'Concert Violin' under 5 grand?

January 24, 2005 at 05:26 AM · The headline says it all. My parents are looking for a new violin for me on the count of I will have my first solos with my orchestra(s) soon. I think my playing would be much more individual if I had an antique instrument by an individual maker that has alot of mileage other than a violin by a company/workshop. What experiance do you have with instruments in these price ranges?

Replies (19)

January 24, 2005 at 11:59 PM · I have a violin from a lesser known contemporary maker that I could send you. It's tastefully antiqued to a nice warm finished look. The tone is full, and the instrument speaks easily. Keep in mind that you absolutely must match your instrument up with a good bow too, and one that bring out the best that it has to offer. Call me if you or your parents would like to discusss this further. 1-888-499-6165 Reed Bernstein, Bernstein Violins

January 25, 2005 at 01:18 AM · I can see why you would want an older violin, but I've played some wonderfully made contemporary, even new, instruments that were excellent under five grand. I wouldn't write off contemporary makers. Some of them make some great instruments.

January 25, 2005 at 01:14 AM · You can find modern makers at $5K that do pretty well. Like me.

Antique violins offer their own challenges. Too easy to compromise for poor condition. Although if one takes the risk on a reconstructed violin one can get some pretty nice performance.

Some of the better trade violins do rather nicely, too. Might look at those. And imports. I've played a couple of rather decent Bulgarian violins by individual makers at under $5K.

January 25, 2005 at 01:19 AM · Wow, that sold fast Kimberlee :-)

January 25, 2005 at 06:59 AM · Actually we have a young and wonderful Canadian violin maker in town (Phoenix, AZ) and his violins are incredibly good. Two models, a Strad and a Guarneri, craftsmanship is A+ and the violins sound fantastic, great projection and ease of play.

If interested, e-mail me at mitica100@aol.com and I'll forward you his phone number. BTW, his name is Joel Shewchuk.

January 25, 2005 at 09:22 PM · Sorry Jim, I panicked. I don't want to get in the way of all the wonderful luthiers on this site. A guy's gotta make a living. Maybe one of them will give me a good deal on my Mittenwald someday so I can have the Gusset violin I want. Of course, my teacher today played my violin and told me he thinks it has an incredible sound. He owns a Lupon, among others, and once had a Del Jesu. Maybe I'll hold on to my Mittenwald.

Andrew, there are plenty of instruments under 5 grand old and new. The trick is to find a good one either old, or new. (Oh, that was so profound, I really take my breath away sometimes UGH!)

January 25, 2005 at 10:34 PM · I love your ommipresent disappearing posts. They're interesting but then you ace them out.

January 26, 2005 at 12:51 AM ·

January 26, 2005 at 04:15 AM · I am so honored that my mere presence on this thread somehow merited a star . . . Maybe the real omnipresent mediating power was also impressed by my disappearances. You know, I just thought about it and, maybe I shouldn't be exactly happy about that--I mean, to have me disappear, is it sort-of a "ding dong the witch is dead" star? Not that I blame anyone for having that idea. My husband would second that nomination. He's not at all musical, but I'm sure at my funeral he will request a Munchkin rendition of that very song (probably with no violins).

January 28, 2005 at 11:46 PM · And the response was so nice it deserved a star, too!

November 22, 2005 at 04:49 AM · Revamping this thread...

I have written about a local violin maker, Joel Shewchuk. His violins are rapidly gaining popularity, so much that Elmar Oliveira took a serious interest in them recently and performed Brahms Violin Concerto on a Guarnerius model made by Joel. Wonderful violin, in his estimation. I believe he might have bought it as well.

November 22, 2005 at 04:58 AM · My violins aren't in that price range, so without the risk of appearing to be promoting mine I can say that there are lots of nice violins around for you--you just have to get out and try some. Play them all until you find the one that works for you--you'll learn a lot about violins in the process, which is a good thing that will help you make a better decision.

November 22, 2005 at 01:59 PM · There are lots of good French violins from about 100 years ago in that range such as Mangenot.

November 22, 2005 at 02:14 PM · I actually played a nice instrument by Jurgen Klier that a friend of my purchased for roughly 5 grand...very nice sound, great projection...though not a familiar name to me.

November 22, 2005 at 05:58 PM · If you have a friendly shop or luthier, you should seriously consider borrowing an instrument for your upcoming performance(s).

Firstly, it'll give you an good instrument for the concert. Secondly, it'll give you experience with a better-quality instrument. Honestly, until I had the opportunity to borrow a really good violin, I really had little idea of how to recognize one! I'd played student instruments all my life, and never knew anything else.

When you shop, make sure you take advantage of the shop/dealer/maker's try-at-home policy. You'll need to get a really good sense of the violin in order to be sure -- $5k is nothing to sneeze at, and you'll want to spend it wisely.

Make sure that you also have a decent bow to try the instrument with. Maybe it can be a borrowed bow, until you've decided on a violin. At that point you'll want to try several bows and get the one that sounds the best with your new instrument.

November 22, 2005 at 10:27 PM · Try a Lewis & Clark Carbon Fibre violin.

They advertise @ $4,900

Let us know what you thought of it.


January 23, 2006 at 11:48 AM · Try Sam Billings' violin, Carl Becker&Son carries his violins. I have played about two of his violins. One of them got a reddish varnish, very delicate sound, good projectione, fast response, beat a lot of comtenpory Cremonase makers.

January 13, 2007 at 07:15 PM · I know it's a little late since my last reply but the wonderful violins built by Joel Shewchuck were and are not 5k and under, they are more expensive than that but worth every penny, if you may!

One should look at his Strad and Guarnerius models, beautiful masterpieces!

January 17, 2007 at 07:38 AM · As you say, a little late to respond, but try this site www.vozantigua.com. Best value for money you will find anywhere - due, I think, to South Africa's exchange rate

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