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Black Cecilio vs "Johann Georg Kessler"?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Clint
San Antonio, Tx
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July 9, 2012 - 11:11 am
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Howdy yall,

 

First, I'd just like to thank Fiddlerman for all his hard work in supplying a plethora of information, for free! I can't wait to utilize all tools you've provided.

 

A quick little snippet of myself: I've had thoughts of getting myself a violin for the past couple months now, and finally got around to trying to dig up some information on which violin is best for a beginner. So I've pretty much came to the conclusion (though I am always willing to entertain other ideas if there's others I should check out) that the Cecilio Black-Metallic ~$100 is probably my best bet. Fiddlerman's video review was extremely comforting to see that quality music can in fact be made on a $100 violin (which fits my budget perfectly for my first violin).

 

Although I'm not totally sold on the black (I really do prefer a stained/varnished traditional look), I imagine that I'd prefer painted wood over a stained cheap-looking wood. Not a huge deal to my either way, since this will just be my beginning violin (I've already fallen in love that Concert Violin that's on the weekly special page for $279/299, and will in all probability be purchasing that once I've mastered the basics and have counted enough pennies).

 

Now, in trying to do due diligence to my pocket-book, I also perused craigslist to see if I could find any cheap gems in my neck of the woods. I think that I might possibly have found one. But since I really have no idea what I'm looking for in a violin, I was hoping someone could give me a more educated opinion on whether I should go take a look at this guy, or if I should just purchase that Cecilio. And though I'd much prefer to give my business to Mr. Fiddlerman, I believe I would be doing myself a great unjust if I didn't try to get the most for my limited funds. In any case, like I said earlier, I have every intention of picking up that Concert Violin he offers once I'm competent enough, and have saved enough to justify purchasing a more expensive instrument.

 

Anyhow, here is the link to the violin that I found.

http://sanantonio.craigslist.o.....58227.html

He says "The inside of the violin reads "Johann Georg Kessler" "West Germany" "Copy of Stradivarius" "Bruno means secuirty"." After doing a wee bit of research, I've seen some of Mr. Johann's violins going for ~$325+, though I have no idea which models they are, age, etc.

 

So, keeping in mind my paltry $100 budget (almost embarrassing to write that), which would you think is the best violin for me?

 

And as a side note, I suppose I'm not technically a total beginner, since I played violin in elementary school for about a year, but that was ~15+ years ago, and I remember absolutely nothing about it, other than that I really did enjoy it. Anyways, I played trumpet all through middle school, and also dabble on the piano (by ear) every now and again.

 

So to end my ramblings, much appreciated in advance for all opinions and advice!

-Clint

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gkeese
Amarillo, Tx
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July 9, 2012 - 1:08 pm
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Clint, huh?  That is going to me confusing at times.  Hello, my name is Clint, you may know me as gkeese.  Great name by the way.  Us Clint's have to stick together!

As for the violin, look at it this way.  If you like the $100 Cecilio, (I actually think it is $129) get that one.  If you do not like the black, get the CVN-300.  Same violin, the black is just a painted CVN-300.  So for the natural look you can go that route.

http://fiddlershop.com/instrum.....n-300.html 

As for the violin on Craigslist, it looks nice.  Be nice if he had a pic of the back, and also a closeup of the fingerboard, bridge and pegs, but ya get what ya get picture wise.  It would at least be worth taking a look at.  If at all possible, ask if you can play it a bit.  Take a tuner with ya, tune it and hear what it sounds like.  That would be my first step.  Becase if it sounds like a nice violin, then maybe all it'll need is a little bridge work, news strings, etc... To make it a great violin.  Take a look and go from there.

And glad to have ya here on Fiddlerman.  Looking forward to hearing your progress and seeing some vids.

violin-student

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 9, 2012 - 3:45 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11706

Welcome to the forum Clint,

And you are very welcome. The painted violin is probably not as good as the CVN-200 and the CVN-300 is definitely better because of the real Ebony fittings. Otherwise they are exactly the same violin, even the painted one is a CVN-300.

Your Craigslist violin can be great, one never knows. I would have to try it to tell.

Good luck with any purchase and we look forward to your posts.

