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Are Chinese violins junk?
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Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
Fort Lauderdale
March 20, 2015 - 2:48 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15831

There are many misconceptions about todays Chinese made violins. We at Fiddlershop receive regular phone calls from customers asking if any of our violins are made in China. Hopefully I will be able to clear up some misconceptions.

China is producing approximately 80% of the worlds newly made violins. They are absolutely dominating the market! One obvious reason for this is that a violin can take between 300 to 400 hours for one person to build depending on the tools used and experience of the maker and the average hourly wage for Chinese workers is less than a tenth that of their average U.S. and European counterparts. Since they make so many violins, you are sure to find a lot of bad violins, also referred to by many as VSO, Violin Shaped Objects. These violins are made by hand at pennies on the hour using cheap wood and labor at mind-boggling costs. Keep in mind that they also make some of the best violins available anywhere. If you do some research, travel to some of their workshops, what you will see may blow your mind!

Two of the highest awarded violin-makers at…

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

Honorary tenured advisor

March 20, 2015 - 5:08 pm
Member Since: January 19, 2014
Forum Posts: 973
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Great article Mike.  Very nicely written and informative.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

March 20, 2015 - 9:27 pm
Member Since: February 15, 2015
Forum Posts: 93
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80% and 400 hours.  those are the numbers that stick with me.  wow.

the chinese captured the market solely on winning the wage war? this would not be a new concept.  is it possible there is a better way to build a violin and still earn a living wage?

California, the place of my heart
March 25, 2015 - 3:08 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4180
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Great article!  Thank you!

Living for the day I am  worthy of the Ming Jang..... :) violin-1267 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato


March 25, 2015 - 6:04 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
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I think that the tendency some people have to just dismiss ALL of the instruments from any country as "junk" based solely on the country of origin is very unwise. 

Excellent luthiers can live in any country and still get wood and the other materials from pretty much anywhere in the world that they see fit to build instruments from. 

Any country can also easily have a factory producing very poorly made instruments out of poor quality materials.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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