Derber vs. Heberlein
I have a student who is looking to purchase a violin, and is currently debating between a Brian Derber (2006) a Louis Otto (1898) and an H T Heberlein (1911). Curious for any feedback on these three makers, and possible long-term investment value. Your input is appreciated!
These aren't even vaguely comparable, are they? Derber is a contemporary maker whose instruments are a typical price point for living makers, I believe (i.e., somewhere in the $15k range), whereas the other two are in the student instrument price range?
I think I found the shop selling all three when I was googling for prices. Lovely violins!
All 3 are in the 10-15k range, with the derber being the most expensive. In my opinion the derber was very clearly the best instrument of the 3, but my student is weighing whether it is worth the extra $$ for her purposes (conducting major with violin on the side). I was thinking that the derber might be worth it for higher resale value later, but curious to get a sense of what some of you know about these makers. Lydia, your comment seems to indicate that at least in the past, Derber's reputation is higher. Am I reading that right?
Katie, your comment about the G string is interesting--we find the G and E to be the best parts about the Heberlein. The unevenness is something of a concern to me, vs the Derber, which is wonderfully projecting throughout.
Dumb question, maybe, but has she settled on a bow yet? That's an additional expense to budget for, obviously.
My Heberlein is actually pretty even across the strings–-no real dead zones. That said, the E string that I currently have on the instrument isn't doing it any favors (I've been experimenting). I recently played a friend's violin from a famous contemporary maker (blanking on the name) and was startled by how honeyed and warm his E string was (the rest of the instrument was in bad shape but I think it needed an adjustment and possibly had an opening).
There's a good chance that a great contemporary violin will appreciate over the course of a lifetime, especially if the maker has a good reputation. I don't know enough about this maker to guess whether that's the case for him, though.
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