Visit VSA 2018 to look for a new violin around 15k?

October 10, 2018, 11:44 PM · Hi all!

I am an amateur violin player, and I am looking for a new instrument around 15k.

I've looked lots of posts in this's post was awesome), and what I've learned is that there is not an absolute better violin, but it's about personal preference. I listen to various of violins from youtube, and posts such as 35/50 modern american violins, 30 modern italian violins (links are at the end if anyone is interested) to know what I like.

I am still getting it more clear about my preference of sound/tone, but at the same time, I want to see the instrument and play them in person. So I guess I would visit VSA 2018 next month to figure it out.

My concern is that I never visited the event before, and I don't know how many luthiers/violins at new instrument exhibition. Would you guys recommend me to go there and will it be worth it?

50 Modern American Makers(
35 Modern American Makers(
30 Modern Italian Violins(

Replies (3)

Edited: October 11, 2018, 7:20 AM · If this is like past events, you can expect about 400 instruments total, with about 275 violins. However, once the judging is completed and the competition room is open to the public, it's not the ideal environment for critical listening. There may be 20 people playing instruments in that one large ballroom at the same time, and instruments can not be removed from that room.

There will be a separate room with instruments makers wish to exhibit, which are not entered in the competition. That will be open all week and is much less noisy and hectic. That room might have about 25 instruments, and many times when no one else is playing. Some of those instruments will be by makers who have won the competition enough times that they can no longer enter, but I'd expect these instruments to be more expensive than your designated budget.

The instruments in both these rooms are not necessarily available for purchase.

A third room (also open all week) contains vendor exhibits, and there will be violins there too, although most of these will be along commercial lines, rather than by individual makers.

Hope that helps. :-)

October 11, 2018, 6:57 AM · I've never been to a VSA convention, but I think it's a wonderful idea. I did belong to the VSA for about 10 years and enjoyed their journal and other information that taught me much.

Have fun and I hope you find YOUR violin.

October 12, 2018, 12:00 AM · I thought about doing the same thing but decided against it. Too many violins to try out. You can target the medal winners and see if they'll sell to you.

Yunhai Xu won silver medal 2016 (and lots of other medals since) and his violins go for nothing. 5-6k. Sole reason is...he's Chinese, I'm guessing. The double gold winning violin was owned by Florian. A Strad copy. Their asking price for the higher quality copies are 65K, I believe.

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