I've been going in circles searching for the best violin value and wanted to get some opinions. I apologize in advance for my long rambling question. I just purchased two T19 violins from Yita for my young kids. I'm a former cello player and decided to go along for the ride and get myself a violin.
The Yita Viollins were fairly nice (1/8 and 1/4). For the price, no complaints but glad I didn't spend a ton. My kids just aren't that careful yet.
After reading a few comments here I initially selected a Dan Sun Opera Master Lord Wilton copy from Old Violin House. For $300 shipped and mostly happy customers, it seems like a great value. I initially wanted one of their $100 IPE Master bows so $400 total. The instrument specs claimed 18yr dried spruce and yes I know, anyone can do spec inflation (4 bazillion thread-count sheets etc).
For comparison though I looked at several other violins for sale. Ming Jiang Zhu gets what look like enthusiastic professional reviews. Granted his 903A model goes for around $1k but you're getting an instrument that with real credibility (near as I can tell), reliable resale if you need so less guesswork. Same perhaps for Scott Cao. I found several other instruments for sale in this range but to my surprise, many were relabeled instruments from nameless Chinese factories. For all I know, Yita or Dan Sun's workshop make them. Is a relabeled $1k violin from any large shop any better than the Dan Sun from Old Violin House (other than perhaps in resale value). I saw Shar has John Cheng line. Who makes those ?
A $400 violin would suit me just fine if it's the same quality. I'm sure there are many other places to go direct to China to eliminate the middleman but where ? As a consumer, you're a bit in the dark.
I'm not a luthier nor have I tried dozens of instruments. I played Cello for 20 years and only tried a handful. I got one I liked and stuck with it. But I know many of you out there have less tin for ears than I do and have tried a huge range. What would you buy for $400-$1000 range (or near it)? I know I'm not going to get a masterpiece and am not looking for that. But if the Old Violin House instrument is going to fool me in a blind test vs the Ming Jiang Zhu, then I'll save myself some money.
I'd love to hear suggestions from the community though for where you'd put your money. Resale matters some too. EBay seems to be full of nameless older instruments in this price range that have been restored from Europe.
I know it's a charged topic. I'd love to refrain from the broad (and charged) debate over Chinese quality. If you know something great in this price range, I don't care where it's made. I know there are many used Gliga's in just about every price range.
Thanks in advance.
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