Chinese or German violin?

October 23, 2016 at 12:18 AM · Buy Chinese or German violin? Please help to me.

I'm thinking this violin: link

Replies (21)

October 23, 2016 at 01:46 AM · Impossible to know without testing it. I doubt that anyone here has bought that specific violin, and even if someone did, chinese instruments are known for having little to no consistency in their quality.

It also makes little sense to speak of quality in terms of the country of origin alone.

Also, someone with forum superpowers needs to edit the link. It looks like the html code is not closed.

October 23, 2016 at 01:52 AM · Prepare for part 9,000 of the china hate thread

October 23, 2016 at 02:14 AM · The website you link to is not a good source for instruments, be they German or Chinese, for instance if you look at the close up of the bridge you'll see that the feet are not properly fit.

Cheaper modern German or French instruments are usually made in China, even if there is some finishing work in Germany or France.

October 23, 2016 at 02:15 AM · Bird eyes? Is that Chinglish for Birdseye?

Please don't buy a violin online... it's an invitation to disaster.

Do you have a string shop nearby that you can rent from? Buying an instrument requires a long learning curve... with in-person trials, and a quick once-over by a luthier. Unless you have money to burn?

October 23, 2016 at 02:19 AM · I think the OP is advertising his web site

October 23, 2016 at 03:02 AM · He was doing that over on Maestronet as well. lousy seller.

October 23, 2016 at 03:13 AM · I would try before you buy, and you must be satisfied with the sound.

October 23, 2016 at 07:37 AM · That is an awful looking violin. That garish varnish is so thick it will choke the sound.

A couple of my students play inexpensive German violins made by the Roth firm. These seem very good value for money.

Cheers Carlo

October 23, 2016 at 07:54 AM · Given that the cheapest EH Roth violin brand new retails for about $3000+ I wouldn't exactly call that inexpensive, although on the used market you can sometimes pick an older one up for about $1500.

October 23, 2016 at 09:38 AM · Try before you buy... Great advice and I'll add another tryout - have somebody you know who plays well (your teacher, local professional,...) play your current violin in front of you. Are you producing the sound that your instrument is capable of producing in the hands of a better player? If not, it is time to get your personal game up. I've had a number of professionals play my Mittenwald-Strad and they produce sounds I can only dream of so it is back to work on technique for me and stop blaming the instrument.

FWIW: I went through this same phase decades ago and bought a very good Schnable and I couldn't make it sound any better than my Mittenwald-Strad actually I was worse on the Schnable.

If there is a reason you must acquire another instrument then find the nearest string shop and spend time trying out a lot of instruments. You will find a large number of no-name knock-offs of the famous makers play extremely well and will serve your needs for some time to come.

While the current world sees online shopping as the only way to shop, instrument still have to be held and played before purchasing.

October 23, 2016 at 11:25 AM · good advice!!

October 23, 2016 at 12:25 PM · @Lyndon Poorly fit? Don't give them too much credit I think they just tossed a generic semi fit blank on...

October 23, 2016 at 12:39 PM ·

October 23, 2016 at 12:56 PM · oh brother!! If you're going to buy an EH Roth violin a 1920s almost antique one is loads better than a brand new one. Since the 20s, Roths have almost consistently got worse the newer they get.

October 23, 2016 at 05:53 PM · I was writing about the Roth #54. Retails in NZ for $3700 USD and is, in my opinion, inexpensive for the quality. It has a powerful, clean, and modern sound. I am sure it will hold it's price better, and may well appreciate over time.

Modern Chinese violins can sound very good, but with their 1000% mark up will, in my opinion, only depreciate over time. A dealer has little interest in re-selling these, as they can buy a new one for at most 10% of the sale price.

Cheers Carlo

October 23, 2016 at 07:35 PM · So all of you are taking Sir James Cowell, OP, seriously?

October 23, 2016 at 09:04 PM · Obviously Chinese if you can read the description. And the bridge.

October 23, 2016 at 09:06 PM · By the way, there are some great Chinese out there for the money.

October 24, 2016 at 01:51 AM · what a waste of rather pretty burl maple to churn out a VSO.

October 24, 2016 at 07:06 AM ·

October 24, 2016 at 01:15 PM · It all depends on the individual instrument and player. As it happens, I'm selling one of each (though I'd just as soon keep one) and they are like apples and oranges: The 19th century German has a deeper, darker tone but also has a lot of repairs. And with a body length of 360 mm, it's not for everyone. The Chinese has a bright, brilliant tone, in mint condition, with what today is considered standard measurements and with very pretty wood.

I wouldn't be so harsh about the violin in that link for that price. But the bridge is the least of it; that and a sound post can be easily replaced and fitted by a professional luthier. But many inexpensive violins are left very heavy in the wood. Re-graduation might improve the violin a lot but such a violin is not worth the cost of the operation - a bit of a "catch-22". Also, inside it might be missing linings and corner blocks - that's what you'd really call "cutting corners"!

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

ArmSymphony AI Violin Competition
ArmSymphony AI Violin Competition

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program Business Directory Business Directory

AVIVA Young Artist Program

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine