Inflation of violins must be crazy. The first time I studied violin, $500 would get you a lovely-sounding instrument. Now that I've restarted (and also started my daughter with lessons) I couldn't find anything comparable. The local music shop (which is primarily a band store supporting the public school music program) carries only Eastman student models for renters to "trade up" to when they are ready to buy.
I tried driving two and a half hours to the Chicago suburbs, and when I said my budget was $2,000 to $2,500, I was shown some old repaired Mirecourt instruments. Even with the cracks, they looked nice, but the sound wasn't very good. Finally, after I emphasized that I was more interested in sound than something that was pretty or vintage / antique, I got to try a couple Hiroshima Kono instruments that sounded much better. The catch was that they were at least $3,000, which seems to me to be rather expensive for a student instrument without case or bow.
Should I just give up for now? I just can't stretch my budget any further. Or does anyone have suggestions where I could shop or alternatives that are more affordable than the Kono instruments?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
(P.S. We do have a violin teacher, but the teacher got her violin when she was in Arizona, and I'm hoping to find a luthier / dealer in Illinois that isn't too far away.)
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