Is $3000 enough for a violin for a student doing diploma level?

Edited: June 13, 2018, 10:07 PM ·
I Am 15 years old and have been playing the violin for 6 years and is doing diploma level ABRSM standard.Our family are quite poor so we can not afford good instruments I have used a $300 violin for 4 years and get very frustrated every time I practise. I get very unmotivated when I play with this violin. I am play sant seans condo capriccioso,mozart violin concerto nm4 and kalebleskys violin concerto. This is the general music I play. Yesterday a friend of my violin teacher kindy lend me a violin worth $3000 in till I do my diploma exam then I have to give it back but to me the violin sound more like a $2000 violin since.of it's tone also it is very difficult to play on
this violin in the higher positions on the g string which kind of set me of. I have tried a lot of violins in the $3000 from old to new one at violin stores and my playing instantly improved. A lot of my friends that play in y orchestra have this price range of violins and sound much better than the one I have now. My school is trying to figure out something on helping me fundraise a violin for me but they want to know a suitable price range of a violin that can last me for years but in my opinion $3000 is not enough. What are your thoughts if $3000 I enough for a violin for diploma student

Thanks

Kind regards
Darren Breeze

Replies (54)

Edited: June 13, 2018, 10:13 PM · Grammar! This feels pretty disjointed. I get that you don't like the violin you were lent, and that you want a better one and need to know the price to set for it, and that you are doing the ABRSM Diploma. But the rest of it's a bit of a mash.

ABSRM Diploma student doesn't tell us much. I assume you're talking about the ASRM, but that still doesn't tell us much. Are you planning on going on in music? Do you just want to play in 'the orchestra'? Your end goals dictate what kind of instrument you want. You say you're from a poor family, so recommending you get a $10,000 instrument just to drop it in a couple of years seems like a shame. On the other hand, if you plan on sticking with it on an upwards trajectory, you'll probably outgrow a $3,000 instrument that feels comfortable at this particular moment and may not be financially able to get something better later.

If the one your teacher lent you is so terrible, have you asked them about it? Have they played it for you? I think most people would be pretty hard pressed to tell the difference between a $2,000 and a $3,000 instrument.

Regardless, playing on a $300 violin probably isn't going to get you much further, so some sort of upgrade is clearly on the horizon.. You seem to know what you're looking for.

June 14, 2018, 5:03 AM · I have some pretty damn good violins around the $3000 price range, certainly good enough to play in a community orchestra.
June 14, 2018, 6:05 AM · No, it's probably not good enough. However, we all have to use what we can afford. Even professionals often don't have the money to spend on a great violin.

The answer is that, whatever the instrument, you try your best to make music on it. I think at this point you're probably really focused on the fact that you hate your violin and are "done with it." I can totally relate because I've been there. All I can say is that you should focus on your playing.

Is your rhythm really excellent? Bow use? Intonation? Vibrato? Phrasing? Memorization?
Try to focus on these things and not your violin.

June 14, 2018, 6:53 AM · besides Scott's great advice, it might be helpful to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness. If someone loans you a violin that's nicer than one you have, that's a risk and a confidence placed in you, especially knowing you can't pay it back if something unfortunate happens to the instrument. Working extra hard on you technique and improving a lot, while showing proper appreciation, could lead to bigger and better things. Griping that a loaner "isn't good enough for you" could dry up the pool rather quickly!

Also, if you have the time management skills to permit it (while keeping schoolwork and practice up), a little work, mowing lawns, helping at a store, etc. can add up over time....

June 14, 2018, 7:06 AM · There are plenty of crappy $3000 violins out there, maybe his loaner is one of them??
June 14, 2018, 8:35 AM · As a student, nearly 40 years ago I was able to save $5000 in one summer job. This would get you a pretty decent instrument. I had my first paying “summer job” at 14, painting houses, mowing lawns and delivering newspaper and paid for my first bicycle picking up bottles on the side of the road. This may be a tad patronizing, but I suggest not to rely on the good will of others to solve your problem, and start looking for a way to earn some money. This probably sounds like a lot of money to you or your family, but with a little effort on your part it is well within your reach if you are motivated enough.
June 14, 2018, 9:15 AM · It sounds to me like (1) your current violin isn't great, (2) your loaner violin is not a lot better, (3) you need something better, but (4) it need not necessarily be $3000, and (5) it may just be an improvement on what you have. The advice here is pretty good. Per Lyndon, there are very student level violins at 1000, 2000, 3000, but you probably have to keep looking. Per Roger, you may be able to fund something yourself (perhaps raising $700 to buy a good $2000 violin that is being sold second hand). Per Scott, you have a lot of room to improve on either the $300 violin or $3000 loaner violin. I would suggest also (1) consider improving the set-up on one of the existing violins (new strings or rehair if you haven't done that), (2) try as many violins as you can, including friends' violins, and (3) get your teacher's advice (it sounds like your teacher found you a better violin that at least the teacher approves of, right?). It may be that a better solution is coming, but that it won't happen immediately.
June 14, 2018, 10:40 AM · Laurie published this article some time ago, it is superb: "Your violin is your teacher, too: So get a good one"

