Your violin hunting experience

April 30, 2017 at 11:29 PM · Hi Everyone,

I wanted to do a quick 3-question poll on everyone's violin search experience.

Please take the survey here

I will be sharing results on this same thread after. Thank you!

Replies (29)

May 1, 2017 at 01:50 AM · Why don't you just write down your questions here. I'm leery of clicking links when I don't really know what's going to happen.

May 1, 2017 at 01:53 AM · Agree with Paul-- Post your questions?

May 1, 2017 at 02:38 AM · I don't think the OP has any questions. This is a curiosity survey on Google Forms. I think the link is safe.

May 1, 2017 at 05:37 AM · Like Ella said, it's just a survey thing at, nothing malicious. It doesn't ask for any identification information, just some questions about violin-buying experience.

May 1, 2017 at 08:16 AM · Well, this is a very short one. Took me about 15s

May 1, 2017 at 09:45 AM · Thank you to all who have given your feedback so far!

Paul/ Erin, please feel free to reply to the following (if you haven't already filled out the form) and I can help log them:

When buying your violin, how long did it take for you to find "the one"?

Under a month

A month

2-3 months

4-6 months

7-12 months

Over a year

What price range does the violin you bought fall under?

Under $1000






Where did you end up buying your violin from? *

A Living Maker

A local Dealer (within driving distance)

An non-local Dealer (had to be shipped)

An auction house

From a teacher


May 1, 2017 at 04:16 PM · Could you explain the usefulness of this survey (other than for persons who sell violins)?

May 1, 2017 at 04:16 PM ·

May 1, 2017 at 08:48 PM · The purposes of survey need to be made transparent or you are making people uncomfortable, whethere the site is safe or not. This is a discussion site, not a place for business or commercial use. Why not start a discussion instead of asking people to fill your survey?

May 1, 2017 at 08:55 PM · I think it's just a curiosity thing and not a commercial thing. I don't think you're giving away any personal info. It's anonymous.

May 1, 2017 at 09:13 PM · Also the data collected are very general. You dont give much information.

May 1, 2017 at 10:08 PM · Privacy is one issue. Market research for commercial purposes is another. We don't know and I don't want to assume anything so that's why I asked OP. It's a good practice (at least courteous)to be transparent when you ask people to do survey like this. For those who are happy to comply with the request, it's your choice. For those of us don't feel completely comfortable, well, let's give OP another chance to tell her story.

May 1, 2017 at 10:24 PM · I hunt for violins in the dense forests of Canada, rifle in hand...

Wait, so they aren't edible? Really?! :D

May 1, 2017 at 11:14 PM · What Yixi said is true, everyone's different. I thought it was safe and went right ahead, filling out the survey, but that's not for everyone.

May 2, 2017 at 03:52 PM · You should add "private sale" to your final list. Also your price options should go considerably higher as $30k is only the starting price for a professional violin.

Cheers Carlo

May 2, 2017 at 07:38 PM · @Carlo: Seriously? I have heard extremely good instruments here in Canada for a professional starting at 16k (and that's in CAN dollars).

Are violins rather more expensive in the US?

May 2, 2017 at 08:04 PM · There is a 150+ comment discussion on this topic just a few weeks old.

May 2, 2017 at 08:42 PM · The recent discussion:

Part 1

Part 2

and also recent:

Professional violins outside the US

Older threads:




May 5, 2017 at 05:06 PM · @A.O.

I guess it depends on what you require from your instrument. Are you playing solos or chamber music, are you sitting at the front of a professional orchestra, or at the back of the 2nds in a B orchestra?

There is a difference between "good enough" and what I would describe as a professional instrument. If you want an instrument that has reserves of power (but not just loud) and beautiful tone colours that inspire you and your audience, you will need very deep pockets.

Cheers Carlo

May 5, 2017 at 05:45 PM · I am admittedly a contrarian. Chances are if the mainstream public is doing it one way you can find me doing something else or at least looking at another option or options.

This thinking applies to violins.

When I can go on youtube and see CNC machines churning out parts for violins in only a fraction of the time it takes a human to do it I'm convinced that a large part of the construction can be minimized and still have a good tone and playability. Violins still need to be tuned as in the body cavity tuning not the string tuning.Quality materials need to be chosen and assembly needs to be done by experienced people.

IOW I don't think it will ever be an entirely robotic process. This isn't to say it can't be partially robotic construction and still be a good product.

If you believe that vantage point, it will change how or where you look for a violin IMHO. In some cases things can be done More accurately with machines.

Forget antiques and high ended violin shops. Most of the GP want a good playable instrument and could care less about the rest of it.

JMHO. I don't want to tango with anyone over this JMO.

May 5, 2017 at 06:13 PM ·

May 5, 2017 at 06:13 PM · This might become true for mainstream (I know a quite good luthier that tries to get below the 15k by prepared wood and still achiev high quality) but there will alwyas be room for highly customised high end products. The market is just getting started! A lot of far east players look for solistic instruments right now and they are rare!

I am nearly expecting that my violin will pay my last few years of living some day.

May 5, 2017 at 06:26 PM · When you hunt for a violin, arm yourself with:

a ruler

measuring tape

knowledge of violin measurements

knowledge of basic and advanced sound properties

a good.... no, a great bow

Expect the unexpected.

Leave your cell phone # and any hope behind.

May 5, 2017 at 07:03 PM · Said CNC techniques.Can't link here. May paste into browser. These are clean youtube links.

May 5, 2017 at 07:10 PM · You can use html codes, href for links and img to include pics etc.

May 5, 2017 at 07:15 PM · Oh, and most importantly, take pacience with you. I needed 3 years of very active searching to find the right one for me.

May 5, 2017 at 08:33 PM · @Carlo: Well, Raymond Schryer and Guy Harrison sell award-winning instruments for under 20k Can, so I'm pretty sure prices are just a good deal higher across the border.

May 5, 2017 at 09:21 PM · I'm wary of hijacking the OP's thread with a discussion of what's different in a high-quality instrument than a factory-made Chinese special, but I suppose the two previous Professional Violin threads have hit their max number of responses so there's not really anywhere to shift a discussion without starting a new thread.

I don't think that current computer-guided carving approaches will produce anything approaching the quality of good master-made instruments today. Note that even violins in-the-white, finished (and possibly regraduated) by more skilled luthiers, generally do not reach that same level of tonal quality. I do expect that AI has the potential to someday guide computers to carve in a fashion that more closely approximates a master luthier's skill, but I don't know if it will ever make sufficient business sense for a factory to invest in this level of specialized automation.

Carlo is talking about not just professional instruments, it seems, but rather, if you'll pardon coining another neologism, "artist instruments". In other words, instruments for players who expect to be heard in a (presumably professional) context, as individuals -- whether as principal players in an orchestra, soloists with orchestra, in recital, or in chamber music. This is as much about nuance as it is about power -- indeed, possibly far more about nuance than power.

These instruments are to, say, a nicely-made $2500 Chinese violin, what an F-1 racer is to a Kia Rio.

May 5, 2017 at 11:32 PM · Lydia, very well said!

Cheers Carlo

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