Ann Cole Violins

November 1, 2004 at 06:09 AM · I've been looking into buying modern violins and came across an article about Ann Cole in Strings Magazine and looked up her website. I'm wondering if anyone has one of her instruments or has tried one, what did you think, and how much do they generally cost?

Replies (17)

November 1, 2004 at 03:46 PM · I once played a really good viola made by Ann. I think it was around 8 or 9 grand.

November 2, 2004 at 06:14 AM · That's pretty cheap. Did you get it shipped to you? If you did, how much was it?

November 2, 2004 at 03:24 PM · A colleague bought it, probably 5 years ago, so maybe prices were lower then.

July 27, 2011 at 10:25 PM ·

Anne's instruments start at 15k for violins, 18 for Violas, and maybe 20 for Cellos. Not sure on that one. Robertson's Violins has a few of her instruments. Not sure what they are listed at, but if you want examples of her work I would give one of the guys there an email. They will ship you one or more of them for trial.

August 18, 2015 at 08:23 PM · I just contacted Anne to find out about what her instruments are costing. Violas are around $20k.

It would be so nice for all modern makers to take the time to ask professionals to video a 'sampling' of each maker's instruments, to hear standard rep, some scales, and that sort of thing, to enable would-be purchasers to really 'hone in' on which instruments they like.

This website is a great help to learn more about the world of strings, but, in the final analysis, it is the sound of the instrument we are all searching for... at least IMHO.

August 19, 2015 at 11:12 AM · Recording the violin family is notoriously difficult. Poorly recorded, a good instrument would sound ordinary, while a good engineer could greatly enhance the sound of a poor instrument.

So I don't think that providing recordings would make much sense...

August 19, 2015 at 03:39 PM · Geoff is right. I make recordings of violin all the time. The sound can always be doctored. So in the end, you won't learn much from such recordings about a maker's violins.

August 19, 2015 at 08:43 PM · I agree. These days, almost anyone with a sound editing program can doctor-up a violin recording to make the violin sound almost any way they want. But even if the recording is honest and unedited, a lot depends on the equipment, microphone location, and the recording environment.

If I thought recordings were of any value to consumers, I would have been putting them up on the internet 15 years ago.

August 20, 2015 at 04:38 AM · I've been told I need to make a video/audio recording to sell my stupid Scott Cao 3/4 size violin that my daughter outgrew. All it tells you is that the thing actually plays. It would take a good recording engineer at least half a day to set up a studio to capture a really good violin properly. That's expen$ive.

August 20, 2015 at 05:17 AM · Just rent a Zoom H5N for a day and record in a decent-sounding church.

August 20, 2015 at 02:40 PM · Software.

August 20, 2015 at 07:08 PM · GarageBand? iMovie? What else do you need to make a demo video of a 3/4 Scott Cao? :)

August 21, 2015 at 01:19 AM · Something that will make it sound like I played it in a nice church. :)

August 21, 2015 at 01:31 PM · I find it fascinating that the moment someone says ANYTHING on this specific forum, any number of self-appointed 'experts' come along and smack it down.

My comment about recording a maker's instruments was (imho) savaged by, it appears, makers themselves! Say what?

Isn't that (on some level) odd? Don't you think you'd WANT your prospective clients to hear your work?

And it doesn't need to be anything fancy. An iPad in real time, videoing a player in a resonant acoustic space, tells far more than any verbiage or pretty pictures. I record my choral groups that way, and voice lessons, and post the best to YT, or my students send their files to schools for scholarships, and it usually costs me/them very little.

As a Doctor of Music/Uni prof., I am merely asking that which players of instruments must do all the time today- how many competitions require mp3's of their applicants, for instance?

I merely thought it would be great if the same were to be done by the makers- to help their future purchasers, as well as their businesses. It's called coming into the 20th (er even the 21st) century. But you know? If people don't want to, that's their choice. More and more students I know are finding instruments from audio files of makers who do this. I was just asking others if they had thought about it, that was all.

August 21, 2015 at 01:50 PM · I'm not a maker so I really don't know. But I suspect makers could be concerned that there will be some *aspect* of a recording of *one* of their instruments that might be off-putting, something they can't hear themselves or didn't anticipate. And they also might not want *one* instrument to be considered "their work" even though every instrument they make is different. What they want is for you to go to their studio or dealers where their violins are offered for sale and play them yourself. There's a lot you can learn from an MP3 of an audition that is not dependent on the recording like the applicant's rhythmic precision, intonation, etc. That's another thing ... who *plays* the violin on the magic MP3 that "defines" a luthier's work, and how much does it cost to hire Vengerov for half a day? If violin making was about coming into the 21st century, violin makers wouldn't be trying to make their violins sound more-or-less like instrument built in 1715.

August 21, 2015 at 03:23 PM · John - if you don't want opinions, then why are you posting questions on a forum?

You're welcome to constructively disagree, but insulting people for expressing their views doesn't help the cause of civilised discourse, I would suggest.

And in particular, insulting someone as skilled and respected as David Burgess makes you look rather foolish, in my eyes at least...

August 21, 2015 at 05:51 PM · Hi John.

Of course I want prospective clients to hear my work. But I still think that comparing violin sound from recordings doesn't reveal much (and worse, may well be misleading), unless they are all recorded under the same conditions, with the same equipment in the same place, with the same player in the same position, and the same post-processing (if any). Perhaps that could be done, and be useful, with recordings of a selection of instruments from a single source, like a single dealer. What I've found from my own recording experience (both studio and home computer based) is that something as small as repositioning the microphone in a room (same distance from the violin) can make a violin sound like a completely different violin. Let alone a different room, different recording equipment, different recording levels and settings, a different player, different distance from the mic, and different post-processing.

Where I've used recording successfully for comparative purposes has been in single sessions where nothing but the violin was changed. In those cases, impressions from listening to the recording tracked quite well with live listener impressions, as far as comparing that particular group of violins was concerned. It didn't enable a true quality assessment of any of the violins, but did a decent job at comparative assessment among that group of violins.

But that still only gives part of the picture. To most of the people I deal with, a purchase decision isn't based on sound alone. The sound might be very good, but if the playing experience and tactile feedback aren't commensurate, the deal is off.

Sorry if you've taken offense to anything I've said. I was just trying to give an accurate answer to your query, from my (and many of my client's) perspective.

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