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So, I've always loved hearing the violin. No matter what style of music, I love the sound of the instrument. I play guitar (kind of), and I can read music a little, and I have a decent ear, I thought it couldn't hurt to try.
I ordered a violin with some WalMart gift cards I got for X-Mas, the Mendini MV-300. I waited with great anticipation for UPS to show up at my door. I'm 47, and happily married for 26 years, so it was an odd feeling being this excited over something. I understand it's a good thing, but still, my life has been in a rut for years. A good rut, but nothing new or exciting.
Yesterday, the violin arrived. Wow, what a let down. First, it's not fully finished. There is a lot of bare wood showing. Two of the fine tuners were not screwed into the tailpiece, they were just rattling around in the case. The holes were bad, but luckily I had the right size taps in my toolbox from back when I flew RC helicopters.Then, trying to tune it up, the pegs didn't hold. So, I haunted YouTube for a while, and came up with the info I needed to fix them. Kind of. Also, it seemed like the nut was not spaced right, the G and E strings seemed to be too close to the center of the neck. I checked YouTube yet again, and I was right. I haven't fixed this problem yet, but I do setup and repair guitars, so I'm not afraid to try at a later date. Also, by bow swings hard to the right.
I was so frustrated, but you know what? I can play it. Sure, it's not perfect, but I can make almost correct sounds and I really enjoy playing. I ordered a carbon bow and some better rosin (from here), and I guess I'll be making the best I can of this sub - standard violin until I can get something better.
I went for the Cecilio CVN-500. Cecilio is the same company that makes the Mendini violins. The CVN-500 cost a bit, but it is a nice instrument. But even at that price range, the workmanship and varnish job could have been better. But I was lucky to get one with a good flaming pattern, and the defects are not too bad. At least it plays well and sounds good.
It seems to me that buying any of the affordable violins is like playing the lottery. You could get one built by a beginner, with no skill or aptitude, or someone more experienced with skill and aptitude, and there is no way to know which one of these, or at what end of the spectrum between the two, you will get. Nor are you guaranteed that you will get an instrument with good grain patterns, and/or flames markings if it comes with those (or was supposed to come with those).
First I own 3 of this companies violins. 2 Cecilio and a Mendini.
That said I know that quality control is not their strong point.
all 3 sound good but the finish on 2 leave alot to be desired, but I got what I paid for as the 2 with the questionable finishes are the low end models. This does not bother me as they sound good.
I hope that you enjoy your violin, and make good strides with it till you get good enough to need a better one.
With violins there is no fretting over the music.
I am thinking that this is the perfect violin for you. I believe this violin will cause you to learn more about violins than any other you could have purchased. Here is what I think you can purchase to help you on your journey:
Hill peg compound $10, until you get that you can use a birthday candle and some chalk
sound post tool $10, until you get that you can use a loop of thread through a straw
Fiddlerman strings will cause an immediate improvement in sound
Within 6 months plan on getting a Fiddlerman carbon bow. It is the best.
I'm glad you are here.
Hi! Welcome to the forum!
Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I did already order a CF bow (from this site) as I discovered the store before I noticed it had a forum. As it was pointed out to me, I'm just looking at this the wrong way. I do have an intimate knowledge of the violin now after having to dive into the repairs (I chose to fix it rather than return it) but I already know what I'm buying next. That Fiddlerman concert violin looks nice, and it comes set up already.
Just a note of caution:
GAS (guitar acquisition Syndrome) is something with which you might be familiar. VAS is even more powerful,,and never ending. And then chasing the perfect chin rest, shoulder rest and even worse the perfect set of strings!!! It might cause you to start mumbling like the rest of us.
damfino, I will be YouTubing it. So far, I'm doing alright. I bought a fiddlerman bow, it's a lot nicer than the bow that came with my violin (but I think I over did the rosin), and today I bought a new set of strings and it made a HUGE difference. Not so much in tone, more in tuning stability. Luckily, I am a guitar player, so I can hear when my intonation is off and adjust easily. Plus, I know some theory, so that helps. My biggest issue is bowing, but that will come in time.
MrYikes, GAS is actually Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Not just the guitars, but pedals, amps, strings, etc. Unfortunately, I have developed a taste for the finer gear (Gibson, Jackson, Orange amps) because I've been doing this long enough to feel or hear the difference. I already bought my second violin, a Cecilio electric (style 1), but only because I need variety to keep me interested. I know it won't make me any better.
Also, honestly, I am in shock that the strings made such a huge difference. They are just D'Addario preludes, but they stay in tune way better and sing more. Normally, the differences in gear are not so profound.
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