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The Weekend Vote weekend vote: Have you ever bought a violin you ended up strongly disliking?

May 5, 2013 at 4:49 AM

I was so excited, buying my very first violin at the music store. I knew the best one to get, too: the one with the prettiest case.

Yes, that's right. I was about 10 years old, and I'd been playing for about one year. It's possible that I was judging the fiddle by the wrong attributes. My ear told me fairly quickly about my mistake, and the case -- not all that great -- was no consolation. Awful fiddle! What sweet relief, when I inherited my grandmother's fiddle, which was so much better.

One can fall out of love with a fiddle for a number of reasons: you could have made the mistake of a beginner, as I did. Or, the violin's voice did not develop well over time, as can be the case with a brand new violin. Or your taste matures, and you simply wind up needing a different sound, response, etc. out of your violin.

How about you, have you ever bought a violin that you later wound up disliking?

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 12:43 PM
I ended up outgrowing (figuratively) a couple of violins that I had bought, and upgrading to better instruments as my playing improved and my needs changed. But those instruments were okay and sufficed for what they needed to do at the time. I never ended up disliking them, or feeling bad about passing them along to their future owners.
From marjory lange
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 2:28 PM
Nearly every instrument I've owned has taught me what I needed to be ready for the next. I change, my needs change, and so I make new friends.

Only exception was the vla I bought, of necessity, on the rebound from having my most beloved one stolen...but any rebound relationship is likely to have troubles, and I don't blame the instrument--or me--for the bad decision.

From Nicky Paxton
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 3:07 PM
I voted no because I never actually bought a violin that I later wound up disliking. I did, however, inherit one whose tone I disliked. To be fair to the violin, I may be half the problem. If it belonged to someone who played the leading Romantic concertos, it might sound fine. But it doesn't sound at its best in the practice room or even in the 2nd violin section at orchestral rehearsals. However, it is part of my family's cultural patrimony and thus not for sale.
From David Whitehurst
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 5:40 PM
I found an Alfred Stingl Hofner violin, bow, and case (retails for $750) on eBay and the husband said his wife had worn the varnish off the neck (never had any varnish LOL). Anyhow, it was a good price and I was looking for an inexpensive violin that sounded good. It arrived and I thought "boy this sounds tinny .. very treble and no bass". It was made in a factory in China and it was sprayed with some form of clear coat. It sounds horrible. Anyhow, now I have a violin that I've tried to sell several times and I can't give it away.
From Paul Deck
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 6:01 PM
Yes but I got that violin when I was nine years old and neither I nor my parents knew any better. Later a luthier showed me everything that was wrong with it. It was built like a tank. I still have it but I don't play it. Plus, turns out it was 7/8 size all along.
From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 11:12 PM
From Maurizio Cassandra
Posted on May 6, 2013 at 10:25 AM
yes i bought, a violin when i was twenty, i did think it was a fine violin, because the sound seemed good to me and the price was about ten thousand dollars. really it was an 1920 rumenian violin and the real price was 3000 dollars. And also now after 28 years the price is 3000 euros.It was a rip-off. I never sold this violin. So be carefull. ciao
Posted on May 6, 2013 at 10:51 AM
As Karen mentioned, the violin must match your current technique level. So, in many cases, a violin that was good to you 3 years ago is no longer good now that you started exploring the 7th position on your G string and the only thing you get are wolves and rasped notes.
From Raphael Klayman
Posted on May 6, 2013 at 11:58 AM
I've certainly had violins that I've outgrown, or that did not develop to the extent that I hoped they would. But I never had the experience of really liking a violin at first and then coming to really dislike it while it was still my main instrument - well maybe one or two early student violins. Same goes for bows.

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