Buy a violin in China

August 13, 2010 at 12:11 PM ·

I will visit China and I would like to buy a nice sounding violin, not expensive. Do you know the best violin workshops in China, with good quality and suitable price (less than 500$)?Do you know where are made good chineese violins Sold in USA or in Europe (Jay haide, eastman...)?


Replies (23)

August 13, 2010 at 12:23 PM ·

China is a HUGE country. You might want to be more specific where you're going to go.

The most famous violin Chinese makers are in Beijing, some in Shanghai as well.

August 13, 2010 at 01:27 PM ·

$500?  nice sound?  forget it.  only junk is for $500.  sound costs at least $2000.  

if you attend the annual exhibition in Shanghai (October) you will see what I mean. 



August 13, 2010 at 02:27 PM ·

@  Ron Gorthuis

The violin that I bought in Prague, Czech Republic for $550 has a nice sound...  

August 13, 2010 at 02:38 PM ·

@Ron: Some people i know own violin from China with several range of price, from 400$ up, most of them have nice sound.

Beside, sound is objective. If you never hear a violin, how can you tell it's junk. Aren't most of violin on the market are Chinese violins?

August 13, 2010 at 08:00 PM ·

If anybody does have a real knowledge base on this I would also love to hear the answer.  I have so many students who are originally from the Orient and India, and my first year or so of teaching I had possibly a dozen instruments come in to me that were bought "at home" on family vacation back to their native countries...and almost without exception very bad instruments.  So now when my familes come to me and say "We're going to [whatever home country] and would like to buy a violin there", I say "Please don't!  You will regret it" (and I will have to spend half the lesson time trying to simply get the stupid thing to stay in tune!) Well, I don't actually say that part  :)  So of course I refer them to the good local shops or SHAR or something; here in the chicago area there are many.  But if anybody does have good info on some actually worthwhile shops in those parts of the world--China, Korea, India, Hong Kong, etc...I would love to know!

Thanks  :)

August 13, 2010 at 10:54 PM ·

I am with Kathryn... there is no free lunch. If you get a factory made violin in China most certainly you will have to send it to a good luthier to change the pegs, for a new bridge and soundpost, new strings (Chinese strings are horrible) and some adjustments and eventually you will pay more for that than what you have paid for your violin in China.

Stablished shops in the USA get better prices buying in big quantities, are in condition to control the quality  and  will make the adjustments necessary to your new instrument.


August 14, 2010 at 04:07 AM ·

I'v purchased about 15 Chinese violins so far, and find they are generally excellent, both for tone quality and construction. More consistent than older German imports. I suspect they are disliked by collectors of old violins, as they are a definite step up from the European factory fiddles dating from 1880 onward.  Try before you buy if possible-- some are brighter or darker in sound, depending on the wood. Eastman Strings imports very good instruments, but there are many other importers as well. As mentioned previously, it is always good to have a reputable local luthier check the bridge, soundpost and upgrade the strings, so please factor in the extra cost.

August 14, 2010 at 05:55 PM ·

I agree with all point of views, but I need adresses or websites of good workshops in Bejing or Shanghai. The most of chineese need sure a new set up.

August 14, 2010 at 06:16 PM ·

 I had a german violin: Otto Jos Klier 72, costed me approx $1000

then I heard a lot of good things about Yita from Shanghai and their T20s violin (upper range, T19 being lower/cheaper) so I took the plunge and actually bought a 'master' instrument from their range, made by Liu Xi (the guy in the T series workshop).

I paid $800 for it, it's A GREAT VIOLIN, I have spent another $700 on it to have it professionally set up by a top luthier in London and also changed tailpiece/chin rest and pegs.

But now for $1500 I have a violin which generally speaking can only be beaten by violins which are above $6000 in price range.  Indeed have tested a violin by a famous modern luthier which was around $8800 and it was only extremely marginally better, to me not worth the extra $7000....

My otto jos klier has been sold on ebay since :)


BUT buying from Yita Music on ebay IS a gamble, although most of their violins will be great and will suit the advanced student, occasionally there might be a 'fluke', a friend of mine was not pleased at all with his T20 recently, but that is the exception rather than the rule.  Yita Music took it back and gave a full refund (minus postage)

August 14, 2010 at 06:18 PM ·

 PS the T20s sell for anything from $300 to $600 usually....and if you are good and lucky at bidding you can buy a master at that price too.

