Joyee music violins
Instruments: Violins from Joyee music at ebay by Luthier Mr.Jay K.Chen
From Richard Saw
Posted September 4, 2013 at 03:17 AM
Does anyone has played the violins from Joyee music at ebay. Maker is Luthier Mr.Jay K.Chen. The store on ebay claims violin are made by luthier. I am thinking of getting a guarneri copy. But would like to listen the feedback from those who has played the violins.
99,99999% sure it is not made by a luthier. These chinese violins are made in workshops. Don't know about Joyee violins, but probably they are more or less the same as many other entry to mid level chinese violins.
I have purchased several of the violins from Joyee and have been very pleased with them. They are very well made, proportions are fine and the varnish is very nicely antiqued. They are bright instruments which, when set up well, are very easy to play. I have not purchased any of the instruments marked J Chen. The ones from Ron Slam seem to me to be the best ones but the ones from Disen are also very good instruments. I have a J Haide L' Annciene which I think is very similar in quality of build and quality of sound/ playability, and a lot more expensive.
One thing you will need to do when you get one of these violins is to replace the strings. I think the Obligatos work well on these violins. Also, adjust the string height above the end of the fingerboard and at the nut. They tend to be on the high side. I also replace the bridges with an Aubert bridge and then adjust the sound post for fit and best sound location. The pegs fit well but I give them a light sanding with very fine 400 grit wet/dry paper and then some hill peg dope. The bows that come with the instruments are ok but I also replace them with carbon fiber bows from SW Strings (about $80).
I played one of these violins for the entire season last year in the Auburn Symphony and received several nice comments about the sound and the looks of the violin. No one guessed, until I told them that it was a new Chinese violin.
Good luck with your purchase.
From Richard Saw
Posted on September 5, 2013 at 04:24 AM
Thanks for sharing the experience with new violins. It is very helpful to me.
Hi Nicolas, I agree with you. At lower prize range, expecting luthier to work from beginning to end is not realistic. However, (rather than each parts of violin assemblied open-endedly with no checking or without advice of any sort)even each of violins gets few minutes attention from someone knowledgable enough may improve the quality by orders of magnitude. At least, I hope. If someone can shine light on how workshop violins are made, it would be great.
I purchased a Stadivarius Kruse 1721 Copy - Master Level, from Joyee Music last year for my daughter. I think it was claimed to have been made by luthier Disen Tim. I wanted something cheap to set up with a pickup as she had just joined a jazz band. It was supposed to have an antiqued finish but to my eyes and fingers it was simply badly applied, flaking varnish. When I had a luthier set it up he played it a little and his reaction was "wow! that's loud". I think he didn't want to offend me by criticizing the instrument but I could tell by his expression he didn't like it. It worked for my daughter's purposes but since she quit the band it now sits in the case unplayed and unloved. She much prefers her Yitamusic T20 violin (another cheap Chinese Ebay purchase) which has had many compliments on its sound and appearance. The T20 is far superior to the T18 it replaced. The Joyee violin sounds fine to my undecerning ear and after an hour with some 600 grit wet sandpaper it looks OK too but my daughter thinks it sounds "tinny". My recommendation for an inexpensive but decent violin would be to go for a Yitamusic T20 - I think I paid less than $200 shipped after a month of bidding on several so don't pay the $600 or $700 buy-it-now price.
Just some notes on these low cost violins:
I have learned that there is a difference between "hand made" and made by a luthier. Hand made can just mean put together by hand.
Also buying violins on eBay can be very iffy... look for real stores that also sell on eBay and go directly to the store's website or contact them directly to learn more about the company.
I've purchased 3 Violins from Joyee music on ebay. Two were by Luthier Mr.Jay K.Chen.
I believe the different Luthier's are different shops and Joyee music is just a middle man.
The first one, was not by K.Chen and the Bridge was made backwards (angled side facing tail piece). But other than this it was extremely good for the money. I have two Violin's that cost thousands each.
I put a tonerite on them to help speed up breakin.
I tossed the strings and tossed the tail piece and replaced it with a Wittner. I put Wittner Geared pegs on one.
The fit and finish is "slightly" lacking. Varnish thick in some places where it settled. Chin Rest practically glued on because it was put on too soon. You MIGHT feel the finger board edge where it joins the neck.
But the color and wood quality look fine.
But overall they sound fantastic for the money. I bought them for friends that were just starting.
I think you'd have to pay $1000.00 get one that sounds as good, maybe more. But you'd get better fit and finish too.
Dimensions were all good.
Weight was good.
I never tried the bow on any of them. Until one day one the friends brought it into work with her son who the violin was for. I tried the bow and was amazed how good it felt. It's probably a $5-$10 bow. Mine is $1300.00 and I liked this cheap bow !!
One way I assess something online is look at the bridge feet. If they are chunky, stay away. If they are slender then you have some chance of getting something decent.
I tried to explain to Mr. joyee about the backwards bridge and he insisted it was correct. But the later two K.Chen violin bridges were fine (different shop?) He is not the easiest to communicate with.
You can save even more money by watching auctions. Some go high and some go low (for the same model). And anything with Best Offer he will discount quite a bit.