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So the daughter's Mendini MV650 came today, and I won't post any A/V on it yet. I'm waiting for my cheap violin to show up, so I can post some comparison pics, and maybe drag the bow a bit to compare sound. This being said, my feedback is:
- The wood looks as nice as the one in Fiddlerman's video, including a nice tight grain. The flamed solid back is quite pretty.
- The finish looked a bit more oil rubbed in the video, and a bit glossier in person. Still has a pleasant aged look, with nice purfling
- It came set up with the sound post in the right spot, strung with the bridge at the f-hole notches, though strung loosely. I did have to move the bridge a bit to the side as it has obviously shifted in shipping.
- Chomatic tuner worked fine, and it came with an amber rosin. Guess I didn't need to rub the bow on it for 15 minutes like Fiddlerman had to do with the Ceclilio white rosin
- Came with a nice cloth, very useful in cleaning off all the extra rosin
- Bows were consistent with what was seen with the Cecilio black violin - one had the proper amount of bow, and one didn't. However, the other did look like it was left a bit tight in the case, so it may loosen
- I was surprised how easy it was to get tone, and loud tone from the instrument, even for a noob.
- How do you tune these things! Yikes. Unlearning again.
- Ebony fittings were all as advertised, including nice mother of pearl accents on the tailpiece and tuning pegs
Really, I found the fit and finish to be comparable with $300-$500 student violins I had physically looked at, and much preferred the antique look to the traditional varnished look I saw on most of the student models. Even the tuning pegs were a natural and snug fit.
Over all, pretty impressed, and happy to find the sound post in what looks to be a correct position with the correct amount of tension. I'd have no issues with purchasing another one of these, and thought the resonance that came from the instrument was similar to that on a ~125 year old German one I'd looked at.
So far, so good, though everyone should realize that as a noob, I may not have the best ear for what sounds good and what doesn't.
Regardless, have some Perlon strings, and both AB Dark and Original Hildersine rosin in the mail (the amber included was very flaky and dry). Will be curious to see what the daughter's teacher thinks of the sound of the kit.
As a first violin, I'm having a hard time finding fault with this instrument. Thanks Fiddlerman!
I did promise to report back once the teacher inspected the violin.
In her words, it is a "very nice" violin, not even qualified with the word "student".
Comparing the Mendini to my ultracheap violin, it actually looks like a musical instrument. Mine could qualify as a VSO, while the Mendini is a violin.
YMMV, as some reports state some are good while others are not. We seem to have got a good one. The teacher's only negative comment was that it needs better strings, which was something we expected.
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