Kennedy Violin vs. Fiddlershop

January 18, 2017 at 05:32 AM · Which one have a better quality and value: the Renee Nicolette violin from Kennedy Violin or Fiddlerman Artist violin from Fiddlershop.

Do not tell me to go to a violin shop or luthier, I just wanted to know how those twon compares.

Replies (21)

January 18, 2017 at 06:31 AM · neither

January 18, 2017 at 09:45 AM · I haven't tried them head-to-head, but Fiddlershop products are great value. And I've seen videos comparing their Apprentice to Kennedy's G2(?) and the Apprentice was much better.

January 18, 2017 at 11:42 AM · Lyndor what violin do you suggest if buying online

January 18, 2017 at 01:24 PM · I definitely suggest not buying online, that's what I said before, and that's what most of the posters in your other thread told you too.

January 18, 2017 at 02:16 PM · Leo, living in Wooster, Ohio, you have options that are much better than buying a violin online, sight unseen. You can have a violin shipped on approval from a reputable dealer, you can visit luthiers nearby and in Cleveland, you can rent to learn more about what to buy, you can check at local colleges to find used student instruments etc. Can you explain why you feel your only option is to buy online? What does your teacher say?

January 18, 2017 at 05:12 PM · Good advice from Lyndon & Erin!!

January 18, 2017 at 07:08 PM · Leo, get on the forum at so all the people can talk with you. The chat room works when people are there but I missed you last night and so did Pierre.

But to answer your question here: Buy from Fiddlerman. Better product, better price.

January 18, 2017 at 07:54 PM · Obviously coming from someone that works for Fiddlerman!!

January 18, 2017 at 09:23 PM · My experience: I purchased a Nicholas Gand violin from Kennedy violins about three years ago. I was very happy with all aspects of the transaction. The violin came to me properly set up and sounded great. Kennedy is a brick and mortar store that also sells via the Internet. If you lived nearby I guess they would be one of the luthier shops that people would encourage you to buy from. I would buy from again. I have no experience with for violins. I did buy a carbon fiber bow from them and was happy with it for about six months. I upgraded to a coda bow conservatory bow which is my main bow now.

January 18, 2017 at 11:01 PM · I'm actually headed to Kennedy Violins on Friday to check out their violins in person. I recently got back into playing after a 15 year hiatus and am looking to upgrade to an under 2k violin (from mine which is worth maybe $400ish). I rented from a local violin shop in Seattle but their violins start around $1,200 and go up quickly from there. Kennedy had a quite an approachable web presence, excellent yelp and google reviews and most importantly a large selection of 1k-2k violin outfits with a 100% trade up policy if I were to want something better later. I'm happy to report back this weekend with how things went

I fully agree it's best to to go to a shop in person, Kennedy is a little over 2 hour drive for me so it makes sense. Can't say for sure I'll buy something until I"m there but with the number of violin shops within a days drive of me I wouldn't buy online.

January 19, 2017 at 10:40 PM · Tomas,

Driving 2 hrs when there are plenty of good shops in Seattle is no different than buying online.

Support your local shops or they may not be there in the future of you need them. A 2 hr drive for a post adjustment or a loose edge...

January 21, 2017 at 04:36 AM · I was going to ask if you're trolling, but I see now that you are the violin maker at Lasley strings. I understand your want for more business but it would have been better of you to invite me to come by and try out any violins you might have in my price range, rather than berating my direct reply to a specific question of fiddlerman vs kennedy violins. Not that it matters but I"m currently renting from a local violin shop and I bought a nice Codabow GX there over Christmas. If i would have found a violin to buy there that I liked I would have. I'm headed to Issaquah tomorrow to try out some other violins. I'll head to any shop as long as it's friendly and if you've got a hang up about it, that's on you. My review of Kennedy will come in a separate post shortly.

January 21, 2017 at 05:56 AM · Anyone that contends the answer is one internet seller or another is trolling IMHO.

January 21, 2017 at 07:07 AM · So here is my promised review. I drove down to Kennedy Violins today and was immediately greeted by a friendly staff member named Katie. I explained how I was looking to upgrade my violin and my price range and was shown the violins in that range as well as a nice summary of each one. Then I got down to playing. Katie put out about 4-5 at a time and I picked out my favorite two, we talked about WHY I liked those two over the others, and she brought more in based on my responses. Eventually we honed it down to two violins, Katie even played them so I could hear them from a distance. Only then did I took a look at the price tags (I had been avoiding looking at them as not to prejudice my playing. Unfortunately (for me) my favorite one was a bit over my anticipated budget so I told them I'd have to think on it a little and that I had a couple other violin shops on my list. No pressure, and they were extremely friendly thru the entire visit. About half way thru another customer came in looking for a starter outfit for around $400. From what I saw they relieved the same excellent level of service that I was getting. As a TLDR summary , I would say the service I received was excellent and the selection of instruments to be had in the 1-2k range was larger than I've seen in other shops. I"m not sure yet if I'll stretch my budget for the Kennedy Violin I really want - it'll depend on how my last two Violin shop visits go tomorrow but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Kennedy for anyone in the area....As far as buying online sight unseen from ANY seller - well that just isn't for me By the time I"m done with this process I will have tried well out over 30 violins in two states, and I'll be quite sure in my mind I've got the right one.

January 21, 2017 at 05:29 PM · Not trolling for my shop alone. There are plenty of good shops in Seattle.

I'm all about supporting your local businesses. If I can find it in Ballard or Seattle, I get it here. If I can't, or a local business isn't willing to get it for me, then I go outside the area.

January 22, 2017 at 06:25 AM · I recently bought a Kennedy Violins Anton Gerard. It was a beautiful instrument out of the case but when I went to take off the chinrest the foam was firmly adhered to the varnish and ripped it up from the violin. I emailed Kennedy about it and was told this was an indicator of a good violin. I might be new to violins but I can't imagine a $1000 instrument having the chinrest applied so early into the varnish drying to cause this. I could understand a small indentation etc but this seems extreme. Here is a pic I took of the damage.

January 22, 2017 at 01:26 PM · Spirit varnishes should dry completely unless the layers were layed on so quickly that the under layers hadn't dried properly. Its oil based varnishes that may stay partly soft for some time, and not completely dry for years, even.

January 23, 2017 at 09:04 PM · My vote is for Fiddlershop. They have a really nice selection (not to mention Fiddlerman is a hunk!).

But honestly, their Panettes are really nice.

January 24, 2017 at 10:55 AM · Joe, regarding the marks from the chinrest, see this thread:

January 25, 2017 at 12:56 AM · David, thank you for the link. I understand some indentations or imprints but it just seems like my example was a bit on the extreme side. It couldn't even be called marks or impressions it's a complete rip of the varnish. But the bigger question is why in 350 years has nobody come up with an improved varnish that won't stay wet yet will still give good tone.

January 25, 2017 at 01:08 AM · You want a varnish that's very flexible so as not to damp the tone, Varnishes that dry hard and are impervious to problems like this tend to be less flexible and more likely to damp the tone. As David I believe pointed out, Stradivari oil varnish is quite soft and able to take a fingerprint, its hard to expect an improvement on Strad's varnish that gives just as good a tone, while drying hard.

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