Manfred Schäfer Violin (Update)
As promised, I just want to update on an old thread (http://www.violinist.com/discussion/thread.cfm?page=314) about the Manfred Schaefer (MS) violin.
Finally a new batch of MS violins has arrived last week at Bows For Strings. My daughter and her teacher extensively evaluated a 803 MS model along with a new Jay Haide L'ancienne.
Anyway, my daughter is now very happy with her own Manfred Schaefer. Its price is still affordable (around AU$ 2K) for a made-in-Germany violin.
Congrats! Wonderful to hear!
As I told you before, the term "made in Germany" only legally means that the finishing touches were done in Germany, at that low price the instrument itself would have had to be made in Eastern Europe or more likely China, where labour rates are low enough to manufacture a violin for that low a price.
I don't know the Schäfer violins, but for a violin in the 2k-range it could very well be an original german instrument. Roderich Paesold instruments and bows for example are still genuinely made in Baiersdorf (near Nürnberg). And Paesold violins start around $450 (model PA-401E). The PA-802E I started with would be about $700 I guess, and maybe €800 in europe. I wouldn't expect much handicraft for that money but a lot of machine use.
again if they're under $3000 retail they can't be made in germany, the german labour rates are too high for that, you get 20 times as many hours of labour in china for the same money as you get in germany, you do the math.
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