Guarneri Copy vs Strad copy for learning violin
I have a question about two violin models. I read something about a Strad copy design and Guarneri copy (Scott Cao STV 850 to be exact).
I understand that the Guarneri has a fatter or wider bottom, have seen it described as more bell shaped or something like that than Strad copies. I also read that, due to the shape, the Guarneri is a deeper sound. Is this accurate?
I also read, that because of its shape, the Guarneri is harder to play. If that is the case, why is that? There was something about needing a heavier bow pressure on the strings. Why? It was not explained why this is and I can’t find that site again.
I was trying to find information on this violin; Scott Cao STV850 Guarneri Il Cannone 1743 (Label inside says: Il Cannone 1743, shop luthier says it is Guarneri) and it is the Scott Cao STV850. I have read something about the original neck being shorter, wood thicker, and something about a curve.
Is it so different than other violins as to where a student should not use it to learn? With a shorter neck, if that is true, wouldn’t fingering be harder, or at least different from the Strad?
What does the thicker wood do as far as learning on it, if the Scott Cao model uses thicker wood like the original does.
If you learned on this violin and were not going to be trading up again, would it matter if this is the violin you learned on?
If you later decided you wanted a different violin, would this violin cause an issue if it isn’t a normal violin and you switch to a normal violin with normal neck and curve (whatever that is referring to)?
How does it compare to a strad copy?
I am going violin tasting next week, I am not an advanced student but it is extremely difficult for me to play any instrument when the basic sound is not what I want, whether notes are always accurate or not. I have a bright violin, but find I am drawn to mellow, so am trading it in for a mellow. I have read that this violin is mellow. I am “tasting” other models at the same price point as this Scott Cao and lower. I have just read so many good things about Scott Cao and have heard some good samples of them, compared to other models.
I am going in with an open mind, but am curious about what I read. Are Guarneri copies different and harder to play than Strad copies, as well as my other questions above.
Thanks a bunch.
If you can bring someone experienced with you, to give feedback on play-ability, and you see what sounds good to you, then get a couple on evaluation, and bring them to your teacher, if you have one.
Definitely overthinking this. Go play a bunch of violins. Take someone experienced if you can. Pick two or three to take home and play for a few days. Choose the one you like the best, then paly them for your teacher and see which one they like the best. Hopefully that will be the same one. If not listen to their reasoning and then do what will make you the most happy!
I tend to over think things when I am purchasing something that is more than I would normally spend.
Buy from a place with a good trade-in policy. Violins are more transferable than sewing machines.
My first violin was a $160 Palatino. Walked into a shop to buy a penny whistle, walked out with a fiddle. I couldn't understand why after playing it for 5-10 minutes that I had the visceral desire to smash it against the wall. Then I gradually realized the brightness was irritating the hell out of me.
The models are really about looks, at least in the sense that 10 strad models will sound like 10 different violins. The range of sounds from each model probably overlap and I bet most people can’t tell a modern strad model from a modern del Gesu. Just follow the excellent advice about using your ears.
Unless you are buying an extremely expensive bench copy (which costs tens of thousands of dollars), you shouldn't really care what a violin is supposedly modeled after.
My understanding, supported by what I've read on Maestronet and an instrument I saw the other day, is that Guarneri del Gesu violins actually tend to be on the small side. But the difference is only a few mm and I don't think that should be an important factor in your choice
Someone somewhere else asked about the metrics of these copies, and it occurred to me that the wood thickness profile must be one of the most important metrics. Anyone know how accurate this is in these copies?
Ok, I can trade in instruments I buy at this violin shop for equal or greater value for as long as I own it. That is one of the issues. Right now I have an $900 violin, but the brightness irritates me. I would change out the strings, but I don’t want to risk damage. I am new to violins, been taking cello for over a year and that has helped me with learning the violin (on my own until I can start lessons), and learning the violin has helped me with the cello, weird. Anyway, since I am at the $900 level, if I find I love the Scott Cao STV 850 Il Cannone 1743, I am up to the $1600 level. That means any trade later, due to just not liking it after I have gotten more proficient, or whatever, I cannot trade for a lower end. Not sure how big an issue that is. Not many violin shops around here, but I really like this shop, anyway. They give you purchase price minus any repairs they have to do before putting it up for sale. I have nary a scratch on my Revelle right now, so, since I know I am not happy with bright, I should do something now.
