For a decent student violin are Chinese violins comparable to Western ones?
I have a Meisel I paid $300 for in 2009, and haven't played it since 2010.I'm thinking about starting up again. The bridge is badly warped, and gouged into the finish below. I'm not sure on the situation of the sound post. One guy just quoted me $150 to install a new sound post and bridge. I'm thinking of just buying a new one from one china. Is a few hundred dollar violin from Meisel comparable to ones like this from China? https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4-4-Old-Violin-Aged-Maple-Russian-SPruce-Pro-116/626295948.html?spm=2114.search022.214.171.124c9410bc7Wm0we&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_2_10152_10151_10065_10344_10068_5722815_10342_10343_10340_5722915_10341_5722615_10696_10084_10083_10618_10307_5722715_10059_10534_100031_10103_441_10624_10623_10622_5722515_10621_10620,searchweb201603_25,ppcSwitch_4_ppcChannel&algo_expid=36bec401-ebfa-4d6f-9cf7-86e78e9ef22d-21&algo_pvid=36bec401-ebfa-4d6f-9cf7-86e78e9ef22d&priceBeautifyAB=0
In my opinion, you are better off having a luthier repair the one you currently have. Low priced mass produced instruments are made as quickly as possible, using lower quality fittings, to get them out the door. So a new replacement could very well use the same attention as the one you have by the time it has been shipped from China. A good and willing luthier will do a better set-up than what was originally done.
I have had good experiences with the instruments I’ve purchased from both Old Violin House, as well as Yitamusic.
You could try out a bunch of affordable violins locally and pick your fave. The setup work is generally already done (except strings sometimes, which are easy to change). I'm assuming you have some playing experience.
I highly recommend Gliga violins from Romania. They advertise right here at V.com. Mine was made in 2004, a "Genial" violin I bought used for $250 in a guitar shop and I LOVE it! When I paid my luthier $1000 to fix my other violin (a 1924 "Cremona" violin made in Chicago by Gustav Fassauer Ferron), I brought along my Gliga and he said this Romanian student violin was very fine for the price. And honestly, I'm not sure I can hear any superiority in that supposedly $6,000 to $8,000 (estimated value) violin over the Gliga. Probably I'm just not a good enough player to get the best out of the better fiddle, but it also shows the Gliga is a fine enough student violin.
I observed, for quite some time it had been commonly accepted that for violins under ~$2000, Chinese violins offered better quality for the price. The bewildering last-decade development of the Chinese violin industry (factory-made and otherwise) could be due to 1. Cheap labour and material on the supply side; and 2. Noticeable demand for violin learning in the domestic market of China.
I found my Gliga 17” viola unplayable. A Chinese Ebay Collin Mezin violin was similar in poor tone quality, but a good build. A Chinese Ebay ‘Baroque’ Klotz violin was also very poor in sound. I also refurbished a made-in-China viola from the 1990’s that was poor in quality.
Any opinions on a Meisel violin? Are they any good?
Being able to beat Chinese violins with genuine antiques in the $500-2000 range is what keeps me in business. What year is your Meisel, if its 2009 it may not be that great.
@Bryan "Being 35 I hardly think I can learn to play good in another form, at least sever people told me that"
"Being 35 I hardly think I can learn to play good in another form, at least sever people told me that"
There is absolutely no limit for late starters. Your level of advancement will depend very much on your learning environment, learing style, dedication level and commitment. The only impossibility is professional work. A student violin will do just fine for a beginner for at least a while.
so I can still learn? that's awesome. My professor in anthropology was a renowned expert in peace, one RK Dentan, told when I started at 27 that I would never be any good. having read just about every book on the human condition written in the last 5,000 years, I assumed he must know what he's talking about.
I guess by ‘never be good’ he meant you
Eastman could be a good choice. Although adult learners rarely achieve very high levels, it's definitely not insanity or absolutely impossible. It's just very difficult.
Eastman is also a very good brand. Buying it is also very ok. However, buying Yita (or Gliga) would help you avoid the dealer mark-up, which is normally up to 100% of instrument manufacturer price, in that price range. Yita is sold directly by the manufacturer, and Gliga can be bought via its own store branch in the US.
I'm told that there was a period in the 80s and 90s when attitudes toward late starters were especially dismissive. I was rejected by more than a dozen teachers when I was in my early teens, all of them saying I was already far too old to ever learn to play even passably... I kept hearing that 9-10 was the upper age limit for being able to reach anything above beginner level.
My current is a maestro Gliga... it was $2500 but it hasn't even been a year (May 2017) since I got it so I don't think its tone is fully developed yet. But it is warm and round and sounds good with Evah Greens.
Bryan -- Sharmusic.com sells beginner violins (<$500) and intermediate ($500 - $2000). They also offer free consultation. You might want to check them out.
The purple violin I got on eBay sounds like a del Gesu.
I bought a Chinese copy of Strad Messiah from an eBay shop called capitalmusic2008 for $650, including shipping. It was listed at $800 but the seller gave me a brake on the price. Cannot beat the quality and sound. You can't get anything close to it in Europe/US within this price range.
Most Chinese violins seem to be obtained through mail order . This is the single largest hurdle compared to trying a violin out in a shop.
If you mean factory violins, Chinese made is best in the world, nearly all factory violins come from China even in Italy, and these violins are affordable and cheap, many pupils in their first five years using Chinese violins.