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I'm a young man at 24 and new to the forum, but have been a keen reader for some time. As for my skill level I have been playing the violin for a little more than a year now. I am currently playing a European made violin worth around $400, and are seeking to upgrade to a better one.
I have been attracted to some violins at the DZ Strad's, but found Fiddlershop more appealing because they set up their instruments before shipping them (and much more), which means a lot for me because I would otherwise have to travel like a day to see a luthier.
So after lots of research I think I have narrowed my choices down to the Fiddlerman soloist violin outfit and the GCV Cremona ones. I see that the Cremonas are somewhat more expensive, and do not come with an outfit. What attracts me to the soloist is the slightly cheaper price and the fact that it comes with a very nice case, which I will be needing (I already own a FM carbon fiber bow). However, if the Cremona violins are better I would much rather invest in one of those.
Now, I think I read somewhere on this forum - I can't remember where now - that both those violins are made from the same quality woods, but in that case what is it that make the Cremonas more costly? If anyone has the experience with these violins I would be glad to hear your advice and opinions.
Very sincerely yours!
Welcome to the forum! I think the best way to get an answer would be to call up Fiddlershop and ask them. @Fiddlerman does try to answer questions on here, but calling would ensure that your post doesn't get overlooked if he gets too busy to pop on here.
I don't have experience with either of those models, but looking at them on the site, my perhaps totally wrong thinking in the price difference is that Fiddlershop might get a better deal from the maker of the Soloist, and is then able to pass that savings on to the customer. Again, I might be totally wrong, I am guessing based on how close in price those two are, if I'm looking at the correct GCV (what I'm seeing is a little under $200 price difference).
World's Okayest Fiddler
I agree that the best thing to do is to call the shop and talk to them. I have a GCV soloist and the one that I have is a very nice violin. Unlike some violin retailers, at Fiddler Shop there is a direct correlation between the quality of the instrument and its price. The higher the price the better the instrument. The price difference between them will be largely be due to the quality, source and age of the wood and as one advances further in price, the quality of the workmanship.
I would describe the soloist that I have as a very high quality intermediate/advanced student instrument and it will certainly last me the rest of my life. However, for more money one can get an advanced student/pro instrument and a professional quality instrument will cost correspondingly more. You really do get what you pay for with these fiddles.
Which one you get ultimately depends on your financial situation, your current needs and your future violin goals. If you are committed to daily, long-term violin playing, then my advise is to get the most expensive instrument you can afford -- without being financially foolish. If you're not absolutely sure for how long or how often you will be playing, then spending less money is may be the better course. I can say that I don't think you would be disappointed in the quality of either of the instruments you mention regardless of which one you choose.
Having said all that, the Kreisler Cremona was not available when I bought mine. If it had been that's the one I would have purchased instead of the Soloist.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright