In my quest to search for a playable violin, I came upon two contrary attitudes when I inquired about the possibility of altering the violin I was interested in purchasing - one luthier just bluntly said no, the other was willing to work with me to make sure that the violin would fit me properly. The shop with the former luthier ended up altering my violin for free since I had bought it from them (so it more than made up for the unpleasant experience).
Since it's very likely that any violin that I'll buy in the future will require some kind of setup changes (at the very least, shortening the string length; to the extreme - thinning the neck and narrowing/replaning the fingerboard) unless I commission one, I'm wondering whether it's reasonable to expect that luthiers would do this kind of works as part of the deal, or do I usually have to pay extra? If the latter is the case, how much should I expect to pay? Obviously, the value of the violin is a consideration, luthiers are unlikely willing to do that for a violin that sells for $500 (but my violin was only a little over $1K). What are the things your luthiers were willing to change for you when you took out a violin on approval (Mine replaced the tailpiece)? What are the things you can request when you purchase a violin as part of the deal? Replacing the chinrest (I've done this a few times)? Narrowing the neck? Replaning the fingerboard? Changing the string height? Changing the string length? Changing the string distances? A new bridge? Fixing a crack? Cleaning & polishing? What about replacing the strings with your favorite set? What's the common practice in your area? Please share your experiences, thanks!
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