Should I buy the Hofner AS045 violin as a beginner.

January 16, 2018, 11:33 AM · I've been wanting g to buy a violin for a while now and just recently my parents decided to get me one... :)
I have the option to pick between two violins since that's all my local music shop has to offer and I'm not so keen on ordering online.
The two options are:
1) Fever Violin, cost:$90 (doesn't come with anything)
2) Hofner Violin, cost: approx. $200. Comes w/ bow, rosin and case.
The second seems the most temmpting. XD
Is it okay to start with the Hofner? It won't be wasted because I plan to learn anything and everything about the violin and sheet music.
~please and thank you

Replies (24)

January 16, 2018, 12:29 PM · Neither option sounds all that appealing to me, but you will definitely need a bow, rosin, and a case...if you get the $90 option, you'll have to buy the rest separately. At the very least you should price them out individually so you can make an apples to apples comparison (at least with regard to price).

For $90, you will be getting a VSO (violin-shaped object). You may be getting one anyway with the other option. Are you sure these are your only choices? I would not expect to pay less than $800 US total for a basic playable student violin and bow, and that's being wildly optimistic.

Do you have a local teacher lined up? If so, ask that person for advice before buying anything.

January 16, 2018, 1:02 PM · If you're just starting, I'd rent if at all possible so you know whether violin is for you or not. Plus, it's cheaper. I'd go with the $200 if I were you and can only buy. Price doesn't correspond to quality 100%. Plus, I think you can get a decent beginner violin outfit for $200-$500 depending on where you live.
January 16, 2018, 3:28 PM · Rentals are the best option given your budget.

Ella Yu, I would argue that price corresponds directly to quality when looking at violins less than 1500 or so.

Mary, how do you convince beginners to buy a violin that costs a minimum of 800? I struggle to get brand-new students to invest even $200 most of the time.

Edited: January 16, 2018, 5:29 PM · I have to agree with you to an extent, Erik, but price-quality ratios vary from region to region. Part of the reason I'm even saying this is because I'm including violins sold on sites like Craigslist and Kijiji, where prices don't even give very much information. I once tried a $200 and a $400 violin from the same seller (not on Craigslist, Kijiji, and the like). The $400 one wasn't better, though its tonal characteristics were different. I would say, for instance, that a $1000 violin is always better than a $100 one, a $7000 violin is always better than a $500 one, but a $200 violin may not always be better than a $600 violin, though usually it is. I think prices tend to reflect market value and workmanship a bit more than sound.
January 16, 2018, 5:42 PM · I love my 2004 Gliga "Genial" violin that I bought used 10 years ago for $250 in a guitar store. It was the only violin in the shop, and I bought it completely on impulse and hardly touched it for the next 7 years. A local luthier, who sells his violins for $16,000 to $20,000, and who I paid $1,000 to repair another violin I have, told me the Glinka was actually pretty good, especially for being cheap. And I already thought so.

You can get one new for even less today! I don't know how a 2017-made one would compare, but it is the same shop in Romania, where violin-making traditions are strong.

January 16, 2018, 5:44 PM · "Mary, how do you convince beginners to buy a violin that costs a minimum of 800? I struggle to get brand-new students to invest even $200 most of the time."

I think beginners should rent.

January 16, 2018, 6:30 PM · Is that the same Hofner that makes the Paul McCartney violin basses?
Edited: January 17, 2018, 12:40 AM · @Christopher Payne, I think so..

EDIT: I just checked. It's the same company.

Edited: January 17, 2018, 12:24 AM · And thank you so much for your advice everyone. The problem is that I can only buy and those two were the only options. Also, I forgot to add that the reason why I'm choosing the Hofner over the Fever is because I checked both of them out at the store and the Fever violin seemed despicable to even a beginner like me XD. The reason being that everything was messed up; the strings irritated my fingers, the bridge and finger board were unevenly placed and also the f-holes were unevenly carved. It looked terrible. If I bought the Fever I'd have to take it to a luthier (not accessible) and spend more than $200 on it..
January 17, 2018, 12:23 AM · @Mary Ellen Goree as much as I'd love to buy an expensive violin, I wouldn't because it would just be wasted on a beginner such as my myself. I'd much rather prefer if a professional violin was bought by professional who would treat it and use it well. I'm still just learning how to take care of a violin. I might damage it unknowingly. Wouldn't it be better to start of with something cheap and slowly make my way to a more advanced instrument?
Edited: January 17, 2018, 12:51 AM · its a shame you cannot buy from where I live in Sandinavia, here one can get playable student violins for less than half the price of 800 dolars and a fairly good student violin for 500 euros including bow and case.

The high end store doesnt even sell small violins for more than 500 though they have violins that cost 6-7 figures. I once asked why they sell every student violin for the same 500 price and they said that they dont have time to value every student violin, which they label their own. I guess the big money comes from the highend spectrum of violins. But the student violins they sell are really good.

Are violins really so much expensive in the Usa or does it differ with the area?

But even here its qite impossible to get a decent violin 90 dollars which is about the same as 90 euros. 150 euros would be the lowest and that would be buying not from a shop. Is there now way to get violins from somewhere else? To start with crap is not a good idea as you cannot get a decent sound from crap and how are going to be motivated if you cannot get a decent sound from it?

January 17, 2018, 12:58 AM · @Maria Lammi the hofner violin isn't really crap. It's actually really good. I had the shopkeeper play it and it sounded wounderful even with the cheap student rosin which would make any violin sound tinny. It was constructed wonderfully too for a violin that costs less than $500. I'm not that experienced with violins but I had seen people play student grade violins and compared to them the hofner as045 sounded way better.
January 17, 2018, 2:43 AM · Violetta, im sure, i was just commenting to those that said that a decent student violin costs 800 dollars, which is a lot of money. Was wondering if the prices are so different in europe and usa.
January 17, 2018, 5:16 AM · 1) Renting is the best option. Many shops will apply most or all of the accumulated rent paid towards the purchase of an instrument at a later date.

2) If you MUST buy, certainly your local craigslist has dozens of violins that people bought rather than rented, only to quit after a few months. You might be able to find a used Scott Cao or Eastman for a similar price.

3) In a year or two, you'll either grow into a better instrument or quit in frustration. So you'll either need to sell whatever you buy now (most likely at a loss if it's new), or turn in your rental for store credit. So rental still seems like the better option.

January 17, 2018, 5:28 AM · OK, $800 is A LOT for a beginner, let's be realistic. And I really hope those $800 are including rosin, bow and everything.

In my opinion, as I've already said in the past, the minimum decent violin pack (violin, rosin, strings, case, etc...) costs about $500. About $250 in a good violin, because you can find a decent violin for $250. Of course you can find horrible violins as well. Case $100, bow $100, rosin $10, strings $20 and SR $20.

I know beginners that are 30 or 40, they have a job, and yet they still bought $100 and $200 packs. It's later when they've been playing for 2 years or so when they realize how bad their violins are and regret they bought such cheap pack.

Between $500 and $800 there's a huge difference. I think only rich people wouldn't care to buy a $800 pack for their sons.

Edited: January 17, 2018, 5:45 AM · I think I should've clarified a long, long time ago that I don't live in the
My country is what fits perfectly in the 'underdeveloped' category. So, I'm sure you all can understand how frustrating it is to get a good quality violin conveniently. Even online shopping has just recently been introduced. lol. There is no craiglist and the website that I CAN use as an alternative has a history for scams. Going to my local trusted (because we've already business with them a couple of times) music store is my only option for now.
@Tim Ripond I'm sure if I buy a $200 pack now, I'll realize just like those other beginners that it was a mistake but that's pretty far away so I guess I'll have to make do with the options I have right now.
Who knows? Maybe by the time I realize I could've bought better, I'll be able to travelling to a country that will have a wonderful violin store owned by skilled luthier. But for now, this is all..
January 17, 2018, 5:48 AM · As a returning adult, I did my due diligence by going to my local luthier. My Jr. High Violin Teacher gives private lessons at the same shop, so she helped me select. I also had a "student' violin budget, and ended up with a 2017 student violin that was imported from Europe from my Luthier (The label is the Luthier's label inside). Upon asking more questions, I was able to find out that my violin is actually a Gliga. I tried several instruments before settling on the one I purchased It was just under $500 with the case, and bow. While I am sure I will eventually upgrade, by going through my luthier, I can exchange at full instrument value.
January 17, 2018, 6:53 AM · That's pretty awesome. ^_^
January 17, 2018, 6:54 AM · Violetta, if you really like the Hofner, then go for it. They have a decent reputation in the US.

I don't know what country you're in, but you might check out . He has a lot of experience shipping internationally (free I believe) and has a phone number where you can talk to someone who knows violins. He definately is not a scammer :)

January 17, 2018, 9:23 AM · @Bob Brothers thank you so much!! This is such a great help! ^^
Edited: January 17, 2018, 2:17 PM · Have you considered contacting Shar Music.

They are a very reputable and established firm. They have low-end violins and a rental program.

My first violin was a Franz Hoffman Prelude. I changed the strings immediately but otherwise left it alone. After about year I upgraded the bridge and replace the bow. My 2nd teacher who played 1st chair 2nd violinist in a professional symphony for mid-sized city felt my particular violin was a good violin for someone starting out.

Once the strings changed was easy to play and responsive.

Is it the last violin you will own? No. But it is not a Violin shaped object (VSO) (Of course maybe I just got lucky and got an exceptional instrument for the price and I did upgrade the bridge about 9 month in).

Edited: January 17, 2018, 3:11 PM · I played on a $119 violin (with bow, rosin and shoulder rest) for a bit more than a year without feeling regret about it. Of course it’s better to play on better instruments but I see no problem if you are only able to start with a $200 instrument. Good luck to you :)) :))
January 17, 2018, 8:27 PM · Thank you everyone...
Edited: January 18, 2018, 5:08 AM · @Maria Lammi I think in US is the different situation, as I wrote here in this thread

And especially in czech republic, we don't have euro, and countries with euro are still little bit expensive for us. When someone has chance to travel to czech republic, you can try choose here, because violin making has tradition in our country too, we have localities with long instrument history.

And also we had a lots of decent violins from the past

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