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

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Clint
San Antonio, Tx
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July 9, 2012 - 11:17 pm
Member Since: July 9, 2012
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Grr. Well after writing an obscenely long-winded response to the both of you, I hit the stupid back button and lost all that I wrote. That'll teach me for just rambling on and on. Lol...

 

Anyhow, I basically said it was a pleasure to meet a fellow Clint (from Texas too no less!), and thank you for the perspective and tips! And also thanks so much for responding personally to my thread Fiddlerman! Above and beyond!

 

Though I did have one question to clear up about the whole Cecilio product line (and I'll condense it down to a couple sentences instead of a couple paragraphs lol):

 

Painted CVN ($129) = CVN-300 ($129) Both have ebony fittings?

CVN-300 ($129) > CVN-200 ($99) Due to ebony fittings on the 300.

Yet, you said...

CVN-200 ($99) > Painted CVN ($129) But doesn't the painted CVN = the 300?

 

And finally, I was just rambling on about how I stopped at my local luthier shop called Antonio Strad Violin to get basic violin info, and to scope them out for the future place that I might need to take whatever violin I end up with to get whatever kind of work done that normally needs to get done (new strings and bridge/sound-post work for ~$60 sound about fair?). They were very informative and nice, and didn't mind that I couldn't afford their cheapest $2k+ violins, and assured me that they could professionally "fit" a new cheap violin bought off the internet, or an old used violin of unknown condition to best suit me.

 

Anyhow, it blew me away that they had violins that cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars!!! I had no idea! And apparently, those uber expensive ones don't always even sound worth a dang sometimes. But I snagged one a picture of one, thought some of you guys would probably appreciate it more than my shock of the price-tag. Lol

 

Photobucket

 

Edit: I dunno if those links work for yall, I think one of them might be clickable for a higher-res version.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 10, 2012 - 8:51 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11706

Clint said
...... And also thanks so much for responding personally to my thread Fiddlerman! Above and beyond!

My pleasure!

Painted CVN ($129) = CVN-300 ($129) Both have ebony fittings?

Yes they do.

CVN-300 ($129) > CVN-200 ($99) Due to ebony fittings on the 300.

Exactly

Yet, you said...

CVN-200 ($99) > Painted CVN ($129) But doesn't the painted CVN = the 300?

Exactly. The painted CVN is a CVN300 with Ebony fittings. The CVN-200 is not available in any colors. I know many who have bought this violin and been very satisfied. The ones that I have tested have been great all but a few. The trouble is that the fingerboard can eventually get groves in it (Rosewood is not as hard as Ebony) and the pegs might not work as well as the Ebony pegs.

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

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springer
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July 10, 2012 - 1:28 pm
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Get the one with ebony pegs, any one, the ebony pegs are better - my opinion from experence.devil-violin

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Clint
San Antonio, Tx
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July 10, 2012 - 10:38 pm
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Well folks, I appreciate all of the help! I went ahead and checked out the craigslist violin. Ended up walking away with it for $80, figured that if it turned out to be a junk violin, at least I'd only be out $80.

 

Apparently I didn't make out so bad after all!

 

I took it to that violin luthier shop to get an official verdict on what I had. They told me that it's a tad bit dirty and just a bit rough for a $1000 violin, but for $40 they could clean it up and refinish it for me. And no, I didn't mis-type that, they told me I could probably get ~$1000, that they've seen these 1950-1960s Kesslers go for $750-1200. I was pretty awestruck.

 

They told me that the strings were junk, and that I had an "emergency/temporary/universal" bridge. So for $70 out the door I went with new strings, a new bridge, a thing of rosin, and a rest. After they tuned it and played for me, they said it projected extremely well, and some other technical jargon I haven't learned the meaning of yet, but it all seemed to be very positive feedback.

 

Didn't realize when I took the pictures, but it actually looks much better in person. It's all the caked on dust and rosin and stuff from having sat for the past 10 years. Most of that cleaned up after they worked on it. There's no cracks, only one not-really-all-that-deep "gouge", and some of the finish fading/worn and whatnot. I'm considering spending the $40 to have them refinish the whole thing, but it also seems like it'd loose some... Character?

