about Gliga violins?

May 7, 2010 at 02:01 PM ·

Hello Guys!,

greetings from Indonesia!

this is my very first post, 

let's just get to the point, I've interested to buy a new violin for myself after a hard time with ploghing my  chinese made student violins, then i'm thinking about getting a better one, one that suits, at least for 10 years, 

my special considerations for purchasing is the patterns, purflings, finishing type (i love antique style a lot! especially the flamed one!),  and of course, the type of wood it was made of.

but i need a hand / your advices for my purchase,

personally i like the Yita's T-20 violins, but after thinking a bit again, i'm switching side to Gliga's,

my questions are, have anyone ever played or compared "GLORIA 1" violins with their so called advanced "Genova 3" violins? their price differ quite much for my budget,

i want to know whether their sounds differ in quality as worth as it's price differences (nearly twice as much)? (gloria at 350$ and genova 3 at 680$)

i know Genova's offer more sheer antique style, colour beauty but don't want to spent more bucks for it if it sounded the same as Gloria's! (maybe for their handsign too make it more expensive though, LOL'!)


or maybe some have even compared with with Yita's T-20 version?

(my budget is about 700-800$ max)

 any feedback would be appreciated!

Replies (34)

May 7, 2010 at 09:48 PM ·

May 8, 2010 at 03:26 AM ·

Ah, another positive feedback about Gliga's!

enhancing my belief in it, but some people says that the violins they sell in violinslover.com are overpriced, is it true? 

May 8, 2010 at 02:48 PM ·

May 9, 2010 at 01:29 AM ·

Hi Vincent!

 I own a Workshop Gems, and I'm very happy with it, I also changed from one chinese violin to this one, so I felt a huge difference. And my teacher says it really sounds good, so I think that for the price is got a decent violin. 

I bought it from Violins Lover, and I have no complains, they sent me the violin to Mexico, and arrived in a very good condition. I didn't know you could buy them from someone else and with a better price, but that sound good to me.

Good luck!!!

May 11, 2010 at 06:09 AM ·

I have one of the Genova models, one that was made by some of the top workers directly under Vasile Gliga's supervision himself. It's an amazing instrument with great projection. And it has this smell to it that's very satisfying. Call me weird, but I love that about the instrument. I don't think I'll ever need to buy anything else. :D 

May 11, 2010 at 10:19 AM ·

Taking a look at violinslover.com I can see that most of the violins are probably chinese bought in the white and then varnished and half set up by Gliga's workers. I see violins a little bit overpriced.

I have tried a Gliga and a Yita T-20 and T-20 was far best. Could be the setup.

May 11, 2010 at 10:02 PM ·

I have a Samuel Eastman (made in Romania!) that was totally disassembled and reworked by a violin maker (Luthier) for his son, then sold to me!  when played by I or my teacher, and compared to his violin many $$$ more than mine, the Eastman holds its' own!!!!

ps: I have friends in Indonesia!

May 13, 2010 at 08:02 AM ·

thanks for your precious advices guys! i appreciate it a lot!

valuable for my consideration!


But Nicolas, how do you know that the instruments they make are half build in China?

do we have a credible source for it? 

May 13, 2010 at 08:45 AM ·

 If you do a search for violins in eBay you can find hundreds of violins with the same purflings, double purflings and those mass-made scrolls.

I'm not saying those violins are bad, once correctly setup and some regraduation done. But they are not pure Gliga's. Maybe the top ones.

May 13, 2010 at 09:37 AM ·



May 13, 2010 at 09:41 AM ·

the only thing in my mind,

many folks have advice NOT to buy from ebay,

instead from their own website or dealer.

May 13, 2010 at 11:39 AM ·

In general the rule is: don't buy a violin without trying it first.

BUT, if you search for a topic here in violinist.com about Yitamusic you will find that people are happy for what they pay.

I have bought some violins from china. I must say that after a proper setup they sound quite well for the price and surpass in sound some european violins I have tried two or three times the price.

Of course there are allways "black sheeps", and three violins directly joined the firewood.

May 13, 2010 at 06:24 PM ·

 I am one who 'ventured' and I 'dared' order 2 violins from Yita, a T20 and a master Liu Xi.

I have to say I am very pleased with both of them, the master Liu Xi has now taken over my german Otto Jos Klier £800 violin as my main instrument, the Liu Xi having costed me about £500, all it needed doing was a little shaving of the bridge and a little readjusting/shaving of the soundpost which my local luthier did almost for free for me.

I am getting new pegs for it but only because I like ebony fittings and the violin came with rosewood otherwise the pegs are ok too.

Plays really well in all positions, beautiful tone.....

I also got a 'top model' carbon fibre bow which they sell for £100 and this sounds and handle better than my £450 roderich paesold bow.......

perhaps I was lucky? I don't think so as I've heard many many people very pleased with these violins before, that's why I 'ventured out' and ordered them without never having played them or heard them being played.  I have to say Yita Music described the tone of them quite well, they sounded as I expected them to sound....

May 19, 2010 at 09:47 AM ·

Directly join the firewood are you serious Nicolas? LOL^

and Jo, from where do you buy those fiddles? yitamusicshop.com

i've been trying to purchase from there but their checkout system just do not work in my computer, whether it is mine or theirs that suffer failure i don't know, i can't be sure,

now i'm waiting for their email reply for that trouble.

May 19, 2010 at 09:54 AM ·

anyway, anybody who might have compared the Genova to Gloria versions are still welcome for their advice!:)

May 19, 2010 at 12:18 PM ·

Vincent wrote: Directly join the firewood are you serious Nicolas? LOL^

Yes, completely. Love the sound of the varnish and the smell of the maple burning!!

Good luck with Yita, you can also find their violins on eBay.




May 19, 2010 at 12:36 PM ·

Hi Vincent,

I bought my Yita violins through ebay, you can find them by searching the sellers/members for 'yitamusic'.

I did not use their website so didn't know if their checkout works or not.

I am sure if you emailed them about possibly buying they should reply fairly soon, the email address I have for their 'customer service' is yitamusic08@yahoo.com

May 24, 2010 at 01:35 PM ·

ten four!

i got it on ebay!:D

looks beatiful with detailed picture!

couldn't wait to hold it in my hand!

i hope i will never regret purchasing it.'-P

May 24, 2010 at 09:28 PM ·

 which violin did you get at the end vincent?

also, please do let us know when you receive it if you do like it :) (hope so :))

May 25, 2010 at 03:28 AM ·

well Joe,

 i currently set for their master versions because many have claimed of it outstanding quality for it's price, i think i'm bidding for 800$

but suddenly right now, i've change my mind to recycle back to the T-20 versions,

well i've played for nearly 3 years,  and i want i decend violins at least for the next 5 years,

before moving to a better one,

because you already have those two version of the master and T-20 i believe you can give me some input about it, 

well i'm under constraint of a limited budget, suddenly i'm thinking to save at least 400$, by taking the T-20 version instead,

what do you think?

is it worth continuing with the master or should i take the T20 instead?

their master is nearly three times price to the T-20,

but i want to know whether it's also triples in qualities (or at least 2 times better):LOL!


anyway, i have to confess i'm pretty inexperience purchasing on e-bay,

at what price should i pay for either of it it???

reallyyy needs your input!!:D


May 25, 2010 at 03:30 AM ·


i forgot to add,

which is better, T-20 or M-20 regardless of their price?

May 25, 2010 at 02:27 PM ·

currently making a bid for a master and a T20..:D

May 25, 2010 at 04:20 PM ·

 oooops just like I did, bought both at the end ;)

my german otto jos klier has been replaced by the master and the T20 is now my back up, will sell the jos klier 72 if anyone will want it...will put it on ebay soon I think :)

also T20 and M20 are supposed to be at the same standard/quality (their top of the range below the master of course), but T20s are made by LiuXi workshop and M20 by Mah Zibin (or something can't remember) so different corners kind of thing....

some people prefer the T some the M series but in essence they are supposed to be of same standards.  I have found that my violins tone was described very well on their website and got what was described.....(described as warm/rich on one and the other warm/sweet tone which is what I was looking for, did not need a loud/open tone one).


if you have a strict budget I would consider the possibility that you will need this violin set up properly (yes, even the master).  It's a bit down to your needs really, some people play these violins with no further set up and are perfectly happy, some find they need to have them set up properly (ie get better bridge/soundpost and fitted) and for that here in UK you could spend £200 GP sterling for that set up, don't know in US.

They are nice without proper set up though so you could start with it as it is and then next year or so have the set up done.

Between the T20 and the Master in my case I have found a different, I ended up paying approx $900 for the Master and $450 for the T20, is the master worth double the price? it's all down to what you value, I think the Master is better and indeed it has become my main instrument now and have spent more money on it to have Knilling pegs fitted and although have not had the bridge changed (came with quite a good Aubert french bridge), I have had the bridge 'shaped' and the soundpost slightly adjusted/trimmed.  I also changed it's tail-piece/end button and chin rest as I did not like the ones fitted but these are non essential jobs really!

But if your money is tight, T20 should be a good option and then in future DO have it set up properly and it will get even better!


ps if you are bidding up to $800 you may get it, I've seen winning bids varying from $600 to $1100 ($1100 is what yita will charge you for a master violin if you contact them direct so I would not bid up to that much, at that point one might as well order direct and ask for exactly what they want for!)

July 5, 2010 at 07:03 AM ·

caveat emptor is the hard and fast rule I have learned about this violin business.

from what I see on the gliga site, the violins look exactly like the workshop varieties we have here in China.  the woods have exactly the same grains and appearance as Chinese woods. too close to be mere coincidence.

of course, photos do not tell the whole story: but on appearance, these violins do not look like any eastern EU violin I have seen.


July 5, 2010 at 01:35 PM ·

I own a T19 Yita violin (new bridge and strings) and once owned a Gliga II. Comparing the two, tone wise, I still prefer my 'rich and even' Yita T19. Price wise, Gliga is almost double the price of Yita.

Ebay has gotten much safer nowadays, and IMHO buying Yita violin thru their Ebay shop gives extra protection from PayPal than buying directly from their online shop.

November 28, 2011 at 01:39 AM · I'd like to contribute my 2 cents on the subject: I play many stringed instruments, but hadn't touched a violin in 30 years, until just a few yrs. ago: wound up buying a "Gems 2 advanced student" model Gliga: the violin itself was $250, with all the accesories (bow, case, rosin, shoulder rest) came up to $380.00 and I was quite comfortable with it, right away. Stays in tune very well, easy to play. After the 1st year, I changed the strings: had the Thomastik Dominants, but switched to Evah Pirazzi synthetic. I have since re-learned everything I knew as a child, plus now, I am learning advanced orchestral and chamber music. It's just getting easier and easier to play, and these strings are 2 yrs. old, and still staying very well in tune, and is still just as solid as the day I bought it.

November 28, 2011 at 02:45 PM · I think Gliga use the names "genial", "gems" and the I, II, III sequence depending on what country they are sold in.

My experience is that even the most basic Gliga model is still pretty good, there are a few manufacturers who make entry level violins of questionable quality, Gliga is a pretty safe bet.

Expect around $500 for the most basic outfit (bow, case and violin), compares well with makers like Stentor, Ragetti and others.

My understanding is they are readily available and pretty consistently quality controlled from the factory.

That said, one of the most important lessons I ever learned was not from playing a violin at all, it was from watching one of the local teachers with one of his students, he picked up her perfectly ordinary entry level violin and bow to tune it, tuned it and bowed out a couple of bars of what I can only describe as the most exquisite sounding music.

My point is, that the best violin in the world won't sound optimal in the hands of a novice, and a truly brilliant musician can get an exquisite sound out of anything.

May 25, 2016 at 05:12 PM · I haven't logged in here for many years but just found this page by chance on a google search and felt obliged to comment on the notion that Gligas are Chinese violins in the white. I visited Gliga's workshop in September and have seen the whole making process. That's all. I have seen people elsewhere claim that all the varnish is sprayed on nitro varnish - again this is simply untrue (except for the Genial 2). Why people feel the need to make untrue comments, rather than simply saying "I don't like these violins" is a mystery to me. The video taken during my visit can be easily found on youtube.

May 26, 2016 at 09:36 PM · I've had both a Gliga violin and viola for about 4 years. I play some classical music and a lot of bluegrass fiddle on the violin and orchestral material on the viola. No complaints - either from myself or others. Perhaps if I were higher up on the virtuoso scale I'd want something more, but for now they're good enough for me.

May 28, 2016 at 04:25 PM · Look up Elida Trading (UK)

February 26, 2017 at 03:14 AM · My sons both play(ed) violin, and I became sort of obsessed with getting them good student instruments. My first son Ryan got a used Gems II (OEM State) from about 2005. When I asked him about it he said, "Dad, I hate the new violin." I said, "Really? Why? He said, "It's so incredibly loud that whenever I make a mistake, everybody knows it!"

My second some, Liam, I got him a Yita T20 violin from the (supposed) best Chinese shop (Liu Xi), and it has a fabulous single birdseye maple back. The T20 is very beautifully made (not a higher quality of construction than Gliga, but nicer pieces of wood were used and I prefer the warm clear finish to the slightly more antique finish of the Gliga.) But, the T20 is just not quite as loud and rich.

Both violins were set up with identical Dominant Strings; the Gliga, we used the original Bow from Gliga (very nice), and the T20, we used a chinese permanbuco / mother-of-pearl horsehair bow. I was worried about the T20 bridge so I substituted a genuine Aubert bridge (set up by Yita Music). I think my total cost for the Gliga was $350 (used) and for the T20 with enhancements, $400 (new). The second permanbuco T20 bow was $100 and was purchased later.

I have watched several EBay videos where a shop owner picks up an $80 violin and plays it like an $8000 violin. With violins (as with cars), it's mostly all about THE ENGINE (The human), not the violin itself.

Go ahead and get either violin and I am sure you will be extremely happy, but there is something rather magical about the Gliga, despite being a student violin, this is a thing of power.

March 3, 2017 at 08:00 AM · I disagree with this strongly, Don. When playing a more difficult tier of repertoire, the difference between an 80 and an 8000 dollar violin becomes very apparent. If all a person ever does is very simple repertoire in 1st position, one might notice a similarity between the 80 and 8000 dollar violins. But certainly not with anything of even a book 4 suzuki difficulty level.

What level do your sons play at?

March 3, 2017 at 01:34 PM · I have to agree with Erik. A top player can make any violin sound good - especially to a beginner. But playability factors into it quickly with a student, if they are serious and get past the basics.

I have a couple of T20 Yita instruments, one fractional Gliga, and have test-driven a couple of other 4/4s. If I had to make a generalization based on my small sample size I'd say the Yitas are 'powerful' and the Gligas tend towards dull.

However, individual instruments and individual critiques of said instruments will vary greatly. A tweaked set-up, new strings, etc., will also make a difference.

At the beginner level, probably doesn't make much difference. Buy whichever you like the look of more.

March 5, 2017 at 09:47 AM · I own a Gliga Gama 2 violin (around $900). I bought it after test-playing it with a couple of Eastman models - similar price. At that price range, it seems to me violins from different makers sound pretty much the same in terms of tonal quality, volume, and responsiveness. I chose the Gliga over Eastman because I prefer its dark, deep, thick and soupy sound to the brighter and cleaner sound produced by Eastman (and by any other Chinese manufacturers - they all seem to produce bright sounding violins). Having chosen the Gliga, I must say the gliga is not necessarily better or worse than Eastman. It is just my taste.

This Gliga violin has open up a lot since I bought it, which is a year ago. I could notice that its tonal quality has improved greatly through time and playing. How do I know it is not because the improvement of my techniques? I also own some other violins which still play the same.

Commenting on whether a 8000 would be different to a $80 violin, I think the difference is so obvious that we could almost consider it a fact. Every $3000-or-more violin that I played at violin shops is better and more playable than my $900 Gliga violin (and of course the Eastman violins of the same price level that I have played).

Even if once in a while a certain great superb violin is sold at $80, if it was sold to a knowledgeable person, then the next time if he sells it, its price would be thousands.

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