This isn't a review so much as a "welp, here it is", but I thought it might be helpful for anyone interested in purchasing this violin.
I also wanted an excuse to see how well my digital camera would record sound + video, and I think it will be fine for recording myself playing, however I now realize where my wife is coming from when she tells me I mumble all the time...
I ordered the Mendini MV500 from KK Music Store through Amazon.com. I had noticed that the photos for MV500 and MV650 were identical on Amazon, and I also noted that the MV500 on Amazon claims a one-piece back, while the MV500 on KK Music Store's website says the MV500 is a 2-piece back. I'm not sure if the listing on Amazon is correct or not, but while I ordered an MV500, I received an MV650 -- or say it says inside the violin.
Enough rambling... here's a video, with photos to follow.
As you can see, the label clearly says MV650. I'd be curious to know if Gail's MV500 is actually an MV650, or perhaps they just sent me the wrong one by mistake?
In any case, everything seems to be in order. The bridge was a little off I think, but I tried to straighten it up. It doesn't seem to stay in tune too well, but I think it may just need some peg drops or something similar. I start lessons next week, so hopefully my instructor can handle the setup.
If anyone more knowledgeable notices anything out of the ordinary, I'd be glad to hear your input. I *think* the sound post is in the right spot -- can anyone verify this?
Anyway, hope this helps someone out. I'm pretty excited and ready to start playing!
Hi, Drew. Thanks for posting all those photos and the video. Now that I've looked at the label I see that mine also says Mendini MV650. The only differences I see between your outfit and mine is that your bridge has writing on it and mine doesn't, and you seem to have a much nicer shoulder rest. Mine has less pad and more metal. Very uncomfortable. I'm currently considering other options.
I've learned so much from my mistakes that I've decided to make some more.
The sound post appears to be OK. maybe a slight angle to it but hard to tell. It's position from the bridge back looks good but can't tell if it is good sideways from the picture. Try just pushing in on the pegs as you tune to make it stay in tune. The steel strings are not the best. First thing you might want to do is get a set of strings, The Pro-Arte or the best I've heard the Zyex. Just so happens I know where to get them at a great price. http://fiddlershop.com
Looks like we both accidentally got a good deal on MV 650, Gail. The shoulder rest seems OK -- I'm not used to holding the violin, yet, obviously, but I can't seem to find a comfortable spot for it, either. I'm hoping my instructor can help with this, too.
Kevin, is Fiddlerman paying you to promote his business?! Just kidding... I am thinking of ordering those Pro Arte or Zyex strings. I'm used to guitar strings, but I can still tell the Cecilio ones aren't very good. Thanks for the tip!
@Gail: I wouldn't be surprised if the label were wrong, but it's curious that the MV500 on the KK Music website has a 2-piece back and this one doesn't. I guess we'll never know for sure unless we put a 500 and 650 side by side (maybe not even then)!
Sorry for the blurry photos, I meant to remove them, but I guess I posted again too quickly and it would no longer allow me to edit the post with photos.
Also, thanks for the comments! I can't wait to get started. Perhaps once I'm able to play some scales decently, I will update this thread with another video showing the MV500/650(?)'s sound quality. Fiddlerman's video of the CVN500 vs MV650 would probably be more helpful than anything I could produce, though, so anyone interested in this violin should check it out if they haven't!
I had forgotten to say thanks for the posting the review. I am happy that your Violin arrived safe and sound. Am keeping my fingers crossed, hoping the Cecilio I ordered also comes in perfect shape, who knows maybe it will be a higher end model
"No one can do everything, but everyone can do something."
Crooked sound-posts are common and there is really nothing anyone can do when shipping a violin to insure that the bridge doesn't move.
It could help if they tuned them before sending. They wouldn't hold the intonation anyway but the pressure would hold them in place better.
I don't understand why they don't tune them before shipping. If it is right the bridge will stay up and the soundpost will stay in place. them the strings will be easier to keep in tune. I always tune them before shipping and rosin the bows. I have to wonder how many complaints they get simply because people can't get the new bow rosined up with the new cake of rosin.
We have matching violins. My husband picked it out and surprised me since he knows I have always wanted to play. I just got mine back from a music shop last night.
I'm a complete newbie, but I can tell when I like something, and although I was a bit scared by the low priced chinaness of it, I am pleasantly surprised by the sweet voice.
It arrived from Amazon with the sound post dislodged, just rolling around in there. The luthier tweaked a few other things as well. He made notches in the bridge, got the pegs to stick in better, etc. Maybe he even changed the strings... I don't remember what the original ones looked like. It was $54 to have a professional completely set it up, but worth it since it went from unusable to being really beautiful. I watched FiddlerMan's review of this model, and mine sounds richer than the one he reviewed.
The only thing I really do not like is the big chin rest. Maybe I need a chin rest made for elves. Do you still like it after a couple of months? Did you change anything on it? How does it sound?
I have seen very little information on the MV 650 on Youtube and an opportunity presented it self a few weeks ago to purchase one for very little. I thought, how bad could it be?
Mine also came with a bridge that was mounted about 1/2" toward the bass side of violin, which was quickly corrected. The bridge was well shaped and conveyed the strings at the correct height to the fingerboard. The back and ribs have nice figuring. Both the back and front are one piece of their respective woods. The wood grain is very tight on the center of the violin front plate. The varnish was attractively applied. The violin weighs less than the Cecilio CVN 600 and CVN 800 (which I find to be rather heavy). I like it.
It came with 2 wood bows which were unfortunately stored with tightened hair, which caused the bows to slightly warp (which I believe that I can straighten).
Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal. —Earl Nightingale.