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That's a tough question... If that is your budget, I would suggest a Cecilio CVN 200. They have great tones and aged wood. You can tell the age of the wood by looking at how tight the rings are. But you can't trust China made products. They are not honest when it comes to ISO specs. Lot's of fraud out there. Just learn on a low cost violin and if you like it, you will want a better violin. Good luck and hope you find a great fiddle to play!
I have a cecilio violin CVN 500 and my daughter has the same one but 1/4 size. They are $180 each. We both love it. I put dominant strings on mine and had to have a new sound post, but my daughter has the steel strings that came with it and we haven't had hers check out. I think either we got used to the sound or because we have been playing on ours (about two months on mine, and one month on Dominant strings, and about one month on hers) our violins sound better than when we first got it.
The risk for buying cecilio violin (same risk for purchasing anything on line) you don't know if you are going to get a good one or a bad one. However, KKmusic has very good return policy if you received a damaged one and they answer your questions promptly. The fiddlerman has reviewed seven of them and they all sounded great (it has to do with his great ability to play, too).
If you read my other posts (e.g., kk vs amazon) you would know I also bought a CVN 100 ($90), but it was too small. Its appearance also did not look as good as the CVN 500 1/4 size. I returned it mainly because it was too small for my daughter.
i would say it would have to be between these two
I love the color of MV650, but i like the sound of CVN 500 better, and that's what i get after watching all the reviews that fiddlerman has done. Even my daughter's violin teacher like the appearance of our violins. However, the tailpiece and chinrest on my daughter's violin aren't quiet the same, hers more solid black and mine has some patterns on them.
I think it has more to do with the natural variations in the ebony. Higher grade, more desirable wood would be more consistent and dark. The lower grades (and more affordable) have more variation in the color and grain.
The differences in the two violins can be as much a matter of price-point as they are of quality control...
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