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Looking at an acoustic
some advice requested for a newbie
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pjsalyer
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November 18, 2013 - 2:56 pm
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I used to play violin in 4th-6th grade, I am now in college and starting the journey again. I am surprised about how quickly I am picking up the violin. I have a solid foundation of music theory and have taught myself the guitar and piano. I got an electric violin, a Fender FV-3, its a great violin but I would like to get better timbre than what the electric can produce without being put through amplification, then I like the sound. Problem is that I can't just plug into an amp while practicing every night, so my thought is to get a cheaper acoustic violin just for practice, and to take to places I would rather not expose my nicer violin to, and also in case I want to play somewhere with no sound system/electricity. So I have been looking at several options.

1. Get a cheaper violin ($150-$200 no more than $200)

2. Getting a really nice set of synthetic core strings and a carbon fiber bow. And wait for a long time to get a really nice acoustic and just deal with what I have.

With that said my violin will probably be needing a new set of strings before too long, I just bought a new wood bow about a month ago or so before I found the awesome FM bow. I really like the idea of getting a cheaper acoustic violin to find out more of what I would like from a nicer one, in the future. And I like the feel of an acoustic better than an electric.

I am considering the Mendini 4/4 MV500 from amazon but am open to options.

So my question is what you all would do in my shoes? I know that I will probably just use the cheap steel strings until they wear out or I get sick of them. And I will be ordering a FM bow in the next year or so.

My next question is that I always use extra light strings on guitar so I am guessing that I might want to do the same with violin, any thoughts?

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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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November 18, 2013 - 3:21 pm
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Hi @pjsalyer 

The Cecilio CVN-500 would probably be a good choice

you can see it at

http://fiddlershop.com/instrum.....#container

i have an electric but prefer my acoustics myself

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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pjsalyer
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November 18, 2013 - 8:03 pm
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Why do you suggest the Cecilio over the Mendini? I tend to like the darker finishes myself, do the Cecilio's have better quality control? I really want the $200 to be max as in with tax and shipping. If it is a penny over $200 then it needs to be a really nice violin. From what I can tell the Cecilio and the Mendini seem about the same. The grain looks tighter on the Mendini. I know that I can spend $500 or more locally and yet those violins feel cheap to me, so if I am going to go cheap I would like to stay somewhat reasonable for my pocket. Do you have or ever had a Cecilio? Thanks for the info =)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 19, 2013 - 2:56 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Cecilio actually makes Mendini as well but it's their cheap version. Confusing since they have different levels of Mendini violins as well. From my experience I would avoid Mendini.
I too like the darker finishes but the CVN-500 is quite nice none the less. Definitely when considering the price.

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

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pjsalyer
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November 19, 2013 - 3:54 pm
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So @fiddlerguy, do you think that it is worth the extra $30 to $40 for the Cecilio? From what I hear I will have to set up either that I get, I've done all my guitar work so am not too afraid of learning some violin setup skills as well. Also could you point me to some decent thin synthetic strings? I hear that the synthetics have a warmer sound, I only say thin because I like the thinner strings on my guitar, so I was thinking I would try that out. The biggest difference other than finishes is that the Cecilio CVN-500 looks from the picture to be a 2 piece back and the Mendini MV-500 has a 1 piece solid back. Is this the case?

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Ferret
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November 19, 2013 - 5:19 pm
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No, I don't own a Cecilio. of the seven that I have the best is the Raggetti

I've heard the Cecilio played a few times and they sounded good.

I've asked a few luthiers about the 2 vs 1 piece back and they said that there was very little difference, if any. Especially in the instruments in the lower price range.

You say that you like the finish on Mendini more than the Cecilio. I suggest that you don't make your decision on just looks. My Raggetti has what they call a 'distressed' finish. Not my favorite finish but it plays nicely.

As for strings, it will probably take a few changes before you find ones that you really like. One thing to remember is that cheap and nasty strings can make a good violin sound cheap and nasty. I've seen string sets on eBay for as little as $10 and would not consider using them. I've decided that Dominants and Pro-Arts are good value for money and would recommend you try them when you get around to changing them

For a vid on the Cecilio CVN-500 have a look at

desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DgarpSPQ5OvI

For Mendini see

desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DXnPP6N_Jars

Either one would be a good student instrument.

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 19, 2013 - 9:49 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I believe that $30 more or less is practically nothing when it comes to a violin. I realize that it could be a lot of money for many people but when you put it into perspective it's not much.

Zyex, Dominant, Larsen, Evah, are all great strings. Dominant strings are the most popular and have been around for a long time. We sell a lot of Zyex because I push them a lot. Quick break in times and just the right amount of power and warmth. I don't think you want thinner strings than normal with a violin because they have more tension than the guitar and can be hard on your fingertips.

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

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HDuaneaz
Chandler, Arizona
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November 20, 2013 - 2:34 pm
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I just bought some Zyex strings from Fiddlershop, and I think they have a very nice sounding tone.