Why are you afraid of causing damage by changing the strings?
Cynthia, since you are a cellist, you should have no trouble testing violins by playing them in cello position. This is a fine way to get a better idea of how they sound to an audience (not a perfect way, but a better way). I use this method "all the time" to get some idea of the effects of different bows, rosins, strings, etc. on my chin instruments. It puts my ears in a location relative to the instrument more like a listeners. I even use this method for testing the intonation of my A string in ensemble situations, because the closeness of a violin to my left ear can increase the apparent pitch in relation to the oboe that is our tuning tone.
Like Lydia said earlier, unless you are buying a true proper copy, which would likely be very expensive, these makers make their 'copies' based loosely on some parameters from the original and slap a name on them for marketing purposes. And even that is no guarantee at all that the instrument will have /ANY/ of the characteristics of the original, other than perhaps extremely accurate dimensions. Which unless we're talking about the extreme examples of Strads and Del Gesu, are no more discrepant than normal variations from one violin to another.
I have decided to just go and try them. I know of no other violinists. Instructors around here are few and far between, and apparently not solely music teachers as they must be around where most of you live. They don’t go to music stores with students. They have other jobs, as well, plus play professionally, at least this one does. This is, literally, the only violin instructor I know of around here and she is recovering from surgery. I won’t bore you with details about the lack of music instructors around here. If the violin shop was in this town, I would probably ask her, but it is 60-65 miles away.
Fox pretty much summed up exactly what I was going to say. It can be hard not to over analyze but at the end of the day the best value for your money will be a violin you like the sound of when playing. Names are just names for all these “copies”. They are not replica’s and even if they were we are talking mere millimeters of a difference.
Judging from your other post, I think you are overthinking things. I recommend a process similar to what I did to select my current instrument.
In my experience, the differences between Guarneri and Strad patterns are only meaningful within the output of a given maker.
Strings don't affect resale value. Strings are easily changed. Here's an idea. I did this once. I took my fiddle to the store, took the E string off, and put an A string of another type on. I then had two A strings that I could play back and forth between to see which I liked better. I did that for two different A strings. Cheaper than buying a whole set and trying a whole set at a time. Or you could do two E strings at a time.
The shop may not allow you to change the strings on a violin you don't own / aren't renting, even if you re-string with the old ones afterwards. That's especially true if you're not someone who is an experienced violinist used to routinely changing strings.
I thought she was reticent to change the strings on the violin she owns.
I'm glad it had never occurred to me to buy a copy of anything.
I've got copies galore. Two copies of Paul Klee paintings, one copy of a Marcel Duchamp painting, and one copy of a Jackson Pollock painting. Talk about difference in price between copy and original! Phew!
I felt I had a shortage of my own artwork to display on my walls so I had 4 full size canvas prints made of my own art work that belonged to other people, hard to tell the difference between the originals.
Seems to be some confusion on some the things I was thinking about.
The characteristics of an *actual* Strad or Guarneri have basically nothing to do with the student instruments that you are looking at that claim to be based on a Strad or Guarneri model. Just ignore the stuff that you read.
Cynthia, you might find it interesting to pursue information on the Guarneri and Stradivari families of violin makers:
More recently, Perlman bought Menuhin’s del Gesu to give the Soil a little rest. His Bach solo set is divided between those two. Some of the most famous examples from each maker. The Bach itself is More Galamian-ish than I like, but it allows for a fair comparison,
Cynthia, et al.,
I agree with Lydia. Stradivari or Guarneri model instruments, especially the modern ones, with a few exceptions, are very different tonally from the actual thing. You have to look at each instrument individually. Typically, del Gesus are smaller compared to Stradivaris in terms of the dimensions. Although my teacher’s ‘Ludwig’ Stradivarius from 1724 is only 350mm; so there are exceptions.
A sound post adjustment very well may suffice to remove the excessive brightness from your current violin.