07,

I think it's great that you are starting to learn to play violin even though your budget is not the best. One never really knows what you can get for that kind of money but there is always a chance that you will be satisfied. I'm all for value and great deals and I sincerely hope you are satisfied with your purchase. I wouldn't be that surprised if you were. On this site you don't need to be defensive for your decisions.

Next, when you wrote that Fiddlershop.com's starters have maple pegs it's not completely correct. One violin that I know of has Maple pegs, the CVN-100. None of the Fiddlerman violins have Maple pegs :-)

The violins that we have seen from China which would cost us $25/piece need too much work in order for us to offer them and after all that work we would still not want to charge more than $50 because of their overall quality and sound. I've also seen violins that we can purchase from the Chinese makers for $30 including a case and bow by bulk after shipping in a container.
Trouble is that we must dispose of hundreds of violins whether we like it or not and we have chosen not to.

Look forward to reading your future posts and hope that you stick to playing the violin. We'll help you any way we can. :-)

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

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DanielB
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October 25, 2013 - 5:19 am
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cancelxo7, go for it!

I bought my first violin for a little over 70$, from the company you mentioned.  I think it is the cheapest electric on the planet at that price and it is mostly made of plastic (glass filled epoxy, according to a friend who knows more about plastic than I do). 

That was in March 2012. Over 18 months later, I'm still playing it. In fact, it is the violin I play the most, since it is very quiet for practice any time of day or night, unplugged.  So I have played the tar out of it, over an hour a day at least.  It holds tune, the action isn't too bad, and it actually doesn't sound bad through an amp or for recording.  

That isn't intended of an endorsement of that company or their electric violins, but saying that it is possible to get instruments that are playable enough to learn on and have some fun with in the kind of price range you are talking about.  It may even actually hold up for a year or few.

After I'd been playing for some months, I "rewarded" myself with an acoustic violin that I paid 160-170$ or thereabouts for, that I am still quite pleased with.  It gets played pretty much every day too, but not as much as that electric, because I live with other people, and violins just aren't the quietest instrument in the world.  Besides, I like playing electric.  Not saying I don't enjoy playing acoustic too, but I think of myself as more an electric style of player.

It sounds like you know enough about the instrument to know if they send you one with real bad problems, where they should replace it with another one.  So there's not much risk of you getting stuck with something really awful and thinking all the badness in the sound is just you.  So I'd say the risk is more acceptable than for someone who has never played before.

In my opinion, it is better to start with what you can afford and get started, than to put off starting until you can afford something more expensive.  The player is always going to be most of the sound, and getting in practice/experience is a more effective way to get to sounding decent than hunting for a really nice instrument.  You can do that later, when you have played enough to know the shortcomings of the inexpensive instrument and have a good idea what you'd really like from an upgrade instrument.  Then you can spend more money, sure... But you'll also spend it more wisely.

The folks that tell you "Oh, you should spend at least 300$ for a starting instrument..", well, I think most of them are just trying to save you some headaches.  But if their favorite number of $ just isn't in the cards for you right now, then get what you can afford now and wail with it. 

 

"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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cancelx07
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October 25, 2013 - 10:48 am
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Thanks everyone !!

Yeah, I've not had the best of time before getting into a thing amongst a group that favored the higher priced items...and looked down on everything else, even tough that's where they started once too.

 

I appreciate all the views in here, and at least people explain "why" something may let you down.  Much appreciated.

 

Thanks for chiming in Fiddlerman...watched your vids, and I know the Cecilio 100 impressed you, even being on the same lower end, but being able to put out decent sound to learn on.  And that was the one I was referring to not being too far off from what I was looking at already.  I do know your others have much nicer fittings, and for not much more -- just that bit more just is outside right now.

 

If the seller would get back to me about payment, I'd probably be 2 units in... just waiting now.

 

I'm not thinking I'll get a personally crafted unit or anything.  As long as we can learn on them, that is great.  Give me time to decide if I can play, not just if I want to.  Beyond the harmonica I'm not too musically coordinated, haha.  And down the road, at least I do know what to look for -- which also makes it hard looking for a cheapie, when you know what you are passing over out of the gate.

 

Thanks for the well wishes, I'll let you know what ends up.

 

ps- Thanks Daniel, it's exactly learning about the shop and/or model I was trying to discover.  Knowing it's low end is one thing, knowing the reputation behind it can be another.

 

Respects !!

Jim

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DanielB
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October 25, 2013 - 11:22 am
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Cool, cancelxo7.  But remember I may have lucked out and gotten a good one, while the next one off the line could really be crap.  The biggest problem with inexpensive instruments is that the quality can vary so much from one to another of even the same model. 

