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Cecilio vs Franz Hoffman
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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gkeese
Amarillo, Tx
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June 7, 2012 - 3:21 am
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I feel horrible asking this question here, but I feel that this is the place to get an honest answer.

I am having a major debate on my violin purchase.  I have gone over numerous websites, violin chat rooms, googled every "violin review" I can find and have narrowed my first violin purchase down to one of two.

The first options is the Cecilio-CVN300.  I know the 500 is rated better, but I can't come up with the money to get it.  I have watched Fiddlermans Reviews on it and I think i like it and/or can make it a great instrument.  However, what was recommended will cost more than my second option...

A Franz Hoffman "Prelude" violin from Shar Music.  This is the part I feel bad about.  I have heard a lot of great things about Shar Musics violins.  I have been told their service is remarkable, my violin instructor recommends them, my daughters music teacher recommends them and their reviews from Violin forums is remarkable.  However Fiddlershop does not sell them.

Here is my dilema.  I am very fond of Fiddlerman and his website Fiddlershop.com  But I am wanting the best money for the dollars.  The Cecilio has junk strings, (or so I have been told) and I have been told it would be a good idea to replace them.  The bows seem to be horrible, judging from many forum discussion here on Fiddlerman and I have heard horror stories about the pegs.  However I trust FM and his opinion on the Cecilio and would like an honest answer to my dilema.

It seems that for the money, the Franz Hoffman has better strings, a better bow and a better review for $189.  The Cecilio is cheaper, $130 on Fiddlershop, but to "fix it up" and get it into a better playing condition will end up costing me an additional $35 for Zyex strings, and almost $60 for a good carbon fiber bow, recommended by Fiddlerman.

The Franz Hoffman will be ready to go out of the box...or so they say.  The Cecilio will take a little time to tune it, replace strings and such. 

(Note: Later on down the line, I plan to replace the strings with the D'Addario Zyex strings anyways, and upgrade to a better bow, but I wanted the upgrades to be my rewards for reaching my goals.)

Here is where I ask everyones opinion.  If it came down to it, which one would you get?

"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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NoirVelours
Quebec
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June 7, 2012 - 7:52 am
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gkeese, FM might be able to get that Hoffman violin on fiddlershop, send him a pm!

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 7, 2012 - 8:20 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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First of all, don't feel bad about asking those questions here.
I want to make it clear that I am more interested in you getting an instrument that you are happy with than making a little money off the sale.

What gives you the idea that Overture premium strings are better? Just curious. I am not convinced of this.

Also, why do you think that the Hoffman will be more ready out of the box? You will have to tune it as much as the Cecilio. The distributors don't tune up the violins because of the risk of damage if dropped or thrown around during shipping. They relieve the pressure from the bridge to protect the instrument just in case. Same with the Hoffman violins.

Having said all this I would be very happy to try a Hoffman violin someday and could start carrying them as well. I am registered as a dealer for the same distributor as Shar.
In any case I hope if you decide to get one that you share your thoughts about it so that others can benefit from your experience. And please don't feel badly about the post. We all want the same thing. If I could make a living from selling instruments that were no good at high prices I would rather do something else. I am constantly on the lookout for better alternatives.

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

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NoirVelours
Quebec
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June 7, 2012 - 8:35 am
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Fiddlerman said
First of all, don't feel bad about asking those questions here.
I want to make it clear that I am more interested in you getting an instrument that you are happy with than making a little money off the sale.

exactly This site is about Fiddlerman.com community and tutorials and learning tools, Pierre is offering stuff on the fiddlershop but never tried to pressure us to buy from him (my violin is from Kennedy violins). He does have the best price on Zyex strings though thumbs-up

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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gkeese
Amarillo, Tx
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June 7, 2012 - 4:58 pm
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Two more points I need to make about this post:

1) The Cecilio I was wanting is the Black one and

2) I will also be using this violin for my violin class.

I neglected to mention these because I felt my post was long-winded in the first place. (something I am rather good at being, lol.)

But keeping in mind that I want the black one AND will be using it in a class setting, would you still recommend the black one?

As for the strings being better? Sorry, FM, that was my uneducated assumption and ,looking back, I can't remember why I thought that.  (Must have been tired  when I wrote that too, lol) I did, however, read a lot of reviews that the Hoffman had a great sound and a lot of Instructors recommend it, that is why it is on the list at all. 

And I read on their site something about ready to go, and again i just assumed ready to go meant, play out of the box.  Your reply makes perfect sense so, again, I assumed and was wrong.  At least now I know a little more about that issue.  So you did clear up that issue for me.  Thanks.

As for the black violin and taking an actual class at my college...would you still recommend the Cecilio over the Hoffman.  I appreciate you answers. 

And on a side note...I watched the "He's a Pirate" vid...awesome!  I loved it!  Can't wait for a contest I can participate in, lol.

"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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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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June 7, 2012 - 5:56 pm
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Clint,

Go for what you want not what others say you should get.  If you like a black violin then get a black violin.

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springer
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June 7, 2012 - 9:10 pm
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Clint: If you want a CVN-500 as your first choice why would you want a black violin as your other first choice. Remember as a beginner the strings are not as important as they will be in several. If you try a Violin try to find out what kind of strings are on it. You can't compare Violins unless you know what kind of strings ate on it.

Good luck.hats_offcoffee1

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 7, 2012 - 9:25 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

I agree that the black violin would stick out. The black violin is basically a CVN-300 painted black instead of varnished. We sell it as well.

Seems to me that you want that Hoffman and there is probably no reason not to get one. You have read reviews and all.

I looked into it because of you and added a new violin to my shop. Not the Hoffman but another violin that Shar's distributor recommends as being much better. It's called "Concert Master"
http://fiddlershop.com/concert_master
Even made it a weekly special.
Thanks for getting me to look at new instruments.

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

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gkeese
Amarillo, Tx
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June 7, 2012 - 11:37 pm
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I think you are right FM.  I think I secretly want the Hoffman more.  I am glad you have the Concert Master on your shop now.  I hear a LOT of good things about it, too. 

I appreciate you being honest with me. (And I kinda think I just wanted someone to tell me what to get, lol)  I narrowed it down, but wanted that finalpush.  So thanks everyone.

I also look forward to seeing your review on the Hoffman, Pierre.

Bless you all!  Hoffman here i come.

"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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gkeese
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June 7, 2012 - 11:39 pm
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"I also look forward to seeing your review on the Hoffman, Pierre."

-sigh- I meant to say Concert Master, not Hoffman. lol

"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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NoirVelours
Quebec
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June 8, 2012 - 9:02 am
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Of course a black violin (even a purple painted one) look awesome and myself was attracted to it, I'm not Noir for nothing hehe. But then I read that painted violin often had a less good sound then oiled and other traditional violin finish. That is why I decided to pass and go trad.

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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gkeese
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June 20, 2012 - 12:02 am
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In regards to the Franz Hoffman I bought...it is due to arrive sometime this week. (Hopefully Friday, my wife is hoping to.  She is tired of me talking about it and checking my email every five minutes. lol)

Anyways, back on subject.  When i get the Hoffman in my hands, I plan to make a vid of how it was shipped and what it looks like and all that jazz.  So keep watching this post for more info on a good Rental violin.

bananabananabanana

"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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Crazymotive
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July 1, 2012 - 11:21 am
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I am a traditionalist when it comes to the appearance of a violin.  Now, I am not putting down the color violins (i.e. redm, pink, black, aqua, etc.) I like but for me personally I like to see the wood. I like a natural varnish that lets me see the beautiful wood grain and the finish. For me its very aesthetically pleasing and makes the violin feel like a fine piece of furniture in my hands, as well as a musical instrument.

 

But, to each their own and if you prefer a color violin then definitely go for it.  The important part is that you play music and you enjoy it. 

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artroland
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July 2, 2012 - 4:42 pm
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I have the Cecilio Black, and I really enjoy it. I was concerned that I wouldn't really like it, as it is a mass-produced instrument. That being said, so is my Fender Jazz Bass, and it's the industry standard, so take all of that with a grain of salt. 

You will want to upgrade a few things as soon as it is feasible. Notably, the strings, and the rosin. The bow is a wee bit tip-heavy, but you can work with that. The strings were very cheaply made, and the Zyex really do help bring out the sound of the violin, and are much easier to play in tune. The steel core strings make the violin sound a bit sterile. 

The rosin is, simply put, crap, and once they gunk the strings up, you'll be fighting them more than working with them. I checked into Magic Rosin on my instructor's suggestion and really like it for this bow and violin, and my style of playing. 

If you do not plan on playing in an orchestra where black tie and tails are the norm, then go with a colored violin if it strikes your fancy. 

YMMV. SD4D. Good luck!

One wonders if the damage would have been as severe had the chicken not been tied to the barrel.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 2, 2012 - 9:01 pm
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Good tips Roland. Thanks

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

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