I decided I'm just not that good yet at determining something of high quality that involves so many variables.I needed hands on testing.
I kept hearing the same lines," A beginner won't notice" or " A beginner can't experience the benefits". I noticed right away.
Prior to visiting a shop I had three violins. Two in the intermediate range and one student version which incidentally sounded better than one of the more expensive ones.All of these violins were holding me back.
All it took was one visit to a local shop to play a few very good violins. The owner was very concerned that he set me up with just the right violin for me.He has been a luthier for a long long time and this boosted my opinions of his suggestions.
One of the ways I could tell immediately-I could play things I struggled with so much easier. It was as if I had become another player. Granted my technique issues were still there but much less so.The other way I could tell- It wasn't nearly as difficult to get sound from the violin and the notes seemed clearer.
The violin I bought is nick named "coffee". The owner told me it was a custom build. I can only infer that some of the internal parts must have been pre fabricated to get the price I was given. He didn't tell me that and he said it took months to build it, so this is only a hunch on my part. I really don't care. It's a great violin. I don't like the upper harsh sound of the German violins. It has beautiful tone on all strings. Just right. I bought a bow he recommended. It isn't pernambuco but it has the nice tone you can't get with anything carbon fiber and it's responsive.
It's been a long journey for me. 4 violins. If I could give one suggestion to those looking for a violin it would be go to a luthier who has a shop and hasn't stopped caring about the customer. Try out a wide selection of violins. Play a year or two first on something passable to get a feel for what you think you want.You won't really know this until you play for awhile.I would say unless you buy high end right away you'll be buying at least two violins through that process. If you buy high end right away you might still make the wrong choice. I played several high end violins that were double the price of mine and I didn't like them.
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