http://www.violinist.com/blog/laurie/20072/6496/

June 14, 2018, 5:03 PM · Roger and others suggesting that OP get a job:

OP may already have a job. If he has a job, or ends up getting a job, given his family's poverty, there's an extremely high likelihood that he would not be able to keep most or all of his earnings. Rather, it would become part of the family's money.

There's also a high chance that if the OP lives in an area where other people are also poor, there aren't odd jobs to do that pay a reasonable amount of money. People simply don't have the money to give. Painting houses? That's a luxury for suburbanites. Mowing lawns? You need to live someplace where people have a lawn. Delivering newspapers? Does anyone actually buy newspapers any more? (And if his local paper is anything like mine, the newspaper-carrier job is now explicitly only for adults.) Recycling bottles? You need to both live somewhere that people use bottles, and toss them illegally on the side of the road.

Side hustles for teenagers have increasingly dried up because anything that pays gets taken by adults whose primary jobs no longer pay enough to live on.

Your privilege is glowing.

Edited: June 14, 2018, 9:25 PM · Some privileged, right? Surely better to keep quite and offer no advice at all.

Laurie, you may consider shutting down the server before the committee on public safet...uhhh, micro aggressions notices. So far they seem to be busy with twitter, but the wind shifts eventually.

But wait... that was advice too. Wow, I need to check my privilege more thoroughly. I must dig up my Foucault and revisit the fundamentals, for EVERYONE’s safety.

June 15, 2018, 2:24 AM · I always try what I am teaching on my student's own violin: it doesn't always work, even after adapting my playing for a few minutes.

The more you can pay, the more good instruments you will find, but there is little direct link: luck plays a big part.

Jason, I have seen some angry or aggressive posts on v.com, but nothing like the dross on Tw*tt*r!

June 15, 2018, 3:45 AM · I am very sensitive about how sensitive everybody is regarding others' sensitivities.

June 15, 2018, 4:39 AM · Lydia, I agree with the basic gist of your post and am often grateful for your take on things.I don't know how Roger earned $5000/summer 40 years ago, because I was getting $4.35/hour 25 years ago. It's funny for me, because you are the poster I most associate with the "dream-crushing" responses here (i.e., if you didn't start really early or have a great teacher you're probably not going to make it professionally, there’s a clear hierarchy of "good" and "bad" schools to attend, having an expensive violin can make a huge difference, violin is an expensive hobby that is mostly commonly pursed by the independently wealthy). You maybe didn't use those *exact* words, but that was the sentiment I've gotten :)

At the same time... the idea of "try to get some money together" and "keep looking for a better violin" is not totally out of bounds. I have a $300 step-up Samuel Shen violin off of Craigslist. I've seen that model rated highly by good amateur players and it often sells in shops for $2000--this is the type of violin I'd imagine the OP is looking for. It's more than enough violin than I'll ever need and probably good enough to do the diploma the student needs. My kids play on second hand Yamahas that I really like, and you can often find their higher level models used for <$500 There's often a big gap between terrible VSO violins and decent Yamaha/Cao/Haide violins and then "real" violins set up by luthiers. Lyndon’s often said he can players in well set-up, antique shop violins.

For the student, it might also help to talk to the school more and find out how/from whom they buy instruments. It may be if they can afford some nicer instruments to lend to students your problem is solved, and they just want help figuring out what to get. Some schools do this. It sounds like you're in the UK, right? Who are the major retailers for violins there? Is there a local shop that your teacher recommends? It may also be the school would cover the cost of a higher level rental if you could find one locally. Also, don't give up on the loaner violin. If your teacher recommends it it may be better than you think.

