i am in the process of buying an "upgrade" violin. but really, i'm looking to buy the last violin i'll need. and my goal is to do that without breaking the bank. this may seem a bit odd, but i play for my own enjoyment (and perhaps also for others now and then). i'm not a student hoping to become a professional. i WAS a student studying to be a professional 15 years ago. i got burned out and left the violin behind me. completely. in a redemptive sort of way, i've picked up my old violin just 6 months ago, and i have found what i had been missing all my years of playing as a student. the joy. something i've never had in the relentless competitive world that was my violin playing experience.
so now, i am playing simply for the joy of it. yet my ears tell me i need a new fiddle. i can hear things now that i never heard before. i need an instrument that can express the stuff inside. the grief. the rage. the wonder. the joy. the beauty and ability to express the longing of one's heart through a simple yet profound instrument. that's my story (the short version anyway).
well, onto my question. here's what my experience has been so far. i have tried about 50 instruments in the last 6 months from $1k to 10k price range. i have gone on a personal quest of finding out as much as i can about violins, violin-making, dealers, etc. there seems to be a consensus that the cost of a violin often has nothing to do with how it sounds. i have been to several very reputable dealers and they have confirmed this. anyone else find this to be true? if that is the case, why should i spend thousands of my hard earned dollars to get into a sort of club of expensive violin owners? just to say i own a 10k violin? granted, there is value in craftsmanship (and pedigree i suppose), and aesthetics could be made as an argument. but as a player, i really have only one criteria. that my violin sings! (it doesn't hurt if she looks good doing it of course).
i will say that my experience has been that hand-crafted violins as opposed to "factory" made violins play much better. the sound may not be all that different, but my hands and fingers tell me it's having a better time on a "master" made violin. but having said that, does anyone know of any (and this may sound like a paradox) EXCELLENT workshop/factory made violins? i’m looking for a sweet expressive violin that projects. full and slightly dark on the bottom and warm yet brilliant on top. it has to be less than $5k. i recently played a wonderful Kochanski strad copy (master-made)… but my only complaint was i would have liked a bigger bottom and better projection. has anyone tried the Snow line of violins? or similar lines like that? any thoughts would be appreciated.
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.