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I ordered a Ming Jiang Zhu 909 last night .. the wait begins
I'm so hype right now ...
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Schaick
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February 22, 2015 - 11:26 am
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How fun!!  

If I were to get a new violin which one would I buy?

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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Bunkei
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February 23, 2015 - 2:52 am
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Schaick said
How fun!!  

If I were to get a new violin which one would I buy?

Price range would be the first of many factors ..  For up to $5000 .. it's a no-brainer, the MJZ 909 ..  The only other violin that I'd even consider is one of Scott Cao's STV-1500's, which is a benchmade model made by one of luthiers in his California workshop.  My only issue is that there's hardly any footage (or reviews) of any of those violins anywhere.  I'm sure based on his reputation that the odds of any of his instruments (especially any benchmade ones) disappointing are slim to none.

for under $2000, Fiddlershop's GCV violins are pretty dang impressive ... I'm a big fan of the GCV's "Kreisler" replica and the Fiddlershop Soloist models.

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Fiddlerman
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February 23, 2015 - 7:33 am
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Funny enough, I read your post and checked our site only to find that the STV-1500 is not listed. I know we have them here at the shop.
Thanks for the reminder Bunkei :)
I'll try to find time to make a review of that violin. I'm still a little behind schedule. :(

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Bunkei
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February 23, 2015 - 10:52 pm
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Fiddlerman said
Funny enough, I read your post and checked our site only to find that the STV-1500 is not listed. I know we have them here at the shop.
Thanks for the reminder Bunkei :)
I'll try to find time to make a review of that violin. I'm still a little behind schedule. :(

Really?? I never knew you carried them!  I assume the price is right around where the MJZ 909 is?  If so, I'd love to see a comparison between the two :)

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Fiddlerman
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February 24, 2015 - 5:59 am
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Makes sense. Comparisons are tough with hand made instruments, each one differs greatly. Recently, we tested a "bench" made violin by Scott Cao. A copy of the Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, 1744 ex “Ole Bull”. It was so fantastic that we couldn't leave it alone. Mr. Cao was kind enough to sell it to us. The price of this instrument is 20,000.00
We also have an Italian "Bench" violin made in Cremona that we'll be putting up on our site soon. More information to follow soon. The price of that violin will be about $6000. We bought it straight from the maker with his certificate and signature.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Schaick
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February 24, 2015 - 8:45 am
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@Bunkei  After I posted I went to Fiddlerman's shop and listened to a few sample videos and GCV's "Kreisler" is the one!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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LyleA
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Schaick said
@Bunkei  After I posted I went to Fiddlerman's shop and listened to a few sample videos and GCV's "Kreisler" is the one!!

I'm a proud new owner of a Kreisler, and I LOVE it.  That's 'love', but in all caps, haha.  Lots of choices in the 1,500 to 1,600 price range, but I can't imagine one beating a GCV replica.

Fiddlerman said
Makes sense. Comparisons are tough with hand made instruments, each one differs greatly. Recently, we tested a "bench" made violin by Scott Cao. A copy of the Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, 1744 ex “Ole Bull”. It was so fantastic that we couldn't leave it alone. Mr. Cao was kind enough to sell it to us. The price of this instrument is 20,000.00
We also have an Italian "Bench" violin made in Cremona that we'll be putting up on our site soon. More information to follow soon. The price of that violin will be about $6000. We bought it straight from the maker with his certificate and signature.

@Fiddlerman  So are you guys starting to get more 'bench' instruments now or in the future?  One day I would like to invest in such an instrument, and I like shopping with Fiddlershop.

Never mind maneuvers, just go straight at them.

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Bunkei
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Fiddlerman said
Makes sense. Comparisons are tough with hand made instruments, each one differs greatly. Recently, we tested a "bench" made violin by Scott Cao. A copy of the Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, 1744 ex “Ole Bull”. It was so fantastic that we couldn't leave it alone. Mr. Cao was kind enough to sell it to us. The price of this instrument is 20,000.00
We also have an Italian "Bench" violin made in Cremona that we'll be putting up on our site soon. More information to follow soon. The price of that violin will be about $6000. We bought it straight from the maker with his certificate and signature.

Did you buy the Scott Cao Del Gesu copy for yourself or did you intend on putting the instrument on sale at Fiddlershop?  Either way, I think we all like to see you perform on it ..  choose a piece that really fits the character of the instrument.  Being a Del Gesu copy, I imagine a dark, powerful timbre on the G & D strings, a very sweet A, and a bright and brilliant E.

