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First, I apologize in advance for this long post. There will be sections that will be separated by bold lettered descriptions. You can scroll down and find what you want to read about.
I purchased a Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe Violin Outfit. I would like to give my thoughts on the online purchasing, shipment packaging, the violin and talk about how it compares to my other violins. We will start at the beginning as to what allowed me to feel at ease purchasing a violin online.
CONCERNS OF ORDERING A VIOLIN ONLINE
This was the first time I ever purchased a violin online. How will it sound compare to all the videos? Even sound that has not been adjusted will have been recorded with a microphone. How will it feel? Will it feel well built? How will it look? Will it be as ordered, taking different grains and shades from the same type of tree.
If it wasn’t for this forum and reading so many great comments I would have been hesitant. The big reason I felt safe with this purchase is the fact that the Fiddlershop, Pierre aka @Fiddlerman, is active on this site. It is not a site that was created as a sales pitch. There is a lot of support on instrument purchases and playing given on this site, but no pushing. The quality of the instruments speaks for itself. To my thinking, if the products we not of great quality, the active participation on the forum would not be there either. So, I took the plunge to get a violin(fiddle) more suitable for fiddle music.
MY PURCHASE STEPS AND THINKING
My Doetsch is a warm violin, and fiddle music and more cheery happy-go-lucky sound a tad too dark or warm. For me, and my issue with overall sounds bothering me, it made it harder to play these songs without putting my own darker feeling in them.
I decided to purchase the Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe Violin Outfit.
The purchase was a great experience. I got a lot of help from Pierre. I was going back and forth between permanent fine tuners or removable fine tuners, geared pegs or the beautiful boxwood pegs the violin comes with, probably other things I am forgetting. I needed to get it right. He was extremely helpful and my decision was so much easier with the help. I am sure other staff would have been just as helpful, but I was very nervous about this and contacted Pierre. I was told to put any options I would like, or changes in the “note” box that is on, I think the last page of the ordering process.
MY PURCHASE FINAL DECISION
My purchase ended out with the removable fine tuners attached to the lovely boxwood tailpiece. so that I can take them off, hopefully, eventually. I went with the boxwood pegs that were on the violin. The writeup on Fiddlershop said it came with either D’Addario Kaplan Amo(?) or another brand that I cannot recall, but I think they are a Thomastik. I requested that if the Kaplan sound good, that would be my preference. I also requested the boxwood Kaufmann Side chinrest. It comes with the Guarneri, if I recall correctly.
MY VIOLIN BEING “BUILT”
My violin, with its options was assembled. Pierre made me a video where he displayed the violin and played it for me to make sure it was correct. It was lovely and I responded with a go ahead. The Kaplan strings were beautiful.
SHIPMENT AND ARRIVAL
I had to make sure I received it at a specific time, or more so that it would not arrive at a specific time period, so I paid the extra $19 for the 1-5 business day delivery. My violin arrived on the fifth day.
The packaging of this violin, which is something that concerned me, was fantastic. There was a cardboard bridge protector over the bridge area. The violin was in a soft drawstring bag. The bag with violin was in the violin holder section of the case and strapped at the neck. All the accessories that came with the violin were in the accessory compartment. Nothing was missing. The checklist that was used by the team was included, also.
The case was closed. The case was then put inside a sturdy box and packed with light brown paper all around. It was not just loosely packed, it was very well wrapped around the case. Everything was perfect when it arrived.
I kept all the packaging, including the bridge protector. I actually have the bridge protector and the two skinny little dowels that hold it in place in my accessories compartment.
It came with a bow and shoulder rest. I really like the bow and have been using it. I was going to wait because I have two violin bows I am actively using already. But, I am using it.
It also came with a Fiddlerman Shoulder Rest. I do have a shoulder rest that works well with my chinrest on my Rudoulf Doetsch violin. I figured I would be using that. Turns out, that the Fiddlerman shoulder rest is very light and works perfectly with the Kaufman side chinrest. Perfect!
