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Gah! I have the most fail violin ever, but for >$20, I guess you get what you pay for. I thought I could get a super cheap violin for my little sister, but it's more trouble that it's worth!
It's supposed to have ebony fittings, but all of the wood is painted black instead. When I got it, the bridge was down and shoved under the tail piece, and tuning rod had fallen! I managed to get the tuning rod "in place" by stabbing it with an upholstery needle and hanger to set it (the little stick is full of stab wounds!). Then I managed to get the bridge up and the strings restrung when the loop holding the tailpiece in place snaps off, not once, but three times, making be have to reset the bridge and rod all over again after I fix it.
After all of that, I finally get it to a place where it holds the open strings in tune and makes a sound, when a fine tuner breaks! The plastic part that holds the string in place for one of my fine tuners snapped off! I can't find the piece of plastic, so regluing it isn't an option (I strongly doubt gluing would work, given the amount of force the reglued piece would have to withstand.) How hard is it to replace something like that?
If you are serious or your sister is about learning an instrument like the violin, it will always cost money and time. I buy harmonicas and replacement reeds that cost a lot more than a $20 dollar violin. I'm super happy with the 2 Cecilio violins that I bought super cheap and no problems yet. But can't wait to play a couple hand me down violins from my grandfather. They are too good to mess with I think right now for me cause I'm a beginner on violin. Oh, but they will be played by me 😉
With guitar it's really funny for me on how things will break down. I really can't play cheap guitars anymore unless I am just goofing showing some open chord strums or whatever. I will break strings and break the action of many cheap guitars. When you want to work on an instrument with replacing different parts because they break then maybe it's time to find a better quality instrument. Much less hassles in the long run.
That sounds like you've almost made yourself a completely new one! What did you use for the sound post? I bought some dowels from walmart that I was going to use if the one that came with my VSO got stabbed to many times. The old one seems to be working well, but an unmarred post might sound better.
In other news, I rigged my VSO so that the string doesn't go through the fine tuner. Not exactly elegant, but it holds a D pretty well with just the peg tuning and my lil sis is non the wiser.
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