For a beginner - is a Hidersine Piacenza fine tune too expensive / advanced?
Hi, I'm hoping someone can give me a little advice on this.
I am an adult learner and I recently had my first ever lesson, using a violin provided by the teaching school (which the tutor told me is poor quality but enough to give people an idea of if they even like the idea of learning / the violin in general).
I am keen to buy my own violin this weekend and I have looked into a couple available at a shop... The Hidersine Vivente fine tune and the Hidersine Piacenza fine tune.
The former is for the whole outfit at around £250, the latter for £330 but also comes with Thomastik-Infeld strings.
I like what I have read about both, but the Piacenza looks to be a better investment in an instrument I may not need to upgrade so quickly.
Is it too advanced for a beginner?
There is no such thing. If you buy a higher quality instrument, you might just not get its full potential. That is it.
Thanks Bruno, I appreciate the advice.
Hi Emma and everyone. I am new to the discussion forum, although I have been reading it for months, but wanted to sign up to reply to your question. I am an adult beginner myself and I completely agree with Bruno. I have a Hidersine Veracini with regular pegs and it's fantastic, except for the bow, which is slightly warped to the right and felt somewhat heavy at the beginning - not so much now - so I ended up getting a separate carbon fiber bow. My teacher was really impressed with the violin's sound quality for its price and he thinks it's a very fine violin for beginners and intermediate students - I am based in Spain, where Hidersine violins are virtually unknown, so he had never tried one. I have only been playing for 11 months and I guess I still haven't got its full potential at all, but at least I know that it's my fault if I am not getting a nice sound. It really sounds and rings very nicely for an affordable student violin. I've only read good things about the Vivente and the Piacenza and actually considered buying one of them, but finally decided to stretch my budget a bit to get an instrument I won't have to upgrade at least for a few years and I haven't regretted it, but I guess the same might apply to the Piacenza. If I were you, I would definitely get the Piacenza, if you can afford it, specially if you have a teacher that can go and test both violins and confirm the Piacenza is really worth the price difference compared to the Vivente. Hope this helps!
Thanks Sue, your advice as a beginner was very helpful. That's very interesting to know that you bought the Veracini. The shop I am going to at the weekend also sells the Veracini (regular pegs) and is only a little more than the Piacenza fine tune. The Piacenza regular peg version is also available but significantly lower in price so I don't know what option is really best (I like to research before picking the brains of the knowledgable shop staff on the day).
Fine tuners can be installed on any violin, so it's not a big deal either way. It's preferable for all violinists to learn to tune with the pegs. Four fine tuners are more common for little kids, and for fiddlers who use all-steel strings.
Hi Emma, I am afraid I cannot say as I have never tried a violin with Wittner fine tune pegs. I did consider the Hidersine violins fitted with them but the Veracini was already a good stretch over my budget so I decided to go for the regular one. My teacher says its pegs are very nice, but I do have the same concerns as you and, I guess, any beginner. As a classical guitar player, violin pegs are quite puzzling to me :-) I still have the strings the violin came with and they rarely get out of tune. They did at the beginning, particularly the G string, but I guess that was mostly due to their being new. They are very stable now and I only have to use the small regular fine tuners at the base of the strings very rarely. Sometimes my teacher will pick up my violin and retune it using the pegs, but never because it goes seriously out of tune. So at least in my violin, not much tuning is required. I guess I will start playing with the pegs soon to get used to tuning with them, as the strings are quite old (way too old actually, I know!!!) and I don't mind if I break one now. If you're not going to get lessons from a teacher that can help you tuning in the first stages, I think the Wittner pegs can be a nice option though. I wouldn't want to discourage you about them and then have you regret it. They are sold independently though, and reviews about them are indeed very good, so you can always install them later on if you decide to go for regular pegs, but you might need the help of a luthier for that...:
"Fine tuners can be installed on any violin, so it's not a big deal either way. It's preferable for all violinists to learn to tune with the pegs. Four fine tuners are more common for little kids, and for fiddlers who use all-steel strings."
With "fine-tuning pegs" it's owner will never learn the frustrations of stuck or slipping pegs and will never have a valid excuse for the instrument ever being out of tune. The price difference between the two models is approximately the difference between that for cheap regular pegs and the discount price for Wittner or Knilling "fine-tune" pegs. After-purchase installation of "fine-tine" pegs will include not only the cost of the pegs, but also the cost of the luthier's labor that will likely be at least twice the cost of the pegs alone. So it is cheaper to get the instrument with the "fine-tune" pegs already installed. Years ago, when I asked my luthier what he would charge to install a set of Knillings in one of my cellos he quoted a price that exceed the price of any of the violins mentioned by the OP - just for the labor - so I set about doing it myself.