June 15, 2018, 5:24 AM · I was wondering about the $5000 summer myself because 38 years ago I worked full-time in a savings and loan, and nights at McDonald’s all summer, averaging 60 hours a week, and was completely exhausted and proud of my $2000 at the end of it.

Times have changed. I wish the OP well.

June 15, 2018, 6:19 AM · $5000 over 90 days of summer is about $55/day. That's almost $7/hour on an 8-hour day, 7 days a week, which almost triple the $2.65 minimum wage in 1978 (40 years ago). And that doesn't subtract taxes.

When I was OP's age, a full year of playing freelance gigs got me a little more than $6k. By comparison, a handful of years later (25 years ago), I worked a $12.25/hour summer job as an intern for a Fortune 500 company, where I received a townhouse (shared with one another person), car, and all bills paid other than gas and food. Nevertheless, post-tax, working 40 hours a week for 12 weeks (and working unpaid overtime), I didn't even take home $5000. (Raw wages of a little less than $6k.)

Anyway, I like to think of myself as pragmatic, rather than dream-crushing. :-)
Every choice has an opportunity cost, and people making choices should go into them with as much clear-headed knowledge as possible. If you're going to follow your dreams, you should do so knowing the likely consequences. Some people are fortunate enough to have all the right circumstances to maximize the likelihood of achieving those dreams.

Anyway, in terms of loaner instruments, OP:

I think that there's a fairly wide range of violin quality at any price point, and there's often relatively little difference between violins at, say, $2k, $3k, and $4k. It's unfortunate that you received a loaner that still doesn't meet your needs. Broadly, I think that advanced students benefit from violins that are better than the typical violin in this range, and that an inadequate instrument presents a hurdle, but most people are pretty much obliged to learn on what they can afford.

My guess is, from your hash of a post, that English is not your first language. (If it is, please pay some attention to your schoolwork. You need better communication clarity than this to be a successful adult.) I'm guessing you're in some region of the world that uses the ABRSM system, but might not have a lot of violin shops or a lot of classical violinists. I think you'll need a thorough search for the best instrument you can get for the money available. In the $2k-4k range, you can get fairly nice workshop instruments -- the upper end Jay Haide models, a Hiroshi Kono, etc. You probably won't find it fully satisfactory, but it will be usable.

Edited: June 15, 2018, 7:12 AM · You are asking the wrong question. The right question is a bit different, more like "what are the characteristics I should look for in a violin that will allow me to grow as much as I want, and enjoy playing?" Tying this to a dollar range is almost certainly wrong, except for extremes (in the US, very few <$500 violins would meet such criteria, for instance, but there are definitely violins in the range of 1000 to infinity that will, and some in the same range that won't).

For one, honestly, your challenges sound to me like instrument setup more than anything else. Bridge height, fingerboard angle, probably. You actually are looking for an instrument set up in a manner that enables you to grow your playing. This does not neccesarily come with a particular dollar cost, and can definitely be had for <3000 if money is a challenge for your situation.

For what its worth, my second-best violin is a Scott Cao 750 (Chinese workshop instrument) copy of the David, and it makes a great sound, and definitely has no problem going to the top of the fingerboard (though bow resonance is surprisingly a variable here too).

That instrument cost me about $1200 US several years ago, and if it were my only instrument, I'd be totally happy with it. (I also have another instrument that is somewhat higher-end, but the differences are more apples to oranges things, not that the American instrument is overall clearly better.) The Cao plays, for instance, Tchaik and the Bach Chaconne with no issues. I have played far more expensive instruments that I wouldn't trade it for. Note however that I suspect a fair amount of this is the skill with which it was setup by the shop from which I purchased it.

Before looking for a dollar range, you should strive to play as many instruments in and beyond your price range that you can, and learn what you like and what is out there. Then look for instruments you can afford that resemble the things you liked best about ones you can't. I bought a modern American instrument largely because it strongly resembled a Pietro Guarneri I once got to play for a few minutes, and have never regretted it. The Cao similarly reminded me of a contrasting modern luthier-made instrument well out of my price range that I had played and liked.

June 16, 2018, 6:30 PM · Thank you so much everyone for your advice.And sorry for using the wrong grammar and missing out words as I had to rush this disscussion during a lunch interval at school.

