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I accidentally came across this on internet while I was browsing about violin. Check it out and see what you think.
I wouldn't recommend buy one of these violins either, because they don't have any products descriptions and like fiddlerman said, you can't test it and there's no exchange option.
What I want people to check out is the new design that the Chinese luthier created -- the new shapes, the difference thickness of the body to even out sounds of strings, the bat holes instead of f holes, etc. I listened to the test sound, it sounded very different.
I purchased a suuuuuper cheap violin from China. I would not recommend it unless you could either try the instrument in person or knew the seller was reputable. That being said, I got the cheapest one, so you get what you pay for! I've read that there are a few super awesome luithiers in Shanghai.
For Buying Overseas, here's my experience:
Even with a shopping service and translation, the language barrier made things difficult. Things like Ebony could mean the wood, or just the color of paint that's slapped on! If you order from outside of China and the particular seller only takes Chinese payments, you have to use a shopping service or be friends with someone with a Chinese bank account. Then you have to depend on the third party to ensure the violin is in good shape before being sent to you. Shipping is a good chunk, so I only added it because I was already getting something else. Also, no returns!
@fiddlerguy: I think that violin is cute :), and the chin rest is really nice but I'm really curious 'bout the sound, have you ever tried it?
If you go to this website, there's a video clip that a Chinese music professor playing on one of those San-yuan vioins. By the way, san yuan means three circles (round shapes). The name of the violin depicts the specific shape of the violin.
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