 

So anyways, here's the pictures. Let me know what yall think!

 

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And a couple of pics I snapped of their shop while I was waiting for them to finish up on my violin. Was very fancy in there. Lol

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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July 10, 2012 - 10:49 pm
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Oh what a great violin....love your story and the good out come.

 

OH I want to go to a shop just like that and play and bring my pillow and sleep there... wow Ijust love  that look....sigh

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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gkeese
Amarillo, Tx
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July 10, 2012 - 11:24 pm
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Glad ya got a good deal on the violin Clint#2 and Clint from Tx, #2, lol.  Hope ya hold onto it.  If it sounds really grat then you are one lucky guy.

Beautiful shop!  I would love to see that shop in person, but I would probably get kicked out for drooling on all the pretty things! 

 thumbs-up

Post some vids of the sound from this bad boy, it would be great to hear it.

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 11, 2012 - 7:57 am
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That is a success story if I ever heard one. Maybe you should start a business. LOL
Anxious to hear how it sounds too. Good luck and enjoy learning the fiddle. You have a great journey ahead of you.

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

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Clint
San Antonio, Tx
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July 11, 2012 - 10:08 am
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Lol thanks yall. I think I just lucked out FM, doubt I could find another one like this.

 

I'll definitely try to figure out how to record some audio, though I'll need to work on my squeaky-string-symphony. I've only watched your G-String (LOL) video where you talk about hand placement and whatnot. I'm sure my neighbors will be thinking I'm murdering cats or something horrible for the foreseeable future. I'll be giving it a whirl after I finish work.

 

Can't wait to "saw that fiddle and play it hot"! I already know which piece is my dream play. Clint Mansell's Requiem for a Dream.

 

And yeah, that store was AMAZING. The pictures do absolutely no justice to the reality. The warmth and colors are beyond my ability to describe. The scent of the place was heavenly effervescent. The appointments and trappings were luxurious and welcoming at the same time. And that's only about a quarter of the store. I just didn't want to be rude or a gawker to walk around taking a video lol. Makes me wish I had tons of money and a keen ability really feel at home at a place like that.

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Clint
San Antonio, Tx
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July 11, 2012 - 10:11 am
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gkeese said
Glad ya got a good deal on the violin Clint#2 and Clint from Tx, #2, lol.  Hope ya hold onto it.  If it sounds really grat then you are one lucky guy.

Beautiful shop!  I would love to see that shop in person, but I would probably get kicked out for drooling on all the pretty things! 

 thumbs-up

Post some vids of the sound from this bad boy, it would be great to hear it.

I think we'll have to come to some kind of arrangement, since I'm the premiere Clint in Texas! Lol

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Clint
San Antonio, Tx
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July 11, 2012 - 12:49 pm
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Well, I busted my first E-string. Was tuning the ol' bessy (name in process), and got G and D strings tuned up just fine (iPad has an app for everything lol), and I though I was tuning the peg for the A string, but was apparently actually turning the E-string peg. I was just starting to wonder why it wasn't changing the tune when, SNAP! Busted the smallest string.

 

So now I've gotten to try my hand at restringing, which wasn't that hard at all (can't believe I paid to have that done for me) with my old string they told me to keep as a spare. I think I'm going to try and find those pro artes (sp?) strings and keep quite a few in the case. I have a feeling I'm going to bust quite a few E-strings while I'm attempting to tune it.

 

Was a little unsettled that when I was tuning it that the pegs kept turning back by themselves, but I figured out that if I seat it more firmly "inwards" the pegs stay where I need them to be.

 

But on the bright side, I figured out how to play Mary Had a Little Lamb by ear and just by "fiddling" around (all on D string, with highest note on open A. I'll term it D2, D1, D0, D1, D2, D2, D2, D1, D1, D1, D2, A0, A0 - D2, D1, D0, D1, D2, D2 D2, D0, D1, D1, D2, D1, D00000). Doesn't sound great, still quite scratchy, but it's intelligible. Lol. Excuse my terminology, but I have no idea if that's the correct way to note it, but that's the way that makes sense to me. D=String #="Fret".

 

Anyhow, I should be working, not fiddling around!

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