Lamberti violins/Shar

April 23, 2005 at 03:00 PM · Has anyone played the Guarneri or Stradiveri models made in China that are listed in the current Shar catalog? I am looking for an 'advancing' instrument for my 14-year old and the price and stated performance of these instruments is VERY appealing.

Replies (6)

April 29, 2005 at 07:36 PM · It's pretty tough trying to find an instrument for an advancing player. Depending on your location, I suggest you go looking around at local violin shops. They might have something in your price range that you can try out. You should set yourself a budget, and not overstep it. If 1500 is what you can afford, don't look for something more expensive. I haven't played that particular violin, nor have I heard any reviews.

You might want to check out stringworks. They are a direct dealer who walk you through the whole process.. including asking the musician what sound they're looking for in an instrument. Then they go through their stock and pick one for you to try for 2 weeks. It's worth a shot.

May 11, 2005 at 02:01 AM · in case anyone may be interested in my 2bits...

I reside in Shanghai, home to many luthiers and factories. Many of the brands for cheaper violins (ie <$1500) sold in the west are "oem" origin China. A violin that has good build quality and good sound, for the advancing player, costs about $600 for 4/4 size here in the shops. This would have flamed maple, spruce, ebony, etc. Of course, better violins cost more, up to about $1500 for what is considered an excellent pro violin. The build quality is comparable - only the sound is different. So far, I have found all Chinese violins to be good for build quality, but lacking in sound quality - good enough for a serious student, but I see no pros use Chinese violins.

The lower priced violins are very bright, loud, and on the thin side for sound. The high priced ones have more mellow sound, but do not project well. So, you trade off between projection and mellowness.

Chinese violins are made for steel strings, so they are built for high tension. Also, the Chinese use a varnish that is very shiny, but very durable (even against alcohol). No doubt this affects sound quality, but I would not know how.

My violin is handmade, and worth about $700 here. It is bright with good volume, and IMHO needs the Violino or Corelli strings to mellow the tones. Good enough for me, an adult student. A comparable violin in the USA would sell for +$1500.

Something to keep in mind?

December 23, 2013 at 02:21 AM · Hi Terry,

If I were you I'd go for Suzuki AR500. Unfortunately I'm jst a beginner (4th position) & in money restriction. On nagoyasuzukiamerica.com (the US official Suzuki violin) says it's for the more advance student. Young-musician.com sells it for $ 1,100 violin only. If you lived in the same town maybe you can go there, play some then choose one :)

December 23, 2013 at 03:37 PM · Hi Terry,

I have never had a bad experience with the SHAR violins. I'm not familiar with that particular model, though-most of my students who have bought are still in fractional sizes so more of the middle tier than the advancing tier. But if I remember correctly, they will send you/the instrument for a trial period, right? I would say try it, and if it's not a good fit then you will know. But it is worth also trying multiple instruments at local dealers. YYou will get a better idea of what she likes in an instrument, and have a better comparison of what the Lamberti will do for you. Plus it is always good to establish that local relationship.

December 23, 2013 at 05:36 PM · I don't know anything about those violins, but I would not buy an instrument in that price range from Shar. I think you could do better buying a violin from a violin shop (If you're still in Port St Lucie, the one in Miami is great) or you could contact orchestra directors and ask if any students have a violin in that price range for sale.

But there's no harm in trying, right? I would get a second opinion from your child's teacher as well before you commit to buy anything. Try out a few $10,000 violins, just so that you can see qualities to look for in a less expensive instrument.

I love shar, but anything over $750 from them probably isn't a great idea.

December 23, 2013 at 11:48 PM · Shar's instruments that come from workshops in China and are set up at their establishment in Ann Arbor are a good value for their money, although depending on your proximity to a luthier, you can get a better experience being able to visit an actual shop.

In my day job as the music director of a large youth orchestra (100+ students) and a K-12 music program, I see lots of Shar instruments in the hands of students since their offerings are usually better than many local shops at the same price points since they work in such large volumes. The ~$250 entry level Franz Hoffman violins are really remarkable...far better than one would expect for the cost. The $500-$1000 instruments are comparable to other Chinese-made workshop instruments that stores will carry (often with their own in-house labels). If you're going to spend any more, you should visit their shop and treat it like any other...

I usually visit several local shops in Southern California (M&R Weisshaar & Son, Jonathan and David Morey, Roger Foster, Stephen Davy) for my students' needs since I encourage them to develop a relationship with the shop that they frequent, but in some cases time and distance make it so that a transaction with Shar or some of the other online retailers is cost-effective. They even offer no-obligation in-home trials of instruments and bows...what else could you ask for?

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