How do you define a VSO
I posted a question on bowing or expression and it immediately was assumed that I was compromised by playing a VSO. What's the rationale for this, price?
In my opinion for a violin to be relegated to the VSO category, it would be a Very badly or amateur made instrument, that is not able to sound good or respond well.
A VSO is a cheap violin that will not sound good no matter how much is invested in adjusting it, changing strings, etc.
In the end, VSO is a derogative expression of a bad violin... And good and bad are relative and subjective.
A VSO is pretty much a horrid violin. They range anywhere from violins that sound like dirt bags and are hard to work with, to violins that aren't even properly made, to violins that are pure junk that's unusuable, and everything in between.
Carlos: so a good violin becomes a VSO if it's not quasiperfect and does not deliver high on the G string to virtuoso standards?
No, a violin becomes VSO when it holds you down.
I do think it’s a bit extreme Carlos. Just because you need something of higher quality doesn’t mean everything below is worthless.
The point is that I don't think that a VSO is worthless. It is a very valid instrument until you grow out of it and when you do, it is time to pass it to someone that will find it useful until they also grow out of it.
I disagree with Carlos. To me, a VSO is a violin that is so poorly made that it starts holding back a beginner within the first few months, or costs more to bring to playable condition than it does to buy. It's the kind of instrument that fails to reward even good fundamental technique, or may even direct the student toward bad technique.
I like to think in terms of relativity, but I think there is absolutely no subjectivity in the definition of a VSO. It's worthless. I mean, what does it stand for? Just an 'object' that that only resembles a violin but actually isn't one for crying out loud.
I have a plywood violin that you may safely disparage on the internet; in person less so. Jane has a leather wrap around her ribs, has had three different varnish finishes, numerous tail, peg outfits, scroll gouged to accept a tuner easier, has had over 10 bridges and 4 sound posts.
Lol Bob, I always feel it’s kind of spooky when someone humanises something curvy that has a voice and can cry, like a violin.
@ David McLellan: do you think that you have a VSO? I suspect that you do not. I'm sorry you didn't get your questions answered on the assumption you have a VSO (if that is indeed the case)
I'm with Carlos on that one. It's an expression that infers relative sub-standard construction, setup and arguably performance. What is VSO to one can be treasured by another. Take for example the trash made instruments used by the Landfillharmonic Orchestra. These VSOs to most mean the world to their players, and do sound like violins but would probably fail to meet most people's standard and expectations.
If I remember correctly Dave had told me that he built his own violin from scratch and would love to see some pictures of it.
David McLellan asked, "I posted a question on bowing or expression and it immediately was assumed that I was compromised by playing a VSO."
I like Andrew's definition best: It will hold down a beginner after the first few months. Something that holds down an advanced player is just an average violin. We're all playing VSOs if the latter is the definition because I guarantee my fine bench-made eastern European violin wouldn't be good enough for David Kim or Christian Tetzlaff.
Anything that holds down a beginner after the first few months,
I think it's a stupid term coined by someone trying to be clever but failing. Every Stradivarius violin is actually a VSO. Rather than worrying about whether or nothing something fits the definition of a "VSO", whatever another takes that to be, it's much more useful to think of whether or not it meets the player's needs. There are some instruments which are so bad that we wouldn't want to give them away. We don't need an acronym to describe that; we have many words we could use instead.
On one hand, I kinda understand the need of this VSO "term" but on the other I think its like calling names. What I have to say is that if we accept the term and thats a big if for me, it should have nothing to do with the retail value.
I'll have to go with the definition of a VSO being an instrument that is not even suitable for a beginner. I once taught a group class where one kid had an instrument where it looked as if the pegs had been glued in, and the fine tuners wouldn't budge, and another had a fingerboard which literally fell off and split in two one day from normal usage. That's not to mention that a dying kitten would have sounded better than a professional trying to play these things.
I also agree that a VSO is an instrument that would hold even a beginner back.
Honestly I don't understand why some of us would take issue with the term VSO itself. We use these daily. Like lemons for cars, rags for newspapers, or junk for anything.
A VSO is more or less an object or item that is trying to be a violin but it's so badly made that violinists and luthiers don't consider it even a violin.
@ Tim Ripond: in one breath you say a 'real' violin has to be a bench made, minimum 10K.
Having played around taking apart and learning violin set up and repairs on many of them, my definition is either kindling, tinker-toys, or P.O.S. (not being retail point of sale, although that could be a double entendre.;-o.)
@ Dave....I believe Tim said $1000 not $10,000.
@Kim W: you are right. Thank you for pointing that out. Obviously that changes things. I apologize.
@Dave, 32/20/36 is too unreal for a Violin Shaped Ob... Oh, wait!
I believe the violins shape comes from the shape of a voluptuous Woman, but we digress.
A violin is not shaped like a woman. It is shaped like a violin. It does not come from the shape of a woman. The OP already had a negative experience seeking advice and is now asking a legitimate question about instrument quality/function. Please stop "digressing", boys, and remember that a number of us are women and don't particularly appreciate the completely irrelevant female measurement commentary.
Quite an experience. Many assumptions. VSO, beginner, proficiency of peers, acceptablity of gender comments, teacher required.
I think John Candy’s Tattoo character would agree that it is ‘Shaped like a woman, Boss!” ( SCTV Fantasy Island Sketch.) Although in the skit he was ‘holding’ a cello.
careful Edward...you may get your wrist slapped.
Around here VSO usually stands for "Vancouver Symphony Orchestra" - although I'm pretty sure that nobody in the VSO plays a VSO.
I have to hand it to you, Charlie, that was a good one.
In addition to poor playability, I would think something is a VSO if the sound is so poor that it is not enjoyable to listen to, even when played well. Most $500 and less violins would fall into this category IMHO
I agree with that, most $500 violins, although you can find some "lost jewel" under that price that looks fine, sounds very well and it's well made.
y'all don't forget. it was ME who started the 'shaped like a woman' thing...
I was gonna say what Tim said. The comparison, just in my very personal opinion, should be interpreted as a compliment rather than an attack on feminism. It would be a sad day for us all if all violins started to look like Donald Trump instead.
After a lot of research I'm quite sure the violin shape comes from the very actual pools:
Anyway what's the type of violins that do not have the edges (like guitar-shaped)? Do they sound any different? Look a lot more human that way, IMO.
Tim I think for the price of this VSO, you can get a nice violin. :)
Actually, I thought it’s shape was to allow the bow a more extreme angle while maintaining a larger surface area, but hey...
For example, Emily Pamela is clearly an owner of a VSO. Look what she has done with her life. Kids, don't buy VSO or you will end up like Pamela and her fake money.
wow, that was a lot of typing. if only I put that much time into practice!
It's more like pasting a pre-typed text, Dave. And who knows Emily could be just a computer.
Nice to meet you, my dear string. I intentionally wanted to parse you a little bit, byte 8 times I saw the booley man and I'm scared. Yay!
Honorable mention? For what?
Oh poor you tammuz, did you just get the spamming virus Emily? :D))
Lol. I just saw and deleted the repeated posts.