I do appreciate my teachers friend for lending me the violin. But for me that particular violin didn't do the trick compared to other violins in the same price range I have tried in shops etc..

$3000-$3500 is my budget. I can't spend more than this.

I've heard that the jay haide violins are quite good in quality.the European wood quanarius cannon model. My friend has one and it plays wonderfully.

I'm looking for any violin old or new, but prefer the older ones. The sound has to be very open and rich With a slight flavour to it. And... the most important...Is that the sound should not choke in the higher positions on the g string.

If any of you know any very high quality violins at this price range please tell me

Thanks

Kind regards Darren Breeze

June 16, 2018, 6:43 PM · Yes! Lydia leong

I'm really sorry english is my second language.

By the way I live in New Zealand. There is a violin store near me but the violins start at $2000- to around $24000 the good thing is though there are a few of jay haide violins there but most of them are old antique violins.

Just wondering if you know any other brands that are good.

Thanks

June 16, 2018, 6:43 PM · Yes! Lydia leong

I'm really sorry english is my second language.

By the way I live in New Zealand. There is a violin store near me but the violins start at $2000- to around $24000 the good thing is though there are a few of jay haide violins there but most of them are old antique violins.

Just wondering if you know any other brands that are good.

Thanks

June 16, 2018, 8:12 PM · I would love to play so well that I could say "my violin is not good enough for me." I have a Gliga "Genial" violin (made in Romania) I bought used in a guitar store for $250, and I have a 1924 violin made in 1924 by Gustav Fassauer Ferron, which a luthier told me could sell for $6,000 to $8,000 --and honestly, though the old wood looks nicer and the old varnish (was) finer, in terms of sound and playability, I personally don't find the expensive antique any better than my Romanian student violin! Granted, the same luthier said nice things about the Gliga violin, how good it was for the price, well-made, etc....but the low price he quoted for my old violin is 24 times more than I paid for the Romanian one. So, am I just a really bad player, or a dope who can't tell good violins from bad, or is my cheap violin really good for the money and my expensive one really bad for the money? I don't know, they both sound pretty good to me, and anything not so good is no doubt some aspect of my playing that I could improve.
June 16, 2018, 8:43 PM · Don't look at brand, especially if you're looking at older violins. Simply play everything within your budget at the violin shop that's near you. If there's nothing satisfactory, try the shops in the closest major city. Ignore everything but the sound/playability.
June 17, 2018, 7:27 AM · "And... the most important...Is that the sound should not choke in the higher positions on the g string."

Darren,
You're talking about the most difficult range on any violin. Violins that are very open high on the G are the ones that command $$$.


There's no doubt that some violins ARE indeed more open high on the G than others, right from the minute they leave the workshop. However, based on my experience with different violins,
-most violins will open up. They just need playing in the high positions. Often, lower-budget older violins don't speak well up there because whoever has played it was never advanced enough to play in the upper positions.
-string choice can dampen the high positions. This is one reason I don't like Evas, which so many dealers now use as a default: I feel they can choke off high positions.
-I have always had success opening up the high G by using a light-gauge Dominant G. It makes a big difference.

One more thing:
Bargains on violins DO exist. However, one doesn't usually find them in retail shops. You have to get creative and do some detective work. Talk to professional symphony members and teachers, who often know about what's for sale on the private market.

It's like anything else--cars, etc--the dealer is the MOST expensive place.

June 17, 2018, 10:03 AM · I have had 3 violins that did not play well above the first octave of the G string --- and I solved that problem in the following ways.

1. Larsen TZIGANE string set eliminated the problem on one violin.

2. Thomastik Peter Infeld Platinum-plated E string cured the G string problem on the other 2 violins no matter what other strings were on them. Other strings on the violins included Peter Infeld, Vision Solo and Evah Pirazzi Gold.

June 17, 2018, 12:56 PM · Hi,Darren,
I am in New Zealand,too,and I understand your lack of choice,this being a small country.Do you live in Auckland?
There is a Violin shop there called "The stringed instrument
company" They have secondhand violins in your price range,and they
are Luthiers,too.This is their web address:http://stringedinstrument.co.nz/
June 17, 2018, 2:35 PM · Hi Malcolm Blyth

Yes I have visited the stringed instrument company unfortunately the 2 instruments that I wanted sold two weeks ago. One was a modern chinese jay halide violin the other one was a old german concert violin.

June 17, 2018, 2:44 PM · Very unfortunate that I couldn't get one of those instruments but do you know any other shops in auckland besides Hewitts fiddle shop and kbb music store?
June 17, 2018, 3:44 PM · Actually I think the strings does make a difference. The violin came with the average dominant strings. The sound choked on the g string from E upwards. I changed all the strings two weeks after I got it to thomastic alpanues (can't remember the name) but it was cheap strings. But then after I changed the strings the higher notes had wolf notes.

Perhaps the strings make a difference too.

What strings should I use?

Also every week when I see my teacher he says the violin sounds changing. But in a good way because the violin I have, was made in 2012 and had only had been played for 6 months after it was made until a friend of my violin teacher kindly lend me it. So I think the wood it getting used to the acoustics.

June 18, 2018, 12:59 AM · Darren, how often do you play and when was the last time you switched strings? If your parents would give you the money, you might want to take the borrowed violin in and see if they'd set it up for you (tweak bridge or soundpost, change strings). For strings, I'm an amateur player, but my sense is new dominants, d'addario, red strings, whatever, may be an improvement if the strings haven't been changed in a while. Another thing people on here sometimes recommend is upgrading the bow. It's a little dangerous to buy bow first and then upgrade violin, but going from a cheap violin bow to a better violin bow may make a big difference. Good luck!
June 18, 2018, 1:39 AM · "-most violins will open up. They just need playing in the high positions. Often, lower-budget older violins don't speak well up there because whoever has played it was never advanced enough to play in the upper positions."

I'm beyond sceptical of this notion that a violin will change materially just by playing in certain positions. Some violins just can't handle playing that high on the G-string. You can try different strings, but playing won't change the violin.

Edited: June 18, 2018, 4:00 AM · I am also sceptical, although I have seen it happening. Maybe the player had a good day and some bad day.

However, this is a truth :"lower-budget older violins don't speak well up there because whoever has played it was never advanced enough to play in the upper positions.". Not because it "opens" or anything, but because the setup (soundpost, bridge, tailpiece...) in cheap violins is only tested in first position (at best). One thing that certainly happens is that a tiny change in soundpost opens or blocks high positions.

Edited: June 18, 2018, 3:59 AM · double post
June 18, 2018, 6:53 AM · "I'm beyond sceptical of this notion that a violin will change materially just by playing in certain positions. "

You can be skeptical, but this is simply my experience. Since 2001 I've had 4 new-off -the-bench violins by two different makers. All took time and playing in order for the high G to open up with a response that was satisfactory to me. The sound essence of violins don't change that much, but playing them usually improves the response in all positions. Some may take several years, some faster.

June 18, 2018, 8:11 AM · Hi,Darren,Here is the address of The StringWorkshop,in Auckland


The String Workshop 9B Penzance Rd
Mairangi Bay
Auckland 0630

June 18, 2018, 8:29 AM · I agree with Scott, assuming that the violin is of reasonable quality to begin with, and is not, say, a barely-playable VSO.

A $3k decent workshop instrument should be usable in the high positions. The OP's loaner is owned by a violin teacher, apparently, and I assume they bought it reasonably thoughtfully. Violins that haven't been played for a while need some time to open up again.

Edited: June 18, 2018, 9:11 AM · Scott wrote “playing them usually improves the response in all positions”.

The question I always wandered is this due to a change in the instrument’s playing characteristics or rather in the player’s ability to play in the way the instrument demands?

June 18, 2018, 9:19 AM · Hi,just a thought about the tone high up on the G-string.If the violin is not set-up well,the 'action' on the strings may be too
high,meaning that the G-string,for example,has to be pressed down further than it should,to the fingerboard.this results in the
angle that the string leaves the bridge possibly being incorrect.
This can affect tone,I have heard.
June 18, 2018, 9:22 AM · Many professionals like a high action, quite high in fact.
June 18, 2018, 10:05 AM · There's high action and then there's high action. There appear to me (and consistent with James Ehnes, who has described this sort of thing several times) about two optimal types of setups:

One with lowish action, which tends to yield very easy "bloom under the ear" low-effort tone production, and low finger pressure, and tends to produce on type of tone color easily, but only one. This setup type tends to respond more to bow speed than pressure, and (IMHO) not vary sound as much from sound point changes.

The other type of setup is a somewhat higher action, which tends to take a bit more bow force to actuate, have a bit less easy bloom, but respond with more variety to changes in bow pressure and sound point. I believe this is the type of setup Lyndon is referring to. Ehnes specifically says he prefers this setup on his Strad, due to variety of tone color and improved projection.

However in proper setup, _both_ of these setups can be totally fine high on the G string, say, up to about the second B above middle C (i.e. the top note on the violin in first position).

But there is another type of high action, where the "highness" is more progressive, i.e. the higher on the G (or other) string you get, the bigger the gap is. This can be caused by a mediocre setup in the first place (like the instrument I played in high school), or a somewhat fallen neck angle (like many older instruments I've played).

Btw IMHO both of the correct two types of setups can be excellent to play. I have (by coincidence) an instrument of each type, and often find when switching between them, one instrument will suggest different fingerings and musical approaches than the other, which sometimes then work well taken back to the other instrument. I think in general that the lower-action space may be better for advancing students, though the higher-action space may give professionals more artistic options or more projection. (I've never been able to make up my opinion between my two; I play both regularly.) The lower setup may correspond to a darker tone and the higher one to a brighter tone, but honestly, lately I've started to give up on talking about tone entirely, as I've seen several examples where two experienced listeners next to each other don't even percieve the same instruments as, say, "bright" vs "dark," and I've discovered that my own instrument that I thought was brighter, sounds much darker when I stand six feet away and my daughter plays it.

The original poster should try as many instruments as he can find, with an eye to making sure he tries examples of both setup types, and looking for what he likes - but keep in mind one major cause of lack of response high up on the G can be string depth. More flexible strings under the finger can also help (you may not need to press as hard), as can improvement in technique..and of course, there is a genuine factor of the wood's responsiveness, more of a variable when you go from darn high to ridiculously high...but I'd tend to suspect wood limits _last_, especially on an unfamiliar instrument. If in instrument plays B5 well on the E string, why wouldn't the wood react largely the same when it is played high on the G? (Ok, the answer is bridge mass location, thickness under the bass foot of the bridge, bass bar resonance, and a million other things...but IMHO any instrument worth $1k or more ought to respond well in this range when properly set up.)

Oh, and one more thing: when playing super high on the G, I presume you know your bow contact point should be very close to the bridge (vs in the middle), which means your bow stick should be tilted away from the bridge (smaller hair surface) and the bow speed likely dropped quite a bit. Different instruments will have different sensitivities to this sort of thing, but it just comes from the fact that a much shorter segment of string is being asked to vibrate, and you don't want your bow in the middle of that segment but off to the side, or the bow itself will choke the sound regardless of instrument.

Hope this helps!

June 18, 2018, 12:43 PM · I would like to add a different, maybe unpopular, thought here. I looked at your post in January 2018.

Back then you were 14, had a 2k$ budget, played a cracked and unrepairable 250$ instrument and had been playing for 4 years in total.

Now, 5 months later, you are 15, have a 3k$ budget, play a 300$ violin since 4 years, and you have been playing in total since 6 years (huh?).

You keep asking for brands even though people told you there is no point in it. Your desired sound is ultra generic "The sound has to be very open and rich With a slight flavour to it. And... the most important...Is that the sound should not choke in the higher positions on the g string."

My guess is that you might spend your 3-3.5k$ now on an instrument and you will be dissatisfied no matter what in another 6 months but then you cannot go back because the money is spend.

Instead, you might focus on your technical advancement (I guess the 2k$ is not a hurdle to that), relax on the decision on a new instrument, and leave that to your older, more converged yourself.

June 18, 2018, 2:21 PM · A student playing at DipABRSM level is an advanced student who can certainly take advantage of everything a $3k violin has to offer, and frankly could take advantage of a higher-quality violin as well (i.e., a $10k+ violin made by an individual highly-skilled luthier).
June 18, 2018, 2:31 PM · Michael Krause the I got the violin on discount for $250 but the actually violin is worth $295.00 so technically $300 I just say $300 because I like to round things. My $300 violin I bought from kbb music.co.nz.

I cant remember how long I've been playing but it is around about the years that I put in the discription.

Back then I thought a $2000 violin was enough but it wasn't
$3000 gives you much more says my teacher

And plus I only got one response from that

June 18, 2018, 2:31 PM · Michael Krause the I got the violin on discount for $250 but the actually violin is worth $295.00 so technically $300 I just say $300 because I like to round things. My $300 violin I bought from kbb music.co.nz.

I cant remember how long I've been playing but it is around about the years that I put in the discription.

Back then I thought a $2000 violin was enough but it wasn't
$3000 gives you much more says my teacher

And plus I only got one response from that

June 18, 2018, 2:46 PM · Ok, my only point basically is: Be careful and take your time.

Lydia is actually supporting my point very well: No doubt you can take advantage of a higher grade average 3k$ instrument. Now imagine you had it. And then you realize, or you already did, you could take advantage of even more. But then the money is gone and cannot easily be recovered in future. Maybe it would have been better to save up and look around another year or so.

Be sure to hit a sweet spot, some kind of plateau in price and instrument performance, and be innerly prepared to fully embrace your purchase for a long time, to save you from constant frustration.

By the way, as others here I am a supporter of the theory that 3k$ might buy you a instrument beating instruments worth ten times more, but it is 50 (or whatever) times harder to find that quality in a 3k$ than in a 30k$ one. And that search would require to get rid of any prejudices.

June 18, 2018, 2:50 PM · He's playing a $300 violin for God's sake, he needs a better violin.
June 18, 2018, 2:55 PM · Thanks so much for the advice.

I will definitely try to change the strings.

As for my bow I think my bow is quite good It is a german dorfler bow selling for $375, so I don't think it's the problem.

By the way my bridge and the set up of my violin is all fine, it's done actually very good. It's just the average high if you were wondering.On my violin the sound post is around about 5mm behind the bridge . Apparently if the sound post is closer to the bridge you get a much more powerful sound. But I don't really want to alternate the sound post though because if I didn't like the sound, I will never be able to get the same sound again.

This is what happens to my teachers violin. When he was changing string once his sound post fell. He then took it to a luthier and got it repaired. After that incident with my teacher he though the sound never sounded the same after that and the quality of sound wasn't the same especially the harmonics.

By the way I practise for 2-3 hour each day whoever asked me that question.

Edited: June 18, 2018, 6:23 PM · If I had to chose the best reply, it would be the one from Francis.
Time after time, we have the same question asked here: if an x$ violin will ... fill in the blanks here.
First, market value of the violin (at least in the range afordable for most of us mortals) often has nothing to do with its sound qualities.
Second, keeping in mind the 1st, linear increase of market value does not translate in linear increase in sound quality. On each step of one's ever-increasing appetite for a better sound, one has to invest way more money for small increments in sound quality.
Third, the best ROI for $3000 is..... the bow. 3 major contributors to sound are: violin, violinist and the bow. Keep the 1st, invest in the 3rd and keep improving your skills. Save your money and keep looking for a deal, which may be, as other stated, below (or above) your current $ limit.
June 18, 2018, 9:44 PM · Bargain hunting for fine violins is super fun! You just have to know where to look. Chinese and German violins are great first targets.

I bought a KILLER violin from Corilon for 4k. She's German and unlabelled, both qualities that bring the cost way down.

Yunhai Xu violins (through Cleveland Violins) are good candidates. You have to save up some more money, because they run 4-5k. This guy has won awards out the wazoo in the US and China. Comparable makers in the US/Euro want 15-18k for theirs.

Tarisio and Bromptons.co are auction. Buy smart and you can get something for 1/3-1/2 price of what the stores charge. Buy dumb and you've just wasted a few grand. Good luck!

June 18, 2018, 10:30 PM · When I went violin shopping last, I got a GORGEOUS French instrument for $3,000.

Some stores charge absolutely obscene amounts for tinny factory-made instruments (earlier in that shopping trip, I almost paid $3,200 for a subpar Klaus Heffler violin that sounded the best out of an incredibly mediocre bunch). You simply need to explore all of your options.

Edited: June 19, 2018, 6:46 AM · "$3000 gives you much more says my teacher"

Where a teacher recommends a particular shop, or assists student to choose a violin, in many cases the shop gives the teacher a commission after the student has bought a violin. This remunerates the teacher for their time and expertise in helping the student choose an instrument. However, it could affect the advice too. The commission is often based on a percentage, so the teacher benefits financially if the instrument which turns out to suit the student best costs more. In most of those cases, the student who buys the violin is not told about the commission. Without commenting on your particular teacher, in general terms that is one possible reason for this kind advice about the benefits of spending $3k rather than $2k, which as you see several people who posted answers above do not agree with.

