I’m looking for suggestions on good quality 3/4 violins for adults. I want something I won’t be longing to upgrade for at least 3 years, ideally. I still consider myself fairly new and play for my own fun and enjoyment, but my 3/4 Glaesel that began its life as an orchestra rental has its quirks. I want something that will enable good expression, and I believe my ear tends toward a darker tone.
I would also like a better case for it. Mine doesn’t have a backpack straps option or storage for music, my snark, or shoulder rest. I don’t like having to carry an extra bag, it becomes quite tedious on lesson days when I have my purse, work bag, violin case, and a backpack with my music books and violin accessories. Something protective is a must, as it will potentially have to survive children and dogs who find their way a way to bum into everything and knock it down no matter where I hide it.
My instructor is quite certain that 3/4 is the correct size violin for me, and if anything by some standards of checking it could be considered borderline too big, so please stick to suggestions on quality 3/4 violins and not trying to convince me to size up. I really am quite the little peanut of a person.
I have. I don’t need a whole outfit and I’d rather pick my own case to suit my needs. And I know everyone says great things, but I’m extremely wary of buying online… the return shipping would be expensive, and it’s a lot scarier than the shop I can walk right back into 5 minutes from work and bug them if I had any issues.
Which one did you get? @ELCBK
Perhaps things are showing up different because I’m only looking on my phone, but I’m seeing all outfits except the pricey ones, and the Scott Cao, which I was interested in, seems to be unavailable/out of stock in everything, and I was trying to stay under or around $1,000.
@Mouse Yes, I can make an appointment to play what they have and/or visit their sister location and test out their violins as well, and they are willing to acquire any violins/cases/etc. I want that they don’t have in stock and said they can usually get a better price for me than I can find. I just have to know what I want, which has been proving more difficult to research with the 3/4 size. Trying to look things up, I just find garbage reviews for brands I know are VSO’s, and the occasional music teacher’s site geared towards student instruments, which is helpful, but not exactly what I’m looking for and also not enough to get much of an idea of what’s out there either.
I have a Glasser AEX in a 5-string - and I LOVE IT!
I did change my strings to suit me, but the AEX is set up for electric and only in 4/4 size, but I haven't even plugged mine into an amp, yet. (lol)
So, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to you the 4 string acoustic in 3/4.
I will soon be getting an acoustic Glasser Viola (5-string, too), but I have to wait a few weeks - they are testing a new CF bridge that I want.
I wish there were 3/4 acoustic-electric violins! I have yet to see one, but it would definitely make my wish list!
While I like the the greater weather-resistance, I noticed in the video they commented not to expect to be blown away by its tonal performance, and that really is the piece I want to upgrade from my Glaesal.
@ELCBK How have you found the tone to be in your AEX? I really want a darker tone. My Glaesal seems to have an almost whiney brightness to it that I’m just not in love with. …well, not in love with 99% of the time. Sometimes when I’m really feeling the, “Why do I have to play this?” in a lesson, it isn’t so bad. 😂
I don't play very well, yet - but you can see & hear me in Post #16, here:
There are many more members playing in the 'Party Room', in the 'Share' and 'Critique' headings of the forum.
BUT, everyone is playing a 4/4 (and sound different) - think I remember ONE member playing a 3/4 in a 'Share' or 'Critique' thread this past year.
...not so sure I'm of much help.
You do understand my violin is a 4/4, right?
I just don't want any misunderstanding.
Yes, and the AEX, which doesn’t come in 3/4, as you noted. That said, I’d probably hold off on a carbon fiber violin until I could get an acoustic electric out of it. I see myself wanting an AEX one day anyway, so hopefully they’ll come down to the fractionals. Right now it doesn’t seem like a huge upgrade in tone from mine, which is really what I’m wanting - a rich, dark tone I can use to provoke the feels. Music is like an extension of therapy for me, and I want all that extra to have space to come out. I think that passion and feeling is probably why I’ve progressed as quickly as I have.
I had a nightmare the other night that I went to my local shop and blindly tested the violins and went home with one, not realizing it was over $2100, and then panicked that I couldn’t afford it and no one would actually be willing to get it for me for Christmas, but I was in love and didn’t want to part with it either! 😂
I'm afraid you are hopelessly addicted to this instrument... like the rest of us. (lol)
A year from now you may find a 4/4 not as scary as right now - just a thought, but please forgive me if that would be physically impossible.
Btw, for your own reference - the length of my violin body is 13⅞" and total length up to the nut is 19".
Have fun shopping!
I was thinking of an antique French, not a modern fiddle, so prices vary. If you have a luthier near you they will very likely have old fiddles for sale. good chance you could pick up a workshop made mirecourt one for around that price, my luthier had a couple for sale not long back that were around 900 quid,. but I live in Liverpool Engaland, so thats not much use to you. If I was over there in the states I would check out the fiddlerman violins first he has a great reputation, and if he has nothing for you try looking for an old French, I wouldnt buy from an auction though.
The Engaland spelling is on purpose by the way if you were wondering, to amuse my Scot and English brethren.
Haha, it’s okay, no offense taken. @ELCBK I am quite the tiny peanut. My entire hand can fit in the palm of my partner’s hand, and I often get mistaken for a child in the relationship… He finds it amusing, me, not so much.
Currently with my 3/4, holding it with my arm fully outstretched the scroll is in my hand. I’m assuming that coupled with my tiny hands are why my teacher said she thinks I’d injure myself if I tried to play anything larger and 3/4 is definitely the right size.
Although I didn’t ask for specifics. I just asked her if I should get a full size and then if I should try a 7/8, and kept getting told no, 3/4 is definitely the right size for me and anything bigger will likely lead to an injury. 😂
Thanks everyone for all the advice so far!
I finally worked up the nerve to call the strings guy at my local shop. He took all my information and is now on a quest to help find a good match for me. He did say anything they special order in for me to try I won’t be obligated to purchase, so I can make requests for violins to trial and they’ll do their best to acquire them. He did say Scott Cao was one exception, as he wasn’t sure they would be allowed to send those back if I was not satisfied, but he said their sister location might actually have one in stock in full size that I could “fiddle” with or at least listen to!
I’d still love suggestions on violins with deep dark tones that come in 3/4. He was very interested in what I was looking for and wanted to test out, so I welcome information to absorb!
Also, he mentioned he might look at what they had for European tone woods for the darker tone, has anyone heard of them being less bright than Asian tone woods in general?