I'm not surprised you fell in love with it .. :)  I'd love to get a benchmade model from Scott Cao or Ming Jiang Zhu.  Oh well .. there's always the lottery .. hehe

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Fiddlerman
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February 24, 2015 - 10:17 pm
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We actually lent it to a former MSO colleague who was here on vacation for a week. He and his son were also in love with it. We'll see what happens. We're not thinking about it too much since we know it will sell. Instruments like this are hard to come by. I would keep it for myself but would need to sell my instrument. :)
We will definitely be getting more bench violins.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Schaick
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February 25, 2015 - 8:07 am
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@LyleA What kind of music do you play?  How does it sound with bluegrass, folk, celtic?

My Berty really sounds best playing bluegrass.  I wonder though when you get up to that price range of violins- do they sound good playing anything?

I think that volin will be a reward to myself when I ....... Hmmmm, will have to decide on a really good reason!!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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LyleA
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@Schaick I mostly gravitate towards classical/baroque/romantic music, but I will try anything if I like the sound.  I know Ashokan Farewell and play it (poorly) often, and I think it sounds wonderful.  Dixie also sounds good on the Kreisler.  I suspect anything would sound good if played by a skillful person, but I'm sure you are right that some instruments lend themselves more to certain types of music than others.

Never mind maneuvers, just go straight at them.

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Bunkei
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Update #4:  After using the tonerite for the last week or so, all I can say is "wooooooooowwww".  At first, I wasn't sure if I could detect a difference, but now I can definitely attest that it works as advertised.  I turned up the vibration on "high" and that helped open up the G and D strings quite a bit ... the G string is sooo dark now, but still clear.  Then I turned down the vibration, and the A string has really come alive now.  Overall, the sound of the violin resonates so much, it feels like that I have a small mic attached to it for reverb.

If you buy a new high end instrument, I IMPLORE you to buy this with the instrument.  

You won't regret it.

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Christine (moonlitday)
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March 1, 2015 - 1:48 pm
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I don't know how you can possibly resist from playing that beauty ALL THE TIME to allow the tonrite to do it's job! Props for that alone! 

I really enjoy hearing your journey with the MJZ, I hope to have my own within the next year (as long as the cdn/us exchange rate doesn't get out of hand). You should post a video of how it sounds after the tonirite does its job (heck post a video anyway!). 

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Fiddlerman
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March 1, 2015 - 8:09 pm
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You are right Bunkei, instruments really open up when they are played on or vibrated with the tonerite. Great product to speed that process up.

Thanks for your review!!! Happy to hear it.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Fiddlestix
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Christine (moonlitday) said

 You should post a video of how it sounds after the tonirite does its job (heck post a video anyway!). 

Yes, please do post a video. I'd love to hear the "MJZ" 909 in action.

violin-1267

Ken.

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Bunkei
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Update #5: Let's get the bad news out of the way first.  My hand STILL hasn't healed all the way, but I'm practicing nonetheless. I really don't know what else to say that I haven't said already.  What a POWERFUL tone the MJZ G909 has.  I've been recently been comparing it with Ms. Meyers' 'Ex-Vieuxtemps' Guerneri Del Gesu.  Why?  Since my violin is based on a Del Gesu pattern, I was anxious to see how it stacks up.  Secondly, the 'Ex-Vieutemps' Del Gesu is truly one of a kind since it is in perfect condition (no cracks whatsoever).

My findings? Pretty freakin close. There are definitely similarities in the power, darkness, and timbre throughout the registers.  Of course, it's unfair to compare my violin that's only been alive since last summer vs an original mint-condition Del Gesu that is 274 years old.  I have a very discriminating ear, and the fact that MJZ can hold its own says volumes about the workmanship of this violin. 

I WILL be recording myself playing a couple of pieces, but I need a new microphone as neither my headset nor my USB webcam suits recordings of this kind.  I'll be on the march to find a relatively inexpensive but quality mic over the next few weeks.

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Fiddlestix
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Bunkei said

 I'll be on the march to find a relatively inexpensive but quality mic over the next few weeks.

You spend thousands on a beautiful instrument, don't cheapen out now on a mic.

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Uzi
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Ribbon mics best capture the sound of a violin -- IMHO.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Bunkei
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March 29, 2015 - 2:31 pm
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Fiddlestix said

Bunkei said
 I'll be on the march to find a relatively inexpensive but quality mic over the next few weeks.

You spend thousands on a beautiful instrument, don't cheapen out now on a mic.

Here's what I bought:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com.....or-usb-mic..

I decided to get this one not just because of the positive reviews, but there's actual recordings of how it sounds when picking up acoustic instruments.  See here:

 

I don't have the space (or budget) for a professional/pre-professional mic set up.  However, I do believe that this will do the trick.  The merchant also has a good return policy, so I will return it if I'm not satisfied and try something else.

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Uzi
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Can't wait to hear it.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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