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Hi, I'm Melissa, I wanted to play the violin since I was young. This past September my oldest daughter started viola for elementary school orchestra, so I gave her rental a try and realized it wasn't so hard to squeak out a few notes. I became obsessed with learning to play the violin and decided that it was worth $65 to try out a Mendini violin and if I didn't stick with it, no big loss.
Turns out I instantly fell in love with it. After a week I switched to better strings and after a month or 2 I got the Fiddlerman carbon fiber bow (wow, night and day difference, so that's what a bow should feel like?!). The more I played, the more I loved it and realized this junky instrument wouldn't let me truly enjoy myself.
I decided I would save up and next Christmas buy myself a Fiddlerman Concert. While watching youtube videos and reading reviews I saw that the Cecilio 600 and 700 were pretty good choices too, and when I went to look them up on Amazon, there was an open box CVN 700 for $200. There was only one in stock, and knowing how great their return poilcy is I decided to take the risk.
My CVN 700 arrived yesterday... the sound post was in place and everything looked pristine. I don't really know why it was returned, I just know I have a pretty decent violin for $200! I immediately switched out the included Red Label strings for my Pirastro Tonicas I'd been using and am so pleased with the improvement over the Mendini. I'm still toying with the idea of better strings and also considering taking it in for a sound post adjustment to make sure it's living up to its potential, though I'm not sure if I should break it in first to see how the sound will change or get the adjustment done ASAP.
I've really enjoyed the Fiddlerman videos, forums, etc. and playing just for the pure enjoyment of playing. And one of these days I'm going to get past the first 5 bars of Fiddlerman's double stop Amazing Grace!
Hi Melissa! Welcome to the forums! It's funny how closely your experience mirrors my own. I started with the Mendini MV 300, then got a Fiddlerman carbon fiber bow (I, too, was surprised that a bow wasn't supposed to feel like a stick with a 5 lb weight at the far end!) and then eventually (fairly recently) got a Mendini MV 650.
I love it when people post about their brand-new violins, because these posts are usually just bursting with excitement, enthusiasm, and unabashed happiness. It's one of my favorite things about visiting the forum, so I'm so glad you posted your introduction.
Did you have your CVN 700 checked out by a luthier, or perhaps another violinist, or an instructor? Though I'm fairly certain you would be able to tell if something *major* was wrong with it, there might be other adjustments (like a new bridge, perhaps?) that could also benefit your sound. I'll admit that when it came to my choice of rosin, I pretty much chucked the rosin that came with my Cecelio MV 300 right in the trash and instead used a dark rosin instead which I had purchased in a muisc store an was usiing it right up until it dissappeard. Still, the rosin that came with my MV650 didn't see *horible* so I've been using it with rather pleasant results.
Anyway I can feel that I'm falling asleep at my computer, so I'm going to end it here. It's nice to meet you, and I'm looking forward to hearing how you're settling in with your new instrument! Have fun and keep us posted!
Wow Daniel, that's funny how similar our stories are! I haven't had the violin checked out by anyone yet, I was hoping to go to the violin shop today but Mother Nature decided to throw one more snow storm at us, so the luthier will have to wait. The CVN is breaking in quite nicely... songs that I found impossible to play just a few days ago on the Mendini are suddenly not so hard (I know I didn't magically improve that much in a few days).
As for rosin, I've been happily using Kaplan Artcraft light all along and have generally been very happy... it's the only rosin I've ever used on my Fiddlerman CF bow. However, this cold, dry winter was tough and several times I wondered if a dark rosin would have been better. I've been doing a bunch of rosin research and once I pick a winner I'm going to try some dark for comparison.
Thanks! I'm a little scattered in my playing, always coming across more music that I just *have* to play while still trying to improve on my favorite pieces. I got so caught up in it yesterday that my 30 minutes of practice turned into 2 hours and 3 new songs! The violin is like nothing I've ever tried before