But at the price range you're talking about, how far wrong can you really go?  If it's for fun and to see if you like the instrument and what you can do with it, I can't see spending a lot right off the bat.  Once you put in enough time on the instrument to be pretty sure it's something you want to do, then upgrading is sensible. 

"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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HDuaneaz
Chandler, Arizona
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October 25, 2013 - 1:06 pm
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My daughter is planning on buying a new violin for her son for Christmas, and she doesn't have a lot of money. I looked at the reviews and Pierre's demonstrations, and I suggestion to her to get the CVN-200, which is about $100.

 

If I had $1,200 to spare, I would purchase the Fiddlerman Soloist violin.

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

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RosinedUp
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October 25, 2013 - 1:55 pm
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If you're in or near a city of say 100,000 or more, you might find something on craigslist.

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Fiddlerman
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October 25, 2013 - 8:17 pm
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Actually I never played the CVN100, just listing it for those who absolutely want to get it. :-(
I don't blame you for being careful with your initial investment. Also, there are simple things you can do to better the sound if you are a do it yourself type of person. :)

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

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cancelx07
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October 29, 2013 - 11:19 am
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BEWARE

 

VIOLINSMART.

So I finally ordered 2 packages from Ebay. As soon as I did, they were Removed by ebay.

 

I called Ebay and they said there is a known problem with his account and they removed all the item to save any buyers problems.  He could get corrected ad relisted.

 

When I asked Ebay, If I want to buy SAFE do I look elsewhere, and Ebay said, Yes.

 

There you have it.

Thanks all.

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Fiddlerman
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October 29, 2013 - 12:01 pm
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Very sorry to hear it cancelx07
Good luck finding an affordable violin outfit.

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

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wookieman
Tennessee, USA
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October 29, 2013 - 12:51 pm
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They have many options on Amazon as well, thats where I got my kids' Violinsmarts. 

http://www.amazon.com/ViolinSm.....mv02+4%2F4

The company also has their own website believe it or not!

http://www.violinsmart.com/

So there are other options!

There is no failure, only results.

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Fiddlerman
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October 29, 2013 - 1:45 pm
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On one hand you get a violin that is usable for the price of a set of decent strings. On the other hand you may have a hard time tuning it and the strings could break easily. Also, the sound could be unbearable.

Could also be quite decent. I don't know but I find it hard to believe that so little money could buy you a playable instrument.

In any case, you don't have much to loose. :-)

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

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cancelx07
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October 29, 2013 - 2:23 pm
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Hi Guys.  Yeah, ViolinSmart, I went through the website and ebay.  They are VERY hard to get a reply as they are set up not to reply.  Their descriptions are different between the sites.

 

And Ebay itself telling me to buy elsewhere was the clincher.  Mind you, ebay is still willing to use him as a seller (makes them money of course).

 

But anyway.  Guys, my only real concern is the Pegs. I know it's not gonna sound like a concert, but we both love bluegrass, twangy stuff, and I like irish, so, for the most part it won't hurt if you have to "play into" a note, haha.  Also, I never can tell the diff between a $50 instrument and a $500... seriously.

 

But constant tuning because of bad pegs, that I can't handle. So, I've only been willing to look at Rosewood (knowing ebony was out of grasp right now). Sadly, no other cheap sellers with rosewood (confirmable rosewood).

 

I did find a cheapie with solid carved wood and what appears to be Boxwood fittings (with dyed hardwood fingerboard...I know, I know.)  Boxwood is usually listed as the last of the Pegs to consider before just saying no. (stevesgiftshoppe)

 

He isn't exactly certain, he did call the factory warehouse twice with mixed results.  Since they are brown on a White and on and Black instrument, we are assuming it's either Rosewood (not too likely) or Boxwood (more likely, little grain, more orange/caramel color).

 

I mean, people fake dye wood black to look like ebony, I never heard of fake dying or painting brown... at least that's my hope.

 

Much hope and prayers going on here... only thing I haven't done is fast over it (grin.. my Caramel Flakey cake ruined that plan)

 

Cheers

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StoneDog
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Don't know about the right wood, dye, etc. kinda stuff > Be best if I knew more about that kinda stuff when picking out the right Viddle. Another reason I like this site> get to learn about the good stuff. But me not knowing, yet wanting to get something > I would be going to the Fiddlerman Shop for all my stuff. > The service is SWEET and the product is GOOD. > can't go wrong.

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