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I'm a thirteen year old student who has never taken private lessons, but I am considering doing so. Currently, I have a really old Pfretzschner Mittenwald (no name brand) that definitely needs some fixing up. Rather than having it repaired, I want to buy a new violin. I'm on a strict budget around 200 dollars. I've done some research and these violins seem to be popular.
Franz Hoffman Prelude Outfit ($209.00)(SHAR)
Stentor Student II ($199.99)
Knilling School Model 4/4 ($215.00)
It would be great if anyone has experience with violins like these.
Hi there and welcome to the insane world of strings.
Of the three, Keep the Pfretzschner, unless its cracked or otherwise unplayable. I doubt they will live up to its tone. Old is not a bad thing when it comes to violins.
Invest you budget in strings and a good tuneup.
Hope this helps you and I happy playing.
With violins there is no fretting over the music.
I would probably need to replace the strings, rehair the bow, and fine tuners also need some work. The pegs are also hard to tune because they slip so often. Taking this into account, I figured I could sell my current violin for around seventy to eighty dollars on Ebay. I saw the Knilling violin with perfection pegs on sale on Amazon yesterday for 170 dollars. Other websites seem to sell the Knilling for around 360 dollars, so I just bought the Knilling. I know that the better quality pegs will help me and that Knilling produces decent beginner violins. When I eventually need an upgrade, the Knilling will also probably resale for a decent price.
Thanks for your input guys!
I would keep the old Pfretzschner Mittenwald and get a new set of nice strings. Unless it needs major fixing like cracks.
The slipping pegs could be fixed easily - it could be caused by putting on strings on right and/or use some peg compound or peg drop, unless you need a new set of pegs. You could buy a set of fine tuner around $10.
If there's a music store near you, you could go buy a set of strings and they could put them on for you correctly and may even fix the slipping pegs for you.
If you are really going to buy a new one, knilling is probably the better one among the three. Have you look here at fiddlershop.com? The Fiddlerman could offer you some great choices, too.
I play a Shar Franz Hoffman, but the "Amadeus", not a "Prelude". A notch cheaper. But I like it and have had no problems with it. I've always liked the sound of it and how it handles. Workmanship and materials seem good for the price. It's been a good little instrument for me, playable and dependable.
That's the only name on your list that I've tried, sorry for the limited info.
Depending on how much repair that old violin you have would need (and what that would cost), getting it back in top form might be a project for later unless you have good repair people in your area and their prices are good. I sure wouldn't discard it, even if what you want right now is a shiny new instrument. There will likely come a time when you'll at least want to see what that old bird can do.
"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
Most of the Pfretzschner violins, at least the ones from the 2nd half of the 20th century, were German factory(ish) made student violins. They might not be great violins, but I'd hang on to it, since some of them can sound pretty decent. Congratulations on the new violin.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright