Anyone know about Neuner & Hornsteiner?

May 8, 2005 at 05:28 AM · Hi

I reciently came across the name Neuner & Hornsteiner and through limited information available on the internet have come up with the fact that it was a workshop in Mittenwald.

I am curious as to how these typically sound, and what their overall quality usually is.

Thank you

Replies (16)

May 24, 2005 at 02:20 AM · I have one. Its been told to be a trader which collected violins from their makers in that area, the qualities vary. I heard some other owner said how lovely the sound is. The one I own sounds VERY good, but then I brought it to a repairer and he messed it up. Still sounds not bad, but half the volume is gone.

May 25, 2005 at 07:52 PM · It was a big factory-type operation. All mass-produced instruments-- not valuable in an open market, but I know some dealers who will try to take advantage of uninformed buyers.

November 12, 2006 at 06:12 AM · I own one and I like it a lot. It has a rich sound throughout the whole range. Excellent workmanship and finish.

November 14, 2006 at 09:11 PM · The Hornsteiners were a family who built instruments over several generations. I play a Hornsteiner which has a note inside saying "Joseph Hornsteiner / Volderwaldt nächst Hall in Tirol / 1744". An expert told me that Joseph Hornsteiner's grandson used his grandfather's signature for his own instruments, which would make mine an early-19th-century instrument. The Hornsteiners teamed up with Neuner only later, AFAIK.

My violin is quite slimly built, the edge is not very high. The finish is of a yellowish brown, the shape of the scroll is quite rough.

The tone is on the lean and bright side and does not carry very far, but sounds strong if you listen closely and/or in smaller rooms. The D string is its weak point, it is not easily made to sound interesting. The G and E strings on the other hand can sound quite expressive. For chamber music performance in smaller venues, the instrument is beautiful. I sometimes wish I had something more substantial, but still love the old thing, and have coped with it (and it with my playing) for over 26 years now.



December 26, 2006 at 07:25 PM · I have a Neuner & Hornsteiner that I inherited from my great-uncle. I believe that he got it around 1913 and thought it was old then. There is no date on the label, but does have what could be a serial number. There is a number 16 followed by two handwritten zeros. Maybe an attempt by someone to make it look like it was 400 years old. The label reads:

prope Oenipontum. 16

Neuner u Hornsteiner in Mittenwald

This violin is a a little narrower and a lot thicker than a typical Strad copy like my first violin. One "expert" told me it looked like it was modeled after a Klotz.

It has a number of scratches in the finish, and evidence of several unprofessional repairs. It also has some separation between the back and the side. However it is very playable. I play it on a regular basis, because it plays and sounds much better than my previous student model which I have had since I was a child. The G and D strings have a full rich sound, but the A and E strings are a little weak in my opinion.

I wouldn't part with this violin for several times the dollar figures that they seem to be appraised for. Partly because I inherited it, and partly because I just like to play it.

December 27, 2006 at 01:58 PM · The term 'Neuner and Hornsteiner' can refer to a wide range of instruments made in Mittenwald, Germany in the 19th century. While they do share some common traits the difference in quality and style is huge. Generally they're decent trade instruments that have a little more warmth and personality than most trade fiddles.

November 23, 2007 at 12:04 AM · I bought my son a Neuner about 4 years ago. They seem to be solid, sound instruments. I've used it in professional settings with no trouble. It tends to be bright, sweet, super easy touch with immediate response and one of the loudest instruments I've ever played. (can also be a responsive, quiet instrument). His is a 1922. I've run across some that didn't sound good, but I think it had more to do with set up and lack of humidity (I live in the desert). We have been more than happy with it. Cost might run between 2&4K. It is a delight to play and listen to.

November 23, 2007 at 12:11 AM · Oh, for the person who had work done on his Neuner and found it lost the ability to project-this is often easily fixed by adjusting the sound post. I've seen really loud instruments diminished to very quiet instruments just with a couple of bumps of the post. Maybe try a different luthier who will work with you on it. Should cost about $25.

February 1, 2008 at 10:55 PM · I have an 1875 Neuner & Hornsteiner and the sound is absolutely stupendous. My violin is responsive and colorful, vibrant and loud, yet soft and brilliant. I paid close to 5,000 dollars for my violin, but I would have paid up to 15,000 because I absolutely love it. Combined with my Weichold bow from Dresden 1910, the sound is stunning!

February 2, 2008 at 02:47 PM · Factory violins in Germany in the early 1900's through even mid-1950's were a different beast than those from the 60's&70's. They were more likely to have parts machine-cut but hand-assembled, trimmed, adjusted, sometimes by a single maker with decent luthier or woodworker skills. They had access to pretty good wood for mass-appeal instruments, too. There are certain similarities to what is going on with Chinese vlns. these days, though I have my doubts there are many if any single-maker vlns. from their factories. Sue

February 3, 2008 at 02:53 PM · Usually Neuner/Hornsteiner instruments use very plain wood, as did their Mittenwald ancestors.They are mostly not dated, and generally the earlier ones are more appealing.They can often be pleasant sounding violins, a more pure sound than French violins of a similar value.

December 16, 2008 at 11:37 AM ·

 I recently bought a Neuner and Hornsteiner, and absolutely love it's sound, the varnish is a little frickly, i think it was revarnished, but still has a beautiful dark look to it. I personally picked it out through a trial and error, I tried out violins in the 2,000 dollar range to 5,000. great instruments in the bracket about 10 all handmade 2 from local owners apprentice made. then I tried a great francois breton c. 1830. it cost around 3000 dollars but sounded better then violins in the 4,500 range. took it on trial, then decided to go in and final things out, then decided to try violins in the 1,000 to 2,000 range and tried a decent chinese violin and mankeirchen, then found this german gem to be superior to the 3,000 dollar instrument, at almost half the cost (1,750 usd) circa 1900. It goes great with warchal strings or obligatos, going to try my fare with vision titanium shortly, but great violins. They have great playability imo, if this violin is a standard reputation of these violins. It could be a gem, or they are probably just likely well made. I think of it as if it costs less, not cheaper.


December 16, 2008 at 02:45 PM ·

For a while I played an 1848 N & H viola, a 15.5-inch instrument that belongs to a friend. It has a notably pleasant, mellow tone, a nice-looking, slab-cut one-piece back, modest projection, and a C string that is agile and quick to sound. It has been appraised at $1200 and would be a good value at that price, unless you needed a viola with more horsepower. I have heard that, as with other such shops, various grades were produced which are not always easily distinguishable. This viola struck me as pretty good student-grade instrument.

December 19, 2008 at 11:37 AM ·

here's a sound sample, playing is poor (4 months of playing) but it should give you a small idea of what they are. and what they sound like 

December 20, 2008 at 02:55 PM ·

 also, mine is labeled differently, and I'm confused if it's actually a n&h, all it says is with paper that matches the wood and dots to try and blend them together says Neuner & Hornsteiner. if it isnt a N&E why would they want to counterfeit this brand o.o. Sounds wonderful by the way, it probably is what it is

February 14, 2009 at 10:07 AM ·

I found an old, neglected Neuner & Horsteiner (Mittenwald) violin in an auction and paid 500 GB pounds for it (having tried it first!).  Previously I had been playing a higher value instrument by Joseph Hel (see my posting under "Hel").  I now prefer the Mittenwald, even though it is a "factory-built" instrument. I appreciate that their quality is variable - that's probably the case with most makers - maybe I just got lucky.

The moral of the story? Monetary value does not necessarily lead to better enjoyment of an instrument!  A decent dealer will let you try an instrument on loan before you buy.

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