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Good Student Violins, Shar Music or Southwest?

May 3, 2011 at 09:55 PM ·

Good Student Violins, Shar Music or Southwest?

I teach orchestral strings at a public school. Students sometime ask me for recommendations for purchasing an instrument. I know both Shar music and Southwest Strings to be reputable companies. Because of their specialization with string instruments and their extensive work with schools, I assume even the most basic model violin either company sells would not be a VSO (violin shaped box). Is this assumption incorrect?

 

Both Shar and Southwest offer a student outfit for around $150. Southwest offers the 104VN - Klaus Mueller Allegro Violin outfit and Shar offers the Franz Hoffmann Amadeus Violin outfit. Has anyone had any experience with either of these? Are they quality student instruments? Is one better than the other? Are they actually the same Chinese instrument with different labels?

 

I would appreciate any feedback regarding either of these models.

Thank you!

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