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Since beginning to learn the violin, I have decided that a much needed upgrade is in order from the very inexpensive fiddle that I picked up from Craigslist. In two short weeks I have realized that violin I have been learning on is less than desirable for the task. I feel confident that the instrument in question will fail to reward me as my skill improves. So, having decided on an upgrade, I appeal to you fine people for guidance.
When I first started looking, I had decided on opting for the Fiddlerman Concert, and I am still quite sure that it would meet and even exceed my expectations. Recently though, I have considered that I should just go ahead and spring for a Master outfit instead. While I realize that this is certainly overkill in my case, my rationale is that having been a guitar player for almost 20 years, I know a good instrument from a poor one regardless as to whether or not I am proficient at it, and as a musician I put a great deal of emphasis on having high quality tools for the task in addition to a consistent practice regimen.
Both violins are within my budget, and based on the information that I have read about the Master (not to mention the embarrassing amount of time I have spent researching them and listening to YouTube videos) I believe that it will be an instrument that I can grow into and have with me for much longer before I feel the inevitable need to upgrade again, whereas with the Concert I would be inclined to upgrade much sooner.
If anyone has recently found themselves in a similar place to where I am now, and has purchased either the Master or the Concert outfits, please share your thoughts and opinions on either and how the outcome of your decision affected you musically.
Thanks in advance for the assistance!
“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
I don't think it's overkill if you want to play the violin, and like you said you have an ear for quality instruments already. I didn't get the Master, but when I started playing, I originally bought the old model Concert violin. Very nice fiddle, I still have it and use it time to time. But it wasn't long before I was comparing its tone to my teacher's (more expensive) fiddle during lessons, so started shopping for a different instrument. See, I hadn't ever played an instrument so never thought I might have an ear that would end up being picky, but I did, haha. I ended up with a Ming Jiang Zhu 905 and didn't regret the purchase. I felt the change helped me out. It's not that the Concert isn't a quality fiddle, but I definitely heard the ring of the notes easier on the Ming, and that helped me fine tune my intonation. There are certainly other things that I really love about my Ming, but I remember that being one of my thoughts when I first switched.
On a journey to learn the fiddle since July 24, 2015
I started playing at the end of August. I live in Europe but still decided to buy a violin from FM. Good reviews and I trusted them to know what they are doing, while I don't really know if the instruments the closest builder has are really worth the price.
I was set on getting the Master outfit. I thought it was an ok price that I'd be able to manage with the added 25% tax I would have to pay when importing it.
Then I made the mistake of listening to a demo of the Soloist. After that I couldn't get it out of my head. I really wanted the Soloist instead of the Master. 600 dollar difference. I first said to myself that I'm nuts, I always quit on things before I try them, WHY would I buy an instrument at that price + our lovely swedish tax?? But I DID spend that extra money. I figured it will probably be the only instrument I'll ever buy, plus I'm importing it. So I might as well go the extra mile to have something that will definately last me my whole life.
So I'd say go for the Master if you can afford it and you're sure that this is something you will continue to do for years to come. It'll be worth it and less money spent in the end, instead of first paying less for the Concert and then maybe just a few months later buying something better.
The general rule of thumb is to get the best instrument you can afford. Especially if your ear can tell the difference, you'll beat yourself up if you're hearing things you don't like and imagine that the better instrument wouldn't have had them.
Also, it takes longer to grow out of a better instrument. If you stay with it, you'll outgrow either of these, but it will definitely take longer to outgrow the master. (Which is more time to build up money for the upgrade.) Also, if you do outgrow it, but for some reason you have to fall back to it (main one is in the shop perhaps), the Master will be a noticeably nicer fallback than the Concert. (That's why it costs more).
So if both are in your budget, I'd definitely recommend the Master. If you're just starting out, I would estimate the Master would last you 2-5 years (depending on talent and how much you practice). The Concert would probably be 1-2, and given what you say about your ear, very possibly less. (You'll eventually hear flaws in the Master, too. Violins are something where you can spend pretty much as much money as you want to. 🙂 )
Well, it seems my thought process was spot on. After much consideration, I decided on the Master. Broke the news to the wife who was surprisingly accepting of the decision. She has mentioned that I may need to consider unloading a few guitars if I am going to "start dragging in fiddles".....
Plan on getting my order in next week, so I'll have something to look forward to. My rhythm guitar player and I have been doing alot of acoustic stuff on the side and he just dropped me a line to let me know that he is looking at a banjo this weekend. By the time this is over, we will probably have a complete bluegrass outfit. Now just to get my bass player to score an upright bass.....
Thanks for the input everyone!
“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
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