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Looking at my first violin. I could use guidance, hopefully from someone familiar with these models/brands. I am looking at the Stentor Graduate 1542, and the Knilling 114VN. Both are priced new about the same. I found a used model of each in good shape in mid $100s. Deciding between these two.
Both are also student violins a step or two up from the low end. I only plan to keep it until i find i will stick with it, and play beyond it. At the cost i feel the risk is low.
I also anticipate having it worked by a luthier here in Va.
There is a bit more online about Stentor and much less about Knilling. Esp for sound bites.
I appreciate any advice on this, given the options.
I appreciate it. Mainly wanted to know if one sounded better or if one of the two is prone to problems ....other than player error.
Neither of the two violins have been played much. They are in two different directions from me, each around 2 hrs away. It may come down to flipping a coin as both seem to be in the same class.
There is an English lady, Alison Sparrow, who has a website called onlineviolintutor . I believe she has done many reviews of various student models of Stentor violins. Not sure if she’s done yours, but it still should be of some help. Easiest way to find these is to search for “Stentor online violin tutor” or something along that line and you’ll see a lot of her videos.
She’s a degreed, professional teacher so her insight might help.
I think it's very exciting you're looking to get a violin!
I'm curious, though. If you never owned a violin before & aren't sure you'll stick with it - what made you decide to look at these 2 brands?
Just thought I'd mention Fiddlershop has a Holiday sale going on and they also might have some 'B' stock available at a reduced price (maybe with a minor cosmetic flaw) - you might take a look. ALL violins are different, but buying though a reputable shop has guarantees and you won't have to pay extra to visit a luthier to make sure your violin is set up properly. Plenty of reviews on their instuments and if problems arise, they bend over backwards to help. This would help ensure your enjoyment & success learning to play the violin.
Me, I gave myself a year to see if I wanted to stick with playing, but deep down I knew I would - so I tried to make sure I bought a much better violin than I thought I deserved (in hopes I wouldn't get sick of it) & one I knew was set up right with some kind of guarantee.
But... if I truly hadn't known I would stick with it, I would've probably tried learning on a rental, unless I ran across a $50 deal at the nearest thrift/2nd hand store. (lol)
Btw, it doesn't really matter what anyone here thinks about the violins you are considering - seriously, all violins are different - so make a point to hear someone play them. Just take into consideration that visiting a luthier to check it over for you, might cost more than you think (especially with the way things are today & what needs to be fixed) - but you'll know what sounds best to you! 😊
Thank you @Unfretted for the mention of Alison Sparrow. I will look her up.
Emily, my approach sounds squirrely probably. I dont have nuch to invest to get started. I happened to have a little leftover after preparing for Christmas. I reviewed dozens of buying guides, posts, etc. to narrow my choices to those two brands and models. I figure I can get started at low cost (and risk), dedicate time for several months to learning, and assess my next step.
Note I did hear several samples of Stentor and I think 2 of Knilling. But not of these specific two instruments and I realize that us not advised.
It is a bit of a gamble, but worst case I will start practicing, have the violin examined, and start saving in the meantime.