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I'm new here. My kids are all grown and one of my grandkids (8 years old) is talking about learning to play the violin. I never played one, and my kids played the flute and trumpet, so I know absolutely nothing about violins. Can anyone give me some input on the Strunal violins? I like the fact that they are handmade, but I'm not really sure if that matters much. I found them on this site - http://violins-for-sale.com. I would like to buy a new one instead of one that's used and the prices seem to be ok. Any help would be appreciated. Also, if you know of a better one than the student ones by this manufacturer, I would love to know which ones you feel are best. Thanks for your help!
Hi, and welcome!
Have you checked out Fiddlershop.com? The owner, who goes by Fiddlerman on the forums and chat, posted some reviews of the CVNs on Youtube and they seem to be pretty solid beginners' instruments. A lot of the posters around here seem to play them, at least. They're also less expensive than the ones on that site so if the kid doesn't like it then you won't be out too much.
I think the "handmade" aspect of any violin is really more marketing than anything else. There are plenty of good violins that use both machined components and hand assembly. It really comes down to the individual instrument. (Shoot FM an email or lurk around the chat. He can really help you out.) Also, an 8 year old isn't going to care too much so long as it sounds halfway decent and is relatively easy to play.
Joe, you owe it to yourself to check out the Cecilios at Fiddlershop.com [link to the right]. Some decent reviews, and Fiddlerman is intent on making sure you are satisfied with your purchase.
I know some folks have found value in going to their local violin shop to try out various models, but there's no surety of a quality product just because you've held it at the shop and it's important to know the shop (whether brick & mortar or online) stands behind their products.
Best of luck!
The site for the mfr -- http://www.strunal.cz/en/default.aspx says Czech Republic. Sorry I took so long to get back to you, I have been a bit preoccupied. I think I am going to get one of the Strunal student ones and see what I think.
Thanks for all your help.
Just checking back in - the kid likes the Strunal violin - got the 220 (not sure that I know what is different between the two student ones) - still very 'squeaky" but he is staying with it.
(As a side note, it didn't bother me much that the video on their site was of another maker, I traded a few emails and the site admin told me that the video was the best one he ever saw showing how a handmade violin is actually put together.)
Thanks for all your help - we'll see where the g-kid is further down the road.