Upgrading my violin- Question about Ernst Heinrich Roth and Oskar C Meinel violins
Hello, I am looking to upgrade my current violin. The violins that I am considering are a Roth 1954 copy of a 1714 Strad which is selling for around $6,000, as well as two Meinel violins- one is a 1937 copy of a 1725 Strad (around $8,000) and the other is a 1962 copy of a 1714 Strad (around $3,500). If what I researched is accurate, it sounds like the Meinel violins are actually a trade name used at Roth's shop and that the Roth violins made after World war two aren't nearly as good as the ones made around the 1920's. It also sounds like the 1714 Strad copies may not be the best model but I wanted to know what all of your opinions are. So my questions are:
1) Are these nice quality instruments or could I find better? (within the price range of $4,000-$8,000)
2) Are these fair prices for these violins?
3) Does anyone have any recommendations as to which would be the best out of these options or could anyone recommend any other violins I should consider looking at in the above price range?
I hope to find a professional sounding violin that can carry me through college (I will be auditioning for music conservatories in a few months so I would need to decide on a violin before then). If anyone has any recommendations, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
The Roth sounds a bit pricey to me, don't know about the Meinel.
I have a 1956 Roth 1700 model for $2500 right now, those prices are full retail or in the case of the Roth slightly above full retail, IMHO
I agree with Lyndon. For 8k you can already find really excellent instruments from individual makers of the same period. Just tried two of those recently which both fulfill any needs of a professional orchestra musician. (And both served so for many years.) One 1920ies from Hungary, one gorgeous 1960ies Mittenwald even from a very reputable maker in good condition, but the varnish a bit sticky with especially heavy craquele, which might contribute to the relatively low price.
I recently had a 1930 high end Roth violin in the shop, would high retail for about $12,000, very impressive instrument, there is no doubt Roth made some very good instruments, just not all of them, and after WWII they were not as good.
It's going to be hard to find a professional sounding violin at that price range. There's a workshop called Fevre that does some excellent instruments--I have a viola from there. I would also look at Jay Haide and Kono violins. But you really need to be trying these out, not ordering online.
The 1725 Strad is a high end model for Roth or Meinel, $8000 might not be such a high price for that. Depends on the condition and the sound quality
No Lyndon I haven't tried Martin Swan's violins although one of these days I may. He has a good reputation. You know as well that he knows his stuff, and he isn't shy about what he doesn't know. I have tried a number of violins made in the region his violins come from and have been impressed.
I would never recommend a maker who's instruments I have never tried or seen, that's just completely ridiculous.
I don't know why recommending an MSV (apparently a workshop violin) is any more ridiculous than recommending any other workshop brand with a good reputation, sight unseen.
Lyndon, I'm sure Roth must have made some really good instruments since otherwise this workshop / factory wouldn't have built such a high reputation in the US. And I'm aware that the high end Roth instruments were not born from the assembly line, but usually well made by a single maker. But 12k? No kidding, Lyndon? I mean, in another thread (I don't remember exactly which it was) you advised me to find a more trustworthy shop before buying a €8k workshop Mittenwald... (Which means, in this special case, that one of the most reputable German luthiers of the 20th century had one single other master luthier - no apprentice - in his workshop who came there for a year or three to polish on his already advanced skills, who built this very instrument unter the workshop owners guidance.)
Thank you all for responding. Yes, I agree that I would not order online without trying out the violin. I currently have both the Meinels and the Roth out on trial and have been impressed with the sound of the 1937 Meinel. It is by far my favorite out of the violins I have tried so that's great to hear that it is a good model and that it seems to be reasonably priced. However, as much as I love the Meinel, it is still early on in my search for a violin so I am hesitant to buy it so soon as I haven't considered that many other options. I plan to look at the violins in a few more local shops and try out some of the violins you all recommended and then decide between those and the Meinel
Full retail value on a Roth model 10-R 1725 1937 in very good condition would be close to $10,000 so you're not getting a big discount but they are good instruments.
Lyndon, with all respect and without any intention to offend someone, your picture of German violin making seems to lack some details.
Do you know the Bubenreuth story?
Not true about Mittenwald, they were built the same way as Markneukirchen, try researching "verleger" and the workshops were usually not that small.
Baader (1817-1933) and Neuner&Hornsteiner (c.1800- somewhen around WW I), yes - you got me. To put it short, Baader not glorious, N&H often good but inconsistent quality. Some other "bigger" workshops I'm not aware of? Still small compared to Roth, Schuster, and the other larger companies in Markneukirchen, Klingenthal etc., respectively later in Bubenreuth.
After the Beneš-decretes 1945/1946 the german speaking minority in Czechoslovakia were expatriatet to germany, amongst them the biggest part of the instrument makers from the Schönbach region. The government first thought it might be a good idea to settle the violin makers in Mittenwald, but the Mittenwald makers feared the concurrence and the ruin of their reputation of quality. Be sure there´s also been a good shot of xenophobia in this reaction. After a few other attempts to settle these folks somewhere else in Bavaria, Bubenreuth offered do host them. In a small village of 415, more than 500 flats were built and more than 2000 members of instrument making families settled there. 1949 the population finally approached 4500. For decades the production of musical instruments (not only stringed instruments) remained the most important source of income in the region, the business spread out in the whole Erlangen region.
what book are you copying this out of??
Lyndon. I could not find any significant publication be it printed or via the net that would deal with German violin making after 1850. There is research, but for a scientific workup only antique seems to be interesting enough, not the "younger ones". Maybe in a century, when information will be harder to get and more will be left to speculation, but obviously not now. Not even the Museum in Markneukirchen provides at least a list of makers and workshop, which is quite a shame in my eyes, and the Museum in Mittenwald provides a (very rudimentary) list of a few names and dates up to c.1850. And I would really wish to have such a book, if there was one. (And the Museum in Bubenreuth seems to be a neverending planning project, however...)