Sue, thank you. I feel like I'm learning a lot. It's nice to go on a forum and have good answers to my questions.
Hi Andrew, nice to know you have experience with them! It seems Hidersine only considers them for beginner/intermediate players as only their lower range violins have the Wittner peg option and the more advanced/expensive models are sold only with regular pegs, if I am not mistaken. Thanks for your advice! I think that anything that makes tuning easier in a violin is a nice addition, not matter your level indeed - at least for someone like me! :-) The finetune option was too much for my budget though when I got my violin one year ago if I wanted to go for the Veracini.
Go for the fine tuners, theres enough frustrations with the violin even with them. My beginer violin has fine tuners and Im so glad, the pegs tend to tet stuck alas more frustrations. Adult beginners rarely are going to be super great players, so cutting corners is just fine. And if you will be a super great player, you will then need to upgrade the violin anyway.
Ah, sorry, I was thinking Wittner tailpiece with fine tuners, as opposed to geared pegs.
Hi and thank you to all of you who have provided advice. I didn't expect to get so much feedback and so it is greatly appreciated.
"Those pegs are going to be a huge percentage of the cost of a violin in this price range, though. You're going to get more bang for the buck with a more expensive instrument, I think, rather than putting that money into geared pegs. It's not that inconvenient to tune with regular pegs once you learn how."
Fine tuner pegs cannot be simply switched from one instrument to another. The peg holes would have to be identical size which is extremely unlikely.
OK, thank you, Lyndon! :-)
Just an additional tip from another adult beginner (one day I will be intermediate) is buy from someone who will also do a proper set up if possible, failing that take it a luthier. I got mine from a lady who is primarily a luthier who also sells violins (and family, instruments, not hers) and she made sure the sound post was set, the fingerboard was correct, the bridge was set correctly and I think she also reamed out the peg holes so they rarely slip (all pegs slip sooner or later, such fun if you happen to be playing).
I would go with a nicer violin with regular pegs over the wittner pegs.
1st) You should really just rent at first. That way you'll get something that plays well without the commitment to buying. And if you want to buy after only a few months, you've only spent, say, $60-$80 on the rental, but that will easily pay for itself in the increased efficiency with which you learn initially. (If you're paying $200/month for lessons and you get 25% more progress because you're playing on a reasonably good instrument, then you have "saved" $50 in a single month by renting or purchasing a more expensive violin).
I don't think it's important to have geared pegs, unless you're going to go without fine tuners. If you're using regular pegs, I strongly recommend having all 4 fine tuners, as they're convenient. Pegs are great for big adjustments, but for small ones, I find fine tuners to be way more convenient, even with great pegs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using fine tuners or geared pegs.
I bought a piacenza in an emergency - I'd no idea it was part of the Hidersine range. I think it makes a good sound. There was a very promising late teenage beginner visiting a church I sometimes also visit, who already plays Bach unaccompanied untaught (He wasn't bad on the piano either). I was planning to swap my piacenza for his VSO, at least temporarily, but he hasn't turned up since.
Interesting to read more about everyone's knowledge / experience with regular vs fine tune pegs.
With traditional pegs, as long as the pegs work well and you have all four fine tuners, you're good.
I have fought with regular pegs in the climate of New York City, upstate New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, the California Desert and the San Francisco Bay Area. After 70 years of that s__t I finally installed Pegheds. Even good pegs go bad! I have watched professionals have to put their violins and violas on their laps to get their wooden pegs to turn and/or to not slip. I have watched professional cellists have to lay down their bows and turn their cellos around because their left hands were not up to the task of tuning with the pegs.
Thanks Andrew for your input. I only use pegs for large adjustments and when the fine tuners are too tight, so I haven't run into too many peg problems. In other words, I am extremely fine-tuner dependent, and I'm definitely not alone. If my pegs slip, I just put rosin on and that usually fixes it. Everyone's experiences with pegs are different, so there's lots of variation.
I had new pegs made for my violin in 2016, but I still use the Wittner fine tuner tailpiece that my luthier installed at the same time. I can tune with the pegs just fine, but for daily micro-adjustments the fine tuners are easier and faster. I don't really like the plastic tailpiece aesthetically, but for now it is fine.
Hi, to all who wondered about my decision following the original question...
Hi Emma, you're most welcome! I'm happy to hear you purchased a Veracini. The antiqued varnish makes it look beautiful indeed :-)
Great to hear that you're happy with your new violin!
Hey Emma, Sorry if I'm a little late. I too am a beginner violinist like you are and have been learning for 1.5 years. I Purchased the cheapest violin that I could find (costed by $130), but I soon ran into few problems
Sorry to hear your violin had problems Aditya. I sought advice both here and from my teacher and the shop I bought my violin from and have no doubt I made the right choice.
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