Starting to think of a violin upgrade
Hi everyone. As you may know from my earlier posts, I'm playing on a Yamaha V5 violin. It's open, loud and bright, even shrill at times. It sounds better as my technique improves, but it's not inspiring at all. Its sound seemed to dampen a bit when I got a new bow, which is as expensive as the full Yamaha violin starter set (around €400). I'd like to upgrade it, but I don't need/want to rush (maybe I'll get it in some months, maybe in a year... who knows?) After all, I'm not very advanced technically (I'm starting Trotts double stop book on November, and perfectioning 3rd position).
I have some questions to ask you before even starting to try new violins:
(1) Which would be in your opinion a reasonable minimum budget to spend?
(2) In the shop at my town, I could get a better Yamaha violin at a discounted price. Which is your opinion on these instruments? It's not that I exactly like the sound of my current instrument, but maybe it's because it's the lower-tier model they carry.
(3) What key points should I look for when I'm trying a new violin?
(4) And finally... I can commission a violin from a Bulgarian maker (P. Stoinov) at around €4k. It's a bit out of my budget currently (I had thought of something around 2-3k max) but I could save for it if it was worth. What do you think of this option? Do you know this maker?
(5) Any other general/concrete advice is welcome.
Thank you very much.
Come to your local luthier and ask to try some of violin in 2-3k range. And pick the one you like best.
Thank you, Daniel. I'll try some violins at my local shop when I can. Unfortunately, I can't go visit the Bulgarian workshop. It would be a "distance" deal.
Perhaps take your violin in for a soundpost adjustment?
Sounds OK to me
So Craig+1, perhaps.
There's room for a huge discussion of upgrades - how many, and when, and are they just an excuse for not improving fast enough; are they a shop's money-spinner?
My ideal upgrade plan would be just upgrading it once. Finding a beautiful sounding instrument that is easy to play on and that I'd like to keep for the rest of my life. Maybe this is a bit of an utopian thinking with my budget, but I don't plan to be a professional and just want to reach an intermediate-advanced level where I can enjoy music. I don't even plan to follow any grading system or taking violin exams. I just want to enjoy it.
"They deceive customers"
From my experience with €1-3k "student" violins (mainly german and romanian) setup matters a lot. So Craig's advice about soundpost adjustment might be the cheapest way to go, eventually your luthier could also check the bridge and tailgut length - many student violins leave the company's workshop in a really pityful shape, regarding the setup. But for €500 or so, the workshops cannot invest a lot of time into this fine tuning process, so this is what you'll get.
I think that was a joke -- a suggestion that you should consider switching to play viola instead.
Well, I don’t get these kind of viola jokes. Maybe that’s definitely a sign that I should try it. Now reading it again makes all the sense. English is not my first language and, although I’m reasonably proficient at it, sometimes I just don’t get it.
Lydia's got it. Just give it a try. I didn't give up the violin, but playing the viola was - and is - a very relaxing experience.
And Miguel, take your time and enjoy the process!
I don't really know how did I understand your sentence in such a difficult way. It was funny how diplomatical Lydia was when explaining it to me.