When I first shopped for a violin, I wanted a bright violin. I changed to steel Sprirocore strings on my cello because I wanted to brighten it up and it is wonderful. So, in my mind, I wanted a bright violin. When I tested violins the Revelle 500QX sounded great. Now that I am playing it, I find that, for a violin, I would prefer a milder mellower sound. I never thought I would think that. But, here I am.
The Revelle 500QX came set up with Dominant strings. I had purchased some Spirocore for it a while ago (I was going to put them on my cheapo test drive violin to make it better, but decided to wait until I got a better violin to use them), but I know that if I put them on the Revelle 500QX it will be too bright, and deafening to my ears (LOL), based on what the affect was with my cello, Belle. I am also more drawn to that mellow violin sound after listening to many bright and many mellow violin comparison videos, and lessons with each. So, I would like a mellower violin.
All the violins are set up with Dominant strings at this violin shop, at least in my price range, so when I test them they are all using the same strings and I use the same bow and play the same songs and scales (I am just learning, so my repertoire is not large anyway).
Here are some of the violins that are in my price range (based on as high a price I can pay and the lowest level - has to be of equal or greater value of my Revelle 500QX). I have not been able to find much information on these, except for other stores that sell them, no reviews or sample playing, except the Shen Model Violin, SV1000.
W. Raabs Violin, Germany 2010
Shen Model Violin, SV1000
Scott Cao (Model not stated, but it is $1600, this is actually $100 over budget. I have heard or read good things on the lower end of Scott Cao. I heard a test on YouTube of a lower end. Problem with YouTube, it is really not accurate as far as how it will sound with you in your house, or wherever you play it.)
I did play the Modelo Italiano* when I tested violins when I was thinking a bright violin and bought the Revelle. It is mellow. But, if I recall, for some reason I had trouble bowing it. I think it was my first one and I was very nervous. The violinist associate was still in the room and also, other people were outside the room. I cannot be in front of people. This is all for my own enjoyment and self-fulfillment, not for performing in front of people. I played each of them three times, final two more than that. It did get easier. I think after the first time playing that Modelo Italiano*, I had issues because it was mellow and I could not get rid of the “bright” sound idea.
I will be testing all that I am choosing from in October, basically, all in my price range. I am working on a song to do. If I can just work on one song, I will have it down pretty smooth before I do the trade in October. I am also going to smooth out two scales to do on them all.
I read about, and listened to a YouTube on the Shen Model Violin SV1000. I was happy to find that exact model Shen. It was described as mellow and sounded mellow. I actually loved the sound. The E string was beautiful and the G string was very nice, to my ears. But, again, it was a YouTube on my iPad, both with and without a bluetooth attached outside speaker. Can’t really tell more than comparison using a device, not hearing actual sound as it would be live.
I know the Revelle 500QX did not sound the same in my house as it did in the sound room at the violin shop, I expected that to be the case. It sounds good, though. I am just over the bright.
I know violin is a matter of preference, that is a given. I am wondering more about quality (understanding my price range - not expecting the quality of a higher priced violin) or little quirks. I trust this store for quality, but wondering if there is some quirk other people know of about any of these that would cause an issue for a new adult senior citizen self-learner.
I am not concerned about them being made in China, I am not spending thousands of dollars, and do not buy into China always =ing bad. Not getting into that big debate, but wanted to mention that I know these are all most likely, not positive, made in China. The violin store customizes them to their liking.
Does anyone have any experience with any of these brands and/or models? Talking on the quality standpoint, because, I realize what one person’s preference in sound and feel is different from another person’s preference. I am thinking some of you are still beginners and not playing or looking into really expensive violins, or those of you who are advanced started out on less expensive violins than you now play. Thought maybe someone may have experience with one of these models and noticed a quirk or can indicate whether they tend to be bright or mellow. I know even the same brand and model can be different than someone else’s of the same brand and model due to setup, wood, etc. But just general information on any of these would be helpful. I am not even sure I want to put my steel Spirocore strings on whatever one I trade in for now, because I want to keep it mellow.
I wish I could have found more information on these in reviews, comparison articles, comparison videos, sample playing on videos. The only one I found in two weeks of looking every day, was the Shen SV1000. I am thinking these are names given the violin by this violin shop? But I did find some of these violins, by name, on other violin shops’ sites, just not much information, as is the case on the website of the violin shop I use. But, maybe someone has purchased one from this shop or another shop online or actually from the store. Since this is the internet, the world is small, and just maybe...
I was just playing my violin yesterday evening, and I do like it. I just keep wishing it were mellower. Since I am trading it in, I am not interested in buying new strings and replacing the new Dominants they put on it. The ones I will be testing will have the same Dominants.
Thank you in advance for any information you can provide.
63 years old, not a young child’s ears.
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