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 20, 2013 - 8:50 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I agree. :-)

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

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DanielB
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November 20, 2013 - 11:46 pm
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Fiddlerman said
 I don't think you want thinner strings than normal with a violin because they have more tension than the guitar and can be hard on your fingertips.

Sorry to have to correct, Pierre, but guitar strings are more tension than violin.  Here's a page with a chart for violin strings, showing the tensions for each string and the totals for some popular brands.  Looks like a violin averages right around 50 pounds total.

http://www.violinstringreview......chart.html

Guitar strings on the other hand, well, I didn't find a chart on a quick search that compares brands.  But here's a page with the chart for Elixer strings, which def aren't the stiffest in the world. 

http://www.elixirstrings.com/s.....ustic.html

They run from 130 lbs total for the extra light gauges on a 6 string, up to a whopping almost 440 lbs for a 12 string strung with heavies.  

The thicker and/or longer a string is, the more tension it will take to bring it up to a particular pitch.  And just for fun, consider pianos, where the combined tension of over 200 strings can total up to 20 tons or more. 

dazed

I play guitar as well, pjsalyer, and I tend to prefer light strings on guitar. Medium violin strings haven't presented any discomfort.  Depending on the brand that can actually be a bit easier on the fingers than light or extra light guitar strings.

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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RosinedUp
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November 21, 2013 - 2:48 pm
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I think it's rare for a violinist to get much pain from fingering.  I think that if there is pain, it would be rare for it to come from strings that are too tense.  I mean it's just nothing like guitar in that respect.  I've quit guitar repeatedly due to sore fingers, but I've never felt that it was any kind of issue for violin.  So I say to go with medium tension strings on violin.

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pjsalyer
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November 21, 2013 - 7:57 pm
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Thanks guys for the insights on the strings, I have really callused finger tips and play the guitar for hours upon hours at a time. I think that when the time comes I will try the mediums, if I don't like them I can always just go to a different gauge in the future, but hearing from you all it gives me a really solid starting place. Fiddlerman, do you inspect the Cecilio's before you ship them out? Also are the other options like the fiddlerman and Kohr violins have that may cost extra, for example in the video of the Kohr K-500? What do you think about the Core 10 Academy vs. the CVN-500? Thanks.

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Fiddlerman
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November 21, 2013 - 11:09 pm
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I realize that Daniel but the strings are way longer as well. That means that they come down easier on the guitar than the short strings on the violin.

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

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pjsalyer
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November 23, 2013 - 3:16 pm
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The most important thing for me to do is to play and so Ive decided that I am going to learn 10 songs and use an acoustic violin as a reward for my achievement. And then I think I will go with the Cecilio unless I have a little more at that time. I have been looking into some local violin shops, I live in Kansas and found out about a place in KC called KC Strings, so has anyone at fiddlerman.com ever heard of Krutz violins? I don't know if I would be willing to spend over $500 on a violin yet. Just curious if any of you have heard of them or played them and, if so what you think about them. I might be in the $300-$400 range when I have the songs learned, what would you suggest at that level?

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pjsalyer
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November 30, 2013 - 6:51 pm
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@Fiddlerman what brand are the fiddlerman violins? What do you think about the Johannes Kohr K500, in comparison to the fiddlerman apprentice violin and the fiddlerman concert violin? The apprentice violin looks horrible in comparison to the other two, but sounds ok. Which in your opinion has the warmest sound?

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Fiddlerman
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November 30, 2013 - 11:25 pm
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The Concert has probably the warmest sound of the three. The K500 is great for the price as well and actually has a more perfect finish.
If you are going strickly for sound I would choose the Concert.
I'm sometimes disappointed in the looks of the Concert but don't ship them back and continue to purchase them because they have a better sound than violins costing over twice the price.

The Fiddlerman violins are "Fiddlerman" labeled made in China. Same as the Kohr violins, GCV, Ming Jiang Zhu and over 80% of all violins sold in the world.

I've played on literally thousands of violins and we chose these for their value. We tried violins from almost every country you can imagine who produce violins and non are as good by comparison cost wise.

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

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AdverseD
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December 1, 2013 - 12:34 am
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pjsalyer said
The most important thing for me to do is to play and so Ive decided that I am going to learn 10 songs and use an acoustic violin as a reward for my achievement. And then I think I will go with the Cecilio unless I have a little more at that time. I have been looking into some local violin shops, I live in Kansas and found out about a place in KC called KC Strings, so has anyone at fiddlerman.com ever heard of Krutz violins? I don't know if I would be willing to spend over $500 on a violin yet. Just curious if any of you have heard of them or played them and, if so what you think about them. I might be in the $300-$400 range when I have the songs learned, what would you suggest at that level?

 

I believe "WorldFiddler" here on the forum got his violin (A five string) from K.C. Strings if I remember correctly. He stated that "It is indeed a fine fiddle." Take a look on the forum for him, I believe he also has a website or a youtube account with some videos of him playing it.

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