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I have been playing what appears to be a $29.95 student violin for 7 months... my wife goes and orders a Ricard Bunnel G2 Violin Outfit. First play after rosining the bow... I think "Oh is this what a violin is supposed to sound like?" I'm impressed. I don't think it's much more than a higher priced version of the entry-level super-discounted packages that can be had on the internet, but with her permission I will continue to practice on that instead of mine! Good thing I stay on good terms with the wife... now she has something to hold over me in case I don't help with the household chores though!
Good to hear you received a good violin outfit that you like from them Mt. Fiddler. I had a very different experience with them than you, maybe I'm just unlucky since every violin that I order ends up with problems such as fingerboard falling off.
I actually ordered a Ricard Bunnel G1 which is basically just a step up from the G2 but I'm pretty sure it's the same thing. You must have gotten a good one from them because the one they sent me was mediocre at best. Their customer service was good and prompt but the violin I received was poorly constructed with average tone on the lower strings. There were visible construction flows at the scroll, like they got lazy and didn't spend enough time carving it with bumps and flaws. For all they harp about their proper set-up, it's pretty much bologna. It was playable but the pegs were not set correctly and the bridge feet was not flush with the instrument. I tried it out for two weeks and returned it disappointed.