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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.
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)
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!!