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What to look for in a violin
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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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September 26, 2018 - 4:59 am
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Fiddlerman has made videos about what to look out for, but...

I'm wondering if the criteria depend on how much you want to spend?

And if so, how many price-bands are there?

I don't know how much I want to spend. Last night a musician told me I should spend my life's savings, as it's a good invesment: but I can't do that - my flat/apartment takes precedence over my fiddling.

Also, I'll mostly be taking my fiddle to a roughish part of town, so there's a trade-off betwen value and insurance and so on.

I was looking at bow reviews, and the ones for Coda looked the most convincing, so I naively thought I could afford their best when I thought their best was $500. Then I realised their best was $1000 (nominal UK prices). I toyed with that idea before realising I don't want to take a $1000 bow to a rough part of town every week, let alone the fiddle itself (but my friend took her $40,000 viola there once, so I'll ask her about this subject too)!

So maybe my budget is $1500 for the fiddle and $500 for the bow. I don't know.

Do the same selection criteria apply as for a $500 fiddle?

Yeah, I know, play them in the store.

Also (I hope this post isn't too long, but a second post might confuse), my experience with a dirt-cheap plastic oboe makes me theorise that all student instruments are capable of more than their owners get out of them before they upgrade. So I have the belief that somewhere there's a student violin, the potential of which I won't exhaust before I'm decrepit. I wonder what you'd pay for that kind of instrument.

Andrew

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 26, 2018 - 9:46 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Andrew Fryer said ....... Last night a musician told me I should spend my life's savings, as it's a good invesment: but I can't do that - my flat/apartment takes precedence over my fiddling.

That is bad advice for sure. 🙂 Start with something you can afford. Always buy something that you can afford. You can always trade up later when your economy allows it. If you need help, we are around.

So maybe my budget is $1500 for the fiddle and $500 for the bow. I don't know.

I suggest you look at the MJZ-905. It's 1,850.00 but a heck of a fiddle for that price. We have some Holstein traditional violins and the Soloist outfit as well within your budget.

Do the same selection criteria apply as for a $500 fiddle?

You can find a nice sounding fiddle for $500 but spending a bit more gets you a violin with better wood, workmanship and easier to play.

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

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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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September 27, 2018 - 4:59 am
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Thanks for your always calm and collected advice, FM. I was musing out loud. Some people find it interesting and useful, but I suspect twice as many find it annoying, lol!

I haven't ruled out a 5-string - but I can't find the thread where you say it's a hoot - and recently I've been watching a lot of Michael Cleveland videos (and you teaching Orange Blossom Special - is there a free sheet-music official version of that I can look at?).

The only thing about a 5-string is you probably wouldn't want to attempt the Mendelssohn concerto on one, lol!

(afterthought - I noticed a 5-string tailpiece on Amazon with 5 fine tuners - I guess that C-string slot won't be too narrow)

Andrew

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mookje
The Netherlands
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September 28, 2018 - 7:35 am
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I just bought a new violin by a master violin maker (luthier) nearby. Well, I did have a maximum amount but the important thing for me was that I would fall in love with the sound. So I played lots of different violins (new and old) without knowing the price ? 

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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