August 14, 2010 at 06:24 PM ·

Last year I bought a T20 from Yitamusic, but I did not like the sound. Very clear. They refunded me too.I am looking for a deep violin sound and easy to play. I have tried Jay haide a l'ancienne and they are very good but price still expensive.

August 14, 2010 at 06:33 PM ·

 funny, I also have a T20 (as well as the master) and it has a 'deep tone', at the end of the day there's all sorts: bright/open/deep/mellow but yes, difficult when you can't play them before hand.

August 14, 2010 at 06:36 PM ·

Do you have a sound track?I also tried violins from old violin house from ebay, sound was medium.

August 14, 2010 at 07:35 PM ·

 no I would have to record it....

August 14, 2010 at 11:41 PM ·

 Members of our orchestra were recently in Shanghai (choral tour), and they toured the Yita factory and could have purchased there.

August 15, 2010 at 01:42 AM ·

  I have heard many people in the field call these instruments/bows 'cheap factory made' simply because they were made in China.

I actually think it is quite the contrary. Some of the bestmakers are in China.  

August 15, 2010 at 03:30 AM ·

Hi, Our store makes violin since 1928. I am sure we are the leading in China. We have been doing export for years to Europe and America.

Website: http://

For more information about our violin price, please contact me.

We have office both in Shanghai and Dalian.

January 2, 2016 at 07:10 PM · I own a violin shop which sometimes acquires violins from China. You will find some good ones, and a lot of crappy ones. WATCH OUT for SCAMMERS! They are in good supply. I was recently scammed by an outfit called Taixing Tian Yin Musical Instruments Co., Ltd. They are not to be mistook for, which is a reputable dealer. I made a $3700 order from an agent named Ricky Zhang. I waited for eight months. He continued to correspond, saying that he would come through, and, finally, after many threats, he airfreighted some trash violins which accounted for less than 1/10th of the order. Stay away from this guy!

January 2, 2016 at 08:10 PM · Dealer all across the US buy Chinese fiddles and set them up to their standards. If you buy one in the US, you have some kind of filter. I couldn't imagine trying to select one in China--it wouldn't be like going to Cremona.

January 2, 2016 at 08:16 PM · I agree with the above comments. I have had some luck with Chinese-made instruments. Sometimes they can be okay. Sometimes not very nice. There was one time when we bought a violin online from China for about $500 and it clearly wasn't worth it. It's not very nice. Luckily, there's a lower-level violinist using it.

January 2, 2016 at 11:24 PM · I played chamber music with a violinist a few years ago. He had a wonderful sound. I tried his instrument and based on its looks, its sound, and the way it played I honestly thought it was a fine old Italian violin (17th C golden era fine - and I have played some).

He had bought it in China for $1,500 - but he did speak Chinese - he had lived there and he knew the reputation of the maker, whose name I have unfortunately not remembered.

So keep asking and researching before you go.


January 3, 2016 at 12:24 AM · I like Chinese violins and got a pretty good one for only a couple hundred delivered on ebay. They make some really really cheap ones to avoid, but in the mid-range student level or better I think they have great instruments, and keep prices down worldwide, supplying a great need otherwide bottled up.

Sorry- can't give advice on where to go in china, but heres a link to the better places on ebay IMHO.

January 3, 2016 at 01:32 PM · For the money you have in mind you can buy a "pleasing, advanced student" instrument -- not a professional soloists instrument. Having said the obvious, now, the T20 might be just what you are looking for (you can easily find them in Shanghai), and in Beijing, look up the DXKY shop: Address: 1809, Ronghua Bl, No.10 Ronghua South Rd, BDA 100176, China. Ask to see the DV-805 model.

The DXKY web site is here:

Ask for Syd Chen.

Just a further point, new violins take a while to settle down (3 months at least, often more), so even after your home luthier has checked the set up, it will change from what you bought. I don't know if there is any practical way around this.

Good Chinese instruments are good instruments. How good? Only time will tell.

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