THE VIOLIN ITSELF
The Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe Violin is beautiful. It has a wonderful finish. It is obviously very well made.
I love the sound. It is brighter than my Rudoulf Doetsch, but not piercing. To my ears, a lot of bright violins can sound cheap and hollow, I had one before my Rudoulf Doetsch. This Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe has a full sound. I absolutely love it.
It is easy to play. The fiddle songs and happy-go-lucky songs sound much nicer on this violin.
COMPARISON TO MY PAST AND CURRENT VIOLINS
Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe vs Revelle 500QX
My first violin after my test about playing a violin with a $67 Mendini was a Revelle 500QX. Compared to the Mendini, this violin was a Stradivarius! It ended out beginning to sound too bright and hollow. Now, compared to the Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe, the Revelle is almost the Mendini, in my opinion and to my ears; not in quality, the Revelle 500QX was a good violin. Due to the Revelle’s bright sound, it was traded in for another violin. The Revelle did not sound as full as this Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe. This surprises me because of the price-point of each. Not getting into details, but the Revelle was a bit more, not a whole lot, but a little bit. The Revelle seemed echoey, I am not talking about ring of the strings. The Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe has wonderful ring, but it has a nice full bright sound.
Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe vs Rudoulf Doetsch
The purpose of the Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe was to get a quality bright violin for fiddling and happy-go-lucky songs. My Rudoulf Doetsch is a warm sounding violin. I was successful. I played the “Going to Boston” on both violins. Actually played it on three, I included the $50 pawnshop purchase I posted about earlier. The same song had a slightly different tone on each. On the Rudoulf Doetsch, it was warmer than on the Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe. It sounded nice, but, to me was not fiddle music sound. Kind of drags it down, mood wise. When I played it on my new Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe violin, the mood changed. It was a happy light song that demanded to be played as such. I don’t think it came out that way because I am still learning, and a beginner, but, I could feel the mood change.
Even though the Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe was brighter than my Doetsch, the Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe, still had the full sound.
Overall, I am very happy. I would definitely recommend people shopping online for a violin to just relax, and go to Fiddlershop. You will be guided through the process and will not be rushed. Everything I discussed with them was done, and done perfectly. Having a video sample was really great. The violin is of excellent quality.
The case is roomy and perfect. I love the bow, shoulder rest, rosin, polishing cloth and name tag that came with it. The case can be locked and has two keys. I am not sure what the little sort of braided type wire is for. It is in a plastic bag. We think maybe an extra tailpiece thingy? Or maybe something to connect the name tag to the case with? Not sure. Will have to email Fiddlershop and ask.
I am attaching links to the items that came with the Fiddlerman Concert Deluxe Violin and the other accessories.
I hope this was helpful in decisions about ordering instruments online from Fiddlershop.
I now have to look for a Fiddlerman cap on the site. Have not found one yet, but will keep looking. If anyone has a link for it, please provide it. Not sure if there is one.
@cid glad you mentioned the Revelle. I was debating going with the..Revelle 600? Model but opted for the fiddlerman. My experiences were pretty much yours on the ordering process. To get the price I wanted and what I felt like was the next step up from my previous fiddle I was looking at a new import violin anyway so I figured Id go with one that someone felt good enough about to put their name/brand on...even if made elsewhere. The next level in my mind from what I now have would be 2500 and up. That purchase if ever is somewhere down the line. Thats when the older violins the local shops have will be in reach. Unless the pawn shop luck you have visits me! That was quiet the find it looks like!
Yes it is a lovely violin. It sounds nice, too. I have been testing Rudoulf and Pierre (Jer said that since I call the Rudoulf Doetsch, Rudoulf, that I should call the Fiddlershop Concert Deluxe, Pierre. 😂 Using Fiddlershop doesn’t work. Pierre is Fiddlerman, not going to use that. Back to what I was saying. I was playing fiddle songs and other songs on both violins today. For me, it does make a difference that I play the fiddle songs, as well as happy-go-lucky songs on Pierre and the more subdued songs on Rudoulf.
If, you, @Fiddlerman have a better name, please suggest.