June 19, 2018, 6:59 AM ·
Ouch, I'm glad someone mentioned the commission issue, even though I hope that isn't what is in play here (particularly as the instrument price is clearly a stretch for the student). Probably not, but worth knowing. When a shop asks you who your teacher is when you show up alone...this is why.

I still assert that, while there is a nonzero correlation between price and sound for violins, it is a very weak correlation, and you're better off treating them as utterly uncorrelated (particularly in the $1000+ range). There is definitely no qualitative difference between a $2000 and $3000 violin in general.

While brand really isn't the right way to shop, if you want brands to look for as a starting point, you can't go wrong looking at Scott Cao artistic series and Jay Haide l'Ancienne. Particularly the Scott Cao, anything at or above their 750 line is worth trying out, and don't assume just because the 750 is priced ~1200 that it is insufficient for your needs. I bought a 750 that was very similar in sound, feel and playability to a 20k luthier instrument I tried, and have used it for 2 years without finding any real limits to it, except those described above. However I have only played one of each of these lines, so I can't comment firsthand about variability. (I have seen others report that the Scott Cao violins don't sound better as they go up to 950, 1500, just other variables improve. I don't know.)

Also, bows. Another area worth considering, and there, my personal experience has _really_ been that there is no correlation between price and sound, at least in the 5k and below bow range. I personally happen to have an affinity for old, cheap German sticks, but this will vary hugely with your playing style. Bargain hunting definitely can be fun here though you have to have patience. If I could go back in time and hand my teenage self any of several bows I got in antique shops for <100, it would be life-changing - but that doesn't mean I should have spent more $$ (indeed, I spent more $$$ on bows in high school than now), just that I wish I had known to look for a specific type of balance and response.

Personally, I've found that well-made new instruments are as good as equivalently well-made old instruments. For bows, I haven't yet seen evidence that this is true, and some evidence that "junk" bows from 100 years ago can be awesome...but my sample size is smallish here.

Both bows and instruments, the most important thing is to play a lot of them and learn from them, _then_ figure out how to spend your money.

Edited: June 19, 2018, 8:33 AM · This one is already sold, but it gives you an idea of what you can get for under 2k. It was listed at about $1300 US, so it sold fairly quickly.

https://www.corilon.com/shop/en/item517_1.html

Sounds amazing for 1.3k

Actually, this site has LOTS of nice instruments under 1.5k. Worth playing around and listening to their sound samples.

June 19, 2018, 8:57 AM · When I was violin shopping a few years ago I found a nice 1895 German instrument for $3500. It wasn't as good as the Topa I eventually bought, but I liked it so much that I bought it for my daughter.

If you really want a better violin, then go to the shops available to you and buy the best they have within your budget. But then you'll have to be satisfied with it -- you can't do more. Violin is indeed an expensive hobby. You do need to save some of your budget for your bow.

June 25, 2018, 5:24 AM · This one may fall into your budget range:

https://kansascity.craigslist.org/msg/d/beautiful-hand-made-antique/6594330928.html

I like the advice you all provide as I have learned a lot from you all already.

June 25, 2018, 2:39 PM · Currently I'm looking for an upgrade for my 13 years old son. He owns a €1,5k violin from a german workshop, which is technically fine, and although he hasn't completely "grown out" of it yet, he isn't happy with it's sound anymore. The original idea behind buying this instrument was making him learn the basics and allow him to develop his own taste, so that he will be able to choose a better instrument which should last for a longer period. And now, two years later, it seems to be the time now...
Originally I hoped to find something around €4-5k, German or Mirecourt, with a maximum reserve up to €7k - he really is talented and working hard, and since I also became addicted by two stringed instruments I am lucky enough to own, why not indulge him a little bit. But then I ran into the Paesold PA805 series.
They sell for €2600, plus a little extra for some setup optimization sorcery my luthier does on it. And I'm really impressed. We're not sure yet if one of the Paesolds will make it, but they definitely beat most of what could be found in the <€5k. The tone is balanced and even over all strings, sound and projection are strong enough for most purpose, playin high up on the A and E is a joy, and even on the G it does what it's supposed to do. (To be honest, above 7th I haven't checked the G, but I'm not sure if it's that important...)
So... If you're in need for a really good violin in this prize range, the PA805 definitively should be worth a thought!

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