Contemporary German Violins and luthiers

January 7, 2005 at 03:59 AM · There has been much discussions on contemporary Italian violin makers. However I would just like to find out what's your take on modern German violins/luthiers. Like who are the prominent ones in the field or any particular maker whom you would like to mention.

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January 7, 2005 at 08:24 AM · I am not sure whether this qualifies, but my instrument is made by Rainer Beilharz who completed all his training in Germany and moved to Australia, I believe, in 1997.

When I was looking for an instrument, all the antique ones with the sound I liked were well over $20,000 to $30,000 and quite simply I couldn't afford one.

I happened across the Rainer Beilharz violin when I had almost given up hope of finding anything in my price range, but not only was it a superb instrument, it was affordable as well.

In terms of sound, the instrument is very smooth sounding and exceptionally even across all 4 strings. The sound is very clear, very focussed and carries extraodinarily well. It is relatively subdued under the ear, however, this is a feature I prefer, since it makes it non-fatiguing to play and let's me listen more critically to my tone production. But it has enormous carrying power. Almost scary considering it is a composite copy of small Del Gesu patterned violins (1735 Plowden and 1736 Turkish). My instrument has a 350mm back.

I've only had the instrument for a couple of months and it was new when I bought it. It continues to open up nicely and is becoming more responsive as time goes by. All in all I am really happy with it and it is certainly the best modern instrument I have tried and competes favourably with the more expensive antiques I have tried as well. It certainly does not have a "new" sound about it at all.

In terms of workmanship, this instrument is excellent. It is antiqued and in terms of the quality of the antiquing I have seen nothing better. It's actually one of the best violins I have ever seen of any age and by any maker.

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