Probably most people do play a 'factory' violin, because they are the most prevalent and easy-to-afford.
In fact, I played one for many years and loved it quite a lot. Of course, I was a little deflated when I learned that the violin, which came from my grandmother's attic, was not actually a Stradivarius.
"It's an old Germany factory violin," said the luthier, examining my beloved fiddle. He then attached a rather low monetary value to it.
This idea of a "factory" violin fired my imagination; I envisioned violins being stamped out by some kind of elaborate and mysterious machine.
That's pretty far from the truth, and a recent discussion here really drove that home for me. Violins are handmade, whether they are "factory" or "bench-made." One can use better or worse materials; one can employ skilled or less-skilled humans with knowledgeable or less-knowledgeable supervision; one can have 50 people on the assembly line or just one person in a studio; but they are made by hand. I imagine the worst-possible VSO (violin-shaped object) still requires nearly as much labor as the finest fiddles being made.
Tell us about your experience with 'factory violins' -- that is, violins that are mass-made by assembly line and carry a brand name, rather than those made by an individual luthier or shop. Chances are, at some point in your development, you have played one, if you don't play one now. I've played several, and my students have some very good ones. I can thank 'factory violins' for allowing me to learn to play!
What is your story and your thoughts on the matter?
And here is quite an amazing video about the subject from Stentor violins:
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